February 16, 2016: Day 44 – Mark 16February 16, 2016
Now the controversy starts for some people. The Gospel of Mark is said to have a shorter ending and a longer ending. Most of the manuscripts that are of historical value end at vs. 8. Keep in mind we do not have a single copy of any of the original Gospels. What we have is a compilation of documents that have been gathered over time. The oldest manuscript that we have of the Mark Gospel is from more than 100 years after it was written. It is interesting to note that just recently this issue has been in the news.
So what if Mark does end at vs. 8? In essence we find the women afraid to tell anyone and that is where it ends. This is at least consistent with the other Gospels where the women are filled with fear and then have varying degrees of success in convincing the male disciples of Jesus resurrection. If we just stop at vs.8 then the story is left up to us as to whether we want to proclaim the good news of the resurrection, or keep it to ourselves. I like Mark ending at vs. 8 for the simple fact that it puts the ball in our court. We are the ones who then are required to carry forward the Gospel message of Jesus Christ. No one does it for us.
Notice that the person who gave the message to the women is described as a young man dressed in a white robe. He seems to know what they were looking for and knows the dynamics of the disciples to point out Peter as the leader of the disciples since he is mentioned by name. In some senses the young man is just telling them what Jesus had already told them. What is it that Jesus has told us that nevertheless doesn’t provide enough impetus for us to go and proclaim his good news?