The other day, I received a book in the mail that I had been looking forward to immensely, and it didn’t disappoint!
You can buy the book from their website or from most online book retailers.
The book contains more than 30 stories from the New and Old Testaments that, as the title suggests, are so strange/awful they would normally not be told to a child. And for good reason! Each story comes with a great illustration (see below for an example), and a detailed explanation towards the back of the book.
The goal of the book seems clear enough: get people who have accepted the Bible without much thought to actually think about it – but not just the bits deemed suitable for church. Also included is a substantial list of acknowledgements, containing many authors and personalities, both religious and non-religious – I think this would be a really useful resource for someone who has had their eyes opened by the book. I still remember hearing from people like Bart Ehrman and Sam Harris for the first time.
Being a student of the Bible for my whole life, I was surprised to learn about a new story:
I had to look it up to believe it but, sure enough:
At a lodging place on the way the Lord met [Moses] and sought to put him to death. Then Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin and touched Moses’ feet with it and said, “Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me!” So he let him alone. It was then that she said, “A bridegroom of blood,” because of the circumcision. (Exodus 4:24-26, ESV)
Well, I thought I’d conclude this little review by copying an email from a fan that was published on the book’s Facebook page:
I come from a very devout Evangelical (fundamentalist) family [whose] beliefs have always been about what the church says, rather than the Bible. Well, on Christmas Eve this year, someone in the group thought it would be funny to put a copy of your book in our anonymous “secret Santa” gift giving circle (in a room of 22 cousins, in-laws, etc…) Somehow, that book ended up being the gift my father ended up with, and, well – it got pretty explosive at first. I mean *really* explosive – my dad (and a few others) was boiling, spending the entire evening in shouting matches about “this isn’t true” and “this is out of context” and “atheists will stop at nothing to destroy this country”! However, the next day, my father of 68 years greeted everyone at breakfast to say that he was so angry about that book that he couldn’t sleep and stayed up all night reading the book and opening his Bible to refute your claims. He then began to cry (something I had never seen once in my entire life) and said that he felt ashamed to have based his entire life on something that he realised that [he] knew nothing about. The next thing I knew, my mom was bawling that she hasn’t believed in God in years but was afraid to speak up, my sister was very upset, defending the Bible until my own dad used your book to correct her own teaching on Jesus’ actions. Then dad was crying more, apologising for how he had treated the women (wife and two daughters) in his life because of his faith. All in all, and I don’t say this lightly, I really think that your book may have saved our family from a collapse that has been on the horizon for years now. I only hope that we can continue to listen to one another with open hearts. I guess that is a really long way of saying thank you for such a seemingly-simple book that proved to be remarkably powerful. Thank you!