Iver Larsen iver_larsen at
Sat Jan 18 03:05:31 EST 2003

> Denny Diehl here
> with a question concerning the requirements of
> a bishop (1 Tim 3:3) and a deacon (1 Tim 3:8).
> First, MH PAROINON is variously translated
> sometimes to parallel MH OINWi POLLWi
> PROSEXONTAS and sometimes different from it.
> The KJV has
> 	:3  Not given to wine
> 	:8  Not given to much wine
> The NASB has
> 	:3  Not addicted to wine
> 	:8  Not addicted to much wine
> The NIV has
> 	:3  Not given to drunkenness
> 	:8  Not indulging in much wine
> just variously stated?  Or is there a slight difference in
> meaning?  What really sounds strange to me is the NASB's
> "not addicted to wine" and "not addicted to much wine."
> It seems to me, addiction is addiction.

Yes, I would agree. Addiction implies that one does something far too much
and gets controlled by it. I am not surprised that NASB sounds strange.
Literal translations often sound strange and usually do not communicate the
meaning properly.
> Is there any evidence for MH PAROINON to be taken to
> be a directive to stay completely away from wine, as Timothy
> was doing (1 Tim 5:23) except for Paul's instruction for him
> to use a little for the sake of his stomach?  That, to me, would
> make sense, bishops stay completely away from wine, deacons
> do not use much wine?  What say you?

I would say no, and your hypothesis does not make sense to me. According to
BAGD MH PAROINOS means someone who is not  "drunken, addicted to wine" and
not someone who never drinks wine. If that was the intended meaning, it
could have been stated simply enough as "not drink wine" (and probably in
other ways that I don't know.)

Whether a person is addicted to wine - PAROINOS - or habitually drinks too
much wife - OINWi POLLWi PROSECEI makes no difference.
> Of course, I recognize wine in the first century as that mentioned
> in 2 Macc 15:39.

By that I assume you claim that wine was always mixed with water. I am
afraid I don't "recognize" that, nor do I know of any support anywhere for
such an claim.

2 Macc 15:39 says in part:


REB has translated this verse as follows:
"For, just as it is disagreeable to drink wine by itself or water by itself,
whereas the mixing of the two produces a pleasant and delightful taste, so
too variety of style in a literary work charms the ear of the reader. Let
this, then, be my final word."

NRSV says: "For just as it is harmful to drink wine alone, or, again, to
drink water alone, while wine mixed with water is sweet and delicious and
enhances one's enjoyment..."

I am not completely convinced by these translation. I can see nothing in the
text that could be translated as "taste", nor does the text necessarily mean
that wine is mixed with water to form one drink. If I understand it
correctly, it could as well mean "(drinking) wine interspersed/combined with
(drinking) water is sweet and results in a delightful grace(?)".
(I don't quite understand EPITERPH. It is supposed to be feminine/masculine,
accusative, so ought to modify CARIN rather than the nominative OINOS, but
why is it before the article and why is there an article?)

The last part of the verse talks about variety of style in a literary work.
In a story there will be dramatic, interesting stretches and some more dull
stretches. A story needs variety. It is bad story which is all peak or
interesting moments - all wine - or all dull moments - all water. A story
needs to be a mixture. But you don't mix peak and non-peak to occur at the
same time.
In the same way, what a person drinks day by day ought to be a mixture, that
is, there needs to be variety. If you only drink wine all the time - OINON
KATA MONAS PINEIN, that brings "a small war". The same if you drink water
all the time. But it is sweet to have variety, sometimes you celebrate with
wine, at other times you just drink water.

The word SUGKERANNUMI basically means "to combine". Paul uses it in 1 Cor
12:24 where he talks about how God has combined many different members of
the body into one unity. Heb 4:2 talks about combining hearing and
believing. If you only have one, something is wrong. If you only have the
other, something is also wrong. There needs to be a combination of two or
more things.

Those are my thoughts,
Iver Larsen

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