When plagiarism is OK

On Wednesday 21st February 2018 and at the wonderful age of 99 years, the great American evangelist Billy Graham died.  Within hours the following quote of his went viral on social media, ‘Someday you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it. I shall be more alive than I am now. I will just have changed my address. I will have gone into the presence of God.’


It’s a wonderful quote; the only thing is Billy Graham borrowed it from one of his heroes in the faith, another great American evangelist D.L. Moody, who wrote in his autobiography in 1900, ‘Some day you will read in the papers that D. L. Moody, of East Northfield, is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it! At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now.’


But come to think of it, it wasn’t unique to D.L. Moody either because he was paraphrasing Jesus’ words to the thief on the cross, ‘Today you will be with me in Paradise.’


As Graham spent his life proclaiming, it was Jesus through His death on the cross who threw open the doors to heaven and offers us all the opportunity to say, ‘Some day you will hear of my death. Don’t believe a word of it.’

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