Cut Mark 16:9–20 out of the Bible? Really?!?

Mark 16:9–20, The Great Commission. Many modern scholars call into question the genuineness of these last twelve verses. For a discussion on whether these verses of Mark’s Gospel should be included in the Bible, see E. W. Bullinger’s (1837-1913) The Companion Bible (appendix 168).

Bullinger states that the two oldest Greek manuscripts of the Testimony of Yeshua (from the fourth century) don’t contain these verses. On the other hand, more than six hundred other Greek manuscripts do contain them as do the oldest Syriac manuscript known as the Peshitto (which Bullinger believes is from the second century) and the Curetonian Syriac (from the third century). He notes that Jerome when translating the Bible into Latin (The Vulgate, A.D. 382) had access to Greek manuscripts older than any now extant included these twelve verses in his Bible. Additionally, he notes that the Gothic Version (A.D. 350), the Coptic (fourth or fifth century), the Armenian (fifth century), Ethiopic (fourth to seventh centuries) and Georgian (sixth century) versions all contain these last twelve verses. Bullinger goes on to say that there are nearly one hundred ecclesiastical writers before the oldest extant Greek manuscripts who attest to the authenticity of these verses. Moreover, between A.D. 300 and 600 there are about two hundred more writers who do.

Bullinger gives two reasons why he believes these verses may have been omitted from several of the oldest Greek NT manuscripts. After the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 extending one hundred years there is a complete blank regarding the history of the early church and a complete silence about this era from Christian writers. Therefore, no one knows what was going on in the church during this period including whether such signs and wonders as enumerated in these last verses in Mark’s Gospel were still occurring. He speculates that when later translators came to the last twelve verses of Mark and saw no trace of these spiritual gifts currently being manifested in the church (in the fourth century), some marked them as doubtful, spurious or even omitted them altogether. This same doubt has been passed on to modern scholars.


14 thoughts on “Cut Mark 16:9–20 out of the Bible? Really?!?

  1. They sure wouldn’t have omitted these verses on Azuza Street a little more than a hundred years ago! 😉

    • Very true and good point. Probably the heady folks who want to omit these verses have no clue what the baptism and gifts of the Spirit are, since they’ve decided instead to intellectualize them away.

  2. I really don’t want to omit them, however handling poisonous snakes are not in my thinking, intellectualizing or not, only people who really know what the fruits of the Spirit are usually do not handle these either, it really goes to how much authority do you give Ptolemy who gathered these seventy Sages to give their version? Was the word given to the Jewish people or the Greeks, to me it was given to the Jewish people with the authority, not Greeks, not the American Indians, or just to those who go to seed on the fruits of the Spirit. Shalom

  3. I think these verses do belong, and “Go into all the world” is parallel to God’s original assignment to Adam (pre-fall condition), in which he told Adam to “fill the earth” (Genesis 1:28). This points to the re-establishment of Man “in the image of God”, intended as Adam’s commission before the fall, which is restored by Yeshua as part of the “new creation”.

      • Yeshua is the “New Creation” (2nd Adam) who fulfills God’s mandates (Torah) and thereby fulfills the original mandate of obedience to God’s commands that Adam transgressed.

        He fulfills the intent of God in creating Man “to be in His image” as God’s vice-regent (having “dominion” indicates He mirrors God as the King) , of which King David was a foreshadow.

        All believers are imputed righteousness by being in His body (resurrected) and serve as priest-kings in this world and the world to come (New Heaven and Earth, New Jerusalem, New Man, etc.), fulfilling God’s intent for Man to to rule on earth as the visible representatives of the invisible God.

        The mirroring of God as King (in his image) by Man is why we consistently see the terms “reign”, “thrones”, etc. in the Bible.

      • I agree, but I’m not seeing what this has to do with my blog post on Mark 16, unless you’re trying to convey some deep spiritual insight that I’m missing. If so, please explain. Or perhaps, you meant this comment for another blog post?

      • I have probably gotten off track, I apologize.

        What I was originally attempting to do was to agree that Mark 16 belongs to, not should be stripped from, the rest of Scripture because it shows that the disciples of Yeshua were given the same assignment, the Great Commission (go unto all the world) from the 2nd Adam (Yeshua) that God gave to the 1st Adam in Genesis 1:28 (fill the earth) before He fell from grace due to sin.

        Therefore, since the assignments are the same, Mark 16 most likely belongs in the Bible, as part of God’s Word!

      • Now I get what you’re trying to say. Thanks for explaining it.

        That’s a very interesting observation you have made. I think there’s something to this. Thanks for sharing.

  4. My head hurts when I try to think of intellectuals intellectualizing things in the Word of God AWAY! So I like to say, just because they don’t believe something, doesn’t make it not true. As always Natan, thank you for sharing your insight.

  5. chuck and robin bird lapine, when it says take up serpents, it would be talking about having victory over demons. For the drinking any deadly poison, it does not mean they will purposely drink deadly poison, but rather if they do accidentally or are forced to as a form of persecution, then it will not harm them.

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