John Is A Lovely Man (In A World Of Terrifying Sex Crimes)
In the Acts Of John, our boy is the nicest, humblest, sweetest guy around. What Andrew would solve with fireballs, John solves with friendship, and he responds to minor slights with chuckles rather than having people eaten by rats or whatever, like Thomas. Unfortunately, John still lives in the same world of unrelenting horror as the other apostles.
John has a premonition in which a youth having an affair with another man's wife butchers the couple before committing suicide. John arrives to find that the youth has already killed his father and is sprinting toward the couple's house waving a bloody knife. Andrew would already be summoning Leviathan, but John just calms things down, raises the father from the dead, and tells the youth he'll let him off with a warning if he promises not to attempt any more triple murder-suicides. John then preaches a little sermon on chastity which impresses the youth so much that he immediately castrates himself with a sickle, bursts into his lover's bedroom, and throws the severed genitals at her feet.
The text considers this a happy outcome for everyone, and John meanders off to continue spreading the good news.
Later, a follower of John's named Drusiana dies, and local perverts Fortunatus and Callimachus break into her tomb for, you know, pervert reasons. Suddenly a huge venomous snake appears and bites Fortunatus, then pins Callimachus down and sits on him until morning, when John shows up to bless the body. John orders the snake to get off Callimachus, who is so grateful that he immediately repents and converts. John also resurrects Fortunatus to give him a chance at repentance, but Fortunatus mulls it over and decides he'd prefer to be dead, all things considered.
Andrew Leaves A Trail Of Destruction Through Asia Minor
The Acts Of Andrew is generally believed to be the earliest apocryphal "Act," and its runaway success inspired a lot of unauthorized sequels. Prequels, actually, since (spoiler alert!) Andrew dies at the end. The story follows everyone's favorite super-apostle as he wrecks shit across the ancient world. Andrew responds to even minor setbacks by summoning earthquakes, and his main method of persuading people to convert is murdering them and then resurrecting them once they've seen the other side.
And his methods are surprisingly effective. A troop of soldiers try to arrest him, but drop dead immediately, while a snake that annoys him vomits blood until it dies. Andrew personally smites demons disguised as a pack of vicious dogs that have been running around murdering people, because dog murder is only cool if it's for Thomas. The wife and steward of the proconsul Lesbius make trouble for a Christian, so "as they bathed, an ugly demon came and killed them both." Andrew brings them back later, because that's how he do. By our count, he resurrects 48 people over the course of the fairly short text. At one point, a Roman governor tries to feed him to a leopard, and Andrew makes the leopard strangle the governor's son. Astute cat-noticers will observe that leopards don't have hands, so this was doubly impressive.
When the time comes for Andrew to be martyred, he has to coax the soldiers to tie him to the cross, since they are (understandably) hiding quite a long way away. Andrew hangs there, laughing and preaching, for three days -- as if crucifixion was just a cool way to chill. He even has to berate the terrified governor out of trying to cut him down. When a mob forces the governor to try again, Andrew shows them who's boss by asking God to kill him immediately. At least he died as he lived: terrifying everyone in a 30-mile radius.
It's still worth picking up a copy of some of these Apocryphal Acts to read, if for no other reason than to frighten certain relatives at Thanksgiving.
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For more, check out 7 Stories So Horrifying They Actually Got Cut From The Bible and 5 Stories Everyone Assumes Are In The Bible (But Aren't).
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