Tuesday, March 16, 2004

A Deacon, A Bishop and Wine

A good friend asked me about the qualifications that Paul gives in 1Tim. 3:3 and 3:8 for the offices of a bishop (same as elder) and that of a deacon. Paul says that a bishop is be not “given to wine” and a deacon was to be “Not given to much wine.” His question was are these two different standards? Is the deacon allowed to have wine and not a minister.

Here is what I sent my friend.

Below you will find some information on I Timothy 3:3 and Titus 1:7. A bishop is not to be “given to wine.” The word translated “given to wine” (paroinos[n]) is defined by Strong as “drunken.” I have placed Strong; Vines, three other Bible translations, Calvin’s commentary and some other’s comments on this matter below.

Strongs: paroinos {par'-oy-nos} given to wine 1) given to wine, drunken

Vines Dictionary: an adjective, lit., "tarrying at wine" (para, "at," oinos, "wine"), "given to wine," I Tim. 3:3; Titus 1:7, AV, probably has the secondary sense, of the effects of wine-bibbing, viz., abusive brawling.

New Testament Greek Lexicon: pa/roinov paroinos Phonetic Spelling par'-oy-nos :given to wine, addicted to wine

NASB: not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money.
RSV: no drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, and no lover of money.
Darby: not given to excesses from wine, not a striker, but mild, not addicted to contention, not fond of money,

Calvin’s commentary: Not addicted to wine. By the word paroinon, which is here used, the Greeks denote not merely drunkenness, but any intemperance in guzzling wine. And, indeed, to drink wine excessively is not only very unbecoming in a pastor, but commonly draws along with it many things still worse; such as quarrels, foolish attitudes, unchaste conduct, and other things which it is not necessary to describe. But the contrast which is added shortly afterwards, shews that Paul goes farther than this.

Matthew Henry’s Commentary of the Whole Bible: No drunkard: Not given to wine. The priests were not to drink wine when they went in to minister (Lev. 10:8, 9), lest they should drink and pervert the law.

Adam Clark’s commentary: An eighth article in his character is, he must not be given to wine; me paroinon. This word not only signifies one who is inordinately attached to wine, a winebibber or tippler, but also one who is imperious, abusive, insolent, whether through wine or otherwise.

Fred G. Zaspel of Life Baptist Church, Pottsville, PA: says 8. Not given to wine. This term (paroinos, from para, beside, and oinos wine) signifies literally, "not [one who lingers] beside [his] wine." That is, he is not addicted to wine. He can control it, it does not control him.

Kenneth Gentry (one of my modern favorites) writes: For instance, I Timothy 3:3 and Titus 1:3 employ the Greek paroinos, which indicates one who sits long beside (para) his wine (oinos). I Timothy 3:8 reads in the Greek: me oino pollo prosechontas. Notice the word pollo, which indicates "much" and prosechontas, which with the dative here means "occupied with."

Hampton Keathley III at Bible.org (Commentary on Titus) writes: “Not a drunkard.” “A drunkard” is paroinos, “addicted to wine, given to drink, a heavy drinker.” It is derived from para, “along side” and oinos, “wine.” It refers to one who sits long at his wine and becomes intoxicated and under its control rather than that of the Spirit (cf. Eph. 5:18). This is not the place due to time and space to deal with the issue of whether or not Christians should drink alcoholic beverages, but a few observations are in order. First, Paul does not forbid the use of wine or teach total abstinence.

Coram Deo,

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