In the beginning, a bunch of men wrote a book that had all sorts of crazy folk tales in it. That book became the baseline for a lot of peoples' morality somehow. At the end of the day, believe what you want... to each his own. Raise your kids following whatever faith you hold in your heart. Speaking of raising, kids. It can be difficult to explain the Bible's teachings, can't it? Well, fear not. The Bible has been dumbed down, and illustrated for kids!
Unfortunately, these illustrations aren't always very straightforward. Or they are more straightforward than any pastor or priest probably ever wanted them to be. There have been some incredibly graphic, detailed, nonsensical, and/or disturbing pictures found in children's Bibles.
Below are fifteen of these varied illustrations. Illustrations that will, in one way or another, make you go "what the f*ck!?" Just keep an open mind, and remember that these stories came from a time before there was much knowledge about...well anything. Now let us pray...
15 In The Beginning...
In the beginning of the Bible, it's asserted that God made everything. And he also apparently made everything live in harmony. Somehow creatures were able to procreate without giving birth...or maybe creatures were just eternal without want of sex? Regardless, there is one thing about this above picture that sure is wrong. Not to mention how much of a bad idea it is to teach children. Lions, tigers, and crocodiles (oh my) are not animals you want to be petting, and hanging out with on a regular basis. There's even what looks to be a hippo in the bottom right corner. People have been chomped in half by these gigantic animals. They are not necessarily friendly. So the next time you want to teach your kids about how to survive in the world, make sure you tear this page out of their bible! When the elephant and giraffe are sharing looks about how dumb the humans are...you know there's a problem.
14 Lot(s) Of Love
Alright, this might be a bit cheeky. The above illustration is taken from a parody children's Bible. But the story is accurate, and so is the illustration...sadly. This is the story of Lot. Now this guy was apparently the most righteous man in his city. Given that, God decided he would let him and his family go. So long as they didn't look back at the city after they left. Lot's wife didn't listen, and got herself turned into a pillar of salt (featured outside of the cave). God then blew up the city. Realizing there was no way for any heirs to Lot's family, his daughters decided to get some cave wine. They then got daddy dearest drunk, and they both took turns nailing him. Now this may sound awful, but Lot was the most righteous man in his area, so God was cool with the incest. How they got the wine, and avoided God's wrath, no one can really say. Either way the image, and the Bible story are both f*cked up.
13 A Lot Of Willingness...
So there's this guy named Lot was the most righteous man in his city. Well it just so happens that two angels came to stay with him (telling him of God's plan to murder everyone else...common theme). For some reason, the townsfolk just had a hunger for some angel wings. They just wanting to have their way with the angels. But Lot, being such a righteous man, thought of something better. Instead, he gave the mob his daughters to have their way with. It's no wonder why they were so ready and willing to f*ck daddy over, later on in the cave. How messed up is it, that the most holy man in the city is ready to feed his daughters to a mob of sexually charged men? And to then allow his daughters to get him wasted, so that they can ride new heirs out of him? Someone might wonder WTF...for God's sake.
12 Solomon's Solution
Now this is probably one of the most ridiculous Bible stories of all time. Sure, it certainly does end somewhat happily, but not without some significant abuse, and trauma first. The story goes that two women had babies. One died, the other lived. One women swapped the corpse for the living one. Of course they then fought over whose baby was whose. So they went to King Solomon. He had a great idea. He had a guard grab a sword, and grab the baby. Solomon then proclaimed that he would cut the living baby in half so that each woman could have a share. One woman cried for him to stop, and the other cried for half a baby (which is silly because she already had a whole dead baby back home). Solomon knew that the woman who cried for him to stop, was the true mother. This is not something that would work in real life. Don't try it. It's stupid.
11 Elisha And The She-Bears (And 42 Murdered Children)
Speaking of stupid, this is the worst story to tell children in order to ensure they respect their elders. So the old, balding man in the picture is Elisha. He happens across a group of kids. Now kids are notoriously assholes anyway, so this should not have been too much of a sore topic for Elisha. Regardless, the kids start making fun of his bald spot. Well Elisha has none of this. He curses the children! And for some reason, at this point, God is still into abiding curses. So he sends along two massive "she-bears" to help Elisha out. Now sure, so many kids in a crowd poking at you might make you think of Village of the Damned, or Children of the Corn...But these were just kids. And after the fact, there were many fewer of them. Forty-two children were torn apart, and eaten by these two hulking mama bears. All because of making fun of a balding, old man. So take heed kids!
10 "Slaughter Your Son" ... "Just Kidding!"
Ah, here is one of the most traumatic stories of all time. Isaac, the kid laying on the altar, is the son of Abraham (standing). Now, because God's such a nice guy, he called down to Abraham, and told him to shiv his son, up on the altar. Filled with godly morality, Abraham took Isaac for a rather depressing stroll up to the altar. He then somehow managed to strap his son down. And as he raised his knife to murder his son, God stepped in and told Abraham he was just kidding! Imagine being that poor kid! I would never trust my father, or God again. There's also something else that's a little weird in this photo. Abraham was in no way a pagan like the Egyptians. He believed in the "one true" God. So why is it that his altar is adorned with Egyptian urns? Maybe it was all a conspiracy, in support of the wrong gods? Either way, killing children is wrong. Just as an FYI.
9 No Morality
Before the great flood, there was sin all over the bloody place. Why is this? Well Adam and Eve messed up a little bit in the garden, and God saw that it was bad. So naturally, after biting into an apple that allowed them to think, people became awful. Fighting, drunkenness, theft, arson; it was all rampant. Luckily there was someone still great, like Noah (featured in the above picture in blue). God was ready to do the most moral thing to rid the world of sin...kill everything in a flood, and start over with Noah's family. Of course this worked out great for everyone because there is definitely no fighting, drinking, theft, or arson these days. It seems like pages like this just give kids ideas of how to conduct their lives; not how to refrain from all of this sin. Maybe showing these people getting punished for their crimes might help relay the message.
8 The Great Flood
Wow...that's not exactly what I meant when I said "Maybe showing these people getting punished for their crimes might help relay the message." If there was ever a way to scare the ever-living sh*t out of a child, show their pets drowned in the ocean that God cover the world with. It's bad enough that only one family was allowed to escape, but maybe God could have at least spared the pets. Unless they were also terrible sinners. Perhaps the saddest, and most disturbing part of this image is not the ocean full of dead people, puppies, and one lone kitten. No, it's the fact that there's quite clearly some land off to the top left. If only these people could have waded in the water, until it rose high enough for them to climb up on. Unless this image is of the water level finally going down, after having murdered every living creature in the world...besides what made it on to the Ark. So we know why there are no unicorns to this very day.
7 Living In The Whale
Anyone who fancies themselves a biblical scholar will tell you that it wasn't a whale. Jonah survived in a "big fish". The biggest possible fish that could then swallow up a person would be the whale shark. Which is hilarious because when one thinks fish, one does not think whale, or shark (though a shark is a fish). The whale shark can grow up to 41.5 feet long. But that doesn't change the fact that a whale shark would not swallow a person. And if it did, by accident, the person would certainly not be able to survive within the fish. Essentially what the illustration above must be showing is the frustration of Jonah knowing that he's about to drown in the stomach of a creature he assumed was either a whale, or a shark. It's not like he was sucking the oxygen out of bubbles found on seaweed in order to survive. And it would be absolutely too dark in the creature to even bother illustrating what it might look like.
6 Oh The Shame!
Remember before, when all of the hungry carnivores of the garden were gathered around Adam and Eve? Well after the serpent tempted Eve, who tempted Adam...everything went to sh*t. Apparently even the animals suddenly gained knowledge, after the couple bit into the apple. They seem to be ashamed of Adam and Eve as well. And Adam and Eve were so ashamed that they apparently couldn't even face each other. Which would be one hell of an awkward thing considering that they then had children, after being thrown out of the garden. But really, God created people, so he should know: telling someone not to do something is almost just telling them to go ahead and do it anyway. But to be fair to God, this was his first parenting gig. So maybe that's why everything went downhill. It's not like these two were the last kids to be kicked out of their parents' house.
5 Joseph Had Some A$$hole Brothers
Some readers may only know about Joseph through Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat. What a musical that was. Anyway, Joseph had some pretty awful brothers. They didn't like his special treatment. They didn't like his dreams, or his special coat. They were going to kill him! But instead, they decided to chuck him in a dry well to die from later from exposure. That doesn't really take away their responsibility, but I guess it would have made them feel better. Either way, a group of people came riding by, and the brothers had a better idea. They figured it wouldn't make sense to kill, when they could make money off of him. Slavery was a thing even then (and practised by all groups of people, no matter their colour). So, as it happened, Joseph was sold by his brothers for twenty pieces of silver. It's not as much as Judas got for selling out Christ, but it's close!
4 Living With Lions
No, this is not what was waiting in that well. This is the story of Daniel. This guy was the leader of some people working for the king. But his lackeys didn't like him, so they managed to convince the king to make a law against praying (which Daniel did all the time). The punishment for praying was being tossed into the lion's den. The king was clearly a very good guy. Anyway, the lackeys found Daniel praying, and while the king didn't want to chuck him in the den, he was bound by the law (which he made). Daniel just kept on praying though, and the next morning, the king was happy to see him alive and well. Apparently punishment was only to be put in the den for a certain period of time, for the that very morning, Daniel was released. So it seems if one can stave off the lions for a night, he could just walk away. As much as Daniel is praying, it sure seems those lions are hungry though...
3 Climbing The Ladder To Heaven
For some reason, there was an interesting Robot Chicken-like illustrated Bible. Either way, this depiction of Jacob's Ladder is pretty...disturbing. It looks almost as though there are shadow people coming out of the sleeping Jacob. Or perhaps shadow people are climbing down to Jacob. Either way, it's kind of terrifying. The whole idea here is that, after stealing a special blessing from his brother, Jacob runs away (because his brother wants to kill him for being a thief...which God should appreciate). However, God sides with Jacob, and shows him a dream of angels climbing up to Heaven. Personally I think this was a result of the rock that Jacob put his head down on to sleep...but I guess it could have been God. Or a hallucination...or just a regular dream. Either way, the paper shadow people going in or out of the plasticine Jacob is still really creepy.
2 David: Killer And Conqueror
Everyone knows about the story of David and Goliath. Even if it's just from The Simpsons. But there are some questions about this illustration. First of all, one just has to suspend disbelief that one single rock from David's sling took down the giant Goliath. Fine. Whatever. But then...how does this tiny kid, known for being the runt of the family, suddenly raise the giant's sword in victory? Is he suddenly a Marvel hero? Also, he's holding one part by the blade. I hope that wasn't his slinging hand. Then, because defeating their champion isn't a good enough sign of victory, God then gives the order to slaughter the rest of the opposing army. So that whole thing about a loving, and caring God, who decreed "thou shalt not kill"...what happened to that God? I know the Old Testament was a bit different, but jeez. It's a wonder that kids do actually by into this...never mind adults.
1 Berenstain Bible Bears
Alright, so this isn't a page from a children's Bible. This is probably worse. Why? Because it just goes to show that the Berenstain Bears were tainted by Bible-thumping at some point in their history. One of the above captions reads: "The cubs liked Bible stories. They were all about sword fights and floods and wild animals - all sorts of interesting things...The cubs had fun imagining that all the characters in the stories were bears..." Well, in the picture about Elisha and the She-Bears, they didn't need to imagine. But also, the bears slaughtered children. It's sort of disturbing to know that kids like the Bible because of fights, floods, and wild animals. And it's even more disturbing that adults use this to market the Bible to kids. One might suggest that if we're looking to make violence frowned upon...maybe making it popular with kids is a bad idea.