6The Severed Head on a Platter (Mark 6:21-28)
A sufficiently brutal movie can't get through its run time without the "show the crowd the severed head of a hated enemy" scene. It came up in Gladiator, 300, Conan the Barbarian, the TV series Game of Thrones ... hell, let's just link you to the list at TVTropes.
This is the kind of thing you probably think happened all the time in Old Testament days, but the following story is actually from the "peace and love"-themed gospels of the New Testament. The story of John the Baptist and his severed head is so tragic yet bizarre that even an unbeliever would say, "Yeah, this is the kind of thing that has almost certainly happened at least once."
Although real-life John probably had less of a baby face.
The Bible Quote:
"On his birthday Herod gave a banquet for his high officials and military commanders and the leading men of Galilee. When the daughter of Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his dinner guests.
The king said to the girl, 'Ask me for anything you want, and I'll give it to you.' And he promised her with an oath, 'Whatever you ask I will give you, up to half my kingdom.'
"But not my incredible shiny hat."
She went out and said to her mother, 'What shall I ask for?'
'The head of John the Baptist,' she answered.
At once the girl hurried in to the king with the request: 'I want you to give me right now the head of John the Baptist on a platter.'
Which she apparently carried with her at all times.
The king was greatly distressed, but because of his oaths and his dinner guests, he did not want to refuse her. So he immediately sent an executioner with orders to bring John's head. The man went, beheaded John in the prison, and brought back his head on a platter. He presented it to the girl, and she gave it to her mother."
Historians have accused Herod of a lot of things, but throwing boring parties wasn't one of them. And the man took them seriously -- in this case, he makes a rash promise to a woman, who asks for something that an average person would probably have refused (earlier in the Bible, it said that Herod actually liked listening to John the Baptist, aka the guy she demanded be beheaded).
It isn't a great party unless someone gets head.
And, where you or I would have said, "Sorry, but Roman law means I've got to go through a trial and all that before I can get you that head. And also I'm afraid I'll have to ask you to leave," Herod goes along with it because he was afraid of making a bad impression on his dinner guests.
Also, while it's true that the girl's mother was behind the whole thing, you have to like how the mother simply wanted John beheaded, and it was the daughter who added the little detail of the head actually being brought to her "on a platter." What the hell is wrong with people?
The answer is "everything."
5The Farting of the Intestines (2 Chronicles 21:18-19)
Hey, remember that scene in Final Destination 4 where that guy's guts get ripped out of his butthole by a malfunctioning pool filter? No? Well here's a YouTube embed! You're welcome!
How did this happen in the Bible? They didn't have any pool filtration machines back then. Well ...
The Bible Quote:
"After all this, the Lord afflicted Jehoram with an incurable disease of the bowels. In the course of time, at the end of the second year, his bowels came out because of the disease, and he died in great pain."
Jehoram. Not pictured: Bowels.
We like the Bible's knack for understatement there with those last five words.
By the way, the next line in this quote is, "His people made no funeral fire in his honor, as they had for his predecessors," so you get the impression King Jehoram wasn't the most popular king. There were several things that got him that reputation, but the top one was murdering his own brothers. One of the people who were irritated by this was Elijah the prophet, who sent him an angry letter that basically told him he was about to get the world's worst case of diarrhea.
In Hebrew that tablet reads, "You will poop your pants to death."