reply to post by Shoonra
You wrote: QUOTE
There have been entire books written about the ending of Mark. This is hardly news.
In the two (only two) oldest mss of Mark (the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus codices), ends abruptly with verse 16:8 ("they spoke to no one because they
Similarly the ancient versions in Syriac, and Sahidic and some others end at this point. Scholars and others are divided on whether the Gospel
originally ended at this point or whether there had been more but somehow the manuscript being used had lost its last page (or two).
Medieval copies frequently had what is called the Longer Ending, which is what appears in the KJV (it includes a verse about snake handling). There
are stylistic differences between the Longer Ending and the rest of the Gospel of Mark, so some people suspect it was written by someone else,
possibly centuries after the original Gospel was written...."
You're right on with your intro : but note that in Koine Greek the word YAP ('gar' i.e. 'because of,' or 'for') is ALWAYS 2nd position in a
sentence - but can never END a sentence, much less a whole Book !!
EPHOBOUVTO YAP (=ephobounto gar) = lit. 'they (fem.) were afraid because..."
The purpose of the line might have been to explain away why no one had ever heard of the empty tomb story prior to the 3rd Greek canonical gospel's
('according to Mark' whoever h was) writing (c. 75CE).
In the Greek Gospel of Peter (whoever wrote that fragment) we have the weird sentence 'and I Peter and my brothers were in hiding behind closed doors
FOR FEAR OF THE JUDAEANS because they accused us of trying to destroy the Shrine of the Temple [i.e. in Jerusalem] by Fire..."
See also the 4th canonical Greek gospel ('according to John the Elder' whoever he was) chapter 20:19 where FEAR OF THE JUDAEANS is also mentioned in
the post-arrest, post-trial, post-execution part of the Passion Narratives
"...then on the night of the 1st day of the week, the Disciples having gathered-together with their doors locked FOR FEAR OF THE LEADING MEN OF THE
JUDAEANS', that ho Iesous appeared and manifested himself to them saying, 'Shalom alechem!"
So perhaps the continuation of the mangled Greek of 'Mark' chapter 16:8 would be something like, 'And the women said nothing to no man - they were
afraid because [of the Judaeans who were seeking to arrest his followers...] etc.
Either way, the book ends in the middle of a sentence, which would be a Koine Greek literary impossibility in the 1st century - although perhaps not
so impossible to-day with all the avant garde writers and would be writers out there in the wild who would happily perpetrate such a corny thing
--i.e. for some kind of cheap effect....
Professor Burkitt opined back in the 1930s that the end of the scroll (or last pages of the codex?) was lost due to wear, thus the original ending was
not known even by persons who literarily borrowed from Mark (e.g.' Matthew', or' Luke', whoever they were) since end pieces are usually the first
thing to go with ancient MSS (being the most exposed to the air and wear-tear through repeated handling) - you'll notice that both 'Matt' and
'Luke' follow 'Mark' until 16:8 and at that very point begin to diverge - and as anyone who has bothered to take the time to read the accounts
side by side, the four 'canonical Greek gospels' do NOT match each other very closely after that point.
Of course you'd actually have to lay out the accounts side by side to know that, and Christians are more or less foridden to look TOOO close at their
texts - most of whom cannot even read Koine Greek or know anthing about the grammatical position of YAP ('gar') in a Greek sentence !!