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Problem Texts: Mark 16:9-20 – Does It Belong?


Virtually every translation, since the King James Version, has separated Mark 16:9-20 from the rest of the text of Mark. This is primarily because it does not appear in the two major manuscripts (MSS) of the New Testament: the Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus. These MSS were discovered in the 1800’s, long after the KJV was translated and published. Do these dozen verses belong in Mark? There are four possibilities:

  1. Mark 16:9-20 are genuine as the ending of Mark’s gospel.
  2. Mark’s gospel originally ended with verse 8.
  3. The alternate ending found in a very few MSS is genuine.
  4. The ending of Mark has been lost.

If there are any other logical possibilities, I am unaware of them. Which of these is correct? To ask this question is not to doubt the inspiration of the Scriptures or the authenticity of Mark. All it asks is, “Were these verses penned by Mark, or did they come from somewhere else?” If they are not a part of the original gospel, we should not treat them as Scripture. If they are original, then they carry as much authority as any other part of the gospel of Mark. I have heard people suggest, for example, that Mark 16:16 should not have any authority because these verses are not (or at least may not be) genuine. This is an argument that carries little weight, for there are other passages that teach the same thing that Mark 16:16 declares, namely that belief and baptism are requirements for salvation. See, for example, Galatians 3:26-27 and Colossians 2:12. Denying Mark 16:16 is really Scripture does no good for the person who wants to say baptism is unimportant. Too many other Scriptures teach it is.

One argument against the authenticity of these verses, other than its absence in some very major MSS, is that it has some very strange doctrines that do not seem to harmonize with other teachings of God’s Word – particularly as these verses speak of the “signs that follow those who believe.” It is possible to construe these verses in a way that this speaks only of the signs that followed the apostles – but that construction is somewhat forced. The natural impression of the language is that the signs follow all the believers, not just the first believers. To me, this presents a difficulty in understanding what Mark has Jesus saying, if these verses are genuine.

On the other hand, it is also difficult to believe that a gospel that begins with the statement, “The good news begins” (literal translation of Mark 1:1) would end with the statement “for they were afraid” and did not tell anyone the good news of the resurrection! This, of course, refers to the initial reaction of the women to the message of the angel that Jesus was no longer dead, but was living. That still does not establish that Mark 16:9-20 as we know them are the genuine ending of Mark’s gospel – just that there must be more to follow Mark 16:8.

To me, one of the strongest arguments against the authenticity of Mark 16:9-20 is in a comparison of Mark 16:12-13 with Luke 24:33-35. Mark says that when the two unidentified disciples returned to Jerusalem after seeing Jesus in the country, they told the rest what they had seen, “but they did not believe them either” – just as they had not believed what the women told them they had found at the tomb. Luke, though, says that when the two came to Jerusalem, the disciples there greeted the two with the news that Jesus had risen. He adds that the two then told the others about having seen Jesus themselves “on the way.” It is hard to see how those two statements are harmonious. One way of eliminating the apparent contradiction would be to say that Mark 16:9-20 is not genuine and that it is therefore not a part of Scripture.

The alternate ending has so little Manuscript evidence supporting it that few take it seriously.

That leaves only two possibilities: Mark 16:8 is the true ending or the true ending has been lost – unless you can find a way to harmonize what seems to be a definite contradiction between Mark 16:9-20 and Luke 24. Personally, I would like to think Mark 16:9ff is genuine, but I do not have a clue as how to harmonize it with Luke. Some believe 16:8 is the genuine ending of Mark, but I have a hard time accepting that it ends with a note of fear instead of joy. That leaves me leaning toward believing that the genuine ending of Mark has been lost – and that an unknown scribe improvised an ending suitable for the ending of the gospel of Christ. Can I prove that? No, I cannot. It is just that, at the moment, I believe this is the most rational approach to the apparent contradiction. If you can help me with a better approach, I would welcome it.

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12 Responses

  1. I have struggled with these passages too but in the end I accept them at face value. One of the major reason is the story of the Bible itself. Mark and Luke are Gentile, non eye witnesses non apostles, and break all rules of Biblical reasoning to be included in the Bible itself. However they survived thanks to the Catholics, scribes, and copyist of the day. What I mean by this is, the story we are often told in Christendom is a mythical one of Biblical perfectionism passing down the Bible through the ages. The Bible is a creation of stories and letters and laws it has the spirit of man and Spirit of God merging together over time. In some ways it is still merging in translation and meaning. Another reason I accept these passages in Mark is truth does not have to be coddled in authority. Truth can come from the strangest places. So it is with Mark it not just the ending that should be questioned it all of it. Same with Luke.

    But if one accepts the idea that a non eyewitness, non apostle can be inspired then no matter how contradictory it seems we have no choice but to embrace their stories.
    Mark, thank you for your comment – though I must disagree with some of your premises. Mark, or at least so the tradition says, was John Mark who at one time traveled with Paul. He was from a well-to-do family in Jerusalem whose home was open to Jesus. Luke was the traveling companion of Paul from time to time, and is mentioned by Paul in some of his epistles. Though he was not an eye-witness, he was “an apostolic man” in that he traveled with Paul. JS

  2. Though he was not an eye-witness, he was “an apostolic man” in that he traveled with Paul. JS

    Yes
    Paul himself would fall into this same category. He was not an eyewitness either or a disciple but he made claims of direct contact with Christ. Another thing would be the number of apostle which I count 14 in the New Testament it is plausible Mark and Luke would be Apostle making 16. Thus the information they revealed had authoritative gist. However this is as speculative as tradition.

    It is possible some part of the Mark 16 verses are simply copyist error. For instance the sign of those who believe phrase is a Prolipsis in the idea that these things had already occurred and sign of those who believe was written for historical purposes not prophetic. Verses 15 and 16 should be connected to verse 19 What this does is correct the chronology problem and clearly put what the disciples did with the people they preached too. I changed the verse order does it read a little differently….?

    15He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 16Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17,19After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

    • Mark, You are amending the text without any MS evidence. I treat the textual evidence as it exists, not as my theories would lead me to prefer it to be. You have entered the field that is technically called “Higher Criticism” of the Bible; the subject I addressed is from the field of Textual Criticism.

      Textual Criticism does not question the authenticity of the books, but seeks to resolve differences in the MSS. These differences occur through copiest errors and sometimes through deliberate alteration of the text. Because of the huge number of MSS available from all parts of the ancient world, skilled students can identify “families” of MSS by their similarities. In this way, they can see approximately where and when various “errors” occur. Yes, there is some subjective judgement in this – but not the wholesale freedom to throw out books, reject texts universally supported by the MSS evidence (as the vast majority of the New Testament is), and generally rewrite the hisstory of the church in the face of the writings of the early Christians who lived in the post-apostolic time.

      In other words, Mark, I am saying that your approach is divorced by both Biblical and extra-biblical writings that establish our basic understanding of the history of the early church and the source of the books we call the New Testament.

  3. Dear Jerry,

    Greetings in the name of Christ. I have looked into the subject of Mark 16:9-20 extensively, and am happy to share some thoughts about the passage. First, I welcome you to obtain a copy of my 160-page research paper on this subject, a draft of which can be downloaded by visiting the website at http://www.textexcavation.com/jimsnapp.html and finding there the link to a file called “The Origin of Mark 16:9-20, Email Edition,” and using that link to download the research paper. (Be advised that it is a draft, not a final edition.) Second, if the prospect of reading 160 pages isn’t friendly to your schedule, I welcome you to visit http://www.curtisvillechristian.org/MarkOne.html
    where a multi-page presentation begins, in which I maintain that Mark 16:9-20 is authentic Scripture. This presentation, which summarizes the research paper, includes reproductions of the pertinent parts of Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus.

    Now about the things you mentioned.

    You may want to adjust the statement that Vaticanus was “discovered in the 1800’s.” It is true that Sinaiticus was taken from St. Catherine’s Monastery by Tischendorf in the 1800’s, but Codex Vaticanus was housed at the Vatican Library, and was known to be there, since the 1400’s (although its owners were very picky about who was allowed to study it).

    You framed four possibilities and asked, “Were these verses penned by Mark, or did they come from somewhere else?” I submit that when evaluating canonicity, there is a more basic question: were these verses part of the Gospel of Mark when the Gospel of Mark was initially disseminated for church-use? That is the normal standard by which the “original text” of a book of the Bible is defined. If we were to limit the canonical form of a book to only the words that were penned by the primary author, we would be required to excise numerous passages of the Bible, such as Jeremiah 52, where the activity of a co-author or editor can be detected.

    Regarding the difficulty you mentioned about the special signs of 16:17-18: I think Jesus’ statement about the signs ought to be framed along the following lines: Jesus is speaking to the disciples the way a general might speak to troops before a battle. If the general says, “The soldier who fights valiantly will be promoted and will receive a special medal of commendation,” it should be understood that the promotion, and the medal, can only be reasonably expected to be received by soldiers who were on the scene. A soldier who fights valiantly in a battle centuries later cannot reasonably cite the general’s statement and conclude that he is entitled to a promotion and a medal. So while the context does not preclude the exercise of these signs by Christians in later generations, it does not imply that these signs extend beyond the apostles, either. This is just one of several passages – among which are Mark 11:23-24 and Luke 10:19 – where a “natural impression” may be justifiably replaced with a better interpretation. (The natural impression of the Parable of the Sower was that a sower went forth to sow; most seeds did not survive but the seeds in good soil flourished; the end! Sometimes the reader, or listener, is invited to look beyond initial impressions.)

    Regarding the comparison of Mark 16:12-13 to Luke 24:33-35: to me, this is actually a strong piece of evidence in favor of the authenticity of Mark 16:9-20, because if a later individual, familiar with the contents of the Gospels, took it upon himself to construct an ending for the Gospel of Mark, he would ensure that it harmonized with the accounts in the other Gospels. (He would also make sure that the new ending picked up the narrative thread that is left dangling in Mark 16:6-8, so as to explain what the women did next, and to explicitly describe an appearance in Galilee.) But let me address the difficulty that you mentioned.

    The problem: Mk. 16:14 says that when the two travelers told the main group of disciples about their encounter with the risen Jesus, “they did not believe them either,” while in Luke 24:31-35, the two travelers return to the main group of disciples – “the eleven and those who were with them” – and the main group is already saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon.”

    Now, one way that this can be harmonized is to adopt a textual variant found in Luke 24:34 in Codex Bezae, the flagship manuscript of the Greek “Western” text, in which the usual term “LEGONTAS” is replaced by “LEGONTES,” resulting in a shift of meaning so that it is the two travelers, not the main group, who says that the Lord is risen indeed and has appeared to Simon. The obvious weakness in this approach is that there is nothing in the narrative that gives any reason to think that the two travelers would know anything about an appearance to Simon. Unless Cleopas’ companion was named Simon – which was a view expressed by the early church writer Origen (who died in 254). But this still raises the question of why they didn’t simply say that the Lord had appeared to both of them. (On the other hand, when and where did the main group get the information that the Lord had appeared to Simon? Luke doesn’t say.) This option also has the disadvantage of relying on a manuscript that is notorious on account of its harmonizations, interpolations, and other quirky features.

    The other way to harmonize the two passages is to picture the events in Luke 24:33-36 as occurring in four steps. First, by the time the two travelers reach Jerusalem, the main group of disciples already believed that Jesus has risen and has appeared to Simon. Second, the two travelers reported that they had walked with the risen Jesus for a long time earlier that day, and had sat down for a meal with Him. Third, a discussion ensued – the main group affirmed Simon’s report, and the two travelers affirmed their own report. So the main group said that Jesus had appeared to Simon in Jerusalem (sometime after Simon’s visit to the tomb), and the two travelers said that Jesus had appeared to them on the road to Emmaus. Neither Mark nor Luke gives the details, but it seems practically inevitable that they questioned whether Jesus had appeared in both places, miles apart, in such a short period of time. And if, in the course of this discussion, the main group of disciples expressed disbelief in the report of the two travelers, then that is all that is necessary to vindicate Mark’s simple statement that “they did not believe them.” (Disbelieving the two travelers is not the same as not believing that Jesus was risen.) And fourth, a little later, as the subject was still being discussed, Jesus settled things (or at least made everyone drop the discussion) by appearing to them, and at this point Luke 24:36 corresponds to Mark 16:14.

    So not only is this harmonization-difficulty surmountable, but its existence implies that 16:9-20 is not the invention of a later individual who had read the Gospel of Luke, because no one would deliberately summarize the one scene in Luke 24:33-43 as two scenes (which is what we see in Mark 16:13, which may be understood as snapshots of the beginning and the ending of the events related by Luke).

    Regarding the early patristic testimony for Mark 16:9-20, and the unusual features of the two Greek manuscripts that end the Gospel of Mark at the end of 16:8, you will find full descriptions in the materials I already mentioned. I also offer a theory about why Mark 16:9-20 is absent from manuscripts that were influenced by a narrow transmission-stream in Egypt. I hope these materials cover any remaining questions about Mark 16:9-20; if not, feel free to ask me, and I will try my best to answer them.

    Yours in Christ,

    James Snapp, Jr.
    Minister, Curtisville Christian Church
    Indiana

    • James,

      Thank you for your analysis and for the extraordinary amount of detailed work you have put into the study of the problem posed by my post.

      I stand corrected about my comment re Codex Vaticanus. My major point, however, still stands. The translators of the early English Versions did not have access to this MS, nor did Erastus when he published his text in the 1500’s (the text on which the KJV is mostly based).

      Your attempted reconciliation of Mark 16:13 with Luke 24, to me, seems far-fetched. To get two scenes in Mark 16:13 does not appear plausible to me – though I have been wrong in the past, am probably wrong in some things now, and will likely be wrong in the future as well. I certainly claim no omniscience! All I say here is that this “explanation” does not “explain” to my satisfaction. Too many things have to be assumed in your reconstruction of events.

      As I noted near the end of the post, my preference is to believe the traditional ending of Mark is authentic. The apparent contradiction plus the lesser difficulty with the language regarding the signs make it a “problem” passage for me. Your comment here did not resolve these difficulties for me. I confess that I have not read the materials you referenced at this time. When I have time, I would like to do so.

      My detailed study of this problem came in 1976 when I wrote my thesis on The Use of Baptism in Christian Exhortation at Cincinnati Christian Seminary. My professor, Dr. Lewis Foster, insisted that I give at least some attention to all of the textual issues involving baptism. This text, of course, was the major one. At that time, I defended the use of the passage, though it was not a major piece of my thesis for I focused more on the epistles than on the gospels and Acts.

      It is in more recent years that I have come to lean toward the ending having been lost.

      Let me repeat that questioning the authenticity of these few verses is not to question the authenticity of the entire book of Mark, which happens to be my favorite gospel account. Yes, I know some books of the Bible have endings added by someone other than the primary author. You cited Jeremiah 52. Others could be added to that as well.

      As far as I am concerned, the question wholly revolves around the original of the gospel. Did it come from Mark’s hand or was it a later scribe who injected it into the text, whether it was in the 4th century or even later than that.

      In 1976 I argued that the condition of the two critical MSS (Aleph & Beta) suggest the scribes knew of the existence of endings other than Mark 16:8. I still accept that. Back then I did not consider the apparent contradiction with Luke 24, nor did I give much weight to the “weirdness” of what is said about the signs. Today, these internal evidences make me lean toward believing the ending has been lost.

      This, however, is not a settled conclusion with me. Nor is this an issue that carries a great deal of importance in my mind. It is something for scholars to debate, but not for ordinary Christians (of whom I am one) to be greatly concerned over. It is interesting, though, that the weight of recent scholarship has been to reject the traditional ending, as it evidenced by the separation virtually all translations since 1881 have separated these verses from the rest of the gospel, so even placing them in a footnote. One exception to this is the New King James Version, which is committed to merely updating the archaic language of the original KJV.

      Again, thank you for your comment and for the research you have put into this matter. It’s just that your comment did not satisfactorily answer the questions I have in my own mind about this.

      Respectfully yours,

      Jerry Starling

  4. Jerry,

    I hope you can indulge in a little more discussion here.

    First, about Erasmus: he didn’t have direct access to Vaticanus, but a colleague of his at the Vatican Library sent him a list of 365 readings from Codex Vaticanus, and Erasmus consulted that list before he completed the fourth edition of his Greek text.

    I don’t see why my explanation of the harmonization of Mark 16:12-13 and Luke 24 seems “far-fetched.” Figuring that Mk. 16:12-13 is highly summarized, what assumptions, specifically, seem improbable?

    Dr. Lewis Foster was one of my professors at CBC&S (now CCU) too. I hope that although your focus was the epistles that you also looked into Acts 8:37 (a case in which the verse has poor manuscript-support but respectable patristic support).

    Regarding the idea of a “lost ending,” I think it is much more probable that Mark never wrote the ending that he was intending to write, and that his colleagues added verses 9-20 (which already existed as a short freestanding text, possibly composed by Mark) before the Gospel of Mark was initially disseminated for church-use. The form of the text when it began to be transmitted for church-use has been the normal standard by which the “original text” is defined, and by this standard, Mark 16:9-20 is part of the original text.

    It certainly wasn’t composed by a later scribe “in the 4th century or even later,” inasmuch as in the 100’s material from Mk. 16:9-20 is used by Justin (c. 160), Tatian (c. 172) and Irenaeus (c. 184).

    I agree completely with your conclusion (that you mentioned you argued for in 1976) that features in B and Aleph suggest that their scribes knew of at least one ending other than 16:8. In B, the blank space is the copyist’s attempt to reserve space for 16:9-20, and in Aleph, the unique elaborate arabesque suggests a certain emphatic thoughtfulness by its creator (as John Gwynn observed over 100 years ago).

    Yours in Christ,

    James Snapp, Jr.

  5. Hello Jerry,

    I am doing some research on Mark 16:9-20 and happened upon this discussion.
    I think I agree with you that Mark 16:9-20 was added on at some stage, but there is much evidence that suggests it was added on very early in Church history, probably first half of the 2nd century. There is also no reason to suppose that, for that reason, it should not be regarded as inspired scripture.
    Its interesting that you give as one of your reasons for not accepting 9-20 as authentic scripture the fact that the account of the 2 travelers is not in harmony with Luke’s Gospel.
    I agree with James Snapp in that this proves more that the text is authentic than anything else. Anyone who was familiar with Luke’s Gospel at the time would have added a text that at least was in agreement with what was stated there. This could point to the definite possibility that Mark 16:9-20 was already in existence and regarded as inspired so should not be tampered with.
    If we were to reject sections of the Gospels because they are not in harmony with the other Gospels then there would be many more texts that would have to be rejected.
    For example Mathew has different accounts of the demoniac (2 instead of 1) the donkey that Jesus sat on (2 instead of 1) The blind man (Bartimeous?)( 2 instead of 1).
    Marks Gospel also states that both the criminals crucified with Jesus reviled Him whereas Luke says that one of them asked Jesus for mercy. Some Gospels say that Jesus had to carry His own cross while others say that Simon of Cyrene had to carry it.
    John gives a very different account of the Last Supper to that of the Synoptic Gospels and it is hard to harmonise them. Many things don’t agree.
    I have mentioned only some apparent contradictions but there are more, as you well aware.
    All this points to the authenticity of the New Testament, -people haven’t fiddled with it in the attempt to make it all agree.
    Does this mean that we reject these texts as being not inspired? Of course not.
    For the same reason there is no good reason to reject Mark 16:9-20.
    The issue for me is not whether it was part of the original text but, was it regarded by the early Church as inspired by God? And that does seem to be the case.
    I think the main reasons people question Mark 16:9-20 is because there are some controversial statements made that doesn’t suit the Theology of certain denominations.
    My suggestion to that is that maybe they need to re-think their Theology.

    God bless

    Anthony

    • Anthony,
      Thank you for your comment. You and James have both given me a lot to think about. I understand the point you both make that an apparent contradiction can be evidence of authenticity – because a person composing an addition would make sure he would write in agreement with other texts.

      You also mention other apparent contradictions between the gospels. To me, different details in different gospels are not contradictions. Even where Matthew mentions two demoniacs where Mark speaks of one, is there anything in Mark that would contradict there being two? Certainly, Mark only speaks of one – perhaps he speaks of the more vocal of the two? Similarly in the account of the appearance of angels at the tomb – and of the blind man (men) healed at Jericho Matthew mentions two, but does what the other writers say preclude there being two in each instance?

      These do not rise to the same level as I see in comparing Mark 16:12-12 and Luke 24:33-34. Here is a flat contradiction: Mark says they did not believe the two travelers; Luke says the Eleven greeted the two with news that the Lord was risen and had appeared to Peter.

      James constructed an elaborate hypothesis that Mark and Luke were talking about two different times in the meeting – that the Eleven did indeed believe Jesus was alive, but that they did not believe He had appeared to the two travelers. He, however, has to make so many assumptions that I find it difficult to accept.

      If Mark 16:9ff was a part of the text when Mark was first distributed among the churches, how was it lost? James says that the evidence for it not being authentic is limited to a “narrow line of transmission” in Egypt. This bears thinking about. You are both aware, I am sure, that this is not the only “confusion” about the ending of Mark as there is at least one other shorter ending.

      My comment that indicated a possible addition of Mark 16:9-20 in the 4th century or later is off base. This passage is obviously older than than if Justin, et. al. used it in the 2nd century. The fact remains, however, that MSS evidence for it being a part of Mark at an early date is weaker, though the peculiarities of the Siniaticus and Alexandrian MSS at the end of Mark create some confusion. Do these show that other endings of Mark are known, but (for some unknown reason) were omitted? Perhaps. But much here also depends on conjecture.

      So where do I stand? I have to say with all certainty, “I do not know if Mark 16:9-20 is authentic or not.” I repeat that I would prefer it to be authentic, but I do not know that it is for the reasons I have given. Others, more skilled in Textual Criticism than I, differ on the issue. To me it does not affect the substance of the gospel teaching either way the textual problem is solved.

      I posted on this topic, chiefly because many people question the reliability of translations that either omit these verses, relegate them to a footnote, or separate them from the rest of the text of Mark.

      I do appreciate those whose interest in this issue is deeper than mine and whose treatment of it is more skilled than mine.

      I propose to leave my comments as they are, unless someone can convince me otherwise.

      As I have said many times: I believe my opinions are the best in the world – because as soon as someone can convince me he has a better one, I adopt it! Usually what convinces me is evidence or better explanation. I have seen some evidence, but not enough to completely convince me. Some attempts at explanation have been offered – but again, not enough to completely convince me.

      God speed!

      Jerry

    • A little comment on a lesser point, viz some seeming inconsistencies raised outside of Mk.16.
      Craig Keener (Eerdmans 1999:282) noted how the reportage differences between one or two could simply be stylistic, a then current reportage style looser than the current western style but with a little more symbolism.
      Mt.21:7 could mean by “sitting on them” the garments (A T Robertson, cf. EVV), or that Jesus rode the mother for the harder part of the journey. The other a/cs simply skipped the mother – why not?
      Jesus carried not the cross but the cross beam section, the patibulum, until too weary, then Simon of Cyrene took over.
      At one stage both resistance fighters (?) opposed Jesus the appeaser. His demeanour soon converted one, as his demeanour has converted many. The convert might have been a little more open to redefine messiahship than his mate.
      The supposed cry of disharmony vis-à-vis the Passover meal has been answered by Norval Geldenhuys (see main commentaries by D A Carson 1991 & A J Köstenberger 2004). John & the Synoptics are in full alignment, though Western understanding of Jewish terms, & translation, hasn’t always been sharp.
      If preparedness not to insist on contradictions & inconsistencies is a vice I plead guilty, but there is an explaining which is not, as C S Lewis said, explaining away (fiddling).
      The contradiction with Lk.24:33 5 that ‘proves’ the genuineness of Mk.16:9 20 – why drop an obvious clanger? – could exist because the redactor lacked a full copy of Luke. Before Guttenberg Gospel copies were low per capita.
      Personally when I think of Mk.16:8 I think of Rudolf Otto’s Idea Of the Holy: did Mark leave readers with the Numinous Awe?

      • Personally, I would prefer the “Numinous Awe” ending to Mark than to try to “explain away” the inconsistency between the Marcan and Lucan accounts of the report of the two on the road to the group in Jerusalem as an earlier commenter has attempted.
        Jerry

  6. Dear Sir,
    Have you investigated the Aramaic texts? They are interesting and enlightening in many areas. Perhaps they might shed some light.

    • No, I am not familiar with Aramaic texts and how they handle this passage. My points are based primarily on the English translations, as I am not expert in the field of textual criticism.

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