It seems like for every person who has sat down and studied the Christian Bible cover to cover, there are several hundred who know only what they picked up from half-remembered Sunday school lessons and that Mel Gibson movie. So, as we've covered previously, many of the things we think came straight out of the Bible actually aren't mentioned in there at all.
But if many of the most iconic features of Christianity aren't taking up space in the holy book, it makes one wonder just what, in fact, is in there. Well, for starters, there's ...
5God Getting into a Wrestling Match With a Man (and Tapping Out)
What You Know
If the Old Testament taught us anything, it's that God is one bad dude -- badder than Leroy Brown by a factor immeasurable, because He's freaking God. Seriously, we remember the whole "Superman could beat up Batman" playground argument as kids being brought to an untimely end by that one killjoy religious kid who said, "Well, God could beat them both up!" And there's no arguing with that because, as the creator of the universe, God created ass-kicking.
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And the Japanese were all like "We have mods for everything."
What You Didn't Know
If you're not a total novice, you know that one of the key figures early in the Bible is Jacob, aka the father of the 12 tribes of Israel. We're not going to recount his whole story here, but at one point he's running for his life and finds himself all alone in the desert. Just a man and his thoughts.
Oh, and God, who, out of nowhere, grabs Jacob from behind. Now, you might think that being grabbed from behind by the Big Guy himself pretty much means your ass is ash, but not so with Jacob -- nope, Jacob wrestles Him (not knowing that it's Him, with a capital "H") all night long.
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And God said, let there be ass-kicking. And there was ass-kicking.
When dawn arrives and the two are still going at it, God realizes that he has accidentally solved the ancient thought experiment, "Could God create a wrestler so badass that not even He could pin him?" and figures out He's not going to win. So instead he touches Jacob's hip and causes it to go out of the socket. This is probably an illegal move, but who are you going to complain to?
But Jacob still won't relent, so something unexpected happens: God asks Jacob to let Him go, and Jacob -- still not knowing who he has in a headlock -- demands that his attacker bless him first. It's only then that he finds out what's really happening -- that he's essentially beaten up God.
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"Oh, hey, dude, I was just kidding. We're cool, right?"
And you might not have guessed it (what with His penchant for plagues and smiting and stuff), but God is apparently not a sore loser. He did indeed bless Jacob, with a new name:
"And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed."
We should note here that there are different versions of the text, and some translations say that it was merely an angel sent by God that Jacob wrestled into submission, which honestly only makes the story about 10 percent less weird.