Item description for The Last Twelve Verses of Mark by Dean John W. Burgon...
This present book is filled with dynamite in its impact! Dean John William Burgon has amassed overwhelming evidence from manuscripts, lectionaries, ancient versions, and church fathers proving the genuineness of the last twelve verses of Mark!
In the 350 pages of this book, Dean Burgon has proved that Mark 16:9-20 (the last twelve verses of Mark), is a genuine part of Mark's Gospel about which we should have no doubts whatsoever! A thorough grasp of Burgon's methodology of textual criticism such as is exhibited in these pages will convince the honest reader to reject the false conclusions regarding these twelve verses (and other verses as well) which have been accepted by the NASV, the NIV, the RSV, the NRSV, the NEB, TEV, CEV, and the other modern versions!
If indeed, as Dean Burgon shows clearly, "B" (Vaticanus) and "Aleph" (Sinaiticus) are in serious error here, they can not be trusted elsewhere either! The manuscripts, the lectionaries, the ancient versions, and the quotations from the church fathers all unite to show that Mark 16:9-20 was in Mark's Gospel from the very beginning!
The text of this Burgon Reprint is based on a complete photographic reproduction of Burgon's 1871 Last Twelve Verses of Mark. The reprint publisher has post-scripted Burgon's work with a Thirty-four paged summary--"Dean John William Burgon's Vindication of the Last Twelve Verses of Mark" written by D. A. Waite, Th.D, Ph.D.
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Studio: Sovereign Grace Publishers Inc.
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.22" Width: 6.38" Height: 1.22" Weight: 1.75 lbs.
Release Date Dec 20, 2000
Publisher Sovereign Grace Publishers Inc.
ISBN 1589600142 ISBN13 9781589600140
Reviews - What do customers think about The Last Twelve Verses of Mark?
The Problem With Modern Education... May 28, 2006
is that we have developed an entire generation of people who do not know the first thing about the science of evaluating an argument. This book is a splendid example of how a clever speaker can combine erudition, bluster, and slanted arguments to prove his point. But then again, many of us already knew this before picking up Burgon's bluster.
What must be remembered when reading this book is that Burgon was a High Church Anglican who believed that baptism is necessary for salvation. I will not enter the argument regarding the merits of shortcomings of such a position, but it is also important to remember that the last twelve verses of Mark are the only place IN THE ENTIRE BIBLE that so explicitly tie baptism with salvation. Hence, Burgon approaches the subject with a preconceived bias in favor of the inclusion of this pericope.
The best single argument in favor of Burgon's position on this is the fact that the overwhelming majority of the manuscripts contain the verse. Of course, the overwhelming number of those manuscripts are also LATE - ninth century of later, but Burgon uses his fallacioius methodology of counting manuscripts as one of his main points, all the while denying that is what he is doing.
Burgon's major blunder - and the one that renders virtually ALL of his work suspect - is his use of Church Fathers to support his preconceived prejudices. I pointed out Burgon's methodology at the level of common sense on my review of "Revision Revised." Here is an altered version:
1. The best single way to determine to the original text is quotations of Church Fathers, especially uncritical editions compiled by J.P. Migne in the ninth century.
2. Any manuscript that does not endorse the Traditional Text but is older than the TT is by definition corrupt REGARDLESS of whether Burgon can prove it or not.
3. The reason we have no manuscripts supporting the Traditional Text from the first three centuries is because they were used and all wore out. (This fails to explain, however, why from the fourth century onward they never wear out while Alexandrian manuscripts still do).
The best example of how desperate Burgon is stems from his use of Church Fathers to buttress Mark 16. He claims Papias supported the last 12 verses in 100 A.D. - but his evidence is merely an allusion to the notion of taking up serpents. Burgon never bothers to explain the fact that this is: a) not a direct quote but merely an allusion; and b) it might be an allusion to Paul's getting bit by a serpent and not dying in the book of Acts.
If you are a fan of the Traditional Text, you would be better served by reading the more sound (though I do not agree with him) arguments of the late (d. 2000) William Farmer, whose book can also be found here at this site.
Burgon's three fatal flaws are dismissal of contradictory evidence as 'corrupt,' use of uncritical editions of the Fathers for evidence, and an initial bias that is desperate for validation.
The flaws are enough to sink his arguments regardless of whether Mark 16:9-20 is authentic or not.
Extraordinary Research Sep 14, 2002
This edition is a reprint of Burgon's "The Last Twelve Verses of the Gospel According to S. Mark: Vindicated Against Recent Critical Objections and Established," originally published in 1871. At that time, John Burgon was Anglican vicar of St. Mary-the-Virgin's Church, Fellow of Oriel College at the University of Oxford, and Gresham Lecturer in Divinity.
The last twelve verses of Mark's Gospel (Mark 16:9-20) remain one of the largest, if not THE largest, consecutive group of allegedly spurious verses in the Bible. In this work, Burgon settles the question once and for all.
Originally intended for biblical scholars, this book will prove quite difficult for the average reader, because of its highly academic writing style of the period and because of its numerous footnotes and other passages that quote ancient sources in the original Greek and Latin without English translation. Yet, the depth of Burgon's textual criticism and research will stagger the honest reader. Beginning with external evidence, he examines hundreds of cursive and uncial Greek manuscripts which date at least from the fourth century, ten early Bible versions which date from the second to the sixth centuries, the individual writings of 19 early Church Fathers from all over the then-known world who wrote between the early second to the mid sixth centuries, and all known copies of the venerable Lectionary of the East. Then he turns to the internal evidence, or the writing style of St. Mark himself, and compares the verses in question to Mark's remaining Gospel, with particular attention given to the parallelism found in the first twelve verses of chapter 1.
With the exception of two manuscripts, not only do all of the other sources above contain or make reference to Mark 16:9-20, Burgon shows that these same verses match Mark's writing style to boot. Moreover, certain Church Fathers, who by tradition were considered hostile to Mark 16:9-20, namely Gregory of Nysa, Eusebius, Jerome, Severus of Antioch, Hesychius of Jerusalem, Victor of Antioch, and Euthymius Zigabenus, are proven instead to be favorable. To Burgon, this overwhelming wealth of evidence proves that these verses are genuine. The honest reader must surely agree.
The two manuscripts which completely lack Mark 16:9-20 are the infamous Codex B (Vaticanus) and Codex Aleph (Sinaiticus). Dating from the fourth century, they are the two oldest copies of the Gospels extant, which, in part, probably influenced Burgon's liberal contemporaries to reject these verses as genuine. Yet Burgon clearly shows that these two manuscripts are monstrously flawed throughout. Discrepancies are so numerous that he remarks, "It is easier to find two consecutive verses in which the two MSS. [manuscripts] differ, the one from the other, than two consecutive verses in which they entirely agree." Thus, neither of these two manuscripts are reliable sources for any of the Gospels, and they seriously impact on modern Bible translations (see below).
Also included in this edition is a helpful 36-page summary with commentary by Rev. D.A. Waite, president of The Dean Burgon Society. He reminds us that, despite Burgon's research, most modern Bible translations today (NKJV, NASV, NIV, RSV, NRSV, NEV, TEV, CEV, and others) continue to regard Mark 16:9-20 and other passages as spurious. The reason lies in the fact that liberal scholars, who in many places actually doubt the Word of God, have chosen to base most modern NT translations primarily on those two flawed manuscripts, Codex B and Codex Aleph. Westcott and Hort's Revised Greek Text of 1881 is a prime example, which alters the Greek New Testament (Traditional Greek Text or Textus Receptus) over 5,600 times.
Modern translations place allegedly spurious passages in brackets, reduce them to footnotes, or eliminate them altogether. In so doing, these modern translations can do much to dissuade people from belief in the inerrancy and infallibility of Scripture. Thanks to the work of Christian scholars like Dean John W. Burgon, however, discerning Christians will reject those modern translations that promote such error.