Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa is a Christian school. Earlier this year, they premiered a musical called Terror Texts which re-enacts the lesser-known, more-disturbing, unbelievably grotesque stories from the Bible.
This past week was the encore performance of the show.
Don’t expect to hear these Bible stories at church.
Cannibalism, rape, a bear that mauls children — this is the Bible?
They’re among six stories from the Old Testament acted out in “Terror Texts,” a musical at Northwestern College in Orange City.
Adding to the shocking nature of the stories are the theatrics, with actors decked out in Goth attire, a rock band and a mosh pit.
Theater professor Jeff Barker said the obscurity of the stories belies their value.
“We believe we have discovered something that has been lying dormant for many, many centuries,” said Barker, who created and directs “Terror Texts.”
Why did Barker create this musical?
Barker, who has been exploring Old Testament stories as plays and directs Terror Texts, says, “I suppose I created this musical because I got cheated in Sunday school. Teachers told me they revered the Bible, but they didn’t teach me all of it.
“Once I read it myself, I felt ripped off. If the Bible is truly a text worthy of our attention—and I believe it is—why not take time to discover all of it? And why not do that together, in a public setting like the theatre?”
“Once we’ve looked at human suffering that closely, it has the potential to change the way we relate to others. Our lives might be lived with greater humility, care and gratitude,” says Barker.
At least they’re acknowledging those stories. I’m kind of curious what the reaction was to the show — were there Christians who were unaware these stories were in their precious Bible?
If you want to know which parts of the Bible were covered in the show, check out these verses:
II Samuel 6:1-23
Judges chapters 19 to 21