Thursday, May 28, 2009

More on the Humorous and the Biblical

I had forgotten about Doug Adams' The Prostitute in the Family Tree: Discovering Humor and Irony in the Bible (WJK,1997) -- it was in the shelf at the office. Doug was prior to his death Professor of Christianity and the Arts at Pacific School of Religion. He writes:

Biblical stories are like grandparent stories. Jesus, Paul, and the Hebrew scriptures tell stories that include rough edges -- unethical or ambiguous characters, unresolved or surprising, endings -- and so we laugh and know that we and others may live through the rough times in our lives, too. Biblical stories present patriarchs, matriarchs, and disciples not as perfectly faithful and persons whom we could not hope to emulate but, rather, as person who are often immoral, unfaithful, and thickheaded. Therefore, in spite of our own failings, we too, can hope to be disciples. Persons who think the early church was perfect are often in despair concerning the state of the contemporary church and no longer attend when ministers and people quarrel. In light of Paul's descriptions of the divisiveness in the early churches, however, even our present churches look good. (p. 1).


Is there humor in the bible? Oh, yes, lots of it, but we have to be aware that its there. If we read scripture as a bunch of disconnected propositions, and not as story, we'll miss what's going on. Adams offers a nice introduction to this! I mean, the title gives us a pretty good indication of what's to be found inside the book and inside the Bible!


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I see a few people got this book thinking it was the other Douglas Adams. The 42 guy. Looks good though.

I like page one. Can you move it to the library?

David Mc

rebecca said...

Bob, I've got this book but haven't looked at it in a couple of years. You've inspired me to pick it up again. Yes, the Bible is full of some really funny stuff. My husband discovered this when he read through the whole Bible in a year. Especially the Old Testament.