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HTS Theological Studies

On-line version ISSN 2072-8050
Print version ISSN 0259-9422


NEL, Marius J.. He who laughs last - Jesus and laughter in the Synoptic and Gnostic traditions. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2014, vol.70, n.1, pp.01-08. ISSN 2072-8050.

The aim of the article is to examine the meaning of references to laughter in the Synoptic Gospels and a number of Gnostic texts. Whereas Jesus is depicted as an object of ridicule (Mk 5:40 par.) and as condemning those who laugh in the Synoptic Gospels (Lk 6:25), it is he who often laughs derisively at the ignorance of others in Gnostic texts. The meaning of laughter in the Synoptic Gospels and a number of Gnostic texts is examined in the light of the general Greco-Roman attitude towards laughter and, more specifically, in regard to the archetypical distinction between playful and consequential laughter in Greek culture.

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