While engaged in modifying suspected errors in the New Testament, Joseph Smith, Jr. occasionally changes a fluid sentence into the bizarre.
One such case is found in Matthew, where he substitutes the perfectly understandable word “serpents” for the alternate choice of “servants.”
“Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”
Matthew 10:16, AKJV, emphasis added.
Here is the modification he made in April 1831:
“[B]ehold I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves be ye therefore wise
as Servents and as harmless as doves.”
Matthew 10:14, New Testament Revision 1 (Independence, MO: Community of Christ, 1831), 25, emphasis added.
One could question this as a mistake by either Joseph or his scribe, but it was incorporated in the printed text, and currently maintains its spot in the Holy Scriptures/Inspired Version Bible.
Both versions make sense, but the need for the change is seen as blasphemous among Christianity at large.