Humor in the New Testament

On the Oxford University Press’ blog:

For many people, religion is serious business which rules out any positive connection between belief and humor. For them, humor connected to religion is humor directed, in a negative and derisive manner, against religion. If this is true for religion in general, then the disconnect between the Bible and humor in particular would be especially well defined. However, scholarship in this field has grown in recent years and has attempted to dispel the notion that humor is inappropriate in, and absent from, Scripture…

Find out more here.




7 thoughts on “Humor in the New Testament

  1. Wow, nothing funny about Peter’s threefold denial of Christ!? Yes, us Reformed don’t take too much humour from the NT! Btw, there is always “satire” in Holy Scripture, but that is meant to press us into great seriousness! That’s the way I see it at least! Now modern (modernity) and postmodernity humour is quite another thing! Btw, here our old friend Jim West is perhaps closer to the idea of biblical satire? Showing forth the great idiocy of error, moral and otherwise!

  2. A situation I find very funny is Acts XXIII 1-10 when Paul is being judged before the Sanhedrin, and causes a stir between the Sadducees and the Pharisees by shouting that he himself is a Pharisee, and has been arrested because of his belief in eternal life (a belief held by the Pharisees but not by the Sadducees). Immediately the Sadducees and the Pharisees engage in a violent public brawl, thus preventing any trial to take place. I always wonder what spiritual meaning there is to that episode, besides “be cleverer than your accusers” or “sow the discord among your enemies”!

    + pax et bonum

    1. I believe that Saul/Paul was always the/that Judeo-Christian Pharisee! A close reading and study of Acts chapters 21: 39 – thru 26 reveals that Paul was such: Acts 23: 6-9 ; 24: 14-15 ; 25: 19 ; 26: 21-23.

      Myself, I don’t see any so-called modern humour in these texts, but perhaps the irony, or even Socratic irony… the so-called feigning of ignorance toward the Pharisees and the Sadducees by Paul (Acts 23: 6-9). Crafty man that old Saul/Paul! 😉

  3. I like, “when God made man, S/He was only joking” & “had to start with a prototype” & if that’s true, I want my rib back! 🙂

    1. It appears both your liberalism and youth are showing thru! I am one of those serious Reformed theolog’s myself, within my place as a pastor-teacher! My doctrine of Creation is I hope real, doctrinal, spiritual and typological!

  4. “A time to laugh”? What I find fascinating is the lack of humour generally especially when the Creator obviously created humour if Creation is (dare I posterity publish online) is in any way accurately reported in The Bible.

  5. certain passages can ‘appear humorous’ when the far-less-complicated Natures of the God-Man must interact with mankind’s far-too-serious gravity-of-ignorance:
    like that of Jesus (after HIS Passion & Death), joining-up with the Disciples on the ‘road to Emmaus’; the Disciples reply to Jesus as to what they were discussing: “are You the only One in Jerusalem who does not know what has taken place these past few days?”
    Or…when the towns people sought to ‘throw Jesus off the cliff’, HE simply ‘turned and walked right through their midst’ – solicits a smile and lightens the heart.
    I would like to think too how Jesus must have laughed often among HIS Friends…because ‘God delights in HIS people’ and while the Bridegroom was with them – a certain Joy.
    Also, the Devil flees when the heart is light and merry!

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