I read on a website about Matthew 19:24 that said the Greek scholars mistakenly translated the word meaning “thick rope” to “camel. ” They said that the Assyrian and Aramaic words are similar. I am Assyrian and I know that the words are actually very similar but have different meanings. Doesn't it make more sense that the verse would be, “It is easier for a thick rope to go through the eye of a needle . . . ” than for “a camel going through the eye of a needle”?
The passage that you refer to is as follows:
Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. (NASB) Matthew 19:24
Greek or Aramaic
It is important to remember that the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke were written in Greek and only portions are written in Aramaic. The verse was written in Greek and not in Aramaic. Therefore, the Aramaic for “thick rope”does not apply. The website you visited might have been confused because there is a Greek word for “large rope” which appears in a few of the ancient Greek manuscripts. The Greek word for “thick rope” is KAMILON, but the Greek word for “camel” is KAMELON.
Now for the key question, “Which is the correct word?” The answer is KAMELON which means “camel.” Why? KAMELON is correct because the vast majority of ancient manuscripts contain the word KAMELON and not KAMILON. Why would only a few manuscripts contain the KAMILON? It is not likely that manuscripts from many different geographical areas of the world would have all been modified. The best manuscripts have KAMELON. Therefore, it is more likely that KAMELON is the correct word. Both KAMELON and KAMILON give us the same thought that it is very hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom. It is very hard for rich people because they do not sense that they need God.
Men and women do not come to God unless they believe they need God. This is an awesome truth. Men must believe that they need God before they will come to Him. Men and women must long for help from the One who helps. Men and women must sense that they need forgiveness of their sins from Him who forgives before they will ask. What a wonderful truth. God cannot save one who does not know that he or she needs God. I hope you know that you need Him – His forgiveness.