Most Gospel preachers have delivered a lesson based on a play of words concerning the temptation in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 3). Herein, Satan very cleverly added the little three-letter word, not. His deceptive ploy continues today. Paul cautioned “that we may be no longer children tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error” (Eph. 4:14).
The churches of men are upset with the powerful truth of Jesus Christ when He declares, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16). Now, that is easily understood. You would need at least two PhDs to misunderstand that truth. Almost the entire denominational world rejects the Lord’s teaching in Mark 16:16. So, Satan has come to their rescue by resurrecting his favorite means of deception—the use of that word not.
The Simple English Bible, states in the margin, “Verses 9-20 do not appear in two important manuscripts.” Satan is alive and well on planet earth today.
The Revised Standard Version, simply ends the Gospel of Mark at Mark 16:8 and offers this footnote: “Other texts and versions add as 16:9-20 the following…”
The New Testament of Inclusive Language Bible, has this, “The following (Mark 16:9-20, JW) does not appear in the oldest manuscripts.”
The Living Bible, chimes in. “Verses 9 through 20 are not found in the most ancient manuscripts…” As a rule, those manuscripts are never identified for us.
The New International Version, joins the crowd of unbelievers in this fashion: “The earliest manuscripts and some other ancient witnesses do not have Mark 16:9-20.” Notice please, those ancient witnesses are not identified for the reader. In the NIV, the name Jesus is omitted 38 times, Christ is omitted 43 times. Lord is omitted 35 times, and the name God is omitted 31 times. Ask yourself, “Why”?
The Jerusalem Bible, also yielded up this: “Many manuscripts omit verses 9-20 and this ending may not have been written by Mark…” Satan not only wants you to not believe these words emanated from the Christ, but that Mark is not the author of the Gospel bearing his name.
Even the American Standard Version (1901) has a similar footnote to so many others at Mark 16:9-20 (usually with a space separating those words of the text) and has this, “The two oldest Greek manuscripts, and some other authorities omit from verse 9 to the end…” So, is it safe to say that Mark 16:16 is not there??
Alas, the New King James Version is not immune. At the end of Mark we find this: “Verses 9-20 are bracketed in NU-Text as not original. They are lacking in Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus, although nearly all other manuscripts of Mark contain them.”
At long last we have identified for us the two manuscripts—Codex Sianiticus and Codex Vaticanus, two of the most corrupt and unreliable manuscripts available to us, and one of those was found in the trash can! (All emphases of the word not in this article are mine–jw).