The Conclusions of Mark

“Smooth narrative” is one of the arguments against the inclusion of the final verses of the Gospel of Mark. The Bible isn’t known for its smooth narrative, anyway, but the ending does seem to pick up the speed suddenly. Is there anything in the text that might point in the other direction? How about literary structure?

Mark follows a convention found throughout all the Bible’s texts, based upon the Creation Week and the Levitical Feasts (Leviticus 23). The gospel has a number of “Covenant-shaped” cycles, and the entire book is itself “Covenant-shaped.” This final cycle is left incomplete if the gospel ends at 16:8 (see below). The question is, does this “clockwork” internal textual evidence outweigh the shabby history of the manuscripts?

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