When Does the Gospel of St. Mark End?

Originally posted 1/29/2010.

My thanks to James E. Snapp, Jr. for the corrections!


Whether the Gospel of St. Mark ends at 16:8?

Answer: In the negative.


Mk 16:9-20 is authentic and canonical. Although Mk 16:9-20 is not in B and Aleph, it is in all the other uncial manuscripts: A, C, D, E, F, G, H, K, M, N, S, U, V, X, Gamma, Delta, Pi, Sigma, Omega, and Beth.{1} It is in a great many cursive manuscripts,{2} all the Latin manuscripts except k,{3} all Syriac manuscripts except the Sinaitic version,{4} in most Coptic{5} and Gothic{6} manuscripts, and in most Armenian manuscripts.{7} It was probably used in the Liturgy of the Greek Catholic Church in the third century,{8} and was definitely used in the Liturgy in the fourth century.{9} Second century Church Fathers Bishop St. Irenaeus of Lyons [Against Heresies 3:10:5], and probably St. Justin Martyr and the Shepherd of Hermas, refer to Mk 16:9-20.{10} In the third century, Priest St. Hippolytus the Martyr of Rome quotes from the verses in question.{11} In the fourth century, the long version of Mark is cited or alluded to by Hieromonk St. Aphrahat the Sage of Persia [Demonstration 1:17 of Faith], Bishop St. Cyril of Jerusalem (Doctor), Bishop St. Epiphanius of Salamis, Bishop St. Gregory of Nyssa, St. Caesarius of Nazianzus, Archbishop St. John I Chrysostom the Great of Constantinople (Doctor) [Homily 38:5 on First Corinthians], Bishop Macarius of Magnesia, Bishop St. Augustine the Great of Hippo (Doctor of Grace) [On Merit and the Forgiveness of Sins and the Baptism of Infants 3:3,6; On the Soul and Its Origin 2:17,23], Bishop St. Ambrose the Great of Milan (Doctor) [Concerning Repentance 1:18; Exposition of the Christian Faith 1:14:86; On the Holy Spirit 2:13:145], and many others.{11}
Notes & References
{1} MacRory, Joseph. “Gospel of Saint Mark.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 9. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 29 Jan. 2010 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09674b.htm>.
{2} Ibid. James E. Snapp, Jr., points out that the deteriorated quality of many cursive manuscripts falsifies the old Catholic Encyclopedia‘s outdated assertion.
{3} Ibid.
{4} Ibid.
{5} Ibid. Not all the Coptic manuscripts, as the old Catholic Encyclopedia says. James E. Snapp, Jr., points out that a 1972 Coptic manuscript falsifies the old Catholic Encyclopedia‘s outdated assertion.
{6} Ibid.
{7} Ibid.
{8} Ibid.
{9} Ibid.
{10} Ibid.
{11} Ibid.


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