The end of Mark’s gospel creates an interesting case study in Textual Criticism. If our desire is to read the bible, then we have to find the best and most reliable copy to read. At the end of Mark 16:8 most modern translations indicated that there are varied endings to Mark’s gospel. The most ancient copies end at verse 8, but that seems abrupt.
And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
That abruptness, probably explains the two endings that you may find in your copy of the bible or in the footnotes. The short version is rarely used as it has very few, and quite late sources. It appears clearly to have been made up to create a better ending. The long ending of Mark, which may be in your text, with a note of explanation, goes from verses 9 to 20. Some think these are scripture – either because they are original, or because the church has always accepted it. Others say it is not really part of Mark, citing the old manuscripts and the style of the piece along with the abrupt transition from verse 8 to verse 9. A final theory is that the last page of Mark was somehow lost to history.
We hold that Mark ends at verse 8, leaving open the door to the long lost last page.
It appears that the readers find the abruptness of the women running away in fear and trembling to be unsatisfactory. So the long ending provides a kind of summary of Jesus appearances.
What if Mark intended to communicate that absolutely jarring unexpected character of the Resurrection of Jesus. Easter is in our day a matter of bunnies and chocolate eggs. The first witnesses to the Resurrection were scared witless.
The suspense leaves the reader asking – what next? The reader will decide that the women did talk, sooner or later, because we have heard in Mark and the other gospels, their story.
Also, the words “fear” and “trembling” are often associated with how people respond to the revelation of God’s holiness and majesty.
As the old spiritual goes:
Somtimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when he rose up from the dead?