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I have heard and read several variations of this story. Some relate it to training bank tellers, some to treasury agents, and some to FBI agents. I don’t know which, if any, is true. The story makes a good point even if none of the stories are true.

It is important that [a teller, treasure agent, FBI agent, ???] be trained to detect counterfeit money. Some are trained to be experts. They study how to test papers and inks. They study to use a micrometer to measure how many 10,000ths of an inch apart the cross hatch lines are on the portraits. Every time a counterfeit is found, they receive updates on the printing errors (scratches, dots, breaks in lines, inconsistent spacing, and so on). It is a long, tedious, never ending process, but necessary to establish that a bill is a counterfeit in a court of law.

Before those studies, each trainee is placed in a room with stacks of money. He is told to count the money. He spends the day counting 1’s, 5’s, 10’s, and so on. He counts stacks of mixed bills for hours. The next day, he does the same thing, counting 100’s, 20’, 5’s, 50’s, 10’s, and 1’s. Hour after hour. This continues for days.

One day, a counterfeit bill is slipped in. He still counts. $403, $413, $418, $438, $439, 4??? When he reaches the counterfeit, he stops counting. He knows something is wrong. He may not know what is wrong, but he knows something is wrong. It would not hold up in a court of law, but he knows something is wrong. Intimate familiarity is the key. He is so familiar with the real thing, that he identifies the counterfeit without even thinking about it.

I don’t know if this story is true or not, but that’s the way we should be with the Bible. We should be so familiar with the truth that when we encounter the false, we know it.

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