Thank you for your website. I find it quite helpful to hear the questions of others, and am thankful that others are just as confused about some things as I am. Just for reference, following are a question someone put to you and your response. This question has been nagging at me since I became a Christian in 2000 as have many others, but I'll take them one at a time. The way that Mark 16:17 reads to me is that anyone who believes will be able to do the things listed and/or suffer snakebite or drink poison and live. It seems the scripture applies to anyone who is a believer, not just Paul, who survived in Acts 28. I don't understand how "there is (logically) no reason that others would have to suffer snakebite, much less intentionally received snakebites to prove their faith" clarifies whether we as believers should be able to survive snakebite. Is this an example of testing the Lord? I don't think I would survive snakebite. Is that lack of faith? If I purposely allowed myself to be bitten by a snake, would that be testing God -- and then I'd probably die anyway for my presumption (Matthew 4:7) -- Kristin

I have a few ideas.

1. Yes, I agree that it seems the promise is more general than applying only to Paul and perhaps a handful of others we read nothing about. But that is an impression, a feeling. It is a deduction you have made from the text and not the only possible deduction.
2. This ending of Mark is, as you know, probably not original. For more on how the Bible came together, please listen to the audio series How We Got the Bible.
3. For more on Mark 16 and miracles in general, you may want to read The Spirit.
4. And No, I do not interpret your preference not to be bitten by snakes as lack of faith. (I see it more as the presence of intelligence--using the brain the Lord gave you!)

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