This Sunday, being Low Sunday, my little trot around the endings of the four gospels is focusing on Mark - the one now usually accepted as the oldest - and I will be using all three endings in the order they are listed in the Good News Bible (it fits best with my 'path' I think...). I decided, out of curiosity, to have a look at some other translations both in real hardback form and online - go play, it's fascinating! Some use brackets, some don't; some have original + long, some have original, short, long; some have original long, short... Brilliant! It feeds exactly into my three questions for each week...
Why did the writer choose to end the story the way they did?
What difference would it make if that was the only gospel we had – as would have been the case for most Christians in the first couple of centuries?
What difference does this ending make for our own lives of faith and discipleship?
Given that John (which we used last week) has two endings/editions and Mark has three, we begin to get under the surface very quickly. Luke and Matthew will be a doddle by comparison!
So here're the extra questions for reading John and Mark...
If you only had the 'first edition' (ends at end of Ch 20 for John; shortest ending for Mark) what difference would it make?
Why do you think the writer stopped where they did in the first edition?
Why do you think the extra material was added?
Have fun - I'm loving it!