Bible Stories You Won’t Hear At Sunday School

Not everything in the Bible is comfortable.

In fact, it has more weird, uncomfortable, racy, thought provoking, evil, and scary stories of any book I’ve ever read. But those stories aren’t the ones you hear about in Sunday School. They usually aren’t the ones that are preached about. I mean … they make people squirm. Especially Christians. Which is probably why most of the Bible is neutered and cleaned up and Westernized, from Noah’s Ark to Jesus being best friends with a terrorist. It’s easy to just ignore the “bad” stories and focus on the good and happy stories.

But I think God meant for all of the stories to be told. I don’t need to make Him look good by not telling the bad stories of the Bible. He’s a big guy. He can take care of himself.

These are some stories that wouldn’t make it into a Sunday School. For very good reasons.

That Story When God Says to Be Fruitful and Multiply

(these were the clothes that God made for Adam & Eve)

Genesis 1:28a. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.”

So Adam begat Seth, Seth begat Enosh, Enosh begat Kenan, Kenan–

Whoa whoa whoa whoa. Hold on here. That’s just … not suitable for children. But I sure wondered about this when I was little.

I remember the conversation well.

“Mom, who did Cain and Abel marry?” I asked.

She paused.

“If Adam and Eve were the only people in the world, how could Cain and Abel marry?”

“Uhhhh,” she stalled. “They found wives.”

“Who were their wives?”

“Just … women,” she said.

“What women?”

“They had to marry their SISTERS, okay?” Mom said.

“Bleck.”

So I guess incest is wrong on all occasions, unless the human population would die out. Then your selfless act of saving humanity would be to sleep with your sister. I can’t help but still wonder a few things: Was it weird for them? Was it okay, since God hadn’t given any laws against it yet? Since they didn’t have any taboo against incest did it seem normal?  Eesh.

That Story When Lot Offered His Daughters To A Mob

Let me paraphrase the story for you:

Two angels arrive at Sodom. (Yep, the same Sodom that God barbecued)

Lot, a “righteous” man, sees them and BEGS them to stay at his house.

“We’d rather not,” the angels said. “We’re just going to sleep in the square.”

“NO YOU DO NOT WANT TO DO THAT,” Lot says and they concede and stay at his house.

That night, men gathered from all around the town, both young and old, and surrounded Lot’s house.

“Bring those two visitors out, Lot! We want to rape them!” They call.

“No, no, no,” Lot says. “Don’t do such a wicked thing.” (At this point, I’m sure Lot is pretty nervous to have a sex-crazed mob outside his door so he does what any father intent on self-preservation would do) “I have two virgin daughters I can throw out to you. Do anything you want with them, but leave the men alone because they are under my protection.”

And then the mob moved forward to break down the door but the angels brought out their laser guns and blinded the whole mob.

(This may or may not be what the angels looked like)

*stands on soapbox* First off, I’m not sure how people can cite this story as God wanting to destroy homosexuals. After all, this is not an example of people of the same sex sleeping together. This is a story about gang rape. So, if we want to be Biblically accurate, it is rapists who should be called Sodomites, not homosexuals. *steps off soapbox*

Now let’s just wait here a freakin’ second. Lot offered his daughters to be raped by a mob to protect himself and the men he’d taken in. Whoa! Yoiks. He’s definitely not getting father-of-the-year award.

What lesson is there in that story for our children? First off: be thankful you don’t have Lot for a dad. Second: You want to be near some of God’s messengers in any type of dangerous situations because those guys have some seriously awesome superpowers.

That Story About David Watching Saul Take A Poop

1 Samuel 24. Saul is furious at David because all the chicks like David better, and they even make up songs about how David has killed more men then Saul. So Saul starts chasing David all around the country in order to pierce him through the heart with his spear.

All that walking makes him have to go. Ya know. “Sit on the throne.” Take a dump. Drop a log. Push out the croutons or whatever you kids are calling it these days.

Unfortunately for everyone involved, David and his men were hiding in the back of the cave. Yeah, Saul had terrible luck.

I can just imagine David and his mighty men whispering to each other in the darkness.

“Who farted?”

“Dang, Uriah. That hummus was not kind to you.”

“It wasn’t me.”

“Eleazer!”

“Ugh, it’s getting worse.”

“Will you shut up! It’s Saul!”

“Ha! Blaming it on Saul, again? We’ve heard that one before.”

“NO really, it’s SAUL. Right there!”

And then they’d see the King of Israel doing his business, all red faced and straining, right there at the mouth of the cave and I can’t help but think they’d be a little embarrassed.

This actually might be a good story to teach kids. It has a valuable lesson tied into it: if you’ve gotta take a poop, be sure the room is clear or there’ll be some embarrassing and maybe even life-threatening consequences.

The Story About Sexual Pleasures

(Solomon and his wives)

There’s a whole book in the Bible just about relationships and sex. Some verses are so explicit that Jewish boys weren’t allowed to read the book until they were 12 yrs old. Which is probably why all Jewish boys had probably read it by the time they were 10. Solomon wrote it because he was an absolute pro when it came to sex. After all, he had 700 wives and 300 concubines. 1000! Which might not be completely accurate, but 1000 is Biblespeak for “too many to count.” That means it’d take almost three years to have sex with all of his wives–what a busy busy busy man. But there seems to be one girl that stood out to him, and from what we can tell from the text she was a commoner, and she had a lot of brothers.

So he wrote a song about their relationship, and named it Song of Songs.

It has one of the most romantic phrases I’ve ever heard, “I am my beloved’s, and he is mine.”

He talks about courtship. He talks about in-laws. He talks about what her girlfriends think about him. He talks about how to resolve conflict in a relationship. And he talks about browsing among the lilies, lips like scarlet ribbons, eyes like doves, summits of Hermon, going into the mountain of myrrh, lips dripping with honey, blowing on my garden, tasting choice fruits, bodies like polished ivory,

“Eat, friends, and drink;

drink your fill of love,” he says.

It’s all rather embarrassing to teach to wide-eyed 5th graders at VBS. It makes a rather awkward felt-people play don’t you think?

The Story About Skeletons Coming To Life

(by Keith Parkinson, go check out his amazing work)

I would paraphrase this if I thought I could do better, but it’s just so cool and weird as is:

Ezekiel 37

A Valley of Dry Bones

 1 The Lord took hold of me, and I was carried away by the Spirit of the Lord to a valley filled with bones. 2 He led me all around among the bones that covered the valley floor. They were scattered everywhere across the ground and were completely dried out. 3 Then he asked me, “Son of man, can these bones become living people again?”

   “O Sovereign Lord,” I replied, “you alone know the answer to that.”

4 Then he said to me, “Speak a prophetic message to these bones and say, ‘Dry bones, listen to the word of the Lord! 5This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Look! I am going to put breath into you and make you live again! 6 I will put flesh and muscles on you and cover you with skin. I will put breath into you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”

7 So I spoke this message, just as he told me. Suddenly as I spoke, there was a rattling noise all across the valley. The bones of each body came together and attached themselves as complete skeletons. 8 Then as I watched, muscles and flesh formed over the bones. Then skin formed to cover their bodies, but they still had no breath in them.

9 Then he said to me, “Speak a prophetic message to the winds, son of man. Speak a prophetic message and say, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come, O breath, from the four winds! Breathe into these dead bodies so they may live again.’”

10 So I spoke the message as he commanded me, and breath came into their bodies. They all came to life and stood up on their feet—a great army.

“So, kids. What did we learn from the story?” -Me to my preschool Sunday School class

-Preschool Sunday School class shivering in fear under the table.

“Tell me! What did you learn?”

“Uhhh,” one girl says timidly. “That God raises up Skeleton Armies.”

“Right! And you know what the moral of the story is? Um …. me neither. But it’s creepy, aye?”

For some reason their mothers complained to me about their children not able to sleep, their kids saying something about hearing the rattling of bones, the stretch of flesh and sinews, and zombie armies. I told them I was just teaching the Bible. And then I asked if they’d ever read about the dowry David gave to Saul so he could marry Michal? Eesh. You don’t want to hear that story.

What Bible stories will you never hear about in Sunday School?

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36 Comments

  1. I always find it hilarious when people refers to the various “holy” books as “the word of God” and then when you press them for meanings of certain stories they tell you that it needs to be read in the right context – whatever that means.

    According to me the word of God would have one and only one interpretation. It should be that simple and the only one that holds to that it – “Do unto others as you would have done unto you”.

    The rest is just a collection of stories aimed at a specific people in a specific tiume. Strangely, you never hear the warmongers and right-wing fanatics ever use “Do unto others….” as a call to war.

    Oh wait! That is the only true call to war because it would mean war against our REAL enemies – wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony. But defeating them would not make somebody rich, right?

    Reply
    • EllieAnn

       /  October 6, 2011

      That “do unto others” verse is a real doozy when you’re trying to find a reason to fight other people. And you’re completely right when you list what our REAL enemies are!

      Reply
  2. Bob Ditty

     /  October 6, 2011

    Great article. I just got dome reading the entire old testament. No, it’s not all cushy for sure but I sure got to know God a lot better. Funny too, I just read the Ezekial dry bones passage to my kids the other night, they thought it was cool! :)

    Reply
  3. You forgot about the guy who’s girlfriend was raped and killed by the dudes in this one city and he got mad about it, so he cut her body up into twelve pieces and sent the pieces in the mail to the leaders of the country so they would come and kill the dudes that did the raping and murdering.
    Also, Jael.

    Reply
    • EllieAnn

       /  October 6, 2011

      I could definitely write a Part II for this post, and a Part III and Part IV, actually. Jael’s story is crazy.

      Reply
      • This is really awesome do you think I could take some of or part of these stories and use them partly as a script to do a video that I could makr for a youth group about stories you don’t hear in Sunday school?

        Reply
  4. You said yoiks. And talked about my OT zombies! Yay for you. The Bible is loaded with crazy stories. Lot is at the top for sure. I love that God wanted all that grimy, nasty stuff in there. Truth. Humans are messed up to the max. That’s why it’s okay to not be perfect. That’s why we need Him. If more Western churches would realize that more people would go back and check out the original source material.

    Reply
    • EllieAnn

       /  October 6, 2011

      Truth. God’s interested in imperfect men. God’s not interested in a man charading as a perfect man. That would be idolatry. So glad you’re telling the stories about the imperfect men that God loves.

      Reply
  5. Awesome post, lol. The Bible is full of crazy stuff, and really makes you wonder about the people writing it. Lot’s story has always amazed me, and you put it perfectly. The Old Testament is definitely a more interesting read as well – it hasn’t been dumbed down.

    Reply
    • EllieAnn

       /  October 6, 2011

      Every time I read the Old Testament, I find some new and crazy story I’ve never noticed before.

      Reply
  6. Those who say the Bible is boring have never read it. Numbers and Ezekiel are two of my faves for unusual stories.

    Talking donkey. The funniest thing about the whole story to me is that Balaam has no problem talking back to the donkey. I don’t know about you, but if a donkey started talking to me, I’m pretty sure I’d be dumbfounded.

    Woman dropping a millstone on a guy’s head. Who says women aren’t important?

    The Living Creatures. Wheels and eyes and multiple heads. What an imagination.

    This is a great post, and it’s true. Most people don’t know this stuff’s in there, and even if they did they wouldn’t want to touch it with a 10-foot pole because it doesn’t fit in the neat little “church” box.

    Reply
    • EllieAnn

       /  October 6, 2011

      The Living Creatures!!! I forgot about those. Those are crazy awesome.

      Reply
  7. Such a great post! Being Catholic I have heard all these stories from one time or another except for poor Saul! Hahaha!
    The Greatest Story Ever Told. That’s for sure!

    Reply
    • EllieAnn

       /  October 6, 2011

      haha! Yes. Everyone poops. It’s just unfortunately that Saul did in front of his greatest enemy, lol.

      Reply
  8. Sara Grambusch

     /  October 6, 2011

    This is so awesome. The Bible can be anything you want it to be. I studied religion in college and grad school and wrote full term papers about similar stuff. :)

    Reply
    • EllieAnn

       /  October 6, 2011

      Interesting! Thanks for the comment, Sara. Have you published any of your papers?

      Reply
  9. Jess Witkins

     /  October 6, 2011

    I occasionally have that thought process about “go forth and multiply”. If Creation is the true story, then technically we’re all related. That’s either beautiful or gross, depending how you look at it.

    You could definitely go on and on with these posts. Once you got done with bible stories, you could go into saint stories. I always thought the story of Lot’s wife was a weird one. When the family flees the city from a hurricane and are told not to look back, but Lot’s wife does, and she is turned into a pillar of salt, which is supposedly why we have salt water. Um, hello, how would we know this unless someone ELSE also looked back?!

    Reply
    • EllieAnn

       /  October 6, 2011

      Studying the Bible brings up lots and lots of questions like that. =)

      Reply
  10. Judah and Tamar all the way.

    LOVE this post!

    Reply
    • EllieAnn

       /  October 6, 2011

      Judah and Tamar – eesh, that story is SO bad. I don’t think I’m mature enough to read that material.

      Reply
  11. This was so funny. Be warned. Last time I wrote a post like this, it was “Poop jokes in scripture” and I’ve gotten poop-related humor search terms ever since.

    Great read.

    Reply
  12. As you can well imagine from my novel, my favorite one that isn’t taught is how Joseph enslaved the people of Egypt to the Pharoah during the great famine. He didn’t go giving that grain away, you know. Somehow in Sunday School, we always skipped from Joseph being so very benevolent to Moses freeing the Hebrew slaves. Hmmmm. Nope. Nobody’s wanting to connect those dots.

    And speaking of Joseph, how about his little sister, Dina, and how Jacob & Co. tricked and slaughtered an entire city of men because they didn’t approve of her sweetheart?

    To me, candy coating only fosters mistrust of the whole concept. Like you said, the Big It is big enough to take care of itself. I’m paraphrasing you, of course. :)

    We could do this all day. Kudos to you for being straight up with the kids.

    Oh, yeah. And I asked my Sunday School teachers and parents who Cain and Abel married, too. :)

    Reply
  13. Oh! You didn’t include the story after Lot offered the virgins. His daughters got him drunk and slept with him to populate the world. There’s also David sleeping with Uriah’s wife. Bible is more bloody than anyone realized.

    Reply
  14. BD

     /  November 4, 2011

    Don’t forget the story about the children mocking Elisha and him summoning 2 she-bears that come out of the woods ( in the desert) and slaughter 42 of them.

    Reply
  15. hitbywit

     /  March 27, 2013

    I find it funny that anyone actually believes these stories? Makes me realize how ignorant and superstitious our modern world still is. The bible is wrong on many accounts. Specifically, with science. I respect all of your beliefs, but these stories are so absurd. I mean really? Wow! Talk about the dark ages.

    Reply
  16. The Bible is definity a true story and you should have more respect for it. Science isnt anything without GOD, He is science. A lot of what we read is paraphrased however, But we should never lose faith. Just know that GOD is always there and he never forsake you. We should all be more careful as to what we say also.

    Reply
  17. Ellie, you are quite hilarious. I’m so glad you don’t bite until…and you should be glad I am not a zombie – yet!

    I like the way you presented your case. To tell you the truth, the Bible is filled with so many dumbfounding and confounding accounts that will surely leave anyone with some atom of sense of humor laughing out so loud until the tears start forming pools.

    This was exactly what pushed me when I created this book which I called Funny Shady Bible You Were Never Told.

    I’m guessing you will like it. Here is the the link – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AFXCKSW.

    Reply
  18. Travis

     /  January 4, 2014

    I really enjoy you take on these stories. Many i have read before but not like this lol keep em coming.

    Reply
  19. Jeff

     /  April 23, 2014

    Nifty post, thanks! One thought, however: you should give credit where it is due for the images posted. For example, your “skeleton army” jpg is actually a well known piece by Keith Parkinson entitled “Lord Soth’s Charge” (for example: http://www.keithparkinson.com/store_giclees.php ). A quick google image search will help with this sort of thing.

    Reply
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