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January 25th, 2012
12:52 PM ET

My take: Reclaiming Jesus’ sense of humor

Editor’s note: James Martin, SJ, is a Jesuit priest, culture editor of America magazine and author of "Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor, and Laughter are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life," from which this article is adapted.

By James Martin, Special to CNN

Here’s a serious question about levity: The Bible clearly paints a picture of Jesus of Nazareth as a clever guy, but he never seems to laugh, much less crack a smile. Did Jesus really have no sense of humor; didn't he ever laugh?

Well, one difficulty with finding humor in the New Testament is that what was seen as funny to those living in Jesus' time may not seem funny to us.

For someone in first-century Palestine, the premise (or “setup” as a comic would say) was probably more amusing than the punch line. "The parables were amusing in their exaggeration or hyperbole," Amy-Jill Levine, a New Testament scholar at Vanderbilt University, said in an interview. “The idea that a mustard seed would have sprouted into a big bush that birds would build their nests in would be humorous."

People in Jesus’ day would probably have laughed at many of his intentionally funny illustrations: for example, the idea that someone would have lit a lamp and put it under a basket, or that a person would have built a house on sand or that a father would give a child stones instead of bread.

But contemporary Christians may be missing the humor that Jesus intended and that his audience understood.

Father Daniel J. Harrington, SJ, professor of New Testament at Boston College, agrees. "Humor is very culture bound," he told me. "The Gospels have a lot of controversy stories and honor-shame situations. I suspect that the early readers found these stories hilarious, whereas we in a very different social setting miss the point entirely."

Let’s repeat that: hilarious.

Or maybe we just know the stories too well. Too many Gospel stories have become stale, like overly repeated jokes. "The words seem to us like old coins," wrote Elton Trueblood, a 20th-century Quaker scholar, "in which the edges have been worn smooth and the engravings have become almost indistinguishable."

In his book "The Humor of Christ," Trueblood recounts the tale of his 4-year-old son hearing the Gospel story of seeing the speck of dust in your neighbor's eye and ignoring the log in your own and laughing uproariously. His son recognized the humor that someone else, who might have heard the story dozens of times, might miss.

There are other indications in the Gospels that Jesus of Nazareth had a lively sense of humor. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus is castigated for not being as serious as John the Baptist. "The Son of Man came eating and drinking," Jesus said, "and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard.’ ” In other words, the Gospels record criticism of Jesus for being too high-spirited.

"Jesus and his disciples," said the Rev. Richard J. Clifford, SJ, a biblical scholar at Boston College, "are criticized for living it up!"

After his time on Earth, some of this playfulness may have been downplayed by the Gospel writers, who, scholars say, may have felt pressured by the standards of their day to present a more serious Jesus.

"There were probably things that were compressed and shortened, and some of the humor may have been leached out," Clifford said. "But I see Jesus as a witty fellow, someone who is serious without being grim. When the disciples argue among themselves, Jesus brings wit into the discussion."

Jesus also embraces others with a sense of humor. In the beginning of the Gospel of John comes the remarkable story of Nathanael, who has been told by his friends that the Messiah is from Nazareth. Nathanael responds, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?"

This is an obvious joke about how backwards the town was; Nazareth was seen as a backwater with only a few hundred people.

And what did Jesus say in response? Does he castigate Nathanael for mocking his hometown?

Jesus says nothing of the sort! Nathanael's humor seems to delight him.

"Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit," Jesus said. In other words, here’s someone I can trust.

Nathanael then became one of the apostles. Jesus’ welcoming of Nathanael into his inner circle may be the clearest indication that Jesus had a sense of humor.

Besides, what kind of a person has zero sense of humor? I asked Eileen Russell, a clinical psychologist based in New York who specializes in the role of resilience, how she would describe the psychological makeup of a person without a sense of humor.

“A person without a sense of humor would lead to that person having significant social problems,” she said. “He would most likely have difficulty making social connections, because he wouldn’t be able to read signals from other people, and would be missing cues.”

That’s the opposite of what we know about Jesus from the Gospels. Yet that's just the kind of one-sided image that many Christians have of Jesus. It shows up in Christian books, sermons and in artwork. It influences the way that Christians think about Jesus, and therefore influences their lives as Christians.

If part of being human includes having a sense of humor, and if Jesus was “fully human,” as Christians believe, he must have had a fully developed sense of humor. Indeed, his sense of humor may be one unexamined reason for his ability to draw so many disciples around him with ease.

It’s time to set aside the notion that Jesus was a humorless, grim-faced, dour, unsmiling prude. Let’s begin to recover his humor and, in the process, his humanity.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Catholic Church • TV

soundoff (1,367 Responses)
  1. ReligionIs4Dolts

    Matthew 24:34, Jesus said:) "Verily, I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled."

    - Jesus said that he was "COMING RIGHT BACK!" Now that WAS funny! I'd say his generation is already dust.

    January 25, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
  2. ReligionIs4Dolts

    "Blessed are the cheesemakers" and "Blessed are the Greek"

    January 25, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • ReligionIs4Dolts

      I should properly accredit these quotes to Monty Python's "Life of Brian"

      January 25, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
  3. Peter

    Religious nuts fantasized an entire being into existence, may as well fantasize what kind of sense of humor he had. Eye roll...

    January 25, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • dave

      another obnoxious atheist eye roll

      January 25, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • Chris R

      Actually, it's very likely that there was a historical figure named Jesus that led a reform movement and was crucified. The question isn't so much if this person existed but if this person was God (logos) made flesh. You can say God doesn't exists but when you get right down to it Jesus, man or divine, had some decent things to say about how we shoudl treat each other. An athiest shouldn't have any problem recognizing that.

      January 25, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • Ame

      Regardless if someone believes Jesus was the Son of God or not, I would hope they would admire Jesus as a man of true integrity. Just denying his existence on Earth for the sake of simplicity is strange to me.

      January 25, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • Steven

      I love the irony of a "Peter" denying G-d. Maybe he'll do it a few more times before tomorrow morning.

      January 25, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • gene1o

      Cephas – as Jesus would have called you – Petros in Koine Greek – thus Peter; I feel that a man who would call his "chief" disciple "Rocky" probably had a good sense of humor. Unfortunately it seems that in your fanatical belief your are as humor impaired as the fanatical Xtians you hate. I am sorry to say that True Believers of any stripe seem to be unable to see beyond the literal, and so, unable to see the humor in thinking anyone actually KNOWS anything.

      January 25, 2012 at 7:55 pm |
    • Layla

      @Peter: for someone who doesn't believe in God, you have the whole holier-than-thou act down pat. Congratulations.

      January 25, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
  4. urafkntool

    Something I've been seeing on this blog. They say the sign of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting results... I see the Athiests doing the same thing over and over again on every xtian blog and expecting different results.... Sounds fishy to me? lol

    January 25, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Duh

      ". I see the Athiests doing the same thing over and over again on every xtian blog and expecting different results.... Sounds fishy to me?"

      You're prejudice is showing Christians keep posting the same thing over and over again which is why Atheists have to give the same response, they're to stupid to get it. DUH!

      January 25, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • Peter

      you mean, kinda like the religious keep praying to God that he will make this a good world and expecting over and over again that their prayers will be answered but they never are? Kinda like people in poverty who pray for a better life but never get their prayers answered and they continue to pray expecting a different result? Yeah, I know what you mean.

      January 25, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • Lol

      lol youre a riot!

      January 25, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • mickey1313

      So what is the difference between athiests doing the same thing and christians doing the same thing. Christians have murdered people for over 2000 years for not buying the stupid story they are selling. How in the 21st century, with 2000 years of no proof can a whole population be so f-ing stupid? Ill tell you, it is because religous teachings break down your will and leave you an empty shell. Thiests are all jokes, parables of humans desporate to re-gain some of there willpower, but forever denied it because they have given it up to a "higher power".

      January 25, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • urafkntool

      Well, as far as I can see, you're both fricken tools. You for arguin with them and them for arguing with you. See, neither of you can convince the other of anything except each other's evil and insanity. Therefore, I'm goin to say this....

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. You're all nuts.

      January 25, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • Well

      "You for arguin with them and them for arguing with you. See, neither of you can convince the other of anything except each other's evil and insanity."

      It's called entertainment.

      January 25, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • Chris R

      Peter, the goal of prayer in Christianity isn't to 'pray for a better life'. It really isn't. A lot of people think that it is but if you look at the theology you'll see that's a misconception. The role of prayer is to become closer to God and thank God and give It praise. Asking for things from God seems silly – in most every serious theological view God has already given you everything that you need to have a better life (except for grace). The problem is, according to theology, is that most people can't recognize what they have or figure out how ot make use of it.

      January 25, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • Chris R

      Mickey1313, Proof is subjective to many people. You may need a certain kind of proof to make you believe in God. Probably something very material that you can touch and see. Other people don't need that and they feel that they have proof. The odd thing is that a lot of religious people aren't convinced that God exists or that God hears them. Mother Theresa herself faced a lot of doubts but kept her faith in spite of them. That's kind of cool and pushed her to do a lot of realyl incredible things. Look, I have the same problem that you do with the hypocrits and haters hiding behind a mouldy 2000 year old story. How can you say you worship a loving God when you hate everyone around you, right? If Christians tried to live up to their namesake this would be a much better place. However, my disappointment in my co-religionists doens't make me question my own beliefs – it just makes me kind of sad.

      January 25, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • urafkntool

      @well: looks nuts to me. I'm not sure what kind of entertainment you can get out of beating your head against a brick wall. Whether your athiest or not, I just don't see it. Again, to me, you're all nuckin futs!

      January 25, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • Raf Fak

      Nice. A descriptive user name.

      January 25, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
  5. adrifter

    I find all of The Bible hilarious.

    January 25, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
  6. svann

    So, Jesus walks into a bar and says "Ill just have a glass of water".

    January 25, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • Ironicus

      lol

      January 25, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • Staring Horse with Tongue Sticking Out

      So Jesus walks into a bar... (apparently he has not learned the "walk through walls" miracle yet)

      January 25, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
  7. VanHagar

    @George...actually, we don't have to stand up for Christ–His right to judge is His, not ours. But, that is not to say that we should be ashamed of the Gospel. When a nonbeliever feels free to say something utterly unbelievable, I don't believe it is judgmental to cry foul, as long as we do so with compas.sion and truth, and perhaps a little humor.

    January 25, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • Answer

      "say something utterly unbelievable"

      Your bullsh-it. That line says it all.

      January 25, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • Answer

      ===quote
      Alfred E Neuman

      Want to know what is on Gods mind?

      Alfred E Neuman

      Read His book
      ===end

      Honestly tell yourself that these line above are the truth. Can you distinguish divinity? Purely and factually?

      January 25, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • Ironicus

      Yes, what is this "utterly unbelievable" stuff you allude to? I have yet to see you back up your assertions with anything at all.

      January 25, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • Answer

      @VanHagar

      Can you also distinguish if a god is walking upon this earth in actual human form?

      I can honestly tell you how it will be. Honestly – I have put thought into it. It goes without saying that a divine being – this god – will just have no shadows under his feet. Do you know why? answer – because without affecting anything but the light a divine being can show it's presence. So why don't your kind ever think like us atheists.. and come up with good logic?

      The simple explanation is that your kind are limited by religion.

      January 25, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • The Phist

      Why is it that when you farted in the wrong direction, god used to burn your city to the ground or flood the planet and get a whole bunch of guys to r@pe your wife and smash your babies against rocks? But now, you can say or do ANYTHING you want, and not a single peep from the stars? Hmmmmmmm.

      "Because jesus came to take our sins away!!"

      Yeah, I've heard that myth as well, but for those of us that don't repent, you'd think this god of yours wouldn't be such an absentee p@ssy.

      January 25, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • VanHagar

      Ironicus (and Answer)...for starters, how about the standard "Christians are stupid, atheists are brilliant" school of thought that permeates this blog–as well as the various off shoots of "Christians are uneducated, atheists attended Harvard" and "Christians are haters, atheists are respectful" (have you read this blog?). How about the rampant misquote of scripture (see page 2 of this blog where I respond to Staring Horse). How about Colin and Reality's overuse of appeal to authority (as if the NT scholars they repeatedly cite had a monopoly on the truth). Shall I go on, or is that enough "back up" for you Ironicus.

      January 25, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • VanHagar

      Ironicus and Answer–I now refer you to Phist above. Need I say more?

      January 25, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • The Phist

      Refer them to me? Why? Because you can't answer the question?

      Ever read the bible?

      January 25, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • VanHagar

      @phist–what is there to answer? Shall I employ the same useless hyperbole that you rely upon? Ask a legitimate question (in big adult words–please avoid the jr. high debate) and I'll respond as fairly as I can.

      January 25, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • VanHagar

      And no, phist, I've never read the Bible.

      January 25, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • The Phist

      I don't know why you assume I'm in junior high. You're the one that brought me into your argument. I don't know whether you're a christian, mormon, muslim or hindu. Nor do I know if you're being sarcastic in your response to my question about reading the bible.

      And which hyperbole do I rely so heavily upon? Remind me.

      January 25, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • VanHagar

      Phist...my apologies...I assumed you had been tracking the discussion with Ironicus and Answer. Please do so. The junior high remark was for the creative use of the English language. As for the hyperbole–please cite the verse where God burned a city down for farting in the wrong direction. I am a Christian. I have read the bible (so, yes, it was sarcasm). I think that addresses everything.

      January 25, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • Peter

      Blah, blah, blah, Gospel, blah, blah, blah, Jesus, blah, blah, blah, holier than though, blah, blah blah

      January 25, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • The Phist

      The farting comment was obviously exaggeration. But there are plenty of references in the bible where god became angry and had lots and lots of people murdered, to include innocent babies. Then, god suddenly changed its mind and decided it would remove itself completely from the equation by never, ever showing anyone proof that it exists.

      January 25, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • Ironicus

      VanHagar, thanks for responding.
      I note that the hyperbolic and sarcastic responses by you are well within the range of average believability for human actions and hypocritical and ironic as well in that you are engaging in the sort of behavior you say you don't like to see from other people.
      I am ignoring your "utterly unbelievable" as this was used erroneously on your part as you expressed yourself unclearly.

      So you haven't really been supporting your position by being a hypocrite, and I look forward to seeing you fall on your face again and again in the future. Thanks.

      Signed, Ironicus

      p.s. That was me calling you stupid and full of crap.

      January 25, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
  8. Father Guido Sarducci S.J.

    Jeebus DID have a sense of humor.
    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MK0ITXBWpHE&w=640&h=390]

    January 25, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
  9. Staring Horse with Tongue Sticking Out

    Job
    God asks where Satan has been lately (apparently God didn't know), and
    Satan answered saying, "From walking to and fro in the earth, and from
    walking up and down on it." This verse inspired Mark Twain's delightful
    "Letters From the Earth.". 1:7, 2:2

    January 25, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • The Maurey Povich Bible Show

      DIng. Ding. Ding.
      SHWTSO....you are a genius. You just gave me us an answer to VanH's "first cause" argument. (He said it doesn't apply to god because it is supernatural). Well...what about the angels and demons, (Satan) ? They are supernatural, AND had a cause. Oh oh.

      January 25, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • Ironicus

      Yes, VH is lacking in the logic department. Thinking hurts him, I guess. He retreats into his religious dogma and barks.

      January 25, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
  10. George

    I don't understand why the editors can't find real Christians to post articles. Why have these ridiculous articles by so-called "Christians" such as this author and the author of that s.ex book? Can't they find good God-fearing Christians who are learned and moral?

    January 25, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • VanHagar

      George–this really isn't the platform for "Christian articles." Do you really want CNN to decide what a christian article should be anyway? Let's face it, the CNN belief blog is a means to an end–put something at least remotely related to an issue of faith or religion and let the accusations and name calling begin (both side, BTW). If I want to read an article that will really inspire my Christian values, I'll look somewhere else.

      January 25, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • Staring Horse with Tongue Sticking Out

      Because they have enough sense to steer clear of those weirdoes ? Besides, they have you George. You are weird enough for everyone to enjoy.

      January 25, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • Staring Horse with Tongue Sticking Out

      Don't go somewhere else VanHagar! Without you, I won't have any way to guage the stupidity level of the other Christians! It will screw up my whole system!

      January 25, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • Bob

      The confused news network is weird. Looks like someone there is forgetting their meds.

      January 25, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • Observer

      The Jesuits or other God-fearing Christians like them coaxed your ancestors down out of the trees. I'm sure James Martin SJ is competent to speak on this topic.

      January 25, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • Staring Horse with Tongue Sticking Out

      Oh, it just occured to me. Someone probably put an shortcut to this web page on George's desktop for him and it is the only thing he actually knows how to do on his computer. He doesn't know HOW to go to any other web sites. He probably doesn't know a browser from Excel. That is starting to make some sense now...

      January 25, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • Ironicus

      George, nice try but you are too late....I already gave today's award to hippypoet.

      January 25, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • VanHagar

      Staring Horse–Don't worry, I don't plan to go anywhere. If I left, who else would be around to point out that every time you quote scripture, you haven't the slightest idea of what you are writing. (Honestly, where do you come up with this stuff? I never seen anyone (except perhaps C.S.–who I think may be wholly related to you) misquote scripture as much as you do.)

      January 25, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • Staring Horse with Tongue Sticking Out

      VH, of course I am CS and I am glad you are not leaving and you can accuse me of misquoting scripture all you want cherry-picker. It's all in good fun for me.

      January 25, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by George is an instance of the No True Scotsmen fallacy.

      http://www.iep.utm.edu/fallacy/

      January 25, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • George

      @Staring Horse

      I'm here because somebody has to stand up for Christ. You, being an atheist, are lucky you are allowed to post on a belief blog. I belong to several forums where people like you are banned.

      January 25, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • Answer

      @George

      Oh George how do you find the time?

      January 25, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Duh

      "I belong to several forums where people like you are banned."

      Duh, you can't brainwash people if they are being challenged with the real truth, it's why your cult is so dangerous.

      January 25, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • VanHagar

      Staring (or whoever you want to be–you have a fairly identifiable wit)...I look forward to the ongoing discussions. I hope you will feel free to call me to the mat when I cherry pick. I will, without hesitation, agree with you if you're right.

      January 25, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • Ironicus

      Wow, VanHagar, that would put you head and shoulders above most of the religious idiots that post here.
      But at some point you're going to break down on that position, because at the bottom of it all religion is bullshlt.
      That's just the way it is....

      January 25, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • VanHagar

      Ironicus–feel free to keep me honest. If you see me break down, you too should call me on it. I'll give you the same courtesies I give to our name-challenged friend. (I'm not above mistakes. I don't have a degree in theology. I've done my research, but I'm prone to say something stupid like EVERYONE else here.)

      January 25, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • The Phist

      George, you have to stand up for christ? You mean to tell me that the almighty can't stand up for itself? Really? CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE, THE HEAVENS, THE HELL.... can't stand up against a CNN belief blog comment without help from it's beloved little George, savior of the christ.

      January 25, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Ironicus

      Yet you will continue to harp on your fallacious "first cause" argument that goes nowhere and supports nothing of your particular religious sect's beliefs.
      There. I've pointed it out.
      Retreating into unsupported dogma and arbitrary claims of "faith" that are no different from tales of believing in Santa will not work with me – even though you may feel differently. Claiming anything to be "supernatural" and therefore beyond "proof" without a single supporting fact is just intellectually dishonest when you also claim this "supernatural" being does pretty much everything physical...even to the point of "creating" this universe....all without proof or any indication that proof might exist....and again you will claim your "god" does stuff in THIS universe and not a "supernatural" universe...you even claim to have a "relationship" with something you like to say "is supernatural" and impossible to "test"....yet you make the claim and therefore must needs provide proof or be dismissed along with your baseless claims of nonsensical claptrap.

      January 25, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • Ironicus

      Okay, I rambled a bit there, but I hope you get where I'm coming from. At some point your logic is shown to be lacking.

      January 25, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • George

      @The Phist

      Learn about the apostolic charge.

      January 25, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • VanHagar

      Ironicus...fair enough. My "first cause" argument is not an argument in favor of Christianity–never said it was. Rather, it addresses the issue (only) of whether there is a supernatural "event" that defies the universe's law of cause and effect. So, no cherry picking or lack of logic there. The rest of your argument is a jumble of nothingness–I am, frankly, not sure how to respond to it.

      January 25, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • The Phist

      George, learn more about what jesus was quoted as saying in the bible that effectively kills christianity.

      You still fail to see the logic in what I said. A being you believe in creates everything, but can't stand up for itself without the intervention of someone in the comment section of the belief blog.

      January 25, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      George, you are wrong as is so often the case. Take a closer look at the author's picture. He's wearing one of those silly collars that clearly identifies him as a real christian shaman aka charlatan.

      January 25, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • hmm.....

      Wow. For those who are Christians (and therefore have chosen to take that leap of faith in believing in God and committing themselves to following Jesus's example), there sure is a lot of hate in this discussion. Oh in case, I wasn't being clear....I am referring to you George. Would Jesus say what you are saying? Reference New Testament (King James version not New International).

      January 25, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • The Maurey Povich Bible Show

      Van,
      Actually your so-called "first cause" argument isn't really an "argument", because you never intend it to be a "good faith" argument. You knew before you made it that you were going to exempt your "supernatural being" from it. So it was not really an argument. More of a non sequitur. Could you define for us both "something" and "nothing", (as in "something from nothing"), and "existence". Maybe we can go from there. The "first cause" argument is really the lazy argument. "I can't see how it happened, so god must have done it", because I can't think, (right now), of another reason for it".

      January 25, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • mickey1313

      moral christians? are you kiding? the very tenants of the bible are evil as h#ll. The bible is masaginistic, raceist, and out right evil. there are no moral thiestas. Im not saying that all athiests are good, far from it, but they typically use logic which is something lost on thiests.

      January 25, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • VanHagar

      Maurey...respectfully, I disagree. I'd like to chat further, but I'm out for the day. I'll try to pick this one up tomorrow.

      January 25, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
  11. Jesus had about as much sense of humor as a clinically depressed horseshoe crab.

    Not a fun guy...at all.

    January 25, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  12. gupsphoo

    Jesus cured a fig tree for not being in season for him (Matthew 21:18-22). LOL!!!

    January 25, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • gupsphoo

      CURSED

      January 25, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • Reality

      After a thorough analysis of all the passages of the gospels, many contemporary NT scholars have concluded that Matt 21: 18-22 was not said by the historic Jesus. e.g. See Professor Gerd Lundemann's conclusions in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, 217, "...............................In the battle against non-Christian Jews their members took refuge in these wicked condemnations and put them in Jesus' mouth".

      January 25, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
  13. Reality

    This is humorous? More like a sad chapter in the history of humankind!!

    Luther, Calvin, Joseph Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of "pretty wingie/horn-blowing thingie" visits and "prophecies" for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immacu-late co-nceptions).

    Current problems:
    Adulterous preachers, pedophiliac clerics, "propheteering/ profiteering" evangelicals and atonement theology,

    January 25, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      What I find sad is others using the excuse of what other sinners have done as a reason not to curb their own bad behavior.

      Amen.

      January 25, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • Answer

      @HeavenSent

      What I find sad is living a life in lies. That is you.

      January 25, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • Staring Horse with Tongue Sticking Out

      Who did it HeavenSent?? Who did the bad thing. I willl get them HS don't worry. They won't get away with this!! Were they carnal?? They where huh....CARNAL!!!!!!!

      January 25, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • mickey1313

      the heavensent, it is not your job to "feel sad" for anyone. If you were a true christian you would remember Matt (forgot the numbers) "judge not least ye be judged, and let he who is without sin cast the first stone".

      January 25, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Judging Is Believing.

      Yes, and why, even of yourselves, do you not judge what is right? (Luke 12:57)

      What is right?

      The statutes of the Lord are right (Psalm 19:8).

      "For the wicked [man without God] boasts of his heart's desire; he blesses the greedy and renounces the Lord. The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts." Psalm 10:3-4 (i.e. no God-shaped void)

      False Christians (and other non-believers) often tell us it is not right to judge. Some fools hypocritically condemn us for judging (Luke 6:37), and they all hypocritically judge that we judge. When we identify preachers as false teachers leading both themselves and those who follow them (e.g. all the non-believers) to hell, when we declare others as on their way to hell, and especially when we warn them they are lost, we often hear these words (or the equivalent), "Judge not" (Matthew 7:1). Yet, these words are exactly why we judge.

      Jesus said,

      Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. (Matthew 7:1-2)

      To learn more about what Jesus says about judging, read the Bible without your EGO rejecting His truth.

      Amen.

      January 25, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
  14. Lost Satellite Reception

    This topic is about played out. Just kids and trolls. Got anything new CNN?

    January 25, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  15. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    Take time to talk with God today

    January 25, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • Staring Horse with Tongue Sticking Out

      Yeah that's real new Prayer. Thanks.

      January 25, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • yeahalright

      Yes it changes peoples' perception of you as a stable, mature and reasonable person. It's wishful thinking wrapped in mysticism.

      Take time to talk to Harry Potter while you're at it. I'll talk with actual people who can carry a conversation.

      January 25, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • another repentant sinner

      I have conversed with God many times it is to be recomended

      January 25, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • good god gossip

      @another, what do you two talk about? Who got booted from the Bachelor? I'm curious to know what's on the creator of the universe's mind.

      January 25, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • Alfred E Neuman

      Want to know what is on Gods mind?

      January 25, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Alfred E Neuman

      Read His book

      January 25, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Bob

      Great posts! thanks!

      January 25, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • mickey1313

      the concept of your name prooves you are a fool. It is thiesm that is not healthy for childeren. From the forced indocternation to the forced genatal mutalation, thiesm needs to be flat outlawd in all form of PUBLIC life. What a crazy turdball does in there home, I really dont care. But when they are mutalating there infants and the docters will not stand up for it, it is sad and wrong. Christians are animals, and we should treet them like any other verman infestation. If they are so keen on god, then send them to see if he really is up there.

      January 25, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
  16. The Phist

    Some middle eastern guy may or may not have had a sense of humor. Newsworthy.

    January 25, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • George

      I agree with you. This is a fluff piece. The salvation of souls is a deadly serious matter. We should not make light of it.

      January 25, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • Staring Horse with Tongue Sticking Out

      Thank you George! Finally something funny.

      January 25, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • The Phist

      George, come back when you've done some research on what's really in the bible. Stop being ignorant for a change. You'd be amazed how pleasant life is without the guilt trip holding you back.

      January 25, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  17. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    January 25, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • Answer

      Only one line?

      You're slacking. You're usually like cut and pasting 6 line. Poor fool religious idiots can't even do a proper job.
      I guess whoever is paying you isn't watching over you to see if you're really earning your keep. Lazy.

      January 25, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • markusp

      Yeah, right. Care to back up that claim? What are these "other living things" that atheism has a negative effect on? Go ahead and crap in one hand, and say a prayer in the other hand. See which hand gets filled first. Christianity and all of its ridiculous claims indeed does serious damage to children, causing confusion in them. Legitimate science tells us the real age of the earth, yet the bible simply makes up lies, then touts them as truth. Of couse then I shouldn't blame just christians - muslims, jews, buddhists, and all other religions are equally as dangerous, and will be the demise of humankind. We've learned that catholic priests are definitely not healthy for children.

      January 25, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  18. Dr. Martin Von Winklemeyer, PhD Astrophysics & Nuclear Thermodynamics

    I'm smarter than everyone on this board combined! EAT IT CLOWNS!!!!!

    January 25, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Ironicus

      Prove it, punk! (hey hippypoet you'd better watch out I have more awards to give today..)

      January 25, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • Answer

      Spout spout spout. Might as well go whack a mole.

      January 25, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Ironicus

      I'm a Nancy.

      January 25, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • Internet Anonymity is fun

      And I'm a Ph.D in rocket science, anthropology, archaeology, biochemistry. I also have a JD and an M.Eng in underwater basket weaving. Suck it.

      January 25, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • Dr. Pink Wink

      Dr. Martin- Very nice to hear from you again. Care to join us for some tea and crumpets?

      January 25, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • Staring Horse with Tongue Sticking Out

      Are you here to arrest the Duke?

      January 25, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • Ironicus

      If you're smarter than everyone else combined, why are you wasting your time telling us this? I'm calling bullshlt.

      And for the imposter: thanks...you must think I give a rat's ass about being called a "nancy". lol

      January 25, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  19. The 2nd Coming

    Jesus Christ is back. He is announcing his return on YouTube. He will defeat he illuminati and stop the worlds' oppression.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlIdVBJ36fI&w=640&h=390]

    January 25, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • Ironicus

      Great, maybe he can get you religious idiots to shut up about him – no one else seems able to do it...

      January 25, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  20. Dr. Martin Von Winklemeyer, PhD Astrophysics & Nuclear Thermodynamics

    Anyone care to discuss the Thermotetrahyne theory regarding relativity?

    January 25, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • booboo

      if its not gonna bridge the gap between g relativity and q mechanics its a waste. lets get some string theory on up in here

      January 25, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Observer

      Lawrence Krauss took away the mojo from string theory. He's a smart guy, really.

      January 25, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • Ironicus

      Because staying on topic is so gauche...right...

      January 25, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • Staring Horse with Tongue Sticking Out

      Sure doc, knock yourself out.

      January 25, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.