Recently, a public television programme on episodes of indian history was shown. The particular episode was on cherokee resettlement. North Georgia was going to be ethnically cleansed of the red man. A discussion amongst the indians, themselves, was re-enacted. They were to be resettled on similar lands to the west of the Mississippi. One indian asked if those lands are as good as ours, why are they empty? He asked the vital question. There was no rationale, no evidence and no true argument to answer it. The question was devastatingly true.
This sort of question answered and ended the entire line of thought. I remember, hearing more than once, the argument that tries to defuse Jesus, when Jesus says:
Et íterum dico vobis : Facílius est cámelum per forámen acus transíre, quam dívitem intráre in regnum cælórum.They tell of a gate in the wall called the camel’s eye, or the needle, or something. Yes, the existence of such a thing would change the OBVIOUS meaning of the word of Jesus. BUT, it would have to have existed at the time of Jesus’ speaking, and certainly it did not, nor did anyone mention such a ‘convenient’ gate for centuries (perhaps until the twentieth). Shakespeare makes an allusion in Richard II, but not in the way of a gospel revisionist of the american prosperity school of capital mammon. I have not found which writer, or speaker, invented this tale of the crawling camel, but in different versions the gate is in Damascus, or another syrian city, or Jerusalem, or Joffa. Sometimes an ancient, but only mediæval ancient, entrance is alluded to. Sometimes there is a statement that points to a late mediæval or early modern writer, but not that the writer is speaking to that interpretation. But, all in all, no real gate has ever existed that gives credence to the supposition, and the crawling camel is still more dubious.
And again I say to you: It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven. — Matthew xix. 24.
Facílius est cámelum per forámen acus transíre, quam dívitem intráre in regnum Dei.
It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. — Mark x. 25.
facílius est enim cámelum per forámen acus transíre quam dívitem intráre in regnum Dei.
For it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. — Luke xviii. 25.
Now, such a supposition would be devastating, but challenging that supposition by devastating fact, totally negates it. Now, there is another view, which states, in aramaic the word for rope was similar to camel, and even that does not change the meaning. There are other semitic sources (talmud, koran, proverbs) that have a camel, or elephant, travel the needle that are similar to the example given by Christ. Perhaps, Jesus meant what he said.
So, when such a false story is given, there is not often, allowed or allotted, the response so as to suggest the statement stands. So a teacher, or presenter, can be opened to be steered to the truth, or resistant, so as to continue course. There are good questions, there are stupid questions and there are bad questions.