Ask the Preacher
Sender: Jon Rowe
What does "not given to wine" mean in 1 Tim. 3:3? Specifically, does it mean an elder cannot drink any wine?
To be given to would means something like to be given over to or to be owned by. Some translations render this, "Not addicted to wine," which conveys the idea rather well. In other words, and elder must not be addicted to wine. An addictive personality may demonstrate a number of other problems, not the least of which is an impaired ability for discernment, wisdom, and sound judgment. Other problems may include family problems, lack of trust in God, an inability to face and deal with problems, or simply a hedonistic tendency, all of which render a person unsuitable to be an elder.
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