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And God Created Laughter: The Bible as Divine Comedy Paperback – November 1, 1988
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Fear not, it does not treat the Bible as a joke book but rather more akin to a great Shakespearean comedy/tragedy. The author notes that the main difference between Shakespeare's tragedies and comedies is that while the tragedies usually focus on grand historical personages and preserve distinctions, the comedies level society and group people together, which he believes is the true spirit of the Bible.
The analysis is very serious, even as he focuses on the comic and ironic elements of some favorite Bible stories. His analysis of the Book of Jonah is truly brilliant, as he demonstrates the many absurd elements seen in the textual account of Jonah running away from God's call to preach mercy to Israel's mortal enemy the Assyrians. (This would be comparable to a Jew receiving a Divine summons to travel to Berlin in the midst of World War II to preach repentance and mercy to Hitler!)
I cannot recommend this book enough. It is a truly great blessing and full of memorable ideas and insights. Especially for those who have become jaded by Biblical fundamentalism, this book comes as a very welcome relief. It will restore admiration and appreciation for the Biblical story in even the most cynical and jaded hearts (as it did for me).
Shalom baShem Yeshua - Peace in Jesus' Name!