Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Picking up Serpents


There is nothing funny about someone dying after being bitten by a snake during a snake-handling church service.

There is nothing funny because it's not a funny thing to do. It's dangerous. It's setting a bad example to everybody else. It's a denial of the command not to put God to the test.

And it's not even in the Bible. It's in those verses at the end of Mark's Gospel that were added on at some point ti make up for the fact that the original Greek text as we have it is incomplete, enigmatic or - frankly - rather terse. The snake-handling reference seems to be transferred over from Paul's exploits in Acts.

Bizarre as it sounds, in the case of snake-handling churches, liberal text criticism could save people's lives. But it's not funny. It's tragic - children lose their fathers. It's desperate - who would cuddle a snake to prove God exists. It's thankfully not common. But it's not funny.

1 comment :

  1. Pastor Coots clearly ignorant of his Bible hisssstory :o


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