Friday, April 17, 2015

New Book Defends The Traditional Ending of Mark's Gospel

After doing a post today on a new Word Magazine (# 35) that relates to preaching the traditional ending of Mark, a friend sent me a link to a new book by Nicholas P. Lunn, The Original Ending of Mark:  A New Case for the Authenticity of Mark 16:9-20 (Pickwick Publications, October 2014). Pickwick is an imprint of Wipf and Stock.  Lunn has a PhD in Hebrew and serves as an OT tutor at Spurgeon's College in London and as a consultant with Wycliff Bible Translators (see this bio).  I have ordered a copy and will hope to do a review at some point.  Very thankful to see what appears to be a reputable contemporary challenge being offered to the modern critical consensus regarding the Ending of Mark. Will the next generation turn the tide and return to the traditional text of the Bible?  The back cover has blurbs from Pieter J. Lalleman, the Academic Dean at Spurgeon's College; Maurice Robinson  of SEBTS; and (surprisingly) from Craig A. Evans of Acadia Divinity School.  Evans even says the following:

Nicholas Lunn has thoroughly shaken my views concerning the ending of the Gospel of Mark. As in the case of most gospel scholars, I have for my whole career held that Mark 16:9-20, the so-called 'Long Ending,' was not original. But in his well-researched and carefully argued book, Lunn succeeds in showing just how flimsy that position really is. The evidence for the early existence of this ending, if not for its originality, is extensive and quite credible. I will not be surprised if Lunn reverses scholarly opinion on this important question. I urge scholars not to dismiss his arguments without carefully considering this excellent book. The Original Ending of Mark is must reading for all concerned with the gospels and early tradition concerned with the resurrection story.


Phil Brown said...

This is good news!

Victor Leonardo Barbosa said...

I'm sure that this book is a fresh air in an academy world dominated by Alexandrian textual criticism.
I remembered that there is another new book in defense of 1 John 5.7 (

I didn't read yet, but seems in the preview that is a synthesis of scholarly arguments(e.g. E. F. Hills and others) in defense of the Johannine Comma in a popular way.

What is interesting is that his author is greek. I think that is a important point in the exegesis of this passage.

God bless you, brother Jeff!

Jeffrey T. Riddle said...


Thanks for the encouragement brother. I have written a review of the Pappas book on the CJ. Hopefully, it will appear soon in Puritan Reformed Journal. Maybe I can also post it here later.


Hugh McCann said...

Jeff, You've misspelled his name as "Lund" in more than one place.

It appears it's "Lunn," no?

But thank you for this!

Keith Mathison is also maybe coming around: "This may have been the most surprising book I read in 2015. My thoughts on the ending of Mark have been basically settled for over 20 years. I have long been convinced that the original ending of Mark was at 16:8. Lunn’s book has caused me to go back and take another look at the evidence and seriously reconsider my position. He provides a very thorough and helpful examination of the external and internal evidence. His consideration of the linguistic argument is particularly good. In my opinion, Lunn’s book demonstrates that the case for the longer ending of Mark is a lot stronger than many of us have been led to believe, and he certainly demonstrates that the case for the shorter ending is a lot weaker. It will be interesting to see whether his work re-opens the debate and changes any minds."


Jeffrey T. Riddle said...

Thanks Hugh. I either wrote this post too late, too quickly, or both. Corrected. Thanks also for the Mathison blurb. Interesting.