Mark 16:8

Had come upon them (eicen auta). Imperfect tense, more exactly, held them, was holding them fast. Trembling and astonishment (tromo kai ekstasi, trembling and ecstasy), Mark has it, while Matthew 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. Matthew 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 afraid (epobounto 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 Papias). 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 Matthew 9-20 of Mark 16. There is little in these verses not in Matthew 28:1 ff. It is difficult to believe that Mark ended his Gospel with verse Matthew 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.

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