Bible Question:

I wish to know what you think of Mark 16:15-20? Jesus gave His disciples instructions. If we truly believe, then will we obey His instructions. He who loves Me obeys My commandments! What do you think about what Jesus our Lord and Savior instructs here?

Bible Answer:

The passage you refer to reads as follows:

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed. [And they promptly reported all these instructions to Peter and his companions. And after that, Jesus Himself sent out through them from east to west the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation.] (NASB) Mark 16:15-20

This passage of scripture actually starts with verse 9. We should note that the New American Standard Bible (NASB), the New International Version Bible (NIV), and the New King James Version Bible indicate the Mark 16:9-20 passage does not occur in the oldest and best manuscripts. While the Bible is 99.9 percent accurate, there are some passages in the New Testament that appear to have been added as the Bible was copied over the years. The translators of these Bibles have included this questionable passage for completeness but they have also indicated that the passage probably should not be included. Consequently, no one can complain about it being left out. We would encourage you to read the study titled, “How Accurate Is The Bible?

The following quote from Norman L Geisler and William E. Nix provides a great summary.

These verses are lacking in many of the oldest and best Greek manuscripts (Aleph, B, Old Latin manuscript k, the Sinaitic Syriac, many Old Armenian manuscripts and a number of Ethiopic manuscripts). Many of the ancient Fathers show no knowledge of it (e.g. Clement, Origen, Eusebius, et al.). Jerome admitted that “almost all Greek copies do not have this concluding portion.” Among some of the [copies] that have these verses, there is also an asterisk or obelus to indicate it is a spurious addition.[1]

Conclusion:

Since it is doubtful that this passage was written by the Holy Spirit, we should not draw any conclusions about what we should believe – doctrine – or how we should conduct ourselves. The passage is highly questionable. Some of the statements found in this passage can be found in other parts of the New Testament, but that does not make Mark 16:15-20 scripture.

 

References:

1. Geisler, Norman and Nix, William. A General Introduction to the Bible. Moody Press. Chicago, 1973. p. 372.

Reference Links:

How Accurate Is The Bible?
How do you decide which Bible to use?