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The Text of the Modern Versions
This is a true story.

One time a preacher was making his point on Mark 16.16 --
"He that believeth and is
baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."
He forcefully
cried out tothe audience on hand: "If you don't believe me, I'll come and show it to
you in your own Bible!"

"It's not in my Bible!" cried a woman in the back.

Immediately the preacher strode to the back, took the Bible from the lady's hand,
turned to the 16th chapter of Mark, and -- lo, and behold -- the passage was not
there! She had taken a pair of scissors and cut it out!

When I was a boy, I remember hearing this illustration used in a sermon to show the
disrespect which some people had for the Bible, and how they removed certain
unwanted passages from the Scriptures. What the woman did in this story is
unconscionable. But, pray tell, what is the difference between a woman taking a pir
of scissors and cutting pasages she does not like out of her personal Bible, and an
editor taking an exacto knife and slicing the same verses out of a Bible he is
preparing for publication? Is it not of far greater import when the editor does it;
because the Bible he so mutilates will not only be for his own private reading and
study, but is prepared to be used by thousands, or even millions?

Friends, and brethren, how far have we already drifted?

"For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if
any man shall add untothese things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are
written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of
this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the
holy city, and from the things which are written inthis book" (Revelation 22.18,19).
This was originally published in
September 26, 1986