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Drinking

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Calminian, Jun 19, 2018.

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  1. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Just in addition, let me share an anecdote. Not too long ago my wife and I drove to the Lake Michigan beach in Racine where I have memories from high school days. One day I walked to the beach from our house, and happened on a homeless man sitting on a bench. Thinking to witness to him, I sat down with him. His idea, though, was to defend his drinking. He said, "Jesus made wine in the Bible, so it's okay for me to drink."

    Make of it what you will. Time for Calminian to holler, "Emotionalism!" Tell you what, just so Calminian can do that, here's another anecdote. As a boy, I went with my Dad to the Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago, where he was to preach. As we walked down the street, he stopped by a drunk lying in the gutter, and said, "Johnny, that's what liquor will do." That's all he said. Dad knew whereof he spoke. His father was a drunkard who used to come home and beat him. Granddad died young, so then Dad's two older brothers used to do the same--come home and beat him. "More than 10 percent of U.S. children live with a parent with alcohol problems, according to a 2012 study." (Alcohol Facts and Statistics | National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA))

    Tell you what, I'd rather err on the side of caution with alcohol, and only imbibe for cough syrup than to take a chance on being the one of ten drinkers who become alcoholics. Emotional? Maybe so. But that's okay. Emotion isn't sinful.
     
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  2. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    Here is my summation of the wine at the wedding of Cana. The word “wine” (oinos) is used five times, with no distinction as to what kind of wine. There was “wanted wine,” “no wine,” “made wine,” and “good wine” (twice) – with the implication of “worse wine” (v. 10; though only the word translated “worse” is used, it is in reference to wine).

    Four observations in the text of John 2:1-11.
    Good wine is capable of intoxicating. “Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine (καλον οινον); and when men have well drunk (μεθυσθωσιν), then that which is worse (ελασσω, lesser, worse in quality).”
    The governor of the feast called the wine he was drinking “good wine.” “but thou hast kept the good wine (καλον οινον) until now”
    Jesus made the good wine that the governor of the feast was drinking. “the water that was made wine...This beginning of miracles did Jesus”
    Jesus performed the miracle of making the good wine, the equivalent of a fermented wine, from water. “This beginning of miracles did Jesus”

    This sets forth process of understanding whereby I am compelled to conclude that fermented wine (wine capable of intoxicating) is neither inherently evil nor completely proscribed by the teachings of the Bible. This does not mean we have to drink it, and, in addition, there may be some very good reasons to choose not to.

    [Note: “The equivalent of a fermented wine” not equivocation. It is simply recognition that the entire process from growth on the vine to harvest, from winepress through fermentation, and to table were all immediately duplicated and rendered unnecessary by the miraculous power of the Lord Jesus Christ.]
     
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  3. TCassidy

    TCassidy Late-Administator Emeritus
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    How do you know the wine was capable of intoxicating? Where in the narrative is that said? (And, yes, I am aware that μεθυσθωσιν is passive voice.)

    Does the subjunctive mood of the verb indicate it is non-factual or that it is regrettable?
     
  4. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    The word used -- well drunk (μεθυσθωσιν) -- and the effect, rendering bringing out the wine of lesser quality unnoticeable or much less noticeable.
     
  5. TCassidy

    TCassidy Late-Administator Emeritus
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    That doesn't really answer my question. "Well drunk" (KJV) seems to understand the word as a mere verb modified by "well." The ASV says "drunk freely" in the same verse, and with a meaning very similar.

    Gill says "not to excess, but freely."

    Barnes says "This word does not of necessity mean that they were intoxicated."

    Even JFB say it is to be understood to mean "drunk abundantly."

    Is the purpose of μεθυσθωσιν to indicate they were intoxicated or does it indicate they had consumed completely the beverage provided?

    This is the only place in the NT that this word is used in this form.

    I understand that in the rest of the NT the cognates mean, as a general understanding, intoxication. But can we be dogmatic about this usage as it is unique to this verse?
     
  6. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    I hadn't felt a great need to look at it more closely or give more detail, since Brother Hime, the primary proponent of the opposite position, had stipulated that it means drunken.
    Mounce defines it this way: "(pass.) to be or become drunk." Interestingly, Barnes also adds "though it is usually employed in that sense [i.e. intoxicated]." Though Gill's "not to excess, but freely" stops short of "well drunk" meaning intoxicated, other statements suggest he had no idea that the wine itself was anything but fermented. Tyndale translates it "when men be dronke..."

    Interesting note in the Geneva Study Bible:
    Then there is always the good old Convention Southern Baptist Version, "...Everyone sets out the fine wine first, then, after people are drunk, the inferior."

    So I guess all that is the long answer/non-answer. The short answer would be that I derive my understanding of the meaning of the word within any semantic range it may have from my understanding of the context.
    Interesting question, and I think the only realistic alternate explanation I can recall seeing put forward -- i.e., that "well drunk" means that they had consumed the beverage provided (had finished the "first course"?). To be clear, I don't think the governor of the feast has to be understood to mean that anyone at this particular wedding feast is already intoxicated, just that is the usual way it is done -- ply them awhile on some good wine, until you can bring out the cheap stuff. Makes the reception much more affordable! If I understand the possibility you are suggesting it is that they would only supply a certain amount of good wine, enough for most everyone to feel satisfied, before bringing out the cheap stuff. Is that a correct understanding of what you are suggesting? Would it be something like this at a more modern wedding -- the caterer says "We've got X number of guests, and we're going to supply X bottles of good wine. If they drink all that up, then they'll have to drink the cheap stuff."
     
  7. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    I didn't see this question earlier, but it may not matter. Not sure I can answer it satisfactorily. Perhaps it would be used because the bringing out of the "worse" wine is contingent on the consuming of the good wine?
     
  8. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson Administrator
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    Six Hour Warning
    This thread will be closed sometime after 1:45 AM Pacific.
     
  9. Squire Robertsson

    Squire Robertsson Administrator
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    This thread is closed.
     
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