And (Jesus) said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Mark 16:15?-?18 ESV
There are revisionist theologians who argue that these verses, as well as all of 9-20 of this chapter are not authentic and were added at a later date. Of course, even if that were true, it would still verify that miraculous works such as tongues and healing were still very much a part of the church’s belief and practice beyond the first century.
The fact is, however, that these verses are quite genuine and are perfectly at home in the Gospel narrative. Just because a passage may be missing from certain manuscripts does not mean it is not authentic. Many of the ancient documents ments are incomplete and had to be assembled by comparing them to other manuscripts. For example, one manuscript that omits these verses, Codex Vaticanus, still contains a blank space where the verse should be. Furthermore, there are literally thousands of manuscripts including Greek, Syrian, Latin, Gothic, Egyptian and Armenian versions which do contain these verses. They are also confirmed by the ancient church fathers, who repeatedly attribute these words to Mark’s Gospel (1) .
In addition, the sort of signs mentioned in this passage are seen prominently throughout the remainder of the New Testament Examples include:
- Casting Out Devils (Exorcism): Acts 16:16-18; 19:13-20
- Speaking in Tongues: Acts 2:1-4; 18:14-24; 10:44-46; 19:2-7;1 Corinthians 12:30; 4-15
- Protection from Snakebite: Acts 28:1-6 (see note 2 below)
- Healing the Sick: Acts 3:6-8; 5:15; 9:32-34; 14:8-10; 20:1-12; 1 Corinthians 12:9; James 5:14-18 (see note 3 below)
The miraculous works mentioned in Mark’s Gospel are simply describing the works which the Spirit had already been working in Jesus’ life and which we would see Him doing in the Book of Acts and beyond and into our day as well!
1-Edwards, Troy. Miracles Are For Today.