Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ryan's Song

Our next apostate for consideration is Ryan Anderson:

For me it was discovering that Mark 16:9-20 was a later addition. Obviously, this by itself is fairly easily explained [sic] away, but that was what initially woke me up.

I won’t say much in condemnation of our apostate this time, since he does concede that the issue of the Markan addendum is easy to explain. Nevertheless, the fact that it was this issue which first raised questions raises some serious misgivings.

On his end, it seems difficult to countenance that this was some sort of “discovery”. It’s related in the notes of many translations that Mark 16:9-20 is not part of the original text.

But then again, I’m finding again and again that far too many people don’t seem to notice those notes. I can’t imagine how sheltered they must be for this to happen, but with leading teachers like Joyce Meyer oblivious to the issue, it’s enough to make Chuck Norris cringe.

Just yesterday, I discovered while reading for an E-Block article that the early 20th century devotionalist Arthur Pink offered the worst example yet, not only quoting Mark 16:16, but calling it the most important words Jesus ever said. GAG.

A pastoral friend of mine was asked why more isn’t said about this sort of thing, and the answer isn’t a pleasant one. Apparently most pastors feel that revealing that eg, Mark 16:9-20 is not original will cause their flock to have a crisis of confidence in the Bible. Well, folks, that’s why you have to then explain why it shouldn’t be one. As it is, the example of Ryan shows that the crisis is going to occur if you do not tell the people the whole truth. And by that time, it may be too late for explanations.

Some may wonder why, in my E-Block articles, I always point out when some writer uses Mark 16:9-20 in an unqualified way. This is why.


  1. Sorry -- obscurantist commentary from those who think Mark 16:9-20 was in the original will be rejected. I've seen the alleged "evidence". It's nonsensical and contrived for the purpose of keeping the passage in the text -- and only serves to make the problem worse when trying to reason with the likes of Ryan.

  2. J.P.

    The problem is that pastors simply aren't teaching their people. We have a quarterly worldview night where I give a presentation, invite our church body and our community to attend (atheists and other bad guys included), and I then open the floor for Q&A. I covered the issue of the textual reliability of the N.T. last time and our people ate it up. The atheists even enjoyed it, well, at least to a point; especially when I showed that 400,000+ variants and all, our N.T. is 99% textually pure insofar as doctrinal substance is concerned.

  3. Yep. Wish more pastors were like you in that regard. As it is, most I come up to with the word "variants" will think I'm talking about some sort of zoning exception.

  4. And yes, to those with their heads in their backsides: I HAVE looked at the evidence carefully; and seen your manipulative attempts to prove the passage authentic. It's nothing but the same sort of contrived excuse-making that's been peddled since Burgon.

  5. The commenter with his head in his backside has been spamming with his excuses which contain the contrived arguments referenced. They will not be posted as it is clear he is a nobody with no serious credentials looking to "advertise" his idiosyncracies for a wider audience. As with Ed Babinski, forget it - I don't allow advertisements for deviants here.

    The excuses used to validate Mark 16:9-20 are of the same nature as those used by the likes of Acharya S to validate parallels between Jesus and eg, Horus/Osiris. Everywhere, special pleading is the rule, as in this example:

    "...Eusebius' statement can only describe copies that he had seen; in the 320's no one had the means to ascertain what was in the majority of MSS throughout the Roman Empire."

    In the same way, Acharya S simply explains away lack of evidence for her position in known texts by using the excuse that the texts which had the evidence were destroyed. So likewise, this idea that if only we'd known what the majority of MSS REALLY said, we'd realize Mark 16:9-20 was in a lot more of them, is abject special pleading for a predetermined cause.

    Advocates of the authenticity of this passage are no different than atheists and Skeptics who make excuses for their own pet causes.

  6. According to this 2008 book, Evangelicals are STILL split on the "ending of Mark" question:

    Perspectives on the Ending of Mark: Four Views
    By David Alan Black, Maurice Robinson, Darrell Bock, Keith Elliott B&H Publishing Group, 2008


  7. Gee isn't that swell. So what? As usual, Edski, you seen to think this means something about the validity of the argument itself. It doesn't. Grow up.

    Edski added, "Though Bock's summation at the end of the book sums up the evidence well, and concludes against the long ending being original." Try to get all your thoughts together for one post next time, Edski. I'm not here to manage your brain farts.