Bulletin for Sunday 12/18/2011

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With Robert Prater

This coming Sunday morning we will finish up our sermon series in the Gospel of Mark.  Careful Bible students often notice how most modern Bible translations give special treatment to the ending of Mark’s Gospel.  Some bracket the passage and others add a footnote stating that our earliest and most reliable manuscripts of the Greek text do not contain Mark 16:9-20.

So is Mark 16:9-20 the original ending to the Gospel of Mark? The short answer is we do not know.  The majority of NT scholars today believe these verses were not part of the original Gospel written by Mark.  Why?  Because the two oldest manuscripts containing Mark’s Gospel (Sinaiticus,  325 A.D. Vaticanus, 370 A.D.) do not contain these verses.  Furthermore, early “church fathers” such as Eusebius and Jerome both said that these verses were missing from Greek manuscripts they knew of. (Although most Greek manuscripts from the fifth century on contain these verses and second century church fathers Justin Martyr and Irenaeus quoted verse 19, thus supporting its early existence).  Others argue that the style and vocabulary of verses 9-20 are decidedly different from the rest of Mark.

J. W. McGarvey initially had an extended discussion on the ending of Mark in his 1875 commentary and he was a defender of the authenticity of the “long ending.”  However, the eleven years after the publication of McGarvey’s Commentary, were years filled with significant developments and discoveries of the ancient Biblical text.  McGarvey returned to the issue of the ending of Mark 19:6-20.  He writes:

“At the close of my commentary on Mark, I attempted to set forth the principal evidence, pro and con, as it was known at the time of publication. Since then new light has been thrown upon the question, and the most elaborate discussion of it, in the light of them recently gained information, can be found in the appendix to the Greek text of Westcott and Hort.  I think that, after a candid study of the evidence as a whole, it must be conceded that the question is as yet unsettled. It would be reckless to say that the passage is spurious; and it would be hazardous to affirm that these verses are certainly genuine.  At the same time, I think it safe to say, as I did before, that the statements contained in them are authentic, whether written by Mark or appended by another hand.” (Ending of Mark, Christian Standard, 1896, p. 1367.

One popular compromise view is presented by John D. Grassmick in The Bible Knowledge Commentary:  “A view which seems to account for the relevant evidence and to raise the least number of objections is that (a) Mark purposely ended his Gospel with verse 8 and (b) verses 9-20, though written or compiled by an anonymous Christian writer, are historically authentic and are part of the New Testament canon.”

In other words, the early church accepted the tradition represented in Mark 16:9-20 even though many understood that Mark did not write it himself.  Dr. Dan Owen who is a preacher of the gospel for over 30 years and former teacher and academic dean at the Bear Valley Bible Institutor and author of a four part study on “How We Got the Bible” writes:

“The longer ending was questioned even in the earlier years of the church, but it is certainly doctrinally harmonious with the rest of the New Testament.  While the actual manuscript evidence available makes it impossible to determine with certainty how the Gospel of Mark originally ended, the same things that are taught in verses 9-20 are taught elsewhere in the New Testament……thus, while we admit that a rather thorny textual problem exists at the passage, it is of no consequence to our understanding of what the word of God teaches.” (How We Got the Bible part three, The Transmission of the Text)

Now some have objected that it is not fitting for the gospel to end in Mark 16:8, because that would make the last word of the book “afraid,” and that is not a very good way of ending a book.  Yet, this kind of ending does fit with the tone of much of the rest of the book, where astonishment and fear are frequent after encounters with Jesus (see Mark 1:22; 2:12; 41; 5:15; 4:41;5:33; 6:51; 7:37; 9:6; 15; 10.:24, 32; 11:18; 12:17; 15:5; 16:5).

So perhaps Mark wants to end his book with that theme.  Maybe that word is the perfect ending to the book: the grave is empty, and just as he had done the previous three years, Jesus had left the crowd amazed/astonished/afraid.

Following Jesus is a serious and fearful business and not one steeped in “mindless enthusiasm.”  Are you amazed at what Jesus has done?  You should be, and you should open your mouth about it.  “Surely this man was the Son of God!


Sermons for Sunday

AM   Awesome! (Mark 16:1-8)

PM    Fix Your Eyes on Jesus, part 2


This past Sunday morning we were pleased to announce that Richard & Robyn Yahola and their three children Reagan, Ryan & Riley, made known their desire to identify with the Central congregation.  They have been visiting with us for several weeks and have just recently moved here from Texas and are eager to serve their Lord and His church.  They both have many ties to the Lord’s church both in Texas and Oklahoma.  They are neighbors to Scott and Tamie Perry and their address is 100 Lakeshore Drive, Shawnee, OK 74804. Richard’s cell phone number is (580-235-7872 and Robyn’s is (972) 346-3819.  Please give this wonderful family a warm Central welcome.


All are invited to a ‘Cocoa and Carols’ get-together at the Michener’s home on Tuesday, December 20th , at 6:00 p.m.  Bring finger foods or desserts, and we will enjoy time together eating, drinking hot cocoa, and singing Christmas carols.


Glendon Combs was scheduled for out patient hernia surgery Wednesday morning at Unity Health Center.  Juanita will be at Rose Manor, room 216, until he recuperates.

Burl Vanlandingham’s brother, James, had an emergency appendectomy on Monday of last week and then last Sunday morning he had his gallbladder removed.  He remained in Integris Baptist Hospital, room 719 at The Gospel Guide publication time. 

Another brother and former member at Central, Howard, had his gallbladder removed on Thursday of last week and is doing well. 

Debbie Taffe has had a bout with pneumonia and was back in services on Sunday evening. 

Paula Harris received a good report on her arteriogram taken last week. 

It was great having Anita Hinson back in worship Sunday morning, the first time in several weeks due to illness.


December 18, Search: “How Jesus Viewed Scripture”

December 20, Cocoa & Carols @ Michener’s, 6:00 PM

December 26, church office closed for the holidays

January 1, Shawnee Area-Wide Service, “Praise Him 2012”, @ Heart of Oklahoma Expo Center, Sunday 5 p.m. Tim Lewis, guest speaker

January 2, church office closed for the holidays

Youth News
Nathan Kelly

Just a reminder about the youth lock-in on the 16th and 17th.  It will begin at 10 PM at Highland Church of Christ for food and movies.  Then we will proceed to Northridge at midnight for some activities, the YMCA for some basketball, swimming, games, and whatever the kids can think of, and end off here at Central for breakfast.  If anyone wants to swim, they HAVE to wear a dark colored shirt.  Please make sure the shirt is long or wear shorts as well.  This will be strictly enforced.  The cost for the night is $5 and we will leave the building at 9:45 PM.


December 16-17, Shawnee Area Wide Lock-in. Leaving at 9:45 PM.  Cost is $5

January 1, after ‘Praise Him 2012’ Area wide church services, area youth will have a fun night of food & games at the Municipal Auditorium gym.


I want to thank the church for the beautiful poinsettia delivered to me.  It really brightens up my home.  Thanks to Doris Phillips for bringing it by. Geri Outlaw~

Sue Riedel wishes to thank her church family for the poinsettia delivered to her~

Thank you so much for the lovely poinsettia and for Cathy & Jim Pettyjohn for delivering it.  There is a wonderful feeling in your heart when you know people care! In Christian love, Betty Rye ~

To the church & workers, Thank you for the beautiful poinsettia and the ones that delivered it in the cold. In Christian love, Jean Pointer ~

Thank you so much for the beautiful poinsettia.  It made me feel better plus I had wonderful Christian friends visiting.  Thanks to Jim & Cathy Pettyjohn for bringing it to me. Love, Dot Strickland ~


Bible School                                                  137

Worship Service                                           204

Sunday Evening                                           117

Wednesday Evening                                      83

Contribution                                          4,461.80



Sunday, December 18, 2011


Announcements:                            Bob Perry

Opening Prayer:                       Bob Stephens

Song Director:                   Michael Michener

Scripture:                                     Adam Park

Sermon:                                     Robert Prater

Closing Prayer:             Burl Vanlandingham



NORTH                                            SOUTH

Nathan Kelly                                  Bob Seikel

Bob Bivins                                             Jim Carpenter


Frank Burton                                Tracy Gettle


Jim Pettyjohn                        Craig McKnight



Foyer:                         Jim & Cathy Pettyjohn

Elevator:            Craig & Michelle McKnight


Zhila Haggard


Carl Weeks


Ron Taffe



Opening Prayer:                  Dwyane Dennis

Song Director:                  Michael Michener

Sermon:                                    Robert Prater

Closing Prayer:                  Clavin Norwood


NORTH                                          SOUTH

Cary Leonard                              Jim Walling



Classes for all Ages

Song Leader:                     Michael Michener