for the Inclusion of
F.H.A. Scrivener, A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of
the New Testament, fourth ed. (London: George
Bell and Sons, 1894), volume 2, pp. 337-344.
realize that Mark 9-20 has been the subject of much
debate and speculation. Is it inspired or not? We believe
that the following discussion is worthy of consideration.
Personally, we believe that if there is any question
of its authenticity, prudence would have us accept
it provisionally as true. RH]
Mark xvi. 9-20. In
Vol. I. Chap. 1, we engaged to defend the authenticity
of this long and important passage, and that without the
slightest misgivings (p. 7). Dean Burgon's brilliant monograph,
'The Last Twelve Verse of the Gospel according to St. Mark
vindicated against recent objectors and established' (Oxford
and London, 1871), has thrown a stream of light upon the
controversy, nor does the joyous tone of his book miscome
one who is conscious of having triumphantly maintained
a cause which is very precious to him. We may fairly say
that his conclusions have in no essential point been shaken
by the elaborate and very able counter-plea of Dr. Hort
(Notes, pp. 28-51).
whole paragraph is set apart by itself in the critical
editions of Tischendorf and Tregelles.
Besides this, it is placed within double brackets by
Westcott and Hort, and followed by the wretched supplement
from Cod. L (vide infra), annexed as an alternative
Out of all the great manuscripts, the two oldest (א B) stand alone in omitting vers. 9-20 altogether. 1 Cod. B, however, betrays consciousness on the scribe's
part that something is left out, inasmuch as after εφοβουντο γαρ ver.
8, a whole column is left perfectly blank (the only
blank one in the whole volume 2), as well as the rest of the column containing ver.
8, which is usual in Cod. B at the end of every other book
No such peculiarity attaches to Cod. א.
The testimony of L, that close companion of B, is very
suggestive. Immediately after ver. 8 the copyist breaks
off; then in the same hand (for all corrections in this
manuscript seem prima manu: see p. 138), at the
top of the next column we read ... φερετε που και ταυτα ... παντα δε τα παρηγγελμενα τοις περι του πετρον συντομωσ εξηγγιλαν μετα δε ταυτα και αυτος ο ισ απο ανατολησ και αχρι δυσεωσ εξαπεστιλεν δι αυτων το ιερον και αφθαρτον κηρυγμα τησ αιωνιου σωτηριασ ... εστην δε και ταυτα φερομενα μετα το εφοβουντο γαρ ... Αναστασ δε, πρωι πρωτη σαββατ κ.τ.λ.,,
ver. 9, ad fin. capit. (Burgon's facsimile,
facing his page 113: our facsimile No. 21): as if
verses 9-20 were just as little to be regarded as the trifling
apocryphal supplement 3 which
these, the twelve verses are omitted in none but some
old Armenian codices 4 and
two of the Ethiopic, k of the Old Latin, and an
Arabic Lectionary [ix] No. 13, examined by Scholz in the
Vatican. The Old Latin Codex k puts in their room
a corrupt and careless version of the subscription in L
ending with σωτηριας (k adding αμην):
the same subscription being appended to the end of the
Gospel in the two Ethiopic manuscripts, and (with αμην)
in the margin of 274 and the Harkleian. Not unlike is the
marginal note in Hunt. 17 or Cod. 1 of the Bohairic, translated
by Bishop Lightfoot above. Of cursive Greek manuscripts
137, 138, which Birch had hastily reported as marking the
passage with an asterisk, each contains the marginal annotation
given below, which claims the passage as genuine, 138 with
no asterisk at all, 137 (like 36 and others) with an ordinary
mark of reference from the text to the note, where (of
course) it is repeated. 5
manuscripts contain marginal scholia respecting it, of
which the following is the substance. Cod. 199 has τελος 6 after εφοβουντο γαρ and
before Αναστας δε,
and in the same hand as τελος we
read, εν τισι των αντιγραφων ου κειται ταυτα, αλλ ενταυθα καταπαυει. The
kindred Codd. 20, 215, 300 (but after ver. 15, not ver.
8) mark the omission in some (τισι)
copies, adding εν δε τοις αρχαιοις παντα απαραλειπτα κειται,
and these had been corrected from Jerusalem copies (see
pp. 161 and note, 193). Cod. 573 has for a subscription εγραφη και αντεβληθη ομοιως εκ των εσπουδασμενων κεφαλαιοις σλζ:
where Burgon, going back to St. Matthew's Gospel (see p.
161, note) infers that the old Jerusalem copies must have
contained our twelve verses. Codd. 15, 22 conclude at εφοβουντο γαρ,
then add in red ink that in some copies the Evangelist
ends here, εν πολλοις δε και ταυτα φερεται,
affixing verses 9-20. In Codd. 1, 250 (in its duplicate
206 also), 209, is the same notice, αλλοις standing
for πολλοις in
206, with the additional assertion that Eusebius "canonized" no
further than ver. 8, a statement which is confirmed by
the absence of the Ammonian and Eusebian numerals beyond
that verse in אALSU
and at least eleven cursives, with am. fuld. ing. of
would be no marvel if Eusebius, the author of this harmonizing
system, had consistently acted upon
his own rash opinion respecting the paragraph,
an opinion which we shall have to notice presently, and
on his part would have added nothing to the strength
of the adverse case. But it does not seem that he really
so. These numerals appear in most manuscripts,
and in all parts of them, with a good deal of variation
which we can
easily account for.
the present instance they are annexed to ver. 9 and the
rest of the passage in
and (with some changes) in GHMΓΔΛ and
many others: in Cod. 566 the concluding sections
are there (σλδ ver.
11, σλε ver.
12, σλς ver.
14) without the canons. In their respective
margins the annotated
codices 12 (of Scholz), 24, 36, 37, 40, 41,
108, 129, 137, 138, 143, 181, 186, 195, 210,
222, 237, 238, 255,
259, 299, 329, 374 (twenty-four in all), present
in substance 7 the same weighty testimony in favour of the passage: παρα πλειστοις αντιγραφοις ου κειται (thus
far also Cod. 119, adding only ταυτα, αλλ ενταυθα καταπαυει) εν τω παροντι ευαγγελιω, ως νοθα νομισαντες αυτα ειναι αλλα ημεις εξ ακριβων αντιγραφων εν πλειστοις ευροντες αυτα και κατα το Παλαιστιναιον ευαγγελιον Μαρκου, ως εχει η αληθεια, συντεθεικαμεν και την εν αυτω επιφερομενην δεσποτικην αναστασιν.
this is none other than an extract from Victor of Antioch's
[v] commentary on St. Mark, which they all annex in full
to the sacred text, and which is expressly assigned to
that Father in Codd. 12, 37, 41. Yet these very twenty-four
manuscripts have been cited by critical editors as adverse
to the authenticity of a paragraph which their scribes
never dreamt of calling into question, but had simply copied
Victor's decided judgement in its favour His appeal to
the famous Palestine codices which had belonged to Origen
and Pamphilus (see p. 55 and note), is found in twenty-one
of them, possibly these documents are akin to the Jerusalem
copies mentioned in Codd. Evan. Λ,
20, 164, 262, 300, &c.
All other codices, e.g. ACD (which is defective from
ver. 15, prima manu) EFWGH (begins ver. 14) KMSUVXΓΔΠ,
33, 69, the Peshitto, Jerusalem and Curetonian Syriac (which
last, by a singular happiness, contains verses 17-20, though
no other part of St. Mark), the Harkleian text, the Sahidic
(only ver. 20 is preserved), the Bohairic and Ethiopic
(with the exceptions already named), the Gothic (to ver.
12), the Vulgate, all extant Old Latins except k (though
a prima manu and b are defective), the Georgian,
the printed Armenian, its later manuscripts, and all the
lesser versions (Arabic, &c.), agree in maintaining
It is cited, possibly by Papias, unquestionably
by Irenaeus (both in Greek and Latin), by Tertullian,
and by Justin Martyr 8 as early as the second century; by Hippolytus (see
Tregelles, An Account of the Printed Text, p. 252), by
Vincentius at the seventh Council of Carthage, by the Acta
Pilati, the Apostolic Constitutions, and apparently by
Celsus in the third; by Aphraates (in a Syriac Homily dated
A.D. 337), the Syriac Table of Canons, Eusebius, Macarius
Magnes, Didymus, the Syraic Acts of the Apostles, Leontius,
Ps.-Ephraem. Jerome, Cyril of Jerusalem, 9 Epiphanius, Ambrose, Augustine, Chrysostom, in the
fourth; by Leo, Nestorius, Cyril of Alexandria, Victor
of Antioch, Patricius, Marius Mercator, in the fifth; by
Hesychius, Gregentius, Prosper, John, abp. of Thessalonica,
and Modestus, in the fifth and sixth. 10
Add to this, what has been so forcibly stated by
Burgon (ubi supra, p. 205), that in the Calendar
of Greek Church lessons, which existed certainly in the
fourth century, very probably much earlier, the disputed
verses were honoured by being read as a special matins
service for Ascension Day (see p. 81), and as the Gospel
for St. Mary Magdalene's Day, July 22 (p. 89); as well
as by forming the third of the eleven ευαγγελια αναστασιμα εωθινα,
the preceding part of the chapter forming the second (p.
85): so little were they suspected as of even doubtful
The earliest objector to vers. 9-20 we know of was
Eusebius (Quaest. ad Marin.), who tells us that they were
not εν απασι τοις αντιγραφοις,
but after εφοβουντο γαρ that τα εξης are
found σπανιως εν τισιν,
yet not τα ακριβη:
language which Jerome twice echoes and almost exaggerates
by saying, 'in raris fertur Evangeliis, omnibus Graeciae
libris paene hoc capitulum fine non habentibus.'
cause with Eusebius for rejecting them is μαλιστα ειπερ εχοιεν αντιλογιαν τη των λοιπων ευαγγελιστων μαρτυρια. 12 The language of Eusebius has been minutely examined
by Dean Burgon, who proves to demonstration that all the
subsequent evidence which has been alleged against the
passage, whether of Severus, or Hesychius, or any other
writer down to Euthymius Zigabenus in the twelfth century,
is a mere echo of the doubts and difficulties of Eusebius,
if indeed he is not retailing to us at second-hand one
of the fanciful Biblical speculations of Origen. Jerome's
recklessness in statement as been already noticed (Vol.
II. p. 269); besides that, he is a witness on the other
side, both in his own quotations of the passage and in
the Vulgate, for could he have inserted the verses there,
if he had judged them to be spurious?
With regard to the argument against these twelve
verses arising from their alleged difference in style from
the rest of the Gospel, I must say that the same process
might be applied — and has been applied — to prove that
St. Paul was not the writer of the Pastoral Epistles (to
say nothing of that to the Hebrews), St. John of the Apocalypse,
Isaiah and Zechariah of portions of those prophecies that
bear their names. Every one used to literary composition
may detect, if he will, such minute variations as have
been made so much of in this case, 13 either in his own writings, or in those of the authors
he is most familiar with.
Persons who, like Eusebius, devoted themselves to
the pious task of constructing harmonies of the Gospels,
would soon perceive the difficulty of adjusting the events
recorded in vers. 9-20 to the narratives of the other Evangelists.
Alford regards this inconsistency (more apparent than real,
we believe) as 'a valuable testimony to the antiquity of
the fragment' (N.T. ad loc.): we would go further,
and claim for the harder reading the benefit of any critical
doubt as to its genuineness (Canon I. Vol. II. p. 247).
The difficulty was both felt and avowed by Eusebius, and
was recited after him by Severus of Antioch or whoever
wrote the scholion attributed to him.
Whatever Jerome and
the rest may have done, these assigned the αντιλογια,
the εναντιωσις they
thought they perceived, as a reason (not the first, nor
perhaps the chief, but still as a reason) for supposing
that the Gospel ended with εφοβουντο γαρ.
Yet in the balance of probabilities, can anything be
more unlikely than that St. Mark broke off so abruptly
hypothesis would imply, while no ancient writer has noticed
or seemed conscious of any such abruptness? 14 This fact has driven those who reject the concluding
verses to the strangest fancies: — namely, that, like Thucydides,
the Evangelist was cut off before his work was completed,
or even that the last leaf of the original Gospel was torn
We emphatically deny that such wild surmises 15 are called for by the state of the evidence in this
case. All opposition to the authenticity of the paragraph
resolves itself into the allegations of Eusebius and the
testimony of אB.
Let us accord to these the weight which is their due: but
against their verdict we can appeal to a vast body of ecclesiastical
evidence reaching back to the earlier part of the second
century; 16 to nearly all the versions; and to all extant manuscripts
excepting two, of which one is doubtful.
is it vouched for, that many of those who are reluctant
to recognize St. Mark as its author, are content to regard
it notwithstanding as an integral portion of the inspired
record originally delivered to the Church. 17
Scrivener's Footnotes (renumbered)
1. I have ventured but slowly to vouch for Tischendorf's
notion, that six leaves of Cod. א, that
containing Mark xvi.2-Luke i.56 being one of them,
were written by the scribe of Cod. B. On mere identity
of handwriting and the peculiar shape of certain letters
who shall insist? Yet there are parts of the case which
I know not how to answer, and which have persuaded even
Dr. Hort. Having now arrived at this conclusion our inference
is simple and direct, that at least in these leaves, Codd. א B make but one witness, not two.
2. The cases of Nehemiah, Tobit, and Daniel, in the
Old Testament portion of Cod. B, are obviously in no wise
parallel in regard to their blank columns.
3. Of which supplement Dr. Hort says unexpectedly
enough, 'In style it is unlike the ordinary narratives
of the Evangelists, but comparable to the four introductory
verses of St. Luke's Gospel' (Introduction, p. 298).
4. We ought to add that some Armenian codices which
contain the paragraph have the subscription 'Gospel after
Mark' at the end of verse 8 as well as of verse 20, as
though their scribes, like Cod. L's, knew of a double ending
to the Gospel.
5. Burgon (Guardian, July 12, 1882) speaks
of seven manuscripts (Codd. 538, 539 being among them)
wherein these last twelve verses begin on the right hand
of the page. This would be more significant if a space
were left, as is not stated, at the foot of the preceding
page. In Cod. 550 the first letter α is
small, but covers an abnormally large space.
6. Of course no notice is to be taken of τελος after εφοβουντο γαρ,
as the end of the ecclesiastical lesson is all that is
intimated. The grievous misstatements of preceding critics
from Wetstein and Scholz down to Tischendorf, have been
corrected throughout by means of Burgon's laborious researches
(Burgon, pp. 114-123).
7. The minute variations between these several codices
are given by Burgon (Appendix E, pp. 288-90). Cod. 255
contains a scholion imputed to Eusebius, from which Griesbach
had drawn inferences which Burgon (Last Twelve Verses, &c.,
Postscript, pp. 319-23) has shown to be unwarranted by
the circumstances of the case.
8. Dr. C. Taylor, Master of St. John's College, Cambridge,
in The Expositor for July 1893, quotes more evidence
from Justin Martyr — hinting that some also remains behind — proving
that that Father was familiar with these verses. Also he
cites several passages from the Epistle of Barnabas in
which traces of them occur, and from the Quartodeciman
controversy, and from Clement of Rome. The value of the
evidence which Dr. Taylor's acute vision has discovered
consists chiefly in its cumulative force. From familiarity
with the passage numerous traces of it arose; or as Dr.
Taylor takes the case reversely, from the fact of the occurrence
of numerous traces evident to a close observer, it is manifest
that there pre-existed in the minds of the writers a familiarity
with the language of the verses in question.
9. It is surprising that Dr. Hort, who lays very
undue stress upon the silence of certain early Christian
writers that had no occasion for quoting the twelve verses
in their extant works, should say of Cyril of Jerusalem,
who lived about A.D. 349, that his 'negative evidence is
peculiarly cogent' (Notes, p. 37). To our mind it is not
at all negative. Preaching on a Sunday, he reminds his
hearers of a sermon he had delivered the day before, and
which he would have them keep in their thoughts. One of
the topics he briefly recalls is the article of the Creed τον καθισαντα εκ δεξιων του πατρος.
He must inevitably have used Mark xvi. 19 in his Saturday's
10. Several of these references are derived from
'The Revision Revised,' p. 423.
11. Nor were these verses used in the Greek Church
only. Vers. 9-20 comprised the Gospel for Easter Monday
in the old Spanish or Mozarabic Liturgy, for Easter Tuesday
among the Syrian Jacobites, for Ascension Day among the
Armenians. Vers. 12-20 was the Gospel for Ascension Day
in the Coptic Liturgy (Malan, Original Documents, iv. p.
63): vers. 16-20 in the old Latin Comes
12. To get rid of one apparent αντιφωνια,
that arising from the expression πρωι τη μια του σαββατου (sic),
ver. 9, compared with οψε σαββατων Matt.
xxvii. 1, Eusebius proposes the plan of setting a stop
between Αναστας δε and πρωι,
so little was he satisfied with rudely expunging the whole
clause. Hence Cod. E puts a red cross after δε:
Codd. 20, 22, 34, 72, 193, 196, 199, 271, 345, 405, 411,
456, have a colon: Codd. 332, 339, 340, 439, a comma (Burgon, Guardian,
Aug. 20, 1873).
13. The following peculiarities have been noticed
in these verses: εκεινος used
absolutely, vers. 10, 11, 13; πορευομαι vers.
10, 12, 15; τοις μετ αυτου γενομενοις ver.
10; θεαομαι vers.
11, 14; απιστεω vers.
11, 16; μετα ταυτα ver.
12; ετερος ver.
12; παρακολουθεω ver.
17; εν τω ονοματι ver.
17; κυριος for
the Saviour, vers. 19, 20; πανταχου, συνεργουντος, βεβαιοω, επακολουθεω ver.
20, all of them as not found elsewhere in St. Mark. A very
able and really conclusive plea for the genuineness of
the paragraph, as coming from that Evangelist's pen, appeared
in the Baptist Quarterly, Philadelphia, July, 1869,
bearing the signature of Professor J. A. Broadus, of South
Carolina. Unfortunately, from the nature of the case, it
does not admit of abridgement. Burgon's ninth chapter (pp.
136-190) enters into full details, and amply justifies
his conclusion that the supposed adverse argument from
phraseology 'breaks down hopelessly under severe analysis.'
14. 'Can any one, who knows the character of the
Lord and of his ministry, conceive for an instant that
we should be left with nothing but a message baulked through
the alarm of women' (Kelley, Lectures Introductory to the
Gospels, p. 258). Even Dr. Hort can say, 'It is incredible
that the Evangelist deliberately concluded either a paragraph
with εφοβουντο γαρ,
or the Gospel with a petty detail of a secondary event,
leaving his narrative hanging in the air' (Notes, p. 46).
15. When Burgon ventures upon a surmise, one which
is probability itself by the side of those we have been
speaking of, Professor Abbot (ubi supra, p. 197)
remarks upon it that 'With Mr. Burgon a conjecture seems
to be a demonstration.' We will not be deterred by dread
of any such reproach from mentioning his method of accounting
for the absence of these verses from some very early copies,
commending it to the reader for what it may seem worth.
After a learned and exhaustive proof that the Church lessons,
as we now have them, existed from very early times (Twelve
Verses, pp. 191-211), and noting that an important lesson
ended with Mark xvi. 8 (see Calendar of Lessons); he supposes
which would stand at the end of such a lesson, misled some
scribe who had before him an exemplar of the Gospels whose
last leaf (containing Mark xvi. 9-20, or according to Codd.
20, 215, 300 only vers. 16-20) was lost, as it might easily
be in those older manuscripts wherein St. Mark stood last.
16. The codex lately discovered by Mrs. Lewis is
said to omit the verses. But what is that against a host
of other codices? And when the other MS. of the Curetonian
includes the verses? Positive testimony is worth more than
17. Dr. Hort, however, while he admits the possibility
of the leaf containing vers. 9-20 having been lost in some
very early copy, which thus would become the parent of
transcripts having a mutilated text (Notes, p. 49), rather
inconsistently arrives at the conclusion that the passage
in question 'manifestly cannot claim any apostolic authority;
but it is doubtless founded on some tradition of the apostolic
age' (ibid. p. 51).