Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Word Magazine # 66: Review: DelHousaye on Mark's Ending
I just posted Word Magazine # 66: Review: DelHousaye on Mark’s Ending. That’s right, another WM on the Ending of Mark. This time the review is of comments made by Dr. John DelHousaye of Phoenix Seminary during a panel discussion at the January 16, 2015 Together for the Gospel Arizona Regional Conference (watch the video here; comments on Mark’s ending begin at the 11:46 mark). The conference topic was “The Bible: Canon, Texts, and Translations.” Speakers included Wayne Grudem, John Meade, and John DelHousaye, all from Phoenix Seminary, and Peter Williams of Tyndale House. The panel was asked about how the ending of Mark should be handled and DelHousaye gave what has come to be a rather typical response from evangelical scholars. That is, he dismisses the traditional ending of Mark (16:9-20) as spurious on external and internal grounds and suggests that Mark’s original ending was Mark 16:8.
I close with two observations:
First, I note that the current evangelical rejection of Mark 16:9-20 is actually a far more radical position even than that taken by Bruce Metzger. In his book The Canon of the New Testament (Clarendon, corrected 1989) Metzger notes regarding Mark’s Ending:
There seems to be good reason, therefore, to conclude that, though external and internal evidence is conclusive against the authenticity of the last twelve verses as coming from the same pen as the rest of the Gospel, the passage ought to be accepted as part of the canonical text of Mark (p. 270; thanks to AJM for the heads up for this quote).
So, Metzger did not believe that Mark 16:9-20 was original, but he did believe it should be accepted as part of the canonical text of Mark. Oddly enough today, it is the “conservatives” who are taking the far more radical position of rejecting Mark’s traditional ending altogether!
Second, I offer a challenge to my fellow pastors, expositors, and preachers to read at least five suggested works defending the authenticity of Mark 16:9-20 before preaching or teaching on the ending of the Second Gospel. To be even handed, I also suggest reading five works making the case against the originality of the traditional ending. Read my blog post extending this challenge here.