I have been re-reading Sheed's superb To Know Christ Jesus, and have just been struck afresh by his point about Our Lord having been raised in Galilee, and therefore (doubtless) having a local accent.
Sheed writes: Provincial accents vary; some we admire, some we smile at. The Galilean was of this latter sort. The men of Juda mocked it, very much as St Augustine's African accent caused his Italian friends to mock his speaking of the Latin which he wrote so superbly. In synagogue services, it was customary for a member of the congregation to give an explanation of one of the Scripture passages just read: in Judea, Galileans were discouraged from giving it: to have the congregation giggling would not have been seemly.
In other words, Our Lord is likely to have spoken with the kind of provincial accent which we tend to laugh at.
At first, that seems almost an irreverent thought, Our Lord talking Mummerset... But on further reflection, it is perhaps typical. Not only did he descend from the Heavenly Heights to become Man, but he became Man in poverty, in a stable; and not only that, but chose to be male, rather than female ( Sts Augustine and Thomas Aquinas both saw the female as God's masterpiece). And not only that, but he chose to present as a rustic...
All of which led me to reflect on how quick I am to judge people by how they talk rather than by what they say. And who does that remind me of: 'Can anything good come out of Galilee?...'
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