Did Mark intend his Gospel to end so abruptly with the words ‘they were afraid’? Is there a lost ending? One that would have told the story of resurrection appearances and a response of joyful faith by the disciples in Galilee as hinted at in verse 7?
Or is that our assumption of what a proper gospel ending should be? (And the addition of the later ending shows others shared that assumption).
Or did Mark, in true Markan style, end as dramatically as he began? He sure has a consistent emphasis on themes of fear and astonishment. And these reactions are pretty well always in response to the astonishing authority, actions and power of Jesus. Is Mark ending this way to draw attention to the revelation of the awesome power of God in raising his son from the dead?
There is, of course, no way to answer this definitively.
One thing is sure. The Gospel writer leaves all of us, the readers, confronted with the empty tomb and all that it signifies.
Comments, as ever, welcome.