I’m going to start this with a massive understatement: Christians spend a lot of time with the Bible. It’s like our guidebook or something. Great theological arguments are conducted over what it means, how to interpret it, whether it’s infallible or inerrant, etc. I think we all agree the Bible is where God’s ultimate truth is revealed and that’s about the end of it. But, revelation is not on my mind today. No, I’m writing about the stuff that’s not revealed in the Bible. As much great stuff as there is in it, they left a bunch out. And, I’m not talking about things like what Jesus did between the ages of 12 and 30. No, my twisted little brain is more interested in things like:
- Why the heck did Adam choose to wear a fig leaf when he realized he was naked? Really, a fig leaf??? He’s in the Garden of Eden, surrounded by all kinds of stuff and the best he can come up with is a fig leaf? And, you know it was Adam’s idea No woman would’ve worn a leaf. Evidently, men being fashion-challenged goes all the way back to the beginning. Metrosexual worship leaders excepted, of course.
- What the heck was manna? According to Exodus, it was on the ground with the dew and it looked like frost. When they ground it up and made it into cakes, they were supposed to be sweet like wafers and honey. Personally, I think it was grits. No, really, a fine, almost powdery substance that, when made into a cake and cooked, tastes wonderful? If you’ve ever had fried grits, you know I’m right.
- Did Moses drop the F-bomb when he found out he wasn’t getting into the Promised Land? I mean, the guy busts his butt for over 40 years, leading a bunch whiny complainers who were never satisfied with anything he did and, just because he screwed up once at Meribah, all he gets to do is look at this “land of milk and honey” from Mount Nebo. And, that’s after he gave them some parting directions and pronounced a blessing on them. I’d have kicked dirt all over God’s shoes, cussed a blue streak and told the rest of that crowd to kiss my ass.
- What happened after Jesus raised Lazarus? Okay, I have to admit I stole this from Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal. It’s a valid question, though. When Jesus got to Bethany, Lazarus had been dead for four days. Four days in a Middle Eastern climate? You know that boy was rank. Did Jesus have to put in any extra work to make Lazarus presentable? Because I have a feeling a nice, hot bath wouldn’t have cut it.
- If Paul had gotten laid once in a while, would the Christian faith be as big as it is now? Oh, stop shaking your head, this is another perfectly valid question. Think about how productive you become during periods of enforced celibacy. Of course, that productivity only happens after you’ve gone without for a while. Once you finally give up on the idea of knocking boots in the foreseeable future, you start channeling all the energy that used to be consumed in getting some into other pursuits and amazing things happen. That doesn’t make you pleasant to be around, though and you can come off as more than a little grouchy. So, if Paul had worked out the kinks now and then, he might have been easier to get along with but where would that leave us now?
Biblical scholars spend years worrying over the pronunciation of individual words. Meanwhile, important questions like these go unanswered and that’s just not right.