From: Bob Eyer
To: Curtis Johnson
Date: Jan 29 1998 3:06:00 am
Subject: doubting gods
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> You didn't even need to pick up the New Testament yourself.
> I posted the verses from the end of GMark to you.
> GMark 16:17-18.  The last words of Jesus before becoming
> an astronaut.

BE> My impression is that most university Bible scholars consider
BE> the correct ending of Mark to be the 8th verse of Chapter 16.

> Ah, don't ruin my strategy!  I wanted to first let his
> dilemma sink in before offering him this way out--which of course
> would only boggle his mind more.
> Of course, as you've probably already noticed, it's
> probably futile to attempt to get Shaugnessy to think enough
> to realize he's in trouble.

Maybe.  But I should imagine a simpler and more direct method
would be appropriate, if put in a sufficiently disinterested

BE> Biblical scholars largely came to this conclusion toward the end
BE> of the last century, as a result of the discovery of two NT Greek
BE> manuscripts older than any that had previously been known:
BE> Vaticanus (located in the Vatican Library, but ignored by the
BE> Catholic Church until the German scholar Tischendorf realised that
BE> it revealed both the Protestant and Catholic 'textus receptus' to
BE> have been peppered with late forgeries) and Sinaiticus (found in
BE> the Sinai Peninsula).  These two mss.  are the only ones which
BE> date as early as the 4th century.

> They are also interesting in having non-canonical texts
> as part of their "New Testament"--Shepherd of Hermas, Epistle of
> Barnabas, etc.


BE> Modern English editions of the Bible (RSV, NIV, NRSV) point out
BE> that the material after Mark 16.8 is not found in the earliest
BE> mss.  There are three major interpolations:  The one usually
BE> found in the KJV is known as the Longer Ending.  It is probably
BE> a forgery.

> The NAB is the only Bible I've seen that actually prints
> these alternate endings.  Amusingly, one of these endings is
> by itself in some MSS, and interpolated into the Longer Ending
> in others (and as you pointed out, the LE itself is an interpol-
> ation!!)

Well, certainly my NRSV has all three texts of these endings. I
presume RSV also has them.

My NIV has only the Longer Ending, but prominently identifies it
as absent from the earliest mss.

Of course, the Complete Gospels and the Five Gospels discuss the
issue in detail.


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