April 2, 2018

Mark 16:8 Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid. [a]

Do you see that little [a] at the end of the verse? It is not a typo. It is a footnote. Most bibles have them at the end of Mark 16:8 and they say something like, “Mark 16:8 Some manuscripts have the following ending between verses 8 and 9, and one manuscript has it after verse 8 (omitting verses 9-20): Then they quickly reported all these instructions to those around Peter. After this, Jesus himself also sent out through them from east to west the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation. Amen.” This one is from the New International Version. They also put an explanatory note right in the text following verse eight: “[The earliest manuscripts and some other ancient witnesses do not have verses 9–20.] So what is all this about? It appears not everyone was content with an ending to the story where the women were trembling and bewildered, running away and not saying anything to anyone. Why Mark was content with this is a subject for another day, but someone decided to add some additional material to round out the narrative on a more hopeful and positive note. I used to think this was awful. Who would have the audacity to add to the sacred word of scripture! But now I kind of feel like this is what we do all the time, and what we should do. Easter is not a static fact to be examined and dissected. It is a lens that illumines all the rest of life. It is the invitation to see everything from a resurrection perspective. It is the summons to find more of how this risen Jesus rattled the world and our individual lives. Easter is not an end but a divine opportunity. What are you adding to the Easter story?

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