The language we currently use in the amidah for בִּרְכַּת הַמִּינִים is different from that found in the earliest siddurim. The gemarah (Berachot 40b) teaches us that "If one alters the formula laid down by the Sages in benedictions, he has not performed his obligation". I realize that in the past using the original text of בִּרְכַּת הַמִּינִים may have posed a danger to life, however for many or perhaps all people today that is no longer the case. I would like to know why we do not revert to the original text of בִּרְכַּת הַמִּינִים.

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    Who says those siddurim are original? – Double AA Sep 9 '13 at 17:58
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    This question can be generalized to many instances where multiple nuscha'os exist and/or differing early nuscha'os have been found. Incidentally, see these six nuscha'os of the blessing. – Fred Sep 9 '13 at 20:19
  • @Fred i disagree, first of all this is a blessing as opposed to other places with differing nuschot which may only be praise. second, according to some authorities the amidah prayer is deoraita. third the language was specifically canonized by the anshei k'neses ha'gedola. – please remove my account Sep 9 '13 at 20:24
  • @user3120 Perhaps I should have been more explicit, but that's why I said "many instances", not all instances. There are other instances with differing nuscha'os in the amida and other b'rachos. – Fred Sep 9 '13 at 20:27
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    Here is a book about the evolution of the blessing books.google.com/… – wfb Sep 9 '13 at 21:59

Indeed, the text of the blessing changed. See here:

”Velamalshinim”= We should have in mind the historical significance of the prayer. Originally the word “velamalshinim” read “velaminim,” but the Christain censors, who were originally “targeted” by the Bracha, actually changed. It’s important to realize that our prayer has historical significance. (Artscroll Mesorah)

However, your question is based on assumptions that may be challenged, such that the following may form a response (or at least a challenge to bolster your assumptions more strongly than you have):

1) There is perhaps a difference between an individual deciding to change the text of the blessing himself, where it is not a blessing, and where the community, under the leadership of great rabbis of the generation, have changed the text of the blessing.

2) The gemara itself you mention has the context of blessings on foods. It needs proving that this extends to the blessings of Shmoneh Esrei.

3) Further, while the statement you cite (which is one side in a machlokes) has a letter ב, corresponding to עין משפט נר מצוה, such that it is brought down lehalacha, Rif seems to omit it, and Rambam (hilchot berachot 1:5) only says that he is erring, but does not say that it is not a blessing. He says about something else that it is not a blessing:

וְכָל הַמְּשַׁנֶּה מִמַּטְבֵּעַ שֶׁטָּבְעוּ חֲכָמִים בַּבְּרָכוֹת, אֵינוּ אֵלָא טוֹעֶה. וְכָל בְּרָכָה שְׁאֵין בָּהּ הַזְכָּרַת הַשֵּׁם וּמַלְכוּת, אֵינָהּ בְּרָכָה אֵלָא אִם כֵּן הָיְתָה סְמוּכָה לַחֲבִרְתָּהּ

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    Where does Artscroll say that? I don't see it in the English/Hebrew Siddur in weekday Shacharit Amidah. – Double AA Aug 18 '16 at 20:08
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    Re 3: even if it is only "mistaken" not "not a blessing" I don't see how that is not still a concern. – Double AA Aug 18 '16 at 20:08
  • Looking at the link I provided, they source "Artscroll Mesorah series, first half". This would then not be the Artscroll siddur but rather part of a series on the meaning of prayer. My best guess would then be this book: "Shemoneh Esrai: The Amidah / The Eighteen Blessings", The Artscroll Mesorah Series, 1990. – josh waxman Aug 18 '16 at 20:54
  • Full disclosure though, this, like several other answers, we're not intended to provide an answer as such as much as to point out possibly shaky assumptions, such that the questions falls away. At the time, I was slightly annoyed by a crop of questions predicated on such assumptions. The questioner can reevaluate, see if the question still stands under the new assumptions, and re- ask. – josh waxman Aug 18 '16 at 23:08

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