You probably already know that the Bible you have on your lap as you fact-check Cracked articles has been heavily edited. That's not necessarily a bad thing, it's just that, as you can imagine, over the centuries lots of people have tried adding their own books to it, to advance an agenda or because they thought it would spice things up.
The point is, there are whole other books that used to be part of the Bible, until someone took a hard look and said, "No way." And it's too bad, because some of the miracles performed in these apocryphal texts are freaking amazing.
#5. John: Commander of Bed Bugs
Early Christians considered The Acts of John to be the gospel truth, just like the Four Gospels and the fact that it's going to rain right after you get your car washed. That is, until church officials took a harder look at the stories in the book in 325. Not only was The Acts of John bounced out of the Bible, but the church burned all known copies. That's how bananas it was. Keep that in mind as you read further.
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"And it came to pass that the LORD did a sick-ass back flip, and the panties did fly with the wings of a dove."
So, John is traveling around to spread the gospel as far as he can and has amassed a decent following. The group he is traveling with comes to an abandoned inn, and they decide to rest for the night. Too bad there's only one bed, which obviously goes to John. Double too bad that the bed is full of bed bugs. How do the apostles know? Because John talks to them. Not the friends, the bugs:
I say unto you, O bugs, behave yourselves, one and all, and leave your abode for this night and remain quiet in one place, and keep your distance from the servants of God.
"Behave yourselves," he says, like he's talking to a pre-K room of humans or characters in an Austin Powers movie. The next morning, when the group wakes up, they see a brigade of bed bugs standing patiently outside the door of the inn, waiting:
"Since ye have well behaved yourselves in hearkening to my rebuke, come unto your place."
"But wipe your damn feet, I just mopped!"
John invites the bed bugs back into the house, and they immediately crawl back into the bed and disappear into the crevices. Win-win for everyone.
#4. Peter, the Talking Dog and the Resurrected Fish
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If The Acts of Peter are to be believed, Peter was like that kid who would eat hot sauce laced with dirt if you just dared him hard enough. He'd do anything to convince unbelievers he was a true representative of God, which kind of makes sense if you remember that Peter was the guy who denied even knowing Jesus three times the night before the Crucifixion. He had a lot of making up to do.
"We don't even have a number for how many Hail Marys that is. Just keep praying till I tell you to stop."
Now, we're going to go more into this in a minute, but Peter had a bizarre grudge against a Jewish magician named Simon. Simon, according to Peter, was leading people astray and sullying God's name. In Peter's head, the whole Simon thing could be solved with a few miracles. Miracle One: Give a dog the voice of a man to send a warning.
And Peter, seeing a great dog bound with a strong chain, went to him and loosed him, and when he was loosed the dog received a man's voice and said unto Peter: What dost thou bid me to do, thou servant of the unspeakable and living God? Peter said unto him: Go in and say unto Simon in the midst of his company: Peter saith unto thee, Come forth abroad, for thy sake am I come to Rome, thou wicked one and deceiver of simple souls.
Oh, shiiiiit. Peter just summoned Simon via dog. VIA DOG. And check this out.
And immediately the dog ran and entered in, and rushed into the midst of them that were with Simon, and lifted up his forefeet and in a loud voice said ...
What he said was not important. He said what Peter told him to say, which, P.S., isn't too crazy in the Bible world since a donkey got the power of speech in the Old Testament. What's crazy is that this dog stands up to deliver the message. He stood up like people. This dog becomes the star of the show, which kind of plays out like a low-rent soap opera.
But Simon saith to the dog: Say that I am not here.
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"Just be cool and cover for me, dude."
To which Dog replies:
Hast thou taken thought so long, to say at last: 'Tell him that I am not within?' Art thou not ashamed to utter thy feeble and useless words against Peter the minister and apostle of Christ.
Simon gets shamed by a walking, shockingly eloquent dog. Eventually Dog reports back to Peter.
And when the dog had said this he fell down at the apostle Peter's feet and gave up the ghost.
He died. The dog died. And still the people weren't totally convinced Peter was the real deal. Maybe because HE KILLED A DOG to prove a point. So Peter, Jesus' favorite fuckup, makes things right with another miracle. He looks around the room and, completely overlooking the fact that the greatest dog that has ever lived is lying dead right in front of him, notices a smoked herring (or sardine, depending on the translation) in the window and asks the crowd if he should resurrect it:
If ye now see this swimming in the water like a fish, will ye be able to believe in him whom I preach?
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Only if it sings "Putting on the Ritz."
"Pleeeeeease?" (We're imagining he was kind of whiney about it.) The crowd agrees that seeing a dead fish swim would be enough of a sign for them to believe Peter. So Peter steps over the dead dog, grabs the fish, and throws what is undoubtedly someone's supper into a bath. It immediately starts swimming. The next thing you know ...
And seeing this, many followed Peter and believed in the Lord.
Talking, walking dog, not so much. A resurrected fish? Truly your God is the one and only true God.
#3. Jesus Returns as a Giant
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Most of us have seen enough church to know the story of Jesus' resurrection from the dead. He's buried in a tomb, which is kind of like a cave with a big rock in front of it. Three days after his death, there's a great commotion, and one or two angels come down from heaven to roll away the stone blocking the tomb. Jesus emerges and proceeds to rock history with his message.
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Complete with a 20-minute guitar solo.
But when fragments of The Gospel of Peter were found buried in Egypt in 1886, the details of the resurrection story were a little different. The first to get on the scene on Easter Sunday see this:
... they saw again three men come out of the sepulchre, and two of them sustaining the other, and a cross following, after them. And of the two they saw that their heads reached unto heaven, but of him that was led by them that it overpassed the heavens. And they heard a voice out of the heavens saying: "Hast thou (or Thou hast) preached unto them that sleep?" And an answer was heard from the cross, saying: "Yea."
"Would you mind taking him down? He's starting to get a little heavy."
When the angels and Jesus get out of the tomb where Jesus used to be dead, they turn into giants. The angels' heads reach up to the clouds and Jesus' noggin went up even further so that he can have some one-on-one time with God. Then God says,
"DID YOU GO TALK TO THE UNDEAD YET?"
"YEAH," said the cross.
"Yes," the cross answered. We don't even know if the cross was walking along on its own legs or bouncing behind them like a pogo stick. Maybe it had a mouth. The writer didn't specify. Honestly, if you've got a choice between staring at giant Jesus and an anthropomorphic cross, where are you going to look? It's no wonder he didn't get all the details down.