Mark, Jewish New Testament and comment David H. Stern

chapter 16
1. When Shabbat was over, Miryam of Magdala, Miryam the mother of Ya‘akov, and Shlomit bought spices in order to go and anoint Yeshua.
When Shabbat was over. Mark means Motza'ei-Shabbat (the "going-out of Sabbath"). that is, Saturday evening, when Shabbat was over (see 1:32N). At Pesach season this would be after 7 PM. In Israel today many stores open on Saturday evening after being closed all day; evidently the same custom prevailed then.

2. Very early the next day, just after sunrise, they went to the tomb.
3. They were asking each other, “Who will roll away the stone from the entrance to the tomb for us?”
4. Then they looked up and saw that the stone, even though it was huge, had been rolled back already.
The two Miryams were stymied as they went to the tomb. They were asking each other, "Who will roll away the stone from the entrance to the tomb for us?" Such stones were too large for them to move. Then they looked up and saw that the stone, even though it was huge, had been rolled back already. An atheistic lawyer named Frank Morison investigated Yeshua's resurrection, intending to write a book disproving it. Instead, the evidence convinced him that it had happened. After coming to faith in God and his Messiah he wrote Who Moved The Stone? (London: Faber & Faber, 1958), proving that Yeshua's resurrection actually took place.

5. On entering the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right; and they were dumbfounded.
6. But he said, “Don’t be so surprised! You’re looking for Yeshua from Natzeret, who was executed on the stake. He has risen, he’s not here! Look at the place where they laid him.
Yeshua from Natzeret, Greek lisoun ton Nazarinon, "Yeshua the Nazarene." See Mt 2:23N.

7. But go and tell his talmidim, especially Kefa, that he is going to the Galil ahead of you. You will see him there, just as he told you.”
8. Trembling but ecstatic they went out and fled from the tomb, and they said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

Verses 9–20 are found in many ancient Greek manuscripts but not in the two oldest ones.

9. When Yeshua rose early Sunday, he appeared first to Miryam of Magdala, from whom he had expelled seven demons.
10. She went and told those who had been with him, as they were crying and mourning.
11. But when they heard that he was alive and that she had seen him, they wouldn’t believe it.
12. After that, Yeshua appeared in another form to two of them as they were walking into the country.
13. They went and told the others, but they didn’t believe them either.
14. Later, Yeshua appeared to the Eleven as they were eating, and he reproached them for their lack of trust and their spiritual insensitivity in not having believed those who had seen him after he had risen.
15. Then he said to them, “As you go throughout the world, proclaim the Good News to all creation.
16. Whoever trusts and is immersed will be saved; whoever does not trust will be condemned.
Logically there are four possibilities:
(1) Whoever trusts in God, in his Messiah Yeshua, in the Good News, in God's Word, and is immersed will be saved.

(2-3) Whoever does not trust, whether (2) immersed or (3) not, will be condemned because he refuses to come to God in God's way, that is, by faith.
Case (2) shows that baptism in and of itself has no saving value.

(4) The case of someone who trusts but is not immersed is not mentioned. However, immersion following faith is the norm (Ac 8:36); and refusal to be immersed is disobedience to God's command (Ac 2:38) — it demonstrates de facto lack of trust, since trust is supposed to lead to obedience (Ro 1:5). Luke 23:43, telling of the repentant thief executed along with Yeshua, is sometimes cited to show that immersion is not required for salvation. Since in his circumstances the thief could not possibly have undergone immersion, what the incident shows is that the un-immersed believer is a possible case but definitely the exception to the rule.

17. And these signs will accompany those who do trust: in my name they will drive out demons, speak with new tongues,
18. not be injured if they handle snakes or drink poison, and heal the sick by laying hands on them.”
This is Mark's version of the Great Commission: see Mt 28:19-20&N.
Those who trust in the Good News can expect God's power to work through them. Verse 20 says that this promise was fulfilled anciently, and numerous modern instances may be found as well, even though centuries of anti-supernaturalism predispose Westerners not to believe it. On the other hand, there are extreme sects (e.g., the "snake-handlers") who take these verses out of context and make of them a foolish standard for measuring their own and others' faith, thereby tempting God (against Mt 7:1-5, Ya 1:13).

19. So then, after he had spoken to them, the Lord Yeshua was taken up into heaven and sat at the right hand of God. (Psalm 110:1)
Sat at the right hand of God. This fulfills Psalm 110:1 and Yeshua's own prediction about himself at 14:62.

20. And they went out and proclaimed everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the message by the accompanying signs.
These verses do not appear in the two oldest Greek manuscripts, their style differs from the rest of Mark, and the transition from v. 8 is awkward. Therefore some scholars believe them to be scribal additions. Others consider them apostolic in origin and inspired by God, but not written by Mark, having been added by an editor to bring closure to the otherwise abrupt ending. And others believe Mark wrote them. They are included in the JNT text, but with a footnote pointing out their problematical character.

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