There are some bible passages that a lot of Christians either 1) are completely unaware of, 2) were purposely sheltered from, 3) deny its existence, or 4) already have an excuse involving context, and "you'd have to read the rest of the bible to understand it".
I'm talking about passages that involve everything from violence and vengeance to blatant hypocrisy and contradiction. All from a religion that claims to preach understanding and love (which was never true). It's all very interesting.
I'm going to share some of my personal favourites, and it would be great if everyone could share theirs too.
Slavery is Dandy
5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6 Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.
(Christianity is very much about being aware of the suffering in this life, and through suffering you earn a better life next time. It really just seems like a way of controlling the people below you, and making them content with the state of their life, by giving them false hope for the future. Christopher Hitchens wrote a book about Mother Theresa along the same lines.)
Women < Men
1 Corinthians 14: 34-35
34 Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. 35 If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.
1 Timothy 2:11-12
11 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.
1 Peter 3:1-2
1 Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.
"If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay the girl's father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the girl, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives."
32 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.
34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn
“‘a man against his father,
a daughter against her mother,
a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—
36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’
37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.
(If you love your family more than you love god, you are unworthy of his love and therefore need to worship him and seek forgiveness. Interesting cyclical relationship.)
25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple.
Just Plain Ridiculous
Ezekiel 23: 19-20
Yet she increased her prostitution, remembering the days of her youth when she engaged in prostitution in the land of Egypt. She lusted after their genitals as large as those of donkeys, and their seminal emission was as strong as that of stallions.
Genesis 6: 1, 2-4
God's sons come down from Heaven to have sex with Earth women.
Happy shall he be who seizes your infants and smashes them against the rocks.
'For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.' (Jealousy is one of the seven deadly sins.)
No one whose testicles are crushed or whose male organ is cut off shall enter the assembly of the Lord.
"And thou shalt eat it as barley cakes, and thou shalt bake it with dung that cometh out of man, in their sight. And the Lord said, Even thus shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread....Then he said unto me, Lo, I have given thee cow's dung for man's dung, and thou shalt prepare they bread forthwith."
God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn.
And my all-time favourite: Revelation 12:3-4
3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
There comes a point when one has to realize that the bible is a social commentary on what superstitious, uneducated people happened to believe at one point in history. Stories made up to teach lessons, to entertain, and to control. I will even go so far as to say that perhaps there was a man named Jesus. But do I think he was the son of a god? No. Was he the result of a virgin birth? No. Did he perform miracles? Certainly not. Did he help people every now and then? Sure. But so does every decent human being.