Mark 16:9-20

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The earliest clear evidence for Mark 16:9-20 as part of the Gospel of Mark is in Chapter XLV First Apology of Justin Martyr (c. 160). In a passage in which Justin treats Psalm 110 as a Messianic prophecy, he states that Ps. 110:2 was fulfilled when Jesus' disciples, going forth from Jerusalem, preached everywhere. His verbiage is remarkably similar to the wording of Mk. 16:20 and is consistent with Justin's use of a Synoptics-Harmony in which Mark 16:20 was blended with Lk. 24:53. Justin's student Tatian (c. 172), incorporated almost all of Mark 16:9-20 into his Diatessaron, a blended narrative consisting of material from all four canonical Gospels. And Irenaeus (c. 184), in Against Heresies 3:10.6, explicitly cited Mark 16:19, stating that he was quoting from near the end of Mark's account. This patristic evidence is over a century older than the earliest manuscript of Mark 16. Writers in the 200's such as Hippolytus of Rome and the anonymous author of De Rebaptismate also used the "Longer Ending." In 305, the pagan writer Hierocles used Mark 16:18 in a jibe against Christians, probably recycling material written by Porphyry in 270.

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