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The Humor of Christ Paperback – August 1, 1975


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Harper & Row (August 1975)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060686324
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060686321
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.2 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #616,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Shows how Christ used humor in his teachings to bring a fuller appreciation of the Gospel message.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 53 people found the following review helpful By R. Wallace on December 24, 1999
Format: Paperback
A very slim, easily readable volume in which Trueblood carefully goes through every saying of Jesus's in the New Testament and argues that many of them are humorous, often very witty sayings. For example, he argues that the saying that looking at someone with lust in your heart is the same as committing adultery was not meant to be taken as literally true. What Jesus was doing was mocking the arrogant and self-righteous of his age, who considered themselves as so superior that they were beyond mere lust. In our age own, everyone is familiar with certain preachers who act as if they are beyond all sexual temptation or desire...then get caught with hookers. (Apparently human nature doesn't change.) Another instance that Trueblood writes about is the curious exchange between Jesus and a woman whom he refuses to cure, insulting her with the comment, "It isn't right to give the children's food to the dogs." On the surface, this is an appalling comment. Trueblood argues Jesus was teasing her, and that she bested him by coming back with, "Yes, but even the dogs can eat the scraps that fall from the table." I can imagine the smile on his face as he says, "If you can give me an answer like that, I will cure you." This book is an eye-opener for those who have been curious as to why so many of Jesus's sayings didn't make much sense...unless you see them as wit.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a profound book. The whole body of Christ needs it desperately. Its point is simple and beautiful: Christ used humor and irony in his teachings. Not all (or even most) of his statements are meant to be taken literally. The other reviewer gave two of the best examples--the "foreign dogs" thing was actually teasing, and the "lust is adultery" thing is actually meant to mock excessive righteousness, not literally tell people that lust *is* adultery. This could and should bring about major changes and clarifications in our understanding of Christ's message, and it is badly overdue. As he himself said to his disciples (paraphrased), "Can't you people see I'm not talking about bread?" He wants us to understand him. This book is a major help in that purpose.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By John Fuller on July 1, 2002
Format: Paperback
When I spotted this book on my library's shelf, I was immediately intrigued by its title, having shortly before noted a major toning-down of sarcasm on Christ's part in the NIV translation of John 16:31. Trueblood's book is as intriguing as its title, although it tends to a rather serious tone, an irony given the nature of the subject matter. He perhaps goes a little too far on occasion, finding humor where none may be intended, but the book is worthwhile for its original analysis of the parable of the unjust steward in Luke alone. It is also an easy read for a work of evident scholarship.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Nathaniel Firethorn on August 9, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I came across a reference to Trueblood's book in "No More Christian Nice Guy," and immediately had to have it. A lot of what Jesus says in the Gospels can range from baffling to rude -- if you mistakenly deprive him of one of his best evangelistic tools, his wonderful sense of wry wit. There is some reading between the lines, and perhaps Trueblood pushes one or two points too hard. But I'm convinced that this book, and a sense of humor, has helped me to unlock some of the more difficult parts of the Synoptic Gospels.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. McNair Wilson on March 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Theologian Elton Trueblood looks at the various (and numerous) forms of humor found in the Old and New Testaments while examining why we have missed or avoided it. This book is thoughtful enough for ministry professionals and engaging and easy to read for the lay person.

It all comes down to the idea that if we mist Christ's humor we will (and have) miss his point.

I have read this book at least three times and keep giving it away. There are other books on humor in the Bible and I have read several. This is my favorite.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dennis A. Hooker on November 10, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had this book years ago and lost it. Now, I bought it again as reference for a book I'm writing, "Jesus - The Man (What a Guy!)" The Humor of Christ is not a "funny" book or book of jokes told by Jesus. I take that back - so much of what He said was said "tongue in cheek" but full of Truths. In spite of what we have been told and taught, Jesus told stories - parables, things that were full of irony and various lighter ways to present what we otherwise would overlook or forget. (ie Who can remember the 10 Commandments? - but who can forget the prodigal's son? or man alongside the road, beaten and neglected by all the holy and righteous - but rescued by a plain, simple man with a heart?)

I sometimes fall asleep reading Humor of Christ - but usually go "Wow, I didn't understand that before!" One discovers the meaning of stories that once were obscure - by seeing that they were said with that subtle humor Jesus was a Master at(no pun intended).

I highly recommend this book - it's been around for ages - and will continue to be, I'm sure.

[...]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jacquelyn E. Smith on July 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This little book changed the way I view Jesus as I read the New Testament, as well as how I view life. Seeing the light touch that Jesus often used in dealing with difficult people and circumstances helps me to try to do the same thing.

I am not afraid to smile, or even laugh out loud, as I read the Bible as I have found much more humor - a light touch - there than I did prior to reading this gem.

It helps to appreciate humor more with the realization that it is how joy can be manifested in our lives.

A humorless Christ (or Christian) is, indeed, an oxymoron. And Jesus was like His Father.

(Ron Smith, husband of Jackie)
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