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Charmed to death

The preacher who claimed his faith would keep him safe from snake bites has died – from a snake bite. Jamie Coots of Middlesboro, Kentucky, died hours after the rattlesnake he was handling at a church service bit him. He declined medical treatment – going home instead, where he died.

Coots took the Gospel of Mark passage literally which talks of handling serpents. However, some biblical scholars believe the section was added, not “inspired,”  as often happened with early scripture texts. Lots of tinkering of documents for various reasons; we see that phenomena when comparing various early texts of scripture.

Perhaps Coots would have been better served by literally following Matthew’s mandate to feed the hungry, visit the sick, clothe the naked – as long as he didn’t try to clothe them in snakeskin.

(S-R archive photo)

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Writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., addresses issues facing aging baby boomers and seniors as well as issues of serious illness, death and dying, grief and loss.

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