a baptist perspective


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Jason Sampler
New Orleans, Louisiana

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B.A. History Education, SWOSU
M.A. Theology, NOBTS
Th.M. Theology, NOBTS

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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Humor in the Scriptures [Updated]

Sometimes I'm amazed at funny little parts of Scripture. Have you ever been reading along and noticed that sometimes something's just not right with the picture?

A funny passage I ran across the other day in my Bible reading time is found in Acts 23. If anything, it's a lesson in learning what kind of promises to make. After Paul is arrested in Jerusalem for causing a 'disturbance' in the Temple, he is put in jail. While in jail, v. 12-13 teach that more than 40 men bound themselves to an oath, "saying they would entire eat nor drink until they had killed Paul." The only problem with their plan was that Paul's nephew heard about the plot and told the Roman officials. So, late in the night, the transported Paul from Jerusalem to Caesarea, under the protection of governor Felix. It turns out that the men were never able to accomplish their goal of killing Paul. So I wonder, how long did they keep their oath? Did they all end up dying of a 'hunger strike'? I seriously doubt it. Did some give up sooner than others? Probably. If so, did those who held out longer pick on them for being sissies? Maybe. I doubt we'll ever know. I think it's funny, though.

To be honest, there's no agenda for this post. The moral, maybe, is that you should be careful what you promise; you may not be able to deliver. Sometimes, I'm just struck with the occasional humor of the Scriptures. I hope you are as well.

[Update: Some of you have already contributed your 'funny Scripture passage'. If others have examples they would like to post, please do. I love that there are many of these passages in the Bible that most of us skim over without ever noticing. We need to be reminded of such humor. It helps us remember that, although the authors of Scripture were inspired, and their writings inerrant, they were also humans just like we are. They record the silly stuff and it reminds us that the saints of old are often times no better than the saints of now.]

posted by Jason Sampler at 10:07 AM


Blogger D.R. said...

My favorite "humor" passage in the Bible is in Genesis when Aaron casts the golden idol and proceeds to tell Moses that he just threw the gold in the fire and "out popped this idol." I am sure Moses wasn't buying it.

1:38 PM, January 25, 2006  
Blogger Jason Sampler said...


I love you too much to let this one slide. I don't know what Bible you're reading from, but the last time I checked, that event happened in Exodus, not Genesis. Is this the reason your blog is titled "Christ and Culture" instead of "I Read My Bible Lots"? Love ya man.

1:39 PM, January 25, 2006  
Blogger Lot said...

d.r. ... OUCH! ... duuuude!! ... gotta hate them rookie mistakes! ...

Glad to see ya back and rested Jason.


2:55 PM, January 25, 2006  
Blogger D.R. said...

Oh, yeah, I messed that one up! Ha, Ha. Thats what I get for trying to write responses to blogs while playing online poker!

3:29 PM, January 25, 2006  
Blogger Kiki Cherry said...

I was reading in Isaiah 20, and about fell over when God asked Isaiah to run around butt naked for three years. Can you imagine what the people thought when their prophet started streaking through town?

And all I could think of was dissenter's suggestion from Wade's website.

4:43 PM, January 25, 2006  
Blogger Wes Kenney said...

For humor, I find it's hard to beat Ecclesiastes:

and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be. -Ecclesiastes 10:3b (KJV)

Wherever you go, there you are...

8:47 PM, January 25, 2006  
Blogger Lot said...

d.r. — ... GASP! ... You oughtta be ashamed of yourself! ... writing responses to blogs while playing poker! ... Don't you know its the LORD's money? Wisdom dictates that you wait until after you've finished your hand to write responses!

Today its a slip of the tongue/finger(s). Tomorrow it just may be God's $200! Its all fun and games until your wife's lookin' for the grocery money! (... or YOU'RE looking for your wife's grocery money ...)

Pay attention to the task at hand! And blog in your spare time. :)

Hit me!


12:37 AM, January 26, 2006  
Blogger D.R. said...

It's hard to lose that grocery money when you only compete for play money. The worst I can lose then is my pride when I get busted on a straight bluff.

3:48 AM, January 26, 2006  
Blogger Jason Sampler said...


Thanks for the post. That's a great one, though I think you mean Eccl. 11.3b (were you playing online poker at the time of your post as well or is that 'excuse' reserved for D.R. only?)

9:54 AM, January 26, 2006  
Blogger John Stickley said...

Personally, I enjoy the NIV Bible. When I first ran across Ecclesiastes 10:2 when reading from that translation, I couldn't help but think politics and laugh...

"The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left."

See? Biblical support for conservatism... :)

11:05 AM, January 26, 2006  
Anonymous Chad H. said...

I like the way the NIV translates Exe 23:20--Now that is funny I don't care who you are. I just wonder what the hell the translators were thinking when they wrote that one.

12:35 PM, January 26, 2006  
Anonymous Lots said...


Do you really believe the Bible is inerrant? If so, how can you honestly, and intellectualy argue for such a strawman fallacy? The scriptures clearly indicate the inspiration of scripture whereas inerrancy is absent. Come on my PhD man, you should have learned that in your master's work.

12:53 PM, January 26, 2006  
Blogger Jason Sampler said...

Not sure what you are getting at with Ex 23.20. Did you, perhaps, mistype the reference?

I see a direct correlation between inspiration and inerrancy. To the level that God inspired the writers, He also directed the inerrancy of the original autographs. (pause for you to rip me about the difference between autographs and our copies; more pause as I direct you to the Chicago Statement of Inerrancy, which, i'm sure, you are already familiar with). I have a high affinity for Millard Erickson's position on the issue of inerrancy.

Finally, and i'm not accusing you of this, but your argument seems to be that since 'inerrancy' isn't a term used or argued for in the Bible, then it is without warrant. In that case, axe the trinity, the hypostatic union of christ, and all other ecumenical council decisions regarding terms/concepts not explicitly displayed in the text.

1:16 PM, January 26, 2006  
Anonymous Chad H. said...


I was referring to Ezekiel 23:20.

1:44 PM, January 26, 2006  
Blogger Wes Kenney said...

At least I got the book right...

3:03 PM, January 26, 2006  
Blogger D.R. said...

Jason, first, I think Lots is messing with you (cause its so easy) and second what you meant to say is that Stan Norman said it, you believe it, and that settles it (see what I mean about easy).

4:49 PM, January 26, 2006  

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The views presented on this blog do not represent the opinions or positions of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, the SBC, any local, or state Baptist association, or of Edgewater Baptist Church. The views represented here are solely the personal views of the author. Also, it should be made public that I am a rabid University of Oklahoma sports fan . . . BOOMER SOONER!


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