John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton
jheaton

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Big laffs from the Bible

Today in church we celebrated the Baptism of the Lord, so of course the Gospel reading was the story of John the Baptist baptizing Jesus in the waters of the Jordan River. This event is mentioned in all four of the Gospels; we're in Year B of the Revised Common Lectionary, so this year the reading was from Mark 1:4-11. Which is a pity, because the version of the story found in Matthew and Luke gets my vote for the funniest part of the Bible. The funny part is in verses 7-8 of Luke 3 or verses 7-9 of Matthew 3. (Verse 7 in the former is verses 7 and 8 in the latter, for some reason). This is the version from Luke:

John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our ancestor'; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham."

Hilarious, right? It helps if you keep in mind that John the Baptist was a crazy man who lived in the desert and ate bugs, and read it in the kind of voice someone like that would use. I imagine him saying "We have Abraham as our ancestor" in a high-pitched, nasally tone, like you would if you were mocking something someone had just said. And the part about the stones should be super-sarcastic and dismissive. Like this! See? Funny.

Tags: religion
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