Surveys have shown that Americans — even self-described Christian or evangelical Americans — really don’t know the Bible. One of the best ways to teach, and learn, the Good Book is to reframe stories. The stories are interesting on their own, but people who wouldn’t be caught dead reading a Bible might read a slew of “Florida Man” headlines.
Here are 18 Bible stories that make hilarious “Florida Man” headlines. Who knows? Maybe they will inspire people to pick up a Bible and read the stories for themselves. (Thanks to the good folks over at Reddit for coming up with these.)
1. Apple products
“Florida man sues woman for making him try fruit.” OR “Florida employer fires two employees for using Apple products.”
From the story of Adam and Eve, Genesis 3. God commands Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Traditionally, the fruit is considered to have been an apple — and the Apple logo (an apple with a bite out of it) is a reference to this story. A serpent (traditionally Satan) convinces Eve to eat the apple, and she convinces Adam. Adam blames her. All of humanity is sinful because we are all descended from these two.
2. Middle East cruise ship
“Florida man found running illegal zoo on a cruise ship in the Middle East waters.”
From the story of Noah, Genesis 6-9. God decides to wipe out the world because humans have sinned so much, but He wants to save Noah and his family. God directs Noah to fill an ark with all the animals that would die in a great flood, then uses a flood to wipe out humanity with the exception of Noah and his family.
3. Sell a brother
“Florida men sell brother into human trafficking and pretend he was killed by alligators.”
From the story of Joseph, Genesis 37. Joseph’s father Jacob sees his son’s torn robe and thinks Joseph was killed by a wild animal. In Florida, the brothers would have blamed an alligator.
4. Into the desert
“Florida man convinces neighbors to go into desert, gets lost for 40 years.”
From the story of Moses, Numbers 13. Moses led the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. When spies checked out the Promised Land, the people were too scared to go, so God condemned them to spend 40 years in the desert.
5. Donkey talks back
“Donkey is in a stable condition after being beaten by Florida Man. Florida Man reports the donkey was arguing with him.”
From the story of Balaam, Numbers 22. The non-Israelite prophet Balaam is riding his donkey to speak with the Moabite king who is opposing Israel. An angel of the Lord stands in front of Balaam, and the donkey stops. Balaam beats the donkey three times, but the donkey talks back to him. “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?”
6. Murdered on toilet
“Florida Man Found Murdered on Toilet; Assistant Thought he was Constipated.”
From the story of Ehud, Judges 3. Ehud was a left-handed man who killed Eglon, a king of Moab who was oppressing the Israelites. Eglon sent the guards away to hear a message from Ehud, but Ehud killed him with a sword strapped to his right thigh (people only checked his left thigh). Eglon was so fat that his fat covered the sword’s handle. Ehud escaped because Eglon’s guards thought Eglon was going to the bathroom. They waited “to the point of embarrassment.”
7. A tent peg
“Florida Woman Accused of Nailing Man’s Head to the Floor.”
From the story of Jael, Judges 4. Sisera, the military commander of the king of Canaan, who was oppressing Israel, was defeated in battle and fled. He went to the tent of Heber, the Kenite. Heber’s wife Jael gave him milk and let him sleep. Then she nailed a tent peg into his head, killing him.
8. Ripping apart a lion
“Florida man tears lion apart with his bare hands after practicing on goats. Doesn’t tell parents.”
From the story of Samson, Judges 14. Samson, given miraculous strength from God in order to save Israel from the Philistines, sees a lion on the road and kills it with his bare hands. He later finds a honeycomb in the lion’s body, and turns the story into a riddle.
“Florida man ties 300 foxes together, straps lit torch to each.”
From the story of Samson, Judges 15. Samson destroys a Philistine village by tying lit torches to 300 foxes. Powerful act of arson.
10. Donkey’s jawbone
“Florida man beats 1000 men to death with donkey bone; gets regrettable haircut.”
From the story of Samson, Judges 15 and 16. Samson wiped out a village of Philistines with a donkey’s jawbone, killing 1,000 men. Later, he tells Delilah, his mistress, that his hair is the source of his superhuman strength. She cuts the hair, and the Philistines capture him.
11. Cut a baby in half
“Florida man threatens to cut woman’s baby in half over custody dispute.”
From the story of Solomon, 1 Kings 3. Two mothers came to King Solomon. One had smothered her baby in her sleep. Both mothers claimed the living baby was theirs. Solomon discovered who the baby’s true mother was by threatening to cut the baby in half and give each mother half of the baby: the false mother was okay with the baby dying, while the true mother would rather have the baby given to the other woman than see him die.
12. Feeding children to bears
“Florida man feeds children to bears.” OR “42 children found dead, Florida man claims to have hired 2 bears to maul them after being teased for his male patterned baldness”
From the story of Elisha, 2 Kings 2. After the prophet Elijah is taken up to heaven, his successor Elisha was on the road and a bunch of young men mocked him, saying, “Get out of here, baldy.” Disrespecting a prophet was a bad idea. Elisha cursed them, and two bears came out and mauled them. The Bible does not say whether or not they died.
13. Eaten by a whale
“Florida man found washed up on beach, claims to have been living inside whale.”
From the story of Jonah, Jonah 2. God tells the prophet Jonah to speak to Nineveh. Jonah refuses, sets sail to go to the other side of the world, but God creates a storm and the men in the ship show Jonah overboard. He gets eaten by a whale and lives in the whale for three days before getting spit out and sent to Nineveh.
14. Walks it off
“Florida man gets crucified, walks it off.”
From the story of Jesus, Mark 15, Matthew 27-28, Luke 23-24, John 19-21. In each of the four historical Gospel accounts, Jesus is killed through the brutal Roman practice of crucifixion, which involves asphyxiation. Before His execution, Jesus was scourged. The Passion of the Christ shows a plausible rendering of Jesus’s death. After Jesus collapsed on the cross, a Roman soldier pierced His side with a spear, and when water and blood came out, that showed his pericardium had filled with fluid — he was dead.
Three days later, He rose from the dead, according to the Gospel accounts. He appeared to about one thousand people and then ascended into heaven.
The Resurrection of Jesus is arguably the most important event in Christian history — and arguably even world history.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.