Are rich people condemned to hell unless?

Matthew 19:24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God."
I interpet this verse as that a rich man is somewhat condemned to hell unless he sells his possessions?If thats really the case then i think that it is a bit unfair for those with inhereted wealth or people who worked hard to get where they are to be condemned for their choises.But then again that is a rule maybe?How do you view this verse?

It’s talking about difficulty, not impossibility. Do you know what the eye of a needle was? (Hint: it was big enough for a camel to go through).

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I read this more of a proverbial type statement that isn’t meant to be universally applicable. It would be basically arguing, from the context it was said in, that rich people may be more wedded to their money than the demands of the kingdom / faith. This was exemplified in this context by Jesus’s demands on this particular individual

Are you referring to the gate here? As far as I know many scholars argue that there is no evidence that any such gate named this existed


If you’re referring to the low gate in the walls of Jerusalem, that’s a myth that many affluent Christians have used to comfort themselves.

There was no such gate however.


Actually it wasn’t (at least as far as I know). Quoting from wikipedia:

The “Eye of the Needle” has been claimed to be a gate in Jerusalem, which opened after the main gate was closed at night. A camel could not pass through the smaller gate unless it was stooped and had its baggage removed. The story has been put forth since at least the 15th century and possibly as far back as the 9th century. However, there is no widely accepted evidence for the existence of such a gate.

But, @Nick, I encourage you to read the next couple of verses in the passage:

When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Wealth is often an obstacle to salvation because (among other reasons) it is easy to think ourselves self-reliant when we have it, so that we do not seek God or place faith in Jesus. But the wealthy can certainly be saved just as any of us can, and the Bible contains examples of wealthy people who seem to be considered in right standing with God. (Job comes to mind, particularly after his ordeal when God restores his wealth.)


If you’re talking about the supposed gate in Jerusalem, I don’t think there’s any evidence for its existence. But are you familiar with hyperbole?


Are you referring to the claim that the “eye of the needle” was a small gate in Jerusalem? If so, the claim does not appear to be well substantiated or widely supported.

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What are you talking about?

Or the idea that it might be a mistranslation for “tope” instead of “camel”?

I can understand why Christians would want to think they could keep their wealth and still get into heaven, and that Christian apologists invent such stories constantly.

Ive never heard of the doors story till now.I dont think Jesus was reffering to that Gate though

Yeah i can see that.Seems reasonable

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When posts get left pending moderator approval for a long time, the result is five people responding to the same claim in the same way. :stuck_out_tongue:


Whats your opinion about it?

I think it would be more accurate to say that such stories are invented only occasionally, but then they get repeated (without checking whether they have any basis in reality) far too frequently.


The story of the gate? It’s too convenient and rings false. A mistranslation of ‘rope’ is more likely, but there’s no real reason why there needs to be an ‘explanation’ anyway - the basic meaning isn’t so inconceivable that it couldn’t be correct.

I think a meaning where it is merely hard, rather than impossible (as the hyperbolic meaning would seem to suggest), would be more comfortable to certain theologies. Sola fide becomes somewhat problematic if your actions, rather than simply your faith, can dictate whether or not you can enter the kingdom of God.

It would also make the metaphor of the rich man and camels passing through the eye of the needle completely meaningless, since if the camel could in fact easily pass through the eye of the needle during daytime then Jesus giving this answer in the form of this metaphor instead of just answering “yes, Rich people have no difficulty entering paradise” seems completely pointless. It only ever made sense as a way of emphasizing in figurative language that it would be a ginormous challenge only possible through the will of God. Instead of something you could just casually do at any time you want during daytime, every day.

I am curious about this, what word do you think is mistranslated? I can’t see rope in the passage, or are you saying that the Greek word translated as camel might really mean “rope” - MGS has καμιλος as cable / rope with καμηλος being a later spelling, but it doesn’t say when that spelling came in, so I can see where you would be coming from on that. It also has καμηλος as “camel” so both are lexically possible if the later spelling of καμιλος came in before or during the time of Jesus

An interesting contextual argument against the rope translation is given in the following excerpt from a commentary by RT France

Matthew 19:24 (NICNT Mt): whereas in v. 23 the salvation of the rich was merely “hard,” now it is declared impossible. This is the clear sense of the grotesque imagery of the camel (the largest animal in Palestine) going through the eye of a needle, as it is of a parallel rabbinic saying which speaks of an elephant (the largest animal known in Mesopotamia, where this rabbinic material originated) going through the eye of a needle. Moreover, the disciples’ response in v. 25 assumes that Jesus has ruled out the salvation of the rich altogether, and Jesus’ reply in v. 26 confirms that that was his meaning: it is humanly “impossible”. This clear intention of the proverb in context has not prevented some interpreters trying to make the impossible possible. see p. 729, n. 8, for the later substitution of kamilon, “rope” or “cable,” for kamēlon, “camel.” The word is not attested in Greek before this time, and LSJ suggest that it may have been coined in an attempt to evade the sense of this text. But if so it was not a very clever attempt, since it is hardly less ludicrous to attempt to put a cable through the eye of a needle than it is a camel. More widely adopted has been a suggestion popularized in the nineteenth century that “the eye of the needle” was a name for a small gate within the large double gate of a city wall, through which pedestrians could enter without the need for the large gates to be opened as they would be for a camel train. It is suggested that a camel might be forced through such a gate with great difficulty, and further spiritual lessons have then been extracted from the observation that in order to do so it would have to bend its knees and be stripped of its load. This romantic speculation has been so often repeated that it is sometimes treated as an established exegesis. Unfortunately, while this suggestion was not new in the nineteenth century, there is in fact no evidence at all for such usage of “the eye of the needle” either in non-biblical sources or in ancient commentaries on the gospels. Even if there were, such a scenario would be quite out of keeping with what the context requires: v. 23 spoke of difficulty, but v. 24 goes further and speaks of impossibility, as vv. 25–26 will confirm.

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Καμηλος is camel.Καμιλος is rope to be clear.Im Greek ,but i dont remember neither can read anything ancient.I still remember some things from school though

Here is some of the data from the Ancient Greek lexicons

MGS (Brill Dictionary of Ancient Greek:

κάμῑλος -ου, ὁ cable, rope L. Sud. Sch. Aristoph. Ve. 1035f etc. later -ηλος.


  1. κάμηλος -ου, ὁ, ἡ Heb. gāmāl camel Aeschl. Suppl. 285 Hdt. 3.105.2 Aristoph. Av. 1559 VT Gen. 12:16 NT Matt. 23:24 etc. | dromedary Plut. Alex. 31 ‖ collect. the camels Hdt. 1.80.2.
  2. κάμηλος -ου, ὁ later for κάμιλος

Liddel Scott Jones:

κάμηλος [ᾰ], ὁ and ἡ (as in Ar.Av.1563), camel, Camelus bactrianus and C. dromedarius (cf. Arist.HA499a13), A.Supp.285, etc.; τοὺς ἔρσενας τῶν κ. Hdt.3.105; κ. ἀμνός a camel-lamb, i.e. young camel, Ar.Av.1559 (lyr.); κ. δρομάς Plu.Alex.31: prov., κάμηλον καταπίνειν Ev.Matt.23.24; cf. κάμιλος.
2. ἡ κ. camelry Hdt.1.80. (Semitic word, cf. Hebr. gāmāl.)
3. camel’s load, PGrenf.50 (ii/iii a.d.), PWisc.47 (iv a.d.), etc.


κάμῑλος, ὁ, rope Sch.Ar.V.1035, Suid. (Perh. coined as an emendation of the phrase εὐκοπώτερόν ἐστι κάμηλον διὰ τρυπήματος (v.l. τρήματος) ῥαφίδος διελθεῖν ἢ πλούσιον εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ εἰσελθεῖν Ev.Matt.19.24: but cf. Arab. jummal ‘ship’s cable’.) perh. also ICilicie108 (sp. καμηλ-, v/vi a.d.).

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“Rope” mistranslated as “camel” since, as you note, they are similar.