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Not Addicted To Wine
AN ELDER MUST BE ONE WHO IS “NOT ADDICTED TO WINE”

This it would seem, is a rather obvious and clear instruction. An elder is one who is not apt to become a drunk. Some translate this phrase as “not one who lingers” over wine. The NIV reads, “Not given to drunkenness.”
However, let's move along in this same chapter and read the qualification for a deacon. He is not to be “addicted to much wine” (1 Tim 3:8, NAS). Another version uses the phrase, “not indulging in much wine” (1 Tim 3:8, NIV). The most obvious question that arises from a closer look at this chapter is, “If the deacon is not to be “addicted” or “indulging” in MUCH wine, then is the elder not to be “addicted” or “given” to any wine?
Most literal translations render the phrase “not given to wine” in 1 Timothy 3:3, while rendering 1 Timothy 3:8, “not given to much” wine.

The following is from The Greek New Testament: (Third Edition (corrected), Copyright 1966, 1968, 1975, 1983 by The United Bible Societies, Used by Permission.) I place it here for your information.

In 1 Timothy 3:3 we have these Greek words, “me” (me (may); a primary particle of qualified negation (whereas NT:3756 expresses an absolute denial); (adverbially) not, (conjunctionally) lest; also (as an interrogative implying a negative answer [whereas NT:3756 expects an affirmative one]) whether: Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.) and “paroinos” (paroinos (par'-oy-nos); staying near wine, i.e. tippling (a toper): (Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.). The word “me” simply means “negative,” therefore “not.” The Greek word “paroinos” is defined as “staying near wine.” The Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, reads, “BRAWLER, paroinos, lit., "tarrying at wine" (para, "at," oinos, "wine"), "given to wine” (Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright (c)1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers).

In 1 Timothy 3:8 we have the Greek words, “me,” “oinos” (oinos (oy'-nos); a primary word; "wine" (literally or figuratively): (Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc. ), “Polus” (polus (pol-oos'); including the forms from the alternate pollos; (singular) much (in any respect) or (plural) many; neuter (singular) as adverbial, largely; neuter (plural) as adverb or noun often, mostly, largely: (Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.) and “prosecho” (prosecho (pros-ekh'-o); (figuratively) to hold the mind, towards, i.e. pay attention to, be cautious about, apply oneself to, adhere to: (Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright (c) 1994, Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, Inc.). This would literally be translated, “not wine much pay attention to.” Of course putting these words in the order that we would, “Not paying much attention to wine.”

Why all of the Greek? Just to show that when the qualifications are listed for the deacon appear, the word “much” appears, while in the qualifications for overseer, the word is omitted. The phrase in 1 Timothy 3:3 is (in my conclusion) correctly translated in the King James Version, “Not given to wine.” The Greek word above “paroinos,” is from two words: “para,” “at” and “oinos,” “wine.” Literally, “not at wine.” I'm not a Greek scholar, but it seems from the simplest translation (all commentaries aside) that the elder is not to be “at wine.” It seems that I remember someone once putting it this way, “He is not to sit at wine.” I think that a good concluson from what I can determine from the text. Of course, it makes the NIV rendering (as it should) quite wide of the mark!
It is more than obvious that an elder is not to be given to drunkenness as is evident from the fact that drunkards will not even inherit the kingdom of heaven (Gal. 5:21). These qualifications show a man who is prudent, wise, respectable, above reproach . . . . . . Would this kind of a man be likely to be found drinking the `mind altering' alcoholic drink of today? Would he be likely to risk leading another astray who might be having doubts about alcohol (Rom. 14:21f)?