Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Mark 16:9-20

On the text of Mark. Almost everything stated in the passage in question, is mentioned elsewhere in the NT. 

So even if you reject the originality of that part of Mark, you still have to accept the ideas - because the rest of the Bible talks about it. 

Details like going out and preaching the Gospel. Baptising believers. Speaking in tongues. Casting out demons. Healing the sick. Being unharmed if you happen to pick up a snake. Signs and wonders following the preaching of the word. All of that and more can be found demonstrated, and taught, elsewhere in the NT - in the Book of Acts, and in the Epistles. 

At the mouth of two or three witnesses, let every word be established. 

Besides, the story of Mark would seem to have an odd ending, if verses 9-20 are omitted from the final chapter. The verses are a fitting part of it.

The idea that the passage mightn't have been original has wained somewhat in its 'scholarly' popularity anyway, since its peak popularity in the anti-charismatic decade last century. It's by no means been a foregone conclusion. 

Besides, if you apply the same criterion to the rest of the Bible that you use to reject that part of Mark, you would also have to reject so many other verses and passages - and even at least one entire book of the New Testament, some say. But you didn't hear that bandied around much, because it wouldn't have been acceptable to the wider evangelical community nor even to Catholics, and because it wasn't quite so anti-charismatic. 

The earlier Church widely accepted the entirety of Mark as genuine and authoritative. To reject it now, involves using our own criteria, and claiming that it's superior to theirs - yet they were closer (in history) to the fact (and to the author) than us. 

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