New Defender's Study Bible Notes
16:17 these signs. In the apostolic period, before the New Testament was written and available, the apostles and other early evangelists “went every where preaching the word” (Acts 8:4), “God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to His own will” (Hebrews 2:4). This was necessary for a time, since they had neither Christ with them in person any longer nor any written record of His life and teachings. Eventually, as the church became established and the New Testament Scriptures were written and circulated, these miraculous attestations became unnecessary. This passage did not specify a time limit, but neither did it promise that such miracles would continue throughout all subsequent time. The very existence of the church and the inspired writings of the apostles in the New Testament would be sufficient. Jesus had rebuked those who would not believe without signs and wonders (John 4:48; Luke 11:29), and Paul later said that prophecies and tongues and supernatural knowledge would eventually cease (I Corinthians 13:8).