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Mark 16:8 as a satisfying ending to the Gospel

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Chapter Summary

The ending of Mark's gospel is often qualified as disappointing, open, or abrupt. This chapter shows that none of these qualifications is appropriate. It argues instead that Mark 16:8 is a satisfying ending to the gospel. The first point to make is that 16:8 is indeed the ending of the gospel. Text-critically there is no doubt that the authentic text of Mark ends at16:8. Furthermore, the claim that the last words of 16:8, ἐφοβοῦυτο γάρ, cannot be the original ending of a book, has been decisively refuted. Both grammatically and literarily 16:8 is a possible ending. Furthermore, the judgement that the gospel ends abruptly is not compelling either. Finally, whether or not the end of 16:8 is regarded as satisfying entirely depends on one's personal taste. In order to appreciate the ending, one should focus not just on 16:8 but on 16:1-8.

Keywords: ἐφοβοῦυτο γάρ; abruptly; ending; gospel; Mark

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