VIII. The Resurrection of Jesus. Ch. 16:1–8

1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, 1  bought spices, that they might come and anoint him.

2 And very early on the first day of the week, 2  they came to the tomb when the sun was risen.

3 And they were saying among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the tomb? 3 

4 And looking up, they see that the stone is rolled back: for it was exceedingly great. 4 

5 And entering into the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, arrayed in a white robe; and they were amazed.

6 And he saith unto them, Be not amazed: ye seek Jesus, the Nazarene, who hath been crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold, the place where they laid him!

7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, He goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. 5 

8 And they went out, and fled from the tomb; for trembling and astonishment had come upon them: and they said nothing to any one; for they were afraid. 6 

Mark concludes his Gospel with this paragraph concerning the visit of the women to the tomb of Jesus and the dramatic announcement of his resurrection. Two aspects of the truth are emphasized. First, there is no difference between the crucifixion and the resurrection on the point of historicity or factuality. The resurrection of Jesus is an historical event. On a given date, in a defined place, the man Jesus, having been crucified and buried two days earlier, came forth from the tomb. Mark stresses the identity of the risen one with the crucified one (verse 6). Secondly, as an historical event, the resurrection of Jesus cannot be explained by categories open to human understanding. It possesses no givenness which is self-elucidating. The reality cannot be incorporated into our history as if it conformed to our experience. Apart from revelation, it remains merely a mysterious event in history, unable to impart understanding. History can declare only that Jesus’ body disappeared, but this baffling fact fails to communicate the gospel. The event of Jesus’ resurrection is open to understanding only through a word of revelation received in faith. The focus of Mark’s account falls, therefore, upon the presence of the divine messenger and the disclosure of the truth (verses 5–6).

The mysterious activity of God in the resurrection was accompanied by specific, knowable phenomena which can confront human experience and are open to human judgment. The purpose of these phenomena is not to create faith, but to inform faith of certain consequences with regard to the event. In Mark’s narrative the empty tomb indicates that the resurrection includes man’s past, and points to the continuity of the past, the present and the future in the perspective of redemption. The empty tomb, however, derives its meaning from the fact of the resurrection of Jesus, even while it informs that event. 7 

Were it not for his resurrection, Jesus of Nazareth might have appeared as no more than a line in Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews, if he were mentioned at all. The witness of the four Gospels is unequivocal that following the crucifixion Jesus’ disciples were scattered, their hopes shattered by the course of events. What halted the dissolution of the messianic movement centered in Jesus was the resurrection. It is the resurrection which creates “the good news concerning Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God” (Ch. 1:1).

The detailed reference to the women in Ch. 16:1 indicates that this unit of tradition existed at one time independent from the passion narrative. Whenever the Easter account was proclaimed, those to whom the word of revelation was first entrusted were specified.

1 At the conclusion of the Sabbath (i.e. after sunset on Saturday), the women who had witnessed the crucifixion and burial (see on Ch. 15:40, 47) purchased aromatic oils with which to anoint the body of Jesus. Spices were not used for mummification, which was not a Jewish custom, but to offset the odors from decomposition. It is not uncommon to find in Palestinian tombs dating to the first century such funerary objects as perfume bottles, ointment jars and other vessels of clay and glass designed to contain aromatic oils. 8  The desire of the women to “anoint” the body indicates that the oils were to be poured over the head. The preparations for returning to the tomb in performance of an act of piety show that the women had no expectation of an immediate resurrection of Jesus. 9  Since in the climate of Jerusalem deterioration would occur rapidly, the visit of the women with the intention of ministering to the corpse after two nights and a day must be viewed as an expression of intense devotion.

2 The temporal expressions designating the time when the women came to the tomb are problematic. Normally “very early” refers to the earlier part of the period 3:00–6:00 A.M., prior to sunrise (cf. Ch. 1:35), but the text states explicitly that the women went “when the sun had risen.” This difficulty was early recognized and is reflected in the manuscript tradition where several expedients were adopted to relieve the apparent disparity in the text. 10  If the text originally included both temporal clauses, the time of the women’s visit was immediately after sunrise on the first day of the week.

3–4 Although the women had witnessed the burial of Jesus and the closing of the entrance to the sepulchre (Ch. 15:47), they had no knowledge of the official sealing of the tomb by the Sanhedrin nor of the posting of a guard (cf. Mt. 27:62–66). This is evident from the fragment of conversation preserved by Mark alone concerning the rolling back of the stone from the entrance to the tomb. While the setting in place of a large stone was a relatively easy task, once it had slipped into the groove cut in bedrock just before the entrance it could be removed only with great difficulty (see on Ch. 15:46). Mark’s account is characterized by great restraint. The evangelist makes no attempt to explain how the stone was rolled back, but records simply that the women looked up and saw that it had been removed. That the tomb was empty is clearly implied, but this is not stated until the startling announcement of the divine messenger in verse 6. 11 

5 Inside the large opening in the façade of the tomb was an antechamber, at the back of which a rectangular doorway about two feet high led inside. Small low doorways between the antechamber and the burial chamber were standard features of Jewish tombs in this period. The inner chamber where the body had been laid was perhaps six or seven feet square, and about the same height. 12  When the women entered the burial chamber they were startled to see “a young man clothed in a white robe, sitting on the right side.” Mark’s language could designate a valiant young man (see on Ch. 14:51f.) or an angel. Careful study of the distinctive vocabulary has demonstrated that whenever the reference is to an angel, the text or the context makes the supernatural character of the young man explicit. 13  The feature which shows that the evangelist means an angel is the factor of revelation (verses 6–7). God often uses visible means to reveal himself, and the angel fits into this pattern. As frequently in the OT and the Jewish literature from the later period, the angel appears as the divine messenger. 14  This conclusion is supported by the detail of the white garment. In the color symbolism of the NT, white is primarily the heavenly color and is mentioned almost exclusively in eschatological or apocalyptic contexts. 15  In this instance the white clothes are not properly a description, but an indication of the dazzling character of their glory (cf. Ch. 9:3; Rev. 6:11; 7:9, 13). The presence of the angel underscores the eschatological character of the resurrection of Jesus and anticipates the parousia when the Son of Man will come in “the glory of the Father with the holy angels” (Ch. 8:38; cf. Ch. 13:26f.).

The response of the women to the angelic presence is described by a strong word which Mark alone among the NT writers uses (cf. Ch. 9:15). It introduces the note of dread which is woven into the theme until it becomes the dominant motif in verse 8. Confronted with the messenger of God, the women were terrified.

6 The action of God is not always self-evident. For this reason it is invariably accompanied by the word of revelation, interpreting the significance of an event (e.g. Exod. 15:1–18 interprets the flight from Egypt as the action of God). The emptiness of the tomb possessed no factual value in itself. It simply raised the question, What happened to the body? God, therefore, sent his messenger to disclose the fact of the resurrection. The announcement of the angel is the crystallization point for faith. The women had been misguided in their seeking of Jesus. 16  They came to anoint the body of one who was dead, but Jesus was risen from the dead!

The reference to “Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified” allows no equivocation concerning the subject of the emphatic statements, “he is risen, he is not here; see the place where they laid him.” 17  The resurrection presupposes the death and burial of Jesus, and both of these events are specified in the angel’s declaration. The statements which qualify the affirmation “he is risen” refer specifically to the shelf on which the body had been placed. They stress that the tomb in which Jesus had been laid on Friday afternoon was empty on Easter morning. This testimony is supported by primitive kerygmatic summaries preserved by Luke and Paul. The argument that David “died and was buried and his tomb is with us to this day” (Acts 2:29), which prepares for the proclamation of the resurrection of Jesus, implies a reference to the empty tomb of Jesus which could be examined as freely as the traditional tomb of David. Peter’s formulation finds an echo in the gospel which Paul, in common with the Jerusalem apostles (1 Cor. 15:11), preached, that Jesus “died … was buried … and the third day rose again” (1 Cor. 15:3f.). While no explicit reference is made to the tomb of Jesus, the sequence death, burial, resurrection demands that the tomb was empty. It is significant that early Jewish polemicists never sought to dispute this fact. The story of the theft of the body (cf. Mt. 28:15; Justin, Dialogue with Trypho 108) simply confirms that the tomb was in fact empty. 18  In the Gospel of Mark, however, the certainty of the resurrection rests solely upon the word of revelation. The empty tomb possessed no evidential value apart from this norm of interpretation. 19 

The fact that women were the first to receive the announcement of the resurrection is significant in view of contemporary attitudes. Jewish law pronounced women ineligible as witnesses. 20  Early Christian tradition confirms that the reports of the women concerning the empty tomb and Jesus’ resurrection were disregarded or considered embarrassing (cf. Lk. 24:11, 22–24; Mk. 16:11). That the news had first been delivered by women was inconvenient and troublesome to the Church, for their testimony lacked value as evidence. The primitive Community would not have invented this detail, which can be explained only on the ground that it was factual.

7 Having assured the women that Jesus was alive, the angel commissioned them to tell his followers that they would be reunited with him in Galilee. The expression “his disciples and Peter” corresponds to Ch. 1:36, “Simon and those with him.” Peter is singled out because of his repeated and emphatic denial of Jesus (Ch. 14:66–72). He has not been mentioned by Mark since that shameful occasion, and his disloyalty might well be regarded as an extreme example of sin and blasphemy which disqualified him from participating in Jesus’ triumph. Yet he had been forgiven (cf. Ch. 3:28). The summons to Galilee provided the assurance that Peter had not been rejected by the risen Lord.

The message that Jesus will precede his disciples to Galilee repeats the promise of Ch. 14:28. In the immediate context of the passage Jesus spoke of his violent death and prophesied that all of the disciples would fall away. When Peter vehemently protested his loyalty, Jesus announced that Peter would deny him three times that night. The one note of comfort was the assurance that after Jesus’ resurrection the disciples would be regathered in Galilee. The fulfilment of the prophecy of failure and denial is to be redressed by the corresponding fulfilment of the promised restoration. Galilee is specified by Jesus, and by the angel, as the place where the disciples will encounter the Lord. The promise, “there you will see him,” implies a resurrection appearance to Peter and to the others (cf. 1 Cor. 15:5). 21 

8 The response of the women to the evidence of God’s decisive intervention in raising Jesus from the dead is described in the categories of terror. They fled from the tomb, unable to control the dread which overwhelmed them and reduced them to silence. For a time they kept their experience to themselves because “they were afraid.” 22  The prior use of words expressing terror and amazement in verses 5–6 has prepared for the forceful language of verse 8 and confirms that the cause of the women’s fear is the presence and action of God at the tomb of Jesus. They recognized the significance of the empty tomb. This has important bearing on the interpretation of Mark’s final comment, “for they were afraid.” This statement finds its closest parallel in the transfiguration narrative, where Peter’s brash proposal to build three tabernacles calls forth the remark, “for he did not know what to say, for they were exceedingly afraid” (Ch. 9:6). Those who are confronted with God’s direct intervention in the historical process do not know how to react. Divine revelation lies beyond normal human experience, and there are no categories available to men which enable them to understand and respond appropriately. The first human response is overwhelming fear. It is probable that the fear experienced at the transfiguration and at the empty tomb was an anticipation of judgment. A devout Jew would understand the announcement that the resurrection had begun to signify that the end was at hand. The revelational context and the similarity of vocabulary in these two accounts confirm that the object of the women’s fear was divine revelation. Fear is the constant reaction to the disclosure of Jesus’ transcendent dignity in the Gospel of Mark (cf. Chs. 4:41; 5:15, 33, 36; 6:50; 9:6, 32). In the light of this pervasive pattern, the silence and fear of the women are an indirect Christological affirmation.

Mark concluded his Gospel at this point. That verse 8 marks the ending to the Gospel in its present form is scarcely debated. 23  The contention that this is the original and intended ending, however, continues to be resisted. 24  The abrupt ending on the phrase “for they were afraid” has been regarded as evidence that the Gospel is incomplete or mutilated. It has been conjectured that the original ending reported a resurrection appearance to Peter and to all the disciples in Galilee, in harmony with the promise of verse 7 (cf. 1 Cor. 15:5, “he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve”). A common feeling is that a Gospel would be terminated by a narrative reporting a resurrection appearance with a confession of faith by believers or by an expression of joy among those who have seen the risen Lord. All such proposals reflect a preconception of the form of a true Gospel. It is necessary to recognize that Mark was a theologian and historian in his own right, who has developed his conception throughout his work. Methodologically, it is imperative that the form be defined from the data offered by the Gospel in its totality. 25 

In point of fact, the present ending of Mark is thoroughly consistent with the motifs of astonishment and fear developed throughout the Gospel. 26  These motifs express the manner in which Mark understands the events of Jesus’ life. In verse 8 the evangelist terminates his account of the good news concerning Jesus by sounding the note by which he has characterized all aspects of Jesus’ activity, his healings, miracles, teaching, the journey to Jerusalem. Astonishment and fear qualify the events of the life of Jesus. The account of the empty tomb is soul-shaking, and to convey this impression Mark describes in the most meaningful language the utter amazement and overwhelming feeling of the women. With his closing comment he wished to say that “the gospel of Jesus the Messiah” (Ch. 1:1) is an event beyond human comprehension and therefore awesome and frightening. In this case, contrary to general opinion, “for they were afraid” is the phrase most appropriate to the conclusion of the Gospel. The abruptness with which Mark concluded his account corresponds to the preface of the Gospel where the evangelist begins by confronting the reader with the fact of revelation in the person of John and Jesus (Ch. 1:1–13). The ending leaves the reader confronted by the witness of the empty tomb interpreted by the word of revelation. The focus upon human inadequacy, lack of understanding and weakness throws into bold relief the action of God and its meaning. 27 

 

FOOTNOTES
 

 1 The initial words καὶ διαγενομένου … καὶ Σαλώμη are omitted by Western authorities (D d [k] n). The force of the omission is to assign to the women mentioned in Ch. 15:47 the action of buying the spices. This reading is supported by C. H. Turner, “Western Readings in the Second Half of St. Mark’s Gospel,” JThS 29 (1927–28), pp. 13 f., who argues that the longer version arose under the influence of Mt. 28:1. The Western variant, however, may be explained as an attempt at simplification. The strong attestation for the fuller text (א A B C K L W Δ Π Ψ λ φ pl) justifies the (A) rating (= virtually certain) assigned to the text by the editors of the Greek text issued by the Bible Societies.

 2 Gr. ἡ μιὰ τῶν σαββάτων. The use of the cardinal numeral for the ordinal is often explained as a Semitism. For a dissenting opinion see J. H. Moulton, A Grammar of New Testament Greek3 (Edinburgh, 1908–1929), I, pp. 95 f., 237; II, p. 174.

 3 Codex Bobiensis (k) has here an extensive gloss which is interesting for its attempt to describe the resurrection: “Suddenly, at the third hour of the day, there was darkness over the whole earth, and angels descended from heaven, and rising in the splendor of the living God they ascended together with him, and immediately it was light.” The only other early attempt to describe the resurrection occurs in the Gospel of Peter 35–44: “Now in the night when the Lord’s day dawned, as the soldiers were keeping guard two by two in every watch, there came a great sound in the heaven, and they saw the heavens opened and two men descend, shining with a great light, and drawing near to the sepulchre. And that stone which had been set at the door rolled away of itself and went back to the side, and the sepulchre was opened and both of the young men entered in. When those soldiers saw that, they awakened the centurion and the elders … and they saw three men come out of the sepulchre, two of them sustaining the other, and a cross following them. And they saw that the heads of the two reached to heaven, but the head of the one who was led by them passed through the heavens. And they heard a voice out of the heavens saying, ‘Have you preached to those who sleep?’ And an answer was heard from the cross, ‘Yes.’ ” For a discussion of these passages see L. Vaganay, L’Évangile de Pierre (Paris, 1930), pp. 287–303; W. L. Lane, “Apocrypha,” EC I (1964), pp. 338 f.

 4 Gr. ἦν γὰρ μέγας σφόδρα is located at the end of verse 3 in D Θ 565 c d ff n sys pal Eusebius. As the text now stands these words appear badly placed. Yet Mark tends to place an explanatory clause at the end of a sentence, rather than with the word or phrase it qualifies (see Ch. 1:16; 2:15; 12:12).

 5 The variant found in D k (“I am going before you to Galilee; there you will see me, even as I told you”), which implies that the speaker is the risen Lord, may have arisen from a conviction that Mark, like the other Gospels, must have reported a resurrection appearance. It is noteworthy that MS k lacks the longer ending with its resurrection appearances.

 6 Gr. ἐφοβοῦντο γάρ. The possibility of ending a sentence, or a paragraph, or even a work with γάρ, and of using ἐφοβοῦντο without a qualifying object or clause finds strong support in the texts gathered by R. H. Lightfoot, The Gospel Message of St. Mark (Oxford, 1950), pp. 80–97, 106–116; cf. N. B. Stonehouse, The Witness of Matthew and Mark to Christ (Philadelphia, 1944), pp. 86–118. A new instance of the final position of γάρ is known through the recent publication of the Dyscolos of Menander, lines 437 f.: ναὶ μὰ τὸν Διά, τὸ γοῦν πρόβατον μικροῦ τέθνηκε γάρ (“Yes by Zeus! In any case, the sheep nearly died” cited by F. W. Danker, “Menander and the New Testament,” NTS 10 [1964], p. 366). It seems not to have been noticed that Musonius Rufus concludes his Discourse XII, περὶ Ἀφροδισίων (ed. O. Hense [Leipzig, 1905], p. 67, line 2) with γνώριμον γάρ (“for this is well known”). F. W. Danker, “Postscript to the Markan Secrecy Motif,” Con Th Mon 38 (1967), pp. 24–27 emends the text of Mk. 16:8 to read ἐφοβοῦντο γὰρ φόβον μέγαν, proposing that the last two words were omitted by haplography. It seems better to recognize that Ch. 16:8 as it stands in the critical editions of the text is Mark’s original and intended ending. Forms of φοβέομαι occur twelve times in Mark; in six of these instances the word is used absolutely (Ch. 5:5, 33, 36; 6:50; 9:6; 10:32).

 7 Questions directed against the phenomena must be set aside as queries addressed to the thesis of divine revelation. If men argue for a closed continuum (i.e. such events are beyond man’s history and improper to God’s activity) it should be recognized that they are arguing against the proposition that God has the right to reveal himself in history. If God possesses the right to do so, he has the right to choose the means, the place and the circumstances. The purpose of revelation is finally to inform men of God. For a careful consideration of the historical questions see R. Russell, “Modern Exegesis and the Fact of the Resurrection,” Downside Review 76 (1958), pp. 251–264, 329–343; D. P. Fuller, Easter Faith and History (Grand Rapids, 1965); idem, “The Resurrection of Jesus and the Historical Method,” Journal of Bible and Religion 34 (1966), pp. 18–24. For a theology of the resurrection see F. X. Durrwell, The Resurrection, A Biblical Study (New York, 1966); W. Künneth, The Theology of the Resurrection (St. Louis, 1965).

 8 R. H. Smith, “The Tomb of Jesus,” B A 30 (1967), p. 89, fig. 8; cf. J. Blinzler, Der Prozess Jesu4 (Regensburg, 1969), p. 399.

 9 Cf. W. Michaelis, TWNT VII (1964), p. 458.

 10 E.g. certain Western authorities (D c ff n q Augustine) read ἀνατελλόντος, “while the sun was rising”; λίαν πρωί (“very early”) is omitted by c, λίαν by D W k n sys p pal arm, and πρωί by q. R. H. Lightfoot, op. cit., p. 96, followed by G. Hebert, “The Resurrection Narrative in St. Mark’s Gospel,” ScJTh 15 (1962), p. 67, insists that ἀνατείλαντος τοῦ ἡλίου cannot be a note of time, but is an allusion to Mal. 4:2 LXX, which speaks of the rising of “the Sun of righteousness with healing in his wings.” The point of Mark’s reference, according to Hebert, is that the Sun has risen (i.e. Jesus), though the world is still in darkness.

 11 For a treatment of the text from a Hellenistic viewpoint appropriate to a θεῖος ἀνήρ Christology, see N. Q. Hamilton, “Resurrection Tradition and the Composition of Mark,” JBL 84 (1965), pp. 415–421. Hamilton argues that Mark was the creator of the empty tomb narrative, and that the story concerns a “removal” rather than a “resurrection.” In Hellenism a hero is recognized by the evidence of an empty grave. Hamilton contends that Mark composed the story of the empty tomb in part to satisfy Graeco-Roman expectations aroused by his Son of God Christology (Ch. 15:39). For a defense of the historicity of the Marcan account of the empty tomb see E. Stauffer, Jesus and His Story (New York, 1960), pp. 143–147; J. Daniélou, “The Empty Tomb,” Month 39 (1968), pp. 215–222. See below, verses 5–6.

 12 See R. H. Smith, op. cit., pp. 86–88, and especially fig. 6 for the reconstruction of Jesus’ tomb proposed by L. H. Vincent.

 13 H. Waetjen, “The Ending of Mark and the Gospel’s Shift in Eschatology,” Annual of the Swedish Theological Institute 4 (1965), pp. 114–116. Cf. Josephus, Antiquities V. viii. 2 where the word νεανίας is applied to the heavenly messenger who appeared to Manoah’s wife with the glad tidings that she is to bear a son. Waetjen (p. 116) finds this the closest parallel to Mk. 16:5.

 14 See G. Kittel, TWNT I (Eng. Tr. 1964), pp. 76–83; P. Gaechter, “Die Engelerscheinungen in der Auferstehungsberichten,” Zeitschrift für katholische Theologie 89 (1967), pp. 191–202.

 15 W. Michaelis, TWNT IV (Eng. Tr. 1967), pp. 244–266.

 16 R. H. Lightfoot, op. cit., pp. 23 f. n. demonstrated that in Mark the verb ζητεῖν is always used in a derogatory sense. In Ch. 8:11 f.; 11:18 f.; 12:12; 14:1, 11, 55 the seeking has an evil intention, while in Chs. 3:22 and 16:6 it is being carried out in the wrong way and is unacceptable. Cf. G. Hebert, op. cit., pp. 69 f.

 17 The kerygmatic formulation of verse 6, and specifically the words “see the place where they laid him,” has encouraged L. Schenke, Auferstehungsverkündigung und leeres Grab. Eine traditionsgeschichtliche Untersuchung von Mk 16, 1–8 (Stuttgart, 1968), to associate the development of the tradition with the annual veneration of the tomb of Jesus by the Jerusalem Community at the time of Passover-Easter. For the veneration of tombs in Palestine see J. Jeremias, Die Heiligengräber in Jesu Umwelt (Göttingen, 1958).

 18 For a discussion of the inscription from Nazareth summarizing an imperial edict directed against the theft of corpses and the desecration of graves see L. Wenger, Die Quellen des römischen Rechts (Rome, 1946), pp. 456 f.; E. Stauffer, op. cit., pp. 146 f.

 19 Cf. W. Nauck, “Die Bedeutung des leeren Grabes für den Glauben an den Auferstandenen,” ZNW 47 (1956), pp. 243–267.

 20 M. Rosh Ha-Shanah I. 8 speaks of the disqualification of women as witnesses as a matter of common knowledge. Cf. M. Shebuoth IV. 1, “The law about an oath of witness applies to men but not to women”; Josephus, Antiquities IV. viii. 15; Num. Rabba X, 159b; TJ Yoma VI. 2.

 21 For the contention of E. Lohmeyer, Galiläa und Jerusalem (Göttingen, 1936), pp. 10 ff.; idem, Das Evangelium des Markus16 (Göttingen, 1963), pp. 355 f.; W. Marxsen, Mark the Evangelist (Nashville, 1969), pp. 75–92, that the reference is to the parousia of Jesus rather than to a resurrection appearance, see above on Ch. 14:28. For the fruitful suggestion that the promise of Ch. 1:17 (“I will make you fishers of men”) finds its fulfilment through the meeting in Galilee see R. P. Meye, Jesus and the Twelve (Grand Rapids, 1968), pp. 83 f., 99–110.

 22 Cf. C. F. D. Moule, “St. Mark XVI. 8 Once More,” NTS 2 (1955), pp. 58 f. J. Luzarraga, “Retraducción Semítica de Phobeomai en Mc 16, 8,” Biblica 50 (1969), pp. 497–510, traces this final comment back to a Semitic source which used some form of the verb בהל, which can mean either “to be afraid” or “to hasten.” He holds that the underlying sense was, “They went away in haste.” This proposal lacks support from the text, for the departure with haste is covered already by ἔφυγον, while an adoption of Luzarraga’s reading of the source leaves the silence of the women unexplained.

 23 The most recent attempt to defend the authenticity of the longer ending (verses 9–20) was made by M. van der Valk, “Observations on Mark 16, 9–20 in Relation to St. Mark’s Gospel,” Humanitas n.s. 6–7 (1958), pp. 52–95. The article gives no consideration to the external evidence of manuscripts and is marred by speculative considerations which fail to support the author’s conclusions.

 24 E.g. V. Taylor, The Gospel According to St. Mark (London, 1952), pp. 609 f.; C. E. B. Cranfield, The Gospel According to Saint Mark2 (Cambridge, 1963), pp. 470 f.; B. M. Metzger, The Text of the New Testament (New York, 1964), pp. 226–229; E. Linnemann, “Der (wiedergefundene) Markusschluss,” ZThK 66 (1969), pp. 255–287. For a response, especially to the article of Linnemann, see K. Aland, “Der wiedergefundene Markusschluss. Eine methodologische Bemerkung zur textkritischen Arbeit,” ZThK 67 (1970), pp. 3–13.

 25 Rightly stressed by K. Tagawa, Miracles et Évangile (Paris, 1966), pp. 110–122.

 26 Ibid., pp. 99–110.

 27 So N. B. Stonehouse, op. cit., pp. 86–118; R. H. Lightfoot, op. cit., pp. 80–97; K. Tagawa, op. cit., pp. 110–122; R. P. Meye, “Mark 16:8—The Ending of Mark’s Gospel,” Biblical Research, 14 (1969), pp. 33–43, among others. K. Tagawa (pp. 112 f.) points out that astonishment is an absence of faith only when it is motivated by profane power. For the textual considerations which bear upon this question see the Additional Note on the Supplementary Endings of Mark.