Full Text

Ancient Biblical Satire

Thomas Jemielity


Subject Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405119559.2007.00005.x


Extract

He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. (Psalm 2: 4, Authorized Version ) Asked to name the world's funniest book, few would mention the Bible. Yet, somewhat perversely perhaps, I have for many years thought that one of the funniest scenes I have ever read occurs in the Gospel of John when Jesus has a lengthy conversation with the Samaritan woman at a well where she has come to draw water (John 4: 4 — 42). The woman is amazed that Jesus should ask her for a drink, since, as John notes, “Jews and Samaritans … do not use vessels in common” (4: 9). When Jesus asks her to get her husband and return, she says, “I have no husband” (4: 17). Jesus agrees, but adds, with an intense look most likely, “although you have had five husbands, the man with whom you are now living is not your husband” (4: 18). To which the Samaritan woman replies, “Sir… I can see that you are a prophet” (4: 19). From my high-school days, I have always found that a very funny response, an apparently thorough non sequitur covering an embarrassing moment in a talk that has turned decidedly personal and intimate. At an older period of my life, I know now that the woman's comments were not as off the point as I had once thought. Like many readers of the Bible, I had assumed that a prophet was in the business of prediction, foretelling the future. What could the Samaritan woman ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:

 

     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.


[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top