early references from the Nicholas P. Lunn book discussed - Epistle of Clement, Shepherd of Hermas, Barnabas - ending of Mark

Steven Avery

This is important for our list of ECW references.
Also the various pseudo-authenticity stands.

From the James Snapp blog:

Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Nick Lunn's Book about Mark 16:9-20 - Reviewing a Review

Additional related material can be found e.g.
"lunn" "carlsen "ending of Mark" snapp

Especially the Larry Hurtado blog and the Evangelical Textual Criticism blog.


This was discussed more on the Facebook forum than the comments. My emphasis here will be the early church writers (and will watch for floating periocope discussions.)

NT Textual Criticism

James E Snapp
to Jr Casey Perkins,
CP: "Do you think that Lunn's claim of possible allusions in the Epistle of Clement, the Shepherd of Hermas, and Barnabas has any merit?"
I think the references in Clement of Rome are entirely plausible. Hermas, less so, and Barnabas, even less. But there is still more justification for any of the three than there is for the chronic "Clement and Origen show no knowledgee of these verses" rubbish that appears in commentary after commentary.
The thing is -- and this is why I didn't cite them in my book, despite having read Charles Taylor's old articles, mentioned by Lunn -- that since none of these early writers say that they are quoting from the Gospel of Mark, the comeback is practically inevitable: "Suppose Clement is utilizing Mark 16:9-20. How do you know that he is quoting it as part of the Gospel of Mark, and not as a freestanding text?" In other words, because we are dealing with allusions or indirect utilizations at the most, we face a special hurdle: instead of dismissing these witnesses because they are too late, they are vulnerable to dismissal due to being too early.
Joseph Philips
Regarding the “freestanding objection” (“"Suppose Clement is utilizing Mark 16:9-20. How do you know that he is quoting it as part of the Gospel of Mark, and not as a freestanding text?"), isn’t this the fallacy of argumentum ad ignoratiam?
We know that 16:9-20 is present in about1,700 manuscripts of the Gospel According to Mark and was quoted explicitly as far back as Irenaeus, whereas there is not a shred of evidence that it ever existed as a freestanding text. Why, then, should the suggestion that it existed as a freestanding text be considered significant?
Shouldn’t those who resort to such a gambit be required to offer at least some evidence to that effect before their suggestion should even be considered? Or is any fantasy and logical fallacy acceptable when deployed against the authenticity of Mark 16:9-20?
Steven Avery
These evidences singularly and collectively are very salient. In this post I will discuss some others that are corroborative to the traditional ending of Mark being very early == most assuredly, authentic.

(Having a conviction that Mark and Luke were published before 50 AD, the "freestanding" objections I consider significant but overdone, capable of lessening an evidence, but not suppressing. These 5+ less discussed early evidences are cumulative and corroborative, we should not lessen our scholarship simply because the hortians are skilled at hand-waving and conjectural objection.)

Scrivener (Edward Miller editor in the 1894 posthumous edition of Plain Introduction) understood this solid aspect:

A plain introduction to the criticism of the New Testament for the use of Biblical students, 4th edition (1894)
Frederick Henry Ambrose Scrivener

" Dr. C. Taylor, Master of St. John's College, Cambridge, in The Expositor for July 1893, quotes more evidence from Justin Martyr — hinting that some also remains behind — proving that that Father was familiar with these verses. Also he cites several passages from the Epistle of Barnabas in which traces of them occur, and from the Quartodeciman controversy, and from Clement of Rome. The value of the evidence which Dr. Taylor's acute vision has discovered consists chiefly in its cumulative force. From familiarity with the passage numerous traces of it arose; or as Dr. Taylor takes the case reversely, from the fact of the occurrence of numerous traces evident to a close observer, it is manifest that there pre-existed in the minds of the writers a familiarity with the language of the verses in question."

This is why the best scholarship will include all the allusions, unconcerned with objections like "freestanding". To include some but not others is to miss the point.


Remember, too that Charles Taylor (1840-1908) discusses the Apology of Marcianus Aristides c. 125 AD.

Aristides of Athens

The Witness of Hermas to the Four Gospels (1892)
Charles Taylor

Which has translations from Greek and Syriac and Armenian and is a solid evidence. Taylor is working with the Greek, chapter 15. There is related text in the Syriac Chapter 2.

The Month Volume 72 (1891)
The Apology of Aristides
Herbert Walker Lucas (1852-1933)
"The Armenian version seems (as Mr. Harris points out) to contain an allusion to St. Mark xiv. 20"

The Apology of Aristides on behalf of the Christians : from a Syriac ms. preserved on Mount Sinai (1893, pubilshed 1891)
James Rendel Harris (1852-1941)

Note that Harris was affirming a "signs following" reference in the Armenian, however Charles Taylor is going into the allusion from the Greek that did not need that extra pizazz.


Also from Charles Taylor is discussed the how Mark's ending text likely contributed to the 2nd century Quartodeciman Controversy involving Polycarp, Anicetus and Xystus (Sixtus).

The Expositor (1893)
Some Early Evidences For the Twelve Verses St Mark XVI 9-20
Charles Taylor


James Anthony Kelhoffer (b. 1970) has a somewhat negative view on the Taylor view of the Aristides evidence, while being reasonably bullish on Taylor's discussion of Justin Martyr (p. 172-173.) which he does say that he "overstates the evidence" but that "a persuasive knowledge of Justin's knowledge can nonetheless be made".

Miracle and Mission: The Authentication of Missionaries and Their Message in the Longer Ending of Mark
James Kelhoffer

Kelhoffer discusses the Letter of Peter to Philip on p. 236-237 and can be helpful in discussing other early evidences like the Gospel of Peter.

WIP - more to go over, including more on the floating pericope.
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Steven Avery

Hugh Houghton mentions Epistle 27.3 of Cyprian
ep. 27.3 phrase cum dominus dixerit . . . in baptismo praeterita peccata dimitti
"may allude to Mark 16:16." -

Steven Avery


Clement of Rome and the traditional ending of Mark

by Steven Avery » Tue Jan 03, 2023 12:16 pm


Let's strike two stones with one bird.

The Original Ending of Mark: A New Case for the Authenticity of Mark 16:9-20 (2015)
Nicholas P. Lunn

1 Clement 42:3-4
Having therefore received their orders, and being fully assured by the resurrection [ ἀναστάσεως ] of our Lord Jesus [ κύριος Ἰησοῦς ] Christ, and full of faith in the word [ τῷ λόγῳ ] of God, with full assurance of the Holy Spirit they went out [ ἐξῆλθον ] proclaiming the good news [ εὐαγγελιζόμενοι ] that the kingdom of God was about to come . . . preaching [ κηρύσσοντες ] in the country and in the towns . . . (1 Clem. 42.3–4)

Mark 16:9, 14 –15, 19 –20
Having been raised [ ἀναστὰς ] . . . he appeared to the Eleven . . . and he said to them, “Go into all the world and preach [ κηρύξατε ] the gospel [ τὸ εὐαγγέλιον ] to all creation . . . .” So then, after the Lord Jesus [ κύριος Ἰησοῦς ] had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And going out [ ἐξελθόντες ] they preached [ ἐκήρυξαν ] everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word [ τὸν λόγον ] through the accompanying signs. (Mark 16:9, 14 –15, 19 –20)

Much more can be written about other Gospel and Epistle allusions from Clement, as well as the authorship being before AD 70.

Here is Charles Taylor (1840-1908) writing of Clement of Rome and the Mark ending back in 1893.

The Expositor (1893)
p. 71-80

Steven Avery


Macarius, Apocriticus III: 16:
Again, consider in detail that other passage, where He says, "Such signs shall follow them that believe: they shall lay hands upon sick folk, and they shall recover, and if they drink any deadly drug, it shall in no wise hurt them." So the right thing would be for those selected for the priesthood, and particularly those who lay claim to the episcopate or presidency, to make use of this form of test. The deadly drug should be set before them in order that the man who received no harm from the drinking of it might be given precedence of the rest. And if they are not bold enough to accept this sort of test, they ought to confess that they do not believe in the things Jesus said. For if it is a peculiarity of the faith to overcome the evil of a poison and to remove the pain of a sick man, the believer who does not do these things either has not become a genuine |86 believer, or else, though his belief is genuine, the thing that he believes in is not potent but feeble.
Notice: Pagans were making fun of it, giving a reason to remove it