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


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9 hours ago, Danzo said:

The system is quite complicated, but the sense of indebtedness is real and the expectation for repayment is real.

Thanks for this. I hadn't heard of Guelaguetza before. I probably should have included the rest of Brant Gardner's discussion. Here is his full comment:

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The economic world in which the New Testament Sermon on the Mount [was delivered,] was monetized and depended heavily upon land ownership. The New Testament poor might have been those in poorly paying occupations, but the specific word used refers more to the destitute, those with almost no means at all. In the Mesoamerican agricultural economy, this would have been unusual. There was no land ownership and therefore no conditions that removed people from the ability to feed themselves. Without a monetized economy, there were no debts in the same sense that we see in New Testament times. (Gardner, The Gift and Power, 191)

Gardner's qualifier, "in the same sense that we see in the New Testament," is important here. I assume he wouldn't disagree with your comments. 

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13 hours ago, Nevo said:

Unfortunately, that PDF isn't the whole book (I wish!). But quite a bit of it is available on Google Books.

Yeah, I read everything that was in that PDF and I'm looking for a source close to home.  While searching around for more details on the paper, I came across Yang, Jayhoon, "Other Endings of Mark as Responses to Mark: An Ideological-Critical Investigation into the Longer and the Shorter Ending of Mark's Gospel" (2003).  You can find the entire text at https://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/3555/1/408359.pdf.  It references Kelhoffer's book a few times.

He doesn't delve into the origin of the long ending but he talks about why it would have been written vs why the short ending was written.  His theory is that the long ending was written by a pro-Mary Magdelene group.  It was an ending for Mark that elevates Mary and ensures her place as an "apostle" alongside (or even above) the other apostles.

He has a minor disagreement with Kelhoffer with the dating of the long ending.  Note 10 on page 100 says: 

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Kelhoffer (Miracle  and Mission, p. 243) argues that the LE  was composed between 120 - 150 CE. He on the one hand believes that the LE's author knew the four  gospels, which  supports the view that the LE  was composed no earlier than 120 CE. On the other hand, he provides the Church Fathers' witness to the LE, which dates around the middle of the second century CE. For this reason, he argues that the LE  was composed between 120-150 CE. However, I think it cannot be guaranteed whether  the  LE's  author  really  knew  the  four  gospels and composed the  LE  by  using  them;  it  is possible that  he  might  have used other  (oral)  traditions  that  other  gospel authors used in  order  to recount  their Appearance  story.  Therefore,  it would be  more  appropriate  to approximate  the composition  of  the  LE  between 70  - 150 CE.  Cf.  D. G.  Palmer (The Markan  Matrix: A  Literary- Structural Analysis  of  the Gospel of Mark  [Paisley, UK:  Ceridwen Press, 1999], pp. 313-16) argues that the LE  was composed earlier than Matthew  and Luke,  supposing that the LE  gave inspiration to Matthew and Luke  in composing their own the LE  parallels. His argument is based on the hypothesis of  the Markan  authorship of  some parts of  the LE  (16.9-16,19-20a,  which  he names `the original Epilogue'  of Mark's  Gospel), which  is hardly supported by Markan scholars.

I found it interesting that Yang states that "it is possible that he might have used other (oral) traditions that other gospel authors used".  That's kind of what I've been saying :)

I also found Table 4.2 on page 160 interesting.  It shows the similarity between Mark 6:7-13,30 (where Jesus sends the apostles off on missions) and verses 14-20 in the long ending:

Table4-2.thumb.png.c21404b06c5b9e2e8b1d854b28e1f6e9.png

I had not noticed that similarity before.  It is also interesting that two of the signs mentioned in the long ending are part of the original list of miracles that is in Mark.

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12 hours ago, webbles said:

I found it interesting that Yang states that "it is possible that he might have used other (oral) traditions that other gospel authors used".  That's kind of what I've been saying :)

Sure, there are people out there who think it's possible that the author of the Longer Ending could have used oral tradition. But this generally requires backdating it into the first century, as Yang does here.

Notice that Yang doesn't actually engage any of the evidence for a second-century date. He simply declares that he thinks "it cannot be guaranteed whether the LE's author really knew the four gospels and composed the LE by using them; it is possible that he might have used other (oral) traditions that other gospel authors used in order to recount their Appearance story." Well, yes, that's true. It's not guaranteed that the Longer Ending was composed in the second century. But that's where the preponderance of evidence points: 

  • "Perhaps part of a longer work something like a gospel harmony, Mark 16:9–20 was very likely composed in the second century C.E. and was attached to Mark’s Gospel by someone who thought the text needed a better ending, especially in light of the promises about a resurrection appearance in Galilee in Mark 14:28 and 16:7. A major theme in the first part of the Longer Ending is the disbelief shown by the Eleven regarding the reports about appearances of the risen Jesus (see 16:11, 13, 14). The third section (16:14–18) is noteworthy for the risen Jesus’ discourse about proclaiming the gospel to 'every creature' (or, 'all creation'), his insistence on faith and baptism as necessary for salvation, and the list of 'signs' that will accompany those who believe: exorcisms (see Mark 6:7, 13), speaking in new tongues (Acts 2:6; 1 Cor 14:2–5), handling serpents (Acts 28:3–5), drinking poison without harm (Eusebius, Hist. eccl. 3.39), and healing through the imposition of hands (Mark 6:13; Jas 5:14–15)" (John R. Donahue and Daniel J. Harrington, The Gospel of Mark [Sacra Pagina 2; Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 2002], 463).
     
  • "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. In the whole of the Longer Ending the only element which is not easily accounted for on the basis of familiarity with the other gospels and Acts is the emphasis in v. 18 on handling poisonous snakes and drinking poison: the former perhaps reflects the single instance of (involuntary) snake-handling in Acts 28:3–6, but the expectation of these two activities as regular ‘signs’ is the one distinctive contribution which the Longer Ending makes. In all other respects vv. 9–20 have something of a ‘secondhand’ flavour, and look like a pastiche of elements drawn from the other gospels and Acts. . . . For these reasons, the almost unanimous conclusion of modern scholarship is that both the Shorter and Longer Endings, in their different ways, represent well-meaning attempts, probably sometime in the second century, to fill the perceived gap left by the ‘unfinished’ ending at 16:8, in the case of the Longer Ending by drawing eclectically on what had by then become the familiar traditions of the post-apostolic church" (R. T. France, The Gospel of Mark: A Commentary on the Greek Text [New International Greek Testament Commentary; Grand Rapids, MI; Eerdmans, 2002], 686–687).
     
  • "Like the shorter (additional) ending, the longer ending was appended to Mark because 16:8 seemed to be a deficient conclusion in comparison with those of Matthew, Luke, and John. It was composed by the adaptation of ideas and motifs from Mark, Matthew, Luke, John, and Acts. It affirms that one of the three women who discovered the empty tomb, Mary of Magdala, also received an appearance of the risen Jesus. It is perhaps implied that it was this appearance that enabled her to overcome her fear and report to the disciples. The first appearance account (vv. 9–11) is a partial harmonization of (extended) Mark with John 20. In both texts, Mary is the first one to see the risen Lord. Unlike the longer ending, John 20:8 speaks about the belief of 'the other disciple' (ὁ ἄλλος μαθητής), although the statement in v. 9 qualifies his belief. The second appearance account (vv. 12–13) is, in effect, a partial harmonization of Mark with Luke, since it summarizes the story of the appearance at Emmaus in Luke 24:13–35. The third appearance account is the most distinctive, although it also had its literary models. It harmonizes Mark with Matthew, Luke, and John insofar as it, like them, presents an appearance of the risen Jesus to the eleven remaining disciples of the inner circle" (Adela Yarbro Collins, Mark: A Commentary on the Gospel of Mark [Hermeneia; Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2007], 817–818).
     
  • "Overall, 16:9–20 gives the impression of being a compressed digest of resurrection appearances narrated in other Gospels (John 20:14–18; Luke 24:13–43; John 20:27–29; Matt 28:18–20; Luke 24:50–51; Acts 1:9–11). Theoretically, to be sure, the resurrection narratives in the other Gospels could be expansions of the notices in Mark 16:9–20. But Mark is generally more detailed than Matthew and Luke in the passages that all three share. By contrast, the narratives in 16:9–20 are sketchy, and at least one of them, the story of the appearance to two travelers 'in another form' (Mark 16:12–13), is so compressed that it would not make sense to readers who did not know Luke's Emmaus story (Luke 24:13–35)" (Joel Marcus, Mark 8–16: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary [Anchor Yale Bible 27A; New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009], 1090).
     
  • "The longer text of 16:9–20 looks mostly like a summary of the ends of the other Gospels. It has an appearance to Mary Magdalene, who, when she tells the story, is not believed (vv 9–11). This echoes John 20:11–18 and Luke 24:11. Jesus appears to two as they travel to the country, and when they return, they are not believed (vv 12–13). This looks like an allusion to the Emmaus road (Luke 24:13–35), but with a different end. Appearing to the eleven, he rebukes them for their lack of faith and gives them a commission to go into the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. He notes that signs will accompany their message (vv 14–18). This echoes Luke 24:38–41 and/or John 20:19, 26. The commission is a variation on Matthew’s commission in Matt 28:19–20. The remarks on salvation are like John 3:18 and 36. The mention of tongues points to Acts 2:4, 10:46, whereas serpents and poison look like Acts 28:3–5. The laying on of hands for the sick parallels Acts 9:17 and 28:8. Then Jesus is taken up into heaven to sit at God’s right hand (v 19). This is an allusion to Acts 1:9–11 and the Peter’s speech context at Acts 2:32–36" (Darrell Bock, Mark [New Cambridge Biblical Commentary; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015], 382–383).
Edited by Nevo
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30 minutes ago, Nevo said:

Notice that Yang doesn't actually engage any of the evidence for a second-century date. He simply declares that he thinks "it cannot be guaranteed whether the LE's author really knew the four gospels and composed the LE by using them; it is possible that he might have used other (oral) traditions that other gospel authors used in order to recount their Appearance story." Well, yes, that's true. It's not guaranteed that the Longer Ending was composed in the second century. But that's where the preponderance of evidence points: 

He doesn't engage because it doesn't really matter for his thesis.  He isn't trying to move the date to the first century, he is just saying that the long ending and the short ending don't have to be created after the other gospels.

His thesis is that the long ending and the short ending weren't created to "harmonize" the ending of the gospel, but instead meant to push an ideology.  He talks about two early Christian ideologies, one where Mary Magdalene has a prominent position in the church and one where Mary Magdalene is replaced by Mary, mother of Jesus, and Peter has a prominent position.  Since Mark ends abruptly, someone in both of these camps decided to append an ending that helps their cause.  The long ending elevates Mary Magdalene while the short ending elevates the other apostles and Peter.

Because of this thesis, the need for having the other gospels already available isn't as important.  The unknown authors aren't harmonizing (especially the short ending), but instead are appending a story that pushes their ideology.  And the sources that the unknown authors use can as easily come from oral traditions as from written gospel texts.

And I don't see how those citations are a "preponderance" for a second century creation.  All they point out is that the long ending was created from the traditions that are also in the gospels.  And since the long ending is a really poor harmonization of the other gospels, I think it fits better as coming from the oral traditions instead of the written gospels.

By the way, how are you quickly finding all of those citations?  Are you getting them from some site or do you have some sort of database of them?  If they are from a site, can you link it so that I could take a look at it?

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13 hours ago, webbles said:

And I don't see how those citations are a "preponderance" for a second century creation.  All they point out is that the long ending was created from the traditions that are also in the gospels.  And since the long ending is a really poor harmonization of the other gospels, I think it fits better as coming from the oral traditions instead of the written gospels.

What they're pointing out is that the points of contact with Mark, Matthew, Luke, John, and Acts suggest that the Longer Ending was composed after those works began to circulate together—i.e., in the second century. As Darrell Bock puts it, "That the traditional longer version (16:9–20) contains mostly a combination of the other Gospels’ endings . . . suggests its secondary character" (Bock, 386). For example, Mark 16:12 ("After this he appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking back into the country") seems to presuppose familiarity with Luke's Emmaus account. This suggests that "the verses were probably written at the beginning of the second century" (Morna D. Hooker, The Gospel according to Saint Mark [Black’s New Testament Commentary; London: Continuum, 1991], 389).

Anyway, we seem to be the last two people in the thread arguing about a relatively minor point, so it's probably time to move on. If you want to believe that the Longer Ending is derived from traditional material independent of the Gospels, go for it. I'm just pointing out that most NT scholars disagree with that position. :)

13 hours ago, webbles said:

By the way, how are you quickly finding all of those citations?  Are you getting them from some site or do you have some sort of database of them?  If they are from a site, can you link it so that I could take a look at it?

Those are commentaries I own, most of which are in digital form (via Logos Bible Software).

 

Addendum:
Raymond Brown, one of the greatest NT scholars of the last half of the 20th century, had this to say about the Longer Ending: "The material resembles resurrection accounts found in Matt and Luke-Acts (and perhaps in John [for Mary Magdalene]), but whether the copyist who composed it drew directly from those Gospels or simply from similar traditions is uncertain" (Raymond E. Brown, An Introduction to the New Testament [New York: Doubleday, 1997], 148n58). I was holding that back because it didn't help my case, but there it is. You're in good company.

Edited by Nevo
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  • 3 weeks later...
7 hours ago, champatsch said:

Sadly, too much of the criticism of King James usage in the Book of Mormon found in the literature derives from non-thorough analysis. The same thing goes for its English usage. Better to consider the fairly thorough work found in the pages of critical text project publications than the musings of dilettantes, some with axes to grind.

So, your considered conclusion, based on careful analysis of the data, is that the Lord transmitted KJV quotations and paraphrases to Joseph Smith word for word, taking care to use an edition of the KJV published after the 1760s and making sure to include numerous anachronisms, errors, and textual corruptions? 

How did you rule out Joseph "altering the text paraphrastically from a biblically saturated memory"?

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9 hours ago, Nevo said:

So, your considered conclusion, based on careful analysis of the data, is that the Lord transmitted KJV quotations and paraphrases to Joseph Smith word for word, taking care to use an edition of the KJV published after the 1760s and making sure to include numerous anachronisms, errors, and textual corruptions? 

How did you rule out Joseph "altering the text paraphrastically from a biblically saturated memory"?

Because the quoting isn't paraphrastic. It's too close to the original. There's a lot of lengthy quoting that is word for word.

Another thing that is striking is that there are many complex differences between King James and Book of Mormon readings. This means that Joseph Smith would have had to dictate from a Bible that had been carefully prepared beforehand. That would have taken a not insignificant amount of prep time. There would also have had to be careful preparation by Joseph Smith in order to insert the 36 longer quotes at the right places.

But the manuscripts and the dictation witnesses agree that a Bible was not used by Joseph Smith to dictate the biblical quoting passages.

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On 9/10/2021 at 3:43 PM, Tacenda said:

The only way out of this situation is to believe Joseph Smith added biblical teachings to the BoM.

Nah... There are lots of possibilities. A likely one is that the source used by other early Mark manuscripts we do have, was missing its last page, so that all the later copies from it were also missing these words, but that at the same time there was another manuscript tradition that had the last page, and this was eventually found, and used for later manuscript copying. There are other examples of multiple(and verbally different) manuscript traditions... we just happen to have both examples for them. In this case the earliest examples of the longer manuscript tradition are just missing. Fair Dinkum was purely speculating. We are missing virtually all the manuscript evidence from the first three centuries of the Church... Why is that? Because Christianity was illegal...and persecuted....and the Romans would gather up manuscripts they found to burn them....so the evidence got destroyed. What comes out of this is manuscripts in Greek and in Syriac(the Peshitta). We are simply missing virtually all of the earlier manuscript evidence. Assuming we have it all for arguments like this is pure folly.

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On 9/11/2021 at 6:07 PM, mfbukowski said:

I never said anything opposed to that.  Of course we construct these beliefs- by revelation.  We interpret the bible, for example, the bible is a human construction revealed by God a human who knows how we think.  We put together 1+1 and come up with an interpretation of the WORDS of the bible.  Words are not direct experiences, they are abstractions from reality, but are the best tools we have available from which to construct paradigms.= so we have one interpretation that results in the trinity and another that results in the Godhead.

Which is best for us individually to understand?

No one understands the Trinity- and yet most Christians agree it that is true.   So I pick the Godhead because I know what it is for me to be "one" with others in situations as different as rooting for a ball team, or loving my spouse.

So three persons being "one"- ??   No problem,

And then I pray about it and God confirms that my interpretation is the best one for my way of thinking, to draw myself closer to Him.  You may have a different construction that is best for you.

Both are right depending on the individual and their proclivities- there are many roads to God depending on our environment, genetics, language, background etc.

The mere fact that we are clearly "biologically predisposed to look for purpose and meaning in life," proves the point.   THAT is the important point.

Language is abstract and a distortion of reality so we MUST construct our own meanings by extrapolating from language- that is obvious.

Seeking for anything BEYOND what is humanly constructed is the illusion.   Read the Rorty quote below again please please until you can make sense of it.

I will yet again translate it into easier langauge line by line.  I chose Rorty because he clearly and lucidly captures the contemporary philosophies predominant in our culture today.

I will underline my words, and keep Rorty's words as he wrote them.

R: " To say that the world is out there, that it is not our creation, is to say, with common sense, that most things in space and time are the effects of causes which do not include human mental states.  

MB:  We all share a world we did not create.  Most "things" in space and time- which we see around us clearly are not our mental creations, there is SOMETHING "beneath " what we see that causes us to mentally perceive the things of the world around us.  Our eyes take in light and our brain translates those nerve impulses into what we call "chairs and tables".   So when we attach words to things we see, we are using our brains to INTERPRET the appearances as our brain sees them- therefore making them "human constructions"

R: To say that truth is not out there is simply to say that where there are no sentences, there is no truth, that sentences are elements of human languages, and that human languages are human creations.

MB: "Truth"- the concept- is not about what underlies language.  There are no "True" cars or tables- though we might speak that way- there are only true descriptions like "The car is red" - in language.  AND language itself is a human creation or construction. Truth is a PROPERTY of sentences, not of things in the world

R: Truth cannot be out there- cannot exist independently of the human mind- because sentences cannot so exist, or be out there.

MB: Sentences are not things in the world, but things we created in language.  If truth is a property of sentences- then truth is a human construction. 

R: The world is out there, but descriptions of the world are not.  Only descriptions of the world can be true or false.  The world on its own- unaided by the describing activities of human beings- cannot."  

MB: Descriptions OF the world are are not things IN the world- you cannot bump into or fall over a description!   Yet only descriptions can be true or false- again there are no "true" tables or chairs, SO the world as we perceive it is the only "world" we can talk about.   In a sense, without human language and descriptions, the world as we know it cannot even be SAID to "exist"

Something is out there, but without language it cannot be described or be called "true"

Richard Rorty- Contingency Irony and Solidarity, P 5.

So now back to your point.

Purpose and meaning and stories do not exist "out there"- in the world.  You cannot trip over them- no stubbing the toe by stepping on "meaning"

The CAN ONLY exist as human constructions in language.  So you are right!

I'd like to introduce you to the treecats of Sphinx. Read "A Beautiful Friendship " by David Weber.

We are all going to get together in the Celestial Kingdom and create some real tree cats.

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On 9/14/2021 at 11:30 AM, Danzo said:

Just a little diagreement here, I have been married to a mesoamerican for the last twenty years and have a lot of experience living and interacting with them (Mixtec from the autonomous mixtec zone in Oaxaca).

These people understand quite will the concept of indebtness without money.  Almost everything you do creates some sense of indebtness that has to be repaid, mostly in kind.   It took me a while to realize that almost all "Gifts" came with an expectation of repayment and a sense of indebtedness.   They are remembered years later and I have even had to repay (with gifts) on behalf of debts from other family memebers.  Even the taxes in that region are paid in kind, usually with labor, rather than in money. 

The system is quite complicated, but the sense of indebtedness is real and the expectation for repaymet is real.  I have even found when trying to contact less active members of the church from that region that I can show up with a Gift and they will be obligated to come to my house with a gift.

In oaxaca they have a word for it "Guelaguetza"  

"La tradición de la Guelaguetza define al pueblo oaxaqueño, desde tiempos históricos hasta hoy. La palabra deriva del zapoteco y esta misma significa "intercambio de regalos y servicios" y se refiere a las relaciones recíprocas que unen a la gente. "

Sorry for the spanish quotation, the english Wikipedia only talks about the festival witth the same name. 

That sounds horrific.

Reminds me of that statement about gift-giving being an act of aggression.

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