What does “Holy Humor” mean to you? I confess that I immediately thought of Christopher Moore’s novel, Lamb; The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal. Lamb covers Jesus’ adolescent years that are skipped in 21st century Bibles. While Jesus is pure thoughout the book, party-hardy Biff offers advice, protection, and intense loyalty to his friend. Coarse language and debauchery surround Biff like an offensive odor, but Jesus maintains both an innocence and a radiating spiritual knowledge throughout.
More recently, Seth Grahame-Smith’s Unholy Night relates the night of Jesus’ birth as experience by three street-wise criminals. The chief of these, Balthazar, has risen from a traumatically impoverished childhood to become one of the most feared desperados in Judea. The baby Jesus inspires in Balthazar the tiniest burp of compassion, long buried by years of murderous rampage. As with Lamb, Jesus is treated with reverence and awe, made more extraordinary by the sinfulness of the supporting characters.