A leading amateur historian has astonished the world of amateur history by claiming that Jesus of Nazareth and his Disciples were Scottish, writes Religion Correspondent, Mary Mag Delaney.
Jock McSporran of Lossiemouth, for it is he, made the astonishing claim yesterday.
"See the bit in the Bible, where Jesus says to Peter: 'Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice', well, the correct translation from the Hebrew, is really: 'See you, I say unto thee, That this night, see, before the cock crow, thou shalt done thy kilt thrice, ye scunner, ye.'", McSporran told me.
When I asked him what he meant by "done thy kilt", he replied: "See, it's the Hebrew, it is, so it is, it is. It's the Hebrew dialect. The early Scottish settlers in yon wee town of Bethelhem, see them, they went over there to look for work in the fisheries, so they did. And that's where yon Hebrew dialect came from. They started it. They com from Arbroath in those days, see.
"So they'd be there, at the time of Joseph and Mary, see", McSporran continued. "See yon Bible, when it was written in Galileo Galileo, where the fisheries were, that was their dialect, so it's hard to translate. That's where it comes from.
"Peter was a McTavish, you can see by the tartan he wore. They'd be bringing in the catch across the Sea of Galileo Galileo to the skirl o' the pipes i' the misty mornin' an th' haggis fryin' i' th' crofts. Judas McKiltie was the piper, an' a braw piper he was, but after he betrayed Jesus McStoater at the Last Fish Supper, well, they struck him off the record, so naebody knaws any mair aboot his pipin'."
'Jesus McStoater?' I felt it politic to enquire. McSporran did not flinch. "Aye, Mary and Joseph were McStoaters frae Aberbrothock, th' auld name fer Arbroath. Joe McStoater went theer ter his work, he was a carpenter, an' he mod and mended theer boats, see. Yon stable i' Bethelhem, see, it wad be hame frae hame fer they pair, as they'd be used ter rougher than thot, wi' sleepin' in smokie sheds an' coo shippens at hame."
"But see yon Joe McStoater, he wiz a divvel fer th' drink. He'd think nothin' o' ten pints o' heavy of a Saturday night, an' poor wee Mary hed fer to bring up young Jesus on her ain. Aye, old Joe widnae lift a finger, an' him full o' ale, so he wiz, so he wiz."
"See a' they picters o' Jesus wi' black hair? Thot's Sassenach blether, an a' an a' the noo the naw the noo. Jesus wiz ginger as fuck when he gev oot they fingers o' shortbread an th' Irn-Bru ter they five thoosand that day.
"An' nae wonder he robbed they money-lenders, an' turned the watter ter wine. Ye nivver hear o' Jesus gettin' a round in wi' his ain money, do ye?"
McSporran had one more piece of evidence to impart before he was ready to depart after imparting his departing shot.
"See the band Nazareth, see, they wiz Scots, an a', the noo, the naw, so they were, so they were."
When I asked McSporran why he kept saying "so they were", like someone from Northern Ireland, he said: "It's referential ambiguity, so it is", and he was off, across the Green Hills of Tyrol.
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