The Mark 16:9-20 Debate
Believe it or not, some Bible scholars believe that Mark 16:9-20 is not supposed to be a part of our Bibles! They say it was added… I say God wanted it there… and it can be easily proven. This is a work of Satan to take apart God’s Word, and cause doubt and confusion. Let’s leave behind the confusion and doubt and realize how sleezy and pathetic their weak argument really is!
How did they come up with this?
Their big argument is based upon the fact that there are three really old Greek manuscripts (Sinaiticus, Vaticanus & Alexandrian) that are highly respected in the eyes of many merely for their age and two of them (Sinaiticus & Vaticanus) don’t include verses 9 through 20 in Mark 16. Sinaiticus doesn’t include verses 9 through 20 at all, while Vaticanus doesn’t include them either, but Vaticanus leaves space for them at the end of Mark for it (where it was omitted!). The Alexandrian on the other hand, does include all these verses. Some people assume that since two of these respected manuscripts omit verses 9 through 20, that it must have been lost and somebody made up these verses. A very weak argument to say the least.
Satan has tried to question and cast doubt upon the validation of God’s Word from the very beginning (Genesis 3:1), and this is just another prime example of the enemy’s tactics at work today.
What they don’t want you to know
While there are a small handful of Greek manuscripts that omit these verses, there are thousands of other Greek manuscripts that include them! Furthermore, both of these primary Greek manuscripts used in their argument have been through heavy modification by gnostics (cult members) to tamper with scripture to make it support their teaching. These manuscripts have left out massive amounts of scripture! Each of these two corrupt manuscripts have thousands of omissions in the 4 gospels alone! Not to mention, the Vaticanus has left out dozens of entire chapters in the Bible!
Basing any kind of argument on such corrupt manuscripts makes a very weak argument indeed!
It makes it easy to believe that they were removed from those manuscripts, when there were so many other omissions as well. It also makes it hard to argue that they were added to other manuscripts, when that argument is based upon such corrupt texts that is known for it’s omissions.
Satan has been trying to challenge God’s word from day one! What makes us think he’s not trying to do the same thing today?
Proof you can’t ignore
Here’s the straw that broke the camels back in my opinion. Before 200AD, none of our three oldest manuscripts existed. Before any of these manuscripts were written, there were several very well known individuals in the early church, who have quoted many Bible verses that were cut out of of the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus in their writings. There’s ample proof alone from these writings that the ending of Mark was indeed in place in the original manuscripts. One good example is where Irenaeus of Lyons, who knew the apostle John personally, around 100AD wrote, “But Mark in the end of his gospel says, ‘And the Lord Jesus, after that He had spoken to them, was received up into heaven, and sat at the right hand of God.'” Without further to say, I believe this is hard proof that the ending verses of Mark were indeed a part of the Bible long before those 2 ancient manuscripts were even written!
Backing found elsewhere in scripture
For readability sake, I quoted the Mark verses in bold, and below I explain how I feel those statements were backed up elsewhere in scripture.
Verse 9) Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.
John 20:1-13 tells us that Mary Magdalene was the first one that Jesus appeared to after rising from the dead.
Verse 10) And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept.
John 20:18 tells us that she went and told the rest of the disciples.
Verse 11) And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.
Luke 24:11 tells us that the rest of disciples didn’t believe her when she told them that the Lord has risen.
Verse 12) After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.
Luke 24:13-15 tells us that two of them were walking along talking, when suddenly Jesus appeared to them.
Verse 13) And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.
Luke 24:35-38 tells us how the rest of them didn’t really believe that Jesus appeared to the two.
Verse 14) Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.
Luke 24:35-41 tells us how He appeared to the 11 of them, and got onto them for their unbelief.
Verse 15) And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Matthew 18:19, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”
Verse 16) He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
John 3:18 tells us that he who believes will not be condemned, but he who doesn’t believe will be condemned. Acts 2:38 tells us to repent and be baptized for the remission of our sins. Notice that this verse in Mark doesn’t say that if you aren’t baptized, you won’t be saved. It simply puts baptism along side believing, both of which are preached elsewhere in scripture. I believe the believing part is what makes a person saved, and the baptism part is preached elsewhere in scripture as a recommendation for new converts.
Romans 10:9-10 also teaches something ‘beyond belief’ for salvation: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” I believe this is where the sinner’s prayer comes in, because it gives the person that opportunity to confess with their mouth the Lord Jesus.
Many other verses in the early church preach and practice water baptism. Water baptism (baptism unto repentance) is preached in Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16 and Acts 10:48, and it was practiced in the early church in Acts 19:5, Acts 18:8, Acts 16:15, Acts 16:33, Acts 9:18, Acts 8:38, Acts 8:12-13 and Acts 2:41.
Verse 17) And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
Believers casting out devils is backed up by John 14:12, when Jesus said that those who believe will do the works He did (and casting out devils was a big part of what He did). I believe Jude 1:20 helps back up the part on tongues when it tells believers to be building themselves up by praying in the Holy Ghost. Praying in the Spirit and tongues is clearly linked in 1 Corinthians 14:14-15.
Verse 18) They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
The first part, about taking up serpents, etc. is either referring to spiritual protection, or physical protection… or maybe both!
Physical protection can be backed up with Acts 28:3-6, when Paul got bitten by a deadly viper, and it did not harm him at all.
Spiritual protection could be backed up with Luke 10:19, where Jesus told His disciples that they will tread on serpents and scorpions and nothing by any means will harm them.
Healing the sick is one of the works that Jesus did, and said that we would do the works He did and greater in John 14:12.
Verse 19) So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
He ascended into heaven after speaking to them also took place in Luke 24:51. Acts 2:33 tells us that Jesus went and sat at the right hand of God.
Verse 20) And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
Hebrews 2:4 speaks of God confirming the Word with signs and wonders.
It blows me away how God has had His hands on the Bible, and has provided us with the KJV that we have today! Despite what the gnostics tried to do, God had plenty of other manuscripts that didn’t come off of the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus available, so that the Word of God would be preserved and bypass the tampering that was done to some of our oldest scrolls!