for they were in fear: According to the earliest available manuscripts of the last part of Mark, the Gospel ends with the words found in verse 8. Some assert that such an ending is too abrupt to have been the original conclusion to the book. However, in view of Mark’s generally terse writing style, that assertion is not necessarily valid. Also, fourth-century scholars Jerome and Eusebius indicate that the authentic record closes with the words “for they were in fear.”
There are a number of Greek manuscripts and translations into other languages that add either a long or a short conclusion after verse 8. The long conclusion (consisting of 12 extra verses) is found in Codex Alexandrinus, Codex Ephraemi Syri rescriptus, and Codex Bezae Cantabrigiensis, all from the fifth century C.E. It also appears in the Latin Vulgate, the Curetonian Syriac, and the Syriac Peshitta. However, it does not appear in two earlier fourth-century Greek manuscripts, Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus, or in Codex Sinaiticus Syriacus of the fourth or fifth century, or in the earliest Sahidic Coptic manuscript of Mark of the fifth century. Similarly, the oldest manuscripts of Mark in Armenian and Georgian end at verse 8.
Certain later Greek manuscripts and translations into other languages contain the short conclusion (consisting of just a couple of sentences). The Codex Regius of the eighth century C.E. has both conclusions, giving the shorter conclusion first. It prefaces each conclusion with a note saying that these passages are current in some quarters, though it evidently recognizes neither of them as authoritative.
The short conclusion after Mr 16:8 is not part of the inspired Scriptures. It reads as follows:
But all the things that had been commanded they related briefly to those around Peter. Further, after these things, Jesus himself sent out through them from the east to the west the holy and incorruptible proclamation of everlasting salvation.
The long conclusion after Mr 16:8 is not part of the inspired Scriptures. It reads as follows:
9 After he rose early on the first day of the week he appeared first to Mary Magʹda·lene, from whom he had expelled seven demons. 10 She went and reported to those who had been with him, as they were mourning and weeping. 11 But they, when they heard he had come to life and had been viewed by her, did not believe. 12 Moreover, after these things he appeared in another form to two of them walking along, as they were going into the country; 13 and they came back and reported to the rest. Neither did they believe these. 14 But later he appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table, and he reproached their lack of faith and hardheartedness, because they did not believe those who had beheld him now raised up from the dead. 15 And he said to them: “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 16 He that believes and is baptized will be saved, but he that does not believe will be condemned. 17 Furthermore, these signs will accompany those believing: By the use of my name they will expel demons, they will speak with tongues, 18 and with their hands they will pick up serpents, and if they drink anything deadly it will not hurt them at all. They will lay their hands upon sick persons, and these will become well.”
19 So, then, the Lord Jesus, after having spoken to them, was taken up to heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 They, accordingly, went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and backed up the message through the accompanying signs.