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Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

Just Joking?

I like to joke around. Sometimes people actually laugh. In fact, I think no other people in history have loved to joke around more than Americans.

I was recently wondering about my jokes, others’ jokes and just what the Bible has to say about how and how much we like to joke around. Can you believe how practical the Bible is? It actually does talk about joking!

So, I took a look—just to gain clarity regarding some of my own joking. You decide if any of this applies to your own joking. It starts with a word study and my conclusions are at the end.

Coarse Jesting?

Depending on what the joking actually is, it may fall under the prohibitions of Ephesians 4:29 or 5:4:

Ephesians 4:29 (NASB95) 29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.

Ephesians 5:4 (NASB95) 4 and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.

“unwholesome” =

sapros (σαπρός, 4550), “corrupt,” akin to sepo…  Vine, W. E., Unger, M. F., & White, W., Jr. (1996). Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words. Nashville, TN: T. Nelson.

sepo (σήπω, 4595) signifies “to make corrupt, to destroy”; in the passive voice with middle sense, “to become corrupt or rotten, to perish,” said of riches, Jas. 5:2, of the gold and silver of the luxurious rich who have ground down their laborers. The verb is derived from a root signifying “to rot off, drop to pieces.” Vine, W. E., Unger, M. F., & White, W., Jr. (1996). Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words. Nashville, TN: T. Nelson.

In Eph 4:29 σαπρός (unwholesome) is in contrast with that which is ἀγαθός ‘good’ for building up what is necessary. In such a context ἀγαθός (good) may be interpreted as that which is helpful, and by contrast σαπρός (unwholesome) may be understood to mean ‘harmful.’ Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains. New York: United Bible Societies.

“filthiness” =

aischrotes (αἰσχρότης, 151), “baseness” (from aischos, “shame, disgrace”), is used in Eph, 5:4, of obscenity, all that is contrary to purity. Vine, W. E., Unger, M. F., & White, W., Jr. (1996). Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words. Nashville, TN: T. Nelson. to act in defiance of social and moral standards, with resulting disgrace, embarrassment, and shame—‘to act shamefully, indecent behavior, shameful deed.’ Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains. New York: United Bible Societies.

​”silly talk” =

morologia (μωρολογία, 3473), from moros, “foolish, dull, stupid,” and lego, is used in Eph. 5:4; it denotes more than mere idle “talk.” Trench describes it as “that ‘talk of fools’ which is foolishness and sin together” (Syn. Sec. xxxiv) Vine, W. E., Unger, M. F., & White, W., Jr. (1996). Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words. Nashville, TN: T. Nelson.

talk which is both foolish and stupid—‘foolish talk, stupid talk.’ Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains. New York: United Bible Societies.

​”coarse jesting” = ​​

eutrapelia (εὐτραπελία, 2160) properly denotes “wit, facetiousness, versatility” (lit., “easily turning,” from eu, “well,” trepo, “to turn”). It was used in the literal sense to describe the quick movements of apes and persons. Pericles speaks of the Athenians of his day (430 B.C) as distinguished by a happy and gracious “flexibility.” In the next century Aristotle uses it of “versatility” in the give and take of social intercourse, quick repartee. In the sixth century, B.C, the poet Pindar speaks of one Jason as never using a word of “vain lightness,” a meaning approaching its latest use. Its meaning certainly deteriorated, and it came to denote “coarse jesting, ribaldry,” as in Eph. 5:4, where it follows morologia, “foolish talking.” Vine, W. E., Unger, M. F., & White, W., Jr. (1996). Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words. Nashville, TN: T. Nelson.

coarse jesting involving vulgar expressions and indecent content—‘vulgar speech, indecent talk.’ Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains. New York: United Bible Societies.

​”are not fitting” =

In Eph. 5:4 the ἅ οὐκ ἀνῆκεν (are not fitting) … is that which does not belong, which is opposed to καθὼς πρέπει ἁγίοις (proper among saints, v.3). The unsuitable nature of an action is shown by the fact that those who perform it are ἅγιοι (saints, v.3) acting ἐν κυρίῳ (in the Lord, v.8). This unsuitability may concur with the judgment of the world (Col. 3:18) or it may contradict it (Eph. 5:4: εὐτραπελία (coarse jesting), for example, is accepted by the world, cf. Aristot. Eth. Nic., II, 7, p. 1108a, 23 ff.). Kittel, G., Bromiley, G. W., & Friedrich, G. (Eds.). (1964–). Theological dictionary of the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

to be fitting or right, with the implication of possible moral judgment involved—‘to be fitting, to be right.’ Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains. New York: United Bible Societies.

Thoughts from others:

  • A. S. Wood: The three terms (“obscenity,” “foolish talk,” “coarse joking”) each occur only here in the NT. Paul has already warned against “unwholesome talk” (Eph 4:29) because of the harm it does to those who are compelled to hear it. Now he attacks it from another angle, because it is unseemly for Christians and usurps the place of praise. “Obscenity” (aischrotēs) in this context is broadly equivalent to “filthy language” (aischrologia, Col 3:8; BAG, p. 24). Next comes “foolish talk” (mōrologia), which is stupid chatter or silly twaddle. This is combined with eutrapelia (literally, “an easy turn of speech”), which means versatility and witty repartee. The NEB has “flippant talk.” Because of the determinative content of v. 3, however, it may refer to “coarse joking” (NIV) and double-entendre. These things must be repudiated, because they “do not come up to the mark” (BV). Instead, the Christian’s mouth will be continually filled with thanks to God (Eph 2:7; 5:18; Col 2:7; 3:15). Wood, A. S. (1981). Ephesians. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Ephesians through Philemon (Vol. 11, pp. 68–69). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.
  • Harold Hoehner: “Improprieties in speech—obscenity (aischrotēs, “shameless talk and conduct”), foolish talk (mōrologia, lit., “stupid words”), and coarse jesting (eutrapelia, “vulgar, frivolous wit”)—are out of place for Jesus’ followers, because such vices often harm (cf. 4:29), whereas thanksgiving is appreciation for others and is helpful. Paul was not intimating that humor itself is sin, but that it is wrong when it is used to destroy or tear down others.” Hoehner, H. W. (1985). Ephesians. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 638). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
  • J. B. Bond: “Paul also prohibits filthiness, foolish talking, and coarse jesting, sins of speech. He rightly points out that believers should instead use their voices for giving of thanks to God. Words are so powerful that believers must be careful how they relate to others, showing their love for God and for them.” Bond, J. B. (2010). The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Ephesians. In R. N. Wilkin (Ed.), The Grace New Testament Commentary (p. 882). Denton, TX: Grace Evangelical Society.

My thoughts:

In a nutshell, the thing I took away from this was that I would like to have a higher standard. I developed a list of questions to help me think it through:

    • What exactly is a higher standard?
    • How much have I been influenced by my culture?
    • What good comes from my joking?
    • Does my joking please God? Glorify God?
    • Is it good for edification?
    • Does it ever cause harm?
    • Is it full of grace?
    • Why do I joke?
    • Do I enjoy shocking people with certain kinds of jokes?
    • Am I motivated by trying to to entertain people? Impress people? Spread joy? Build up others? Teach better?
    • How much is too much?
    • If I joke around too much will others have trouble taking me seriously?
    • Do my jokes—even if they are clean and joyful—sometimes kill a spiritual moment or stifle the Spirit’s work?
    • Do I spend more time joking or more time giving thanks and offering up praise?

“There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven…a time to weep and a time to laugh.”

King Solomon (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4)

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Redneck Fire Alarm

Sorry—couldn’t resist passing this one along…(smile a little!)

For those of you that want to continue to be fire safety conscious…even in these economically challenged times here is the solution.

The REDNECK FIRE ALARM

Now that’s funny, I don’t care who you are!!!!!

For those of you that want to continue to be fire safety conscious…even in these economically challenged times here is the solution.

The REDNECK FIRE ALARM

Now that’s funny, I don’t care who you are!!!!!

For those of you that want to continue to be fire safety conscious…even in these economically challenged times here is the solution.

The REDNECK FIRE ALARM

Now that’s funny, I don’t care who you are!!!!!

Read Full Post »