Mark 16 (Oh, no, not again?)

From: Bruce Terry (
Date: Fri Sep 15 1995 - 00:23:39 EDT

A common charge against the genuineness of the long ending of Mark being
original is that it contains 16 words that are not found in the undisputed
section of Mark (1:1-16:8).

Of those 16, 13 are used only once. In postings in July and August, I showed
that in the 661 undisputed verses of Mark, there are 555 words used only once
in Mark.

This leaves three words used only in this section. Two (APISTEW and QEAOMAI)
are used twice in the long ending and one (POREUOMAI) is used three times.

I have completed my analysis of words that are used more than once within a
twelve verse span of text and only within that span in Mark. There are 77
such words in the undisputed verses of Mark plus 5 proper nouns. If the
selection is limited to a six verse span (the largest span actually used in
16:9-20), the number of words drops to 58 plus 3 names. The following chart
shows the distribution:

               Twelve Verse Spread Six Verse Spread
Times Used words names words names
2 times 53 2 42 1
3 times 14 2 11 1
4 times 4 1 4 1
5 times 5 - - -
6 times 1 - 1 -

The long ending of Mark has a unique-words-used-more-than-once to verse ratio
of .25. For chapters this ratio varies from 0 for chapter 10 (with no such
words) to .25 for chapter 2 (7 such words in 28 verses). The most notable
section is 2:18-22 with a ratio of 1 (5 such words in 5 verses: NHSTEUW [6
times], NUMFIOS [3 times], PALAIOS [3 times], NEOS [twice], and ASKOS [4
times]). This section also contains at least 7 words that are used only once
in Mark, including 2 h.l. (I'm having trouble deciding whether hRHGNUMI in
Mk. 2:22 and hRHSSW in Mk. 9:18 are the same or different words. Moulton &
Geden and Kubo list them as the same, while Clapp, Friberg, & Friberg list
them separately. I would appreciate any help anyone could give on this.

Bruce Terry E-MAIL:
Box 8426, ACU Station Phone: 915/674-3759
Abilene, Texas 79699 Fax: 915/674-3769

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