Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Mark 16:20

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

The Lord working with them - This co-operation was twofold, internal and external. Internal, illuminating their minds, convincing them of the truth, and establishing them in it. External, conveying their word to the souls that heard it, by the demonstration of the Holy Ghost; convincing them of sin, righteousness, and judgment; justifying them by his blood, and sanctifying them by his Spirit. Though miraculous powers are not now requisite, because the truth of the Gospel has been sufficiently confirmed, yet this co-operation of God is indispensably necessary, without which no man can be a successful preacher; and without which no soul can be saved.

With signs following - Επακολουθουντων σημειων, the accompanying signs: viz. those mentioned in the 17th and 18th verses, and those others just now spoken of, which still continue to be produced by the energy of God, accompanying the faithful preaching of his unadulterated word.

Amen - This is added here by many MSS. and versions; but is supposed not to have made a part of the text originally. Griesbach, Bengel, and others, leave it out.

St. Jerome mentions certain Greek copies, which have the following remarkable addition to Mark 16:14, after these words - and reproached them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen him after he was raised up: Et illi satisfaciebant dicentes: seculum istud iniquitatis et incredulitatis substantia est, quae non sinit per immundos spiritus verem Dei apprehendi virtutem. Idcirco, jam nunc revela justitiam tuam. "And they confessed the charge, saying: This age is the substance of iniquity and unbelief, which, through the influence of impure spirits, does not permit the true influence of God to be apprehended. Therefore, even now, reveal thy righteousness."

There are various subscriptions to this book in the MSS. and versions; the principal are the following: "The holy Gospel according to Mark is ended written by him - in Egypt - in Rome - in the Latin tongue - directed by Peter the 10th-12th year after the ascension of Christ - preached in Alexandria, and all its coasts." Dr. Lardner supposes this Gospel to have been composed a.d. 64 or 65, and published before the end of the last mentioned year. See the Preface.

The Gospel according to Mark, if not an abridgment of the Gospel according to Matthew, contains a neat, perspicuous abridgment of the history of our Lord; and, taken in this point of view, is very satisfactory; and is the most proper of all the four Gospels to be put into the hands of young persons, in order to bring them to an acquaintance with the great facts of evangelical history. But as a substitute for the Gospel by Matthew, it should never be used. It is very likely that it was written originally for the use of the Gentiles, and probably for those of Rome. Of this, there seem to be several evidences in the work itself. Of the other Gospels it is not only a grand corroborating evidence, but contains many valuable hints for completing the history of our Lord, which have been omitted by the others; and thus, in the mouths of Four witnesses, all these glorious and interesting facts are established.

One thing may be observed, that this Gospel has suffered more by the carelessness and inaccuracy of transcribers than any of the others: and hence the various readings in the MSS. are much more numerous, in proportion, than in the other evangelists. Every thing of this description, which I judged to be of real importance, I have carefully noted.

Though the matter of St. Mark's work came from the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, yet the language seems to be entirely his own: it is very plain, simple, and unadorned; and sometimes appears to approach to a degree of rusticity or inelegance. Whoever reads the original must be struck with the very frequent, and often pleonastic, occurrence of ευθεως, immediately, and παλιν, again, and such like; but these detract nothing from the accuracy and fidelity of the work. The Hebraisms which abound in it may be naturally expected from a native of Palestine, writing in Greek. The Latinisms which frequently occur are accounted for on the ground of this Gospel being written for the Gentiles, and particularly for the Roman people: this, it must be confessed, is only theory, but it is a theory which stands supported by many arguments, and highly presumptive facts. However this may be, the Gospel according to Mark is a very important portion of Divine revelation, which God has preserved by a chain of providences, from the time of its promulgation until now; and for which no truly pious reader will hesitate to render due praise to that God whose work is ever perfect. Amen.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

They went forth - The apostles.

Everywhere - In all parts of the world. See the account in the Acts and the Epistles.

The Lord worked with them - By miracles; by removing obstacles; by supporting them; and by giving the gospel success and making it effectual to saving men.

Confirming the word - Showing it to be the word of God or a revelation from heaven.

d By signs following - By attending miracles. By raising the dead, healing the sick, etc., as signs that God was with them, and had sent them forth to preach.

Amen - Truly, verily. So be it. This word here, however, is of no authority. There is no reason to think that it was added by Mark.

Mark is more concise than either of the other evangelists. In most instances he coincides with Matthew, though he has added some circumstances which Matthew had omitted. There is no evidence, however, that he copied from Matthew. The last chapter in Mark contains some things omitted in Matthew. and some things of fearful import. We learn from it that the gospel is to be preached to all mankind. Every person is to be offered eternal life, and he rejects it at his peril. The condition of the person who will not believe is fearfully awful. The Son of God has solemnly declared that he shall be damned. He will judge the world, and there is none that can deliver out of his hand. No excuse will be allowed for not believing. Unless a man has faith he must be lost for ever. This is the solemn assurance of the Bible; and in view of this awful declaration of the merciful Redeemer, how sad is the condition of him who has no confidence in Jesus, and who has never looked to him for eternal life! And how important that without delay he should make his peace with God, and possess that faith which is connected with everlasting salvation!

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
After the Lord had spoken he went up into heaven. Sitting is a posture of rest, he had finished his work; and a posture of rule, he took possession of his kingdom. He sat at the right hand of God, which denotes his sovereign dignity and universal power. Whatever God does concerning us, gives to us, or accepts from us, it is by his Son. Now he is glorified with the glory he had before the world. The apostles went forth, and preached every where, far and near. Though the doctrine they preached was spiritual and heavenly, and directly contrary to the spirit and temper of the world; though it met with much opposition, and was wholly destitute of all worldly supports and advantages; yet in a few years the sound went forth unto the ends of the earth. Christ's ministers do not now need to work miracles to prove their message; the Scriptures are proved to be of Divine origin, and this renders those without excuse who reject or neglect them. The effects of the gospel, when faithfully preached, and truly believed, in changing the tempers and characters of mankind, form a constant proof, a miraculous proof, that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, of all who believe.
Ellen G. White
Reflecting Christ, 225.1

They went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Mark 16:20. RC 225.1

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Ellen G. White
Reflecting Christ, 253.4

Why is there not now more diligent seeking of the Lord, that hundreds may be filled with the Holy Spirit, and may go forth quickly to proclaim the truth, “the Lord working with them and confirming the Word with signs following”? Our commission is to let the light shine forth everywhere from the press. By the printed page the light reaches the isolated ones, who have no opportunity to hear the living preachers. This is most blessed missionary work. Canvassers can be the Lord's helping hand, opening doors for the entrance of the truth. RC 253.4

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, 480

“How much owest thou unto my Lord?” Compute this you cannot. Since all that you have is His, will you with hold from Him that which He claims? When He calls for it, will you selfishly grasp it as your own? Will you keep it back and apply it to some other purpose than the salvation of souls? It is in this way that thousands of souls are lost. How can we better show our appreciation of God's sacrifice, His great donation to our world, than by sending forth gifts and offerings, with praise and thanksgiving from our lips, because of the great love wherewith He has loved us and drawn us to Himself? 6T 480.1

Looking up to heaven in supplication, present yourselves to God as His servants, and all that you have as His, saying: “Lord, of Thine own we freely give Thee.” Standing in view of the cross of Calvary and the Son of the infinite God crucified for you, realizing that matchless love, that wonderful display of grace, let your earnest inquiry be: “Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?” He has told you: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15. 6T 480.2

When you see souls in the kingdom of God saved through your gifts and your service, will not you rejoice that you had the privilege of doing this work? 6T 480.3

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