The last session of The Last Twelve Verses of Mark conference is a panel discussion.
Question: (to Dr. Robinson) If Peter is the source of Markâ€™s gospel, why would Mark record that Peter did not believe if Luke recorded that Peter did believe?
Answer: (Dr. Robinson) I canâ€™t answer why Mark or Luke would or would not write something.
Question: (to Drs. Elliott and Bock) Can you respond to Troebischâ€™s work on canonicity? Specifically, can the longer ending be canonical but not original?
Answer: (Dr. Elliott) I would be happy to go along with the argument that the longer ending is canonical though not original. It is the book rather than the position in the corpus or the exact content that determines the canonicity.
Answer: (Dr. Bock) My answer would be very similar. The question is, â€œWhat do you do with the differences between the long ending and other accounts?â€ The longer ending has enough problems to indicate that it is non-canonical. In principle, it seems to me, though, that it is quite possible for a text to be unoriginal, yet canonical. (i.e., Deuteronomy)
Answer: (Dr. Elliott) One postscriptâ€¦ the problems with the longer ending are sufficiently important that certain scribes were hesitant to include the longer ending.
Question: (to Dr. Bock) You said, â€œWhat is taught here is taught elsewhere.â€ Does Jesus command us to take up snakes elsewhere?
Answer: (Dr. Bock) I said, â€œMuch of what is taught here is taught elsewhere.â€ The essential things of the Christian faith are not impacted by the loss of the longer ending. I tell my students that they should rank their decisions much like the UBS editors do, using an A, B, C scale. We need to recognize the kind of judgments that we make. Sometimes we appeal to the Spirit, which is just a way to end the discussion. But, if I have the right to appeal to the Spirit, then someone else has the right to appeal to the Spirit. We have to be careful how we import our connecting the dots with the dots themselves. (Alan: I really think Dr. Bock read my blog entries from last week. Iâ€™m sure he couldnâ€™t come up with this on his own. )
Answer: (Dr. Black) Can I say something about the rating system in the UBS text? Dr. Metzger opposed the rating system. But Nida thought the rating system would help translators. I find it interesting that between the 3rd and 4th edition that not one change was made in the text, but all the ratings went up. They got rid of the D ratings, the Dâ€™s became Câ€™s, the Câ€™s became Bâ€™s, the Bâ€™s became Aâ€™s. You need to ignore the rating system and explore the evidence for yourself on a case by case basis.
Answer: (Dr. Elliott) I support that. I am on the record as saying, â€œThis rating system is ludicrous.â€ I wonder if they raised the ratings because they were afraid they were causing the readers to be skeptical.
Answer: (Dr. Bock) The point you are making about the rating system is right. But, that doesnâ€™t affect the fact that judgments need to be made. The facts do not change, but the way we react to those facts change as our presuppositions change. We all know where we are making our judgments and why. There is some value in appreciating that part of the process as you reflect on why you make your judgments.
Answer: (Dr. Black) Concerning dots and lines, why do we continue to neglect the synoptic problem and the patristic evidence? Why are these not dots? Have you automatically ruled it out?
Answer: (Dr. Robinson) I did deliberately neglect that dot, because I see this as a text critical question instead of as a synoptic issue. I put this in a footnote in my paper. On another issue, each â€œnon-endingâ€ that Dr. Bock mentioned was from Luke, not Mark. I would have liked it nothing better than if all Byzantine manuscripts had omitted the longer ending of Mark. It would have refuted some of the theology of Ky and Tn. I am compelled by the force of the evidence to say, â€œOkay, itâ€™s original, now I must deal with it.â€
Answer: (Dr. Wallace) I want to go back to the original question, if I can remember the original question. Between the 3rd and 4th editions of the UBS text, the evidence did not change, but the editors did change.
Question: (to Dr. Wallace) Could you believe the Matthew is first, but the non-ending of Mark is original, or are they linked?
Answer: (Dr. Wallace) Many who hold to Matthean priority can still hold to Mark ending at 16:8. Others accept the longer ending. Until Dr. Robinson said that he believed in Markan priority, I had not heard any Markan prioritists who hold to the longer ending of Mark. This does not mean that source criticism is driving text criticism, but that the two are linked.
Question: (to Dr. Wallace) What is your take on the use of the optative in the Eusebian quote?
Answer: (Dr. Wallace) I did not translate it, I took it from David Parker. This is talking of Eusebiusâ€™ opinion.
Question: (to Dr. Elliott) If 16:8 was an unintended but original ending (perhaps due to Markâ€™s death), and if there had been another hand that completed the text in order to publish the book with a more satisfying ending as Mark intended, wouldnâ€™t this explain the existence of the longer ending?
Answer: (Dr. Elliott) Perhaps.
Question: (to Dr. Bock) Could you address Parkerâ€™s views before they make a Discovery Channel show about it?
Answer: (Dr. Bock) There are empty tomb stories and appearance stories. Only the appearance stories prove the resurrection. But these stories are not operating in a theological and proclamatory vacuum. These would be proclaiming the bodily resurrection along with the textual evidence.
Question: Wouldnâ€™t the themes in the longer ending be more appropriate to the ending of a Gospel?
Answer: (Dr. Elliott) What you get in the longer ending is a more developed and later addition.
Question: (to Dr. Elliott) You say that the ho kurios title is later theology, but isnâ€™t that early and in the epistles of Paul?
Answer: (Dr. Elliott) Yes, but why are they so modest in the way they describe Jesus. Paul calls him Jesus Christ or Lord Jesus Christ, but why do the Gospel writers simply calling him Jesus? Are they being faithful to their sources? Or are they being deliberately anachronistic?
Answer: (Dr. Bock) Luke uses the title â€œLordâ€ in narrative, but not in discourse until later. They are telling the story to a degree to which they were experiencing them at the time. Thatâ€™s why you get the emabarassing parts.
Answer: (Dr. Black) I think perhaps linguistics can help us here. Greek words do not have a meaning, but meanings. Also, redaction criticism helps us here. We have to avoid being overly simplistic in these cases. We can argue from the subjective internal evidence. But, I think we should start with the external evidence, and allow the internal evidence to corroborate the external evidence.
Answer: (Dr. Elliott) Concerning the word kurios and the multi-dimensions of the gospelsâ€¦ what does this person mean when they call Jesus â€œkuriosâ€? They could be curteous and call Jesus, â€œMisterâ€, or do the gospel writers recognize that the person is calling Jesus â€œLordâ€.
Answer: (Dr. Black) This is similar to German. Herr can mean â€œmisterâ€ or â€œlordâ€.
Answer: (Dr. Robinson) Keeping in Markan themes, the messianic secret is certainly a Markan theme. Even after the transfiguration, Peter, James, and John are told not to tell anyone until after the resurrection, which would explain the use of kurios in the longer ending.
Question: (to Dr. Bock) Do you believe Peter was the inspiration behind Markâ€™s gospel, and do you find parallels in Peterâ€™s epistles or Peterâ€™s speeches in Acts?
Answer: (Dr. Bock) The answer to your first question is â€œYesâ€. As to the second question, â€œNo, I donâ€™t think so.â€ You have to take audience and purpose into account. We have to examine all of the models and ask which one is more likely.
Answer: (Dr. Wallace) It seems to me that you can construct the long ending because it fits Markâ€™s gospel and theme because the person who put it there had read Markâ€™s gospel. You would expect it to fit. But, it is still the most anomalous passage in Mark.
Question: (to Dr. Robinson) Could it not be argued that Mark does feature open-endedness, for example the young man who fled naked?
Answer: (Dr. Robinson) I agree, but that is not open ended in the same sense as the ending. There is no prediction or prophecy of someone running away naked. We all agree that it is the cumulative evidence that make our conclusions correct.
Answer: (Dr. Wallace) I agree because cumulatively there are two of us and one of you!