The Berean Expositor
Volume 30 - Page 172 of 179
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The Volume of the Book.
#34.  An Examination of Evidences.
The R.V. Readings of Mark 16: 9-20 and Luke 2: 14.
pp. 37 - 40
Let us now examine one or two passages in the R.V. where serious alterations have
been made in the actual Greek Text, and discover, if we can, what is the evidence, both
for and against the alternative readings.
The Last Twelve Verses of Mark 16:
Westcott and Hort place these verses in brackets, and in the Revised Version there is a
wide space between verse 8 and 9, with the following note in the margin:
"The two oldest Greek manuscripts and some other authorities omit from verse 9 to
the end. Some other authorities have a different ending to the Gospel."
The ordinary reader would naturally assume from this that the evidence in favour of
the omission is so strong that it is doubtful whether these verses should be used in any
argument or as a basis for teaching. Yet the facts of the case produce a very different
effect upon the mind, and one wonders what ulterior motives could have prompted the
marginal note and the brackets introduced by Westcott and Hort.
The Vaticanus and Sinaiticus omit the verses concerned, and a few late MSS exhibit a
wretched alternative. Eusebius also says that these verses were often omitted. On the
other hand, over against this testimony, we have the following consentient voice of
2ND CENTURY.--The Old Latin and the Syriac Versions.
Justyn Martyr, Irenaeus and Tertullian.
Before, therefore, the Vatican or the Sinaitic MSS were written, there existed this
ancient evidence to the fact that Mark 16: 9-20 formed a part of the Received Text.
3RD CENTURY.--The Coptic and the Sahidic Versions.
Vincentius  and  the seventh council of Carthage,  the Acta Pilati,  and
the Apostolical Constitutions.
Here, then, is abundant evidence that these verses were accepted as genuine before
ever the Vatican Manuscript saw the light.
The Vaticanus is considered to belong to the fourth century, and it will be interesting
to see next what evidence this century has to offer.