Redneck Biblical Hermeneutics

As some people have probably thought I have dropped off the face of the planet, I thought I would signal my return to the blogosphere with a bit of humor.

A redneck from one of the southern states desired to enter the ministry. He went to a minister to be examined and the following conversation took place: “Can you read, Sam?” “Naw, I can’t read.” “Can you write?” Well, naw, I cain’t write.” “Well, do you know your Bible, Sam?” “Oh yeah, I know me Bible right well.” “Tell me, what part of the Bible do you prefer?” “Well, I prefers the New Testament.” “And what do you like in the New Testament, Sam?” “The book of Mark.” “And what do you like especially about Mark?” “I likes the parables the best.” “And which of the parables is your favorite?” “Well, I likes the parable of the Good Samaritan the best.” “Well, Sam, will you tell me the story of the Good Samaritan?”

“Sure I will. Once upon a time a man was goin’ from Jerusalem to Jericho and he fell among the thorns. The thorns grew up and choked him, an’ he went on and didn’t have no moolah. An’ he went to the Queen of Sheba, and she gave him one thousand talents of money and a hundred changes of raiment. An’ then he got in a chariot and druv furiously. An’ when he was driving under a big ol’ juniper tree, his hair done got caught in the limb of the tree, and he hung there, an’ hung many days an’ the ravens brought him food to eat an’ water to drink, and afterward he was an hungred, an’ he ate five thousan’ loaves and two small fishes. An’ one night while he was ahangin’ there, asleep, his wife Delilah came along an’ cut off his hair an’ he dropped an’ fell on stony ground. But he got up an’ went on, an’ it began to rain an’ it rained forty days and forty nights an’ he hid himself in a cave, an’ lived on locusts an’ wild honey. Then he went on till he met a servant who said, ‘Come take supper at my house,’ an’ he began to make excuses an’ said, ‘No, I won’t, I married a wife and I cain’t go.’ An’ the servant went out in the highway and in the hedges an’ compel him to come in. An’ after supper he went on an’ came to Jericho an’ when he got there he looked and saw Queen Jezebel sittin’ a way up in a high window, an’ she laffed at him, an’ he said, ‘throw her down,’ an’ they threw her down, an’ he said, ‘Throw her down some more,’ and so they threw her down seventy times seven. An’ of the fragments they picked up twelve baskets full, and then they say, ‘Now in the razzerection who alls wife is she goin’ to be?'”


  1. darrelltoddmaurina said,

    April 28, 2017 at 11:01 pm

    Oooh… living in the Ozarks that hits too close to home!

    On a more serious point, you may be aware that well into the 1800s, it was not unusual for ministers in the Ozarks, and presumably also Appalachia and much of the rest of the rural South, to be unable to read. If they could read, it was rare for them to own more books than a Bible and (maybe) all or part of a set of McGuffey Readers.

    Whatever we can say about that in light of the Reformed emphasis on a studied ministry, it can’t be disputed that these men had memorized INCREDIBLE amounts of Scripture.

    If the Muslims can memorize the Koran, we probably ought to work harder to have the level of Bible memorization that was once common for ministers and laymen who had FAR less access to Bibles or other books than we have. We have no excuse.

  2. Steve Drake said,

    May 1, 2017 at 5:59 pm

    Pretty hilarious Lane. Good laugh! Sadly, this is the state of much of evangelicalism today. Those of us sitting in the pew just don’t know our Bibles and pretty much don’t care that we don’t know. The mismash if one were asked is pretty close to your redneck example.

  3. roberty bob said,

    May 2, 2017 at 9:47 pm

    Who needs to know how to read when you can tell the Story like that?

  4. Frank Aderholdt said,

    May 22, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    This reads like a Presbytery exam on English Bible content from a graduate of ______________ Theological Seminary.

  5. rfwhite said,

    May 25, 2017 at 9:58 am

    “Some people have probably thought I have dropped off the face of the planet” — true words these.

  6. Frank Aderholdt said,

    May 25, 2017 at 4:04 pm

    Hobbits are known to take long, arduous, and dangerous journeys, but they always come back home.

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