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Perspectives on the Ending of Mark: Four Views Paperback – November 1, 2008
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Let's start with the issue at hand. "Since the two most reliable early manuscripts do not have Mark 16:9-20" (as per the NIV) are the last 12 verses of the gospel of Mark authentic? Does Mark end his gospel at verse 8, as all the modern translations seem to suggest or did he end at verse 20, the so-called long ending (LE), as the majority of manuscripts do? I assumed it was an either or question, who knew there were four possible views! The book did a very good job of differentiating between them.
2 views that say Yes, the long ending is the right ending
Maurice Robinson is Senior Professor of New Testament at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and the author of The New Testament in the Original Greek. He argues that Mark 16:9-20 is original. His is the traditional view that there is not enough evidence to the contrary to doubt the authenticity of the LE. You would think that his presentation would be the most easy to defend, given that his is the position with the most history behind it.Read more ›
Wallace: Five stars (*****)
Robinson: Three stars (***)
Elliott: Three stars (***)
Black: One star (*)
Wallace made the best case for his position, by far. He is strong not only in his handling of the evidence, but also in his careful identification of the presuppositions inherent in the debate. He raised several important points I had not previously considered and also introduced pieces of evidence that the other contributors seemed unaware of.
Robinson makes a few good points. He draws a number of interesting literary parallels, but most of the ones I actually checked by looking them up in my Bible seem much less convincing than he makes them out to be. The essay is marred heavily by the fact that all the subject headings are taken from Marianne Moore's poem, "Poetry," producing an essay that appears to be organized in an entirely nonsensical manner. His use of this poem as an analogy for different versions of Mark is especially unconvincing.
Elliott makes some interesting points about internal evidence as well, and in some ways he is almost a foil to Robinson's essay. However, he is far too dismissive of external testimony. He also proposes a theory that Mark is "damaged at both ends" which I find to be implausible in light of the dearth of textual evidence for this position. The essay's main redeeming quality is the discussion of canonicity at the end of it.
Black's essay is easily the worst. I have enjoyed reading some of Black's material in the past, and I was hoping to read some actual evidence for 16:9-20 as a Markan addition.Read more ›
Biblical apologetics could be described as the act of giving a defense of the Christian scriptures. In order to give a reasoned critique of the Christian scriptures one needs to understand the methods, issues, and arguments surrounding the study of the biblical manuscripts, both interior and exterior critiques. One of the most important issues for the defense of the canonical Gospels is the question of the ending of the Gospel of Mark. Most textual issues have to do with word variation, or the occasional phrase, but with the Gospel of Mark we are dealing with textual variants which bring into question the entire ending of Marks Gospel (16:9-20). Of course the amount of reading that would be necessary to understand the issues is enormous, that it is important for anyone who wishes to begin researching these subjects to have access to a good introductory text which not only articulates the main difficulties, but also provides the necessary references that the interested researcher can use to further pursue his studies. This is why multiple view books, in general, are so important. This book review will be considering Perspectives on the Ending of Mark: 4 Views. Due to the nature of multiple views books I will not be able to interact with the arguments that are proposed by the individual authors. This review will begin be explaining the purpose of this book, and continue by providing an overview of the authors who collaborated in this book, their respective positions and the relative use of this book.
This book is the product of a conference that was held at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2007.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An excellent overview of the issues surrounding the difficulty of the ending of the Gospel of Mark. As a pastor preparing to preach on the ending of the Second Gospel, I found this... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Adam B.
Perspectives on the Ending of Mark: Four Views edited by David Alan Black is a tour de force into one of the most significant textual variants in the New Testament. Read morePublished 2 months ago by John M. Kight
Scholarly work, so it's not light reading. It's an interesting read. I'm not sure that I have dog in this hunt.Published 11 months ago by David S
If you are interested in the the end of Mark it gives a variety of views. The most entertaining but worst is by Black. Read morePublished on April 28, 2014 by Hemet user
The four essays and one response contained in this volume were informative, concise, edifying and accessible. Read morePublished on December 31, 2013 by mahlon smith
The four differing views of the ending of the Book of Mark in the Bible offers enlightening contrast. Read morePublished on November 1, 2013 by Ralph Henson
Mark's ending is the one of the knottiest problems in biblical scholarship. This book of essays will give you a decent update on the various arguments about the Mark's... Read morePublished on October 13, 2013 by Jeri