Bible study: Venomous snakes

posted: 4311 days ago, on Tuesday, 2006 Feb 21 at 09:04
tags: atheism, Bible study.

Another challenge to Biblical literalists

Today's BS (Bible Study) takes a look at killer reptiles in the Bible. Take for example this passage, from Mark Chapter 16:

Fiddling with venomous snakes, and speaking in tongues, are signs to show to unbelievers. Bring 'em on!

"and these signs shall follow them that believe . they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them".

I've made a note on my PDA to-do list and will follow this one up. What puzzles me about this and similar passages, is the reaction of the various Christain sects to the text.

It's my understanding that some evangelical churches believe this immunity to poison to be real – if you believe, poison cannot harm you. On the other hand, (most) Protestant sects deny this. Some even say that the passage quoted (from Mark 16) is a fake and should not be included in the Official Bible.

The Matthew Henry Commentary seems to think the passage is legitimate, pointing out that Paul also was not harmed by a deadly snake (Acts 28:5). Note that the Matthew Henry Commentary further makes the telling point that these signs "are intended for them that believe not"; it's a way to show to the unbelievers that you're right, in the same way that the ability to speak in tongues is a sign "to them that believe not" (1 Cor 14:22).

"Are Protestants a bunch of cop-outs on the way to Hell because they do not embrace the gifts of the spirit?"

What I'd like to understand is, in the light of these contradictory interpretations, what do the Evangelicals think of the Protestants, and vice versa? Are the evangelicals busy with the Devil's work when they try to drink arsenic or fondle asps? Are Protestants a bunch of cop-outs on the way to Hell because they do not embrace the gifts of the spirit?

I'd also like to point out that, being "of them that believe not", should any Christian wish to obey the commands of their Bible and demonstrate their venom-immunity, I can readliy get hold of a Dendroaspis angusticeps and am available Monday–Friday and over weekends.

So if anyone from say, Shofar, His People, or Every Nation, wantssss to put their money where their mouth is (or in this case, their wrist where the boomslang's mouth is), I'm available. So is the Mediclinic two blocks from my house.

Praise Jesus!

nothing more to see. please move along.