Let anyone with ears to hear, listen.
[omitted in most translations]
reveal water we swim in
listen carefully to gather data
that will carry seeds to fruition
beforehand we are to listen
even before a word is whispered
we clean and dry our ears
for the gifts we are about to receive
we are quietly prepared
to follow their assurance
whatever has gone before
whatever is as it is
still yearns for what’s next
Some translations put their omission of this verse positively, “Some ancient manuscripts add this verse”. In that vein, it adds emphasis to the conclusion of a larger purity in the previous verse and acts as a transition to the next scene of “explaining” such a conclusion.
Some translations put their omission of this verse negatively, “This verse is omitted from critical Greek editions”. While not appearing in the “best” of the ancient manuscripts, it does mimic 4:9 where it was used after another saying that could use further explanation.
There are also some translations that simply use verse 16 with no indication that it is anything other than a part of the tradition.
This verse functions as another “palin” that asks us to return to the last time we heard this line. In this way the growth of return from scattered seed brings with it a growth in the Presence of G*D that returns us to a broader goodness of creation.
As we read our English translations it will be very important to note the footnotes of alternative readings. For example, in general the New Revised Standard Version and the New International Version swap footnote for text. What one uses as text the other notes in a footnote and vice versa. This reminds us that Mark is not done being read or written. All the creativity of Mark is enhanced or reduced by what we bring to our reading and how open we are to leaving our disbelief at the door. There are whole groups of people who will swear by one version or another. It is at this point of division that it would be well again to hear this verse in a never-ending context, “Hey! You got ears? Use ’em! You got a thinker? Use it!”