Mark 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe;

KJV Verse: 

Mark 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

Signs, however, to the ones trusting? It might follow these: in that name of mine, personal demons might be tossed out; with tongues they might be proclaim.

Interesting and Hidden Aspects: 

The beginning of this verse seems like the answer to a question. The word "signs" is not the subject of the verb. It is the wrong form. The verbs are not necessarily the future tense, but more likely the form of possibility.

The Greek word translated as "and" means "but", "however", and "on the other hand". Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better.  This word indicate opposition to something said. Since this verse doesn't oppose the previous one of Jesus, we can assume that the statement was spoken by another.

The "these" is a pronoun that can mean "this" or "that," the nearer or the further depending on usage. It likely refers to the word "signs" but the words "signs" starts the clause and this word ends it or is part of another clause entirely.

"Signs" is a noun that means "mark [by which things are known]", "sign [of the future]", "sign from the gods", "signal [to do things]," and "standard [flag]."

The term "shall  follow" means "to follow," or "go with," in a physical sense, but it is also a metaphor meaning "to be guided by" or "to follow the meaning of." The form require a singular subject. It could be a future tense or the tense indicating a specific time in the past, present, or future possibility. The form of possibility seems more likely because it matches the following verb.

The word translated as "them that" is the Greek article, "the," which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the ones."

The Greek word translated as "believe" is the verb that means "to trust, put faith in, or rely on a person", "to believe in someone's words", "to comply", "to feel confident in a thing," and "to entrust in a thing." It is in the form of an adjective, "trusting" or "complying." The tense is something happening at a specific poinmt in time.

The word translated as "in" also means "within", "with," or "among."

"My" is the first-person possessive singular pronoun. 

The Greek word translated as "name" is much more complicated than it might at first appear. It can simply means a "name" as in English, this can be many things. It doesn't mean the things itself, but what people call it. For example, it can mean a "false name," or "a pretense" as we say "this is a marriage in name only." It can also mean representing another person's authority, as we say, "he is acting in the name of the boss."

"Shall they cast out" is a verb that means "throw out." Depending on the context, it can mean "toss out", "turn out," or "take out." It is usually translated as "cast out" in the NT.

 "Devils" is a word which means "belonging to a demon." It is based on the noun for "demon." The word 'demon" doesn't necessarily mean "evil". In Greek is used to refer to a controlling spiritual power, inferior to the gods. It was used to mean "knowing" and "skilled" in the sense that we might say, "He is a demon poker player." See this article on "demon" and related terms such as "devil". Generally, "having a demon" was how people of Christ's time said that someone had mental problems. See this article on demons and mental illness. 

The Greek word translated as "they shall speak " is not the ordinary "to say" or "to speak" in Greek. This word means both "idle chatter", "gossip," and "the proclamations of an oracle." Christ uses it to capture the idea of "pass on," because that captures both someone gossiping and an oracle does. The word is somewhat self-effacing.

"With" comes from the form of the word "tongues" which can indicate an instrument.

The is no word "new" in the Greek source. 

"Tongues" is another uncommon word that means "tongue" as the organ of speech, "spokesperson", "language", word of mouth" and related meanings. 

Greek Vocabulary: 

σημεῖα ( noun pl neut nom) "Signs" is from semeion, which means "mark [by which things are known]", "sign [of the future]", "sign from the gods", "signal [to do things]," and "standard [flag]."

δὲ (conj/adv) "But" is de which means "but" and "on the other hand." It is the particle that joins sentences in an adversarial way but can also be a weak connective ("and") and explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if"). --

τοῖς ( article pl masc dat ) "Them that" is the Greek article, "the," which usually precedes a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." Here it is separated from its noun by a conjunction. --

πιστεύσασιν ( part pl aor act masc dat ) "Believe" is pisteuo, which means "to trust, put faith in, or rely on a person", "to believe in someone's words", "to comply", "to feel confident in a thing," and "to entrust in a thing." --

ἀκολουθήσει  ( verb 3rd sg fut ind act or verb 3rd sg aor subj act) "Shall follow" is akoloutheo, which means "to follow," and "to go with." It also means "to be guided by" and means following a leader as a disciple. --

ταῦτα, ( adj pl neut acc ) "These" is tauta, which is a referring pronoun meaning "these", "this", "that," and "here." It can mean the nearer or the further depending on usage. As an adverb it can mean "therefore" and "that is why." --

ἐν (prep) "In" is en, which means "in", "on", "at", "by", "among", "within", "surrounded by", "in one's hands", "in one's power," and "with".

τῶ ὀνόματί () "Name" is onoma, which means "name." It means both the reputation of "fame," and "a name and nothing else," as opposed to a real person. Acting in someone's name means to act on their behalf, as their representative.

μου (pro sg masc gen) "My" is mou, which mean "my," or "mine."

δαιμόνια (noun pl neut acc) "Devils" is daimonion, which means "divinity", "divine power", "a lower divine being," and "evil spirit." Technically, it means "belonging to a demon. "Evil spirit" is a New Testament usage or interpretation. " It is from daimôn, which actually is the noun "demon." The word 'demon" doesn't necessarily mean "evil" (though it seems the way the Jews used it here), but in Greek is used to refer to a controlling spiritual power, inferior to the gods. It was used to mean "knowing" and "skilled" in the sense that we might say, "He is a demon poker player." -- 

ἐκβαλοῦσιν,  ( verb 3rd pl fut ind act or verb 3rd pl fut ind act ) "Shall they cast out" is ekballo and means "throw out", "cast out of a place,"and "expose." Ek means "out of", "from," and "away from." Ballo is "to throw" or "to scatter." --

γλώσσαις [uncommon]( noun pl fem dat ) "Tongue" is glossa, which means "tongue" as the organ of speech, "spokesperson", "language", word of mouth" and related meanings.  

λαλήσουσιν, ( verb 3rd pl fut ind act or verb 3rd pl aor subj act) "They shall speak" is laleo, which means "to talk," "to speak" "to prattle", "to chat," and [for oracles] "to proclaim." It also means "chatter" as the opposite of articulate speech. --

Wordplay: 

Related Verses: 

Apr 22 2019