Saint Snarky

Jesus was funny.

Saint Paul was down right sarcastic.

My small group was looking at Paul’s letter to the Galatians a few weeks back; particularly chapter five. Here was my reading process.

First time through, I’m thinking, “yeah, I get that.”

On the second read, I got hung up on a verse thinking, “Wait, did he just say what I think he said?”

And on the third time through, it was confirmed. Despite the attempts of good church people over the centuries to convince us that the primary fruit of the spirit is “niceness,” Paul is thinking and speaking crass, sarcastic ideas.

For those unfamiliar with the chapter, Paul is confronting the legalistic notion that Christianity is about rules. The Galatians are being told that if they aren’t circumcised, they aren’t part of the kingdom. Paul is trying to say that the law is not supreme, and to stop fretting about this legalistic crap.

His argument becomes a rant. And then he gets worked up enough to say, “I wish those people that are so obsessed with circumcision would just keep going and castrate themselves!”


He’s also snippy a bit later. He mentions that if you follow the Spirit instead of the law, you get things like love, joy, peace, etc.

And finishes that up with a snarky, “Gee, legalists, I don’t think any of those things are against the law, are they?”

Like I said, the saint’s sarcastic.

And I think I like him that way.

Just my thoughts,



3 responses to “Saint Snarky”

  1. Linds says :

    Paul’s always been my favorite saint for just that reason. I remember reading his epistles as a teenager and laughing out loud in church. My youth pastor used to do a great impression of Paul telling the judaizers to castrate themselves. 🙂

  2. Anonymous says :

    I’ve always enjoyed this passage. And yet, I wonder if Paul’s snarky streak had any connection to the multiple riots, beatings, imprisonments he faced in the book of Acts… Could it be that his quick wit now and then got him into trouble?–Randy

  3. Gaffney says :

    Oh, I am sure that on more than one occassion Paul was being hauled away mumbling, “Can’t you take a joke?” :)-Sean

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