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The Long Ending of Mark and it's Implications on the Book of Mormon


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9 minutes ago, Teancum said:

You put no credence on those with the expertise?

Of course I do. 

I've worked with expert software developers who knew how make computers do wonderful things. But computers are very deterministic and rules-based. It is possible to acquire quite complete knowledge of how given computers work, even if we know nothing about the circuitry.

Soft subjects such as we are discussing, however, are decidedly non-deterministic, and the rules may not be rules; things may be too squishy for rules. So the "experts" have serious handicaps. Among them is a lack of original documents. Whoever Mark was (the book itself is anonymous), we don't have the original manuscript. And whoever wrote it, what came from his pen may not have been accurately transmitted to us. And that bit that was supposedly added to Mark later? For all we know, the author of that bit was Mark, and the canonical Mark may have been written by someone else nobody knows the name of. And then we come to the disciple known as John Mark himself, who may or may not be the canonical author of Mark. He was not an Apostle. What authority did he have to write one of the most important Christian documents?  Assuming he needed authority, which I'm pretty sure he didn't. But why do we give Mark credence when he was just some guy? I guess that's unanswerable except to say that it's part of the accepted canon.

Criminy, we don't even know for sure if any of the Gospels were written by their purported authors. It probably doesn't matter.

I read that there was once a professor of ancient literature who spent a good portion of his life trying to prove that the Iliad and the Odyssey were written not by Homer, but by some other Greek of the same name. <-- I think this story was supposed to be a joke of some sort, but the point I am making is this: if the original documents don't exist, then we're whistling in the dark. The tune we whistle may be a good one, and we may be able to whistle it very beautifully, but to a certain extent, it's still dark out there and we have to rely upon faith and hope.

Because of the way the Bible has come down to us, I mistrust it a little. Or perhaps a lot. I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, but not because the Bible tells me so. The Bible helped lead me to that conclusion, with more than a little help from the Book of Mormon, but my testimony comes from the same source that Simon Peter's came from.

Just curious, have you ever read Bart Ehrman's Misquoting Jesus? If so, what did you think of it?

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19 hours ago, Fair Dinkum said:

But why would Jesus quote some random scribe and deem their words so important that He needed to tell Mormon to include them in the Book of Mormon?

Because if Mark was written before the other gospels (Matthew, Luke, John), and plain and precious things were taken out of any of these, or prior, or subsequent record along the way, it would stand to reason that these verses are representative of what Jesus said in Jerusalem in 34 AD-ish and to the disciples in the New World a year later and conveyed later by Moroni in AD 400-ish. That these verses had been added later to Mark as part of the “long ending” is merely a restoration of what had been “lost” several decades earlier.

Edited by CV75
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22 hours ago, OGHoosier said:

For what it's worth, there are scholars who reject the association of the Longer Ending and Mark who nevertheless hold that, given the reoccurence of the themes of the Longer Ending over and over in the ancient world, at the very least it traces its origins to teachings of Jesus from the post-Resurrection ministry. N.T. Wright is an example of such. This would be satisfactory to me, as after all, Christ was addressing the Nephite in his post-Resurrection ministry as well.

Actually, N.T. Wright doesn't hold that the Longer Ending "traces its origins to teachings of Jesus from the post-Resurrection ministry." In fact, he specifically states that "the command about the necessity of baptism for salvation (verse 16) and the list of wonderful deeds the apostles will do (verses 17–18) look as though they are a summary of some aspects of later church life" (Wright, The Resurrection of the Son of God [Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2003], 618).*

I think it is unlikely that Mark 16:15–18 preserves any authentic sayings of Jesus given its late, secondary character. Is this a problem for the Book of Mormon? Yes and no. As Thomas Wayment observes, "if textual criticism is the only tool that can be brought to this discussion, then the Book of Mormon text will continually appear anachronistic as a historical document because its original text cannot be compared against the Greek New Testament productively." He therefore recommends "a nuanced approach to the way the Book of Mormon engages ancient texts, both the Old and the New Testament": 

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Joseph's engagement with the Bible was both interpretive and thoughtful, suggesting that the Book of Mormon, in part, expresses the intellectual collision of biblical texts that already existed in Joseph Smith's mind through his cultural upbringing, and that those texts were revised through a process that can be described as inspiration. Joseph saw new ideas emerging from old texts, and it seems he did not limit his interests to texts that had been written by the time Lehi and his family departed to the New World. Instead, scripture was part of Joseph Smith's vocabulary, and it became part of the Nephite vocabulary through his translation of their ancient texts.

— Thomas A. Wayment, "Textual Criticism and the New Testament," in New Testament History, Culture, and Society: A Background to the Texts of the New Testament, ed. Lincoln H. Blumell (Provo: RSC; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2019), 667–668; on Mark specifically, see 670n14.

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* Compare R.T. France, The Gospel of Mark: A Commentary on the Greek Text (NIGTC; Grand Rapids, MI; Eerdmans, 2002), 686–687: "The parts of the Longer Ending not accounted for in this list are those which go beyond the resurrection appearances as such to describe the subsequent preaching and activity of the church. Thus in v. 16 we have a summary of a basic baptismal soteriology, which has the flavour of Johannine dualism (and possibly draws on the baptism element in Mt. 28:19–20), in vv. 17–18 some of the ‘signs’ which are related in Acts are summarised, and v. 20 is virtually a summary of the whole book of Acts in a nutshell."

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4 hours ago, Teancum said:

I don't think the textual critics scholars would agree with this dismissal.

Maybe but I think most people value the original of something far more than the copy or reproduction of something many, many years later.   Ask a car collector if they value an original Shelby Cobra over a modern day copy based on the original. 

Edited by carbon dioxide
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14 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

So what?

Seriously.  Tired of these nothing burger criticisms.

You’re more than welcome to choose not to wear a mask,get vaccinated or respond to anything I post.

14 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

If it turns out there's more than a little Joseph Smith in the Book of Mormon text that does nothing to change its message.  If it turns out that not every element is historical it doesn't change the teachings.

Correct. Even a non historical BoM’s teachings remain intact, just more in a metaphysical sense than a literal one.

14 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

I swear, it's like critics expect stuff like this to make us throw our hands up, toss the Book in the trash and move on.

We’re on the same page here.  I have no tolerance for church critics. 

14 hours ago, JLHPROF said:

I don't care whether Joseph wrote this, Nephi wrote this, whether it came from 600 BC or 1830 AD.  It is manna from heaven.  Nitpicking the source makes zero difference.  Elder Holland was completely right on this one.

I’m not as giving as you are. If the BoM is a work of fiction it goes right at Smiths claims of angelic visitations and prophetic calling. The entire house of cards come tumbling down ( in my opinion )

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1 hour ago, CV75 said:

Because if Mark was written before the other gospels (Matthew, Luke, John), and plain and precious things were taken out of any of these, or prior, or subsequent record along the way, it would stand to reason that these verses are representative of what Jesus said in Jerusalem in 34 AD-ish and to the disciples in the New World a year later and conveyed later by Moroni in AD 400-ish. That these verses had been added later to Mark as part of the “long ending” is merely a restoration of what had been “lost” several decades earlier.

We’re not talking of things that were taken out but of verses that have been inserted into the text.  Both inserting and removing verses distort the truth.

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10 minutes ago, Fair Dinkum said:

I’m not as giving as you are. If the BoM is a work of fiction it goes right at Smiths claims of angelic visitations and prophetic calling. The entire house of cards come tumbling down ( in my opinion )

I happen to believe it's a historical record.  But even if it weren't I don't see that it has any impact on Joseph's calling or revelations.  The content is just as true doctrinally and just as sacred if it was a morality tale as a historical record.  And it still came from God even if Joseph misunderstood its origin.  In short, none of that matters.  Just like the heartland vs South America vs Central America argument is a big waste of time.

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1 hour ago, Bob Crockett said:

That is a remarkable supposition.  

It's textual criticism. Once you get any case that strays from the straightforward, "supposition" is basically unavoidable. Historical reasoning is a lot more fuzzy than legal reasoning. 

I'm somewhat busy today and I'd like to put a bit more time into my next reply, so I probably won't be sounding off again today. 

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14 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Mate, the quote box directly below this question literally contains links to the references you're asking for ...

You are aware that the Diatessaron  that we have today is a translation of a translation of an 10th century Arabic translation of the Diatessaron, rIght? In other words very problematic 

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7 minutes ago, Teancum said:

Yet you think God is telling you things are true in spite if evidence that they are not.🙄

Correct.  Because God can't lie.  Evidence is often misinterpreted and current expertise is frequently revised.  I'm convinced that when ALL evidence is available and understood correctly that God's word will always prove true.

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6 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

Correct.  Because God can't lie.  Evidence is often misinterpreted and current expertise is frequently revised.  I'm convinced that when ALL evidence is available and understood correctly that God's word will always prove true.

God can lie apparently because a whole lot of people that think God is talking to them do bad things. What is the date today?  Why do you know it is God and they don't?  You just cannot get around this problem.

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15 hours ago, Bob Crockett said:

The Diatessaron as we have it today was reconstructed in 1881 from medieval sources which drew upon canonical books. This means that your source post dates the placement of Mark in the canon.  No doubt there was a Diatessaron in early circulation but we have lost that.  

Canon fodder indeed. 

What is your next best evidence? This dog doesn't hunt.  Can you quote the text rather than send me impenetrable links?

The Diatessaron that we have today "was reconstructed in 1881 by Theodor Zahn from translations and commentaries."  The earliest is from the 4th century.  See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diatessaron.  It was not reconstructed from "medieval sources which drew upon canonical books".

Also, the long ending of Mark was known in the 2nd century.  See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_16#cite_note-26

Quote
  • The earliest clear evidence for Mark 16:9-20 as part of the Gospel of Mark is in Chapter XLV First Apology of Justin Martyr (155-157). In a passage in which Justin treats Psalm 110 as a Messianic prophecy, he states that Psalm 110:2 was fulfilled when Jesus' disciples, going forth from Jerusalem, preached everywhere. His wording is remarkably similar to the wording of Mk. 16:20 and is consistent with Justin's use of a Synoptics-Harmony in which Mark 16:20 was blended with Lk. 24:53.
  • The Epistula Apostolorum (mid-late 2nd c.) likely incorporates all four Gospels, including the longer ending of Mark in sections 9-10, per the strong thematic, literary, and narrative sequence resemblance between the texts[19]
  • Justin's student Tatian incorporated almost all of Mark 16:9-20 into his Diatessaron (160-175), a blended narrative consisting of material from all four canonical Gospels.
  • Irenaeus (c. 184), in Against Heresies 3:10.6, explicitly cited Mark 16:19, stating that he was quoting from near the end of Mark's account. This patristic evidence is over a century older than the earliest manuscript of Mark 16.
  • Writers in the 200s such as Hippolytus of Rome and the anonymous author of De Rebaptismate also used the "Longer Ending".
  • In 305, the pagan writer Hierocles used Mark 16:18 in a jibe against Christians, probably recycling material written by Porphyry in 270.

If the argument is over whether the original Gospel of Mark had the long ending, then I would agree that it didn't.  But to say that the long ending of Mark was made up by a scribe is unsupported by the evidence.  It almost definitely was an existing tradition that was appended to the end of the Gospel of Mark.  That's why it doesn't sound like Mark.

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6 minutes ago, webbles said:

The Diatessaron that we have today "was reconstructed in 1881 by Theodor Zahn from translations and commentaries."  The earliest is from the 4th century.  See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diatessaron.  It was not reconstructed from "medieval sources which drew upon canonical books".

Also, the long ending of Mark was known in the 2nd century.  See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_16#cite_note-26

If the argument is over whether the original Gospel of Mark had the long ending, then I would agree that it didn't.  But to say that the long ending of Mark was made up by a scribe is unsupported by the evidence.  It almost definitely was an existing tradition that was appended to the end of the Gospel of Mark.  That's why it doesn't sound like Mark.

Like I have said, quote the text and then I'll look and decide.  Provide the cite. 

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1 minute ago, Bob Crockett said:

Like I have said, quote the text and then I'll look and decide.  Provide the cite. 

But what are you trying to decide?  If you trying to decide if the long ending was original part of the Gospel of Mark, then I agree that it wasn't.  If you trying to decide if the long ending was known in the 2nd century, I did cite the items.  I don't have access to those books so I can't cite the actual text.  I'm not even sure that textual experts disagree that the tradition contained in the long ending was known by the 2nd century.  The argument is usually whether it was originally part of the Gospel of Mark, not how old it was.

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2 hours ago, Bob Crockett said:

That is a remarkable supposition.  

I guess I should have put a big "MAYBE" in there like most scholars do to prevent confusion and invite a clearly stated concern.

1 hour ago, Fair Dinkum said:

Pure unsupported speculation 

Then why not just focus on support for God then, and stop wasting your time with conclusions like: "Biblical scholars have long known..." what Jesus deemed as important and needed to tell?

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1 hour ago, Fair Dinkum said:

We’re not talking of things that were taken out but of verses that have been inserted into the text.  Both inserting and removing verses distort the truth.

If the insertion was a replacement of things removed, is that really something to quibble about? Your assumption that anything that gets removed was undistorted truth in the first place is goofy.

Like I say, we believe in a man who died and came back to life by the power His Father gave Him. That is more ridiculous than believing in what He said, how He said it, to whom, and when, and in what order. Why is that so difficult to pick apart?

Surely you've  seen examples where redacted text was restored a few decades later based on earlier sources. If not, you need to get out more before mind-reading Jesus.

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