Written and collected by Zia H Shah MD, Chief Editor of the Muslim Times
The fundamentalists who would read the scripture literally and show concrete thinking are not unique to Christianity. The biblical snake handlers base their practice on the following verses from the New Testament:
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 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.” (Mark 16:15-18)
The interesting thing is that here we have preachers risking their lives on a literal reading of the last few verses of the last chapter of the Gospel of Mark and there is definite evidence that these verses were not present in the original manuscripts of Mark. Please read an article: The Gospel of Mark: in Search of an Ending!