Friday, 24 November 2006

Surely you jest!?

Humour in the Bible? You cannot be serious!

Well, remember that the Bible is a compilation of around 60 different pieces of literature from a period spanning roughly 1600 years. If you were to take 60 written works at random from any 1600-year period I think you'd find some that were humorous. And given that the overall narrative of the Bible is a deeply comic one (God graciously and progressively restores order to a damaged and rebellious creation; the leitmotif of life-death-resurrection-glory is fairly prominent, shall we say), we shouldn't be surprised to find some humour colouring that comedy.

If you don't believe me, then read this. And read the Bible itself!

If you are a believer in Jesus, then I hope that considering humour and comedy in Scripture opens your eyes a little wider and deepens your love for God and His Word. If you're not, then I hope it opens your eyes a little wider and shows you more of the deep authenticity and richness of God's revelation - in the Bible, and in His Son, Jesus Christ. The shape of history is comic and hopeful for all who belong to God. And he has spoken to us in many different ways, which correspond to the range of human experiences (including humour!) and expand those experiences.

The Christian faith does not lead to an impoversishment of humanity or culture: on the contrary, as Jesus said, I have come that they may have life, and life to the full.