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Allowing for God to Use Humor and Figures of Speech — 9 Comments

  1. Love this, sometimes we fall into the trap of believing since Jesus is holy He has to be eternally solemn, when I can only imagine Jesus being the most bubbly character that ever lived, full of playfulness, joy, as well as gentleness. "Come follow me, and I will make you fish for people" I can see Him amused at the play on words.

    tbh I can imagine that /at times/ even his rebukes to the Pharisees were lighthearted and non-scathing. Crazy to think this directly reflects the Father's nature too.

    Zeph 3:17

    • I appreciate this article on language in the Bible, it is something worth our time to think about. But in the case of Micaiah the prophet, he did in fact lie, because he later told the truth. Every other case you presented was about Christ Himself speaking and those cases seem plausible. But how do we take what a man says and say that God was speaking through him sarcastically? I believe that was Micaiah's personality and not God's in that case. Enjoyed the article!

      I am glad that there is a forum where we can share our thoughts with each other respectfully and without cruel criticism's or acts. God Bless!

      • I don't think Micaiah was lying because Ahab's comment after showed he didn't believe him. He could tell that he was likely imitating the false prophets in a sarcastic way. I think he was trying to show him "You aren't going to listen to me anyway, so I'll just give you what you want to hear."

        • Thank you Christina, that is an interesting point you mentioned. I will take that into consideration and revisit it.

  2. Jesus had a personality like all of us because He also was flesh, but He did not sin. He allowed His expressed personality to be included in His communication with others when helpful to convey an underlying spiritual Truth. I use exclusively the KJV and compare the scripture verses referenced in the blogs with the KJV.

    When reading God's Word and in order to help me understand the correct meaning of a verse, I find it always helpful to include the whole chapter, or at least verses before and after the verse I have difficulties with. This establishes context.

    After reading the chapter of each verse refered to, I had no problem understanding the verse's implied meaning and what the overall message intended to convey.
    Not every verse can stand on its own, and without context, we often do not receive "the rest of the story'! 🙂

  3. Nicely said, William. As soon as I began reading your article, I found myself wholeheartedly agreeing with your point. Jesus and the Bible have often used figures of speech. We can reach all kinds of erroneous conclusions if we get too excited by an overly literal interpretation, or by how a surface reading strikes us.

    You found some excellent examples. Beyond these, we have such passages as Revelation 20:10 or II Timothy 2:12-15. The way these have come to us in an ancient language, and the way they've been translated into English, they could be downright misleading unless we reexamine them in their immediate context and in the larger context of Scripture.

    In regard to some of your examples, I think a bit more explanation might be helpful in providing a clearer picture of what was going on.

    Throughout the entire event, Micaiah was very intentional in stating that he would only speak the words that God gave him. So, when he told Ahab to "go and prosper," he was not merely freelancing sarcasm to no particular purpose. Ahab had mentioned Micaiah in response to Jehosaphat's request for a true prophet of Jehovah, yet he complained that he hated Micaiah for not prophesying good things concerning him. This shows that Ahab's complaint was really against the God who had spoken through His prophet. So God, through Micaiah, now told Ahab what he wanted to hear. Hypothetically, Ahab could have taken God at his word by going to war and winning, but God knew he wouldn't. Obviously, Ahab knew that he was out of favour with God, and that this was entirely his own fault. Thus God outwitted Ahab by making his perversity clearly evident to any thoughtful observer, prior to Ahab's destruction.

    In regard to Jesus and His brothers, the only manuscripts available to us are copies of copies of copies. This is a textual variation between the existing manuscripts, which are correctly translated into English by either including or omitting the word "yet." If the "yet" is included, the passage makes no sense. Jesus certainly did not intend to inform His brothers that He was planning to go to the feast later on. Obviously, some copyist added the "yet" in a misguided effort to avoid making Jesus look like a liar.

    You stated that Jesus did not intend to mislead His brothers. I agree. He was merely stating the fact that, as of that moment, He had no plans for attending the feast. To interpret His statement as a promise not to attend the feast would be an example of reading something unintended into the passage. The truth is that Jesus never planned for Himself. He allowed the Father to guide Him at every step. That's the whole point of the contrast that He was drawing between Himself and His brothers. So it's not that Jesus changed His mind. It's that the Father changed Jesus' plans for Him, after those unbelieving brothers had gone on their way.

    At the Cana wedding feast, Jesus had gently and respectfully let His mother know that He was not accountable to her for His actions. Now He is doing the same for His older brothers. A part of His explanation includes a discussion of timing, which explicitly leaves open the possibility of His going to the feast later, if the Father so guides Him.

    There is a beauty in the Scriptures, that only the Holy Spirit can reveal to us.

  4. I like this article on the bible and humour.
    The author says "It is good for us to study and diligently search the Scriptures instead of just casually reading them. At the same time I think we sometimes make mistakes by being a little too intense in interpreting Scripture. Does that make sense?"
    I partially agree. I agree that "we sometimes make mistakes by being a little too intense in interpreting Scripture."
    I think sometime we should just causally read the bible.
    Don't try to figure everything out.
    At the most basic level the bible is a book. You buy it from a book store. It can, and at times should be treated as a book to be read with enjoyment, rather than for interpretation.
    Read it for the comedy: Rachel's response to Laban about the stolen images Gen 31:35
    Read it for the science fiction: Jacob trying to breed strong
    speckled goats and sheep Gen 30:39
    Read it for the incredible romance: A woman willing to share her husband for mandrakes:Gen 30:14 Really these better be great mandrakes!!!
    Read it for the horror stories: A witch brings Samuel up from the dead: 1 Samuel 28.
    My point is: enjoy the book, at the end of the day it is also a book filled with stories: Witches, lions, bears, a man eaten by a fish, a talking donkey, a talking snake, a man who could walk on water, best of all a man who is sheltering under a "vine," meanwhile the vine it totally being eaten by a worm / Caterpillar. Come on you gotta love stuff like that!!

  5. Has anyone “watched” the series “The Chosen”? (The application for this series can be downloaded at no cost to the viewer). The story behind this series of the ministry and personalities involved with the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth is filled with the evidence of God’s blessings. And the depictions of Jesus are life-like...meeting children while he was camping, soon to begin His ministry; cleaning His teeth and washing His feet preparing for bed; bandaging a wound on His arm; applying His crafting talents; healing Mary from demonic oppression; inviting Nicodemus to join Him on His ministry journey, and the heartache of Nicodemus wanting to be part of the ministry of the Messiah, but so overcome with his own responsibilities...; and Matthew...you will all love Matthew.
    The Chosen is funded by anyone willing to “pay-it-forward” for others after having viewed the series or episodes. This has become available worldwide (with internet access) and has been viewed by over 50 million viewers.
    The point of this comment? The “Word” is going out, for free, to anyone with internet access...is it time for True Believers to follow-up?


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