V.13. The Ryrie Study Bible

Introductory Statements and Mark 16:9-16

Question:  What about the Ryrie Study Bible?

Answer: Due to the many questions we have received, as to whether I would recommend the Ryrie Study Bible, I have decided to write the following articles.

The first thing I look for in a study Bible is the author’s comments concerning the major doctrines of the Bible.  I have a Ryrie Study Bible and in the front on his page addressed “TO THE READER,” he states in Paragraph Two the following:

“Every time you read this Bible, whether carefully or casually, be sure to look at the notes at the bottom of the page.  These are designed to illuminate and help you understand the verses you are reading.  The notes provide a variety of helps: some furnish historical or archaeological background; others translate or interpret the text more clearly; some define words and doctrines; and many refer you to other passages which relate to the same subject.”

There are many things in this study Bible that can assist the reader in their study of the Bible concerning historical and archaeological findings.  Is the same true or confusing concerning some major doctrines of the Bible?  I have found that Dr. Ryrie in his study Bible states one thing in one place and then contradicts himself in another.

His notes state that in Romans 8:1 that the last half of the verse does not belong in the Bible.  He states, “This phrase is not in the best manuscripts.”  What manuscripts is Dr. Ryrie referring to and which he does not qualify?  He does the same thing in his notes concerning Mark 16:9-20, leading his readers to doubt whether these verses should be in the Bible or not.  He states in his notes:

“These verses do not appear in two of the most trustworthy manuscripts of the New Testament.”

Dr. Ryrie fails to disclose the names of these two manuscripts so one can see if they are trustworthy by comparing them with each other to see if they agree.  You are just supposed to believe it because Dr. Ryrie said it.

There are many reasons why I would not recommend the Ryrie Study Bible.  Here are just a few doctrinal issues that weigh upon my decision.

  1. Mark 16:9-20.

“Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.(9)

“And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept.”(10)

“And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.” (11)

“After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.” (12)

“And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.” (13)

“Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.” (14)

“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (15)

“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” (16)

“And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;” (17)

“They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” (18)

“So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.” (19)

“And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.” (20)

The following is Dr. Ryrie’s opinion as to why these verses should not be in the Bible as part of its text.  Here is his footnote:

“These verses do not appear in two of the most trustworthy manuscripts of the New Testament, though they are part of many other manuscripts and versions.  If they are not a part of the genuine text of Mark, the abrupt ending at Verse 8 is probably because the original closing verses were lost.  The doubtful genuineness of Verses 8-20 makes it unwise to build a doctrine or base an experience on them (especially vv. 16-18).”

It is evident that Dr. Ryrie is using the same two manuscripts that your modern, corrupt, translations use in denying the authority of these same verses.  In the forefront of the New King James Version (NKJV) these two manuscripts are identified as follows:

“Verses 9-20 are bracketed in NU (Nestle/United Bible Society) texts as not original.  These are lacking in Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus, though nearly all other manuscripts of Mark contain them.

These two corrupt manuscripts are what almost all of your new translations rely heavily upon.  When you use a study Bible, sometimes the code name or number is given without stating the name of the manuscript.  The code for the Sinaiticus is (Aleph) and the Vaticanus code is (B).  Should you come across these code names, you will know which manuscripts they are referring to.

Notice in the above statement in the NKJT that outside of the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus,

“...nearly all other manuscripts of Mark contain them.”

Will you also take note Dr. Ryrie’s footnote attests to the fact that Mark 16:9-20,

“...are part of many other manuscripts and versions.”

In other words, Mark 16:9-20 are "part of many other manuscripts" and "nearly all other manuscripts contain verses 9-20." This is known as the Majority Text, as all the texts agree.  It is also known as the Textus Receptus, i.e., “the text that was received”; and, therefore, authenticates the original writings.  This Majority Text is the foundation that under laid the King James Translation of the Bible.  They used the Majority Text, which contains Mark 16:9-20.  This is why the King James Translation is by far superior to any of the new so-called translations.

It is beyond me why Dr. Ryrie rejects the majority of manuscripts, and the King James Translation, in lieu of two corrupt manuscripts that disagree with each other in over 3,000 places in the Gospels alone.  This is a direct attack on God’s Word, and implants false doubt in the minds of the saved and the unsaved.

Returning to Dr. Ryries’s footnote, here he states another false assumption concerning Verses 9-20.

“If  they are not a part of the genuine text of Mark, the abrupt ending at Verse 8 is probably because the original closing verses were lost.”

First, Dr. Ryrie previously wants you to believe that Verses 9-20 do not belong in the Bible, basing his opinion on two corrupt manuscripts; instead of the majority of manuscripts that contain these verses. Now, he continues sowing doubt concerning Verses 9-20 by stating,

“If they are not part of the genuine text...”

This is a false and misleading statement. The truth is, THEY ARE PART OF THE GENUINE TEXT, i.e., the Majority Text.  Remember, Dr. Ryrie stated in his same footnote, that these Verses 9-20, “...are part of many other manuscripts and versions.”  Notice his footnote, as he continues to explain why “If Verses 9-20 were in the genuine text (referring to the Sinaiticus and the Vaticanus) which do not have these verses now, it is probably because the original closing verses were lost.”

It is unbelievable to me that anyone would even entertain the thought that God could preserve all sixteen chapters of Mark, except Verses 9-20 of the last chapter. There is no way that mankind could hide or destroy what God wanted mankind to know in his written word, the Bible. Verses 9-20 are in our Bible, because God preserved, and wanted them there.  Proverbs 30:5 tells that,

“Every word of God is pure...”

Matthew 4:4 states:

“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

Dr. Ryrie’s notes concerning Mark 16:9-20 leave the Christian, and anyone else, in doubt as to what to believe concerning the Bible.  This is not a help; but only a hindrance.  Dr. Ryrie’s footnotes continue to attack Verses 9-20.  Here are his words.

“The doubtful genuineness of Verses 9-20 makes it unwise to build a doctrine or experience on them (especially vv. 16-18).”

Dr. Ryrie seems to say anything to discredit these verses.  In essence, he is leading you to believe that they are not doctrinally correct, and that you should not believe what they say.

  1. Bible Doctrines as Set Forth in Mark 16:9-20.

Instead of accepting Dr. Ryrie’s opinion based on Aleph and B, two corrupt manuscripts; let us examine the last twelve (12) verses for ourselves, beginning with Verse 9.

  1. Mark 16:9. “Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.”
  2. The Resurrection.  In John 11:25 Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life.”  Verse 9 states the truth of Christ’s Resurrection by the words, “Jesus was risen.”
  3. He appeared first to Mary Magdalene out of whom He had cast seven demons.  This is also the account given by Dr. Luke in his Gospel, Luke 8:2.

Conclusion.  No doctrinal errors, here; but, confirmation of the Resurrection and His appearance to Mary Magdalene, as spoken of  by Dr. Luke and Christ, Himself.

Mark 16:10. “And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept.”

a. She witnessed about the Resurrection to the disciples.  This agrees with John’s Gospel, John 20:18.

Conclusion.  No doctrinal errors here.

Mark 16:11. “And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.”

  1. The disciples had been witnessed to concerning the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
  2. Mark gives testimony that the eleven disciples did not believe Mary’s words concerning the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Both a. and b. confirm Dr. Luke’s account in Luke 24:10,11.

Conclusion.  No doctrinal errors here.

Mark 16:12. “After that he (Christ) appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.”

a. Read Luke 23:13 ff.

b. This is another testimony of two men who personally witnessed and talked to the resurrected Christ.

Conclusion. No doctrinal errors here.

Mark 16:13. “And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.”

a. This verse tells what the two men of Verse 12 did after they believed. They went and witnessed to many others concerning the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, BUT, the others refused to believe the two men.

b. This verse shows us that nothing has changed in mankind from the First Century to the present. Here these people rejected the testimony of two men who had met and talked with the resurrected Christ. You have the same thing today; those that believe the truth and those that do not, as verified in John 3:36.

Conclusion. No doctrinal errors here.

Mark 16:14. “Afterward he (Christ) appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.”

a. “Christ appeared unto the eleven” after those who had seen Christ and had witnessed to the eleven. This same account is recorded in the Gospel of Luke, Luke 24:33-46.  Dr. Luke’s account corroborates Mark’s account and gives credibility to these verses.

b. This verse attests to the Resurrection of Christ, as He appeared unto the Eleven after His death.

Conclusion. No doctrinal errors here; BUT, only proof that these verses verify and substantiate the truth spoken of in 2 Timothy 3:16,

“All scripture (including Mark 16:9-20) is given by inspiration of God...”

Mark 16:15. “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

a. This verse agrees with the Gospel of Matthew in Matthew 28:18,19,

“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” (18).

“Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” (19).

Acts 1:8 agrees with Mark 16:15.

“...and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

Matthew says, “Go...make disciples of all nations.”

Dr. Luke says, “be witnesses unto... the uttermost part of the earth.”

Mark says, “Preach the gospel to every creature.” 

Matthew, Mark and Acts, by Dr. Luke, all agree; BUT, Dr. Ryrie doesn’t want you to believe Mark 16:15 as he states in his footnote, and I quote:

“The doubtful genuineness of Verses 9-20 makes it unwise to build a doctrine or base an experience on them (especially vv. 16-18).

In covering Verses 9 to 15 inclusively, we have found no doctrinal errors whatsoever.  But, to the contrary of Dr. Ryrie’s footnote, these verses give great testimony and credibility to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  His footnotes are in error and do much damage in undermining the reliability of God’s Word.  One must remember that Mr. Ryrie’s opinion is based upon two corrupt manuscripts, the “Aleph” and “B,” which disagree in over 3,000 places in the Gospels alone.

We will now continue our examination with Verse 16, that Dr. Ryrie especially wants you to disregard.

  1. Mark 16:16. “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”

The following are Dr. Ryrie’s notes concerning this verse.

“16:16 baptized.  This may be a reference to the baptism of the Holy Spirit. (I Cor. 12:13).  Water baptism does not save (see notes at Acts 2:38; I Pet. 3:21).”

In his notes just preceding the above he states,

“The doubtful genuineness of Verses 9-20 makes it unwise to build a doctrine or base an experience on them (especially vv. 16-18).”

This is very confusing.  If one is doubting that these verses are genuine, why would you bother in an attempt to explain them?  We will examine his explanation by his own two comments.

His first comment is not an absolute; but, only a guess.

“This may be a reference to the baptism of the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 12:13).”

Conclusion.  This is absolutely NOT a reference to the Holy Spirit’s baptism.  Notice carefully what Mark 16:16 says,

“He that believeth and is baptized...”

The “he” is the one who does two things: one is to believe, and the other is to have someone baptize him. He does both of these, himself,  by believing, and being water baptized.

Spirit baptism (i.e., the placing of a believer into the Spiritual Body of Christ), is done by Christ and Him, alone. The Scriptures make this perfectly clear in all four Gospels.  Here is Mark 1:8.

“I (John, the Baptist) indeed have baptized you with water: but he (Christ) shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.” (Also John 1:33; Luke 3:16; Matthew 3:11).

Christ does the Spiritual baptizing; whereas, the believer submits himself to water baptism. Therefore, Dr. Ryrie’s statement that it may be referring to Spiritual baptism is absolutely wrong. How confusing to the person who is studying these notes

In his note the second statement is “Baptism does not save.” So we have in Dr. Ryrie’s notes four things:

  1.  A true statement: "Water baptism does not save."
  2. A false statement: "Baptism may be spiritual baptism."
  3. No statement explaining Verse 16.
  4. Dr. Ryrie doubts the genuineness of V.16 and recommends that you do not build any doctrine  upon it.

It seems to me, when a person comes to a verse that they cannot explain, the easiest route is to lead you to believe it does not belong in God’s Word.  Then it is “thrown up for grabs.”  "Well, it may be Spiritual baptism, instead of water baptism. But, if it is water baptism, it cannot save for it contradicts the first part of Verse 16.  But, as the Reader, I am left with nothing but doubts concerning God’s Word, without any Biblical explanation of the verse, comparing Scripture with Scripture.

Mark 16:16, which is in the Bible and belongs in the Bible, deserves an exposition of what it teaches, and it does not contradict any other doctrine. The following explains the teaching of Mark 16:16, which is very easy to understand.

At one’s first reading, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” would seem contradictory to the multiplicity of verses which say we are saved by believing only.

a. For example, 1 John 5:13 states authoritatively that a person can know with absolute certainty that they possess eternal life, yet there is no mention of water baptism.

“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” (No baptism here.)

b. Peter states it is not water baptism; or any human effort that redeems a person; but only the blood of Christ.

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;” (V.18).

“But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:”  (I Peter 1:18,19)  (No baptism here!)

  1. And we find in John’s Gospel,

“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36).  (No baptism here).

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.”  (John 6:47). (No baptism here).

Comparing these verses with Mark 16:16, there either has to be an explanation; or, we definitely have a contradiction between Peter, Mark and John!  May I draw your attention to the last phrase in Mark 16:16.

“...He that believeth not shall be damned...”

It does not say,

“...He that believeth not (and is not baptized)  shall be damned...”

Only those who “believe not” shall be damned, which is in perfect accordance with John’s statement in John 3:18,

“He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

Both Mark 16:16 and John 3:18 state that a person is condemned if they do not believe; but nothing is said about being condemned if one is not baptized!  All Scriptures agree to this conclusion.  Since we are not condemned for not being baptized, then what does the opposite mean when Mark says,

“He that believeth AND is baptized shall be saved?

It is easy to understand this verse when the child of God realizes there are TWO who recognize that a person is justified as being saved.  The “believing” in Mark 16:16 justifies the person in the eyes of God, as being saved. This is our POSITION in God’s eyes, our salvation by belief or faith, only.

Their public baptism is their TESTIMONY, justifying them as being saved in the EYES OF MAN.  The lost will not recognize and justify a person as being a child of God; unless he hears the testimony, AND sees the works compatible to a Christian.  Baptism declares,

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation....”  (Romans 1:16a)

This identification is justification in man’s eyes that I am saved. “Believeth” in Mark 16:16 is to the Book of Romans what baptism is to the Book of James.  Romans 4:5 says,

“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."

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