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Deadpan Snarker: Religion And Mythology

  • Buddha, reportedly, but it's all in good fun for Buddha.
  • It tends to get lost in translation, but the gospels often portray Jesus as quite the Deadpan Snarker.
    Jesus: Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?"
    • There's also his interaction with the Samaritan woman at the well:
      Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come back." The woman answered him, "I have no husband." Jesus said to her, "You are right in saying, 'I have no husband'; for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!"
    • There's also the first meeting between Jesus and soon-to-be-Apostle Nathaniel, which involves some snarking all around. Philip runs to get Nathaniel and tells him Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah, which contains such gems as these:
      Nathaniel: Can anything good come from Nazareth?
      Philip: Come and see.
      Jesus, upon seeing Nathaniel: Behold, an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!
      Nathaniel, to Jesus: How do you know me?
      Jesus: Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig tree.
      Nathaniel: Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.
      Jesus: Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.
      • When Pilate asks if he's The King of The Jews, he basically answers "you said it, not me."
    • Other than him, Paul of Tarsus loved to deal some snark in his epistles. In one instance, mediating an argument amongst the Galatians about circumcision, he helpfully recommends to the conservative Jewish converts agitating against the pagan converts that they "go the whole way and cut the entire thing off!"
      • Actually, a more accurate translation is, "I wish those [agitating for the circumcision of the Gentiles] would castrate themselves," which is arguably even snarkier.
    • Another example: (Acts 22:26) As a Roman guard ties Paul up to flog him, Paul casually asks if it is legal to flog a uncondemned Roman citizen (it's not). The guard captain, upon hearing that Paul is a citizen says, "With a large sum I obtained this citizenship" to which Paul simply replies, "But I was born a citizen."
    • In I Samuel 21, David is brought before King Achish, and fearing for his life he feigns insanity. When Achish sees him, he sarcastically asks his servants if he has a shortage of madmen, that they need to bring him another.
    • In 1 Kings 18, Elijah challenges the prophets of Baal to a showdown, to see whose god could ignite a sacrifice. After what must be hours of calling for Baal:
    Elijah: Call at the top of your voice, for he is a god; for he must be concerned with a matter, and he has excrement and has to go to the privy. Or maybe he is asleep and ought to wake up.
    • In the Hebrew, Elijah uses a euphemism for the bathroom part (i.e. "busy with something", or the way an English speaker might say it, "on high"). Ultimately, one wonders if he was given any prophetic foresight that the ultimate fate of the temple of Baal would be as a public toilet (2 Kings 10:27).
    • What do you expect? The Bible was written by Jews wasn't it? A people famed for snarkiness and black humor — and getting into situations that required it.
    • Jeremiah's sidekick Baruch, a scribe:
    They asked Baruch, saying, "How did you write all these words at [Jeremiah's] instruction?
    Baruch: "He pronounced all these words to me with his mouth, and I wrote them with ink in the book."
  • From the Mahabharata, The Dragon Karna.
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