Wit and Humor of the Bible
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They are not introduced to amuse. They are not intended to dissipate the weariness of an idle hour. They are not designed to produce convulsions of laughter. They are subsidiary to the main theme. They are incidental to the development of religious history and religious thought. They help reveal in their true light the characters who from time to time appear; they show the absurdity of the opposing error and sharpen the arrows with which folly is. Product Details. Average Review. Write a Review. Related Searches.
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To read the original article and to request reprint information, click here. Does God have a sense of humor? JoHannah Reardon. Page 1 of 1. Tags: Theology. References: None. Posted: November 09, Related Bible Studies. Bible Study Basics: Galatians Get back to basics with the truth of the gospel. Free Newsletters. Christian Bible Studies Weekly.
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Theological Discussions for Everyone A la carte price:. The joke here is that heaven is made up of beggars. Or that it is owned by beggars, which seems less likely. Of course, we cannot hear the "kingdom of heaven" in the same way as Christ's audience. It was a new phrase then and nobody knew what it meant really.
Christ spends most of his teaching explaining what the idea is. But they knew what a kingdom was and they knew what the word translated as "heaven," bt not how we think of it. The word meant "the sky", "the universe beyond our world," and, more specifically, the the home of the "stars," that is, the heroes of history and mythology, both Greek and Jewish. Christ is not only putting beggars among these heros but saying that it is made up of the beggars, not the heroes. Another very common form of humor in the repeated pattern.
All humorists use this technique because the audience get trained by repetition. The audience learns where the laughs are coming. This is make the timing of the pause all that more effective. It also builds the laughs as more and more people catch on how the pattern works. When a bit is used the first time, it is too surprising for many. But through repetition, they learn to anticipate the punch line. Of course, the simplest repeated pattern is the "catch phrase. Of course, Christ had is own catchphrases.
One of the funniest is "Boo-hoo to you! Even "the weeping and gnashing of teeth" hits me as humor, though as a different kind exaggeration , which we will discuss later in the article. Christ uses repeated patterns in many different ways and I may list a number of them in the future, but for now, we will stick with the beatitudes because they are an obvious example. They appear right at the beginning of the Gospels.
The repeat the same patterns and even words in different ways. Let us look at how the fourth beatitude repeats the pattern set up in the first beatitude. Again, we start with "Lucky! The thought is, "Who is 'lucky' this time? By now, of course, the audience is in on the joke. Of course the hungry and thirsty are as every bit as lucky as beggars!
But the pattern lead them to ask, "Okay, which hungry and thirsty?
Christian Humor & Wit
Of course, this turns the meaning of "hungry and thirsty" completely around. Another laugh, bigger than the first. But the audience now knows how this works. They are set up to expect an explanation of why these people are so lucky. The pause waits for the laughter to die down. It brings together both the idea of being hungry and the idea of getting justics, BUT getting "your fill of justice" is clearly a double edged sword.
Those who think they want justice may want to rethink what they are asking for. This is also a great example of how a verb at the end of the sentence works so well in humor. The last part "get their fill" is not a series of words in Greek, but a single verb. Of course, a lot of humor is based on exaggeration.