An experiment: The original Gospel of Mark?—Chp. 16

As noted in the Introduction, two texts of the relevant chapter in the Gospel of Mark are presented here. The first is a short, hypothetical “core”—the first draft of an UrMark reconstructed according to the criteria below.

At the bottom of this post is the entire Chapter 16 in the RSV English translation. Both the short and the longer forms of the chapter are color coded. In order to separate out later Catholic accretions from the earlier Jewish Christian “core,” I have employed the following criteria:

The criteria used for color coding are discussed here. The resultant color coding is as follows:

[Contained in the Hebrew Gospel / UrMark]

Green: Possible/probable, or amended in UrMark.

STAGE 1: Gnostic. To c. 50 CE. “Jesus” is the saving gnosis.
                           Black: May contain historical elements going back to Yeshu ha-Notsri.
                           [Blue] Logia/parables of Yeshu.

STAGE 2a: Jewish Christian. [Brown] C. 50–c. 150 CE. “Jesus” is a divine spiritual entity sent from Yahweh indwelling any worthy human through the grace of God/obedience to God. But the first in whom the Jesus dwelled (the prophet Yeshu ha-Notsri by my reckoning) was known as “the first-begotten Son” of God, the “Christ” (Messiah; NTA I:177.2). This messiah was only a model for emulation, not the unattainable figure of later Christianity. Possessing the Jesus (which we can all do, and should do) enables repentance and the forgiveness of sins. The spirit Jesus is divine, but the humans in whom the Jesus dwells are not.

[Not in the Hebrew Gospel / UrMark]

STAGE 2b: Pauline/Marcionite. [Purple] C. 50–c. 150 CE. “Jesus” is a divine spiritual entity sent from the immaterial God (not the God of creation) indwelling any worthy human through the grace of God/obedience to God. The death on the cross of a prophet (“Jesus Christ”) in the distant past was a cosmic event of human redemption. Jesus is divine, but the human(s) in whom it dwells are not. Belief is required.

STAGE 3: Catholic Christianity. [Red] C. 150+. “Jesus of Nazareth” is the savior of the world. Gnosis, repentance, and forgiveness of sins have been superseded. “Jesus Christ” was both divine and human. Belief is required.      (Red underlined: Catholic and anti-Marcionite.)

The comprehensive UrMark, cumulatively updated after each installment, is found here.
The cumulative (color coded) Gospel of Mark, also updated after each installment, is found here.

The Hebrew Gospel / UrMark: Chp. 16

[Nothing. All Catholic, Stage 3.]

The Gospel of Mark: Chp. 16
(Revised Standard Version)

[1] And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him.
[2] And very early on the first day of the week they went to the tomb when the sun had risen.
[3] And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the door of the tomb?”
[4] And looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back;—it was very large.
[5] And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe; and they were amazed.
[6] And he said to them, “Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus [the Nazarene], who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here; see the place where they laid him.
[7] But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you.”
[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.

[9] Now when he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons.
[10] She went and told those who had been with him, as they mourned and wept.
[11] But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it.
[12] After this he appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country.
[13] And they went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them.

[14] Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they sat at table; and he upbraided them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen.
[15] And he said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.
[16] He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
[17] And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues;
[18] they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
[19] So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.

[20] And they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that attended it. Amen.

 Chapter 15

About René Salm

René Salm is the author of two books on New Testament archeology and manages the companion website

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