Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Mark 16:1-20

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Jesus' Resurrection - Mark 16:1-8

The Resurrection of the Messiah.

Spices - Mark 16:1

The women bought spices to anoint Jesus' body. This was the custom to cover up the foul odors of a rotting corpse.

The stone - Mark 16:3

They had seen Jesus' body put in the cave (15:47) and knew that the stone was too large for them to move it.

An angel - Mark 16:5

The young man was an angel. (See Matt. 28:2.) The women were alarmed. This was so important to Mark that he kept on repeating it with different words.

Just as he told you - Mark 16:7

The words Just as he told you are a reference to Jesus promise in 14:28.

Afraid - Mark 16:8

They ran from the tomb … tremblingamazed ... afraid. Mark emphasized fear and astonishment throughout the gospel and here stressed it at the end. The empty tomb could not be explained by human experience. This ending of the gospel stresses that the Messiah is a powerful, awe-inspiring King who can never fully be understood by human beings. In the presence of the revelation of the divine resurrection power of the Son of God awe, wonder, and fear are a natural human response. This ending stresses the inadequacy of all human power and competency. It is a call to faith in the gospel of the kingdom of the all-powerful and all sufficient God.

Textual Note - Mark 16:9-20

These verses do not appear in some of the oldest and most reliable Greek manuscripts and early translations of Mark's gospel. They also use vocabulary that is not common in Mark. The majority of biblical scholars believe they were not a part of the inspired gospel as it was originally written, but were added later in the history of the early Church by a scribe who was copying the text. It is important to note that not a single doctrine is affected whether these verses were a part of the original gospel or not.

Mary Magdalene - Mark 16:9-11

These verses resume the account of verse 1 with the repeated mention of Mary Magdalene. They reflect the longer account of John 20:11-18.

Jesus appeared - Mark 16:12-13

These two verses seem to summarize the story of Jesus appearing to two disciples on the road to Emmaus that is recorded in Luke 24:13-35. The mention of a different form assumes knowledge of Luke's account where the disciples do not immediately recognize Jesus. As in verse 11 the other disciples do not believe the report of Jesus' resurrection. The unbelief is similar to that reported in Luke 24:11.

Jesus' rebuke - Mark 16:14

Jesus' rebuke seems to be directed at the unbelief that is reported in verses 11 and 13. See WCF 17.3.

Great Commission - Mark 16:15

This verse seems to be another version of the Great Commission of Matt. 28:19, 20. Matthew's version took place on a mountain in Galilee. Mark's version is located in a room while they were eating. See WLC 35.

Mark 16:15-16

See WCF 7.3; 28.4; WLC 60, 63; HC 71.

Baptized - Mark 16:16

Some interpreters believe that this verse teaches that one must be baptized to be saved. That is not the only possible interpretation of this verse, but it is more plausible than similar arguments that are sometimes made from passages such as John 3:5 and Acts 2:38. Nowhere does the New Testament clearly teach that baptism is required for salvation. Salvation is consistently presented as the result of grace through faith. See Eph. 2:8:9. Of course, if these verses were not a part of Mark's original gospel this text is not a part of that theological conversation at all.

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