Depend Upon It

Samuel Pepys writes:

Another quirk [of speech in the sayings of Jesus] is Jesus’s frequent and apparently unprecedented use of the emphatic Hebrew and Aramaic exclamation ‘Amen!’ before he makes a solemn pronouncement: ‘Amen I say to you…’. The word was considered so important that it was preserved in its original form in the Greek biblical text; in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century versions of the English Bible, it becomes ‘verily’. … The effect is rather like Dr Samuel Johnson’s famous characteristic phrase ‘Depend upon it, Sir…’

Diarmaid MacCulloch, A History of Christianity, p. 85.

My masterwork in several volumes, Unnecessary Sermons, will include an extensive selection of excerpts from the Gospels translated directly from the Greek into the idiolect of Dr Johnson.

U: I shall look forward to reading your masterwork. 

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