“Weird, Crude, Funny, and Nude” has been out for a month now, and I’ve had a number of people asking if certain things are in the book. Generally, I can say “Yes, Ezekiel 23:20 is in the book. And what a glorious passage it is.” But there are some parts of the Bible that didn’t make it in, they may be weird, crude, funny, or nude, but for one reason or another, I didn’t write about them. But so they don’t feel left out, I’ll talk about them here and tell you why they didn’t make the cut.
Song of Songs
This is probably the part of the Bible that people ask me about the most that I haven’t included in the book. Obviously, Song of Songs is the go-to nudity book for any immature person (i.e. me). Nowhere in the Bible are there more references to boobs than in this book. It has more references to boobs in this one book than in the entire New Testament combined! Not only that but it’s full of euphemisms. When the woman says “Let my beloved come into his garden and taste its choice fruits” (Song of Songs 4:16) she’s not actually inviting her man to do a produce inspection, unless it’s a “produce inspection” if you know what I mean.
Or there is this great verse which needs no explanation at all: “I said, “I will climb the palm tree; I will take hold of its fruit.” May your breasts be like clusters of grapes on the vine, the fragrance of your breath like apples,” (Song of Songs 7:8).
So why didn’t I write about this most giggle-worthy of books? Because while sex can be funny, it’s not funny in and of itself. I find sex jokes are generally pretty lazy (the previous two paragraphs being no exception) and if I wrote about Song of Songs I’d really just be writing a chapter on sex and there are enough Christian books for teens about sex. It’s about 90% of the Christian youth book market.
In Genesis 19:5 it says “They called to Lot, ‘Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.’” As a kid I thought this was funny, mainly because it says “sex”. But since I’m a grown up I now know the context: there are two men visiting Lot, and the men of Lot’s town come to his house demanding that they be allowed to gang-rape his visitors. Gang-rape is clearly not funny and I don’t want to make jokes about it.
But I do enjoy the end of the story where the visiting men turn out to be angels and strike the would-be rapists blind. That’s pretty good.
Isaiah’s Nude Preaching
Isaiah 20:1-4 says “In the year that the supreme commander, sent by Sargon king of Assyria, came to Ashdod and attacked and captured it— at that time the Lord spoke through Isaiah son of Amoz. He said to him, “Take off the sackcloth from your body and the sandals from your feet.” And he did so, going around stripped and barefoot.
Then the Lord said, “Just as my servant Isaiah has gone stripped and barefoot for three years, as a sign and portent against Egypt and Cush, so the king of Assyria will lead away stripped and barefoot the Egyptian captives and Cushite exiles, young and old, with buttocks bared—to Egypt’s shame.
Basically, it seems that Isaiah spent three years preaching in the nude. Considering Christians have spent years wondering what kind of dress is appropriate for church or daily life, I don’t know why this passage is so rarely referenced. If Isaiah did this today there could be some excellent church sign puns to advertise the guest preacher: “This Sunday we’ve got willy good preaching”, “Our preacher is all about turning the other cheeks” or “Sermon guaranteed to be a bummer.”
So why didn’t I include a chapter on Isaiah’s pantsless preaching? To be honest I just forgot that passage was in there. If I had remembered there is a high chance it would have a gotten a look-in. Perhaps if I do a new edition one day, I’ll add it in, just so all my mega-fans can buy a whole new book just for that one new chapter. That’s how cynical marketing works right?
1 Corinthians 1:14-16: “I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius,15 so no one can say that you were baptized in my name. (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.”
I considered writing about this because Paul can’t remember everyone he baptised, then I realised that Paul’s forgetfulness only really rates a small laugh through the nose. That’s definitely too low on the laugh meter for my standards.
Paul’s Poop Reference
In Philippians 3:8 Paul writes: “What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ”
Many Bible people say that the word that Paul uses for rubbish is actually closer to poop, and is in fact a vulgar term for poop, which I will not write here because I’m too polite. Let’s just say is a level 2 swear. With level 1 being the least bad and level 6 being the worst.
As great as it is that Paul says a dung swear, I don’t know how much more humour there is in this passage. Once we’ve giggled over the fact that Paul said “poo” I couldn’t figure out what else to do to fill a whole chapter. So I considered that idea garbage.
Beautiful Out of Context Verses
There was a small temptation to write about a bunch of out-of-context Bible verses. There are definitely some good ones like “Then David slept with his fathers” (1 Kings 2:10)*, “May there be leftovers” (Psalm 17:4) or “Aaron waved the breasts and the right thigh before the Lord” (Leviticus 9:21). These are of course funny, and you could spend a while writing about the exegetical possibilities, but only really if you ignore their context. As soon as you put them in context they lose any hilarity, and to make those kinds of jokes felt like it could be bordering on mockery. Plus the whole point of the book was to put the strange parts of the Bible in their context so the chapters would have been pretty short if all I had to do was include more of the Bible for things to become clear.
Still, I continue to hold on to “May there be leftovers” as one of my regular prayers. It is important to pray the psalms and I endeavour to pray this one often in the hopes that God may bless me indeed. Name it and claim it, folks.
So there are some of the weird, crude, funny, and nude bits that didn’t make it into my book. Do you have any suggestions for what I should have included?
*Thanks Dan for pointing this one out to me.