SNSF MARK16 project 2018-2023

Short Summary

MARK16 has been a SNSF PRIMA project on five years (2018-2023). It has developed a new research model in digitized biblical sciences, based on a test-case found in the New Testament: the last chapter of the Gospel according to Mark. The project has produced new research results on this well-known textual criticism enigma, and has created the first virtual research environment, focused on a biblical chapter, a reference website for research about Mark 16: The team has also published more than 25 publications on the research topic, 2 books and 2 others in submission. All data are available on the  SNSF website:


MARK16 is the first virtual research environment (VRE) that focuses on a chapter of the Bible ( Through the presentation and study of unedited or significant material, its purpose has been to reintroduce the issues raised regarding the different endings of the Gospel of Mark. The last chapter of the Gospel of Mark presents a well-known issue in the field of New Testament textual criticism: certain manuscripts do not contain stories depicting the resurrected Jesus at the end of the gospel. To highlight new research findings, this project is building a VRE that provides 61 manuscripts in eleven ancient languages, as well as useful resources and research hypotheses on a multimedia publishing platform. The VRE allows scholars to explore the complexity of the textual tradition of Markan manuscripts and to analyse the historical tensions between diverse, early Christian groups during the first and second century CE. Through more than 25 publications, the project has demonstrated that:

  • A plural reading of the ending of Mark has prevailed through the centuries.
  • The conclusion brevior must be taken in consideration in the study of Mark’s endings, with at least 155 manuscripts attestations in seven ancient languages.
  • A multilingual approach is required to understand the manuscript evidence we have about Mark 16.
  • A particular attention must be drawn at the start of the chapter, Mark 16:1, another textual variant to be read together with the evidence of Mark 16:8.

The publication of the 2020 conference proceedings has clearly demonstrated the potential of VREs for researching ancient manuscripts. The publication of the 2022 conference proceedings has highlighted a general turn in research about MARK16, with 20 contributions of different scholars: a multilingual turn. A final book illustrates the importance of the woman in Mark 16 and in the early transmission of Christianity. MARK16 has benefitted of the supervision of an international advisory board including Leif Isaksen (UK), Jennifer Knust (USA), Valérie Nicolet (FR), Laurent Romary (FR), Joseph Verheyden (BE), and Peter Williams (UK). Several partnerships, notably with the INTF (Münster), the CNRS (Huma-Num, Nakala), DARIAH, OPERAS (Go Triple), the Pelagios network and the Swiss DH Data Center, DaSCH.

Team of the project

Claire Clivaz – PI, Head of DH+ (SIB); Priscille Marshall, Post-doc, DH+ (SIB); Elisa Nury, Research Scientist, DH+ (SIB); and Silvano Aldà, Software developer, Core-IT (SIB). We thank also warmly our former collaborators in the project: Mina Monier, Post-doc (DH+, SIB) and Sara Schulthess, Research Scientist (DH+, SIB); Jonathan Barda, Jean-Bernard Dugied and Martial Sankar (Software developers, Core-IT, SIB).

… and numerous collaborations and partnerships! The Manuscript Room has benefited of the collaboration of about 30 colleagues, whose names appear on the due webpage of the MR (

Claire Clivaz

Claire Clivaz is Head of Digital Humanities+ at SIB, Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, Lausanne (CH), and associate researcher at the “Institut Religions, Spritualités, Cultures et Sociétés” (UCL, BE). She is leading projects in DH and New Testament.

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