READY: A walk through the Bible with children
As a teacher, I encountered some bizarre student perceptions. Example: I said “MacBeth created dissention among his troops.” Some of them heard “Macbeth created dysentery among his troops.” And when I said, medieval architecture was known for “flying buttresses,” they heard “flying buttocks” and burst into delighted giggles.
Biblical malapropisms often come from the mouths of babes.
Along with their incorrect spelling blended with erroneous details, I’ve put into composite form a child’s walk through the Bible.
King James may roll over in his grave.
In the first book of Guiness, God got tired of making the world, so He took a bath on the seventh day after making Adam and Eve from an apple tree, and the first commandment was when she told him he’d better eat it. Noah’s wife was Joan of Ark that he saved from the rain. Lot’s wife died like a pillow of salt, but was a ball of fire when she lived in Sodom and Glamora. One of the early patriots was Methusaleh who was a million years old. Joseph got thrown in a hole because he wore a really loud sports coat.
Throughout history, the Jews have always fought with troublemaking genitals. Sampson was a strong man, but a Jezebel named Delilah gave him a hair cut, and he died, but that was after he slew the Fillipines. Moses led the Jews across the dessert where they ate a lot of uneven bread. After the Egyptians got drowned, Moses went up to Mount Cyanide to get the Ten Commandments from a talking bush. The seventh commandment is “Thou shall not admit adultery.” Another one is “Humor thy father and mother.”
God sent plagues on the Egyptians like frogs, mice, and loquats. Moses died before he got to the land of Canada, but Joshua fought the Battle of Geritol. It was a great miracle in the Old Testament when God told Joshua to make his son stand still, and he actually did until all the enemies were killed. David then became King by playing the liar. He fought the Finklestines and killed a big giant guy with buckshot. Solomon was supposed to be very wise, but he had 300 wives and 700 porcupines. After that, Jonah got swallowed by a shark but got barfed back up.
In the New Testament, Mary was so excited when she was having Jesus that she sang the Magna Carta. Then Jesus was born out of an immaculate contraption. Three wise guys came out of the East Side and found Jesus lying in a manager with some donkeys. When He grew up, his cousin John the Blacksmith dunked him in a river.
Jesus taught the Golden Rule that says you should do to others before they do it to you. The guys who followed Jesus were the 12 Decibels. One of them, Matthew, collected taxis. The worst one was Judas Asparagus. He was so evil, a terrible vegetable got named after him. Jesus was a great man but he argued a lot with the Pharisees and Republicans.
He healed 10 leopards and preached to the Germans on the Mount. Before Paul cavorted to Christianity, he killed people for fun. Then he became St. Paul the Opossum and preached against Holy Acrimony because he didn’t think any man should get marred. But if he does, he should live in monotony. Jesus died but will come back because the Book of Revolution said so.
There you have it. A child’s walk through the Bible. As adults, we often don’t know what they’re absorbing when we teach them, and the results can be downright comical. Do you remember Art Linkletter’s “Kids say the darndest things”? Art asked a six year old if he prayed before bedtime. The child replied, “Yes, I do. I say the Lord’s Prayer. I like to say ‘Forgive us our trash baskets as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets.’”
A little boy’s misunderstanding of that verse in the Paternoster speaks a great truth We need to be forgiven for the trash (i.e. sin) we accumulate as well as forgiving others who dump the trash of unkindness and abuse upon us.
Interestingly, a July 2014 Pew Forum survey revealed that Atheists and Agnostics know more about the Bible than Jewish and Christian practitioners of their faith. So, it’s more likely a non-believer will see the unintentional humor in a child’s religious education than a self-proclaimed believer. Those who don’t “get the jokes” might want to blow the dust off the good book and read about porcupines and opossums.
Mary Ready of Destin is a twice-retired English teacher and long-time area resident. Her columns are published on Saturdays.