Basically Williams argues that previous discussions of the style of the Long Ending have been methodologically unsound. So he proposes a sound method and procedure (or methodological procedure), applies this to the evidence (well, half of the evidence), and proposes that the style of the Long Ending is distinctly non-Markan. So no surprises there then.
Interestingly he states: 'due to spatial limitations and the fact that dissimilarity reveals more about authenticity than similarity, our discusson will be confined to strong indications of an un-Markan style plus instances that have wrongly been labelled un-Markan' (p. 404). This looks like dealing with only half the evidence to me.
In his article Travis Williams addresses co-blogger Maurice Robinson's own study of the Longer Ending of Mark (LE) in Perspectives on the Ending of Mark: Four Views (ed. D.A. Black; Nashwille: B&H Academic, 2008), 40-79. (The other three views are those of D. A. Black, Keith Elliott and Daniel Wallace). Look inside the book here (Amazon). I selected this book for the Eisenbrauns/ETC sales which is still up.
Robinson has now written a response to Williams which will be published in two parts (the full response will eventually be published under TC-Files).
Robinson's Response to Travis Williams on the Long Ending of Mark
Since my own study of the Longer Ending of Mark (LE) is addressed in Travis Williams’ article (“Bringing Method to the Madness: Examining the Style of the Longer Ending of Mark,” BBR 20.3  397-418), I consider it valid to offer a brief comment.
I suggest that this study, like most others claiming to deal definitively with matters of style and syntax, remains flawed, and serves only to further muddle the discussion. Among the many fallacies that could be noted, I select five that occur in close sequence in the middle of the article (Williams, 406-411), in the order they occur.
1. Williams claims (406) that the unique use of ἕτερος in 16:12 is out of step with the exclusive Markan use of ἄλλος. This is supported by a footnote (406n23) that points out a supposed Markan failure to differentiate between different types of seed in the parable of the sower, claiming on this basis that “Mark uses the term [ἄλλος] to denote both ‘another of the same kind’ as well as ‘another of a different kind.’” This is supported by mention that the Lukan parallel uses ἕτερος in place of the Markan ἄλλος, concluding that “this reveals that Mark prefers ἄλλος even in situations in which another term may have been more specific.” But such a line of reasoning simply is incorrect on two major grounds: first, one cannot make Lukan word preference a touchstone for Markan style and usage (this particularly if one holds to Markan priority!); second, the seeds in the Markan version of the parable in fact are not different — rather, the same type of seed is merely sown in different soils. Within a proper Markan context, ἄλλος then remains the only appropriate term for the Sower, whereas in 16:12, ἕτερος is clearly required. This then becomes a non-issue.
2. Williams claims (407) that the absence in the LE of such a “distinctive Markan stylistic feature” as the term εὐθύς is “glaring,” and that “it is striking to find it absent from the Long Ending.” Yet there are many long stretches of Mark in which εὐθύς does not occur that extend far beyond the 12 verses of the LE. Examples include 2:13-3:5 (20vv); 3:7-4:4 (33vv); 6:55-7:34 (37vv); 8:11-9:14 (43vv); 9:25-10:51 (78vv); 11:4-14:42 (154vv), etc. In fact, even in the portion up to 16:8, the last appearance of εὐθύς was in 15:1 — some 55 verses earlier! Obviously Williams’ claim on this point is seriously flawed.
3. Similarly, Williams also claims (407) that the absence of πάλιν in the LE is “glaring,” since such is “another favorite of Mark.” Leaving aside the fact that πάλιν is far more characteristic of John, indeed Mark does hold second place among the four gospels in the use of this word. However, the same facts apply as in the case of εὐθύς: numerous long stretches exist in Mark in which παλιν simply does not appear. Examples include 1:1-2:1 (45vv); 4:1-5:20 (60vv); 5:22-7:31 (109vv), etc. And once more, even in the portion up to 16:8, the last occurrence of πάλιν was at 15:13 — some 42 verses earlier. Once more, Williams’ claim is flawed.
[TW: More to follow in part 2]