Friday, March 16, 2007

Camel and the eye of a needle

If you went to a capitalism-loving church, such as my alma pater, the Baptist Church, no doubt the pastor or your Sunday School teacher would have talked about the camel and the eye of the needle, but suggested that when Jesus said (Matthew 19:24):

"And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God"

that he referred to a gate in Jerusalem called 'The Eye of the Needle' that was built so low that a camel could only pass if it entered kneeling and unencumbered with baggage.

Even as a kid I thought that was probably self-justifying crap. Apparently the rationalization was first recorded by Theophylact of Bulgaria in the eleventh century and there is no evidence that any such portal existed. Nice try guys ... and I mean you who insist that absolutely every example of obvious metaphor in The Bible is actually literal.

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