Enjoy the Bible

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If you can’t find the funny side of what you hold dear, then it must be hard to find anything funny at all. The Bible for instance has a sense of humour. It doesn’t defer from the message of salvation but adds to it to keep people reading, but that is just an opinion.

In the Old Testament you find a lot of funny stories. Those pesky Israelites who kept getting things wrong.  In the book of Judges, the Israelites turn from God so many times. At the start of quite a few chapters it says, “The Israelites did what was evil in the sight of the Lord.” So when I was reading it I was like Oh no. Not again. Don’t they ever learn. Even though it seems a comical way to look at it, the message is quite clear. Yes they did evil in the sight of God, so many times, but God gave them the means to turn back to him and He welcomed them back with open arms. This is a strong look into what the sacrament of reconciliation is like.

If you read chapter 3 of Judges you may find one of the funniest deaths written. We read about Ehud and the death of King Eglon of Moab. Israel had, once again, been naughty in God’s eye and so God strengthened King Elgon to oppress Israel for 18 years. Until God saw that they were truly repentant, He send Ehud to deliver Israel. The one thing we know about Eglon, he “was a very fat man.” (Judges 3: 17). So when Ehud went to make tribute to the king, he said to Eglon that he had a message from God. Eglon asked the servants to leave whilst he listened to Ehud’s revelation. Next Ehud drew a sword and plunged it straight into Eglon’s belly. He thrust it so deep that he couldn’t draw it back. Ehud left the room and locked the door. The servants saw this ad thought that Ehud locked the door so that the king could relieve himself! How strange. They then waited outside until they go embarrassed before entering to find the king dead. From this Israel took strength and conquered Moab and “had rest for eighty years.”  (Judges 3:30)

A quick look into the New Testament now. Look to 1 Timothy 2:12 where it says “I permit no women to teach or to have authority over a man.” Basically what Paul is saying is that he wants women in a certain place. This verse, I feel, says something about women Clergy. For most protestant pastors or vicars dare not teach on Mathew 16:17-19, (Peter the Rock and the institution of the Papacy and Apostolic succession), so it must be really uncomfortable for a women vicar to preach on this verse. It doesn’t make sense. In Saint Pope John Paul II letter, ORDINATIO SACERDOTALIS, he reminds the Church that, “She holds that it is not admissible to ordain women to the priesthood, for very fundamental reasons. These reasons include: the example recorded in the Sacred Scriptures of Christ choosing his Apostles only from among men; the constant practice of the Church, which has imitated Christ in choosing only men; and her living teaching authority which has consistently held that the exclusion of women from the priesthood is in accordance with God’s plan for his Church.”

On a lighter note we find in the Old Testament, that we must not mess with Elisha or Bald people. For in 2 Kings 2:23-24, we see what happens when we do. Elisha was on his way to Bethel when some young boys came out of the City to jeer at him. They were saying “Go away Baldhead! Go away Baldhead!” When Elisha looked at them, he cursed them in the name of the Lord. “Then two she-bears came out of the woods an mauled 42 of the boys” (Verse 24). Now if Douglas Adams was looking for the Ultimate question in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, and the answer is 42 he should look to the bible. How many young men can two she-bears attack if you annoy a Bald-headed man?

If you look at Deuteronomy and Leviticus, they are full of strange rules and laws. Some are really bizarre. For example, look to Deuteronomy 25:11-12 it clearly states that “If men get into a fight with one another, and the wife of one intervenes to rescue her husband from the grip of his opponent by reaching out and seizing his genitals, you shall cut off her hand!” The writer then adds, “show no pity.”

As you can see that the Bible can be a funny bunch of books to read sometimes. If you want to find something that helps your relationship with God then you will defiantly find it in the Bible, but the Bible has small snippets of humour to keep you smiling whilst you do it. For this is what Shakespeare did in his Tragedies, he wrote comedic parts to keep his audience entertained. For example, the porter in Macbeth and the gravediggers in Hamlet. The Bible is similar it offers Spiritual Entertainment.

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