YouTube Transcription #64 Rowan Atkinson
Starting at 0:40
Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you very much indeed. Our lesson this evening is taken from the gospel according to Saint John, chapter 2, beginning at the first verse.
‘And on the third day, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee. And it came to pass that all the wine was drunk. And the mother of Jesus and said unto the Lord, “They have no more wine.” And Jesus said unto the servants, “Fill six water pots with water.” And they did so. And when the steward of the feast did taste of the water of the pots, it had become wine. And they knew not whence it had come.
But the servants did know, and they applauded loudly in the kitchen. And they said unto the Lord, “How the hell did you do that?” And inquired of him, “Do you do children’s parties?” And the Lord said, “No.” But the servants did press him, saying, “Go on, give us another one!”
And so he brought forth a carrot, and said, “Behold this, for it is a carrot.” And all about him knew that it was so, for it was orange, with a green top. And he did place a large red cloth over the carrot, and then removed it. And lo, he held in his hand a white rabbit. And all were amazed, and said, “This guy is really good! He should turn professional.”
And there came unto him a woman called Mary, who had seen the Lord and believed, and Jesus said unto her,”Put on a tutu, and lie down in this box.” And then took he forth a saw, and cleft her in twain. And there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth. But Jesus said, “Oh ye of little faith!” And he threw open the box and lo, Mary was whole. And the crowd went absolutely bananas. And Jesus and Mary took a big bow. And he said unto her, “From now on you shall be known as Sharon, for that is a good name for an assistant.”
And the people said unto him, “We’ve never seen anything like this. This is great! You shouldn’t be wasting your time in a small one-camel town like Cana. You should be playing the big arena in Jerusalem!” And Jesus did harken unto their words. And he did go unto Jerusalem, and he did his full act before the scribes, and the Pharisees, and the Romans.
But alas it did not please them in their hearts. In fact, they absolutely crucified him.’
Here ends the lesson.
In this sketch, Atkison uses some old-sounding English still used in English versions of the Bible. Somehow, it is thought to sound more authentic if old English is used, even though the Bible was not originally in English. Some churches still use Latin, even though the majority of the congregation do not understand it, because it sounds more authentic. I think that they should be using Hebrew (or whatever the first language of the Bible was) or modern English – anything else seems pointless.
Anyway, here are some of the archaic words used:
it came to pass that ~ = ~ happened
was drunk = had been drunk
unto = to
whence = from where
forth = forward, towards
behold = look, see
forth = placed
lo = exclamation used to draw attention to something special or amazing
cleft = past of cleave, meaning cut
twain = two
much wailing and gnashing of teeth = an expression seen in the Bible meaning crying, worrying, complaining – that sort of thing
ye = you (plural)
harken = listen
other expressions used:
went absolutely bananas = went crazy, used in both meanings of excitement or of anger.
Sharon is the stereotypical English girl’s name. It sounds like the kind of name we would expect to hear for a magician’s assistant in England.
they absolutely crucified him is used to explain when critics are extremely hard on a performer, criticising him strongly. Of course, it also means the death penalty in some countries.