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A dangerous forgery was inserted at the end of the so-called "Gospel of Mark"

By
Abdul Haleem

 

One of the "endings" of Mark - the one translated in the King James Bible and other English translations of the Bible - contains the following passage:

Believers will be given these signs of power: . . .if they pick up snakes or drink any poison, they will not be harmed . . . . Mark 16:17-18 (Today's English Version). Emphasis added.

This passage has spawned development of Christian cults who handle venomous snakes and drink strychnine as "tests of faith":

Snake Handling Sects: George Went Hensley, a Church of God pastor founded a Pentecostal religious group in 1909 which is now called Church of God with Signs Following. Adult members occasionally practice what they call "preaching the signs": the drinking of strychnine or other poison, and exposing themselves to be bitten by poisonous snakes. They allow their natural defenses to battle the poison; they do not seek medical attention. Their belief is that if they have sufficient faith, they will not die or be permanently harmed by the poison. This belief is based on a Biblical passage: Mark 16:17-18:

"And these signs will accompany those who believe. In my name...they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all;..." (NIV)

Hensley interpreted this passage as a command to believers to use these methods to test their faith. It is interesting that this passage is believed by many to be a forgery, not written by the author who wrote the rest of the Gospel of Mark.

By the start of World War II, these practices had become widespread throughout the Church of God, although only engaged in by a small minority of its members.   The church interpreted these tests of faith to be one more indication of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the last days before Christ's second coming.   Motivated by some deaths and near deaths, the practice was denounced by the Assembly of the Church of God in 1928. However, some congregations left the denomination and continued their snake handling practices.

The State of Tennessee banned the practice and suppressed the group after the death of member Lewis Ford in 1945. Hensley himself died of snakebite in Florida in 1955 in his mid-70's. After two additional deaths from drinking poison, and other near deaths, court cases led to a decision by the Tennessee Supreme Court to uphold the state's ban. Independent congregations of "signs people" are still found from Florida to West Virginia and west to Ohio. J.G. Melton estimates that between 50 to 100 "signs" congregations exist with a total of several thousand members. People have continued to die in Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, and West Virginia at the rate of about 5 a decade. Many believers handle snakes, but few are bitten.

A second church: Original Pentecostal Church of God also believes in testing themselves with poisonous snakes. However they do not "tempt God" by bringing snakes into their services.  Members have been known to pick up poisonous snakes and risk being bitten when they come across them in the wild.

http://www.religioustolerance.org/medical.htm#cog, emphasis partially added.

These bizarre practices are all based on proven forgery:

The oldest copies of the Gospel of Mark, the Sinaitic and Vatican, end at Mark 16:8. A note in the New International Version of the Bible states: "The most reliable early manuscripts and other ancient witnesses do not have Mark 16:9-20." Verses 9 to 20 appear to have been added later by an unknown Christian forger. The addition was quoted in the writings of Irenaeus and Hippolytus in the second or third century.

http://www.religioustolerance.org/mark16.htm, emphasis added.

The insertion and continued translation of such an obvious and dangerous forgery in the Bible should come as no surprise. In order to boast their flimsy claims that God is a "Trinity," many Christians continue to quote another proven forgery, 1 John 5:7, which purports to say:

"For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one."

The foregoing verse is such an obvious forgery that:

[T]his verse is now universally recognized as being a later "insertion" of the Church and all recent versions of the Bible, such as the Revised Standard Version the New Revised Standard Version, the New American Standard Bible, the New English Bible, the Phillips Modern English Bible ...etc. have all unceremoniously expunged this verse from their pages. Why is this? The scripture translator Benjamin Wilson gives the following explanation for this action in his "Emphatic Diaglott." Mr. Wilson says:

"This text concerning the heavenly witness is not contained in any Greek manuscript which was written earlier than the fifteenth century.   It is not cited by any of the ecclesiastical writers; not by any of early Latin fathers even when the subjects upon which they treated would naturally have lead them to appeal to it's authority. It is therefore evidently spurious."

Others, such as the late Dr. Herbert W. Armstrong argued that this verse was added to the Latin Vulgate edition of the Bible during the heat of the controversy between Rome, Arius, and God's people. Whatever the reason, this verse is now universally recognized as an insertion and discarded. . . .

https://www.answering-christianity.com/sake.htm, emphasis added.

Yet despite unanimous agreement of scholars that the verse is a forgery, it continues to be reprinted in the King James Version of the Bible - along with Mark 16:17-18 and continues to be quoted by Christian evangelists.

What credibility does Christianity have when it scriptures are littered with such dangerous and obvious forgeries?

 

 

 

 

 

Back to Contradictions and Errors in the Bible.

Hebrews 5:7-8 confirm Islam's claim about Jesus never got crucified and contradicts the Bible!  According to the documentary film, "Banned from the Bible", which I watched on the History Channel, some of Saint Peter's apocalypse were banned from the current Bible, and these Epistles contain what Islam claims - that Jesus didn't get crucified on the cross and it only appeared that he was.  This banned part also says that Jesus was standing next to the cross laughing.  These are the parts of the Bible that only few people in the world know about.

According to the documentary film, the apocalypse was very popular among Christians during the 2nd century.  They believed "it was spiritually inspired" by GOD Almighty to Saint Peter.  They actually had doubts about "John's apocalypse", which is known today as "the Book of Revelation".  Interestingly also, this apocalypse says that after GOD Almighty fills both Heaven and Hell with inhabitants from Mankind, and the people of Hell get tortured for a long period of time, the People of Heaven will ask and Pray to GOD Almighty to Forgive the people of Hell.  GOD Almighty will then eventually listen to their Prayers, and will order the "Gates and the Steel Bars of Hell" to be opened and allow the people of Hell to enter Heaven for Good.  This apocalypse of Peter seems to also perfectly fit Noble Verse 7:40 in the Noble Quran where Allah Almighty Promised that He will eventually open the Gates of Heaven to all disbelievers and empty Hell.  Please visit: Hell will eventually be empty according to Islam.


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