Author Topic: Textual problems with Mark's account of the Resurrection appearances  (Read 802 times)

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Offline rakovsky

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Some Christian scholars claim that Mark's account of Jesus' post-resurrection appearances (verses 9-20) was added in much later. The early manuscripts like Vaticanus generally don't have it. The Church writer Eusebius wrote that accurate copies of Mark's gospel lacked this extra ending.
http://www.tektonics.org/lp/markend.php

This extra part has at least three issues, which are not limited to Mark's account.

(1) Mark's resurrection ending says that Jesus told the disciples that Christians can handle snakes and drink anything deadly without being harmed. Is this statement true?

Jesus told them in this talk that it is a sign of Christianity that Christians "shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them". (verse 16:17)

I suppose a person who prays and is calm will be much better at handling snakes and that a Christian who is prayerful may have greater personal fortitude and thus better able to withstand poison. But I am afraid that it might be rather random whether Christians or nonChristians survive after drinking poison.

(2) Mark's possibly added ending seems to be repeating Luke 24's story, when it talks about Jesus appearing to the disciples while they ate, upbraiding them for not believing the appearance to two disciples near Emmaus and then Ascending to heaven (Mk 16:14,19). So in Mark's account it sounds like there was only one resurrection appearance to the disciples as a group and then Jesus Ascended to God's right hand.

Luke 24 makes it sound like this one appearance and Ascension was on Day 1 or Day 2 of the Resurrection at Bethany, as follows:

24:13 "that same day" as the empty tomb was found, the two apostles went to Emmaus and saw Jesus
24:33 "the same hour" as they saw Jesus, they went to tell the apostles
24:36: As they told the apostles this, Jesus showed up
24:49: To tell them right then to stay in Jerusalem until Pentecost
24:50: And then he made the Ascension at Bethany
("tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. And he led them out as far as to Bethany")

Meanwhile,  Acts 1 says that "the day in which he was taken up" was 40 days after the Resurrection. So either Jesus had two Ascensions, or Mark and Luke give the reader the wrong impression when they apparently say that the Ascension was on Day 1 or 2.

The best way I can reconcile the accounts is to propose that Jesus showed up on Day 1, told them to stay in Jerusalem until they got the Holy Spirit (50 days later), Ascended, then the apostles went to Galilee and the Sea of Tiberias to see Jesus (as Matthew and John say), then He Ascended again on Day 40 (like Acts says). It's rather tortured, but not totally illogical.


(3) Jesus repeatedly announced that no sign would be given to that generation besides the resurrection (The sign of Jonah, Mark 8:12, Matthew 12:39, 16:4, Luke 11:29). Yet Mark's later ending, the gospels, and Acts say that Jesus and the apostles publicly performed many miracles.
Jesus himself had told John the Baptist's disciples to tell John about Jesus' healings when John the Baptist sent them to ask Jesus if He was the Messiah.

​I suppose one could say that the Resurrection would be the only one openly confirmable for everyone because they could all openly see the empty tomb. But what about the very public miracle of the loaves and fishes and the public healings and public resurrections (like Peter's and Paul's resurrections of others)? Was the empty tomb itself such a stronger proof of a miracle than those proofs of the other miracles?
« Last Edit: May 17, 2015, 09:04:13 PM by rakovsky »

Offline Volnutt

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JP Holding, the author of that article, is very committed to the Evangelical need  to "harmonize" the Gospels. From what I've seen though that doesn't matter much in Orthodox theology.

Offline Gamliel

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I do not see where you get an ascension right after Day 1.

Offline rakovsky

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I do not see where you get an ascension right after Day 1.
It's in the verses in Luke 24 I listed.
It says that Jesus appeared as a stranger to two disciples the "same day" as the resurrection", and the "same hour" they went to tell the rest of the disciples, and "as they thus spake" Jesus showed up, "And he led them" to Bethany, blessed them, and "while he blessed them", he Ascended.

So Luke makes it a single event: Jesus resurrects and on "the same day" He shows up and Ascends.

Perhaps that reading of Luke is wrong, but Mark does something similar:
Jesus shows up to criticize the apostles for doubting the two disciples, has one monologue, and "So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven".

Mark never mentions any other collective appearances and leaves the reader thinking that there was only one collective meeting before the Ascension: Jesus finally shows up to the apostles as a group, criticizes and instructs them, and "after [He] had spoken to them", Ascends.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2015, 10:43:59 PM by rakovsky »

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I'm waiting for rakovsky to connect this to Oriental Orthodoxy. 
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Offline wgw

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Well I could preempt rakovsly by mentioning the interlingual Syriac/English translations of the Peshitta hosted online appear to uniformly have the Longer Ending (or the Corrrect Ending as I prefer to call it).  That being said I don't know the manuscript history of the Peshitta, so I'm not sure how much that's worth, but the Longer Ending is in there now.   

But it seems to me like this and the Adultery Pericope add something valuable to the Gospel narratives.  I recall a blog of a Southern Baptist pastor who seems very eager to stress the dogmatic implications of the adultery pericope being, in his firm opinion, an interpolation, and this was in effect a horrifying de-emphasis of forgiveness and what could almost legitimately be called pharisaism.  I would not want to be a member of his church.  Likewise I think if we go and disregard or deprecate the longer ending of Mark it could also have unpleasant and unforeseen effects.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2015, 01:10:16 AM by wgw »
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Offline Volnutt

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I think the only implication of longer Mark that matters is the part about "signs following" because it could theoretically be used to support an argument for Orthodox charimaticism.

I disagree with Holding's claim that it detracts from the centrality of the Resurrection (part of it is likely that he hangs a lot of his apologetics on what he calls the "Impossible Faith" argument, namely that Christianity could never have survived and grown if the Resurrection did not actually happen).

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There will always be issues with Holy Scripture when the "brainiacs" continue to look at it the same way they look at the writings of Tacitus or Plutarch.

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Offline rakovsky

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Maybe the answer to the contradiction in (2) is that Luke has an imprecise writing style?

At first, the contradiction is this:
Mark and Matthew have the myrrhbearing women saying Jesus will see the apostles in Galilee, and Matthew and John describe Jesus' appearances there on the mountain and Sea of Tiberias. And Acts 1 talks about appearing in the course of the 40 days, the Ascension, and the disciples returning from the Mount of Olives after it. ("After Jesus said this, he was lifted up into the sky... Then the apostles went back to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives.")

However, Luke has Jesus appearing "that same day" to two apostles, who immediately tell the others, and while they do Jesus shows up and tells the apostles to stay in Jerusalem until Pentecost and "after talking with them" he takes them to Bethany (not "the vicinity" of Bethany like our English translation says) and Ascends, all apparently on the same day.

The places are separate:


The reason I think the answer could be that Luke's style is unreliable, is that Acts says it is written by Luke. However, Acts 1 starts by talking about the Ascension on the 40th day and the disciples returning from the Mount of Olives.
So if we put Luke and Acts together, it looks like Luke says one thing and then another. But it doesn't make sense for an author to contradict himself so easily. So maybe he is mixing things up or else lacking clarity so much that he leaves the wrong impression.

To give an example of possible over-vagueness (not contradiction), maybe the disciples saw the Ascension at Bethany (Luke 24) and then stayed at the Mount of Olives (Acts 1), even though Luke leaves us with the impression in the two passages individually that the Ascension occurred at both places. Granted, this reconciliation of the passages would undermine the Church tradition that the Ascension was on the Mount of Olives.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2015, 05:35:06 PM by rakovsky »

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So if we put Luke and Acts together, it looks like Luke says one thing and then another. But it doesn't make sense for an author to contradict himself so easily. So maybe he is mixing things up or else lacking clarity so much that he leaves the wrong impression.

Yeah, it's definitely Luke who's confused.  Maybe he was one of those pot-smoking Ethiopians. 
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Re: Textual problems with Mark's account of the Resurrection appearances
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2015, 06:48:54 PM »
So if we put Luke and Acts together, it looks like Luke says one thing and then another. But it doesn't make sense for an author to contradict himself so easily. So maybe he is mixing things up or else lacking clarity so much that he leaves the wrong impression.

Yeah, it's definitely Luke who's confused.  Maybe he was one of those pot-smoking Ethiopians.

First Google image result of "Saint Luke smoking pot."  See!  He has some special Tewahedo blunt, disguised to look like a pen.  He's so high that he's chatting with a tiny bull that only he can see.  Classic Luke!
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Textual problems with Mark's account of the Resurrection appearances
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2015, 08:53:24 PM »
I wonder if this is solved by an appeal to the concept of ma besay-il. As Abraham Rihbany put it,

Quote
There is much more of intellectual inaccuracy than of moral delinquency in the Easterner's speech. His misstatements are more often the result of indifference than the deliberate purpose to deceive. One of his besetting sins is his ma besay-il -- it does not matter. He sees no essential difference between nine o'clock and half after nine, or whether a conversation took place on the housetop or in the house. The main thing is to know the substance of what happened, with as many of the supporting details as can be conveniently remembered.

As quoted here.

Mor, would you happen to know anything more about this?

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Textual problems with Mark's account of the Resurrection appearances
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2015, 11:29:03 PM »
I wonder if this is solved by an appeal to the concept of ma besay-il. As Abraham Rihbany put it,

Quote
There is much more of intellectual inaccuracy than of moral delinquency in the Easterner's speech. His misstatements are more often the result of indifference than the deliberate purpose to deceive. One of his besetting sins is his ma besay-il -- it does not matter. He sees no essential difference between nine o'clock and half after nine, or whether a conversation took place on the housetop or in the house. The main thing is to know the substance of what happened, with as many of the supporting details as can be conveniently remembered.

As quoted here.

Mor, would you happen to know anything more about this?

I am curious too.

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Textual problems with Mark's account of the Resurrection appearances
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2015, 11:50:53 PM »
I wonder if this is solved by an appeal to the concept of ma besay-il.
Quote
There is much more of intellectual inaccuracy than of moral delinquency in the Easterner's speech. His misstatements are more often the result of indifference than the deliberate purpose to deceive. One of his besetting sins is his ma besay-il -- it does not matter. He sees no essential difference between nine o'clock and half after nine, or whether a conversation took place on the housetop or in the house. The main thing is to know the substance of what happened, with as many of the supporting details as can be conveniently remembered.
I think this is a problem though because it means they could make statements to each other that could be misunderstood or reworded much differently by third parties. For example, in Mark, a young man in white meets the women at the tomb and tells them Jesus went to Galilee. Mark doesn't specify whether this person was an angelic with a divine message or if there could be a natural explanation. Matthew could have heard this same account and concluded it was an angel in a snow white robe with a shocking facial expression, while believing that he was still depicting "the substance of what happened."

Of course Matthew goes beyond that and describes the ground shaking, and the angel rolling the tombstone away and scaring the soldiers away. Now you could ask: Did Matthew, the women, or the apostles hear this from the angel, from Jesus, or the soldiers? Or was he, or another person from whom Matthew heard it, just describing the substance of what the person concluded must have happened, as if it were fact?

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Re: Textual problems with Mark's account of the Resurrection appearances
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2015, 12:08:15 AM »
Mor, would you happen to know anything more about this?

No, not really. 
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Textual problems with Mark's account of the Resurrection appearances
« Reply #15 on: May 19, 2015, 03:08:37 AM »
Mor, would you happen to know anything more about this?

No, not really.

But I thought all you brown people were a hive mind :'(

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Re: Textual problems with Mark's account of the Resurrection appearances
« Reply #16 on: May 19, 2015, 03:12:08 AM »
I wonder if this is solved by an appeal to the concept of ma besay-il.
Quote
There is much more of intellectual inaccuracy than of moral delinquency in the Easterner's speech. His misstatements are more often the result of indifference than the deliberate purpose to deceive. One of his besetting sins is his ma besay-il -- it does not matter. He sees no essential difference between nine o'clock and half after nine, or whether a conversation took place on the housetop or in the house. The main thing is to know the substance of what happened, with as many of the supporting details as can be conveniently remembered.
I think this is a problem though because it means they could make statements to each other that could be misunderstood or reworded much differently by third parties. For example, in Mark, a young man in white meets the women at the tomb and tells them Jesus went to Galilee. Mark doesn't specify whether this person was an angelic with a divine message or if there could be a natural explanation. Matthew could have heard this same account and concluded it was an angel in a snow white robe with a shocking facial expression, while believing that he was still depicting "the substance of what happened."

Of course Matthew goes beyond that and describes the ground shaking, and the angel rolling the tombstone away and scaring the soldiers away. Now you could ask: Did Matthew, the women, or the apostles hear this from the angel, from Jesus, or the soldiers? Or was he, or another person from whom Matthew heard it, just describing the substance of what the person concluded must have happened, as if it were fact?

Well seeing as angelos is the word for "messenger" anyway, I'm not sure if it impacts the story one way or the other if they were celestial beings or just human messengers from God. A skeptic determined enough can always find ways to poke holes in the story ("well, what if they were fallen angels?")

Ma besay-il is a valid concept I'm pretty sure. We need Isa to weigh in on this.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2015, 03:17:04 AM by Volnutt »

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Re: Textual problems with Mark's account of the Resurrection appearances
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2015, 09:37:37 AM »
Mor, would you happen to know anything more about this?

No, not really.

But I thought all you brown people were a hive mind :'(

I am unaware of this concept as a concept with a name and a scholarly application.  I am aware of it, however, because I'm brown and this is often how people talk and tell stories.   
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Offline Volnutt

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Re: Textual problems with Mark's account of the Resurrection appearances
« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2015, 07:10:52 PM »
Mor, would you happen to know anything more about this?

No, not really.

But I thought all you brown people were a hive mind :'(

I am unaware of this concept as a concept with a name and a scholarly application.  I am aware of it, however, because I'm brown and this is often how people talk and tell stories.   

Yeah, perhaps I'm overreaching by calling it a scholarly concept.

I guess the question is, "could disagreements on the amount of time between Resurrection and Ascension fall under this trend of acceptable inconsistencies over irrelevant details?"

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Re: Textual problems with Mark's account of the Resurrection appearances
« Reply #19 on: May 20, 2015, 01:34:01 PM »
I guess the question is, "could disagreements on the amount of time between Resurrection and Ascension fall under this trend of acceptable inconsistencies over irrelevant details?"

I'm not convinced there is a disagreement on the interval between the Resurrection and the Ascension. 
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Offline rakovsky

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Re: Textual problems with Mark's account of the Resurrection appearances
« Reply #20 on: May 20, 2015, 02:15:15 PM »
I guess the question is, "could disagreements on the amount of time between Resurrection and Ascension fall under this trend of acceptable inconsistencies over irrelevant details?"

I'm not convinced there is a disagreement on the interval between the Resurrection and the Ascension.
I'm not either. I think it reads in a misleading way though.
Matthew, "Original Mark", John, and Acts, put together, have the women at the tomb being told Jesus will meet the apostles in Galilee and he does two different places there and ascends at the Mount of Olives on Day 40.

But in Luke and the added part in Mark, "The same day"(Day 1) two apostles meet Jesus in Emmaus, "that same hour" they go tell the other apostles, Jesus shows up and tells them to "stay in Jerusalem until" Day 50 (ruling out Galilean appearances at that time), and "after he had spoken to them"(that's "Added Mark's" ending of the encounter, but Luke is similar), he took them as far as Bethany and then ascended.

Now you can get around these contradictions by imagining that Jesus doubled back from Bethany, or that the disciples went from the Bethany ascension to stay a while at the Mount of Olives. But still, if the accounts don't disagree, they lead the reader in opposite directions.

The real problem that this points to is whether the resurrection accounts contain other parts that are misleading, but which haven't been clarified.

For example, when it says that Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene who had the seven demons cast out of her, maybe it means that she just had a vision like Paul later did in the Temple.

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Re: Textual problems with Mark's account of the Resurrection appearances
« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2015, 07:20:16 PM »
I guess the question is, "could disagreements on the amount of time between Resurrection and Ascension fall under this trend of acceptable inconsistencies over irrelevant details?"

I'm not convinced there is a disagreement on the interval between the Resurrection and the Ascension.
The real problem that this points to is whether the resurrection accounts contain other parts that are misleading, but which haven't been clarified.

For example, when it says that Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene who had the seven demons cast out of her, maybe it means that she just had a vision like Paul later did in the Temple.

What does it matter if they do?

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Re: Textual problems with Mark's account of the Resurrection appearances
« Reply #22 on: May 20, 2015, 10:27:19 PM »
I guess the question is, "could disagreements on the amount of time between Resurrection and Ascension fall under this trend of acceptable inconsistencies over irrelevant details?"

I'm not convinced there is a disagreement on the interval between the Resurrection and the Ascension.
The real problem that this points to is whether the resurrection accounts contain other parts that are misleading, but which haven't been clarified.

For example, when it says that Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene who had the seven demons cast out of her, maybe it means that she just had a vision like Paul later did in the Temple.

What does it matter if they do?
It would lessen by one the small number of physical appearances of Jesus, and those physical appearances are one of the strongest proofs for Christianity.
However, I was mostly giving it as an example. The problem is not just the resurrection, but even Biblical concepts.

Many Evangelicals come away from Mark's added ending thinking that whether one believes or not is totally and categorically determinative of whether one is saved or condemned at the last judgment. The ending expresses this criterion in such a categorical way that people have been mislead into thinking this. Granted, that is not a strict teaching in Orthodoxy, which allows for the possibility of factoring in good works.

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Re: Textual problems with Mark's account of the Resurrection appearances
« Reply #23 on: May 20, 2015, 10:35:08 PM »
I guess the question is, "could disagreements on the amount of time between Resurrection and Ascension fall under this trend of acceptable inconsistencies over irrelevant details?"

I'm not convinced there is a disagreement on the interval between the Resurrection and the Ascension.
I'm not either. I think it reads in a misleading way though.

Only if you're looking to get lost. 

Quote
Matthew, "Original Mark", John, and Acts, put together, have the women at the tomb being told Jesus will meet the apostles in Galilee and he does two different places there and ascends at the Mount of Olives on Day 40.

But in Luke and the added part in Mark, "The same day"(Day 1) two apostles meet Jesus in Emmaus, "that same hour" they go tell the other apostles, Jesus shows up and tells them to "stay in Jerusalem until" Day 50 (ruling out Galilean appearances at that time), and "after he had spoken to them"(that's "Added Mark's" ending of the encounter, but Luke is similar), he took them as far as Bethany and then ascended.

Now you can get around these contradictions by imagining that Jesus doubled back from Bethany, or that the disciples went from the Bethany ascension to stay a while at the Mount of Olives. But still, if the accounts don't disagree, they lead the reader in opposite directions.

Why do you think "after he had spoken to them" necessarily means "right then and there, once he finished saying the preceding words, and not a moment later, otherwise we would've totally written it down to reflect that"?  "After" is rather open-ended except that it's not "before". 

Also, Mk 16.19 and Acts 1.3. 

Quote
The real problem that this points to is whether the resurrection accounts contain other parts that are misleading, but which haven't been clarified.

For example, when it says that Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene who had the seven demons cast out of her, maybe it means that she just had a vision like Paul later did in the Temple.

No, that's not the real problem. 
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Re: Textual problems with Mark's account of the Resurrection appearances
« Reply #24 on: May 20, 2015, 10:36:02 PM »
But the Orthodox would not include the longer ending in our Bibles if it was perceived as contradictory to the faith.  What people have to understand is that St. Athanasius didn't pull some random list of books out of a hat when including a canon in his Paschal letter, and random intent cannot be assumed on the part of the people charged with transcribing the manuscripts over the centuries.  Yes,wme have some old manuscripts that lack the Longer Ending.  But the fact the Church includes it in Bibles and lectionaries. and has since quite literally time immemorial (since even those who claim this is an interpolation, as opposed to the shorter ending being a truncation, cannot say when that interpolation was made with any certainty), indicates that this test is a valid part of Holy Tradition and is useful in propagating the faith.
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Re: Textual problems with Mark's account of the Resurrection appearances
« Reply #25 on: May 21, 2015, 12:47:27 AM »
But the Orthodox would not include the longer ending in our Bibles if it was perceived as contradictory to the faith.
I think that there is a Church explanation for basically every passage in the whole Bible. But is it true that no part of the Bible contradicts the church teaching? The answer would have to be that yes, nothing in the Bible contradicts the Church's teachings, since the Church can explain everything away. In fact, I was able to give explanations for each of the problems I raised above.

Nonetheless, logically speaking, I doubt that what you say must be true, and the reason is that I don't believe that Orthodoxy teaches that every verse of the Bible is infallible, just as I don't think Orthodoxy teaches every sentence in a Church Council is.

Quote
What people have to understand is that St. Athanasius didn't pull some random list of books out of a hat when including a canon in his Paschal letter, and random intent cannot be assumed on the part of the people charged with transcribing the manuscripts over the centuries.  Yes,wme have some old manuscripts that lack the Longer Ending.  But the fact the Church includes it in Bibles and lectionaries. and has since quite literally time immemorial (since even those who claim this is an interpolation, as opposed to the shorter ending being a truncation, cannot say when that interpolation was made with any certainty), indicates that this test is a valid part of Holy Tradition and is useful in propagating the faith.
In any case, my claim in number 1 is not that the passage is necessarily against Orthodox doctrine, but that it was probably not part of Mark's original gospel, as for example our Church father Eusebius said it wasn't in the "accurate copies" of Mark. Another reason is because Mark 16:9 starts on an odd note explaining who Mary Magdalene was - one cleaned of 7 demons - after Mark 16 (the same chapter) already introduced her. So it reads as if there is a text break.

To demand belief that every passage in a Biblical book was written by the author attributed to that book could go even beyond the "Biblical inerrancy" idea that every verse is correct. At least with Biblical inerrancy you don't necessarily have to justify concepts outside the Bible (like who authored each passage of some books), only the words found in the Bible.

I could give you a counter example: Isaiah is often considered to have passages added onto the book's later chapters, even though the book is at first glance authored by Isaiah. To give an example, in the middle of the book, it talks about Cyrus coming as a salvific figure for Israel. Yet Cyrus' rulership was not only not yet in the horizon, showing promise for an Israelite sage to perceive with insight, the king by the name of Cyrus hadn't even been born yet, so the passage could easily have been added on during Cyrus' time. But still, I suppose you could claim, logically that Isaiah wrote it all, including the part about Cyrus.

To give another example, the Bible repeatedly appears to give credit to Moses for writing the first five books of the Bible, the Torah. However, that is not possible for all the passages in it, since some of them record Moses' death.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosaic_authorship

But neither the Torah nor Mark's gospel specifies that the whole gospel was written by Mark. All we have is a book titled Mark's Gospel that runs together with an ending that exists in some manuscripts and not in others. For that matter, some manuscripts have two other endings after Mark 16:8 that are not in the KJV.

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Re: Textual problems with Mark's account of the Resurrection appearances
« Reply #26 on: May 21, 2015, 11:35:07 AM »
I am not convinced that there is a dilemma with the 16th chapter of St. Mark's Gospel. 

I think the answer is obvious.  Look at our lectionary for the answer. At Paschal Matins we read St. Mark 16: 1-8.  That's it.  The lectionary preserves the oldest usage of the Church. We do not go on to read verses 9-20.  Now this is just my opinion, but I think the reason we don't read them at Pascha is because the text originally ended at verse 8.  And if you think about it, this makes sense.  The Pascha Service itself is older than the Canon of Scripture.  Therefore it makes sense that liturgically the Church preserves the older usage. By the time the Canon of the New Testament was finally settled (in the 4th century A.D.) the Longer Ending of Mark (verses 9-20) had been added. So the Church incorporated that into the Canon but kept the reading at Paschal Matins in its original liturgical form. 

It is important to remember that in the Orthodox Church we are not fundamentalist Protestants.  We don't have to "harmonize" and explain away all of the human elements in Scripture.

By the way, the same thing is true of the story of the woman caught in adultery in John 8.  While it is a nice story, it isn't in our Orthodox lectionary.  And Chrysostom never preached on it, that we know of.  If you look at Chrysostom's sermon's and commentaries on the Gospel of John, he preaches on the verses preceding and following that story, but never on the story itself.  Wonder why?  I think it is because it was added later and wasn't in the earliest manuscripts.

I realize this will probably get a lot of former Protestants angry at me, but so be it.  Orthodox don't view the Bible like Muslims view the Koran.  And I think a lot of Protestant fundamentalists have made the Bible into a Koran of sorts.

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Re: Textual problems with Mark's account of the Resurrection appearances
« Reply #27 on: May 21, 2015, 11:50:01 AM »
I think the answer is obvious.  Look at our lectionary for the answer. At Paschal Matins we read St. Mark 16: 1-8.  That's it.  The lectionary preserves the oldest usage of the Church. We do not go on to read verses 9-20.  Now this is just my opinion, but I think the reason we don't read them at Pascha is because the text originally ended at verse 8.  And if you think about it, this makes sense.  The Pascha Service itself is older than the Canon of Scripture.  Therefore it makes sense that liturgically the Church preserves the older usage. By the time the Canon of the New Testament was finally settled (in the 4th century A.D.) the Longer Ending of Mark (verses 9-20) had been added. So the Church incorporated that into the Canon but kept the reading at Paschal Matins in its original liturgical form. 

Elements of the Paschal service are older than the Scriptural canon, certainly, and there has been a "Paschal service" in the Church pretty much right from the beginning, but I'm not sure you can use that service to make your point about Mk 16.1-8.  The rubrics allow for another gospel pericope, so Mark need not be read at all.     
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Re: Textual problems with Mark's account of the Resurrection appearances
« Reply #28 on: May 21, 2015, 11:53:36 AM »
I am not convinced that there is a dilemma with the 16th chapter of St. Mark's Gospel. 

I think the answer is obvious.  Look at our lectionary for the answer. At Paschal Matins we read St. Mark 16: 1-8.  That's it.  The lectionary preserves the oldest usage of the Church. We do not go on to read verses 9-20.  Now this is just my opinion, but I think the reason we don't read them at Pascha is because the text originally ended at verse 8.  And if you think about it, this makes sense.  The Pascha Service itself is older than the Canon of Scripture.  Therefore it makes sense that liturgically the Church preserves the older usage. By the time the Canon of the New Testament was finally settled (in the 4th century A.D.) the Longer Ending of Mark (verses 9-20) had been added. So the Church incorporated that into the Canon but kept the reading at Paschal Matins in its original liturgical form. 

It is important to remember that in the Orthodox Church we are not fundamentalist Protestants.  We don't have to "harmonize" and explain away all of the human elements in Scripture.

By the way, the same thing is true of the story of the woman caught in adultery in John 8.  While it is a nice story, it isn't in our Orthodox lectionary.  And Chrysostom never preached on it, that we know of.  If you look at Chrysostom's sermon's and commentaries on the Gospel of John, he preaches on the verses preceding and following that story, but never on the story itself.  Wonder why?  I think it is because it was added later and wasn't in the earliest manuscripts.

I realize this will probably get a lot of former Protestants angry at me, but so be it.  Orthodox don't view the Bible like Muslims view the Koran.  And I think a lot of Protestant fundamentalists have made the Bible into a Koran of sorts.

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Re: Textual problems with Mark's account of the Resurrection appearances
« Reply #29 on: May 21, 2015, 12:27:17 PM »
I am not convinced that there is a dilemma with the 16th chapter of St. Mark's Gospel. 

I think the answer is obvious.  Look at our lectionary for the answer. At Paschal Matins we read St. Mark 16: 1-8.  That's it.  The lectionary preserves the oldest usage of the Church. We do not go on to read verses 9-20.  Now this is just my opinion, but I think the reason we don't read them at Pascha is because the text originally ended at verse 8.  And if you think about it, this makes sense.  The Pascha Service itself is older than the Canon of Scripture.  Therefore it makes sense that liturgically the Church preserves the older usage. By the time the Canon of the New Testament was finally settled (in the 4th century A.D.) the Longer Ending of Mark (verses 9-20) had been added. So the Church incorporated that into the Canon but kept the reading at Paschal Matins in its original liturgical form. 

It is important to remember that in the Orthodox Church we are not fundamentalist Protestants.  We don't have to "harmonize" and explain away all of the human elements in Scripture.

By the way, the same thing is true of the story of the woman caught in adultery in John 8.  While it is a nice story, it isn't in our Orthodox lectionary.  And Chrysostom never preached on it, that we know of.  If you look at Chrysostom's sermon's and commentaries on the Gospel of John, he preaches on the verses preceding and following that story, but never on the story itself.  Wonder why?  I think it is because it was added later and wasn't in the earliest manuscripts.

I realize this will probably get a lot of former Protestants angry at me, but so be it.  Orthodox don't view the Bible like Muslims view the Koran.  And I think a lot of Protestant fundamentalists have made the Bible into a Koran of sorts.

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I liked it too. So I second it.

Mark 1-8 includes a promise of Jesus meeting the apostles in Galilee. The reader is strongly led to think that Jesus made an appearance in Galilee, so it's not as if Mark leaves it up in the air whether or not Jesus appeared to anyone.

I think that if Mark chose an ending past verse 8 with an appearance, he would have included the fulfillment of that promise. You would not have a full narrative saying: Jesus promised to see them in Galilee, He saw them in Jerusalem, and then He ascended. The End.

The normal expectation for any gospel would be that if Jesus predicted something to happen during His ministry, the author would include a mention of the fulfillment of that prediction. Yet in fact, Mark 9-20 retells Luke's story of Jesus' appearance at Emmaus to the two apostles and to the eleven in Jerusalem when the two apostles got back, without mentioning any Galilean appearances.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2015, 12:59:39 PM by rakovsky »

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Re: Textual problems with Mark's account of the Resurrection appearances
« Reply #30 on: May 21, 2015, 12:41:31 PM »
Wow.  I am humbled.  It was just an idea. Don't give the credit to me. Give it to the priests that catechized me and answered hours and hours of my questions when I first became Orthodox.  I asked so many questions its a wonder I didn't drive a couple priests insane. LOL

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Re: Textual problems with Mark's account of the Resurrection appearances
« Reply #31 on: May 21, 2015, 01:11:34 PM »
Elements of the Paschal service are older than the Scriptural canon, certainly, and there has been a "Paschal service" in the Church pretty much right from the beginning, but I'm not sure you can use that service to make your point about Mk 16.1-8.  The rubrics allow for another gospel pericope, so Mark need not be read at all.     


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Re: Textual problems with Mark's account of the Resurrection appearances
« Reply #32 on: May 21, 2015, 01:26:45 PM »
Elements of the Paschal service are older than the Scriptural canon, certainly, and there has been a "Paschal service" in the Church pretty much right from the beginning, but I'm not sure you can use that service to make your point about Mk 16.1-8.  The rubrics allow for another gospel pericope, so Mark need not be read at all.     



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Re: Textual problems with Mark's account of the Resurrection appearances
« Reply #33 on: May 21, 2015, 01:29:54 PM »
Why do you think "after he had spoken to them" necessarily means "right then and there, once he finished saying the preceding words, and not a moment later, otherwise we would've totally written it down to reflect that"?  "After" is rather open-ended except that it's not "before". 

Also, Mk 16.19 and Acts 1.3. 
First, if I say to you "I visited Bob, explained to Bob what he needed for a new car, and after I explained it to him we went over to the car dealer and I helped him pick it out", this sounds like a chain of events one immediately after the other, especially because I focused in on the event preceding the car purchase and its relationship in time to the car purchase.

Second, I think a gap in time wih interceding events could occur, but not a repeat of the preceding of event. When it records a conversation says "after having spoken to them", it suggests this was after having spoken to them that particular time. So that rules out interceding speaking events.

If I say "We went to the restaurant and had a nice meal, and after eating, we went to the store", it suggests the "eating" preceding the store trip was that particular nice meal. It does not mean that we had 40 days of eating engagements before we went to the store.

You pointed me to Mark 16:9, but that is just talking about the same event as Luke, ending with the visit and speech to the disciples and going to the Ascension "after having spoken".

Acts 1:3 talks about Jesus "after His suffering" (the Passion), but Jesus did not have any sufferings after the Passion. So when Mark says "after having spoken" Jesus ascended, Acts 1:3 doesn't show that there could have been no further appearances for speaking between that one mentioned and the Ascension.

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Re: Textual problems with Mark's account of the Resurrection appearances
« Reply #34 on: May 21, 2015, 03:22:41 PM »
Why do you think "after he had spoken to them" necessarily means "right then and there, once he finished saying the preceding words, and not a moment later, otherwise we would've totally written it down to reflect that"?  "After" is rather open-ended except that it's not "before". 

Also, Mk 16.19 and Acts 1.3. 
First, if I say to you "I visited Bob, explained to Bob what he needed for a new car, and after I explained it to him we went over to the car dealer and I helped him pick it out", this sounds like a chain of events one immediately after the other, especially because I focused in on the event preceding the car purchase and its relationship in time to the car purchase.
 

Sure, it sounds that way.  It's not necessarily the only way this chain of events could've happened, though.  You are expecting Luke to describe an event the way you would, but almost two thousand years separate you and him, he himself was a few decades removed from the events he was writing about, and the only thing you two have in common is that you're both human beings. 

Quote
Second, I think a gap in time wih interceding events could occur, but not a repeat of the preceding of event. When it records a conversation says "after having spoken to them", it suggests this was after having spoken to them that particular time. So that rules out interceding speaking events.

If I say "We went to the restaurant and had a nice meal, and after eating, we went to the store", it suggests the "eating" preceding the store trip was that particular nice meal. It does not mean that we had 40 days of eating engagements before we went to the store.

What are you getting at?

Quote
You pointed me to Mark 16:9, but that is just talking about the same event as Luke, ending with the visit and speech to the disciples and going to the Ascension "after having spoken".

Acts 1:3 talks about Jesus "after His suffering" (the Passion), but Jesus did not have any sufferings after the Passion. So when Mark says "after having spoken" Jesus ascended, Acts 1:3 doesn't show that there could have been no further appearances for speaking between that one mentioned and the Ascension.

What I was hinting at, and which you don't seem to have caught, is that Mark 16.19's "when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them" may refer not simply to the preceding few dozen words but also to the "speaking about the kingdom of God" which Acts describes as having occurred over forty days.  I don't know that for sure, I haven't researched this question because I've never felt the need to do so, but it is a possibility.

In any case, I don't see Luke and Acts as contradicting each other.  I also don't see how either/both disagree(s) with Mark.  Evidently, almost two thousand years of Christians throughout the world felt the same way...it's not like no one read these texts until now. 
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Re: Textual problems with Mark's account of the Resurrection appearances
« Reply #35 on: May 22, 2015, 12:32:53 PM »
The three problems I listed in the beginning of the message are only the main ones I see in Mark's account. There are two lesser ones:

(1) In Mark 16:8, after hearing the young man's/angel's instructions to tell the apostles about Jesus going to Galilee, "they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid." And here Mark's original gospel ends. This leads the reader to the impression that they kept quiet at least for a long period of time. For example, if some girls meet a very strange man in the woods who tells them to give a message to their friends, and they say nothing to anyone, it leads the reader to think that they did not tell their friends either.

But in Matthew and Luke, they immediately went to tell the apostles about the angel, and the disciples came back and looked at the tomb. I don't think that the two accounts are necessarily contradictory, because they could have been scared and didn't tell anyone until they arrived at the apostles' to tell them. It's more like a secondary text issue.

(2) When Jesus appears to all the disciples in Mark to give them their mission, He says: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." That sounds categorical and has led many Evangelicals to think that everything depends on belief alone.

The problem is that in Church teaching, salvation doesn't depend on believing alone, since someone could, like the demons, think that Jesus is a divine Messiah and yet lack salvation due to a lack of good works. (as James' letter says). Further, why should rational mental belief be the criterion for invoking a moral judgment on a person? Why should a person with a natural strong attitude of skepticism about the world and society be condemned for lack of an affirmative belief, which the apostles themselves lacked until Jesus allegedly appeared to them?

The question that these issues together raise,
beyond resolving questions like whether the Ascension was at Bethany (Luke 24?) or at the mount of Olives (Acts 1?), is whether we should assume that other passages in the resurrection accounts are neither embellished nor could easily lead to a misunderstanding (without being necessarily totally wrong).

(1) The gospels don't directly say how Jesus' body left or was removed from the tomb. In Matthew, an angel scares the soldiers and rolls away the tomb stone, and later people see appearances of Jesus, so the strong implication is that Jesus' body transformed and it left the tomb on its own, instead of people taking the body like the women feared. But as we have seen, we might not be able to totally rely on even strong implications.

(2)
In Mark, the women find a young man in a white robe at Jesus' tomb. Earlier in the gospel, an unnamed young man, whom some scholars think is a follower like Mark himself, had been following Jesus in Gethsemene and a guard had grabbed him so he had run away with no robe. Maybe it was the same unnamed youth?
He had told the women that Jesus is going before them to Galilee. How did he know Jesus rose and went to Galilee? Had he been staying at the tomb and saw what happened? Did he find the tomb empty before they did and assumed Jesus rose and "went to Galilee like He (Jesus) had said" to them before in Mark's gospel?

That's my best guess:
Quote
Fascinatingly, the word neaniskos ("youth"), which is rare in the Christian Testament, crops up a second time in Mark, to describe the young man in the long white robe who tells the women disciples that Jesus has been raised... If the previous dress [of the young man in the garden] was the linen cloth, this one [he wears] in the tomb, however, is white. Though he is dressed in both cases, the difference in dress expresses the development within the narrative. The portrayal is therefore characterized by closure: the shameful condition of the young man as he flees the scene of Jesus arrest in the nude is replaced by his restoration.

The effect of Mark's location of the young man's character is to create an inclusio. The last one who has been with and who then abandons Jesus is also the first one to announce his resurrection.
http://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/4826/what-is-the-significance-of-the-young-man-who-runs-away-naked-in-marks-gospel

In Matthew however, the women find an angel at the tomb in a "snow white robe" who tells them the same exact thing, but Matthew adds that the angel had paralyzed the soldiers. So did Mark avoid telling the reader directly that the youth was an angel? Was Matthew embellishing the white robed youth into an angel in a "snow white" robe who told the women the same thing but had also paralyzed the soldiers?

(3) In Mark's added account, Mary Magdalene sees Jesus after leaving the tomb. When I read this, it sounded like Jesus was appearing in physical form instead of being a ghost. Yet Paul saw Jesus in the Temple in the form of a vision, so perhaps Mary Magdalene saw Jesus as a vision too (real or imaginary, with her past demons being an expression of mental illness)? Nowhere does Mark specify that Jesus' appearances were physical, although the empty tomb suggests His body was with Jesus.says that

(4) When Jesus appeared to the two disciples in Luke, they didn't recognize Him physically, but instead recognized Him in the breaking of the bread. It then says that Jesus vanished. When I read this, it made me think that Jesus disappeared into thin air right in front of the two apostles. But if impressions in the resurrection accounts can be misleading (eg. Bethany vs. Mount of Olives), perhaps the stranger simply went away quickly and quietly when the two apostles weren't looking? In that case, perhaps the stranger simply was a normal person who looked physically different from Jesus, talked about the Messianic prophecies about the Messiah's death, and performed the common Jewish ritual of prayerfully breaking bread?

(5) Mark mentions Jesus appearing to the 11 (that would include Thomas), but it doesn't give any details of what kind of appearance it was. Only two Biblical books (Luke and John) specify any physical attributes to the appearances. Luke specifies that Jesus appeared to the 11 on Day 1 or 2, and John agrees about this appearance except that Thomas wasn't with them and doubted until Jesus cleared it up. Then Matthew has the disciples in Galilee seeing Jesus, but with some of them still doubting. But why were they doubting if Jesus had stayed and talked with them at length, ate with them, they touched Him, He already cleared up their doubt, etc.? It sounds like there could be more to the story of Jesus' appearances to explain what exactly was doubtful about them for those apostles.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2015, 12:34:56 PM by rakovsky »

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Re: Textual problems with Mark's account of the Resurrection appearances
« Reply #36 on: May 22, 2015, 12:45:57 PM »
What are the Gospels, rakovsky?
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Re: Textual problems with Mark's account of the Resurrection appearances
« Reply #37 on: May 22, 2015, 01:31:39 PM »
Mor,
Thanks for thinking about this with me.
Why do you think "after he had spoken to them" necessarily means...
 

Sure, it sounds that way.
Yes, that's what I mean. The problem is not that Luke clearly said Jesus made no other intervening appearances, but rather it creates this impression.

Quote
You are expecting Luke to describe an event the way you would, but almost two thousand years separate you and him, he himself was a few decades removed from the events he was writing about, and the only thing you two have in common is that you're both human beings.
 
It's more an issue of mental logic, but language is involved. Are there any other examples in the Bible where it says "After someone spoke" a monologue, the person went someplace, but in fact there were multiple intervening appearances and discussions before the person went there?

You mentioned:
Quote
In any case, I don't see Luke and Acts as contradicting each other.  I also don't see how either/both disagree(s) with Mark.
The main disagreement I see is how in Matthew, John, and/or Mark the women are told on Day 1 Jesus will meet the apostles in Galilee and then does so. But in Luke Jesus tells the apostles on Day 1 or 2 to stay in Jerusalem until Pentecost.


Quote
Evidently, almost two thousand years of Christians throughout the world felt the same way...it's not like no one read these texts until now.
Christians have had some issues with the difference in locations:
Quote
The Church of the Holy Ascension was taken by Saladin in 1187 and converted into a mosque and remains such today.  It contains what is traditionally the last footprint of Jesus on earth before he ascended into heaven.

Scripture indicates that the Jesus ascended into heaven in the vicinity of Bethany.  This village is down the east slope of the Mt. of Olives about 1.5 miles (2.2 km).  In this case, none of the traditional locations for the ascension are correct
http://www.bibleplaces.com/mtolives.htm

Quote
The original [Ascension] shrine, measuring about three meters by three meters, like the original Imbomen of Egeria’s day, was open to the sky.

It does not, however, mark the site of the actual Ascension itself.  In Luke 24:50, we read that Christ led His disciples out “as far as Bethany” and ascended from there—in other words, over the summit of the Mount of Olives and down the other side towards Bethany.  But it is hard to built a chapel on a hillside, and we can scarcely blame the Byzantines for building their chapel on the more obvious spot, on the hillock’s summit.
~Reflections, OCA
http://oca.org/reflections/fr.-lawrence-farley/the-ascension-looking-up-rather-than-out

However, I am not sure I agree with that explanation. If the Ascension was in Bethany, would it really be so hard to make a 9' by 9' shrine there since there are much bigger churches in Bethany? And what about Jesus' alleged footprint at the shrine in Tradition? It suggests instead that the Byzantines conceived of Jesus ascending to the heavens from the top of the mount, closest to the sky.


In any case, now I think Bethany really is on the Mount of Olives.

I have trouble finding a map of where the Mount of Olives clearly ends on the east side. A deep valley does sit between Bethany and the Mount's summit.

But Wikipedia says Bethany is "located about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) to the east of Jerusalem on the south-eastern slope of the Mount of Olives." So for me, this tends to clear up that apparent contradiction, even if the Church tradition on the exact spot got confused.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2015, 01:36:32 PM by rakovsky »

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Re: Textual problems with Mark's account of the Resurrection appearances
« Reply #38 on: May 27, 2015, 09:18:02 PM »
I think the issue in (2) in my original post can be reconciled by saying that the women were told about Jesus having an important appearance in Galilee, and then when Jesus showed up to tell the apostles to stay in Jerusalem He meant to do so in general and wasn't ruling out them making side trips to Galilee. Also, even though Luke makes it sound like Jesus ascended on Day 1 or 2, it doesn't explicitly say that and Luke could have been using a loose writing style.

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Re: Textual problems with Mark's account of the Resurrection appearances
« Reply #39 on: May 28, 2015, 12:11:20 AM »
I think the issue in (2) in my original post can be reconciled by saying that the women were told about Jesus having an important appearance in Galilee, and then when Jesus showed up to tell the apostles to stay in Jerusalem He meant to do so in general and wasn't ruling out them making side trips to Galilee.
But then in Acts 1 Luke again mentions the time Jesus said "not to leave Jerusalem." But if that time was Day 1 or 2 of the Resurrection, that would rule out the side trips that would have added up to about a week (since Galilee is 60 miles away).

Offline rakovsky

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Re: Textual problems with Mark's account of the Resurrection appearances
« Reply #40 on: June 21, 2015, 09:51:14 PM »
I think that the apparently missing ending of Mark probably resembled John 21. John 21 is a puzzle piece, an extra ending after John 20 ended with "Amen". And Mark 16 has a possible hole at the end that it can fit into.

Mark 16:1-8 suggests that Jesus would make an appearance in Galilee, which is not something Luke or the "Long Ending" of Mark mention. Plus, in Mark 16:8, the implication (although not absolute) is that the women didn't tell anyone for a long time afterwards about the angel at the tomb. John 21 on the other hand, is an appearance in Galilee that the apostles were not expecting.

The apocryphal Gospel of Peter can not be relied on for Church teachings or details of events, but in general, this gospel it may lay out the chronology (ie. sequence of events and locations). And Mark himself has been said to rely on the Apostle Peter.

The Gospel of Peter ends this way, which resembles the last chapter of Mark followed by Peter and other disciples going to fish in the sea:

Quote
11. Now at down on the Lord's Day Mary Magdalene, a female disciple of the Lord - afraid by reason of the Jews, forasmuch as they were inflamed with wrath, she had not done at the sepulchre of the Lord what women are wont to do for those who die and who are dear to them - took with her her female friends, and came to the sepulchre where He was laid. And they feared lest the Jews should see them, and they said, Although we could not weep and bewail Him on the day when He was crucified, let us do so now at His sepulchre, that we may enter in and sit by Him, and do the things that are due? for the stone was great, and we fear lest any man see us. And if we cannot, even though we should cast at the door the things which we bring for a memorial of Him, we will weep and bewail Him until we come to our house. So they went and found the tomb open, and they came near and stooped down to look in there; and they see there a young man sitting in the midst of the tomb, fair and clothed with a robe exceeding bright, who said to them, Wherefore are ye come? whom seek ye? Him who was crucified? He is risen and gone. But if ye believe not, stoop down and look in, and see the place where He lay, that He is not here; for He is risen and gone thither from whence he was sent. Then the women fled affrighted.

12. Now it was the last day of unleavened bread, and many went out of the city returning to their houses, the feast being at an end. And we the twelve disciples of the Lord wept and were in sorrow, and every men withdrew to his house sorrowing for that which had come to pass. But I Simon Peter and Andrew my brother took our nets and went to the sea; and there was with us Levi the son of Alphaeus whom the Lord...[ending missing]

John 21 has numerous textual and conceptual cross overs unique to Mark, as David Ross writes in detail:
http://pages.sbcglobal.net/zimriel/Mark/
(the webpage must be found through archive.org)

Another fact is that Mark writes in a chiastic style, but unless one adds on a verse after Mark 16:1-8 that shifts the setting like "Peter's Gospel" does, then the chiasm that starts at Mark 16:1 is left without a match for the verse of Mark 16:1.

Quote
Mark 16:1-8 + verse from Gospel of Peter
A
And very early on the first day of the week they went to the tomb when the sun had risen.

B
And they were saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the door of the tomb?"


C
And looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back; -- it was very large.



D
And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe; and they were amazed.



D
And he said to them, "Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here; see the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you."


C
And they went out and fled from the tomb; for trembling and astonishment had come upon them;

B
and they said nothing to any one, for they were afraid.
A
It was the last day of the feast of the unleavened bread and many people were going out, returning to their houses since the festival was over. (Gospel of Peter)
http://www.michaelturton.com/Mark/GMark16.html

I am unaware of any place in Mark that gives such a similar story to the one in John 21 about Jesus by the water and Peter jumping into the water from the fishing boat, but such a story exists in Luke 5 and Matthew 14 where Jesus is walking on water (a premonition of resurrection, since water is allegorized to death in the Psalms) and Peter swims to him. It's as if a similar miracle story about Jesus being near the boat should exist in Mark like it does in John 21, the Gospel of Peter, Luke 5, and Matthew 14, but we can't find it in our copy of Mark with the apparently missing ending.

Granted, Mark, like Matthew 4 does include an initial call by Jesus for Peter and others to leave their fishing and follow him. But this is at the beginning of the gospel. And that is something that makes me think that Mark ended this way too. Just as the eighth day of the week was also the first, the "Resurrection Day, the story of the resurrection could begin back at the beginning in a sense, with Jesus once more calling the apostles from their boat. And this time it would mean Peter jumping into the "water" himself like Jonah in order to meet Jesus on the shore.

Now the next major question is why did the real ending of Mark go missing?


One possible answer is that it was just an accident. But are we really to think that one of the most important parts of the gospel, the post resurrection appearances, just went missing by accident? The gospels of course were spread over multiple communities. Did each community that had Mark just accidentally lose that part right at the moment when the scene shifted to Galilee, such that the early Christian leadership was unable to get its hands on any copy, and then John 21 added in a revised version of Mark 16's ending instead of copying it word for word? And after that, even though Mark's "real" ending and the Gospel of Peter's and John 21's ending of meeting Jesus by the sea were known well enough, Luke and Matthew both preferred to put it back into the middle of their respective gospels without mentioning an appearance by the sea.

My best guess is that Mark's missing ending is not really missing by a total accident, but it could be.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2015, 09:53:38 PM by rakovsky »