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The Humor of Christ: A Bold Challenge to the Traditional Stereotype of a Somber, Gloomy Christ

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  105 ratings  ·  19 reviews
The Humor of Christ inspires Christians to redraw their pictures of Christ and to add a persistent biblical detail, the note of humor. Throughout the Gospels, Christ employed humor for the sake of truth and many of his teachings, when seen in this light, become brilliantly clear for the first time. Irony, satire, paradox, even laughter itself help clarify Christ's famous p ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published August 1st 1975 by Harper & Row (first published 1964)
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Iris Odelle
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was really excited to read this book when I discovered it at our church library. Being a rather jokey person myself, I tend to see the humor in the Bible more than the average Joe, so I enjoyed finding someone who agreed with me and had done a lot of research. It reads something like a long essay, split into chapters, but was still very interesting and easy to read, when I wasn't distracted. What I found best about the book was that it made Jesus seem more like a real person, not just an idea ...more
Dean Summers
Jun 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bible, biography
Elton Trueblood has tackled a difficult, neglected, but vital topic for understanding the Bible in general and Jesus in particular. Humor does not always survive intact from one culture to another. When you’re pouring over a printed text translated from an ancient dialect, enshrined as Sacred Scripture, the chances of ever getting the punch line are slim indeed. Small wonder that so many people are left with the impression that the Bible is a dull, humorless book, and that Jesus is a dull, humor ...more
Mark Oppenlander
May 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: theology, quaker
Here is another book I rescued from a stack of donations to the SPU Library that were on their way to be discarded or destroyed (and before anyone protests, this is usually done only because one or more copies of the donated book are already held in SPU's general collection). I grabbed this slim volume from the stack because it was free, because the title intrigued me and because I recognized the author, Elton Trueblood, as a well-known 20th century Quaker theologian.

Although I enjoyed the book,
Mar 19, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: faith
It took me a while to get through this book because it's very scholarly, but I'm glad I read it. It's an analysis of Jesus' wit and humor in the Gospels. Like the author, I feel that this side of His personality (for lack of a better word) is seriously under-studied. The prevailing attitude is that every word Jesus said was completely serious and intense, and that just isn't the case! It's encouraging to be reminded that He laughed too. ...more
Jason Blean
Feb 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was hard work at first. The style of writing appears, ironically, rather dry and academic for a book of this title, and uses language from the early 60s which today appears archaic. But if you can get past that, it is well worth persevering, as Trueblood shows real insight, vigorous scholarship and asks many pertinent and appropriate questions on some of the most difficult passages about Christ found in the Gospels. His line of enquiry yields rather abundant fruit, in terms of throwing ...more
Brandon H.
Although this is a fairly short book, it wasn't the easiest read. But like other reviewers have stated, I'm glad I finished it. The author sought to show Christ's humor which is often lost in Christendom these days. Overall, I think the author succeeded in his objective. There were a couple of places where I thought the author read humor into stories and the words of Christ where it wasn't present but at the same time, he did open my eyes to see Christ's humor in places I had missed. Jesus did u ...more
Tim Ogle
Sep 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoy Trueblood’s work. This book is good but it takes fortitude to stick with. His points of Jesus’ humor are well articulated and founded.

It’s a bit of a struggle because we tend to think of Christ being “above” humor.
May 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian
I read an autographed copy given to me by my parents. This book was like listening to someone explain a joke that you didn't get, not very fun, but it explores an aspect of Jesus' ministry that apparently was prominent, but we tend to ignore. It will make me view the gospels differently. ...more
Melinda Griffith
Oct 30, 2019 rated it liked it
This perspective is essential in some of the readings of the gospels.
The book is better than was my reading of it.
Sep 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Oddly, this book has the best description of Pharisees that I have ever read. I was impressed.
Nate Perrin
Mar 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I have a professor who was mentored by Trueblood himself. I see a lot of Trueblood's thoughts lived on through this man. That being said, I think this is a good book - but it feels like at some points that it's digging for places that aren't totally there. There was also nothing that I would say is memorable from the book itself. Then again, I'm used to the idea that Jesus had a sense of humor because that was just a part of His humanity as well as His divinity.
However, this is a good book to a
Jacob O'connor
Oct 17, 2013 rated it liked it
"I'm the way the truth and the life."  Just kidding!

Several months ago a friend of mine talked me into reading the books Anne Rice wrote about Jesus’s early life.  One of the best things about those books was how it got me thinking.  I've never considered that Jesus has a personality! 

In The Humor of Christ, Elton Trueblood issues another challenge.  Might Christ have had a sense of humor? Full disclosure - I don't usually read the Gospels that way.  By default, I've always imagined Him as the s
Paul J
Mar 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Would you believe I have had this book on my shelf since 1978 (my college years) and had not read it? Well, I finally got to it and this thin book is packed with all kinds of wisdom about humor. Trueblood invites us to see how Jesus uses irony and other tools of humor to make a point. He also invites us to consider some of the harder sayings of Jesus and understand them as Jesus employing humor (often stating the absurd to make a point). Recommended to all students of Jesus and Scripture.
May 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Great book. I read it a while ago during grad school. I subsequently gave my copy away, and I'd love to read it again. Trueblood challenges the picture of a "humor-less" Jesus, and he brings out the irony and humor in Christ's words and parables. ...more
Steve Bedford
Aug 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Would be more aptly named "The Whit of Christ", or "Jesus had a wry sense of humor, maybe." The author had some good points and interesting alternative readings of some texts, but was stretching it in some places as well. Worth a read since it is so short, but not the best book ever. ...more
Oct 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: yes
awesome book!
Douglas Wilson
Feb 21, 2009 rated it liked it
Jul 01, 2009 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
The Humor of Christ. by Elton. Trueblood (1964)
Dec 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theology
Jesus was constantly hilarious and the fact that this is missed accounts for so much drab in the church. Trueblood does a good job showing Jesus' strategic use of humor and irony. ...more
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