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…camel through the eye of a needle…
Posted: 10 September 2007 12:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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I see what you mean. I skipped right over the “Sch.Ar.V.1030”. I don’t know why they included it under καμιλος. Does anybody know if this passage in Aristophanes is controversial? In post-Classical Greek was eta pronounced like iota?

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Posted: 10 September 2007 01:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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The “Sch.” before of “Ar.” stands for “Scholia”, according to the list of abbreviations.  Perhaps some ancient marginal annotator or commentator thought there was a connection to “rope” in that passage?  “A tail like a rope” would be plausible interpretation if “proktos” referred generally to the hindquarters, but I thought it was rather specific.

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Posted: 10 September 2007 01:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Languagehat had an entry (a while back) that mentioned that Suidas has been online for a while. Here’s what a search on kamelos turned up. This mentions a different Aristophanes play, The Birds.

[ Edited: 10 September 2007 01:53 PM by jheem ]
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Posted: 10 September 2007 09:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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“How, being a Mede, did he fly here without a camel?”

Puts me in mind of a joke ... a, shall we say, story.  Probably the most famous camel story involving a pun.

One day Marvin comes down to the parking garage and his camel is gone… stolen!

He calls the police who arrive within minutes. The first question is “What color was your camel?”

Marvin replies he doesn’t remember, “Probably camel colored I guess… sort of brownish-greyish.”

“And how many humps on your camel?” asks the policeman.

“Who counts humps… one, maybe two, I don’t know for sure.”

“And the height of the camel, sir?”

“What’s with these dumb questions?” Marvin asks. “The camel was about three feet taller than I am. So maybe 9 feet, 10 feet. I can’t be certain.”

“Just one last question to complete my report, sir. Was the camel male or female?”

“Ah, that I know for sure he was a male.”

“How can you be so certain of his sex when you don’t remember anything else about your camel?” asks the policeman.

“Well,” says Marvin, “everyone knows he’s a male. Every day I’d ride the camel through town and people would stop and say to each other ‘Look at the schmuck on that camel!’”

[ Edited: 10 September 2007 09:11 PM by Oecolampadius ]
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Posted: 10 September 2007 11:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Dave Wilton - 10 September 2007 05:40 AM

I remember my brother (the minister, not the lawyer) telling me that the verse just dumbfounded biblical scholars. No one has a clue what its literal antecedent is, despite many, many proposed explanations, all of which lack evidence. (And interestingly, most discount the mistranslation explanation because normal scribal error would tend to err in the direction of making more sense, not less. The quirkier the words, the more likely they are to be accurate.)

I agree with Oecolampadius, hyperbole seems to be the best explanation.

Wow what a bunch or erudite and sagacious responses!!!  My understanding of this topic has increased a gazillion times.  However a riposte if I may, if hyperbole is the explanation - isn’t “rope” a sufficiently hyperbolic (and very obvious) stand-in for “thread”?  Does camel have to enter the equation?  Then again the troubling similarity between “rope” (kamilon) and “camel” (kamelon) in Greek as pointed out by Oecolampadius.  Although my Greek is non-existent, I would hazard a guess that the two words are pronounced the same way perhaps even perfect homonyms.  Would Jesus have preached in Greek or Aramaic?  If he preached in Greek isn’t it plausible that a scribe could have unwittingly recorded kamelon instead of kamilon?  I’m a little confused as to whether the pun works in Aramaic.

I liked the camel joke. Thanks Oecolampadius.

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Posted: 10 September 2007 11:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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This is probably off-topic but I realise I’m in the presence of biblical scholars and I can’t help wanting to pose this question which has troubled me for a long time.  In Genesis we are told that God made Adam and then all the flora and fauna and finally Eve, crafted from a rib excised from Adam.  The pair begat Cain and Abel.  Cain is marked and banished for killing Abel and if I remember correctly marries and starts a family.  Question: where did his wife come from?

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Posted: 11 September 2007 05:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Yes, very off topic. We don’t do religion for the sake of doing religion. If it’s an issue about language in a religious context, fine. But this is not the place to discuss inconsistencies in scripture.

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Posted: 11 September 2007 05:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Would Jesus have preached in Greek or Aramaic?

In Aramaic, thought there are some possibilities that he understood and even spoke some Greek.  It has been pointed out in recent years that Nazareth is only about 7 miles from the large Greek trade center of Sepphoris and it could be that as a carpenter he may have travelled there to sell his wares.  But that’s pure conjecture.

Where he’s quoted directly in his own language (as in “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabach thani” from the cross) it is in Aramaic.  Then the Gospel writer always translates the phrase into Greek because the readers/hearers of the Gospel no longer spoke Hebrew or Aramaic with any real understanding.  Paul, of course, spoke Greek and when he quoted from the Hebrew Scriptures, it was almost always from the Greek translation of the Hebrew known as the Septuagint.  He was also a biblical scholar, so he spoke Hebrew, but in the area he grew up, Greek must have been spoken in the Synagogue and the Greek version of Scriptures were used.

On the Genesis question, this is really not the place for an extended answer, and I’m afraid that any answer on my part would provoke a discussion that we really do not want to have. (rightly pipped by Dave).

[ Edited: 11 September 2007 06:00 AM by Oecolampadius ]
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Posted: 11 September 2007 06:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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In post-Classical Greek was eta pronounced like iota?

Yes, and one of the ways you know when such sound changes happen is when people start misspelling words in graffiti.

Myself, I never understood the controversy over the camel verse; people have always enjoyed vivid, colorful, exaggerated comparisons ("the corn is as high as an elephant’s eye"), and this is just a particularly good example.  Do people think Jesus must always have spoken with Spock-like logic?  The “camel pass through a gate” version is pedestrian and boring, which Jesus was not.

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Posted: 11 September 2007 03:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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The “camel pass through a gate” version is pedestrian and boring

My favorite version was from the Lampoon’s Not the Bible. It was, “It’s just as easy for a needle to pass through the eye of a camel as it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

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Posted: 11 September 2007 06:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Dave Wilton - 11 September 2007 05:44 AM

Yes, very off topic. We don’t do religion for the sake of doing religion. If it’s an issue about language in a religious context, fine. But this is not the place to discuss inconsistencies in scripture.

I stand chastised.  :down:  Thanks for all the great posts.

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Posted: 11 September 2007 06:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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I stand chastised.  :down:

It’s OK.  Your opening question was just right. 

But on another topic, smileys don’t work here [:down:].  We voted them out.  They look like they might be available, but they’re not.

And welcome.

[ Edited: 11 September 2007 06:56 PM by Oecolampadius ]
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Posted: 11 September 2007 08:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Oecolampadius - 11 September 2007 06:54 PM

I stand chastised.  :down:

It’s OK.  Your opening question was just right. 

But on another topic, smileys don’t work here [:down:].  We voted them out.  They look like they might be available, but they’re not.

And welcome.

Thanks for the heads-up on the smileys.  And for the welcome.

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Posted: 25 September 2007 05:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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http://www.textinmotion.com/search.jsp?arabic=&aroots=&english=camel&eroots=&search=Search
http://www.themodernreligion.com/misc/an/camel.html
The Elevated Places
[7.40] Surely (as for) those who reject Our communications and turn away from them haughtily, the doors of heaven shall not be opened for them, nor shall they enter the garden until the camel pass through the eye of the needle; and thus do We reward the guilty.

My best explanation is that both Muhammad (PBUH) and Jesus (May Isaiah watch over Him) both understood that a very large camel is unable to pass through a very small hole such as you would find in a needle.

I imagine Peter saw this too from the rock on which he built his church.

PS. I’m not the Messiah. I’m just the only lesbian in the Unitarian Universalist Church.
My mom the Christian Scientist feels the same way.
She hates stovetop cooking.

[ Edited: 25 September 2007 05:51 AM by eloisabachthani ]
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