The Lighter Side of the Bible

Matthew 23:24
“Ye blind guides, which strain out a gnat, and swallow a camel!”

Some Christians give others the idea that Christianity is a dull and joyless faith, and that God is stern and humorless. But God is the One Who created humor.

For example, did you ever hear of the Bug Bible? Published in 1551, the Bug Bible got the name when, for some unexplainable reason, “Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night” from Psalm 91:5 was printed Close-up of the error in The Wicked Bibleas, “Thou shalt not be afraid of any buggies by night.” Human error was also presumably responsible for The Wicked Bible, published in 1717. The Wicked Bible got its name because the word “not” was left out of one of the Commandments, leaving the Commandment to read, “Thou shalt commit adultery.”

One of the most amusing word plays was by Jesus Himself and is found in Matthew 23:24. Here Jesus warns hypocrites about straining at gnats and swallowing camels. In Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke, the word for gnat is nearly identical to the word for camel. The verbal humor, which is an excellent way of teaching, produced a simple slogan that was easy for the common man to remember: “Blind guides, who strain out a galma, and swallow a gamla!”

Despite occasional human printing errors, we can be sure that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God. And despite God’s sincere earnestness in calling us to Himself, we can also be sure that He created humor.

Dear Father in heaven, through Your Word of promise fill me with true joy and a lightness of heart so that others may see that being Yours is a joyful, wonderful thing to be desired. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Dr. Crypton. “Mathematics in the Bible.” Science Digest, May 1985, p. 78. Photo: Close-up of the error in The Wicked Bible.