Vacation Bible School Podcast
By Jason Kirk, Emily Kirk
Story by story, we're having fun learning history, religion, literature, mythology, and the amazingly weird stuff. All are welcome! Perfect five-star rating on Apple Podcasts!
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you like! (Sure, it's long! Copy and paste like Matthew did the Gospel of Mark!)
Vacation Bible School PodcastJul 13, 2023
DAVID & BATHSHEBA: The discourse (with April Ajoy)
Hello! Let's sprint through a big (but action-packed) portion of the Book of Samuel and then focus on the story of King David and Bathsheba.
- Almost everything you've ever heard about this story has nothing to do with what's actually in the Bible, but what else is new?
- Around the 40-minute mark, we're joined by creator April Ajoy (of TikTok, Instagram, the Evangelicalish podcast, and more) to discuss the way this story constantly gets argued about by the internet's angry Christian men. Plus we talk Rapture trauma, childhood persecution fantasies, and other fun stuff!!! To be clear, this is the fun part of the episode.
- Let's also mostly wrap up the story of David, a boy who became a kingpin seemingly parodied by his own propaganda and just about the weirdest guy ever to pick as a supposed model for Jesus. His story's not quite done, but next time, we'll turn toward the original Finance Instagram bro: King Solomon.
Intro song: k.d. lang's cover of "Hallelujah"
Thank you for listening! Support this show by GIVING US A REVIEW ON YOUR PODCAST APP PLEASE OH PLEASE, joining our Patreon (where we post monthly episodes, usually on "fun" stuff), and following our Instagram, Twitter, and Bluesky accounts.
DAVID & JONATHAN: Biased toward love (with Mason Mennenga)
We're back in the Book of Samuel, starting in chapter 18, where giant-killer David meets Israel's other war hero, Prince Jonathan. To quote Taylor Swift, sparks fly. Platonic sparks, your Sunday school teacher assures you.
- There's a case these two were just extremely affectionate political allies. That case has been made, and we're not very interested in it.
- Interpret this story however you want. We're completely convinced this was the Bible's first great romance. Thanks.
- We're also joined by popular YouTuber, podcaster, and theologian Mason Mennenga to discuss how this story is just one of many examples that show scripture reflects how we view it.
- Support this show, if you like, by joining our Patreon, where we post monthly episodes on related stuff (CCM cringe/nostalgia, explaining Christian-ese language, ranking '70s Rapture movies, what the Bible *actually* says about abortion, etc.). Joining will also get you into our Discord. We're also on Instagram and Twitter!
Pre-intro: "The More I Seek You" as performed by Maple City Worship
DAVID VS GOLIATH: Are we the baddies? (with Andrew Whitehead)
Samuel chapter 17!
- We've reached a Bible story everybody PRETTY MUCH knows, though there are still lots of fun details. It wasn't a slingshot, for one thing!
- Goliath is the Statue of Liberty of Michael Jordans, David is Mr. Have It Both Ways, and King Saul's descent into madness ramps up right now!
- Emily is mostly concerned with whether this Philistine-Israelite war is cruelty-free toward animals.
- We're excited to be joined by Andrew Whitehead, author of numerous works explaining the dangers of Christian Nationalism. Yep, this relates to how the David and Goliath story gets taught in church!
- Is there praise for Five Iron Frenzy? Friend, this is an episode of the Vacation Bible School Podcast. Of course there's praise for Five Iron Frenzy.
KING SAUL: Himbo Boss Baby vs. Dungeon Master Dick Cheney
- The Bible contains a LOT of genres. Uh-oh, you're now in the middle of a Machiavellian historical novel about Derek Zoolander!
- Time for our regular installment of Which Part Of This Story Will White Christian Americans Try To Contort Into Propaganda For White Christian America?
- Does this episode include weird math, exaggerated war stuff, confusing prophet behavior, confusing food rules, weird animal stuff, baffling arguments, the total eradication of tribes clearly not eradicated, and women hanging out by a well? It's a Bible episode, so duh!
- Know how you've been told you have to believe the Bible is perfect, inerrant, and handed down directly from God? Well, we recently dug some of this section's missing portions out of the ground, and half the translations disagree on how old its protagonist is, so maybe not!
- Samuel is the ... ... ... ... ... ... good guy in this story? Really?
- Meet David, simultaneously a humble Cinderella boy and a breathtaking Mary Sue warrior-poet!
SAMUEL: "The Messiah" and the golden hemorrhoid rats
We're entering a whole new chunk of the Bible, and it might be a surprise chunk!
- Why we're now in Samuel instead of Ruth, the book that's up next according to Christian Bibles!
- Yet another barren womb! As always, when the Bible reuses a story, the variations are everything!
- The Bible's first usage of "the messiah" is a fine time to talk about how poorly the average Christian understands the old, complex, ever-evolving concept!
- Meet the original Typical Preacher's Kids!
- A war catastrophe leads to the Philistines capturing the Ark of the Covenant, which goes very terribly for the Philistines' genitals!
If you like this show, please give us a review on your podcast app, follow us on Twitter and/or Instagram, and consider giving us $1/month via Patreon (or $5.77 for bonus episodes, Discord membership, a sticker, and stuff).
JUDGES: Righteous invasion of Ehud (with Jon Bois)
It's time to bring on the internet's beloved Jon Bois to discuss:
- The Bible's best story book so far, if you have the non-exploding stomach for it: Judges.
- Meet Ehud, the left-handed sphincter-bursting assassin!
- Homeschool middle school during the end of the world!
- Christian culture stuff like Carman, MxPx, Five Iron Frenzy, James Dobson, Amy Grant, Creed, DC Talk, and comic Bibles!
- Plus Samson, Delilah, Gideon, Deborah, and more Judges stories that get mangled in Sunday school!
- Intro song: "Don't Save Me" by Haim.
Ratings and reviews on Apple Podcasts are highly appreciated, and you can follow us on Twitter and Instagram. We also have a Patreon with bonus episodes, a Discord, and stuff, plus a $1 support option.
JOSHUA: Jericho was an inside job
WAR DADS AND LADY WAR DADS ASSEMBLE. It's a new Bible section!
- Joshua is the dude version of LIVE LAUGH LOVE, but also somehow the most feminist book yet.
- Rahab, the Bible character whose job is most ignored by church, and also a military mastermind.
- THE WALLS OF JERICHO: pretty cool, but mostly for reasons besides those made up by Sunday school, Carman, and Joel Osteen.
- How can believers explain this awful book of murder being in the Bible? There's actually a pretty simple way!
- What we're talking about when we talk about "history in the Bible."
- And setting up the map for three more books of general Game of Thrones behavior!
DEUUUTERONOMY: Actually super important and mostly really good??
- The final book of the Torah, the one we NEVER talked about in church, actually ... kinda rules at times?
- In the story, at the edge of Canaan, Moses reframes everything that's happened to this point, retconning the horrors of Numbers and synthesizing the Bible's competing God ideas into one coherent theology that more or less works for everyone on earth (except the despicable Jebusites).
- Upgraded lore, now including IRON GHOST GIANTS (and way less murder).
- Talmud rabbis vs. Oprah's collected life advice: who ya got?
- You want some more weird penis rules? Say less.
- God and Moses perform their finale duet, VeggieTales-style.
- There are patriarchal parts that really suck, because this was written ~2,600 years ago by a guy with specific bad ideas, and we'll try to talk context.
- But for the most part, this is the most coherent and best-written book of the Bible so far. It's also possibly just about the most historically important book in the entire Bible. Yep!
- Thank you to scholar friends Brad Haggard, Mike Altman, and Jason Smith for taking a look at our notes. Any errors are the fault of Jason (host Jason, not Smith Jason) and nobody else.
- Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, maybe send us a dollar or few on Patreon (with monthly Discord book club, bonus episodes, and a sticker for offer).
NUMBERS: Maybe the Bible's worst book!
The fourth book of the Bible! As always, remember the Bible has been written, edited, and interpreted by LOTS of people, and we're under no obligation to treat its angriest voices as definitive of the entire thing.
- The actual story resumes! Things are finally happening!
- Numbers gives us phrases like "wandering in the wilderness," "land of milk and honey," and "eww girls have cooties!"
- There's a reason Sunday school teachers steer WAY clear of all Numbers content besides Talking Donkey and Brave Caleb. Meanwhile, other Christians have used Numbers to justify all sorts of horrendous things!
- Aaron asks God the most pertinent question Aaron could ever ask God!
- Mommy God and Daddy Moses are fighting again, the Israelites are constantly griping about needing luxuries like food and water, and this is the worst road trip ever!
- This is a Miriam stan podcast!
Q&A: Heresy reviews, salvation fear, and animal souls
Hi pals! Taking a break from the main Bible storyline to hit some listener questions, such as:
- What's the Protestant holiday calendar like?
- Which Bible verse most contradicts its own book?
- There's a Toad the Wet Sprocket song about the apostles being sick of Paul lol.
- What are the Bible's best name meanings?
- Every Catholic heresy, given a thumbs up or thumbs down!
- Do animals have souls?
- Do Christians, um, like, kinda, you know, wish for death, um, so they can go to Heaven, welp?
- What's the Bible's scariest verse?
- A light round of Calvinism vs. Arminianism!
- Is it fun or bad when Pop Culture makes versions of Bible stories?
- Well, Jason's making a book, how's that going?
LEVITICUS: Fight fundie with fundie
- Our first attempt at doing an entire book in one episode, and it happens to be one of the weirdest, grossest, narrative-lightest books. Yay!
- Spending as little time as possible on the chapters about bodily discharges, we promise.
- Leviticus has Bad Verses! Drown the Bad Verses in dorky red tape ...
- ... and/or insist we simply become eco-socialists every seven years, as Leviticus clearly commands.
- Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, if you please!
- Show notes and other stuff available at patreon.com/vbspodcast.
TABERNACLE: I feel God in this Minecraft tailgate (with Rev. Chris Lee)
- Pretty much the whole last half of Exodus, except for the Ten Commandments-adjacent rules and the Golden Calf chapter
- Why yes, we DID have fun talking about quite arguably the most boring stretch of the whole Bible!
- Why yes, you CAN recreate a very accurate Tabernacle in Minecraft
- Let's talk high church "versus" low church
- Featuring special guest pastor Reverend Chris Lee of St John's With St Mary's Mansfield
- And! Let's! Finally! Wrap! Up! Exodus, a dude book also about ladies
- Support the show by leaving us a rating/review on your podcast app!
- You can also visit us on Twitter or Instagram or even Patreon!
GOLDEN CALF: God's marshmallow test (with Jane Coaston)
- Exodus 24, Exodus 32, and so forth (there's a whole lot of laws and blueprints mixed within the storyline) ...
- Think the Bible itself is weird? Wait'll you get a load of church history!
- Unchallenged faith: is that really even faith?
- Aaron at Mount Sinai: total idiot, good cop, willing scapegoat, nepotism hire, anarcho-pacifist, retcon reclamation, or all the above?
- By now, Moses and God are an old married couple ...
- Oh no, the big dweebs who wrote Leviticus just did a murder spree (for the Lord) ...
- Why a calf, anyway?
- Follow @janecoaston and @vbspodcast on the social medias, patreon.com/vbspodcast to exchange blessings, Homefield Apparel for VBS shirts, and your favorite podcast app to leave us a review!
- Next up: God's traveling tailgate rig, the Tabernacle
TEN COMMANDMENTS: Wife Guy Moses and God's TOS page
- Exodus 20! How many of these Ten do we agree to keep today? They all seem pretty simple, obvious, or outdated, right? Well!!
- Tried something new: recorded a Zoom with a few of our Patreon Associate Pastors, plus Interfaith Council guests: Michael Elkon (@BravesAndBirds) and Hasan Masood (@hasmas)!
- Let's hear it for idols!
- Now Lord, when you say "murder," what do you mean by that?
- Youth pastors turn every commandment into a rule against making out!
- The 10th commandment sees what you're plotting and urges you to consider otherwise!
- Also, bonus Fellowship Q&A episode from this recording on the Patreon Early Service feed!
SINAI: What's the Bible about? (with Richard Elliott Friedman)
- Exodus 19-20ish, the part about Moses leading the Israelites to meet Huge Loud Scary Firestorm God
- Greatest pyro entrance of all time
- Is monotheism having a moment?
- We're joined by Dr. Friedman (author of Who Wrote the Bible and many other books) to talk Prince of Egypt (he did some work on it), the Bible's overall storyline (it has at least one!), "Old Testament God vs. New Testament God" (not really a thing), the origin of the Golden Rule (maybe the story that revolves around Sinai), and a lot more!
- Support welcomed at patreon.com/vbspodcast! Got some merch and stuff there, and we might like to try out a monthly Zoom call. Let us know if you like that idea!
- Follow @VBSpodcast on Twitter & Instagram, subscribe to jasonkirk.substack.com, review on your podcast app, and may the thunderfire speak to you softly
Q&A: Our stories, Christian punk rock, and Baptist spaceships
Support for this program occurs at patreon.com/vbspodcast, where we have stickers, mugs, a Discord, hats (for now), early episode access, and so forth!
- Taking a break from the main storyline, where we're making hilariously little progress (but having fun anyway), to talk whatever y'all wanted.
- Oh family, it's testimony time!
- Christian punk rock bands, ranked!
- Why were Cain's veggies bad, if most of the dietary laws were about regulating dangerous meat?
- Sunday school teachers, youth pastors, and finding God in s e c u l a r culture
- What's the Bible say about refugees?
- The terrible Baptist hymn about spaceships is ... on the right track!
- And if you like, give this podcast a lil ole rating and review on your listening app!
THE RED SEA: First of all, it wasn't the Red Sea
PASSOVER: From Destroyer to Matzo Hunt (with Charlotte Wilder, Bobby Big Wheel, & Alex Kirshner)
MOSES: Secret battles of the Mega Man gods
JOSEPH: Coat is a lie! Genesis recap! Children like Veggie Tales!
ABRAHAM: Daddy issues (with Rodger Sherman and Shaker Samman)
NOAH: Ecoterrorist Russell Crowe (with Ryan Nanni and Michael Felder)
CREATION: Dirtbag Adam vs. Rookie God
Please bear with God, it's His first day on the job!
Wait, how many Gods are here?
Someone please put Eve in charge
Please stop pooping on Cain's rutabagas
Snake might not be Satan btw
Extended Universe lore from John Milton
Tips appreciated at supportvbs.com! (Plus maybe merch and/or donor bonuses at that link by the time you see this)
Follow at @VBSpodcast on Twitter and Instagram
Bonus newsletter on Cain at jasonkirk.substack.com!