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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Mark 16

 

 

Verses 1-8

Mark 16:1-8. The Women Find the Tomb Empty.—The true gospel of Mk. ends with the strange discovery made by the women when they visited the tomb early on the first day of the week. This can hardly be the original ending. Indeed the last sentence is not complete. It runs in Gr. ephobounto gar ("for they feared"), and though sentences ending with the particle gar (=for) are not unknown in Gr., e.g. in Philostratus, yet as the end of a chapter or a book such a sentence is intolerable, and the verb "they feared" calls for an object, perhaps "the Jews." Moreover, this story of the women is clearly intended to lead up to other stories of appearances in Galilee to Peter and the Twelve, which are not narrated (see especially Mark 16:7). Either Mk. never completed his book or its original ending has been lost.

The historicity of this story has been questioned, sometimes on account of the haziness of detail, but more often on account of the difficulty of believing in the miracle of the empty tomb. For an ingenious but not altogether convincing attempt to save the historicity while denying the miracle see Lake, The Resurrection of Jesus Christ, pp. 246f. But the issue cannot satisfactorily be discussed on the interpretation of the story in isolation (see further the Introduction to 1 Corinthians 15).


Verses 9-20

Mark 16:9-20. These verses constitute the longer of two alternative endings found in some MSS. In an Armenian text (of A.D. 986) the longer ending is attributed to Ariston, the Presbyter, perhaps the Aristion who was among the authorities of Papias, at the beginning of the second century. It is a summary, based on the gospels and Acts 9 refers to John 20; John 12 rests on Luke 24; Mark 16:17 f. on Acts 2:28. In style and vocabulary it is distinct from the rest of the gospel. To this longer ending should be added (in Mark 16:14) the passage recently discovered in Codex W, the Detroit MS of the gospels. It is included in Moffatt's translation of the NT. Moffatt also prints the shorter alternative ending referred to in RVm. It runs thus: "But they gave Peter and his companions a brief account of all that had been enjoined. And after that Jesus Himself sent out by means of them from east to west the sacred and imperishable message of eternal salvation."

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Mark 16:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/mark-16.html. 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, August 23rd, 2019
the Week of Proper 15 / Ordinary 20
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