Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Last Twelve Verses of Mark further defended

The post I wrote two weeks ago about the unwarranted doubt of the last verses of Mark was just a sudden inspiration I had on the subject, not expecting to have more to say. But I got a very encouraging comment on that post from a pastor James Snapp about it, with a link to his website where he has a summary of his own research into the manuscript evidence for the authenticity of the verses, and an invitation to write for his complete study. It looks very thorough and well worth reading but I don't think I have enough scholarly patience to pursue it myself right now, knowing that he has to address the many speculations and hypotheses about unknowable historical possibilities. I hope others will have the desire to follow it on out though.

Here is the manuscript summary at his own church site.

But it is also available for download at this address: Here's the site owner's introduction, and here's the whole manuscript.

(Some of the labels I've attached to this post reflect content in Pastor Snapp's study of the Bible manuscripts).


As I said in my own post on the subject, the only reason this passage is held in doubt is that Westcott and Hort happened to prefer a couple of early Greek manuscripts to those that had previously been accepted as the authoritative Greek text. Not only do the W&H manuscripts have really very little to recommend their authority over the traditional texts when you are aware of all the evidence, but they are notorious for throwing readings into doubt that had been accepted by Christians for all the centuries up until 1881 when W&H cast their spell over our Bible. Oh yes, there are many reasonings based on the texts themselves that support that doubting mentality, but it all started with those two men and their very questionable qualifications and their subterfuge in massively altering the Bible text when they were only commissioned to do a minimum of updating. Unfortunately those who defend this line of Bibles also manage to keep themselves from knowing about the arguments against it, such as the work of Dean John W Burgon, a contemporary of W&H.