Saturday, September 18, 2010

sarcasm in the bible

And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.”  1 Kings 18:7 

One of the most famous uses of sarcasm in the Bible is from Genesis, the first Book:   Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?” Gen. 4:9

The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can answer sensibly.  Prov 26:16

And then the Isrealites collectively were not above sarcasm:   They said to Moses, “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt?  Exodus 14:11

There are others, some good ones, some not so good.  Sarcasm is a rich tool to make the reader think. It has a bad connotation, but doesn't have to:  Are you being sarcastic? Is in itself a bit of sarcasm.  "Quit being sarcastic" is worse, that is assuming all sarcasm is bad.

At it's very best, it is very humorous, and rings of the truth.  It is more than a barb, or jab at someone, but a humorous take on the seemingly obvious ( at least to the writer ). Dialogue can be spruced up with sarcasm.  Characters in screenplays or fiction can also use it to great fanfare, where would Humphrey Bogart or Bugs Bunny be without sarcasm?  Don't leave it out, use more sarcasm.

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NEW! Sept Release:  The Official Dictionary of Sarcasm: A Lexicon for Those of Us Who Are Better and Smarter Than the Rest of You

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  1. I love sarcasm, and these are some great examples. I would not have thought about it that way! My ex told me I'm the only person he knows who gives him a big smile when he's being sarcastic. It just tickles me. Why be insulted when you can just as easily get a good laugh, which can only happen if you don't take yourself too seriously.

    Of course there are those times...

    There's a reason he's my ex. ;-)

  2. Just for fun, sometimes, I deliver the sarcasm with a delayed smile.

  3. .

    You missed my favorite where Jesus tells people to make friends of Mammon so they'll have someone to hang out with then they get to hell.

  4. like Kelene, I LOVE sarcasm, but am usually cautious with mine. Good question - where WOULD Bugs Bunny be without sarcasm?