I've read this passage:

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.
Mark 16:15

What does "all creation" mean? Why not "all humans"?

3 Answers 3


A look at this verse in some of the different English translations. Mark 16::15,

"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." (KJV)

"And he said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation." (RSV)

"and he said to them, `Having gone to all the world, proclaim the good news to all the creation;" (YLT)

"Then he said to them, “As you go throughout the world, proclaim the Good News to all creation." (CJB)

"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the [c]gospel to the whole creation." (ASV)

"And he said to them: Go ye into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature." (DRA)

"He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature." (NET)

It appears to be evenly split between the word "creature" and "creation". There are a few translations that have "everyone".

Looking at the context of the scriptures, especially the very next verse -

"Whoever trusts and is immersed will be saved; whoever does not trust will be condemned." (CJB)

"The one who believes and is baptized will be saved, but the one who does not believe will be condemned." (NET)

we can tell that the "creature" or "creation" or "everyone" from vs. 15 is a man or woman, "the one", or "one who" believes and is immersed. That leaves out animals because belief and action are required of the creature or creation.

The versions that use "creation" instead of "creature" are maybe a little misleading. The Greek is Strong's 2937, transliterated as "ktisis" and means creation, the act of the product, and is used for a created thing, creation, creature, and institution. Thayer's Greek Lexicon has the meaning at Mark 16:15 of the human race. (1)

As the disciples could only tell the good news to those people living at the time the command was given, then it implies that only the people living during the first century AD were the "whole creation" to which they could preach the word. That was their great commission.

It is passed on to each generation by Paul's command to Timothy.

"and the things that thou didst hear from me through many witnesses, these things be committing to stedfast men, who shall be sufficient also others to teach;" (2 Tim. 2:2, YLT).

So, in Mark 16:15 "all creation" does mean all men and women. Children are also humans, but need to be of a mature age to be able to make the choice, to believe and respond. So, there is justification against using "all humans".


  1. Strong's Gr. 2937 ktisis - Biblehub

The church is the crown of God's creation. It is from the church that angels also learn and marvel.

The synoptic gospels present important information that is not fully explored until the apostles wrote more extensively about God's plan - not just for man on earth but beyond, into the heavens where no man resides - except Jesus!

to illuminate for everyone the stewardship of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10 His purpose was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11according to the eternal purpose that He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. Eph 3:9-11

It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look. 1 Pet 1:12

The mystery of salvation - through the man Jesus and his victory over evil and death itself is able to redeem a fallen and deceived humanity.

This redemption is potentially available to heavenly beings.

For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, 20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. Col 1:19-20


If the correct translation is to all creation, vs to all creatures, then a natural interpretation could be "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to (people throughout) the whole creation", i.e. go to all places, and preach the gospel in all places.

If the correct translation is to all creatures, vs to all creation, then an overly-literal interpretation of preaching to plants, animals, minerals, etc. makes no sense. In that case 'all creatures' must reasonably pertain to people, but the emphasis could be to include Jews and Gentiles, all races, men and women, adults and children.

  • Welcome to Bible Hermeneutics SE and thank you for your contribution. When you get a chance, please take the tour to understand how the site works and how it is different than others.
    – agarza
    Commented Sep 19, 2021 at 21:31

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.