"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Mark 16:1-8 Commentary
by C. Clifton Black
“They said nothing to nobody -- they were afraid, you see.”
That’s a fairly literal, inelegant English rendering of Mark 16:8. Could the evangelist have ended his Gospel like this? What kind of victor is vindicated from death, yet no one gets to see it? You might as well ask, what kind of Messiah dies crucified (15:16-39)?
Although various manuscripts add endings to Mark (including 16:9-20, best known from the KJV), there’s no question that our earliest texts of this Gospel end at 16:8. Did the author continue beyond 16:8 with an ending that was lost? Did he intend something beyond 16:8 but was prevented from writing it? Neither alternative is impossible, but both are speculative: they lack any biblical or traditional basis for verification. Is it preposterous that Mark deliberately ended his Gospel at 16:8? Some think so. I think not.
Visiting the tomb at dawn after the Sabbath (Mark 16:1) is the same female trio who beheld Jesus’ crucifixion and death at a distance (15:40). Two witnessed his burial (15:47). Long after the Twelve ...
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The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
March 27, 2016
This podcast discusses Mark 16:1-8, the Narrative Lectionary readings for Mar. 27, 2016.