I have been talking about passages of the New Testament that can be found in the King James Bible but were not in the “original” text of the New Testament.  I should stress, there are not thousands of these:  among the hundreds of thousands of differences among our manuscripts, most are not significantly expanded texts that hugely affect a passage/book.  But some areAmong those is the entire ending of the Gospel of Mark, as found in later manuscripts and the KJV.  Here is what I say about it in my book Misquoting Jesus.


The Last Twelve Verses of Mark

The next example that I will consider may not be as familiar to the casual reader of the Bible, but it has been highly influential in the history of biblical interpretation and poses comparable problems for the scholar of the textual tradition of the New Testament.  This example comes from the Gospel of Mark, and concerns its ending.

In Mark’s account of Jesus’ passion, we are told that he is crucified and then buried by Joseph of Arimathea, on the day before the Sabbath (15:42-47).  On the day after Sabbath, Mary Magdalene and two other women come back to the tomb in order properly to anoint the body (16:1-2).  But when they arrive they find that the stone has already been rolled away.  Entering into the tomb, they find a young man in a white robe, who tells them “Do not be startled!  You are seeking Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified.  He has been raised and is not here – see the place where they laid him?”  He then instructs the women to tell the disciples that Jesus was proceeding them into Galilee, and that they would see him there, “just as he told you.”  But the women flee the tomb and say nothing to anyone, “for they were afraid” (16:4-8).

And then come the last twelve verses of Mark in many modern English translations, verses that continue the story.  Jesus himself is said to …

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