January 20 - Mark 16

Dig Deeper:

  • IS THIS STILL THE BIBLE, OR NOT??? - Depending on which English translation you're reading from, there's some sort of indication that verses 9-20 of chapter 16 are different than the first 8. The newer NIV's put the whole passage in italics, while other versions break it apart from the beginning of the chapter with a note saying "The earliest manuscripts and some other ancient witnesses do not have verses 9-20." It seems to be the case that these verses were added by scribes hundreds of years after Mark originally wrote the gospel. This helps explains the odd language written here: things like poisonous snake handling, being able to heal all sick people, etc. These things seem out of step with the Bible. So, no, I do not consider these verses to be authoritative scripture.

  • CAN YOU REALLY TRUST THE BIBLE? That's a fair question. If it has become clear that these verses are are not actually divinely inspired scripture, how much more of the Bible is actually additions or changes made by zealous or careless scribes? There are thousands of original manuscripts - handwritten copies - of the New Testament, and yes, all those manuscripts contain hundreds of thousands of variations between them. That seems like a big deal, except it's not. A massive percentage of these variations are minor spelling differences, slight changes in word order, and other trivial matters that make no impact on the message or meaning. When we take into account the fact that these manuscripts come from all corners of the known world at the time, and that these people had vastly different political, cultural