I have a hard time understanding Mark 16:17-18


17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

Obviously we cannot drive out demons, speak in tongues, etc. So perhaps there is another explanation for this?


You mean like people should not take it’s meaning literally? Or it’s a bad translation?

Perhaps a bad translation has led people to take it’s meaning literally.


Not taking its meaning literally. Otherwise each believers became x-men with super powers. :sweat_smile:


Believers as a whole will not be able to do all these things however we know by reading Acts and Corinthians that some small groups of these believers were able to do them.


@1Lord1Faith @Brendea So you meant to say “they” does not refer to me and you but other people right?


Even today there are small groups that claim to do these things.


According to the text, “they” refers to, “those who believe”.


I think it’s because our faith is weak.

I know some of us have really strong faith, when compared to our contemporaries, but a lot of the biblical miracles Jesus attributed to the faith of the people. He didn’t perform miracles in Nazareth because of the lack of faith.

Likewise, even our holiest people of today lack the faith of someone like Peter or Paul that would bring folks back from the dead.

Anyway, just a theory of mine. But I believe if my faith were stronger, I could move mountains


Or Abraham, Abraham trusted in the Lord so much he was willing to sacrifice his son


@1Lord1Faith Since I believed, that means I could speak in tongues, immune to poison, perform exorcism and heal the sick. This is a little too much for me to digest. Sorry.


Well, one thing I can say is that the Apostles did these things. So maybe you could look at it that way?


Take Mark in context with the other gospels. And this verse in context with the verses around it. In Mk “they” refers to back to “those who believe”, but the context of that verse is within references to the Apostles. The parallel verse in Mt is also referring to the Apostles and the commissioned disciples, the “seventy two”. IDK if that means that “they” refers to the clergy or the Apostles or both or not, so…?

For what it’s worth, I also think there is a lot that’s lost in translation, or even as I said before, a bad translation could be part of it too. So I take this verse, as it’s written, with a grain of salt.


picture taken from my fiancees Ignatius catholic study bible 2nd catholic edition


I believe they did all those things, and raised the dead, gave sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf. This is how ‘they’ built the church. It’s true, every word of it. How is it that at Pentecost, someone could preach the Gospel and everyone heard it in their own native language? God is in our midst. These things aren’t hard for God.


Mary is reported to have said
" Everything can be obtained through praying the Rosary "
Some miracles are not instantaneous, but through our persererence …


Not only the Apostles can do it, there are many saints, who did those things ,for that, we need to be in a state of Grace. saints like St Francis of Assisi ,st Anthony, st Patrick of Ireland


Maybe this will help…

Bernard Orchard’s A Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture explains the miracles of Mark 16:17-18 in this way:

When sending the Apostles on a temporary mission in Palestine, Christ gave them power to cast out demons in order to strengthen the appeal of their preaching. Now he promises to believers miraculous signs to guarantee the truth and divine origin of the doctrine which they had accepted (Heb. 2:4). The promise is made to the community of the faithful rather than to each individual believer. In the early days of the Church, possibly because of a skeptical and hostile world to which the Gospel and Church were still new, some of these manifestations more frequent than in later times. But Christ’s promise is not limited to a particular period. In every age miracles have given proof that Christ abides with the Church.

Basically, Mark 16 isn’t signs needed to prove that we have faith but was to confirm the truth of Christ’s message. This was far more needed back then, in a pagan world, than it is today. However, miracles still exist in the Catholic Church in ever age.

To me in this day and age, with the technology we have, none of these are meaningful anymore because they can all be easily faked. And often are.

To me the greatest miracle that Jesus left us is the Catholic Church. No man made institution could spread as far as She has and last for 2000 years. Look back through history you can easily read about how many people, from within, have tried to tear Her down. Heck look at the current crisis, evil people withing the Church are dong it again. The only possible explanation, that She survives, is that She is guided by the Holy Spirit. Now to me that is the true miracle. If I were to believe She is not the Church founded by Christ, this would be giving human beings far to much credit. Face it we aren’t that good.

Welcome to CAF and congrats on being in RCIA.

One word of advice…Never stop asking questions.

WHY? is the the reason I am Catholic, only the Catholic Church has been able to give me sound logical answers when I ask.

God Bless


I’m sure that there are discreet levels.

Belief is the beginning, a servant of God will be given the tools to carry out the tasks God assigns him/her.

That explains my talent for napping.


I believe so too. I could speak in tongues too if God wants to. I believe I could eat something poisonous and not die as well. All things are possible indeed. I had a time when I went to Japan in the summer and I wasn’t able to see mount Fuji due to the clouds. Seeing mount Fuji during summer is very rare. I prayed to God that I want to glorify Him and that I’ll try even harder to become a better Catholic inside the bus to my next destination and I truly believed He could do it if He wants to, I told Him, with all my heart that He owns everything, can control everything, I didn’t exist 3000 years ago, nothing created itself. It’s all His power. Suddenly when I arrived there, I was able to see Mount Fuji. There are many other “miracles” as well. God is too real indeed. “Nothing is impossible to God” indeed. I don’t want to limit God nor dictate what He can’t do.


He was speaking of Apostles, priests, etc.

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