jesus christ humor
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- 1. THE LINEUP HOW DO WE KNOW JESUS WAS FUNNY? WHY DONT WE GET THE JOKE? WHAT KINDS OF HUMOR DO WE SEE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT? FUNNY OR NOT FUNNY?
2. HOW DO WE KNOW JESUS WAS FUNNY? 3. JESUS WAS AN ITINERANT PREACHER Jesus would journey to a town, teach for a while, and then move on. He would have needed to speak in ways that were easily understood and retained by common people. 4. HE DREW LARGE CROWDS MATTHEW 8:1, When Jesus had come down from the mountain, great crowds followed him MARK 3:7, a great multitude from Galilee followed him MARK 5:24, a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. LUKE 5:1, the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God JOHN 6:2, a large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick. 5. HE WAS CRITICIZED FOR IT MATTHEW 11:18, For John (the Baptist) came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He has a demon; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, Look, a glutton and a drunkard..! (Also recounted in Luke 7:33-34) 6. HUMAN BEINGS HAVE MORE THAN ONE DIMENSION 7. WHY DONT WE GET THE JOKE? 8. TRANSLATION ISSUES: Some of Jesus humor as recorded in the Gospels is reflected in plays on words that do not transition from the original Aramaic into the recipient language TRANSMISSION ISSUES: Most scholars agree the Gospels were first communicated orally and were not written down until at least one generation after Jesus earthly ministry. 9. UNKNOWN DELIVERY THE MOST COMMON TYPE OF HUMOR EVIDENCED IN THE GOSPELS IS IRONY WHICH IS DIFFICULT TO DISCERN IN THE WRITTEN WORD 60% - 90% OF COMMUNICATION IS NON-VERBAL VOCAL ELEMENTS: TONE, INFLECTION, RATE, PITCH, VOLUME, RHYTHM, INTONATION, STRESS, ETC. NON-VERBAL ELEMENTS: FACIAL EXPRESSION, BODY POSTURE, HAND GESTURES, PHYSICAL DISTANCE, TOUCH, AND SO ON 10. FAMILIARITY BLINDNESS EXTREME FAMILIARITY PREVENTS US FROM TRULY SEEING SOMETHING CLEARLY 11. SO MUCH OF OUR FOCUS IS THE PASSION AND CRUCIFIXION OF CHRIST 12. A misguided piety has made us fear that acceptance of His obvious wit and humor would somehow be mildly blasphemous or sacrilegious. Religion, we think, is serious business, and serious business is incompatible with banter. ELTON TRUEBLOOD: THE HUMOR OF CHRIST 13. BUT WE ALSO FOCUS ON THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST 14. WHAT KINDS OF HUMOR DO WE SEE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT? 15. PUNS OR WORD-PLAY NOUN A JOKE EXPLOITING THE DIFFERENT POSSIBLE MEANINGS OF A WORD OR THE FACT THAT THERE ARE WORDS THAT SOUND ALIKE BUT HAVE DIFFERENT MEANINGS. 16. MATTHEW 23:24, You strain out a gnat (qalma) but swallow a camel (gamla)! 17. MATTHEW 16:18, And I tell you, you are Peter (Petros), and on this rock (petra) I will build my church... MARK 4:26, And he said, The kingdom of God is as if a man (adam) should scatter (zara) seed (zera) on the ground (adama). MATTHEW 15:35-37, Then ordering the crowd to sit (yashav) down on the ground (esev), he took the seven (sheva) loaves and the fish; and after giving thanks he broke (shavar) them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all of them ate and were filled (seva); and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven (sheva) baskets full. JOHN 3:8, The wind (Greek, pneuma; Aramaic, ruha) blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit (Greek, pneuma; Aramaic, ruha). 18. HUMOROUS ANECDOTES STORIES RETAINED IN THE GOSPELS THAT HAVE A HUMOROUS TWIST 19. MARK 15:17, And he cautioned them, saying, Watch outbeware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod. They said to one another, It is because we have no bread. And becoming aware of it, Jesus said to them, Why are you talking about having no bread? 20. JOHN 1:35-37, Philip found Nathanael and said to him, We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth. Nathanael said to him, Can anything good come out of Nazareth? When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit! MARK 7:18, Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from the outside cannot defile, since it enters, not the heart but the stomach, and goes out into the sewer? 21. IRONY NOUN THE EXPRESSION OF ONES MEANING BY USING LANGUAGE THAT NORMALLY SIGNIFIES THE OPPOSITE, TYPICALLY TO HUMOROUS OR EMPHATIC EFFECT. 22. MATTHEW 16:18, And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church... 23. MATTHEW 7:16, Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? MATTHEW 24:28, (referring to false prophets) Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather. MATTHEW 23:2-3, The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses seat; therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach. 24. HUMOROUS PARABLES EDIFYING STORIES JESUS TELLS THAT HAVE A HUMOROUS TWIST 25. LUKE 18:2-5, In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, Grant me justice against my opponent. For a while he refused; but later he said to himself Because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming. 26. HYPERBOLE The use of exaggeration as a rhetorical device or figure of speech for the purpose of creating a strong impression. 27. LUKE 14:26, Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. MATTHEW 5:29-30, If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to go into hell. 28. FUNNY OR NOT FUNNY? 29. LUKE 5:37-39, And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine desires new wine, but says, The old is good. 30. LUKE 16:16-17, The law and the prophets were in effect until John came; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is proclaimed, and everyone tries to enter it by force. But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away, than for one stroke of a letter in the law to be dropped. 31. MATTHEW 25:14-30, A master, before leaving his home to travel, entrusted his property to his servants. One servant received five talents, the second two talents, and the third one talent, according to their respective abilities. Returning after a long absence, the master asked his servants for an accounting. The first two servants explain that they have each put their money to work and doubled the value of the property they were entrusted with, and so they are each rewarded. The third servant, however, has merely hidden his talent in a hole in the ground, and is punished. 32. Mark 7:24-30, He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there. Yet he could not escape notice, but a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet. Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon our of her daughter. He said to her, Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the childrens food and throw it to the dogs. But she answered him, Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the childrens crumbs. Then he said to her, For saying that, you may gothe demon has left your daughter. 33. RESOURCES (1964) New York: Harper Collins Publishers (1991) pp. 397-400. New York: Oxford University Press