A Christian author’s account of humorous stories from the Bible.
The Old and New Testaments have plenty of moments of violence, betrayal, and tragedy, so it may at first seem like a nearly impossible task to enumerate its humorous moments. But Reese (Victorious!, 2017) is nothing if not persistent, and she adopts a jocular tone as she relates various biblical tales in a lighthearted way. When she retells the story of Jonah, for instance, and gets to the point where he stubbornly refuses to prophesy to Nineveh, she writes, “I believe God probably found Jonah’s theatrics comical as well as pitiful, which is why He didn’t wring his stiff little neck and put him in his place.” In writing about Elijah, she describes his struggles against Baal as “more exhausting than John Wick’s fight scenes.” And when she’s writing about rare instances of actual humor in the Bible, such as a scene in which St. Paul literally talks a man named Eutychus to death, her prose is particularly enthusiastic: “He was also a notoriously incessant talker,” she writes. “Yep, you heard right. He was a ‘chatterbox’, ‘motormouth’, ‘chatty-Cathy’, ‘gum-flapper’ aka ‘Sir Talks-a lot’.” This has a cumulative cheering effect, and Reese broadens it in several ways; she includes detailed, colored maps to illustrate the stories, and her textual commentaries skillfully find deeper lessons in them. About the travails of Tamar, for instance, she writes, “One lesson learned here is, don’t let anyone come between you and your dreams because God’s got big plans for you if you’re bold enough to take it.” About Samson, she points out that he acts without fear and tells readers that “we all should ask God for this type of courage in similar situations.” Christian parents will particularly enjoy sharing this book with their children.
Unexpectedly sunny versions of some of Scripture’s most famous narratives with some useful takeaways.