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HOW DO WE KNOW MARK ENDS AT 16:8, AND NOT 16:20?

HOW DO WE KNOW MARK ENDS AT 16:8, AND NOT 16:20?

snake handler
Modern day snake handlers derive their practice from Mark 16:17-18

How do we know Mark 16 ends at verse 8 and not 20? The two best available Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus do not have either the usual 12 verse ending or the shorter ending. Neither does manuscript 304, the Sinaitic Old Syriac, some manuscripts of the Sahadic Coptic version, manuscripts of the Armenian translation, and some versions of the Georgian translation. It is significant that it does not appear in any manuscript prior to the fifth century. This passage is included in a number of other, later manuscripts, but with critical marks such as asterisks or obeli (marks to indicate that a passage is spurious, doubtful or corrupt), which tell us that the scribe knew of the questionable nature of these verses. The shorter ending is found in some less important manuscripts. In some other manuscripts, this shorter ending is combined with the longer ending. Codex W, an important early Greek manuscript, adds an entire paragraph between verses 14 and 15. All of this together is strong proof that Mark 16:9-20 was not originally part of Mark’s Gospel. Bible scholar and translator Jerome, around 400 CE, said “Almost all the Greek codices (are) without this passage”. read more

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