Should Mark 16:9-20 be in the Bible?

There are question marks over whether the last twelve verses of the Gospel of Mark (Mark 16:9-20) should be included in the New Testament. Most English translations of the Bible include the passage, but have the words in brackets, with a footnote stating that the words are not found in the most ancient known Greek source manuscripts. The Center for New Testament Restoration (CNTR) excludes the passage. However, our studies show that the verses should be included in the canon of Scripture.

Should Mark 16:9-20 be in the Bible?

Scholars ask whether Mark 16 verses 9-20 should be in the Bible. Most English tanslations of the Bible include these last 12 verses of Mark, but with a footnote saying that the passage is not found in the earliest known Greek manuscripts.

We believe that Mark 16:9-20 should be in the Bible.

The Greek text of the books of Matthew and Mark has exactly 29,584 words. This total is found only when Mark 16 verses 9-20 is included. In other words (up to the end of Mark), the first two books of the New Testament, in the original writing, there are 29,584 words, and this can be expressed as 86 x 86 x 2 x 2.

Why is 86 x 86 x 2 x 2 significant? What’s special about 86?

Every letter of the Greek alphabet has a numeric value. The New Testament was written in Greek. Every letter of the Hebrew alphabet has a numeric value. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew. This means that every word in the original text of the Bible, has a numeric value.

The first verse of the Bible is Genesis chapter 1 verse1. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." In Hebrew: בראשית ברא אלהים את השמים ואת הארץ

The third word in the sentence is the word for God … אלהים. It has a numeric value of 86.

The first verse in the New Testament is Matthew chapter 1 verse 1. “The book of the genealogy of Jesus the Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” In Greek: ΒΙΒΛΟΣ ΓΕΝΕΣΕΩΣ ΙΗΣΟΥ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ ΥΙΟΥ ΔΑΥΕΙΔ ΥΙΟΥ ΑΒΡΑΑΜ. The third word in the sentence is the word for Jesus … ΙΗΣΟΥ. It’s a little odd that it’s in this form, in this first verse, because the main form in the New Testament is ΙΗΣΟΥΣ (which is obviously from where we get the translation into English as “Jesus”).

Genesis 1:1 ... the third word: אלהים ... “God” … numeric value: 860.

Matthew 1:1 ... the third word: ΙΗΣΟΥ ... “Jesus” … numeric value 688. And 688 is 86 x 8.

Now, the New Testament says that Jesus was the Creator. (John 1:3, Col 1:16, Heb 1:2)

Then, the first verse of the book of Mark: “The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus the Christ, the Son of God.” In Greek: ΑΡΧΗ ΤΟΥ ΕΥΑΓΓΕΛΙΟΥ ΙΗΣΟΥ ΧΡΙΣΤΟΥ ΥΙΟΥ ΘΕΟΥ. Once again, the word for Jesus is in the form ΙΗΣΟΥ.

So, the first word in the Bible for God is אלהים … value 86.

The first word for Jesus in the New Testament is ΙΗΣΟΥ … value 86 x 8.

And the first word for Jesus in the Gospel of Mark is ΙΗΣΟΥ … value 86 x 8.

And the number of Greek words in Matthew and Mark combined works out to be: 86 x 86 x 2 x 2 (= 29,584)

The chance of all that occurring by accident is way beyond calculation. It tells us that we almost certainly have the correct Greek text of Matthew and Mark, and it tells us that that text must include the closing passage of Mark 16 verses 9 to 20.

So, why would the passage be missing from the most ancient manuscripts that we have found? Perhaps those closing words were written by someone other than Mark. Would that be a problem?

It’s accepted that Moses wrote down the first five books of the Bible … Genesis to Deuteronomy. But the last chapter of Deuteronomy details the death of Moses. Moses couldn’t have writen that. Someone added that, maybe Joshua.

So, maybe someone other than Mark wrote the closing 12 verses of that Gospel. And it certainly seems like a positive ending is needed! Read Mark chapter 16 up to the end of verse 8. The last words would then be: “… they fled from the tomb .. trembling … afraid.” What a way to end a book of Good News!

Now read the words that have been added. They are full of hope and new life.

Jesus rose on the first day of the week. That’s a Sunday … an 8th day, by Jewish reckoning.

And Jesus said “in My Name in the Name of Jesus), believers will cast out demons … they will speak in new tongues … they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover.”

And when we read the book of Acts, that is exactly what happened … people who had been bound by the rituals of the Law (Jews) and a second group (Gentiles), people who had been without God and without hope in the world (see Eph 2:12), came to saving faith in Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah, and they went out and impacted the world.

And it’s hardly strange that God would seal the written message of this Good News by placing His watermark of design in the original writing.