Is Mark 16 Spurious?
IS MARK 16:9-20 SPURIOUS?
(INTRODUCTION)
Some have suggested that Mark 16:9-20 is spurious, from the
hypothetical perspective that these verses were not a part of
Mark’s original autograph.  The Majority Text includes these
verses; therefore, we know that numerically the text is a part of
the book of Mark.  However, sometimes the evidence is so strong
that discretion dictates the exclusion of even a majority text; we
will give an example of this later.  The object of our study is to
determine an informed position concerning Mark 16:9-20.  Is this
passage spurious or is it holy writ.

What determines whether a passage is the Word of God?  
Considering that the bible is a book of many books, we should not
overlook the fact that potentially spurious verses are very few.  
Moreover, as the bible is the Word of God, He has not allowed
man to taint His Word to the point that we cannot get at the
truth, provided we have His holy spirit.

John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide
you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he
shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.

In our study of the bible, we must first ask this question of any
scripture that may possibly be spurious: Does each concept exist
in any part of the bible where the scripture is unquestioned?  
Secondly, if we cannot find the concept elsewhere in the bible, we
should question whether the doubted concept creates a
contradiction in the overall context of the bible.  Furthermore,
even if we find a phrase in every known manuscript of the bible
and it stands alone and contradicts well-known doctrine from the
rest of the bible, we may find external evidence proving that it
does not belong in the bible.  However, we have found only one
such phrase.

With these thoughts and concepts in mind, let us study Mark 16:9-
20.  We have included the English Majority Text Version
(EMTV) for the convenience of our readers.  For those who do
not understand: The basis for the text of the EMTV translation is
the Greek majority-representation of all the handwritten
manuscripts currently in existence.  In other words, if the EMTV
includes a verse, one may find that verse in the majority of the
Greek handwritten manuscripts available today.  
IS MARK 16:9-20 SPURIOUS?
(ANALYSIS)
Mark 16:9 Now when Jesus (Yahshua) was risen, early the first day of the
week he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven
devils (demons).

EMTV:
Mark 16:9  Now having arisen, early on the first day of the week He
appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven
demons.

Verse nine has four major concepts: 1) When Yahshua was risen;
2) The time setting was early, the first day of the week [The
punctuation of some translations give the impression that the time
setting belongs to
“when Jesus (Yahshua) was risen”
however, our study proves that the time setting belongs to
“He
appeared to Mary Magdalene”
See (When did the
Resurrection Occur?)].  3) He appeared first to Mary Magdalene;
4) He cast seven demons out of Mary Magdalene.
We find the first concept (Now when Jesus (Yahshua) was risen)
in John 21:14 as well as other places in the bible.  This was the
third time Yahshua appeared before His disciples, as a group.  
Before any of these three appearances, He made three other
appearances – See the next rubric.   

John 21:14 This is now the third time that Jesus (Yahshua) showed himself
to his disciples, after that He was risen from the dead.
Christ’s First Three Appearances
Before Yahshua appeared to His disciples, as a group, He made
three appearances, in the following time sequence: 1) Mary
Magdalene, 2) The women who had fled the tomb and left
Magdalene alone, and 3) The two disciples on the road to Emmaus.

Some believe that Christ appeared to Peter making a separate and
fourth appearance before He met with the disciples as a group.  
The biblical evidence seems to point to the conclusion that Peter
was one of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus – thereby
indicating only three appearances before Christ met with those of
the eleven as a group.

At the tomb:
John 20:16 Jesus (Yahshua) said to her, Mary.  She turned herself, and said
to him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.

Women who had fled from the tomb:
Matthew 28:9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus
(Yahshua) met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the
feet, and worshipped him.

On the road to Emmaus:
Luke 24:31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he
vanished out of their sight.
SECOND CONCEPT OF MARK 16:9
We find the second concept (early the first day of the week) in
Mark 16:1-2:

Mark 16:1 And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the
mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might
come and anoint Him.
2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto
the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.
The Three Angel Appearances At the Tomb
(1)
Before anyone came to the tomb, but while the guards were there:
Matthew 28:2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of
the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from
the door, and sat upon it.

Matthew and Mark mention only the speaking angel:

(2)
Angel (sitting on the right side in the sepulcher in Mark’s account) to
the group of women when they first came to the tomb:
Matthew 28:5 And the angel answered and said to the women, Fear not
you: for I know that you seek Jesus (Yahshua), who was crucified.

(2)
Angel to the group of women when they entered the tomb (same
as Matthew 28:5):
Mark 16:5 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting
on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were
frightened.

Luke and John mention both the speaking angel and his
companion:

(2)
A second angel with the first angel (same as Matthew 28:5):
Luke 24:4 And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout,
behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:

Note: The Greek word for <stood by> in Luke 24:4 does not
require that the “two men” were in a standing position.  A better
translation:
“two beings were suddenly in front of them”.  The
implication of the context is that the two angels had been there all
along, but the women noticed them at a particular moment.  John
tells us that the two angels were sitting.  Nothing in the Greek of
Luke 24:4 contradicts this.  While the Greek word in John’s
account does imply the sitting mode, the Greek word in Luke’s
account does not specify any posture other than that they were
just there before the women.  Whether the suddenness of the
angels’ appearance came about because the angels came into the
view of the women, or because God opened the eyes of the
women, at that moment, the bible does not say.

(3)
After Peter and “the other disciple” and the other women left
Magdalene alone at the tomb, she had further discourse with the
angel of the Lord:
John 20:12 And saw two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and
the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus (Yahshua) had lain.
John 20:13 And
they (the two angels) said to her, Woman, why weep you?  
She said to them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not
where they have laid him.

The phrase <they say> is a language convention: The angel of the
Lord spoke for both of them.  We find the Greek word used here
in the New Testament 58 times.  One example: The disciples said
to Christ –
“We have here but five loaves and two fishes”.  We can
understand that while several of the disciples were probably there
at the time, only one of them was the spokesman; while they were
all in agreement.  

Matthew 14:17 And they (the disciples) said to him, We have here but five
loaves, and two fishes.

The proposition of the tomb setting is that both angels were at the
tomb from the beginning.  The angel of the Lord removed the
stone and sat upon it; the angel of the Lord and his companion
went into the tomb and sit – one at the head and the other at the
foot of the tomb – the angel of the Lord spoke to the women as a
group, without Magdalene; and the angel spoke to Mary
Magdalene alone, later.
THIRD CONCEPT OF MARK 16:9
We find the third concept (he appeared first to Mary Magdalene) in
John 20:1, 11-19.  Observe that the time setting is the first day of
the week, early in the morning – “when it was yet dark” according
to John 20:1 (See:
When Did the Resurrection Occur? for details);
the two angels were still there according to John 20:12;

Jesus asked Mary to give a message to His brethren – those of the
eleven disciples – in John 20:17; and we understand that the Mary
of John 20:11 is Mary Magdalene according to John 20:1, 18; verse
19 informs us again that it was the first day of the week.  When
properly translated, Magdalene started on her journey to the tomb
while it was comparatively dark and arrived just as the sun began to
appear above the horizon.  

KJV:
John 20:1  The first [day] of the week cometh (went) Mary Magdalene early,
when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away
from the sepulchre.

NKJV:
John 20:1  Now on the first [day] of the week Mary Magdalene went to the
tomb early
, while it was still dark, and saw [that] the stone had been taken
away from the tomb.

After Peter and “the other disciple” went away from the scene of the
tomb:

John 20:11-19 But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she
wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,
12 And
seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at
the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou?  She saith unto them,
Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid
him.
14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus
standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou?  Whom seekest thou?  
She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have
borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary.  She turned herself, and saith unto him,
Rabboni; which is to say, Master.
17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my
Father: but
go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father,
and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
18 Mary
Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord,
and that he had spoken these things unto her.  
19 Then the same day at evening, being the first [day] of the week, when the
doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews,
came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace [be] unto you.
FOURTH CONCEPT OF MARK 16:9
We find the fourth concept (out of whom he had cast seven devils
<demons>
) in Luke 8:2.

Luke 8:2 And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and
infirmities,
Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils
(demons),
Therefore, we know that Luke 16:9 is biblical from the
perspective of it concepts.
Mark 16:10 And she went and told them that had been with him, as they
mourned and wept.

EMTV:
Mark 16:10 She went and reported to those who had been with Him, as they
were grieving and weeping.

Verse 10 has two major concepts: 1) Mary Magdalene reported
Christ’s resurrection to the disciples, and
2) as they mourned and
wept.
FIRST CONCEPT OF MARK 16:10
We find the first concept (And she went and told them that had been
with him
) in John 20:18.

John 20:18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen
the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.  

The essence of what Christ told Mary Magdalene to tell His
brethren:
“I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God,
and your God” is “I am alive; and now I shall return to My Father and My
God!”
 The message that Christ asked Mary Magdalene to pass on
to the disciples was that His resurrection had occurred – that He
was alive!
SECOND CONCEPT OF MARK 16:10
We find that Christ prophesied the second concept (as they mourned
and wept
) in John 16:16-22.  As the disciples had not yet seen Christ
when Mary Magdalene came to them, they would have been in a
state of mourning.

John 16:16 A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while,
and ye shall see me
, because I go to the Father.
17 Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he
saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little
while, and ye shall see me: and, Because I go to the Father?
18 They said therefore, What is this that he saith, A little while?  We cannot
tell what he saith.
19 Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them,
Do ye enquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall
not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me?
20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, That
ye shall weep and lament, but
the world shall rejoice: and
ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall
be turned into joy.
21 A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come:
but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the
anguish
, for joy that a man is born into the world.
22 And
ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your
heart shall rejoice
, and your joy no man taketh from you.

The idea of “And you therefore shall indeed have sorrow now” is that as
reality began to dawn on them of His death, they would grieve for
the loss, which would intensify as happens with a woman about to
give birth to a baby.  However, as that woman rejoices at the birth
of her child, so the disciples’ sorrow would turn into joy when they
saw Christ again after the resurrection.  Therefore, Christ
prophesied that the disciples would be in a state of mourning and
weeping while He was dead; and until He appeared to them that
intensity would be the greatest, just before they knew He was
alive.  
Mark 16:11 And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had
been seen of her, believed not.

EMTV:
Mark 16:11 And those, when they heard that He was alive and had been
seen by her, they disbelieved.

Verse 11 has two major concepts: 1) When the disciples heard that
Christ was alive, they did not believe it; and
2) Mary Magdalene
had seen the resurrected Christ.
Therefore, Mark 16:10 is biblical from the perspective of
its concepts.
FIRST CONCEPT OF MARK 16:11
We find the first concept (And they, when they had heard that he was
alive … believed not
) in Luke 24:11.

Luke 24:9 And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto
the eleven (those of the eleven: See the eleven), and to all the rest.
10 It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James,
and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the
apostles.
11 And
their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.
SECOND CONCEPT OF MARK 16:11
We have already seen the second concept [and had been seen of her
(Mary Magdalene
)] in John 20:18.

John 20:18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen
the Lord,
and [that] he had spoken these things unto her.
Therefore, Mark 16:11 is biblical from the perspective of it
concepts.
Mark 16:12 After that, he appeared in another form unto two of them, as
they walked, and went into the country.

EMTV:
Mark 16:12 After that, He appeared in a different form to two of them as
they were going into the country.

Verse 12 has four major concepts: 1) After that He first appeared
to Mary Magdalene,
2) He appeared to two of them; 3) in another
form;
4) as they walked into the country.
FIRST CONCEPT OF MARK 16:12
We find the first concept (After that) in John 20:11-19 previously
explained in the third concept of verse nine.  Moreover, the
following verses also prove this concept.  If the disciples had seen
Christ already, it would have been unnecessary for Mary
Magdalene to tell them about His resurrection; in addition, they
would have believed her, had they already seen Christ alive.

Luke 24:10 It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of
James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto
the apostles.
11 And
their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.
SECOND & FOURTH CONCEPTS OF MARK 16:12
We find the second concept (He appeared … unto two of them) and
the fourth concept (
as they walked, and went into the country) in Luke
24:13-15.

Luke 24:13 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called
Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore (sixty) furlongs.
14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened.
15 And it came to pass, that,
while they communed together and reasoned,
Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.
THIRD CONCEPT OF MARK 16:12
We find the third concept (in another form) in the following verses.  
Mary Magdalene thought He was the gardener.  However, the two
disciples on the road to Emmaus saw Him in a different perspective
– perhaps as a scribe or doctor of the law:
Luke 24:27 And beginning
at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures
the things concerning himself.
 Luke 24:30 And it came to pass, as he sat at
meat with them,
he took bread, and bible – He was the teacher;
moreover, He took the lead in blessing the bread, as a scribe or
doctor of the law might do, in the company of students.

John 20:15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou?  Whom seekest
thou?  She,
supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou
have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him
away.

Luke 24:16 But
their eyes were holden that they should not know him.

Luke 24:31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he
vanished out of their sight.

Neither Magdalene nor the two disciples saw Him, at first, as the
resurrected Christ.  She saw Him as a gardener, but they saw Him
as a teacher.
Mark 16:13 And they went and told it unto the residue (those of the
rest): neither believed they them.

EMTV:
Mark 16:13 And those returned and reported it to the rest; but
neither did they believe them.

We find two major concepts in Mark 16:13: 1) The two disciples
went and told it
to those of the eleven disciples and 2) These disciples
did not believe them either
Therefore, Mark 16:12 is biblical from the perspective of
its concepts.
FIRST CONCEPT OF MARK 16:13
We find the first concept (And they went and told it unto those of the
residue
) in Luke 24:33 (See the eleven).

Luke 24:33 And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem,
and found (those of the) eleven gathered together
, and them that were with
them,
34 Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.
35 And
they told what things were done in the way, and how he was
known of them in breaking of bread.

The English translations of Luke 24:33 create a contradiction.  
We know that Thomas was not with those of the eleven, at this
assembly, and Judas was dead; therefore, until the two disciples
came, the probability is that there would have been only a
maximum of eight of the original disciples in the assembly.  It
appears that before the two disciples reported about seeing
Christ on the road to Emmaus, all of the Apostles, alive at that
time, were there except Thomas, Peter and John.  Therefore,
from the biblical context, one gets the impression that only eight
of the eleven were present when the women came to give them
the good news about Christ’s resurrection.

The bible does not tell us that all of the eleven disciples were
present; this idea comes from a wrong translation into the
English, which make it appear so.  As Thomas was not at this
meeting, this creates a contradiction.  Therefore, let us consider
the phrases “
the eleven” and “the twelve” in several different
scriptures.
“THE ELEVEN” & “THE TWELVE”
It is important for us to study the phrase “the eleven” and “the
twelve
” in depth, as they appear in the Greek – and as they ought
to appear in the English.  We will consider these phrases in
several verses of the New Testament.  The words eleven and
twelve in these verses have four things in common:
1) they are
figures of speech,
2) they are adjective substantives, 3) they are
numbers, and
4) they all literally mean either “the eleven
disciples/apostles” or “the twelve disciples/apostles” and they
refer to the original twelve disciples Christ chose or to the twelve
disciples minus Judas making eleven.

In the following verses, the definite article is in
the dative case
which marks the indirect object.  It usually requires the
preposition <to>, <with>, or <in> when translating properly into
English.  We utilize different translations in this section to point
out the proper use of the preposition in this phrase.  The
translators generally overlook the limiting factor of the definite
article before an adjective substantive or numeral as with, for
example: “
the eleven” and “the twelve” – giving the impression that
the total number is present or leaving it to the reader to use
subjective reasoning to arrive at the truth.  The idea of “
the
eleven
” or “the twelve” being a figure of speech seems moot, with
the translators.
NKJ Mark 16:14 Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the
table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they
did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.

= “to those of the eleven disciples”

“to the eleven” gives the impression that all eleven were
present; we know that Thomas was absent.
NKJ Luke 24:9 Then they returned from the tomb and told all these
things
to the eleven and to all the rest.

= “to those of the eleven disciples”

“to the eleven” gives the impression that all eleven were
present; we know that Peter and John were absent.
NKJ Acts 2:14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his
voice and said to them, "Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem,
let this be known to you, and heed my words.

= “with those of the eleven disciples”

“with the eleven” could give the impression that Peter
was not one of the eleven.  We know that Peter was one
of the eleven.
Rotherham Matthew 11:1 And it came to pass, when Jesus had
finished giving instructions to his twelve disciples, he passed on from
thence, to be teaching and proclaiming in their cities.

= “to those of His twelve disciples”

“to his twelve disciples” gives the impression that all twelve
were present.  The correct translation does not demand that
all twelve were present at this particular teaching session.
NKJ Mark 4:10 But when He was alone, those around Him with the
twelve
asked Him about the parable.

= “with those of the twelve”

“with the twelve” gives the impression that all twelve were
present.  “With those of the twelve” does not require all
twelve present at this particular point.  While all of the
disciples were with Christ a good deal of the time, we must
not demand that all of them were with Him all of the time.  
"NKJ John 6:67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go
away?"

= “to those of the twelve disciples”

“to the twelve” gives the impression that all twelve were
present.  “Those of the twelve” leaves this open for one or
more to have been away at this particular time.
RSV: 1Corinthians 15:5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the
twelve.

= “to those of the twelve apostles”

“to the twelve” is an incorrect translation – Judas was dead
and only replaced after Christ returned to heaven.  “To those
of the twelve” leaves open the absence of Judas by death.
NKJ Mark 16:13 And they went and told it to the rest, but they did not
believe them either.

= “to those of the rest”

“to the rest” implies to all of the rest;  The word <rest> is an
adjective in Greek; therefore, the rules of the definite article
before an adjective apply here, as in the above verses.
Next, we have the accusative case indicating the object of the
sentence.  The two rules of a definite article before an adjective
substantive and before a number would also apply here.
NKJ Luke 24:33 So they rose up that very hour and returned
to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with
them gathered together,

= “those of the eleven disciples”

“the eleven” gives the impression that all eleven were
present.  “Those of the eleven leaves open the possibility
that all were not present.
Finally, we have the genitive case expressing a possession, which
alone would suggest a possessive expression.  However, the two
rules of a definite article before an adjective substantive and
before numerals also apply.
NKJ Acts 1:26 And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias.  
And he was numbered
with the eleven apostles.

= “With those of the eleven apostles”

“With the eleven apostles” could give the impression that he
made eleven rather than twelve.  “With those of the eleven”
implies that his addition to the eleven made twelve apostles.
TWO RULES FOR THE DEFINITE ARTICLE
The Greek has two rules for the definite article when it comes
before adjectives.  First: Before an adjective used as a adjective.

As the phrase,
“the eleven” or “the twelve” is a figure of speech that
literally means
“the eleven disciples” or “the twelve disciples” the
number
“eleven” or “twelve” is an adjective!  Therefore, whether
we consider
<eleven> or <twelve> as a substantive, or a number,
the Greek rule requires special consideration when translating it
into English.

Observe the following rule for the definite article when used
before a substantive.
THE DEFINITE ARTICLE BEFORE ADJECTIVES
RULE #1: BEFORE A NOUN EQUIVALENT
(1) Added to an adjective to mark it as a substantive (noun
equivalent) (e.g. Ephesians 6.16);
We have a perfect example of an adjective/substantive in the
KJV translation, in Matthew 5:21, where the translators met with
the exact same perspective yet translated it correctly.  The  
definite article, in Matthew 5:21, is the very same as that of the
first eight verses considered above in the dative case; and in the
Greek, “ancients” is an adjective requiring the use of the Greek
rule of the definite article before an adjective.  We could
translate
“to the ancients”; however, this would be less than
exact – just as it is incorrect to translate
“to the eleven” or “to
the twelve”
in the verses of our study.  As the definite article is in
the dative case, we must use an appropriate preposition to signify
action toward the indirect object.  That is where we get the
preposition <to>.  

We could use just the word <ancients> to get the plural, however,
this distorts the fact that it was just to certain ancients.  If we use
the phrase
“to those of old” as in the NKJV, we obtain the plural
and a limiting factor to get across the idea of the Greek that the
teaching was not to all of the ancients that existed in the entire
post-flood world.  In other words,
“to those of old” is more limiting
than is
“to the ancients”.  “To the ancients” could give the
impression that this teaching went to all of the ancients whereas
“to those of old” leaves open the following possibility: “to some of
the ancients”
.

Matthew 5:21 "You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall
not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’

The RSV uses the term <men> in the phrase because the definite
article is masculine.  This is a literal translation; however, it does
not take into consideration that language convention often
dictates that a writer use the masculine in a language to express
both male and female – in formal language; moreover, the bible is
usually considered a formal language document.  In other words,
it is just as true that the Law of God was for women as it was for
men: It was not OK for women to murder anymore than it was
for men to do so!

RSV:
Matthew 5:21 "You have heard that it was said to the men of old, ‘You
shall not kill; and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment.’

The HCSB (Holman Christian Standard Bible – 2003) translates
(interprets) the adjective <ancient> as “our ancestors”.  If one
understands “our ancestors” in the broader sense of the thirteen
tribes of Israel, this would be a true statement.  However, this
translation could give the impression – in the narrow context –
that
“those of old” were only Jewish ancestors.  This would be
partially true.  Judah was only one tribe of the Israelites.  
Therefore, it would be better to leave the phrase more vague – as
Matthew wrote it – than to create a possible contradiction in the
mind of the reader.  God gave the Ten Commandments to all of
the Israelites.  

Moreover, the Greek does not support a translation of <our
ancestors>.  The Greek word for <our> does not appear in
Matthew 5:21.  The word for <ancient> is an adjective, not a
noun.  Therefore, <to our ancestors> is an interpretation rather
than a translation.  An interpretation creates a new doctrine
rather than transmit the doctrine of the bible, which is the job of
a translator.

HCSB:
Matthew 5:21 “You have heard that it was said to our ancestors, Do not
murder, and whoever murders will be subject to judgment.

The KJV uses the preposition <by> rather than <to>, which gives
the impression that Christ spoke of the teachers of the law rather
than the recipients of the law.  The dative case = indirect object:
An object indirectly affected by the action of the verb.  One may
translate the dative case with the prepositions <to> <with> or
<in> based on the context.  Therefore,
<by them of old time> gives
a wrong impression.  The NKJV and most other modern versions
use <to> rather than <by> for this phrase.  However, had the
KJV translators used <to> rather than <by> –
“to those of old
time”
it would have been a superior translation to the NKJV,
which leaves out the idea of <time>.  An even better translation
would be, “to those of the ancients” – this more clearly spells out
a limiting factor.

KJV:
Matthew 5:21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou
shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:

definite article dative masculine plural

adjective dative masculine plural no degree
GREEK RULE #2 WHEN THE DEFINITE ARTICLE
COMES BEFORE AN ADJECTIVE/NUMBER
Rule #2: With numerals, the definite article can refer to a part of
an already known number.
 The phrase under consideration (the
eleven) is the case of the definite article before a number.  In the
scripture example, given with rule #2 below,
“the nine” were a part
of ten lepers.  In our case, we have a definite article followed by a
number – the eleven.  Consider that <eleven> is an adjective used
as a noun equivalent to stand for “the eleven disciples”; therefore,
this rule applies.
(2) With numerals to refer to a part of an already known number
(e.g. Luke 17.17).
With the foregoing understanding, how should one translate the
phrase “the eleven” from Greek into English?

Free Translation:
Luke 24:9 And they (feminine) returning from His tomb, they (feminine)
reported all these things
to those (masculine) of the eleven (disciples) and to
the others.
Greek: "to those": definite article dative masculine plural
Greek: "those": definite article accusative masculine plural
Greek: "with those of" definite article genitive masculine
plural
NKJ Ephesians 6:16 above all, taking the shield of faith with
which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of
the wicked
one
.
FIRST CONCEPT OF MARK 16:9
NKJ Matthew 5:21 "You have heard that it was said to those of
old
, 'You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger
of the judgment.'
Luke 17:17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed?  
But where [are]
the nine?