The earliest and most reliable manuscripts of Mark end at Mark 16:8, this is supported by statements from the early Church Fathers Eusebius and Jerome. The oldest manuscripts of the New Testament are Codex Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, both of these Greek manuscripts have no ending for Mark.Almost all contemporary New Testament textual critics have concluded that neither the longer or shorter endings were originally part of Mark’s Gospel, though the evidence of the early church fathers above shows that the longer ending had become accepted tradition. The United Bible Societies’ 4th edition of the Greek New Testament (1993) rates the omission of verses 9-20 from the original Markanmanuscript as “certain.” For this reason, many modern Bibles decline to print the longer ending of Mark together with the rest of the gospel, but, because of its historical importance and prominence, it is often included as a footnote or an appendix alongside the shorter ending.
“All things considered, then, Mark does not begin his story of Jesus very satisfactorily. Indeed, within two or three decades of Mark’s completion, there were at least two, and perhaps three, different writers (or Christian groups) who felt the need to produce an expanded and corrected version. Viewed from their perspective, the Gospel of Mark has some major shortcomings: It contains no birth narrative; it implies that Jesus, a repentant sinner, became the Son of God only at his baptism; it recounts no resurrection appearances; and it ends with the very unsatisfactory notion that the women who found the Empty Tomb were too afraid to speak to anyone about it.”-Randal Helms, Gospel Fictions, p. 34
Two attempts were made to provide a more satisfactory conclusion. A minority of later manuscripts have what is called the “shorter ending”. This addition differs from the rest of Mark both in style and in its understanding of Jesus. The overwhelming majority of manuscripts have the “longer ending”, Mark 16:9–20, with accounts of the resurrected Jesus, the commissioning of the disciples to proclaim the gospel, and Christ’s ascension. This ending was possibly written in the early 2nd century and added later in the same century.
The ‘Longer Ending’ of Mark is preserved in the Byzantine texts, which are interpolated. The Anglican scholars Westcott and Hortdiscredited the Byzantine (KJV) text. Yet, the oldest Greek manuscripts do not have the longer ending. The Alexandrian (NIV) omits the longer ending (Aleph and B). The Anglican scholars Westcott and Hort attest the Byzantine text was conflated in the 4thcentury.
Mark being the first canonical Gospel to be composed and that the authors of Matthew and Luke (and possibly John) used Mark’s Gospel as a written source material was major influence on the teaching. There is no reference to Jesus’ resurrection prior to the additions to found in Mark. Jesus’ resurrection story developed over a period of time. There’s not a single reference to the resurrection by historians like Philo Judaeus, and the testimony of Josephus is wholly agreed to be a forgery.
The Greek and Roman historians
Very few Christians know that Gentile historians never mentioned the resurrection of Jesus. The Jewish philosopher Philo (50 CE) absolutely makes no reference to Jesus’ crucifixion. The Christians are embarrassed that Philo lived during Jesus’ lifetime and never mentioned his resurrection.
The following writers do not mention Jesus’ resurrection:
Theon of Smyrna