Jesus and Satire (2/2)

For more on Jesus and satire (lampooning, exaggerating for effect, etc), please see my three Modern Library articles:

The Justified Lie By Jesus In The Gospel Of John

A Critique Of The Penal Substitution Interpretation Of The Cross Of Christ

Jesus Mythicism And Penal Substitution


Also check out my other Christian Origins posts on this blog.

The Dramatis Personae in ancient comedy. “The Knights”is a comedy by the ancient Greek playwright Aristophanes. It won first prize at the Lenaia festival when it was produced in 424 BCE. The play is a satire on political and social life in 5th Century BCE Athens, and in particular a diatribe against the pro-war populist politician, Cleon. In the play, a sausage-seller, Agoracritus, vies with Paphlagonian (representing Cleon) for the confidence and approval of Demos (an elderly man who symbolizes the Athenian citizenry) and Agoracritus emerges triumphant from a series of contests and miraculously restores Demos to his former youth and glory. (

Strepsiades and Pheidippides are discussing, Socrates is hanging in the air in a basket. Scene from Aristophanes’s comedy Clouds. The Clouds lend the satire their name because they represent, to Athenian idiom, what we today would call “hot air”: The Clouds are symbols of the intellectual fluff that Socrates is teaching his students. Likewise, Unjust Argument is full of pomp and intellect—an imposing figure until you realize that his debates are mere snatches of important-sounding trivia that have no real, honest use. (,Socrates%20is%20teaching%20his%20students.)