5.108: Where Do We Find Humor in the Bible?

Co-hosts Katie & Kathryn speak with Karl Jacobson, asking, "Where Do We Find Humor in the Bible?"


Welcome back to season five of Enter the Bible, a podcast in which we share “Everything You Wanted to Know about the Bible…but were afraid to ask.”

In episode 9 of season 5, our hosts are joined by the Rev. Dr. Karl Jacobson (M.Div., Luther Seminary; Th.D., Providence) who served as Senior Pastor at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Minneapolis, Minn. Prior to that, he was Assistant Professor of Religion at Augsburg College.

Today our theologians will be answering the listener-submitted question, “Where Do We Find Humor in the Bible?”

Show notes

Biblical books and passages mentioned

  • Genesis 18:12-15
  • Genesis 26
  • Jonah 4
  • Luke 7:39
  • 1 Corinthians 15

Topics, themes and figures mentioned

  • Human Laughter
  • Frederick Buechner
  • Sarah Laughing at God
  • Birth of Isaac
  • Isaac and Rebekah
  • Jonah 4: Repentance of the Cattle
  • Jesus, Pharisees, and the Sinful Woman in Luke 7

Works mentioned/recommended

Full Transcript

Today's Episode Hosted By

Joined by


Karl Jacobson

Karl Jacobson

The Rev. Dr. Karl Jacobson (M.Div., Luther Seminary; Th.D., Providence) serves as Senior Pastor at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Minneapolis, Minn. Prior to that, he was Assistant Professor of Religion at Augsburg College.

Jacobson is contributing author to Crazy Talk: A Not-So-Stuffy Dictionary of Theological Terms (Augsburg Fortress, second edition 2017) and Crazy Book: A Not-So-Stuffy Dictionary of Biblical Terms (Augsburg Fortress, second edition, 2019), Invitation to the Psalms: A Reader’s Guide for Discovery and Engagement (Baker Academic, March 2013), commentary on the Book of Numbers in the Fortress Commentary on the Bible: Old Testament and Apocrypha (Fortress, 2014), as well as commentary on selected psalms in The Lectionary Commentary: The Psalm and Hymn Responses for Worship and Preaching, (Eerdmans, 2009), and study notes for Obadiah and Joel in the Lutheran Study Bible, and blogs about the Bible and popular culture at https://bibpopcult.wordpress.com/.

Recent publications include his doctoral dissertation, Memories of Asaph: Mnemohistory and the Psalms of Asaph (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, June 2017), and an essay in honor of Fred Gaiser, “‘God has put a šîr hadaš in my mouth…’ What Is New About the ‘New Song’?” (Word and World Supplement Series 7 [2017]; 74-85).

Karl is married to the Rev. Angela Fairbanks Jacobson, and they share five children: Thursday, Sam, Nora, Lucy, and Claire.

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Hosted By:

Katie Langston

Katie Langston

Katie Langston is a doubter by nature and a believer by grace. She grew up Mormon in a small Utah town and still isn't sure she fits in anywhere sophisticated enough to have a Target. She's the author of Sealed: An Unexpected Journey into the Heart of Grace, an acclaimed spiritual memoir about her conversion to orthodox Christianity. Katie works as the director of digital strategy for Luther Seminary's innovation team, where she oversees digital projects aimed at cultivating vibrant Christian spirituality in a post-modern, post-Christian cultural context.

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Kathryn M. Schifferdecker

Kathryn M. Schifferdecker

Kathryn M Schifferdecker came to Luther Seminary as an assistant professor of Old Testament in 2006. Ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in 2001, Schifferdecker was associate pastor for five years at Trinity Lutheran Church, Arkdale, Wisc., before coming to Luther. Schifferdecker is a frequent contributor to workingpreacher.org, Word & World and the author of Out of the Whirlwind: Creation Theology in the Book of Job (Harvard University Press, 2008). She is currently writing a commentary on the book of Esther.

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