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Mark 16

New International Version

1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus' body. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3 and they asked each other, 'Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?' 4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5 As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. 6 Don't be alarmed,' he said. 'You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.'' 8 Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid. 9 When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. 11 When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it. 12 Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. 13 These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either. 14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. 15 He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.' 19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. 20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.
English Standard Version

1 When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. 2 And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. 3 And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” 4 And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back—it was very large. 5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. 6 And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.” 8 And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid. 9 [[Now when he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with him, as they mourned and wept. 11 But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it. 12 After these things he appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country. 13 And they went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them. 14 Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at table, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen. 15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” 19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs.]]
King James Version

1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. 2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. 3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? 4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. 5 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. 6 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. 7 But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. 8 And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid. 9 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. 10 And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. 11 And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not. 12 After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. 13 And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them. 14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. 15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. 19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. 20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
New American Standard Bible

1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might come and anoint Him. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3 They were saying to one another, 'Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?' 4 Looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away, although it was extremely large. 5 Entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe; and they were amazed. 6 And he said to them, 'Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him. 7 'But go, tell His disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He told you.'' 8 They went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had gripped them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid. 9 Now after He had risen early on the first day of the week, He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven demons. 10 She went and reported to those who had been with Him, while they were mourning and weeping. 11 When they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they refused to believe it. 12 After that, He appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking along on their way to the country. 13 They went away and reported it to the others, but they did not believe them either. 14 Afterward He appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table; and He reproached them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who had seen Him after He had risen. 15 And He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 'He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. 17 'These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.' 19 So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed. And they promptly reported all these instructions to Peter and his companions. And after that, Jesus Himself sent out through th
New Living Translation

1 Saturday evening, when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went out and purchased burial spices so they could anoint Jesus' body. 2 Very early on Sunday morning, just at sunrise, they went to the tomb. 3 On the way they were asking each other, 'Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?' 4 But as they arrived, they looked up and saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled aside. 5 When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side. The women were shocked, 6 but the angel said, 'Don't be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn't here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body. 7 Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.' 8 The women fled from the tomb, trembling and bewildered, and they said nothing to anyone because they were too frightened. Then they briefly reported all this to Peter and his companions. Afterward Jesus himself sent them out from east to west with the sac 9 After Jesus rose from the dead early on Sunday morning, the first person who saw him was Mary Magdalene, the woman from whom he had cast out seven demons. 10 She went to the disciples, who were grieving and weeping, and told them what had happened. 11 But when she told them that Jesus was alive and she had seen him, they didn't believe her. 12 Afterward he appeared in a different form to two of his followers who were walking from Jerusalem into the country. 13 They rushed back to tell the others, but no one believed them. 14 Still later he appeared to the eleven disciples as they were eating together. He rebuked them for their stubborn unbelief because they refused to believe those who had seen him after he had been raised from the dead. 15 And then he told them, 'Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. 16 Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned. 17 These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak in new languages. 18 They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won't hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.' 19 When the Lord Jesus had finished talking with them, he was taken up into heaven and sat down in the place of honor at God's right hand. 20 And the disciples went everywhere and preached, and the Lord worked through them, confirming what they said by many miraculous signs.
Christian Standard Bible

1 When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they could go and anoint him. 2 Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they went to the tomb at sunrise. 3 They were saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone from the entrance to the tomb for us?" 4 Looking up, they noticed that the stone--which was very large--had been rolled away. 5 When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side; they were alarmed. 6 "Don't be alarmed," he told them. "You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they put him. 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you to Galilee; you will see him there just as he told you.'" 8 They went out and ran from the tomb, because trembling and astonishment overwhelmed them. And they said nothing to anyone, since they were afraid. 9 Early on the first day of the week, after he had risen, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. 10 She went and reported to those who had been with him, as they were mourning and weeping. 11 Yet, when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe it. 12 After this, he appeared in a different form to two of them walking on their way into the country. 13 And they went and reported it to the rest, who did not believe them either. 14 Later he appeared to the Eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table. He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who saw him after he had risen. 15 Then he said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes; if they should drink anything deadly, it will not harm them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will get well." 19 So the Lord Jesus, after speaking to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word by the accompanying signs.]

What does Mark 16 mean?

He is risen!

Jesus has finished His three years of ministry and training for His disciples. He has faced the cross and taken the sins of the world. Now He has risen, just as He said He would.

After the crucifixion, Joseph of Arimathea (Mark 15:42–46) and Nicodemus buried Jesus (John 19:39). They washed His body, wrapped it in linen, and placed Him in a grave. Mary Magdalene and another Mary followed to see where the tomb was (Mark 15:47), then went home to prepare more spices and ointment and to observe the Sabbath (Luke 23:56). The Sanhedrin, afraid that Jesus' disciples will steal His body and claim He has risen from the dead, asked Pilate to seal the tomb (Matthew 27:62–66). A cord would have been wrapped around the stone and the crack filled with wax. The stone could not be moved without breaking the wax and dislodging the cord.

Now that the Sabbath is over, several women come to Jesus' grave to complete the preparations Joseph and Nicodemus hastily provided. Mark mentions Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the Less and Joses (Mark 15:40, 47), and Salome, James and John's mother (Matthew 27:56). Luke adds Joanna (Luke 24:10), and says several other women are present (Mark 16:1–3).

When the women arrive on Sunday morning, they discover the stone is rolled away and the tomb is empty except for a young man in a white robe (Mark 16:1–8). He tells them that Jesus is risen and charges the women to tell the disciples, particularly Peter, to meet Jesus in Galilee. They women leave, telling no one on their way (Mark 16:4–8).

The book of Mark is the story of Jesus trying to teach the disciples who He is and what He has come to do. Ironically, the most reliable manuscript finishes without this mission being completed. Jesus' disciples are in hiding. His tomb is empty. His women followers are confused and scared. But this is, perhaps, an appropriate ending considering what Mark has shown us about Jesus' relationship with His followers. What we think of Jesus has no bearing on Who He is. We may think Him a teacher, a future King, the source of infinite blessings, or a helpless, innocent man hanging on a cross.

What He is, is the Son of Man from Daniel 7 who will be given "dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him" (Daniel 7:14). The women may not understand what has happened yet and the disciples may not believe the news of His resurrection at first. But Jesus will patiently reveal Himself to them, and through their testimony the world will come to hear of who He is. The fact that Jesus returns and chooses these clueless, timid souls to build His church merely proves how much we need His grace-giving sacrifice.

While verse 8 is the end of the oldest transcript of the Gospel of Mark, less-reliable manuscripts continue. Most likely, the additional verses were added as footnotes or addendums, then accidentally included as part of the main text by a scribe. The inclusion of the extended ending of Mark does not invalidate the reliability of this Gospel or the Bible as a whole. In fact, all but one phrase recorded in verses 9–20 is at least partially confirmed somewhere in the other three Gospels or the book of Acts.

As John 20:1–18 states, after the women tell the disciples, Peter and John see for themselves the tomb is empty. Mary Magdalene follows them, and after they leave she meets Jesus (Mark 16:9–11). Jesus sends her back to tell the disciples she has seen Him, but they do not believe her.

Luke includes a much longer version of Mark 16:12–13 (Luke 24:13–35). Jesus speaks with these two travelers, explaining how His ministry, death, and resurrection fit into the prophecies of the Old Testament. He even eats a meal with them. They don't realize He is Jesus until right before He vanishes. The two rush back to Jerusalem to find the eleven disciples and report what happened.

One of the added verses briefly mentions that Jesus rebukes the disciples' unbelief (Mark 16:14). Luke says He appears in the room where they are hiding and scolds them for disbelieving the accounts of others as well as the evidence of their own eyes (Luke 24:36–43). John adds that Thomas is absent from this meeting, but Jesus returns and proves Himself again (John 20:24–29). Thomas responds, "My Lord and my God!" (John 20:28). After several appearances, the disciples finally trust Jesus enough to go to Galilee, where He'd promised to meet them. Matthew 28:16–20 covers the shortened Great Commission found in Mark 16:15.

Mark 16:16–20 is not found in the other Gospels, but most the promises are fulfilled in the book of Acts. The disciples do cast out demons (Acts 19:11–12), speak new tongues (Acts 2:1–11), survive serpent bites (Acts 28:1–6), and heal the sick (Acts 3:1–10). The Scriptures have no record of a disciple surviving poison, although extra-biblical accounts do. The use of this passage to encourage handling snakes and drinking poison is tragic, and entirely contrary to orthodox Christian teachings.