We could write several articles about all the gruesome stuff that’s in the Bible — in fact, we already have. It’s a book full of gore, incest, and parables about loving one another. Can you imagine how gross or terrifying a Biblical story would have to be for the early church to go “Dear God, no, leave that one out”? The good news is that you don’t have to imagine, because we’re about to tell you! The bad news is that you might need a shower after this.
Mary’s Vagina Burns A Midwife’s Hand Off
Every year, yards across the world sprout wholesome nativity scenes depicting Jesus, his mom Mary, and his stepdad Joe. Had one pope not kept the “Protoevangelium of James” out of the Bible, those scenes would also include an incinerator vagina and teleporting baby, and nativity plays would have a much higher attendance.
This little piece of apocrypha was written around the year 150, and it provides the graphic clarity about the Virgin Mother’s genitals that absolutely on one was asking for. After Mary goes into labor, Joseph finds her a midwife. However, the midwife proves redundant, since little Jesus is born via a bright cloud and a flash of light — he just shows up in Mary’s arms, meaning that he never travels down the birthing canal. The midwife then leaves and tells another woman named Salome about the wacky shit she saw. Salome is somehow skeptical of this tale and, being a reasonable woman, decides to test its veracity by sticking her finger in Mary.
Mary seems fine with that, immediately “position[ing] herself” for the inspection. As soon she enters Mary, however, Salome cries out: “Woe for my lawlessness and the unbelief that made me test the living God. Look, my hand is falling away from me and being consumed in fire.” (That probably needs more exclamation marks.) Luckily, an angel shows up and tells Salome to touch Baby Jesus for a brand-new hand, free of charge.
Pope Innocent I “noped” this story out of the Bible in 405. Later, Thomas Aquinas thought that it should be completely dismissed because parts of it were crass and offensive — specifically the suggestion that that a midwife was involved with Christ’s birth. Yeah, that was the appalling part.
God Curses Judas With A Massive Exploding Penis (And Rest Of His Body)
After the dude betrayed God’s son for 30 pieces of silver, naturally the Bible couldn’t simply say “And then Judas went on to have a reasonably normal life, and nothing horrible happened to him.” The exact method of his death is disputed, though. The Book of Matthew says that he threw away his payment and hung himself out of regret, while Acts says that he used the money to buy a field, but then fell over like a dumbass and “his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out.” But why did he burst so easily? Because, according to another book, Judas’ whole body had swelled up like a horrible, sausage-filled balloon.
According to a lost book by the early Bishop Papias (which only survives through an extract in a later work), Judas started to bloat after betraying Jesus, to the point that he soon couldn’t fit through a gate wide enough for chariots. Either God decided to work some Old Testament magic on the guy, or the anxiety of selling Jesus out led to some extreme overeating. And it got worse — Papias adds that Judas’s eyes sank so deeply into his swollen face that doctors couldn’t find them with special magnifying equipment. But we know what you’re wondering: What about his penis? Oh, don’t get Papias started on his penis, which was “more repulsive and larger than any such disgraceful member.” No matter how many times you hear that one, it always stings.
As if that wasn’t enough, Papias takes time to add that “bloody discharge and maggots poured from all over his body, which caused injury whenever he attended to his bodily needs.” If we’re reading that correctly, Judas had problems wiping because of all the ass maggots. Which adds up, since when he died, his burial plot supposedly stank so badly that nobody could stand to be near it. And that’s why, as the old proverb says, you don’t fuck with the Jesus.
Jesus Makes Mary Magdalene Watch Him Have Some Freaky Sex (Warning: Gross)
One of the early competitors with the Catholic Church was Gnosticism, which held that the material world was oppressive and could be transcended by, like, acquiring secret knowledge, man. And how did one acquire this knowledge? Why, in some cases, by drinking cum.
To be fair, we’re only talking a group within the Gnostics called the Borborites, who held that the true Eucharist was the ritual consumption of semen and menstrual fluid. They justified this with a book called the Greater Questions of Mary, which featured Jesus taking Mary Magdalene up a mountain and making her watch while he had sex with a woman he pulled out of his side (a neat parlor trick his family can do). At the end of the weird mountain sex show, Jesus gathered and ate his own, uh, “emission.” It says that “Mary was alarmed” and fell on her butt due to the shock — which makes more sense when you remember she wasn’t really a prostitute and didn’t see this shit every day.
According to Christian writer Epiphanius (who repeatedly emphasized that he totally wasn’t with these guys), the Borborites recognized each other with a sweet secret handshake and then immediately started banging left and right. Once everyone was good and riled up, “the woman and man receive the man’s emission on their own hands … and then they eat it, partaking of their own dirt, and say, ‘This is the body of Christ’ … They likewise take the unclean menstrual blood … and eat it in common. And ‘This,’ they say, ‘is the blood of Christ.'” So hopefully they kept breath mints on hand. The sect failed to catch on, but it’s interesting to think how different the world might be if they had.
God Has To Flood The Earth … To Kill The Cannibal Giants Ravaging It
You probably know how the Biblical story of Noah goes: God is pissed at humanity for partying too hard or something, so Noah shoves a bunch of, like, caribous and gerbils onto a big raft and everyone else gets drowned to teach them a lesson. A nice, clean morality tale, with no plot holes or unresolved questions whatsoever.
Eagle-eyed readers, however, may notice that in the Book of Genesis, the story starts with a rather odd passage about “the sons of God” taking a liking to “the daughters of men” and getting them knocked up. The hell is that about? The answer is in the Book Of Enoch, a text from the 2nd century BCE which is currently considered canonical only in Ethiopia (though a bit of it did manage to sneak into the Western Bible via a quotation in the Epistle of Jude). According to Enoch, the “sons of God” were a type of angel known as “Watchers” who got tired of watching and decided to sneak down to Earth and get freaky with some hot human girls. These lucky women gave birth to a race of gigantic half-angels, each like 400 feet high, which was surely delightful several eons before the invention of the spinal block.
The resulting half-angel giants terrorized the Earth, demanding all the food that humans could produce. Unfortunately, there were only like 12 humans at the time and a 400-foot titan can really tear through a bowl of olives, so the giants eventually started eating the humans. When that wasn’t enough either, they moved on to eating each other. At this point, the archangels finally glanced down at Earth, noticed the cannibal holocaust raging unchecked, and asked God to sort it out. His solution? Tell Noah to start building a boat, because it was flood o’clock, baby. After the rogue Watchers were made to watch as their idiot children either killed each other or drowned, they were imprisoned deep in the Earth, ensuring that they’ll never ruin the planet with their dicks again. Hopefully.
One of the highlights of the Book of Job is the lengthy, extremely sarcastic speech in which God describes how awesome he is and how shitty Job is in comparison. After furiously listing all the normal animals he created that a punk-ass like Job didn’t, God brings up a couple of giant monsters too. First up is the Behemoth, a massive and fearsome grazing creature which some lame modern Christians think is just supposed to be a hippopotamus. This claim is somewhat undercut by the fact that the passage immediately moves on to describing the sea monster Leviathan, which is clearly a damned dragon, complete with flames and smoke shooting from its mouth.
The pair gradually fade out of the Bible after that, but it seems someone read the description of Leviathan’s “undersides like jagged potsherds, leaving a trail in the mud like a threshing sledge,” and thought, “Mmm, sounds delicious.” According to the Apocalypse of Baruch, an apocryphal work from the 1st century CE, Behemoth and Leviathan are currently hiding, and they’re coming back for a big barbecue at the end of the world.
Baruch, who is frankly a huge bummer, claims the Apocalypse will see humanity face 12 terrifying torments, one after the other. These will include earthquakes, famine, fire raining from the sky, and an invasion by an army of demons and specters. Torment 11 is “wickedness and unchastity,” and should be a bit of a break before Torment 12, which is literally nothing but the first 11 again, but at the same time.
The good news is that anyone who survives all that can look forward to a tasty treat, as the Leviathan will drag itself up out of the sea and the Behemoth will emerge from its hiding place, and the remaining people will feast on their flesh. You can probably judge the hardcore nature of Baruch’s apocalypse by the fact that the appearance of huge monsters will apparently be good news, because, hey, at least they’re something to eat.
Death Has 14 Terrifying Faces (And Whoever Came Up With Them Clearly Ran Out Of Ideas Halfway Through)
The basic story of the Testament of Abraham (an apocryphal book from the 1st century that was popular among early Christians) is that ol’ Abe is scheduled to die, but God decides to do him a solid and let him know ahead of time. Unfortunately, instead of lying down and waiting for it, Abraham spends the whole book trying to weasel out of dying. Eventually, God has no choice but to send in his personal hitman: Death.
This isn’t your boring old skeleton with an agricultural implement, either. This Death is so scream-pissingly terrifying that a single look would instantly kill a human. In a move right out of a Bugs Bunny cartoon, Abraham decides to stall the inevitable by demanding a look at Death’s 14 faces, which are so frightening that 7,000 people instantly keel over and die merely from being in the general area.
As it turned out, whoever wrote this book kind of backed themselves into a corner with that one, since they then had to come up with 14 whole faces, each scary enough to warrant that small genocide. Let’s see how that went:
– Faces 1 and 2 are “flaming fire” and “darkness.” (Not really scary by themselves, but could be as faces.)
– Face 3 is “a gloomy face of a viper.” (Pretty scary.)
– Face 4 is “a most terrible precipice.” (Scary, especially if you’re afraid of heights.)
– Face 5 is “fiercer than an asp.” (So another snake. Could just have led with this one.)
– Face 6 is “a terrible lion.” (Unclear if he’s terrible as in deadliness or as in he has a shitty attitude.)
– Faces 7 and 8 are “a cerastes and basilisk.” (A snake and a snake. Chill out with the snakes.)
– Faces 9 and 10 are “a fiery scimitar” and “a sword-bearing face.” (Wait, is Face 10 carrying Face 9? Now we’re getting somewhere freaky.)
– Face 11 is “lightning, lightning terribly.” (Fucking metal.)
– Face 12 is “a fierce stormy sea and a fierce rushing river.” (That’s a lot of ground to cover for a single face.)
– Face 13 is “a terrible three-headed serpent.” (Assuming they all have faces of their own, this brings our snake face total up to seven.)
– And Face 14 is “a cup mingled with poisons.” (Snake poisons?)
Most of the rest of the book is dedicated to Death explaining the meaning of his faces, which might have worked better had the writer in any way understood subtlety or metaphors. For example, the sword faces represent people being killed with swords. The cup of poison symbolizes people who die from drinking big cups full of poison. Even God seems to agree that 7,000 people dying for this is ridiculous, so he ends up bringing all those people back to life. Not Abraham, though. That guy can suck it.
Hell Is Full Of Aborted Fetuses That Shoot Lightning Bolts From Their Eyes
Since Hell isn’t actually in the Bible a whole lot, early Christian texts tried to fill that void while having a little fun with eternal damnation. Like a hip middle school vice principal, the 1st century apocryphal text the Apocalypse of Peter thought that the punishment should fit the crime. For example, if a woman braided her hair and seduced a man with those braids, then she would hang by her irresistibly sexy hair over a boiling swamp. The man she seduced, meanwhile, would be suspended by his thighs, and his head would be dunked in sewage. Maybe they were going for a “keep your mind out of the gutter” pun?
Anyway, abortion was an even more dire sin than hair-braiding, yet the punishment is equally poop-centric: A woman who gets an abortion has to sit neck-deep in a pit of “excretions.” Why only neck-deep? Because the aborted baby would sit above her, shooting their would-be mom in the face with “rays of fire” (sometimes translated as “lighting”). That’s right, getting aborted turns you into Cyclops from the X-Men.
The punishment for leaving a newborn out in the wilderness to die is even worse. Instead of hanging out in the shit pit while getting drilled by lasers, the mother would be attacked by monsters made out of her own breast milk, “which shall come forth and turn and torment them forever with their husbands.” Does the mention of “husbands” mean the father is spared from the boob juice monster rampage if they’re not married to the mother? Please consult your local priest and let us know what he says.
There were efforts to get this wackiness in the New Testament, but ultimately it didn’t make the cut. Not because of all the crazy poop-themed torture porn, mind you, but because in the 4th century, the Bishop of Athanasius picked another text (the now-canonical Book of Revelations) as the best for him to use against other Christians who questioned him. The shit rivers and tit demons didn’t factor into it.