Re: Grounds for disbelief

From: Don Winterstein (
Date: Wed Jun 04 2003 - 03:06:45 EDT

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    George Murphy wrote:
    > If I may quibble: An expert on textual criticism may correct me but there
    is no
    > "reading" /kamilon/ = "rope" rather than /kamelos/ = "camel". It is
    instead a "textual
    > emendation" - i.e., a guess at what the text might originally have been.
    That is a
    > legitimate procedure when the text we have is in such disarray that it
    doesn't make any
    > sense - as is the case in some places in the OT, like parts of Job. But
    otherwise it's
    > not appropriate.
    > & here's something I hadn't noticed before. On looking up /kamilos/ in my
    > antique (1843!) Liddell-Scott, I find this note:
    > "/a rope/: but probably invented merely to explain away the well-known
    > in the N.T., /for a camel to go through the eye of a needle/, etc., where
    a rope might
    > seem to us a more prob. image: but the Arabs have a proverb, /like an
    elephant going
    > through a needle's eye/; and /to swallow a camel/ occurs in N.T.; so that
    this is
    > needless."
    > But this was written before the discovery of a lot of the koine documents
    > don't rely on it without checking some newer reference.

    Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (copyright 1977) says,
    in part:

    "kamilos, ou, ho, a cable; the reading of certain Mss. in Mt. xix. 24 and
    Lk. xvii. 25..... The word is found only in Suidas [1967c.] and the Schol.
    on Arstph. vesp. [1030].... "

    I don't comprehend all of Thayer's abbreviations and annotations, but to me
    this means that, apart from some NT manuscripts, the word is found in only
    two other ancient manuscripts, one from around 1100 A.D. (Suidas) and the
    other (possibly) from ancient Greece (Aristophanes?). So apparently it
    wasn't "merely invented" but was very rarely used.


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