Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Original Ending of the Gospel of Mark - 2nd Century Patristic Witness - The Gospel of Peter

1. Introduction of the Issue

  Continuing with an examination of 2nd century witness to the original ending of GMark. We have just seen that GMatthew and GLuke are the earliest Patristic witness for original ending of GMark, testifying for 16:8 due to closely following GMark to 16:8 and than, for GMatthew, largely ignoring 16:9-20, and for GLuke, while having some specific parallels to and generally following the LE, showing a noticeable change in copying style immediately after 16:8. The Gospel of Peter  likewise looks to have GMark as a source through 16:8:

2. Discussion

Who is Mary Schtuppsucker?!


And now, a close examination of The Gospel of Peter. First, a comparison up to 16:8:

  It's clear that GPeter follows GMark reMarkably well for 16:1-8. Most of the additions in GPeter here are commentary on GMark's basic narrative.

  We've seen that GPeter follows GMark remarkably well for 16:1-8. But, it's generally thought that GPeter was written after GMatthew. We've already seen that GMatthew also follows GMark remarkably well for 16:1-8 so the question is, who was GPeter following, GMark, GMatthew or both?

Let's do a comparison than of the three:

  If you can not see the two above images they can be seen here:

Comparison of Peter 50-57 to GMark 16:1-8/GMatthew 28:1-8

We can see than from the above that to 16:8 GPeter follows GMark better than it follows GMatthew = GMark 16:1-8 was likely the main source for GPeter 50-57.

And now a comparison of the LE with post-resurrection narrative in The Gospel of Peter (the part that is extant):

  If you can not see the above image it can be seen here:

Comparison of Peter 58-60 to the LE 

The big difference here is the timing. In GPeter, the eight days of Passover are over when the narrative continues. Note that if there was a post-resurrection appearance in GPeter, it came later than post-resurrection appearances in the LE. For a subsequent author to GMark, who wants a post-resurrection reunion, this is a more gradual edit to one than the LE. GPeter accepts the ending of its base, 16:8, where the women do not tell. The author needs to add an entire pericope just to explain the supposed circumstances of how the disciples did learn that Jesus was resurrected.

Also related to GPeter's acceptance of 16:8 as the ending is that since it is accepted that the women did not tell anyone, the author needs a supposed witness to tell, hence GPeter is written in the first person (Peter). GPeter accepts that Peter had totally given up on Jesus including not believing that he would be resurrected.

Another difference is that GPeter refers to the twelve disciples while the LE refers to eleven. 

3. Conclusion

Now we are getting somewhere!
 Summary of points indicating that GPeter's source of GMark did not have the LE:

    1) GPeter follows GMark remarkably well to 16:8.

    2) The timing of the post-resurrection narrative in GPeter is completely different from the timing of the LE.

    3) There are no significant parallels here between GPeter and the LE.

    4) GPeter is more of a reaction to 16:8 than the LE is.

Conclusion = GPeter is evidence for 16:8 as original.

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