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Remembering why the Bible is funny and why we shouldn’t ignore that

Bob Hartman

“You can tell the kids a fun story, as long as you tell them a Bible story first.”

Those were the instructions given to a babysitter by what I’m sure were well-meaning parents. She shared this with me during a storytelling workshop several years ago and all I could say was, “Why can’t the Bible story be the fun story?” Because of course, it can!

I have been retelling Bible stories for decades, and I have discovered exactly how outrageous they are. Yes, there are the obvious jokes: Camels and needles. Coins in fishes’ mouths. Ninety-year-old women chuckling at the possibility of their own pregnancy. One exasperated blind man trying to explain - again and again and again - what happened to him.

But because we have become accustomed to many of the outrageous and frankly quite ridiculous things that happen in the Bible, we miss the effect they have on ears that have not heard them.

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