Still Easter Eve
March 31, 2018
Mark 16 (9-20?) longer endings
There are a couple of endings tacked on to the end of Mark - a short one and a long one which appear in enough of the earliest manuscripts that each is printed in most current translations of the bible.
Was the original gospel much longer, with lots of resurrection appearances and successful transition from the demoralized dumb deserters to the amazing apostles, founding a church? You can find that narrative in other gospels, in variations you’ll enjoy. We don’t have copies of such a long ending.
We do have the short one – the women tell Peter, then Jesus sends them out across the world to spread the gospel. Happily ever after.
We also have this longer one:
• Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene – the one from whom he had cast out 7 demons (not in this gospel). She delivers the message, as the earlier women had not.
• Jesus appears to a couple of them walking in the country, but the others don’t believe it
• Jesus appears to the eleven themselves at table, and yelled at them
This sounds suspiciously like later echoes of Luke and John resurrection stories – and out of keeping with the tone of the ‘worlds colliding’ Mark style.
The next add-on is weirder than Matthew’s ‘Great Commission’ – promises for the baptized, condemnation for those who refuse. The ‘real’ Christians get a promise of exorcist powers, speaking in tongues, handling of poisonous snakes, and healing. Many charismatic movements still claim these signs and gifts – not us. The final add-on is an ascension – Jesus goes up to sit at God’s right hand, to supervise and oversee the proclamation of the gospel everywhere….
How will you write the next verses and chapter, in word or deed?
[[And all that had been commanded them
they told briefly to those around Peter.
And afterwards Jesus himself
sent out through them,
from east to west,
the sacred and imperishable proclamation
of eternal salvation. ]]
[[Now after he rose
early on the first day of the week,
he appeared first to Mary Magdalene,
from whom he had cast out seven demons.
She went out
and told those who had been with him,
while they were mourning and weeping.
But when they heard
that he was alive
and had been seen by her,
they would not believe it.
he appeared in another form
to two of them,
as they were walking into the country.
And they went back and told the rest,
but they did not believe them.
Later he appeared to the eleven themselves
as they were sitting at the table;
and he upbraided them
for their lack of faith and stubbornness,
because they had not believed
those who saw him after he had risen.
And he said to them, ‘
Go into all the world
and proclaim the good news
to the whole creation.
The one who believes
and is baptized
will be saved;
but the one who does not believe
will be condemned.
And these signs
those who believe:
by using my name
they will cast out demons;
they will speak in new tongues;
they will pick up snakes in their hands,
and if they drink any deadly thing,
it will not hurt them;
they will lay their hands on the sick,
and they will recover.’
So then the Lord Jesus,
after he had spoken to them,
was taken up into heaven
and sat down at the right hand of God.
And they went out
and proclaimed the good news everywhere,
while the Lord worked with them
and confirmed the message
by the signs that accompanied it. ]]