A new translation of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, James, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John
Jude and Revelation. Download PDF & Word Documents Here


Labelled with ICRA


September 09, 2014

I have uploaded my pdf edition of the First Epistle of Peter with alternating Greek and English text. It also shows the readings of 9 Greek New Testament editions, including the newly released Byzantine Greek New Testament, which is essentially the readings of Family 35. To download the pdf edition without the Greek text interlinear, use this link for 1 Peter. Or go here to just read the main English text online of 1 Peter.

You can also read my new translation of 1 Peter in the pdf editions such as holybible.pdf. and DRPbiblesofar.pdf.

April 30, 2014

I have uploaded my first edition of the Epistle of James. This edition is without the Greek text interlinear.

To download the edition with the Greek text, right-click this link, and then choose "save as."

July 2013:

Someone has put my translations of the four gospels into eSword. You can download the module for free here. You may also have to download the module installer, since the latest version of eSword installs new modules from within the application. Download the David Robert Palmer eSword module.

January 2012:

I have uploaded my harmony of the gospels, called Palmer's Diatessaron. It is my first edition, begun in 1982 and copyrighted in 1991. It is based on the NIV mostly. Is is a pdf, 1.5 MB in size. Click here to download the harmony of the gospels called Palmer's Diatessaron. To download the PDF, right-click the link, and choose "save."

I have also made available free, my Swanson-style apparatus of The Epistle of Jude in 62 Greek Manuscripts and 12 editions.

July 1st, 2009

I have uploaded my new translation of the Third Epistle of John.


June 23rd, 2009

I have added the minuscules 1678 and 2080 to the witness list for 1 John and 2 John. In addition, I have cleaned up and further proof-read the footnotes to these files.


April 21st, 2009:

I have just uploaded a MAJOR update of my translation of Revelation, with all the major textual variants now footnoted with a revised consistent list of witnesses. I have also found quite a few errors in the process, unfortunately. It is just a huge job, and I have to go to a paying job too. But I am on a small vacation now, and have really attacked the revision and proof-reading job on these files. I have updated and corrected 2 John significantly as well.

To download the
edition with the Greek NT text, with 370 footnotes, a 3.2 MB pdf, right-click here and then choose "save as."
To download the
edition with the textual variants in English, and 213 footnotes, a 836 KB pdf, right-click here and then choose "save as."

November 20, 2008:


You can download the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke or John here
, plus James, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude and Revelation, by clicking the link of your choice. The Microsoft Word .docx files are "ready to print" in format; i.e., they are double-columned, and even and odd guttered for double-sided photo-copying and velo-binding or spiral binding. If you find them too small to read on screen, make sure Word is not in "Page View" mode. If after that they are still too small, you can make adjustments to your word processor, like zooming them larger.
If you have Windows XP, I highly recommend you turn on ClearType. Microsoft's instructions for that are here. Or better yet, download the ClearType PowerToy utility.

Word for Windows Section: (NOTE: for the Word documents, WordPad might open them. Except WordPad might not display the footnotes. You can download for free the Open Office Suite software free by clicking here, or, from Microsoft's website, a Word Viewer for read-only purposes, by clicking here.)

The whole Bible, Word 2007 for Windows, .docx format, (Open Office will open and read and edit this too) 500 KB .docx file, Updated August 21st, 2015

PDF Section: These documents are in PDF (Portable Document Format), readable by most all platforms- Windows, Macintosh and Linux. Besides cross-platform compatibility, another advantage to these is that you don't have to download and install any fonts. To read these, you probably already have Adobe Acrobat Reader. To download these files, right-click the links, and then choose "save as" or "save link as." I will from now on be putting most of my efforts into these PDF editions, since I don't have to use as much time adding changes to all the various Word editions.

The whole Bible, PDF format; 8 MB. Updated 2015-08-21
Matthew, PDF format, alternating verse by verse with the Greek text; 1.6 MB. Updated 2015-08-21
Matthew, PDF format; 1 MB. Updated 2015-08-21
Mark, PDF format, alternating verse by verse with the Greek text; 1.2 MB. Updated 2015-08-21.
Mark, PDF format; 875 KB. Updated 2015-08-21.
Luke, PDF format; alternating verse by verse with the Greek text; 208 footnotes; 1.5 MB. Updated 2014-10-19
Luke, PDF format; 965 KB. Updated 2014-10-19
John, PDF format; alternating verse by verse with the Greek text; 1.3 MB. Updated 2018-08-14
John, PDF format; 825 KB. Updated Updated 2015-08-14
Harmony of the Gospels - Palmer's Diatessaron, PDF format; 1.5 MB.
Epistle of James, PDF format; alternating verse by verse with the Greek text; 1.7 MB. Updated 2015-08-21
Epistle of James, PDF format; 1.1 MB.  Updated 2015-08-21
First Peter, PDF format; alternating verse by verse with the Greek text; 1.7 MB. Updated 2014-09-26
First Peter, PDF format; without the Greek text in between the English text, 1.5 MB. Updated 2014-09-26
Second Peter, PDF format; alternating verse by verse with the Greek text; 1.3 MB. Updated 2015-05-10
Second Peter, PDF format; without the Greek text in between the English text, 1.2 MB. Updated 2015-05-10
First John, PDF format; alternating verse by verse with the Greek text; 516 KB. Updated to NA28 2014-01-03
First John, PDF format; 404 KB. Updated to NA28 2014-01-03
Second John, PDF format; alternating verse by verse with the Greek text; 211 KB. Updated 2014-01-03
Second John, PDF format; 189 KB. Updated to NA28 2014-01-03
Third John, PDF format; alternating verse by verse with the Greek text; 221 KB. Updated to NA28 2015-01-09
Third John, PDF format; 188 KB. Updated to NA28 2015-01-09
The Epistle of Jude in 62 Greek manuscripts (Swanson style) and 12 critical editions. PDF format, 360 KB. Updated 2015-02-07
Revelation, PDF format, alternating verse by verse with the Greek text, with 380 footnotes; 3.2 MB. Updated Aug 26, 2014
Revelation, PDF format, with the footnote textual variants in English, with 223 footnotes; 836 KB. Updated Aug 26, 2014
Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, James, 1 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Revelation, My new Bible translation so far, with 1,329 footnotes, PDF format, 443 pages, 6 MB. Updated August 21st, 2015
Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Revelation, printed as paperback by Lulu.com, at 1 cent over cost. $6 . 53
For the individual books of the Bible, Macintosh computers can read the PDF documents above.

eSword Section
You can download a free eSword module of the four gospels translated by David Robert Palmer. You may also have to download a third party module installer, since the latest version of eSword installs new modules from within the application. Download the David Robert Palmer eSword module.

Someone commented on the fact that I apparently think that present tense in the verbs means "continuous." One man in Illinois said, "Show me just one authority on New Testament Greek, that says this is so." So, here are some lessons in N.T. Greek verb tenses, from two authorities that do say this is so.

The first is from A Greek Grammar of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, by F. Blass and A. DeBrunner, A translation and revision of the ninth-tenth German edition, incorporating supplementary notes of A. DeBrunner, by Robert W. Funk, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London (1961). This is one of the top two or three advanced grammars of New Testament Greek. You won't find a higher authority than this. In my footnotes in my translation, I refer to it as "BDF" for Blass-DeBrunner-Funk. Here is what they have to say about the Greek tenses, in Section 318, in pertinent part.

**COPYRIGHT NOTICE** In accordance with Title 17 U. S. C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this page is distributed under fair use without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for nonprofit research and educational purposes only. [ Ref. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml ]

318 Introduction The original function of the so-called tense stems of the verb in Indo-European languages was not that of levels of time (present, past, future) but that of Aktionsarten (kinds of action) or aspects (points of view). Cf. Hebrew. Past time (past from the standpoint of the speaker or narrator) was designated within the several tense stems by a prefixed, originally independent (but not obligatory) particle, the so-called augment. The old and common temporal significance (contemporary time) assigned to the unaugmented indicative (present, perfect) grew out of the contrast to augmented forms. In Greek the temporal significance of the corresponding indicatives has been carried over to a much smaller degree to the moods (subjunctive and optative, also the the infinitive and participle), and then it is, of course, so-called relative time, i.e. the temporal relationship is determined by something else appearing in the speech or narrative...
The most important kinds of action (Aktionsarten) retained in Greek (including the NT) are the following:
The punctiliar (momentary) in the aorist stem: the action is conceived as a point with either the beginning or the end of the action emphasized (ingressive and effective aorist): ebasileusen 'became king',
ebalen 'hit'), or the action is conceived as a whole irrespective of its duration (constative or complexive aorist: epoihsen 'he made it').
(2) The durative (linear or progressive) in the present stem: the action is represented as durative (in progress) and either as timeless (
estin o qeoV) or as taking place in present time (including, of course, duration on one side or the other of the present moment: grafw 'I am writing [now]'...
(3) The present stem may also be iterative:
eballen 'threw repeatedly' (or 'each time')...
327. Imperfect used to portray the manner of the action,
i.e. a past action is represented as being in progress...

Edward W. Goodrick in his "Do It Yourself Hebrew and Greek," Multnomah Press, (1976) has made a nice and simple chart or paradigm on page 4:13 showing the eight tenses of N.T. Greek verbs (Aorist, Imperfect, Pluperfect, Present, Perfect, Future, Periphrastic Future, Future Perfect), and then a nice list of the six question you must ask of a N.T. Greek verb: (1) What is its Person? Options: First Person, or Second Person, or Third Person. (2) What is its Number? Options: Singular or Plural. (3) What is its Voice? Options: Active Voice, or Middle Voice, or Passive Voice. (4) What is its Aspect? Options: Punctiliar Aspect, or Linear Aspect, or Combined Aspect. (5) What is its Mood? Options: Indicative Mood, or Subjunctive Mood, or Imperative Mood, or Optative Mood. (6) AND ONLY IF YOUR ANSWER TO QUESTION FIVE IS "INDICATIVE MOOD" CAN YOU ASK THE SIXTH QUESTION, "What is its Time? Options: Past Time, or Present Time, or Future Time.

This latter, the 6th Question and its rule, is one that throws many English speakers off. It is hard to get it into heads, that the MAJORITY of N.T. Greek verbs DO NOT TELL TIME in the sense of past, present or future. And since participles and infinitives are not in the Indicative Mood, their Time, if any at all, is relative; that is, it must be gleaned from their context. The most important semantic content of a N.T. Greek verb, other than its lexical meaning, is its ASPECT, the "kind of action," that is, whether Punctiliar, Continous, or Combined. This is true even when in the indicative mood.

The two main tenses having "Continuous Aspect" are the Present and the Imperfect. The Imperfect tense is the verbs with past time and continuous aspect. I handled the Imperfect three ways: the Continuous or Progressive I rendered as "He was walking." The "Iterative" and/or "habitual" imperfect I rendered "He would walk." And the third way, when it was most agreeable to the context and/or the rhythm required, just a simple past, "He walked."There are some verses that simply do not make sense unless you make the imperfect-tense verbs incompleted action. One obvious one is Luke 22:2. The entire emphasis of the verb "fearing" is that it was ongoing and incomplete. (This is what the word "imperfect" means, after all!)

On March 08, 2000, Richard Robinett wrote:

Brother Dave,
I took a quick look at your translation. Can I access that from your web site the same as you have it in your reply to me? If not I will make an effort to save it. Also, are you going to be publishing this, or is it just for download? I am a bi-focal wearer and reading anything of length on the screen can begin to get to my neck. (You have to tilt your head as you read up and down the screen.) I will want this to read at my leisure at some future date. I am currently reading God's Word, which is a dynamic equivalent translation. When I finish it, I think that I would like to read your work. I like your translation style and was impressed with what I learned from reading your notes. Keep up the good work.It always puzzles me that translation commentaries warn against the work of individual translators. Yet so far I have enjoyed the work of Taylor, Phillips and Peterson very much. I recognize that their works are not perfect, but which translation is? There are personal biases expressed in their works, but can't committees have a bias? I feel that these three have taken a chance, tried to make the Bible understandable to a dummy like me, and have put some of their own love for Scripture into their work. That can be missing in a committee effort where the majority rules and one individuals passion for what a particular passage says can be overruled.I can see that you are trying for a more form equivalent translation, but that you are trying to make it readable and conform to modern English usage. What I read impressed me and I look forward reading your work in total. If you are going to publish, I will want to buy a copy. If not, I will make arrangements to print out a copy with your permission. Yours truly Richard Robinett

My Answers:
Richard, you don't seem like a dummy to me. Yes, I plan to publish these, but in the form of a harmony of the gospels. These are the base translations, which will be smoothed over a little in the harmonized form.

Yes, simple-English translations are just what some people need. I think everyone should have a King James Version, a New American Standard Bible, a New International Version, and a simple-English translation like God's Word. And mine, of course.

Yes, I also am puzzled by the bias against individuals. It must be the principle, "In the multitude of counselors there is safety." Such a mentality also warns against individual translations, because of the existence of individual "idiosyncracies." Yet, the original works themselves were all done by individuals, and in the example of the four gospels, we have the same story told but with four individuals' idiosyncracies! God himself must not subscribe to this bias against the individual. I notice also that he gave revelations to individuals such as Isaiah and John, and not to a committee.

And I agree, that committees don't avoid bias. Committees come with their particular drawbacks.
One of the weaknesses of translations done by a committee is that they are too deferential to tradition.

Yes, you and everyone else have my permission to print my translations, or to publish them, or to re-format them.

Here is a breakdown of the downloads of these files, as of December 2008:

By file:

holybible.zip - 2,026 (whole Bible editable Word doc ".doc")
Revelation - 1,955
all - 1,950 (discontinued)
john - 1,628
mark - 1,381
luke - 1,370
holybible.pdf - 1,015 (whole Bible as PDF)
johnwgrk - 978
mattwgrk - 943
revwgrk - 924
matt - 819
markwgrk - 621
lukewgrk - 585
1johnwgrk - 413
1john - 176
2johnwgrk - 120
2john - 38

By book:(the "all" and "holybible" files counted as one of each gospel and Revelation.)

John - 7,558
Mark - 6,979
Luke - 6,838
Matt - 5,789
Reve - 5,119
1 Jn - 1,365
2 Jn - 371

By country:

USA - 9,485
UK - 788
Canada - 660
Australia - 539
India - 302
Egypt - 290
Germany - 283
Philippines - 280
Netherlands - 254
Sweden - 221
China - 212
Brazil - 210
Italy - 201
South Africa - 188
Korea - 166
Singapore - 158
Greece - 148
Malaysia - 141
France - 124
Mexico - 115
Romania - 96
Japan - 93
Indonesia - 85
Israel - 77
Spain - 70
Ukraine - 65
Poland - 63
Russia - 60
New Zealand - 58
Nigeria - 57
Belgium - 52
Finland - 52
Thailand - 47
United Arab Emirates - 42
Iran - 41
Pakistan - 39
Norway - 38
Yemen - 38
Uruguay - 37
Hungary - 35
Macedonia - 34
Trinidad & Tobago - 34
Portugal - 31
Saudi Arabia - 29
Slovakia - 28
Guatemala - 27
Taiwan - 27
Denmark - 26
Costa Rica - 24
Switzerland - 24
Ireland - 23
Kuwait - 23
Jamaica - 22
Czech Republic - 21
Chile - 21
Turkey - 21
Vietnam - 21
Bahrain - 19
Jordan - 19
Austria - 17
Bangladesh - 16
Mauritius - 16
Venezuela - 16
Argentina - 14
Ethiopia - 13
Bulgaria - 12
Colombia - 11
Ghana - 11
Georgia - 10
Kenya - 10
Lebanon - 10
Sri Lanka - 10
Morocco - 10
Zimbabwe - 10
Algeria - 8
Croatia - 8
Nicaragua - 7
Slovenia - 7
Syria - 7
Yugoslavia - 7
Barbados - 6
Belarus - 6
Belize - 6
Panama - 6
Serbia - 6
Vatican City - 6
Cayman Islands - 5
Estonia - 5
Kosovo - 5
Luxembourg - 5
Peru - 5
Sudan - 5
Swaziland - 5
Bahamas - 5
Malta - 4
Palestine - 4
Cyprus - 4
Tanzania - 4
Zambia - 4
Bosnia & Herzegovina - 4
Angola - 3
Cameroon - 3
Ecuador - 3
Kazakhstan - 3
Lithuania - 3
Malawi - 3
Moldova - 3
Uganda - 3
Qatar - 3
Uganda - 3
Bolivia - 2
Dominican Republic - 2
El Salvador - 2
Faroe Islands - 2
Iceland - 2
Iraq - 2
Maldives - 2
Mongolia - 2
Muscat & Oman - 2
Namibia - 2
Rwanda - 2
Uzbekistan - 2
Albania - 1
Armenia - 1
Aruba - 1
Azerbaijan - 1
Bermuda - 1
British Virgin Islands - 1
Burkina Faso - 1
Equatorial Guinea - 1
Fiji - 1
Guyana - 1
Haiti - 1
Honduras - 1
Latvia - 1
Libya - 1
Mozambique - 1
Myanmar - 1
Netherlands Antilles - 1
Papua New Guinea - 1
St. Lucia - 1
Surinam - 1
Tonga - 1
U.S. Virgin Is. - 1

Following is an example of the endnotes you can read in my translations:


Here is a composite of all four endings of the gospel of Mark:And all the things announced they shortly reported to those around Peter. And after these things also Jesus himself sent out through them, from the rising as far as the setting of the sun, the holy and enduring proclamation of eternal salvation. Amen.9 And having risen early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary the Magdalene, from whom he had expelled seven demons.
10 She went and reported to the ones mourning and weeping, who had been with him.
11 And they, hearing that he is living and was seen by her, disbelieved.
12 And after these things he was manifested in a different form to two of them as they were walking along in the country.
13 And those went and reported to the rest; neither did they believe those.
14 And finally, once when they had reclined, he was manifested to the Eleven themselves, and he denounced their disbelief and hardness of heart, in that they had not believed the ones who had seen him risen.
(W) And they excused themselves, saying, "This age of lawlessness and unbelief is under Satan, who does not allow the truth and power of God to prevail over the unclean things dominated by the spirits. Therefore reveal your righteousness now." They spoke to Christ; and Christ responded to them, "The limit of the years of Satan's power is completed, but other terrible things draw near. And for those who have sinned I was handed over to death, that they might return to the truth and no longer sin, in order that they might inherit the spiritual and incorruptible glory of righteousness in heaven. But after you go into all the world,..."
15 And he said to them, "After you go into all the world, proclaim the good news to the whole creation.
16 "The one who believes and is baptized will be saved, but the one who does not believe will be condemned.
17 "And these signs will accompany the ones who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak in new tongues,
18 "they will pick up serpents, and should they drink something deadly it would in no wise hurt them; they will lay their hands on sick ones, and they will have health again."
19 And so the Lord after speaking to them was taken up to heaven and sat at the right hand of God.
20 And they went forth and preached everywhere, the Lord co-working and confirming the word by the signs accompanying.The last twelve verses of Mark as found in the King James Version, verses 9-20, are known as The Longer Ending of Mark. The paragraph before verse 9 is called The Shorter Ending, and is found in one Italic manuscript as the only ending to the gospel, and in some other manuscripts is found in combination with verses 9 through 12 as shown. The paragraph beginning with (W) remains in only one Greek manuscript today, Codex Washingtoniensis, or "W," although Jerome speaks of others extant in his time. These latter two passages are so undoubtedly inauthentic that they will not be examined here.Mark 16:9-20, known as "The Longer Ending of Mark:"PROBLEM 1: The connection between verse 8 and verses 9-20 is abrupt and awkward. Verse 9 begins with the masculine nominative participle anastas, which demands for its antecedent a masculine topic, i.e., Jesus; but the subject of the last sentence of verse 8 is the women, not Jesus" (Zondervan's NIV Bible Commentary, Vol II p 204):

8 And going out, they fled from the tomb. For trembling shock was holding them; and they said nothing to anyone, because THEY were afraid.
9 And having risen early on the first day of the week, HE appeared first to Mary the Magdalene, from whom he had expelled seven demons.There is a lack of transition from the plural female topic of verse 8 to the masculine singular of verse 9. That is not how Greek worked. That is not even how English works. Even by English rules, when you change the subject of narrative or conversation, you have to use a proper noun. If you change the subject with a pronoun, no one knows who or what you are talking about. This problem is one indicator that verses 9-20 were not originally part of the gospel of Mark.

PROBLEM 1: The passage contains a statement that is contrary to the gospel of Luke.The statement is found in verses 12 and 13 about the two walking to Emmaus:12 And after these things he was manifested in a different form to two of them who were walking along in the country.
13 And those went and reported to the rest; neither did they believe those.This is contrary to Luke 24:13, 33-35 where we read:13 And behold, two of them during that same day were making their way toward a village sixty furlongs from Jerusalem, which was called Emmaus...
33 And they got up and returned that same hour to Jerusalem, and found the Eleven and those with them assembled together,
34 saying, 'The Lord really has risen, and he appeared to Simon.'
35 And the two told what things happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

Luke says the rest responded "The Lord really has risen," thus agreeing with the two. The others agreed that Jesus was alive, because Simon Peter had already come back and told them the same thing as the two were telling them. But "Mark" 16:13 says the rest disbelieved the two. Thus, Mark 16:12-13 contradicts what Luke 24:33-35 says. So then, we either have to believe that the scriptures contain an error, or else believe that one of these passages is not scripture. The problem of the contradiction is solved, by concluding from the objective external evidence that the longer ending of Mark is not scripture, therefore we do not have a case here of scripture contradicting other scripture.Some say that there is not a contradiction between Mark in the TR and Luke, because later in Luke, in 24:40-41, it says"40And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41But, since they were still not believing, out of joy and astonishment, he said to them, "What do you have to eat in this place?"But this is another event. The passages I already compared, are talking about the same event, which is the only legitimate comparison.There are other contradictions caused by this ending of Mark, against the other gospels, that are not evident until you try to do a harmony of the gospels, as I have. My harmonization, called Palmer's Diatessaron, will be available when I have finished translating all four gospels.

PROBLEM 2: The last twelve verses of the gospel of Mark as found in the King James Version, or footnoted in recent translations, (chapter 16, verses 9-20) are not found in the two earliest Greek manuscripts. They are also absent from many of the oldest translations of Mark into other languages, for example, the Latin, Sinaitic Syriac, and Georgian translations. Clement of Alexandria and Origen show no knowledge of the existence of these verses; furthermore Eusebius and Jerome attest that the passage was absent from almost all Greek copies of Mark known to them. The original form of the Eusebian sections (drawn up by Ammonius) makes no provision for numbering sections of the text after 16:8. Not a few manuscripts which contain the passage have scribal notes stating that older Greek copies lack it, and in other witnesses the passage is marked with asterisks or obeli, the conventional signs used by copyists to indicate an inauthentic addition to a document. Other manuscripts which do contain the passage place it in differing locations in Mark, and still another Greek manuscript that contains the long ending has a large addition following verse 14. There is also another ending entirely, a shorter one, found in other Greek manuscripts. Add to all this the internal consideration that none of the endings are written in Mark's style and vocabulary. Another major internal consideration is how awkwardly verse 9 connects the line of thought from verse 8, or rather fails to connect.See Metzger, Bruce M., A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, on behalf of and in cooperation with the Editorial Committee of the United Bible Societies' Greek New Testament: Kurt Aland, Matthew Black, Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger, and Allen Wikgren (Stuttgart, United Bible Societies, Corrected Edition, 1975) for the details, which are compelling evidence in favor of the spuriousness of the passage. The Editorial Committee concludes:"Thus, on the basis of good external evidence and strong internal considerations it appears that the earliest ascertainable form of the Gospel of Mark ended with 16:8. (Three possibilities are open: (a) the evangelist intended to close his Gospel at this place; or (b) the Gospel was never finished; or, as seems most probable, (c) the Gospel accidentally lost its last leaf before it was multiplied by transcription.) At the same time, however, out of deference to the evident antiquity of the longer ending and its importance in the textual tradition of the Gospel, the Committee decided to include verses 9-20 as part of the text, but to enclose them within double square brackets to indicate that they are the work of an author other than the evangelist."

PROBLEM 3: The passage can be easily taken to teach doctrines that are contrary to teachings found elsewhere in the New Testament.Verses 17-18 say Jesus said,17 And these signs will accompany the ones who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak in new tongues, 18 they will pick up serpents, and should they drink something deadly, it would in no wise hurt them; they will lay their hands on sick ones, and they will have health again.In the book of I Corinthians, chapter 12, verses 7-11, 29-31, on the other hand, the apostle Paul teaches that not all believers will speak in tongues and not all believers will have the gift of healing. A new Christian, unfamiliar with the rest of scripture, might question whether he has truly believed, thinking, "These things have not happened in my life, so I must not be a real Christian." And if the new Christian were to deliberately drink deadly poison, he would be putting God to the test, as Satan urged Christ to do when he suggested that he throw himself off the highest point of the temple. Jesus responded that although the scriptures promise the believer that God's angels will not allow his foot to strike against a stone, it would be sin to deliberately put oneself in harm's way (for example, drinking deadly poison), for the scriptures also say, "Thou shalt not put the Lord your God to a test." But, in violation of this prohibition, there is a practice by some churches, based on this passage, of handling deadly snakes in church. Scores of Christians therefore die each year from snake bites in church, giving unbelievers a fair opportunity to mock Christians.

SUMMARY: The evidence, both external and internal, is conclusive that the Mark 16:9-20 pericope is not part of the original Gospel of Mark. In addition, it cannot be harmonized with the Gospel of Luke. It appears that the author of Mark 16:9-20 considered verse 8 to be an inappropriate ending and felt the need to add to it a better conclusion. I suggest that the following is what he did: In verses 9-14, he summarized the endings of Matthew, Luke and John, but carelessly. Then the contents of verses 15-20 are for the most part taken from the book of Acts. He took some historical happenings of miraculous events such as tongues speaking, healing of the sick, and the apostle Paul being bitten by a snake but not being harmed, and tacked them on following Mark 16:8 because he knew from his vantage point looking back from centuries later, that these are what in fact happened next. The problem is that the way it is written, he has in effect put them into Jesus' mouth as if Jesus was saying that all people who believe in him would have these things happen to them.

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