(This article and the linked paper are from an old Freed-Hardeman friend, David Hester. This is an important scholarly work which should be considered by mature Christians. I think David has reached some very valid conclusions here and I commend his article to your reading. As always, please post your comments below and we will ask David to address them here -jbe)
We live in a world that is more hostile towards the Bible than ever before. No longer can one assume that all people are familiar with Scripture. As a result, infidelity is gaining ground. The Jesus Seminar—a group of theological liberals who deny the deity of Jesus and His miracles—dominates mass media. TV shows such as “Frontline” and cable channels such as the Discovery Channel frequently showcase such liberals as the “experts” in religion. One such liberal had the audacity to write a chapter for a book entitled, “The Irrelevancy of the Empty Tomb.”
In such a climate, the Lord’s church needs reasoned, informed individuals responding to such attacks. It does not necessarily take advanced degrees to be able to be effective. We must get back to what we are best at—familiarity with the Word of God. And, we must hold up the hands of those who are on the front lines of the battle for the minds of men.
Mark 16:9-20 is a passage that has been rejected by many. In the first edition of the New International version (NIV), the passage was nowhere to be found (though in subsequent editions, it was included).Denominational preachers argued in debate that Mark 16:16 is irrelevant, because it “doesn’t belong in the Bible.” The scholarly world, for many years, agreed with this view.
However, that view is changing. In recent years, there has been a reevaluation of the evidence. And, it is about time. Gus Nichols, Guy N. Woods, and B. C. Goodpasture were right. May their tribe increase.