Snake Handler Pastor Jamie Coots Of 'Snake Salvation' Dead From Snake Bite

Patrick Frye

A snake handler named Jamie Coots died from a snake bite while shooting a take on the reality TV show called Snake Salvation.

In a related report by The Inquisitr, a Burmese python found in Florida weighed 150 pounds.

Snake handling is loosely based on a New Testament story about the apostle Paul when he had just survived a shipwreck while being taken to Rome as a prisoner. Paul was bitten by a venomous snake known by the locals as being extremely deadly. But when Paul didn't drop dead after simply shaking off the snake everyone was amazed.

But a snake handler like Coots uses the Bible passage Mark 16:15-18 as justification for their dangerous craft:

"[Jesus] said to them, 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 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.'"

And there's a good reason it's illegal. The National Geographic show Snake Salvation featured Coots as a third-generation snake handler who worked with copperheads, rattlers, cottonmouths, and others. During his lifetime Coots lost half a finger to a snake bite and he also witnessed people in his congregations get killed.

This past fall Coots was interviewed by the Christian Post and he was asked why being a snake handler helped his faith or improved his relationship with God. Coots' response:

"It's not necessarily about our relationship with God. It's a sign to show that God has power over something that He created that could cause death. It doesn't build our faith. To me, your faith doesn't even come into play unless you get bit. As you get bitten, then your faith comes into play, cause either you're going to trust God or you're going to a doctor and trust man."
"After a brief examination and discussion of the possible dangers if the wound was not treated, treatment -- and transport to the hospital -- was refused."