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Biblical Jokes

Jokes are always on the tip of my dad’s tongue, so I sometimes send him essays I read about them. This weekend, I sent him this review essay about how the ephemeral nature of jokes make them almost impossible to understand as jokes over time. We’ve been chatting since about jokes in the Bible, a subject about which I’m no expert but have thought about before. For example, I don’t wholly buy it (though I like the idea), but I read once—perhaps in a book by Brien McLaren—of the following joke in the Torah: After receiving the Law, Moses asks God if he can see God’s face. God says that won’t do, but he will cover Moses’s eyes as he walks by and allowing Moses to see him walk away. This particular interpretation says that ensuing scene is a prank God plays on Moses. When Moses opens his eyes, it’s not God retreating form that he sees, but God mooning Moses. After the austerity and holiness of the giving over of the Law, it’s cosmic comic relief.

I’m sure there are other Biblical jokes at least as good as that, commentariat.



there’s always Elijah seeking the bear after the boys who called him bald…

And Jepthah’s oath results in dark, dark irony, but I wouldn’t go so far as to call that a joke.

God telling Hosea to marry Gomar, that’s a knee-slapper

I keep racking my brains, but: I got nothing!

Is there any humor in the NT? The OT has all kinds of surprises and ironies light and dark, but the NT is painfully earnest.

There’s probably more situational humor in the exchanges between Jesus and others (akin to what Del Close describes here down) than in any of the epistles. I like to think Eutychus falling out of the window might be a sly commentary on Peter’s preaching, especially since the author was so very obviously Pauline.

Dude, Eutychus was listening to Paul.

There is an argument that Paul when treating the whole woman speaking in church in Corinthians is using irony…

There’s no way Paul was ever ironic about anything.

6: Sorry. Slip of memory.

But 7 gets it exactly right.

There’s no way that the Paul of the Church of Christ ever used irony. But, other Pauls very well may have.