October 12, 2007

Mark 15.40-16.8

A number of women were also present, watching from a distance. Among them were Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of James the Younger and of Joseph, and Salome, who had all followed him and waited on him when he was in Galilee, and there were several others who had come up to Jerusalem with him.

By this time evening had come; and as it was the day before Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the Council, a man who was eagerly awaiting the Kingdom of God, bravely went in to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.

Pilate was surprized to hear that he was dead; so he sent for the centurion and asked him whether it was long since he died. And when he heard the centurion's report, he gave Joseph leave to take the dead body.

So Joseph brought a linen sheet, took him down from the cross, and wrapped him in the sheet. Then he laid him in a tomb cut out of the rock, and rolled a stone against the entrance. And Mary of Magdala and Mary the mother of Joseph were watching and saw where he was laid.

Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought aromatic oils intending to go and anoint him; and very early on the Sunday morning, just after sunrise, the came to the tomb.

They were wondering among themselves who would roll away the stone for them from the entrance to the tomb, when they looked up and saw that the stone, huge as it was, had been rolled back already. They went into the tomb, where they saw a youth sitting on the right-hand side, wearing a white robe, and they were dumbfounded.

But he said to them, "Fear nothing. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. Look, here is the place where they laid him.

"But go and give this message to his disciples and Peter: 'He will go on before you into Galilee and you will see him there, as he told you.' "

Then they went out and ran away from the tomb, beside themselves with terror. They said nothing to anybody, for they were afraid.

["At this point some of the most ancient witnesses bring the book to a close."
{New English Bible.)]

[New Oxford Annotated Bible, 1971: "The traditional close of the Gospel of Mark.

"Nothing is certainly known about how this Gospel originally ended or about the origin of verses 9-20, which cannot have been part of the original text of Mark....

"The most likely accounting for the origin of these verses as a unit is that, having been complied early in the 2nd Century as a didactic summary of grounds for belief in Jesus' resurrection, they were appended to the Gospel by the end of the 2nd Century..."]

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