Top 5ive Disturbing Bible Passages: Blake

I am linking to NKJV translations like a boss.

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5. 2 Kings 2:23-24. Elisha calls down a curse on a bunch of little punk bastards (no, literally, at this period of history, they probably were actual bastards!) who insult him by saying he is follicle-y-challenged. And you know what happens?? Freaking bears come out of the woods maul all 42 of those bastards. I mean, come on, the thought of still being conscious while a bear ravages your body–blood going every which way, teeth sinking into tendons, claws ripping into flesh–until you either die or pass out from the utter pain of the situation is insanely disturbing. Don’t get any ideas, Alan Noble.

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4. Genesis 38The story of Tamar is a complex story about Judah sleeping with his daughter-in-law whom he thought was a prostitute. This is a story appears on many websites where atheists like to cull all of the jacked up parts of the Bible–out of context and with no historical knowledge about the culture and society of the Hebrews–so that they can tell us how f****d Christians really are. Now, I admit this story is disturbing but no more disturbing than, say, Ice Cube talking about kicking a bitch in her belly when she tells him he is the father of the baby. Turns out even non-Christians are f****d. Hey! Something we all have in common.

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3. Galatians 5:11-13Paul starts to get all up the Galatians’ grills with this truly brilliant bit of self-mutilation talk. The Judaizers–those who continue to maintain that one must have circumcision to be saved, instead of by grace alone–are pestering the Galatians and Paul staunchly pulls a great piece of logical argumentation slathered in utterly offensive rhetoric. If the Judaizers think cutting the foreskin off of their penis will save them, then why don’t they just cut the whole damn penis off just to make sure. The odds of salvation have got to be better right???

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2. The Book of HoseaProbably one of my favorite books of the Bible for the sheer insanity of the story and how challenging it is to our puny conceptions of who God is and what his holiness and goodness actually looks like. I have always wanted to teach a class on this book about Hosea taking a prostitute as a wife on God’s command and her being unfaithful to him over and over and over again and yet he loves her and stays with her even with her unfaithfulness. On the surface, this is a Giving Tree style tale of, from our American perspective, an unhealthy relationship with one person doing all the giving and the other doing all the taking. But that’s exactly the image God was creating. He is giving and giving and giving and we keep taking and taking and taking and being whores in the process. This is both physically and existentially disturbing the more you think about it.

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1. 1 Peter 2:18I have heard all of the explanations of this text and the descriptions of slavery in the ancient cultures and the justifications for the verse from many different sources, but, to this day, this remains one of the most disturbing singular verses in the Bible and I can guarantee if I had authority to knock verses out of the Bible this would be pretty central. The idea of a verse telling a slave to be submissive to cruel masters (let alone “good” ones) just blows me away. I never have liked it and find it disturbing on so many levels.

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