Freer Logion

Dialogus Iesu cum discipulis

Standard Abbreviation: none

Other titles: none

Clavis numbers: CANT 21

Category: Agrapha and Fragments

Related Literature: Gospel of Mark

Compiled by: Calogero A. Miceli, Concordia University (

Citing this resource (using Chicago Manual of Style): Miceli, Calogero A. “Freer Logion.” E-Clavis: Christian Apocrypha. Accessed DAY MONTH YEAR.

Entry created July 2017.


The Freer Logion is a brief dialogue between the resurrected Jesus and his disciples. The account was partially quoted by Jerome in Latin (Pelag. n.15), but is known in Greek from only one ancient manuscript: Codex W (Codex Washingtonianus). It is inserted between verses 16:14 and 16:15 in the Gospel of Mark. The name “Freer Logion” derives from the history of Codex W, which was purchased by the American industrialist and art collector Charles Lang Freer at the beginning of the twentieth century. Codex W is typically dated from the 4th/5th century and today is housed in the Smithsonian Institution at Freer Gallery of Art in Washington. The text is included in the apparatus to most editions of the New Testament in Greek and is typically inserted into the footnotes of modern English translations of the New Testament. The Freer Logion is short in length and features an alternative ending to Mark’s gospel. In it, the disciples address the resurrected Jesus and comment that the power of God cannot prevail over the current age of lawlessness, which is under Satan. They ask Christ to reveal his righteousness to which he replies that Satan’s time is fulfilled; however, other terrible things are yet to transpire. Jesus proclaims that he died for sinners in order for them to inherit salvation in heaven.

Named historical figures and characters: Jesus Christ, Satan.

Geographical locations: none.


2.1 Web Sites and Other Online Resources

“Codex Washingtonianus.” Wikipedia.

“Freer Logion.” Early Christian Writings (features several translations and a brief bibliography).

Kamphius, Bart. “Satan in the Latin Freer Logion.” Amsterdam NT Weblog. Posted 16 September 2003.

Mysterious, Ancient Bible on Display.” National Geographic.


3.1 Manuscripts and Editions

Washington D.C., Freer Gallery of Art, 06.274, fol. 187r (4th/5th cent.)

Ehrman, Bart D. and Zlatko Pleše. The Apocryphal Gospels: Texts and Translations. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2011 (Greek and English, pp. 356–57).

Goodspeed, Edgar J. The Freer Gospels. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1914.

Sanders, Henry Arthur. Facsimile of the Washington Manuscript of the Four Gospels in the Freer Collection. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, 1912.

3.2 Modern Translations

3.2.1 English

Elliott, J. K. The Apocryphal New Testament: A Collection of Apocryphal Christian Literature in an English Translation. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993 (“Agrapha,” pp. 26–32).

Jeremias, Joachim. “2. The Freer Logion.” Pages 248–49 in vol. 1 of New Testament Apocrypha. Edited by W. Schneemelcher. Translated by R. McL.Wilson. Rev. ed. 2 vols. Nashville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 1991.

Lane, William L. The Gospel According to Mark. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1974 (pp. 606–11).

Schmidt, Daryl Dean. The Gospel of Mark: With Introduction, Notes, and Original Text Featuring the New Scholars Version Translation. Sonoma, CA: Polebridge Press, 1991 (pp. 154–55).

3.2.2 French

 Bertrand, Daniel A. “Variantes manuscrits.” Pages 399–405 in vol. 1 of Écrits apocryphes chrétiens. Edited by François Bovon and Pierre Geoltrain. Paris: Gallimard, 1997 (p. 404).

3.2.3 German

Frey, Jörg. “Das Freer-Logion.” Pages 1059–61 in vol. 1.2 of Antike christliche Apokryphen in deutscher Übersetzung. Edited by Christoph Markschies and Jens Schröter. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2012.

Gregory, Caspar R. Das Freer-Logion. Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs, 1908.

3.3 General Works

Burgon, John W. The Last Twelve Verses of the Gospel According to St. Mark. Oxford and London: James Parker & Co., 1871.

Clark, Seth. “Unbelief, Lawlessness, and Satan: Viewing the Freer Logion as a Scribal Response to Open- Ended Eschatological Themes in Mark.” LUX: A Journal of Transdisciplinary Writing and Research from Claremont Graduate University 2.1 (2013): 1–21.

Haaker, K. ““Bemerkungen zum Freer-Logion.” ZNW 63 (1972): 125–29.

Helzle, Eugen. “Der Schluß des Markusevangeliums (Mk 16, 9–20) und das Freer- Logion (Mk. 16, 14 w), ihr Tendenzen und ihr gegenseitiges Verhältnis: Eine wortexegetische Untersuchung.” Ph.D. diss., Tübingen University, 1959.

Hurtado, Larry W., ed. The Freer Biblical Manuscripts: Fresh Studies of an American Treasure Trove. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2006.

Miceli, Calogero A. “Codex W: A Theological Understanding of the Freer Logion.” Word in the World: Concordia University Graduate Journal of Theological Studies 2.1 (2009): 117–22.

Metzger, Bruce M., “St. Jerome’s Explicit References to Variant Readings in Manuscripts of the New Testament.” Pages 182–83 in Text and Interpretation: Studies Presented to Matthew Black. Edited by Ernest Best and R. McL. Wilson; Cambridge University Press, 1979.

Parker, D. C. An Introduction to the New Testament Manuscripts and their Texts. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2008 (p. 341).

Sanders, Henry A., “New Manuscripts of the Bible from Egypt.” AJA 12 (1908): 49–55.

__________. The NT Manuscripts in the Freer Collection. New York: Macmillan, 1918.

Schwarz, Günther. “Zum Freer-Logion: Ein Nachtrag.” ZNW 70.1–2 (1979): 119.

Shepherd, Thomas R. “Narrative Analysis as a Text Critical Tool: Mark 16 in Codex W as a Test Case.” JSNT 32.1 (2009): 77–98.

Swete, Henry Barclay. Two New Gospel Fragments. Cambridge, UK: Deighton, 1908.