Rank #1: 1: Porky Party (The Book of Acts)
"Look, you scoffers, marvel and vanish away, because I am doing a work in your days, a work that you will never believe, even if someone were to explain it to you." — Acts 13:41
Chris and Benito begin their Biblical journey with the sequel to the Gospels. The Holy Ghost Awakens as Peter proves to be pretty hard-line about communism, Paul goes a little too hard in the paint, and we meet our first favorite character in the Book.
Topics of discussion: Holy Week breakdown, Theophilus and the #squad, Judas exploding, St. Christopher (a werewolf), Pentecost, Ananias and Saphira vs. Full Socialism, Simon Magus, 12 dudes with like four names between them, the Party Dude of the Book of Acts, Snake Church, the two main dudes of the Bible.
Apr 08 2018
Rank #2: 35: Down in the Donkey Hole (The Book of Exodus, Part Two)
Take heed, Theophiloi, because we have some intense and highly specific requirements for your upcoming tabernacle construction this week. That's right: we've wandered out of the narrative section of Exodus and into the part that's mostly about how much the Lord loves acacia wood, with a few extremely famous events strewn among it for good measure. Moses has an exceptionally long conversation at the top of Mount Sinai and we go from "yikes" to "YIKES!" as we cover some Old Testament laws. Plus: the surprising origin of a terrible and ridiculous stereotype!
Topics of Discussion: Mardi Gras and its regional food variants, the categories of Jewish Law, The 10x2 Commandments (the Decalogue and the Other Ones), a good joke about a bad preacher, what to do if a donkey falls in your hole, some Very Bad Laws, Punching Your Mom: Just Don't Do It!, Home Alone Doctrine, Witch v. Sorceress, the sin that will make the Lord come down with a sword and kill you His Own Self, the Highlander catalog, a li'l house for God, the Calfatron Swerve.
Hymnal: "Exodus" by Bob Marley and the Wailers
Offertory: If you enjoy the show, head to ko-fi.com/apocrypals and send us a love offering! We absolutely appreciate it!
PS: Apologies for the occasional scratchiness on the recording this time around -- Benito was testing out a new mic!
Mar 03 2019
Rank #3: Episode 0: I've Been To My Share of Pizza Parties
"Then, even if your beginnings were modest, your final days will be full of prosperity." -- Job 8:7
Welcome to Apocrypals, the podcast where two non-believers read through the Bible, but aren't, you know, jerks about it. Join comic book writers Benito Cereno and Chris Sims as they embark on a complete, non-sequential journey from Acts to Zephaniah, with stops in the Apocrypha along the way.
Before we dive into the Good Book, though, we sit down to explain exactly why we're doing this, what our goals are, and our own history with a particularly Southern brand of Christianity.
Topics of discussion: The music of Carman, "pizza parties," Wu Tang vs. Supreme Court vs. Apostles, raps about the Gospels, St. Brightside, Paul as the Captain America of the Apostles.
Mar 29 2018
Rank #4: 2: One Weird Trick (The Book of Daniel with Apocrypha)
"Therefore I issue a decree that anyone of any people, nation, or language who says anything offensive against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego will be torn limb from limb and his house made into a garbage dump." -- Daniel 3:29
This week, Benito and Chris take their first foray into the Old Testament, and into the Apocrypha with the Book of Daniel, including the deuterocanonical Prayer of Azariah, Bel and the Dragon, and Susanna. Join us as we discuss Nebuchadnezzar's harsh penalties, Daniel's Encyclopedia Brown-esque early days, examine the one weird trick that makes doctors hate this local prophet, and treat you to what might be the most amazing pun of the entire Bible. Plus: Chris went to Mass!
Topics of discussion: Catholic Mass and the Lord's Prayer freestyle breakdown, the Tanakh vs. the Old Testament, a brief recap of the period between Abraham and Alexander the Great, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, turning houses into garbage dumps as punishment for bad dream interpretation, most of the Bible stories you bring up conversationally, Antiochus IV Epiphanes and an excellent goof from history, tree puns in Greek, the Septuagint, Encyclopedia Daniel, Angelic GrubHub, 2 Creeps.
Apr 14 2018
Rank #5: 44: Terms and Conditions (The Book of Jeremiah, Part 2)
The boys are back in town, Theophiloi, and we've got some breaking news: it seems the Kingdom of Judah has broken its covenant with the Lord of Hosts and will be punished with sword, famine, and plague! Seems like pretty exciting stuff, until the 30th time you've been through it, which is pretty much Jeremiah in a nutshell. Join us as we finish out the longest book in the Bible (and hopefully our longest gap between episodes), won't you?
Topics of discussion: Joe Casey and Ben Marra's Jesusfreak, Chris's impending Bible tattoo, Ashura poles, the many sieges of Jerusalem, cravin' Newtons, the satisfaction of the thirsty, dankest Cush, you mean tall Nergal-sharezer?, the lost tribe of Amazons, the Lord's extremely bro-ish punishment for Moab, opinions about Edom, a desolation of ostriches, so many good pillars.
Hymnal: "Kiss From a Rose" by Seal
Offertory: Each person should do as he has decided in his heart, so if you enjoy the show, head to ko-fi.com/apocrypals, for the Apocrypals love a cheerful giver.
Jun 23 2019
Rank #6: 24: Butt Stuff Dragon (The Testament of Solomon)
Get ready for HAINTS AND SAINTS, Theophiloi! It's Halloween and things are getting wild spooky up in here as we diver into the testament of Solomon, a very wise man who likes two things: glorifying God and forcing demons to do menial labor. Meet several new costume options that you certainly won't have to spend all night explaining, including Ornias, Beelzeboul, Onoskelis, Astaroth, the 36 Elements of the Cosmic Ruler of the Darkness, our old pal Asmodeus, and Pteradrakun, who... well, you see the title of the episode, right? Plus: Solomon invents capitalism!
Topics of discussion: Benito explains himself, JC Go!, the Da Vinci Coders, St. Aspren, another preview of First Enoch, our plans for a purely hypothetical live show, MTV's Next, lacunae and vox nihili, The Lord Sabaoth, the Pentalpha, Slam Evil!, live-streaming a Hell House, Benito's favorite Ancient Greek words, continuity with Tobit, a numerology lesson about 644, "I Am Error," a LOT of Hellboy talk, Hello the Hellhound, a solid Mary Marvel pitch.
Hymnal: The Monster Mash by Bobby "Boris" Pickett
Offertory: If you enjoy the show, head to ko-fi.com/apocrypals and send us a love offering! We absolutely appreciate it!
Oct 29 2018
Rank #7: 3: Various Heresies (The Acts of Peter and Paul)
"Go, say unto Simon: Peter, because of whom thou fleddest out of Judaea, waiteth for thee at the door." -- The Acts of Peter, Chapter IV
Join us this week as we dive into the apocryphal Acts of Peter and Acts of Peter and Paul for the daring return of the Bad Samaritan himself, the Father of All Heresies, the man who claims to be Jesus and may actually be Paul, Simon Magus! When our favorite Biblical supervillain shows up, Simon "The Rock" Peter returns to action to reanimate a smoked herring, get into a resurrection-off, and other Acts that are buck wild even by Biblical standards. Plus, the extremely apocryphal events of Justice League of America #2 and World's Finest #265.
Topics of discussion: Julius Caesar Real vs. Robin Hood real, How to tell Peter and Paul apart in paintings, Leucius Charinus, Gnosticism and Ennoia, Simon (Paul) (Saul) vs. Peter (Simon), the death of Dioscurus, how the city of Pontiole got full-on Spongebobbed, The Acts of Pilate and the Gospel of Nicodemus, the Science Dimension, The Church of Domine Quo Vadis and the footprints of the Ghost of Jesus, Peter: The Literal Rock, San Paolo alla Tre Fontani, M.R. James, Harris and See, "Roll Call" by Lil Jon feat. Ice Cube, Reigns: a big dog.
Special thanks to Jordan Witt for our new artwork this episode!
Apr 22 2018
Rank #8: 31: Yartzed Upon a Distant Shore (The Book of Jonah)
Greetings, Theophiloi, from your ever-punctual Sons of Thunder! We're back this week to answer the question of whether we can talk for an hour about exactly four pages (and 47 verses) of Bible. It's the famous story of a guy who has to live inside a whale for three days and then gets dunked on by God because he's a real grumpy boy. Join us for Jonah, won't you?
Topics of discussion: Excuses excuses, New Year's but for trees, the official End of Christmas, a PG-13 review of the BibleGateway iPhone App, Ultra Boy (Jo Nah), Veggietales Apocrypha, @THERADR, the Orb (from Ghost Rider), St. Augustine (the famous one), whale kisses, a very scary ding-dang, Benito's Weird Language Tangent Corner, Jonah's increasingly improbable homes.
Hymnal: "My Name is Jonas" by Weezer
Offertory: If you enjoy the show, head to ko-fi.com/apocrypals and send us a love offering! We absolutely appreciate it!
Jan 24 2019
Rank #9: 37: Bigger Esther (The Book of Esther and Greek Esther)
Get ready to put on your costume, give money to the poor, and get tore up from the floor up, Theophiloi, because it's Purim time! Join us for the story of Esther, a uniquely God-free entry into Bible about a beautiful queen outfoxing Haman (BOOOO!) to the point where he gets severely impaled. It's a good one.
Topics of discussion: a Lent Madness update, St. Joseph's Day, some bitterness about an old job, the Jewish Hero Corps, Ruth : Wheat :: Esther : Impalement, the Persian Wu-Tang Clan, a re-evaluation of Vashti, Haman's pockets (booo!), Esther's surprising similarity to Goku, a delicious villain humiliation, a not inconsiderable number of fairly preventable deaths, does Dogpile exist?
Hymnal: "Hey Man, Nice Shot" by Filter
Mar 20 2019
Rank #10: 22: Ocean's Two (The Book of Judith)
Get ready, Theophiloi, because it's time for a tightly plotted heist story about our favorite Deuterocanonical heroine, Judith! We'll be heading into a slice of the Apocrypha with some sharp commentary that cuts right to the good stuff. Get to listening, chop chop! Plus: Some very good and suggestions for improving Hanukkah that you can implement in your own celebrations!
Topics of discussion: The ironies (all of them), Doubting Tomax, a prelude to Martinmas, St. Isadore the Hedgehog, an extended digression about Simon Magus and Avril Lavigne, The RAMBAN, Antilebanon, the Cracker Barrel Master Mold, earth and water, the most boss flex in the entire Bible, getting captured on purpose, Alfred, cheese plots, a Comic-Con of soldiers, and whether Holofernes was just a foot guy.
Hymnal: "Heads Will Roll" by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Oct 15 2018
Rank #11: 16: Doamurder, West Virginia (The Book of Genesis, Part 1)
Ever wonder why we have anxiety, Theophiloi? Perhaps it's because we're sitting down to examine and/or make goofs about the extremely well-known foundational text of at least three major world religions. That's right, y'all: it's our longest episode yet, featuring the genesis of the beginning of Genesis. This week: Chapters 1 through 11, covering Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah's Ark , and other stories that you probably know very well, assuming you remember the part where Noah passes out drunk with his junk out and invents slavery. Plus, join us in the Correctional Confessional as we address some mistakes and inaccuracies from last week's episode concerning the current status of St. Christopher and St. Wilgefortis, Skull Mountain Baptist Church, and the Arian Heresy. Ever wonder why we have anxiety, Theophiloi? Perhaps it's because we're sitting down to examine and/or make goofs about the extremely well-known foundational text of at least three major world religions. That's right, y'all: it's our longest episode yet, featuring the genesis of the beginning of Genesis. This week: Chapters 1 through 11, covering Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah's Ark, and other stories that you probably know very well, assuming you remember the part where Noah passes out drunk with his junk out and invents slavery. Plus, join us in the Correctional Confessional as we address some mistakes and inaccuracies from last week's episode concerning the current status of St. Christopher and St. Wilgefortis, Skull Mountain Baptist Church, and the Arian Heresy.
Topics of discussion: Our favorite Non-Genesis creation stories, the Documentary Hypothesis (J, E, P, and D), the Tetragrammaton, Monolatry vs. Monotheism redux, the proper instructions for building LEGO sets, a busy week for Big G, ancient cosmology (aether, firmament, and other Spelljammer stuff), the two best land animals, a brief discussion of God's wife Ashe ra, the rather problematic relationship between the Book of Genesis and the gender binary and women in in general, the naming of the animals, Lilith and a secret Lilith that we've already talked about, the inherent evil of nudity, Cain, Kane, Kaine, various origins for vampires, the Nephilim, a trip to the Creation Museum, the Flood Narrative as a genre, God's knack for archery.
Hymnal: "Genesis" by Justice
If you enjoy the show, why not make a love offering at http://ko-fi.com/apocrypals to help us keep going? We appreciate it, but love you all equally regardless.
Aug 19 2018
Rank #12: 28: Second Maccabees Second Furious (The Second Book of Maccabees)
So long Hanukkah and Hello Advent, Theophiloi! It's your humble Sons of Thunder on 2018's best podcast for news about Ahikar and St. Thecla's conflict with man-eating seals, and before we close out the Festival of Lights, we're going all in with 2 Maccabees. Things get buck wild as we hear about Judah Maccabee's exploits once again, now with roughly 1,000% more ghost warriors and magic swords. Seriously, this is the most action-packed part of Bible we have ever experienced, and you'll recall that we saw Judas exploding back in episode 1, so the bar has been set pretty high. We do, however, need to put a strong Content Warning on this one for some graphic descriptions of torture and martyrdom.
Topics of discussion: The Murder That I Like The Most vs. The Apocryphamici, the Catalonian Poop Log, our local Holiday Parades, the Bangles, Jason of Cyrene, the Drizzt Do'Urden of Jewish history, "The Greek Hat," illegal tactics in the wrestling arena, dubious omens, wishing a happy monthday to Antiochus III, Ex Nihilo creation, our complicated relationship with military heroes, BFFLW, the wildest death scene in the entire Bible.
Hymnal: "Not By Might, Not By Power" by Debbie Friedman
Dec 10 2018
Rank #13: 47: Approximate Week II: The Quickening (The Syriac Infancy Gospel)
You're invited to the holiest eight nights of the Apocrypals calendar, dear Theophiloi! It's Approximate Week, aka our mutual birthday! if you're looking for a gift, we have a recommendation for you: how about a nice cold glass of Messiah Boy Bath Water? Join us as we celebrate with another buck wild Infancy Gospel, in which the Son of Man deals with naked women throwing rocks in cemeteries, an eligible bachelor who is temporarily endonkeyed, and his Earth-dad's lack of carpentry skills. It's everything you need for a great party!
Topics of discussion: Birthdays and presents, the King of Kings of Queens, Joshua bar Josef's Bizarre Adventure, the life and death of Alexander the Great, Mary: The King of Women, a regrettably extended discussion of the Holy Prepuce, the five times Jesus bled, Karl der Große, the ado about this mule, the Harold Allnut of Bible, Dumachus, a portal to the live coal dimension, throne building tips.
Hymnal: "Baby Boy" by Beyoncé
Offertory: Each person should do as they have decided in their heart, so if you enjoy the show, head to ko-fi.com/apocrypals, for the Apocrypals love a cheerful giver.
Aug 21 2019
Rank #14: 40: Devil Got a Hog (The Book of Enoch, Part Two)
Happy Holy Week, Theophiloi! If you're like your humble Son of Thunder and his friend the Author of All Lies, you have a keen interest in space. If that's the case, then you're going to love learning some new facts about the Sun and Moon as we dive into the second half of the Book of Enoch! Also, we really hope you like calendars, because there's about 20 pages of that in here too, but trust us: it's worth it for what comes after. Plus: A tale of Noah when he was a boy! Learning to write was a mistake.
Topics of discussion: The hated Green M&M, the failings of Lent Madness, Caesar Real vs. Benjamin Harrison Real, Four. Smooth. Pits., Enoch vs the Gender Binary, Taylor Swift's Ancient of Days, Gadrael the Angel of Kung Fu, an official naming of Chuck the Truck, Tomas y Sonja, gendered language, some PG-13 hog talk.
Hymnal: "X Gon' Give It To Ya" by DMX
Apr 19 2019
Rank #15: 33: Thicc Darkness (The Book of Exodus, Part One)
Get your shoes on and don't you dare leaven that bread, Theophiloi, because it's time to dive into the Book of Exodus! In this episode, we cover the first 18 chapters, including Moses's surprisingly violent origin story, 7+3 plagues, and Pharaoh's many, many ill-advised decisions. Plus, the ultimate #passoverhack: tacos.
Topics of discussion: Candlemas, LentMadness.org, Mary of Bethany v. Martha of Bethany: Dawn of Saintliness, the Main Dude of Judaism, God's surprising forgetfulness, God's even more surprising similarity to the Power Rangers, a very confusing circumcision, "Pharaoh Pharaoh" and its bespoke dance moves, Arbok vs. Ekans in Bible Times, the planet Drakulon, Double Blood, RAINING BREEEEEEEEEEAAAD! FROM A LACERATED SKY!, and God's delicious dandruff.
Hymnal: "Raining Blood" by Slayer
Feb 10 2019
Rank #16: 13: Bonus Goat (The Deuterocanonical Book of Tobit)
We are back, Theophiloi! After a bona fide Act of God, we've returned to read the capital-A Apocryphal Book of Tobit, and it is a wild one. Join us for the most canonical of the non-canonical books, in which we find out exactly why you shouldn't go to sleep under a wall, what fish parts you need if you do, and meet an ironically prudish demon and an angel who's cool but rude. Plus: What happens if we find a brand new book of the Bible, autographed by God?
Topics of discussion include: Janelle Monae, Tisha B'Av, the debatable sacrament of Cheddar Bay Biscuits, "The Sons of Thunder," the Dead Sea Scrolls, Antigone, the second ominous black sarcophagus, the lowercase grateful dead, Monster In The Bridal Chamber as a genre, Jack of the Tales and the sack that he used to capture Death, rough times in Ninevah, Asmodeus, Watership Down (or maybe Redwall?), the Seven Princes of Hell, Solomon and his demon bros, the Malleus Maleficarum aka the Witch Hammer (please note we only endorse the title, not the content), the Lantern of Light, the actual true amount of money for which Julius Caesar was ransomed because I know things sometimes too, Angel Disguises, a continuity patch for the book of Daniel, St. Raphael, Dubuque, Iowa, why angels are also saints, Tobias the Eighth, Tiffany and Chad, the first of many rules about angels, Hrotsvitha of Gandersheim.
Special thanks to Cathy Leamy for telling us about "Sons of Thunder!"
If you like the show, why not head to ko-fi.com/apocrypals to pitch in a few bucks? You don't have to tithe 10% of your income to us, but, I mean, we also wouldn't turn that down.
Jul 30 2018
Rank #17: 4: Wittgenstein's Monster (The Book of Isaiah)
"Woe to those that are wise in their own opinion and clever in their own sight." -- Isaiah 5:21
Isaiah, the biggest beefiest boy of all the prophets, steps into the spotlight to put our very premise to the test. Can we actually do an episode when there's no real narrative and about 66 chapters of prophecies that require a 45-minute history lesson? U-DECIDE! We dive in for some complicated context, check out the most quotable book of the Bible, and at long last, start runnin' with the devil.
Topics of discussion: Joshua, Isaiah, and Jesus all having the same name, the Three Isaiahs, the Regret Box, "Feet," Alma vs. Parthenos, the Syro-Ephremite War, Hezekiah building a tunnel to avoid eating his own poop, God is sick of your parties, swords to plowshares and other common phrases, Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz vs. Pele-Joez-El-Gibbor-Abi-Ad-Sar-Shalom, Sheol vs. Hades vs. Hell vs. Gehenna the perpetually burning garbage dump, Lucifer (actually Venus), the first appearance of monotheism, Cyrus the Great
May 06 2018
Rank #18: 7: Neon Genesis Good News (The Gospel of Mark and Secret Mark)
"When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that He was eating with sinners and tax collectors, they asked His disciples, 'why does He eat with tax collectors and sinners?' When Jesus heard this, He told them 'Those who are well don't need a doctor, but the sick do need one. I didn't come to call the righteous, but sinners.'" -- The Gospel of Mark, 2:16-17
Gird thyself, Theophiloi, for our longest episode to date as we dive into the Gospel of Mark and its mysterious secrets. Join us as we chronicle Jesus's very justifiable frustration with the apostles and learn about the Apostles that are most likely to set your house on fire. Plus, we delve into Secret Mark, Chris has a little difficulty with pronunciation, and we finally answer the age-old question that has been debated by theologians for almost 2,000 years: is the Gospel of Mark a sandwich?
Topics of discussion: Hangry Jesus, the 3600 Marks of the Mark Corps, angel messaging, the difficulties of establishing lion and bear biology in bible times, baptism and its methods, the fish on all the cars, ancient acronyms, the most ride-or-die dudes in Galilee, "Boanerges," the Sons of Thunder, mystery cults, Herod, Herod, Herod, Herod, the first millennials, the invention of metaphors, the camel and the needle, a reference for those of you who were extremely online in 2005, "Isaiah Style," the Gay Content Airhorn, the Two Commandments, Thoughts & Prayers, Peter as Jesus's constant punchline, I.N.R.I., a sarcastic centurion who is very rude, Joses, and the Lord's tips and tricks for breaking and entering. Phew, what a long episode.
Jun 03 2018
Rank #19: 23: Dunking on Satan (The Acts of Pilate and the Gospel of Nicodemus)
PIECES be with you, Theophil-OOZE, and get ready for the first installment of our two-part HELLoween SCAREtacular! This week, we're descending into HELL! And, uh, it's not actually that scary in the traditional sense, although the antisemitism of early Christian writings brings its own brand of horror. Either way, it's our long-awaited discussion of the Harrowing of Hell! Plus, an untold tale of Jesus's magic emotion-changing clothes!
Topics of discussion: The rehabilitation of Pilate, the Apostle's Creed, the Autobiography of Bruce Wayne, a brand-new miracle, St. Procla, the origin of Veronica, a revelation about twelve years of bleeding, a good way to repel evil spirits, a slightly less good way to repel evil spirits from Benito's childhood, devhellopment, the Bad Place, God's magic word, Habakuk's comeback, the Cure of Tiberius and the Death of Pilate, a secret zombie, Longinus, and a surprise appearance by the Antichrist.
Hymnal: "Highway to Hell" by AC/DC
Oct 21 2018
Rank #20: 29: These Apocryphal Ravings (The Infancy Gospel of James)
Mary Christmas, Theophiloi! Normally at this time of year, you get a nice little reading from Luke about being sore afraid and wishing peace on Earth and goodwill to men. Unfortunately, we already covered that one, so we're bringing you the birth of Christ as you've never heard it before with the Infancy Gospel of James. We learn all about Mary's origin, in which she was Rapunzeled for thirteen years and then handed off to a very confused local carpenter. Plus: all the other holy days we'll be missing before we come back on Epiphany!
Topics of discussion: Southern Snow Day, Boleslav the Cruel, Colly Birds, a bit of difficulty counting to seven which is of course the highest number, CMB, Mary vs. Betty vs. Veronica, the Ultimate Blessing, Joseph's four-year house-building tour, an extremely dark joke from Chris, the Lord's drink, Time Stop (lv.9 wiz/sor), the Fortress of Baptitude, a few new ideas to incorporate in your Christmas traditions, 2 minutes of Benito doing animal noises (seriously).
Hymnal: "Reindeer Games" by Froggy Fresh
Dec 16 2018