Skip to main content

View Diary: Camel Purée (198 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  In Aramaic it is ROPE through the eye of a needle (0+ / 0-)

    The (most certainly apocryphal) story of Jesus saying that "it is more difficult for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven than for a CAMEL to go through the eye of a needle" should be read differently. In Aramaic, a SPARSE language, many words were the same word for different things.

    The word for camel and rope are the same! The metaphor should read "it is more difficult for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven than for a ROPE to go through the eye of a needle", a much more understandable metaphor.

    Jesus meant by that that the baggage of desires that grows in size from a small thread to a large rope makes it very difficult for the rich to throw them off!

    •  I've checked several Aramaic dictionaries. (0+ / 0-)

        The Aramaic word for camel is gamla.  It has a number of secondary meanings, too, chiefly for things that are unusually large, bulky, or ungainly; but none of them refers to a kind of rope.

    •  Jesus frequently used sayings in wide circulation (5+ / 0-)

      And "camel through the eye of a needle" seems to have been such a saying. Rope would make sense, except that there was a variant on the saying, contained in the Midrash, where it's elephant through the eye of a needle, which makes camel seem more likely.

      •  Fine...I'll withdraw the edit. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RunawayRose

        Just hope they haven't carved the new plates already.

        IGTNT...Honor the Fallen...Respect Their Loved Ones.

        by geez53 on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 09:44:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  There's a real world example of this, not myth. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        unclebucky, blueocean, SmartAleq

        Southeast of Ankara, Turkey, in Central Anatolia, is the village of Hacibektash. Haci Bektash Veli was a Sufi saint in the 14th century. Outside the village is the Cilehane, a small cave in which this man spent 40 days and nights fasting in silence and in prayer, a not uncommon Sufi practice. There is a small opening into the cave and also a very narrow aperture part way up the wall of the cave. It is said that only those who are pure of heart can pass through this aperture. To my surprise, I've seen very stout people pass through it with no difficulty, and very slender people become stuck and have to back out. In my own experience, it felt as if the solid rock opening had "give" to it. No, science can't explain this, and I certainly I can't, and I won't even try. Suffice it to say that there has been a body of interesting and wholly illogical experiences that have come down through the past 600+ years about this place.

        "Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it." ML King

        by TheWesternSun on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 12:10:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  IIRC, it's a pun (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yaque

      I've read that the word for camel and the word for rope are very similar, so Jesus may have been employing a well-known pun.

    •  Nope not a rope. (0+ / 0-)

      Rope is totally wrong. Check the earliest MSS.

      "Jesus meant by that that the baggage of desires that grows in size from a small thread to a large rope makes it very difficult for the rich to throw them off!" Where? How?

      These guys wrote in Greek, not KJV English, Latin or Aramaic.

      Greek was the language being used generally in the region for most converts. Also, "kamelos" (not kamilos and not gamla) is used in each of the earliest MSS.

      And remember they were not transcribing from a first century "wire recorder" of Jesus speaking in Aramaic. They were instead writing this something like a generation or more after Jesus (+30-33 CE):

      1. Book of Mark 66-70 CE.
      1. Book of Matthew 70-100 CE. (after Mark)
      1. Books of Luke/Acts 80-90 CE. (after Mark)

      Ugh. --UB.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site