What does Mark 16:15 mean?
ESV: And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.
NIV: He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.
NASB: And He said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.
CSB: Then he said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.
NLT: And then he told them, 'Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.
KJV: And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Verse Commentary:
Most likely, this verse is part of a later footnote, accidentally copied as part of the text by a later scribe. This is a summary of the Great Commission of Matthew 28:19. There, Jesus says, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." Jesus tells this to the disciples on a mountain in Galilee, possibly the same mountain where He first called the Twelve to follow Him (Mark 3:13–19).

After this, Jesus will continue teaching until forty days have passed since the resurrection (Acts 1:3). Jesus will take His disciples back south, toward Jerusalem, and ascend into heaven near Bethany (Luke 24:50–51). Emboldened by the resurrection, the disciples will return to the temple and worship God.

In the Old Testament times and during Jesus' ministry, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit was strategic and usually temporary. The seventy elders who helped Moses lead the Jews had the Spirit and prophesied for a time (Numbers 11:25). Saul, king of Israel, had the same experience—twice (1 Samuel 10:10; 19:22–24). Even the anointing of the Holy Spirit Jesus gave the disciples after the resurrection seems to have been temporary (John 20:22).

The disciples cannot fulfill the Great Commission under their own power. They need the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit which they cannot have until Jesus leaves (John 16:7). Soon, at Pentecost, in a house in Jerusalem, the Holy Spirit will come (Acts 2:1–4). Disciples who had scattered when guards came to arrest Jesus (Mark 14:50) will welcome the chance to go to trial to testify about Jesus (Acts 4:1–31). Brash, impulsive Peter will be the first preacher of the gospel (Acts 2:14–41). And the gospel will spread throughout all the world.

"Proclaim" is from the Greek root word kerusso. Jesus' command is akin to a herald shouting out what needs to be heard. "All" is from the Greek root word pas. It can mean "each and every," or it can mean "some of all types." "Creation" is from the Greek root word ktisis, and can mean anything created or it can mean a foundation or founding a new thing. The disciples are called to preach the truth to the people and places that will start the church.
Verse Context:
Mark 16:14–20 is not part of the oldest, most trusted manuscripts of the Bible. Most of what this passage contains is covered in Matthew 28:16–20, Luke 24:36–43, and John 20:19–29. However, there are points on which these verses are unsubstantiated. The disciples finally realize Jesus will not overthrow the Romans, and they will not rule from twelve thrones, at least not yet (Matthew 19:28). First, they have work: spreading the message that Jesus has died for the sins of the world and is risen. In this mission, they will be able to perform miracles and endure dangers that would normally kill them.
Chapter Summary:
After the mandatory time of rest, several of Jesus' female followers approach His tomb intending to anoint the body. Their primary concern is who will open the tomb for them so they can honor Jesus' remains. They arrive to find the tomb open, empty, and watched over by angels. After hearing from these beings (Luke 24:4–7), the women leave in fear, speaking only to the disciples. This ends the original, God-inspired text of the Gospel of Mark. Verses 9–20 are mostly corroborated by other Scripture, but were not part of the initial writing.
Chapter Context:
Leading up to chapter 16, Jesus has been unfairly tried and executed by crucifixion. Starting in this passage, Jesus' women followers find an empty tomb, but don't know what it means. Jesus' work for our salvation is done, but explaining that to His disciples will take another forty days (Acts 1:3). And telling the world is a work that will continue until His return. The resurrection and events after are also covered in Matthew 28, Luke 24, John 20—21, and Acts 1:1–11. The most reliable copies of the Gospel of Mark leave the disciples where they have spent much of the story: confused and afraid. Jesus is risen, but they haven't yet accepted that. Everything after verse 9 is most likely a later scribal addition.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Mark emphasizes both Jesus' servanthood and His role as the promised Messiah: the Son of God. This is done through a concise, action-packed style. Mark provides relatively few details, instead focusing on actions and simple statements. This relates to the Gospel's authorship, which is believed to be based on the memories of the apostle Peter. These include many of Jesus' miracles, in contrast to other Gospels which include many more of Jesus' teachings and parables. Mark also makes frequent mention of Jesus' ministry being misunderstood by others.
Accessed 4/22/2024 4:05:10 PM
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