Excerpted from "Answers To Your Bible Version Questions"© 2002 by David W. Daniels
Question: Why is it that most bible versions (non-KJV) either omit Mark 16:9-20 or they have footnotes about alternative endings?
Answer: Mark 16:9-20 should be in the Bible, since it is found in almost every single Bible manuscript of Mark in existence!1
Wherever you look, the evidence, including Alexandrian manuscripts, is over 99% in favor of keeping the words of God in Mark 16:9-20.
Out of 620 manuscripts that contain Mark’s gospel, only 2 omit the last 12 verses. Here’s how it breaks down.
- Miniscules (lower-case letter manuscripts)
Out of 600 miniscules that have been investigated, all 600 miniscules have 16:9-20!
Majuscules (upper-case letter manuscripts)
Out of 15 majuscules that have the gospel of Mark, all 15 majuscules have Mark 16:9-20!
Codices (not a scroll, but in book form)
Out of the five codices that have Mark, 3 out of 5 codices have Mark 16:9-20! Only the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus remove it. (Some say it was removed by the same person in both manuscripts.) But the codices Ephraemi Rescriptus and Bezae have it in its place, as well as Alexandrinus.
That means less than 1/3 of 1% of these cited manuscripts omit Mark 16:9-20. ONLY TWO! And they’re not “better” manuscripts. They’re chock-full of errors.
Ancient Church Writings
You can also find Mark 16:9-20 in the 2nd Century Old Latin and Syriac Bibles and the writing of Papias, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus and Tertullian.
3rd to 7th Centuries
It's found in all sorts of other manuscripts and books in the 3rd to 7th centuries, as well. Researcher John William Burgon found 30 early writers who clearly included Mark 16: 9-20.
The Roman Addition
The one other exception to this, and the reason that some Bibles include a “shorter” version of the last verses of Mark, is so phony and Roman that it doesn’t need much comment. Here it is:
Perverted Ending to Mark
And all things whatsoever that had been commanded they explained briefly to those who were with Peter; after these things also Jesus Himself appeared and from the east unto the west sent out through them the holy and uncorrupted preaching of eternal salvation. Amen. (This fake verse is inserted after 16:8 or between 16:8 and 16:9 with the real ending included. Emphasis mine.)
You can see the early Roman Catholicism coming through, with Peter in the forefront. But the true Bible never does this. He’s never exalted above the others. Peter has human frailties like the rest (compare Mark 16:7; Acts 10; Galatians 2:11-21).
A few manuscripts fell for this corruption, as Roman Catholicism began to infiltrate the churches and people began to change the truth of God in their Bibles into a lie (Romans 1:25) to conform to the Roman Religion. But very few manuscripts can be found in any language that have this perversion.
The Truth Is Obvious
The Bible SHOULD contain what God said through His inspired apostles and prophets. Any true Bible must contain, without excuse, brackets or footnotes, the entire text of Mark 16:9-20. People may debate what God’s preserved words mean, but they have no right to remove God’s words from His Bible.
1For more information, read William Grady’s Final Authority: A Christian’s Guide to the King James Bible (available from Chick Publications), chapter 5.
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