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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Mark: Chapter 16)

16:1 {When the sabbath was past} (\diagenomenou tou sabbatou\).
Genitive absolute, the sabbath having come in between, and now
over. For this sense of the verb (common from Demosthenes on) see
Ac 25:13; 27:9. It was therefore after sunset. {Bought spices}
(\ēgorasan arōmata\). As Nicodemus did on the day of the burial
(Joh 19:40). Gould denies that the Jews were familiar with the
embalming process of Egypt, but at any rate it was to be a
reverential anointing (\hina aleipsōsin\) of the body of Jesus
with spices. They could buy them after sundown. Salome in the
group again as in Mr 15:40. See on ¯Mt 28:1 for discussion of
"late on the sabbath day" and the visit of the women to the tomb
before sundown. They had returned from the tomb after the
watching late Friday afternoon and had prepared spices (Lu
. Now they secured a fresh supply.

16:2 {When the sun was risen} (\anateilantos tou hēliou\).
Genitive absolute, aorist participle, though some manuscripts
read \anatellontos\, present participle. Lu 24:1 has it "at
early dawn" (\orthrou batheos\) and Joh 20:1 "while it was yet
dark." It was some two miles from Bethany to the tomb. Mark
himself gives both notes of time, "very early" (\lian prōi\),
"when the sun was risen." Probably they started while it was
still dark and the sun was coming up when they arrived at the
tomb. All three mention that it was on the first day of the week,
our Sunday morning when the women arrive. The body of Jesus was
buried late on Friday before the sabbath (our Saturday) which
began at sunset. This is made clear as a bell by Lu 23:54 "and
the sabbath drew on." The women rested on the sabbath (Luke
. This visit of the women was in the early morning of our
Sunday, the first day of the week. Some people are greatly
disturbed over the fact that Jesus did not remain in the grave
full seventy-two hours. But he repeatedly said that he would rise
on the third day and that is precisely what happened. He was
buried on Friday afternoon. He was risen on Sunday morning. If he
had really remained in the tomb full three days and then had
risen after that, it would have been on the fourth day, not on
the third day. The occasional phrase "after three days" is merely
a vernacular idiom common in all languages and not meant to be
exact and precise like "on the third day." We can readily
understand "after three days" in the sense of "on the third day."
It is impossible to understand "on the third day" to be "on the
fourth day." See my _Harmony of the Gospels_, pp. 289-91.

16:3 {Who shall roll us away the stone?} (\Tis apokulisei hēmin
ton lithon;\)
. Alone in Mark. The opposite of \proskuliō\ in
15:46. In verse 4 {rolled back} (\anekekulistai\, perfect
passive indicative)
occurs also. Both verbs occur in _Koinē_
writers and in the papyri. Clearly the women have no hope of the
resurrection of Jesus for they were raising the problem
(\elegon\, imperfect) as they walked along.

16:4 {Looking up they see} (\anablepsasai theōrousin\). With
downcast eyes and heavy hearts (Bruce) they had been walking up
the hill. Mark has his frequent vivid dramatic present "behold."
Their problem is solved for the stone lies rolled back before
their very eyes. Lu 24:2 has the usual aorist "found." {For}
(\gar\). Mark explains by the size of the stone this sudden and
surprising sight right before their eyes.

16:5 {Entering into the tomb} (\eiselthousai eis to mnēmeion\).
Told also by Lu 24:3, though not by Matthew. {A young man}
(\neaniskon\). An angel in Mt 28:5, two men in Lu 24. These
and like variations in details show the independence of the
narrative and strengthen the evidence for the general fact of the
resurrection. The angel sat upon the stone (Mt 28:2), probably
at first. Mark here speaks of the young man {sitting on the right
(\kathēmenon en tois dexiois\) inside the tomb. Luke has
the two men standing by them on the inside (Luke 24:4).
Possibly different aspects and stages of the incident. {Arrayed
in a white robe}
(\peribeblēmenon stolēn leukēn\). Perfect
passive participle with the accusative case of the thing retained
(verb of clothing). Lu 24:4 has "in dazzling apparel." {They
were amazed}
(\exethambēthēsan\). They were utterly (\ex\ in
amazed. Lu 24:5 has it "affrighted." Mt 28:3f.
tells more of the raiment white as snow which made the watchers
quake and become as dead men. But this was before the arrival of
the women. Mark, like Matthew and Luke, does not mention the
sudden departure of Mary Magdalene to tell Peter and John of the
grave robbery as she supposed (Joh 20:1-10).

16:6 {Be not amazed} (\mē ekthambeisthe\). The angel noted their
amazement (verse 5) and urges the cessation of it using this
very word. {The Nazarene} (\ton Nazarēnon\). Only in Mark, to
identify "Jesus" to the women. {The crucified one} (\ton
. This also in Mt 28:5. This description of his
shame has become his crown of glory, for Paul (Gal 6:14), and
for all who look to the Crucified and Risen Christ as Saviour and
Lord. He is risen (\ēgerthē\). First aorist passive indicative,
the simple fact. In 1Co 15:4 Paul uses the perfect passive
indicative \egēgertai\ to emphasize the permanent state that
Jesus remains risen. {Behold the place} (\ide ho topos\). Here
\ide\ is used as an interjection with no effect on the case
(nominative). In Mt 28:6 \idete\ is the verb with the
accusative. See Robertson, _Grammar_, p. 302.

16:7 {And Peter} (\kai tōi Petrōi\). Only in Mark, showing that
Peter remembered gratefully this special message from the Risen
Christ. Later in the day Jesus will appear also to Peter, an
event that changed doubt to certainty with the apostles (Lu
24:34; 1Co 15:5)
. See on ¯Mt 28:7 for discussion of promised
meeting in Galilee.

16:8 {Had come upon them} (\eichen autas\). Imperfect tense, more
exactly, {held them, was holding them fast}. {Trembling and
(\tromos kai ekstasis\, trembling and ecstasy),
Mark has it, while Mt 28:8 has "with fear and great joy" which
see for discussion. Clearly and naturally their emotions were
mixed. {They said nothing to any one} (\oudeni ouden eipan\).
This excitement was too great for ordinary conversation. Mt
28:8 notes that they "ran to bring his disciples word." Hushed
to silence their feet had wings as they flew on. {For they were
(\ephobounto gar\). Imperfect tense. The continued fear
explains their continued silence. At this point Aleph and B, the
two oldest and best Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, stop
with this verse. Three Armenian MSS. also end here. Some
documents (cursive 274 and Old Latin k) have a shorter ending
than the usual long one. The great mass of the documents have the
long ending seen in the English versions. Some have both the long
and the short endings, like L, Psi, 0112, 099, 579, two Bohairic
MSS; the Harklean Syriac (long one in the text, short one in the
Greek margin)
. One Armenian MS. (at Edschmiadzin) gives the long
ending and attributes it to Ariston (possibly the Aristion of
. W (the Washington Codex) has an additional verse in the
long ending. So the facts are very complicated, but argue
strongly against the genuineness of verses 9-20 of Mark 16.
There is little in these verses not in Mt 28. It is difficult
to believe that Mark ended his Gospel with verse 8 unless he
was interrupted. A leaf or column may have been torn off at the
end of the papyrus roll. The loss of the ending was treated in
various ways. Some documents left it alone. Some added one
ending, some another, some added both. A full discussion of the
facts is found in the last chapter of my _Studies in Mark's
Gospel_ and also in my _Introduction to the Textual Criticism of
the New Testament_, pp. 214-16.

16:9 {When he had risen early on the first day of the week}
(\anastas prōi prōtēi sabbatou\). It is probable that this note
of time goes with "risen" (\anastas\), though it makes good sense
with "appeared" (\ephanē\). Jesus is not mentioned by name here,
though he is clearly the one meant. Mark uses \mia\ in verse 2,
but \prōtē\ in 14:12 and the plural \sabbatōn\ in verse 2,
though the singular here. {First} (\prōton\). Definite statement
that Jesus {appeared} (\ephanē\) to Mary Magdalene first of all.
The verb \ephanē\ (second aorist passive of \phainō\) is here
alone of the Risen Christ (cf. \Eleias ephanē\, Lu 9:8), the
usual verb being \ōphthē\ (Lu 24:34; 1Co 15:5ff.). {From whom}
(\par' hēs\). Only instance of \para\ with the casting out of
demons, \ek\ being usual (1:25,26; 5:8; 7:26,29; 9:25).
\Ekbeblēkei\ is past perfect indicative without augment. This
description of Mary Magdalene is like that in Lu 8:2 and seems
strange in Mark at this point, described as a new character here,
though mentioned by Mark three times just before (15:40,47;
. The appearance to Mary Magdalene is given in full by Joh

16:10 {She} (\ekeinē\). Only instance of this pronoun (=\illa\)
absolutely in Mark, though a good Greek idiom. (See Joh 19:35.)
See also verses 11,20. {Went} (\poreutheisa\). First aorist
passive participle. Common word for going, but in Mark so far
only in 9:30 in the uncompounded form. Here also in verses
12,15. {Them that had been with him} (\tois met' autou
. This phrase for the disciples occurs here alone in
Mark and the other Gospels if the disciples (\mathētai\) are
meant. All these items suggest another hand than Mark for this
closing portion. {As they mourned and wept} (\penthousin kai
. Present active participles in dative plural agreeing
with \tois ... genomenois\ and describing the pathos of the
disciples in their utter bereavement and woe.

16:11 {Disbelieved} (\ēpistēsan\). This verb is common in the
ancient Greek, but rare in the N.T. and here again verse 16 and
nowhere else in Mark. The usual N.T. word is \apeitheō\. Lu
24:11 uses this verb (\ēpistoun\) of the disbelief of the report
of Mary Magdalene and the other women. The verb \etheathē\ (from
occurs only here and in verse 14 in Mark.

16:12 {After these things} (\meta tauta\). Only here in Mark.
Luke tells us that it was on the same day (Lu 24:13). {In
another form}
(\en heterāi morphēi\). It was not a
\metamorphōsis\ or transfiguration like that described in 9:2.
Luke explains that their eyes were holden so that they could not
recognize Jesus (Lu 24:16). This matchless story appears in
full in Lu 24:13-32.

16:13 {Neither believed they them} (\oude ekeinois episteusan\).
The men fared no better than the women. But Luke's report of the
two on the way to Emmaus is to the effect that they met a hearty
welcome by them in Jerusalem (Lu 24:33-35). This shows the
independence of the two narratives on this point. There was
probably an element who still discredited all the resurrection
stories as was true on the mountain in Galilee later when "some
doubted" (Mt 28:17).

16:14 {To the eleven themselves} (\autois tois hendeka\). Both
terms, eleven and twelve (Joh 20:24), occur after the death of
Judas. There were others present on this first Sunday evening
according to Lu 24:33. {Afterward} (\husteron\) is here alone
in Mark, though common in Matthew. {Upbraided} (\ōneidisen\).
They were guilty of unbelief (\apistian\) and hardness of heart
(\sklērokardian\). Doubt is not necessarily a mark of
intellectual superiority. One must steer between credulity and
doubt. That problem is a vital one today in all educated circles.
Some of the highest men of science today are devout believers in
the Risen Christ. Luke explains how the disciples were upset by
the sudden appearance of Christ and were unable to believe the
evidence of their own senses (Lu 24:38-43).

16:15 {To the whole creation} (\pāsēi tēi ktisei\). This
commission in Mark is probably another report of the missionary
_Magna Charta_ in Mt 28:16-20 spoken on the mountain in
Galilee. One commission has already been given by Christ (Joh
. The third appears in Lu 24:44-49; Ac 1:3-8.

16:16 {And is baptized} (\kai baptistheis\). The omission of
{baptized} with "disbelieveth" would seem to show that Jesus does
not make baptism essential to salvation. Condemnation rests on
disbelief, not on baptism. So salvation rests on belief. Baptism
is merely the picture of the new life not the means of securing
it. So serious a sacramental doctrine would need stronger support
anyhow than this disputed portion of Mark.

16:17 {They shall speak with new tongues} (\glōssais lalēsousin
. Westcott and Hort put \kainais\ (new) in the margin.
Casting out demons we have seen in the ministry of Jesus.
Speaking with tongues comes in the apostolic era (Ac 2:3f.;
10:46; 19:6; 1Co 12:28; 14)

16:18 {They shall take up serpents} (\opheis arousin\). Jesus had
said something like this in Lu 10:19 and Paul was unharmed by
the serpent in Malta (Ac 28:3f.). {If they drink any deadly
(\k'an thanasimon ti piōsin\). This is the only N.T.
instance of the old Greek word \thanasimos\ (deadly). Jas 3:8
has \thanatēphoros\, deathbearing. Bruce considers these verses
in Mark "a great lapse from the high level of Matthew's version
of the farewell words of Jesus" and holds that "taking up
venomous serpents and drinking deadly poison seem to introduce us
into the twilight of apocryphal story." The great doubt
concerning the genuineness of these verses (fairly conclusive
proof against them in my opinion)
renders it unwise to take these
verses as the foundation for doctrine or practice unless
supported by other and genuine portions of the N.T.

16:19 {Was received up into heaven} (\anelēmpthē eis ton
. First aorist passive indicative. Luke gives the fact
of the Ascension twice in Gospel (Lu 24:50f.) and Ac 1:9-11.
The Ascension in Mark took place after Jesus spoke to the
disciples, not in Galilee (16:15-18), nor on the first or
second Sunday evening in Jerusalem. We should not know when it
took place nor where but for Luke who locates it on Olivet (Lu
at the close of the forty days (Ac 1:3) and so after
the return from Galilee (Mt 28:16). {Sat down at the right hand
of God}
(\ekathisen ek dexiōn tou theou\). Swete notes that the
author "passes beyond the field of history into that of
theology," an early and most cherished belief (Ac 7:55f.; Ro
8:34; Eph 1:20; Col 3:1; Heb 1:3; 8:1; 10:12; 12:2; 1Pe 3:22; Re

16:20 {The Lord working with them} (\tou kuriou sunergountos\).
Genitive absolute. This participle not in Gospels elsewhere nor
is \bebaiountos\ nor the compound \epakolouthountōn\, all in
Paul's Epistles. \Pantacho–\ once in Luke. Westcott and Hort give
the alternative ending found in L: "And they announced briefly to
Peter and those around him all the things enjoined. And after
these things Jesus himself also sent forth through them from the
east even unto the west the holy and incorruptible proclamation
of the eternal salvation."

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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Mark: Chapter 16)