Who was first? Mary Magdalene, Peter and the Ending of Mark
AbstractThis article discusses one of the most perplexing questions in textual criticism – the wide variety of endings for the gospel of Mark. The most reliable early manuscripts end at verse 8, but this is a very strange ending, and other endings seem to have been added later: the shorter and the longer ending. The article discusses various hypotheses about whether an original ending was lost or whether this ending was deliberate and concludes that Mark decided to end this way because of conflicting versions of the Easter story circulating in his community: One was the early traditional version, probably proclaimed by the Jerusalem apostles and taken up by Paul, that Peter was the first one to see the risen Christ. The other was more controversial and had implications for questions of authority and leadership in the church: the testimony that Mary Magdalene, or several women, were first. Mark chose to allow the women the place of first witnesses to the empty tomb, but to leave open the question of who had the first encounter with the risen Christ. The different factions were then free to choose their own ending. As the empty tomb was not an integral part of the Petrine resurrection narrative, Mark’s version did not undermine this early Easter account, but opened the way to integrate the women’s story in official Christian tradition.
Authors retain copyright and grant the Journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this Journal.
This is an open access journal, and the authors and journal should be properly acknowledged, when works are cited.
Authors may use the publishers version for teaching purposes, in books, theses, dissertations, conferences and conference papers.
A copy of the authors’ publishers version may also be hosted on the following websites:
- Non-commercial personal webpage or blog.
- Institutional webpage.
- Authors Institutional Repository.
The following notice should accompany such a posting on the website: “This is an electronic version of an article published in Scriptura, Volume XXX, number XXX, pages XXX–XXX”, DOI. Authors should also supply a hyperlink to the original paper or indicate where the original paper (http://scriptura.journals.ac.za/pub) may be found.
Authors publishers version, affiliated with the Stellenbosch University will be automatically deposited in the University’s’ Institutional Repository SUNScholar.
Articles as a whole, may not be re-published with another journal.
The following license applies: