07 September 2012

Billy Graham: The Bible is the greatest 'self-help' book ever written (with 159 helpful examples)

Really, that's what he said, when answering a question about self-help books.
Q: Can you recommend some self-help books that might help me get my life together? I have a lot of problems I can't seem to overcome. People tell me just to try harder, but that doesn't get me anywhere. -- C.H.
A: Yes, I'd like to recommend to you the greatest "self-help" book ever written: the Bible! Every other self-help book will only give you the author's ideas, but the Bible gives you God's wisdom on how to live. Can you think of anything more important?
Which sounds good unless you've actually read the Bible.

In his letter, Mr. Graham gave no biblical examples, not a single one.

So I thought I'd help him out by providing a list of 159 things that God encourages you to do in "the best 'self-help' book ever written."
(Stolen from my New Year's Resolution post.)
  1. Talk to a talking serpent.
    Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman ... And the woman said unto the serpent ... And the serpent said unto the woman.... Genesis 3.1-4
  2. Have sex with a son of God. (Make some giant babies!)
    The sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives. Genesis 6:4
  3. Get drunk and lay around naked. Then if your kids see you, curse their children (your unborn grandchildren).
    Noah ... drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent ... And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father ... Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. Genesis 9:25
  4. Have sex with your wife's slave. (If she gets pregnant, abandon her and her child.)
    And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. Genesis 16.2
  5. Offer your virgin daughters to a sex-crazed mob of angel rapers.
    I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes. Genesis 19:8
  6. Get drunk and impregnate your virgin daughters.
    Lot went up ... and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters. And the firstborn said unto the younger, Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth: Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. And it came to pass on the morrow, that the firstborn said unto the younger, Behold, I lay yesternight with my father: let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father. And they made their father drink wine that night also: and the younger arose, and lay with him; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose. Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father. Genesis 19:30-37
  7. Be willing to kill your child for God.
    Take now thine only son Isaac" ... and offer him there for a burnt offering. ... And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. Genesis 22:2-10
  8. Have sex with someone by mistake.
    And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her. And Jacob said unto Laban, Give me my wife that I may go in unto her ... And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; and he went in unto her ... And it came to pass, that in the morning, behold, it was Leah. Genesis 29:20-25
  9. Buy sex with mandrakes.
    And Rachel said, Therefore he shall lie with thee to night for thy son's mandrakes. And Jacob came out of the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him, and said, Thou must come in unto me; for surely I have hired thee with my son's mandrakes. And he lay with her that night. Genesis 30:15-16
  10. Have sex with your dead brother's wife. (But be sure not to spill it on the ground.)
    And Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him. And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother's wife ... And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground ... And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also. Genesis 38:7-10
  11. Have sex with your dead son's wife. (And then threaten to burn her to death.)
    And it was told Tamar, saying, Behold thy father in law goeth up to Timnath to shear his sheep. And she put her widow's garments off from her, and covered her with a vail, and wrapped herself, and sat in an open place, which is by the way to Timnath; for she saw that Shelah was grown, and she was not given unto him to wife. When Judah saw her, he thought her to be an harlot; because she had covered her face. And he turned unto her by the way, and said, Go to, I pray thee, let me come in unto thee; (for he knew not that she was his daughter in law.) And she said, What wilt thou give me, that thou mayest come in unto me? ... And he gave it her, and came in unto her, and she conceived by him. ... And it came to pass about three months after, that it was told Judah, saying, Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt. Genesis 38:13-24
  12. Turn your staff into a snake. (And vice versa.)
    And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod.  Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it. Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand. Exodus 4.2-4
  13. Turn a river into blood.
    Take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood ... And Moses and Aaron did so ... and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood. Exodus 7:19-20
  14. Sell your daughter as a slave. (And what to do if she fails to please her new owner.)
    And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant ... If she please not her master.... Exodus 21:7-8
  15. Take a second wife.
    If he take him another wife.... Exodus 21:10
  16. Kill your unruly children.
    He that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death. ... he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death. Exodus 21:17, 19 
    For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall surely be put to death. Leviticus 20:9
  17. Slowly beat your slave to death.
    If a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and ... he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money. Exodus 21:20-21
  18. Sell a thief to pay for his theft.
    If he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft. Exodus 22:3
  19. Rape a woman and then marry her. (After paying her father the going rate for virgins.)
    If a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins. Exodus 22:16-17
    If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife. Deuteronomy 22:28-29
  20. Kill a witch.
    Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. Exodus 22:18
  21. Sprinkle blood on people.
    And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people. Exodus 24:8
  22. See the sapphire stone under God's feet.
    And they saw the God of Israel: and ... under his feet ... a sapphire stone. Exodus 24:10
  23. Kill a Sabbath breaker.
    Whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Exodus 31:15
  24. Kill your family, friends, and neighbors.
    Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side ... and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour. Exodus 32:27
  25. See God's back parts.
    I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen. Exodus 33:23
  26. Kill an animal and sprinkle its blood seven times before the Lord.
    Kill the bullock before the Lord and ... sprinkle of the blood seven times before the LORD. Leviticus 4:4-6
  27. Smear blood on your right ear, thumb, and big toe.
    Moses put of the blood upon the tip of their right ear, and upon the thumbs of their right hands, and upon the great toes of their right feet: and Moses sprinkled the blood upon the altar round about. Leviticus 8:24 
  28. Stay away from naked menstruating women.
    Thou shalt not approach unto a woman to uncover her nakedness, as long as she is put apart for her uncleanness. Leviticus 18:19
  29. Don't have sex with animals. It's confusing.
    Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion. Leviticus 18:23
  30. Beat a slave-woman for having sex.
    Whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that is a bondmaid, betrothed to an husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; she shall be scourged. Leviticus 19:20
  31. Kill an adulterer and adulteress.
    The adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. Leviticus 20:10
  32. Kill any man who has sex with his father's wife (along with the father's wife).
    The man that lieth with his father's wife ... both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. Leviticus 20:11
  33. Kill any man who has sex with his daughter-in-law (along with the daughter-in-law).
    If a man lie with his daughter in law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have wrought confusion; their blood shall be upon them. Leviticus 20:12
  34. Kill a gay man (or two).
    If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. Leviticus 20:13
  35. Burn to death a man who has sex with his wife and mother-in-law (along with the wife and mother-in-law).
    If a man take a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burnt with fire. Leviticus 20:14
  36. Burn to death any whore-like daughters of priests.
    And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire. Leviticus 21:9
  37. Stone to death a blasphemer.
    He that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall be put to death. Leviticus 24:16
  38. Buy some heathen neighbors (Canadians?) for slaves.
    Of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. Leviticus 25:44
  39. Eat the flesh of your sons and daughters.
    Ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat. Leviticus 26:29
    And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters. Deuteronomy 28:53
  40. Don't touch (or even look at) any holy things.
    They shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die. ...
    they shall not go in to see when the holy things are covered, lest they die. Numbers 4:15-20
  41. Do this simple test to see if your wife has been unfaithful.
    If any man's wife go aside, and commit a trespass against him ... And the spirit of jealousy come upon him, and she be defiled: or if the spirit of jealousy come upon him ... and she be not defiled.... Numbers 5:11-31
  42. Kill any stranger that cometh nigh.
    The stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death. Numbers 18:7
  43. Drink dead people's blood.
    Rise up as a great lion ... and drink the blood of the slain. Numbers 23:24
  44. Hang all the heads of the people up before the Lord.
    Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away Numbers 25:4
  45. Thrust a spear through the bellies of an inter-racial couple while they're having sex. (It will stop God from killing people.)
    Phinehas ... thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel. Numbers 25:6-9
  46. Kill all the males and non-virgin females, but keep the women children alive for yourselves.
    Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves. Numbers 31:17-18
  47. Kill your entire family if they believe the wrong things.
    If thy brother ... or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods ... Thou shalt not consent unto him ... neither shall thine eye pity him ... But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. Deuteronomy 13:6-13
  48. Have a conversation with your donkey.
    And the LORD opened the mouth of the ass, and she said unto Balaam, What have I done unto thee, that thou hast smitten me these three times? And Balaam said unto the ass... Numbers 22:28-30
  49. Circumcise the foreskin of your heart.
    Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart. Deuteronomy 10:16
  50. Rend your clothes. (Then fall on your face and put dust on your head.)
    And Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the LORD until the eventide, he and the elders of Israel, and put dust upon their heads. Joshua 7:6
  51. Put your feet on the necks of kings. (Before killing them.)
    Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said unto the captains of the men of war which went with him, Come near, put your feet upon the necks of these kings. And they came near, and put their feet upon the necks of them. And Joshua said unto them, Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage: for thus shall the LORD do to all your enemies against whom ye fight. Joshua 10:24-25
  52. Hang some dead bodies on trees until evening.
    And afterward Joshua smote them, and slew them, and hanged them on five trees: and they were hanging upon the trees until the evening. Joshua 10:26
  53. Deliver a message from God. (A knife blade thrust into a fat man's belly.)
    And he brought the present unto Eglon king of Moab and Eglon was a very fat man. ... And Ehud said, I have a message from God unto thee ... And Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the dagger from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly: And the haft also went in after the blade; and the fat closed upon the blade, so that he could not draw the dagger out of his belly; and the dirt came out. Judges 3:17-22
  54. Kill 600 Philistines with an ox goad.
    Shamgar ... slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox goad. Judges 3:31
  55. Pound a tent stake through a sleeping man's head.
    Then Jael Heber's wife took a nail of the tent, and took an hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died. Judges 4:21
  56. Put God to the test.
    Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said. Judges 6:36-40
  57. Offer your virgin daughter as a burnt sacrifice to God.
    The Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, and he ... vowed a vow unto the Lord, and said, If thou shalt ... deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands, Then ... whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return ... shall surely be the LORD's, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering ... The LORD delivered them into his hands ... And he smote them ... even twenty cities ... with a very great slaughter ... His daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances ... Her father ... did with her according to his vow which he had vowed. Judges 11:29-39
  58. Take the shibboleth test.
    Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounce it right. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of Jordan: and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand. Judges 12:6
  59. Kill 30 men for their clothes.
    And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon, and slew thirty men ... and gave change of garments unto them which expounded the riddle.Judges 14:19
  60. Get 300 foxes, tie their tails together, and light them on fire.
    Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and took firebrands, and turned tail to tail, and put a firebrand in the midst between two tails. And when he had set the brands on fire, he let them go Judges 15:4-8
  61. Kill 1000 men with the jawbone of an ass.
    The spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him ... And he found a new jawbone of an ass and slew a thousand men therewith. Judges 15:14-15
  62. Kill 3000 in a suicide terrorist attack.
    Now the house was full of ... about three thousand men and women ... And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord God .. strengthen me ... that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes ... and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life. Judges 16:27-30
  63. Send a concubine body part message.
    And when he was come into his house, he took a knife, and laid hold on his concubine, and divided her, together with her bones, into twelve pieces, and sent her into all the coasts of Israel. Judges 19:29
  64. Kill everyone in town except the virgin females. (Then give the virgins to the men that survived your previous genocide.)
    What one is there of the tribes of Israel that came not up to Mizpeh to the LORD? And, behold, there came none to the camp from Jabeshgilead ... Destroy every male, and every woman that hath lain by man ... They found among the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead four hundred young virgins ... and they gave them [the Benjamites] wives. Judges 21:8-14
  65. Steal 200 dancing virgins.
    Then the elders of the congregation said, How shall we do for wives for them that remain, seeing the women are destroyed out of Benjamin? ... We may not give them wives of our daughters: for the children of Israel have sworn, saying, Cursed be he that giveth a wife to Benjamin ... If the daughters of Shiloh come out to dance in dances, then come ye out of the vineyards, and catch you every man his wife of the daughters of Shiloh ... And the children of Benjamin did so, and took them wives, according to their number, of them that danced, whom they caught. Judges 21:16-23
  66. Ask God to smite your enemies with hemorrhoids in their secret parts.
    The hand of the LORD was against the city with a very great destruction: and he smote the men of the city, both small and great, and they had emerods in their secret parts. 1 Samuel 5:9
  67. Offer God five golden hemorrhoids (to get him to stop putting hemorrhoids in your secret parts).
    What shall be the trespass offering which we shall return to him? They answered, Five golden emerods, and five golden mice. 1 Samuel 6:4-5
  68. Chop up an ox and send the body parts as messages.
    And the spirit of God came upon Saul ... and he took a yoke of oxen, and hewed them in pieces, and sent them throughout all the coast of Israel. 1 Samuel 11:6-7
  69. Buy a wife with 200 foreskins.
    And Saul said, Thus shall ye say to David, The king desireth not any dowry, but an hundred foreskins of the Philistines ... And when his servants told David these words, it pleased David well ... Wherefore David arose and went, he and his men, and slew of the Philistines two hundred men; and David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full tale to the king, that he might be the king's son in law. And Saul gave him Michal his daughter to wife. 1 Samuel 18:25-27
  70. Get naked and prophesy.
    And he stripped off his clothes also, and prophesied ... and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Wherefore they say, Is Saul also among the prophets? 1 Samuel 19:24
  71. Sneak in the bathroom and cut off a man's shirt while he's peeing. (Without getting noticed.)
    Saul went in to cover his feet ... Then David arose, and cut off the skirt of Saul's robe privily. 1 Samuel 24:3-4
  72. Have a witch bring a dead person back to life.
    Divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up ... ... hen said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel ... An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel ... And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? 1 Samuel 28:8-15
  73. Dance naked in front of God and everybody.
    And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod ... Michal ... said, How glorious was the king of Israel to day, who uncovered himself to day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself! 2 Samuel 6:14-20
  74. Have public sex with your father's concubines.
    Go in unto thy father's concubines, which he hath left to keep the house ... So they spread Absalom a tent upon the top of the house; and Absalom went in unto his father's concubines in the sight of all Israel. 2 Samuel 16:21-22
  75. Take a God (or Satan)-inspired census. (And don't complain when God kills a couple hundred thousand people to punish you for it.)
    And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.
    Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee. Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days' pestilence in thy land? ... So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men. 2 Samuel 24:1-15
  76. Find a hot young virgin to get you some heat.
    Now king David was old and stricken in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat. Wherefore his servants said unto him, Let there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin: and let her stand before the king, and let her cherish him, and let her lie in thy bosom, that my lord the king may get heat. So they sought for a fair damsel throughout all the coasts of Israel, and found Abishag a Shunammite, and brought her to the king. And the damsel was very fair, and cherished the king, and ministered to him. 1 Kings 1:1-4
  77. Ask your son to murder some of your enemies for you.
    Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying ... Thou knowest ... what Joab ... did to me ... let not his hoar head go down to the grave in peace ... Shimei ... cursed me with a grievous curse ... Now therefore hold him not guiltless: for thou art a wise man, and knowest what thou oughtest to do unto him; but his hoar head bring thou down to the grave with blood. 1 Kings 2:1-9
  78. Invite a prophet to dinner. Tell him God wants him to come. Then after he eats dinner with you, God will send a lion to kill him.
    Now there dwelt an old prophet in Bethel ... And went after the man of God, and found him ... Then he said unto him, Come home with me, and eat bread ... So he went back with him, and did eat bread in his house, and drank water ... And it came to pass, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, that ... a lion met him by the way, and slew him. 1 Kings 13:11-24
  79. Cut off anyone that pisses against a wall.
    Behold, I will ... cut off ... him that pisseth against the wall. 1 Kings 14:10
  80. Have an old-fashioned prayer contest. (And kill all the losers.)
    Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him ... Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men ... Give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under. And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God ... And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped upon the altar which was made. And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked. And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them ... And Elijah ... built an altar ... And he said ... Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD ... Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God. And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there. 1 Kings 18:19-40
  81. Gird up your loins.
    And the hand of the LORD was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins. 1 Kings 18:46
  82. Ask your neighbor to smite you. If he refuses, God will send a lion to eat him.
    A certain man of the sons of the prophets said unto his neighbour in the word of the LORD, Smite me, I pray thee. And the man refused to smite him. Then said he unto him, Because thou hast not obeyed the voice of the LORD, behold, as soon as thou art departed from me, a lion shall slay thee. And as soon as he was departed from him, a lion found him, and slew him. 1 Kings 20:35-36
  83. Prove you're a man of God by burning people to death.
    Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty. 2 Kings 1:10
  84. Curse any little children that make fun of you for whatever reason. (God will send bears to rip them to pieces.)
    As he [Elisha] was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them. 2 Kings 2:23-24
  85. Give someone leprosy (along with all of his or her descendants forever).
    And he [Elisha] said unto him ... Leprosy ... shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever. And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow. 2 Kings 5:26-27
  86. Make someone blind.
    Elisha prayed unto the LORD, and said, Smite this people, I pray thee, with blindness. And he smote them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.2 Kings 6:18
    And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand. Acts 13:11
  87. Ask for 70 sons to be killed, with their heads delivered in two baskets.
    He [Jehu] wrote a letter the second time to them, saying ... take ye the heads of the men your master's sons, and come to me to Jezreel by to morrow this time ... They took the king's sons, and slew seventy persons, and put their heads in baskets ... They have brought the heads of the king's sons. And he said, Lay ye them in two heaps at the entering in of the gate until the morning. 2 Kings 10:6-10 
  88. Show your zeal for the Lord by murdering the family of a former king.
    Come with me, and see my zeal for the LORD ... And when he came to Samaria, he slew all that remained unto Ahab in Samaria, till he had destroyed him, according to the saying of the LORD, which he spake to Elijah. 2 Kings 10:16-17
  89. Ask God to send lions to eat people that don't fear him enough.
    They feared not the LORD: thereforethe LORD sent lions among them, which slew some of them. 2 Kings 17:25-26
  90. Wax mighty by marrying 14 wives.
    Abijah waxed mighty, and married fourteen wives. 2 Chronicles 13.21
  91. Kill anyone who refuses to seek the Lord, whether man or woman, young or old.
    Whosoever would not seek the LORD God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman ... and the LORD gave them rest round about. 2 Chronicles 15:13-15
  92. Ask God to make someone's bowels fall out.
    The LORD smote him in his bowels with an incurable disease. And ... after the end of two years, his bowels fell. 2 Chronicles 21:18-19
  93. Throw 10,000 people off a cliff.
    Amaziah ... did that which was right in the sight of the LORD. ... Ten thousand ... [he] brought ... unto the top of the rock, and cast them down from the top of the rock, that they all were broken in pieces. 2 Chronicles 24:1-12
  94. If you hear about any mingling of holy seed, pluck off your hair and beard, and sit down astonished. Or curse them and pluck off their hair. Your choice.
    For they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons: so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands ... And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down astonished. Ezra 9:2-3
    And I contended with them, and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons, nor take their daughters unto your sons, or for yourselves. Nehemiah 13:225
  95. Abandon any strange wives or children that you may have.
    We have trespassed against our God, and have taken strange wives of the people of the land: Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the wives, and such as are born of them ... Ezra the priest stood up, and said unto them, Ye have transgressed, and have taken strange wives ... Now therefore ... separate yourselves ... from the strange wives ... Then all the congregation answered and said with a loud voice, As thou hast said, so must we do. Ezra 10:2-3, 10-12
  96. Wash your feet in the blood of the wicked.
    The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked. Psalm 58:10
  97. Hate God-haters with a perfect hatred.
    Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? ... I hate them with perfect hatred. Psalm 139:21-22
  98. Pray that God will burn people to death.
    Let burning coals fall upon them: let them be cast into the fire; into deep pits, that they rise not up again. Psalm 140:102
  99. Beat the hell out of your children.
    He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes. Proverbs 13:24
    Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying. Proverbs 19:18
    Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him. Proverbs 22:15
    Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell. Proverbs 23:13-14
  100. Cast your bread upon the waters.
    Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days. Ecclesiastes 11:1
  101. Make your bowels sound like a harp.
    My bowels shall sound like an harp. Isaiah 16:11
  102. Walk around naked and barefoot all year as a sign and a wonder.
    At the same time spake the LORD by Isaiah ... saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot. And he did so, walking naked and barefoot. And the LORD said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder.Isaiah 20:2-3
  103. Suck the breasts of kings.
    Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings. Isaiah 60:16
  104. See God's loins (the glory of the Lord) and fall on your face.
    And I saw ... the appearance of his loins.... This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. And when I saw it, I fell upon my face. Ezekiel 1:27-28
  105. Fill your bowels with a roll.
    And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.Ezekiel 3:3
  106. Lie on your left side for 390 days and then on your right for 40 days.
    Lie thou also upon thy left side ... for ... three hundred and ninety days ... And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side ... forty days. Ezekiel 4:4-6
  107. Bake some Ezekiel 4:12 bread.
    (It has a secret ingredient left out of Ezekiel 4:9 bread!)
    Take thou also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentiles, and millet, and fitches, and put them in one vessel, and make thee bread thereof ... And thou shalt eat it as barley cakes, and thou shalt bake it with dung that cometh out of man. Ezekiel 4:9-12
  108. Shave your head and beard, divide the cut hair into thirds, burn one portion, smite the second about with a knife, and scatter the third in the wind.
    And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp knife, take thee a barber's razor, and cause it to pass upon thine head and upon thy beard: then take thee balances to weigh, and divide the hair. Thou shalt burn with fire a third part in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are fulfilled: and thou shalt take a third part, and smite about it with a knife: and a third part thou shalt scatter in the wind; and I will draw out a sword after them. Ezekiel 5:1-2 
  109. Don't go near any menstruating women.
    If a man be just, and ... neither hath come near to a menstruous woman. Ezekiel 18.5-6
  110. Pluck off your own breasts.
    Thou shalt ... pluck off thine own breasts: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD. Ezekiel 23:34
  111. Don't bring any strangers or people with uncircumcised hearts or flesh to God's sanctuary when your offering him fat and blood.
    Ye have brought into my sanctuary strangers, uncircumcised in heart, and uncircumcised in flesh ... to pollute it ... when ye offer ... the fat and the blood. Ezekiel 44:7-9
    Offer unto me the fat and the blood, saith the Lord. Ezekiel 44:15
  112. Put a linen bonnet on your head and linen breeches on your loins, but don't wear wool or anything that causes you to sweat. (God hates wool and sweat.)
    No wool shall come upon them. They shall have linen bonnets upon their heads, and shall have linen breeches upon their loins; they shall not gird themselves with any thing that causeth sweat. Ezekiel 44:17-18
  113. Take a wife of whoredoms and have children of whoredoms.
    The LORD said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms. Hosea 1:2
  114. Love an adulteress.
    The LORD unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress. Hosea 3:1
  115. Buy a wife with 15 pieces of silver and one and a half homers or barley.
    So I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of silver, and for an homer of barley, and an half homer of barley. Hosea 3:2
  116. Wail and howl, go stripped and naked; wail like a dragon, mourn like an owl.
    I will wail and howl, I will go stripped and naked: I will make a wailing like the dragons, and mourning as the owls.
    Micah 1:8
  117. Take off all your clothes and roll in the dust.
    Roll thyself in the dust ... having thy shame naked.
    Micah 1:10-11
  118. Beware of lying prophets that bite (with their teeth).
    Thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that make my people err, that bite with their teeth....
    Micah 3:5
  119. Don't trust a friend, have confidence in a guide, or talk to your wife.
    Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide: keep the doors of thy mouth from her that lieth in thy bosom. Micah 7:5
  120. Get drunk and uncover your foreskin.
    Drink thou also and let thy foreskin be uncovered. Habakkuk 2:16
  121. Hide from God and hope he doesn't find you.
    Before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD's anger come upon you ... it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD's anger. Zephaniah 2:2-3
  122. Don't let the holy flesh in your skirt touch any bread or wine.
    If one bear holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and with his skirt do touch bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat, shall it be holy? Haggai 2:9
  123. Spread dung on people's faces.
    Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces. Malachi 2:3
  124. Pluck out an eye, cut off a hand, foot, or other body part.
    Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out ... And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. Matthew 5:28-30
    If thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. Matthew 18:8-9
    And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off ... And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off ... And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. Mark 9:43-48
  125. Tell devils and unclean spirits what to do.
    He gave them power against unclean spirits. Matthew 10:1
    Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils. Luke 9:1
  126. Cast out devils, speak in tongues, handle snakes, drink poison, do some faith-healing.
    Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying ... cast out devils. Matthew 10:5-8
    And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. Mark 16:17-18
  127. Join the Tea Party. (Steal from the poor to give to the rich.)
    Whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Matthew 13:12, Mark 4:25
    Unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. Matthew 25:29
  128. Cast a mountain or sycamore tree into the sea.
    Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Matthew 17:20
    That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. Mark 11:23-24
    If ye have faith, and doubt not ... if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. Matthew 21:21-22
    If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you. Luke 17:6
  129. Become a eunuch for heaven's sake.
    There are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it. Matthew 19:12
  130. Abandon your wife and family for Jesus.
    Every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. Matthew 19:29
  131. Curse a fig tree.
    When he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. Matthew 21:19
    And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. Mark 11:13-14
  132. Stick your fingers in people's ears, spit in their eyes, and touch their tongues.
    And he ... put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue. Mark 7:33
    He took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought. Mark 8:23
    He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. John 9:6
  133. Do some impossible things.
    All things are possible to him that believeth. Mark 9:23
  134. Walk on snakes and scorpions.
    Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Luke 10:19
  135. Hate your family.
    If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children,and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:26
  136. Make water flow out of your belly.
    He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. John 7:38
  137. Hate your life.
    He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. John 12:25
  138. Eat Jesus' flesh and drink his blood.
    Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life ... For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him ... He that eateth me, even he shall live by me. John 6:53-57
  139. Kill anyone that doesn't obey Jesus.
    For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. Acts 3:22-23
  140. Give all your possessions to the church. (Or God will kill you.)
    Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost ... And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much. Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost. Acts 5:1-10
  141. Kill some animals and eat them.
    He [Peter] fell into a trance, And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending upon him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. Acts 10:10-13
    In a trance I [Peter] saw a vision, A certain vessel descend, as it had been a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came even to me: Upon the which when I had fastened mine eyes, I considered, and saw fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And I heard a voice saying unto me, Arise, Peter; slay and eat. Acts 11:5-7
  142. Believe in magic handkerchiefs.
    So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them. Acts 19:12
  143. Burn some books.
    Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. Acts 19:19
  144. Obey Obama. (Or go to hell.)
    There is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. Romans 13:1-2
  145. Eat everything, especially meat.
    (Don't be a wimpy latter-day vegetarian.)
    For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. Romans 14:2
    Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils ... commanding to abstain from meats. 1 Timothy 4:1-3
  146. Be persuaded in your own mind.
    Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. Romans 14:5
  147. Shun those that believe differently than you.
    Mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. Romans 16:17-18
  148. Try to know nothing (except for Jesus).
    I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 1 Corinthians 2:2
  149. If you're single, don't get married.
    Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife. 1 Corinthians 7:7
  150. If you're married, don't have sex.
    (Jesus is coming; there's no time for it.)
    The time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none. 1 Corinthians 7:7
  151. Shave the head of any women that you catch praying with an uncovered head.
    Every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn. 1 Corinthians 11:5-6
  152. If you're ignorant, stay ignorant.
    If any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. 1 Corinthians 14:38
  153. Smell good to God.
    We are unto God a sweet savour. 2 Corinthians 2:15
  154. Don't look where you're going.
    Walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7
  155. Greet everyone with a holy kiss.
    Greet one another with an holy kiss. 2 Corinthians 13:12
  156. Don't exercise.
    Bodily exercise profiteth little. 1 Timothy 4:8
  157. Stop drinking water. Drink wine instead.
    Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake. 1 Timothy 5:23
  158. Refresh your bowels in the Lord.
    Refresh my bowels in the Lord. Philemon 1:20
  159. Buy gold, white clothes, and eye salve.
    "Buy ... gold ... white raiment ... and eyesalve." Revelation 3:18
Now that is advice you won't find in any other "self help" book!


Stephen said...

Pure Comedy Gold!!
I was in tears by #30.
The Bible FTW. :-)
Steve Weeks

GMpilot said...

38. Buy some heathen neighbors (Canadians?) for slaves.

Aww, c'mon! You know that Mexicans and other Latinos are more popular...and more identifiable. can't have our slaves looking like us, can we? [/snark]

ea3e8c72-fd47-11e1-808a-000bcdcb8a73 said...

I don't think Rev. Billy would agree talking to talking snakes is recommended ... but it's probably at least okay, as long as you don't follow the serpent's culinary ideas ...

Prunesquallor said...

Describing something is NOT the same thing as prescribing something. The bible doesn't actually *encourage* you to talk to snakes or sleep around with sons of god. The story of Lot and his daughters is creepy, victim blaming and is basically racist propaganda against the moabites and ammonites (Lot's daughters give birth to Moab and Ben-Ammi). But listing "get drunk and impregnate your virgin daughters" under "things that God encourages you to do" is disingenuous. That kind of sloppy reading of the Bible made me prematurely dismiss many atheist thinkers back when I was still a christian. The Bible is full of cruelties and absurdities anyway, so theres no need to misrepresent the texts. Leave that to the fan-wanker fundies who are trying in vain to make the Bible seem ethical, believable and internally consistent.

Steve Wells said...


OK, so maybe the Bible doesn't encourage you to talk to talking snakes, but God did (supposedly) put a talking snake in the garden, right? Why'd he do that, if he didn't want Eve to talk to it?

As far as Lot and his daughters go, the Bible is quite clear about that. Lot was, according to 2 Peter 2:8, "a just and righteous man." The only other thing the Bible says about him is that he offered his virgin daughters to a mob of angel rapers and then got drunk and impregnated them. It's disingenuous to call someone disingenuous for correctly stating what the Bible actually says.

Steve Wells said...


You're probably right about the Reverend Billy. But then, I doubt if he'd agree with any of the items on my list -- even though his favorite self-help book (arguably, in some cases, I admit) recommends them.

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Unknown said...

"Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces. Malachi 2:3"

Minor typo - the link is actually to Habakkuk

Steve Wells said...

Thanks, Unknown. I think I've corrected it now.