The Last 12 verses of Mark

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Homer
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The Last 12 verses of Mark

Post by Homer » Sun Jun 14, 2020 7:39 pm

I have been reading a book regarding the last twelve verses of the Gospel of Mark. It is not unusual today to find them left out of many bibles or relegated to a footnote.

The book I have been reading is by by John Burgon of Oxford, written about 150 years ago. Burgon thoroughly refutes every argument against the authenticity of the last twelve verses of Mark. It has been claimed his argument has never been refuted, and I don't see how it could be.

Anyway, something caught my attention. We often hear today that codex "B", Vaticanus, and codex Aleph, Siniaticus, are the "oldest and best" New Testament manuscripts we have, and they do not contain the last 12 verses of Mark. Burgon agrees that they are the oldest, but regarding "best" he highly disagrees. He points out that "B" has nothing to recommend it other than age, and that it bears traces of careless transcription on every page, chiefly omissions of one, two, or three words; but sometimes half a verse, a whole verse, or several verses. In the Gospels alone codex "B" leaves out words or whole clauses no less than 1491 times, by far the greatest proportion in Mark, and "B" is disfigured throughout with repetitions. Vaticanus and Siniaticus both have Jesus still alive on the cross when He was pierced with the spear.

Interestingly, Siniaticus was found in a dump in a monastery in a pile of rubbish to be burned. The monks didn't have much regard for it, likely the reason it was in relatively good condition. They apparently didn't use it. I take comfort in the fact that we have literally hundreds of other old manuscripts.

I was fortunate to find Burgon's book at a garage sale in a nearby small town that has a large conservative Mennonite church. A church member is coming tomorrow to do some work for me; I'm curious what his church believes about the last twelve verses of Mark.

steve7150
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Re: The Last 12 verses of Mark

Post by steve7150 » Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:24 pm

[color=#FFFFFF]I have been reading a book regarding the last twelve verses of the Gospel of Mark. It is not unusual today to find them left out of many bibles or relegated to a footnote.











There are letters from several church fathers in the 2nd & third centuries referencing these verses so earlier manuscripts must have existed.

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Paidion
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Re: The Last 12 verses of Mark

Post by Paidion » Mon Jun 15, 2020 3:37 pm

Hi Homer, you wrote:I have been reading a book regarding the last twelve verses of the Gospel of Mark. It is not unusual today to find them left out of many bibles or relegated to a footnote.
I have many BibIe translations in my online Bible program and not one of them omit those 12 verses. Please tell me which translations of which you are aware, that omit them. I am curious.
You wrote:Anyway, something caught my attention. We often hear today that codex "B", Vaticanus, and codex Aleph, Siniaticus, are the "oldest and best" New Testament manuscripts we have, and they do not contain the last 12 verses of Mark.
Not a great surprise. I have copies of both Vaticanus and Sinaiticus. Vaticanus contains no verses at all after Mark 16:18, and Sinaiticus none after Mark16:8. There are many reasons for missing parts of ancient manuscripts. Parts of these manuscripts may have been accidentally torn away or missing for some other physical reason—not related to any deliberate attempt.

I have the text of all extant New Testament manuscripts prior to the year A.D. 300. None of them contain any portion of Mark after chapter 12. I think the simple reason is that the manuscripts of those portions have been lost.
Paidion

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Darrell
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Re: The Last 12 verses of Mark

Post by Darrell » Tue Jun 16, 2020 8:13 am

Greetings Homer and all,

Is the book you are referring to "The Revision Revised"? If so, it is available on Project Gutenberg website for download in PDF format. Just an FYI for those who may be interested in reading it.

Blessings - d
Eph 4:2,3

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Homer
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Re: The Last 12 verses of Mark

Post by Homer » Sun Jun 21, 2020 4:25 pm

Hi paidion,

You wrote:
I have many BibIe translations in my online Bible program and not one of them omit those 12 verses. Please tell me which translations of which you are aware, that omit them. I am curious.
It looks like I should have done more research. You are probably correct. Some of the statements may seem to say "missing" when they are actually confined to a footnote.

See here (interesting article):

https://revolutionforjesus.com/2015/02/ ... nslations/

I probably have less than a dozen versions; I did see in my older RSV that the last twelve verses of Mark are at the bottom of the page in a fine print footnote.

You also wrote:
I have the text of all extant New Testament manuscripts prior to the year A.D. 300. None of them contain any portion of Mark after chapter 12. I think the simple reason is that the manuscripts of those portions have been lost
Do you have copies of Vaticanus and Siniaticus? I don't recall whether it was either or both that Burgon said had left blank space for the last twelve verses of Mark which he considered to be evidence the transcriber knew of their existence.

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Paidion
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Re: The Last 12 verses of Mark

Post by Paidion » Sun Jun 21, 2020 6:14 pm

Greetings Homer, you asked:
Do you have copies of Vaticanus and Siniaticus? I don't recall whether it was either or both that Burgon said had left blank space for the last twelve verses of Mark which he considered to be evidence the transcriber knew of their existence.
Yes. I mentioned that I have, in my first post on this thread:
I wrote:I have copies of both Vaticanus and Sinaiticus. Vaticanus contains no verses at all after Mark 16:18, and Sinaiticus none after Mark16:8. There are many reasons for missing parts of ancient manuscripts. Parts of these manuscripts may have been accidentally torn away or missing for some other physical reason—not related to any deliberate attempt.
Paidion

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Re: The Last 12 verses of Mark

Post by Paidion » Sun Jun 21, 2020 8:51 pm

Homer, you wrote: I don't recall whether it was either or both that Burgon said had left blank space for the last twelve verses of Mark which he considered to be evidence the transcriber knew of their existence.
Throughout Vaticanus there are normally three columns of text on each page. But at the end of Mark, there is indeed, a blank column . There are two columns of text on that page and then the blank column. But why would Burgon presume that this was for the purpose of reserving it for the final 12 verses?

At the end of Matthew, there are two columns of text, but on the third column, there are a few lines of text, but most of the column (more than 3/4 of it) is blank.

At the end of Luke, there are 3 columns of text with no blank space.

At the end of John, there are a few lines of text with more than 3/4 of the column left blank. My explanation of all this is as follows:

I think it was the purpose of the copyist to start each new book at the top of a new page. Matthew's gospel ended a few lines into column 3. So in order to start Mark's gospel on a new page, he had leave most of that third column blank.

Mark's gospel happened to end on the second column right at the bottom. So in order to start Luke's gospel on a new page, the entire column 3 had to be left blank.

Luke's gospel happened to end at the bottom of the third column, and so there was not blank space at the end of that column. John's gospel could be started on the next page.

John's gospel (like Matthew's) ended with a few lines of text in column 3 (a different number of lines than those in Matthew) with more than 3/4 of the column left blank in order to start the book of Acts on a new page.
Paidion

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Homer
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Re: The Last 12 verses of Mark

Post by Homer » Mon Jun 22, 2020 11:58 am

Hi Paidion,

I wish I had taken more notes as I read through Burgon's arguments but I was able to find what he had to say without too much trouble. Here's what he wrote about the vacant space:
To say that in the Vatican Codex (B), which is unquestionably the oldest we possess, S. Mark's Gospel ends abruptly at the 8th verse of the 16th chapter, and that the customary subscription (KATA MAPKON) follows, - is true; but it is far from being the whole truth. It requires to be stated in addition that the scribe, whose plan is found to have been to begin every fresh book of the Bible at the top of the next ensuing column to that which contained the concluding words of the preceding book, has at the close of S. Mark's Gospel deviated from his invariable practice. He has left in this place one column entirely vacant. It is the only vacant column in the entire manuscript; - a blank space abundantly sufficient to contain the twelve verses which he nevertheless withheld. Why did he leave that column vacant? What could have induced the scribe on this solitary occasion to depart from his established rule? The phenomenon, - (I believe I was the first to call distinct attention to it,) - is in the highest degree significant, and admits of only one interpretation. The older MS from which Cod. B was copied must have infallibly contained the twelve verses in dispute.
He had much more to say on this but this gives you the idea and with your copy you can see what he was saying.

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Re: The Last 12 verses of Mark

Post by Paidion » Mon Jun 22, 2020 4:08 pm

He had much more to say on this but this gives you the idea and with your copy you can see what he was saying.
I see what he is saying, but I think my explanation makes far more sense, and is consistent with the endings of the other gospels as I explained.
Paidion

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Homer
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Re: The Last 12 verses of Mark

Post by Homer » Mon Jun 22, 2020 4:45 pm

Paidion,

Burgon wrote:
It requires to be stated in addition that the scribe, whose plan is found to have been to begin every fresh book of the Bible at the top of the next ensuing column to that which contained the concluding words of the preceding book, has at the close of S. Mark's Gospel deviated from his invariable practice. He has left in this place one column entirely vacant. It is the only vacant column in the entire manuscript;
And you wrote:
Mark's gospel happened to end on the second column right at the bottom. So in order to start Luke's gospel on a new page, the entire column 3 had to be left blank.
What Burgon said was that if the scribe had followed his invariable practice he would have started Luke on the top of the blank third column at the end of Mark. It is the only blank column in the entire manuscript. It wasn't his practice to start a new book on a new page, only at the top of a column.

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