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Showing posts from March 4, 2012

Women and the Empty Tomb: Making Sense of Mark's Ending

Imagine you are part of the original audience of the Gospel of Mark. Christianity is about 40 or so years old. You are a second-generation believer. You believe, like many in your community, that Jesus has been raised from the dead. You believe, like many in your community, that he appeared to Peter, and then to many others, and then to Paul. Then, this short gospel comes along. It is disturbing. It does not have any stories of the risen Christ appearing to his disciples. Moreover, it ends with women at the empty tomb silent and afraid. You do not even shake the hands of the one who read the gospel. No one did in the whole congregation. Actually, even today, most people don't care about the Gospel of Mark. They would rather read Matthew, Luke, and John. These gospels end right--like Walt Disney movies. Matthew ends with the Great Commission and the Risen Christ's promise of Immanuel. John has the "Do you love me" cycle, and a beach scene to boot. Luke has special ef…