Think the Bible's boring? Think again. Well, think again about some of it, anyway. Check out these stories for amazing exploits, surprising people, Bible swear words, and general trippiness.
Jesus and the Canaanite Woman, Matthew 15:21-28
The Son of God gets taught a thing or two by a foreign woman full of humor, strength, and smarts.
The Story of Ruth and Naomi, in the Book of Ruth
Two women form their own same-sex family, for a while at least, in a world dominated by men. Don’t get us wrong: they’re not lesbians, just really strong women.
Mary’s Annunciation and Song, Luke 1:26-38, 46-55
Mary meek and mild? Yeah, right. How about Mary the Revolutionary? Overthrowing governments, redistributing wealth…read the Magnificat again and see the Mother of God in a whole new light.
Exodus, The Book of Exodus, but especially Chapters 1 through 17:7
One of the best stories ever. Moses, Pharoah, plagues, the parting of the sea, manna, water from the rock, and the beginnings of the people of Israel. For sheer drama, it can’t be beat.
Doubting Thomas, John 20:24-29
Admit it: you’d be skeptical, too. Jesus gives Thomas exactly what he asks for, and more besides.
The Valley of Dry Bones, Ezekiel 37:1-14
"The ankle bone’s connected to the, LEG bone…” Starts out creepy, with dancing skeletons; ends happy, with resurrection and the Spirit of God. Which is good news for God’s people, if we can just manage to get that song out of our heads.
Paul and Silas Singing in Prison, Acts 16:16-40
Paul gets in trouble—again—for telling people about his faith. Angry mobs, prison hymn-sings, earthquakes, and mass conversions.
Balaam’s Ass, Numbers 22
On the way to do an unholy deed, Balaam discovers his ass is smarter than he is. Also that God isn’t down with cruelty to animals. And yes, we know that most modern translations say “donkey,” but we think the old language is a lot more fun.
The Woman and the Dragon, Revelation 12
Who is that nice lady with the stars in her hair, anyway? And why is she fighting that dragon? If you think all that’s in the Bible is straight-up history, prepare to have your mind blown. Or at least that’s what the author is hoping for with this, one of the tamer stories in Revelation.
The Wedding at Cana, John 2:1-12
Jesus' first miracle, through which we learn that both Jesus and his mother like a party as much as the rest of us.
Saul on the Road to Damascus, Acts 9:1-19
Be careful who you persecute; you just might become one of them. Saul (later “Paul”) gets a conversion and an eye-opening comeuppance.
Pentecost, Acts 2:1-42
The Holy Spirit surprises everybody, and Peter, who ‘til this point has been more of a screw-up than you or I will ever be, finally gets it right.
Orbits If you've given the same advice, over and over, to someone you care about, and it hasn't been taken yet-to take up flossing, ditch smoking, pick up the phone, forgive and forget-don't give up yet.