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21 May 2011 @ 09:41 pm
The only thing I'm going to say on the subject.  
If the only worthy people were the poor and the homeless -- you know, that whole camel-through-the-eye-of-the-needle thing -- how long do you think it would take the believers to notice?

And how do you think they'd react when it sank in?
Arcaton: figmentr_caton on May 23rd, 2011 04:08 pm (UTC)
Given that they don't notice them now, would they notice if the poor & homeless were Taken?
Tubetoob on May 23rd, 2011 07:13 pm (UTC)
I apply Sturgeon's Law -- the homeless and poor are selfish dicks at about the same percentage as anyone else.
Tube: Look Around Youtoob on May 23rd, 2011 07:12 pm (UTC)
Although the phrase "camel through the eye of a needle" is almost certainly a transcription error. Because seriously, what the hell sense does THAT make?

However, the original word 'camel' is just one pen-scratch away from the word for 'rope...'
Your Obedient Serpent: facepalmathelind on May 24th, 2011 12:55 pm (UTC)
I never met a 4 I didn't like
You know, we had a pretty involved argument about this one over the weekend. The alternate interpretation that started that one was the idea that there was a mountain pass called "The Eye of the Needle", and you had to unload your camel to get through it.

A quick Google search [camel eye needle metaphor] pulled up page after page that said that there was no historical or archaeological support for the mountain pass, the Jerusalem gate, or, in fact, the conflation of the Aramaic words for "camel" and "rope".

Wariations on the same theme crop up elsewhere in Abrahamaic discourse. The Quran invokes our old friend the camel again, while the Talmud talks about an elephant passing through a needle's eye. That one's a little harder to dismiss as a translation error.

Really, it makes pretty much exactly as much sense as "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?"

"Gosh, Jesus, how could a whole plank fit in someone's eye?"

[cue facepalm]

Yeshua really, really liked hyperbole, and, honestly, Jewish culture has a long, long history of that kind of pointed humor. I've long felt that the proper tone for his sermons is that of a Borscht Belt stand-up comic: "What, you want a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God? OY! You want I should shove a camel through the eye of a needle, next? You got the wrong 'Criss Angel', bubbala."

Even His Dad gets some good lines in, back in the Old Testament. Really, Job's gotta be talking to George Burns: "Oy, look who's a critic, look who's a smart guy. Where were you, with all your advice, when I was hard at work with the 'let there be light'? I couldn't even get someone to hold the ladder steady when I was putting all those stars up there!"

Ultimately, a lot of the problems in the world today and throughout history are because a majority of His followers don't get that God is a funny guy.

And everyone's afraid to laugh.

"Abe! Abe!! Enough with the knives and the altars, already! I was kidding! Eesh, look at this guy. 'How can I serve you, O Lord?' 'Well, a nice order of firstborn might be nice, maybe with a little mint jelly on the side ...' and he takes me seriously! Oy, what a schmuck."
Tubetoob on May 24th, 2011 01:28 pm (UTC)
Re: I never met a 4 I didn't like
Yeah, I didn't get my info off of the Internet. I got it out of a book written by a Biblical translation scholar.
Your Obedient Serpent: His Master's Voiceathelind on May 24th, 2011 08:36 pm (UTC)
Re: I never met a 4 I didn't like
Man, I wish there were some way to say, "What's the book, and who's the scholar?" without it coming out all confrontational and jerkass. I really am mildly interested, because I want to see what his peers have to say.

I try not to make statements based on a book. Making it into print doesn't automatically bestow credibility; fringe theories aside (and I've got boxes of Real Wood Pulp chock full of those), even respected experts can come up with perfectly good hypotheses that don't pan out.

A terrific example is Greg S. Paul's Predatory Dinosaurs of the World, an otherwise-excellent reference, marred only by Paul's decision that Deinonychus antirrhopus actually belonged in genus Velociraptor. Paul later changed his mind on that -- but not before his book was used as Michael Crichton's main reference for Jurassic Park, immortalizing his lapse.

Crichton, in turn, has gotten twenty years of flak for Not Doing The Research. He did do the research, and tried to tap the most up-to-date information he could lay his hands on -- but he Should Have Gotten A Second Opinion.
Tubetoob on May 24th, 2011 08:48 pm (UTC)
Re: I never met a 4 I didn't like
I could tell you one of two, but doesn't seem to matter which book it is, does it?

I recognize it's an appeal to authority, but if you're just going to dismiss any source that I can cite, then I'm afraid I can't have this debate with you short of becoming a Biblical scholar and learning Classical Greek and going back to the ancient texts, and then teaching you the same.

On the other hand, that means that your own page after page that come up on Google are equally invalid. Remember that sources on the Internet tend to be recursive.
Your Obedient Serpent: tell it like it ISathelind on May 24th, 2011 11:03 pm (UTC)
Re: I never met a 4 I didn't like
If there's only one source, then no, it doesn't matter.
Your Obedient Serpent: cronkiteathelind on May 25th, 2011 03:51 am (UTC)
Re: I never met a 4 I didn't like
You know, I was just looking at my previous comment, and I realized that it's really easy to miss the italics on the "a" in the phrase "I try not to make statements based on a book". Without that emphasis, it reads entirely differently than I intended ... I not only sound like an arrogant jerk (which I will cop to), but willfully ignorant and disdainful of the printed word (which I am most certainly not).

Let me clarify: I try not to make statements of form opinions based on one source. If I run into a claim that intrigues me, like this one, I try to evaluate it in terms of other sources, including reviews and responses from other people in the same field.

I had no intention of dismissing your source out of hand, but I can't evaluate data that's unavailable to me.

(I really, really liked Elaine Morgan's "Aquatic Ape" theory of human origins, but it just didn't hold up under scrutiny.)

Edited at 2011-05-25 03:53 am (UTC)
Tube: Look Around Youtoob on May 25th, 2011 04:53 am (UTC)
Re: I never met a 4 I didn't like
Plus, why do our fingers get all pruney?
leonard_arlotte: Slyleonard_arlotte on May 25th, 2011 04:51 am (UTC)
Re: I never met a 4 I didn't like


You're going to smugly cite a source, then when asked to name the source, refuse?

But you are going to take that one source of information, and rely unquestioningly on it, and take umbrage when people question its veracity? How does this make you any better than any other religious fanatic?

You were the one making the assertion (about the rope misquote), the burden of proof falls upon you. If you fail to produce evidence to back up this claim by not producing a citation, or even a bibliographical entry, then your argument, and with it your case, fails.
Tube: religiontoob on May 25th, 2011 04:55 am (UTC)
Re: I never met a 4 I didn't like
I didn't back it up because I was informed that the source was irrelevant, since it was only a single source. So what would the point be. Since you ask, the source (if I am recalling correctly), was Rescuing the Bible From Fundamentalism by one Spong. But I could be misremembering, and it might be one of Bart Ehrmann's books.
leonard_arlotte: Hero at Large!leonard_arlotte on May 25th, 2011 04:57 am (UTC)
As for how they they'd react?

Matthew 7:22-23