Finally! Another legend is verified: Conybeare stated that Eznik of Golb, the Armenian translator/writer, is a witness for Mark 16:9-20, but I was never able to actually see the quotation, until now.
It is found on p. 85 of
A Treatise on God Written in Armenian by Eznik of Kolb (430-450)
by Monica J. Blanchard and Robin Darling Young, 1998.
(Easter Christian Texts in Translation series)
(This is the same composition otherwise known by the Latin title "De Deo" and as "Against the Sects.")
"But Satan is unable to prevail over true believers by his temptations, nor are sorcerers able to do so by demons, just as the Lord Himself said to His disciples: "Behold, I gave you power to tread under foot serpents and scorpions, and all the powers of the enemy" (Luke 10:10) And again, "Here are signs of believers: they will dislodge demons, and they will take serpents into their hand, and they will drink a deadly poison and it will not cause harm." (Mark 16:17-18)"
That's an interesting form of the quotation. Because, among other things, it has the "And in their hands" phrase which is an Alexandrian variant.
450. Let's see . . . that's about 400 years earlier than any Armenian witness against Mark 16:9-20, as far as I know.
Jerome, btw, had nothing on Eznik. Eznik makes many quotations in the course of this composition, and sometimes mentions the contents of Hebrew and Syriac texts.
Yours in Christ,
James Snapp, Jr.
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