Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Daily Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 22 and Mark 16

2 Samuel 22 – A hymn of praise and thanks attributed to David for delivery from his enemies. It is Psalm 18 with some small differences:

The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my
      God, the rock, in whom I take refuge. . .

He reached from on high, he took me, he drew me out of
      mighty waters. . .

He delivered me from my strong enemy, from those who
      hated me; for they were too mighty for me. . .

They came upon me in the day of my calamity, but the
     Lord was my stay. . .
He brought me out into a broad place; he delivered me,
      because he delighted in me. . .

The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he recompensed me.
. . .

With the loyal you show yourself loyal; with the blameless
      you show yourself blameless; with the pure you show
      yourself pure, and with the crooked you show yourself
      perverse. . .

You deliver a humble people, but your eyes are upon the
      haughty to bring them down. . .

Indeed, you are my lamp, O Lord, the Lord lightens my
      Darkness . . .

He is a tower of salvation for his king, and shows steadfast
     love to his anointed, to David and his descendants
     forever (22:2-51).

Mark 16 – Sunday morning, after the Sabbath, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome come and bring spices to anoint the body.  The stone is rolled away and they see a “young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side” (16:5). He tells them not to be alarmed, that Jesus “has been raised” (16:6). They are to go and tell “the disciples and Peter” that he is going to Galilee where they will see him as he said.  They flee in terror and say nothing to anyone, “for they were afraid” (16:8).
The longer ending begins at verse 9. A note says it was probably composed in the 2nd c; it says that only Mary Magdalene came to the tomb. She goes and tells the others that  Jesus was risen, but they would not believe her. Then it says that he appeared “in a different manner to two [disciples] while they were on their way to the country” (16:12). These two must be the ones Luke tells us about in his Emmaus account (Luke 24:15). They also try to tell others but no one believes them either. Then he finally appears to “the eleven” and upbraids them for their failure to believe the others’ reports. 

He commissions them to go out “into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation.  The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned” (16:15-16).  Believers will be given power to perform signs. After all of this Jesus is taken up into heaven where he “[sits] down at the right hand of God” (16:20).

The shorter ending follows [found in four 7th to 9th century Greek manuscripts]: Referring to the three women named at the beginning of the chapter, it continues, saying that the “women went to Peter and his friends and gave them a brief account of all they had been told” and that Jesus himself is sending out the “sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation” that is the gospel. This is the end of Mark’s gospel.

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