Re: OINWi OLIGWi CRW in 1Tim. 5:23

From: David L. Moore (
Date: Thu Apr 16 1998 - 17:33:16 EDT

At 10:41 AM 4/16/98 -0500, Carl W. Conrad wrote:

>At 9:54 AM -0500 4/16/98, David L. Moore wrote:

>> Many thanks to Edward for his informative and interesting piece on the
>>meaning of OINOS in a biblical context.
>> I have another question which concerns the use of this word in
>>1Tim. 5:23.
>> What I am wondering is whether CRAOMAI with the dative may mean here that
>>Timothy should "add a little wine..." to his drinking water.
> Although
>"only" is not formally expressed in the Greek text, the fact is that
>hUDROPOTEIN is pretty much the same sort of aberration in ancient
>Mediterranean society, and has much the same connotations as "teetotaller"
>in our own society, as one may see from consulting LSJ, so that the real
>force of MHKETI hUDROPOTEI is "Don't continue to be a teetotaller ..." I'd
>say also that (a) I don't think this implies any pejorative valuation of
>either teetotalling or of wine-drinking on the author's part, but simply
>expresses a judgment that there are medicinal benefits to moderate drinking
>of wine, and (b) I think the phrasing here is odd if one imagines it to
>mean "dilute the water with an infusion of wine." The normal procedure is
>in fact just the opposite, the dilution of the thick, syrupy wine from the
>amphora with sufficient water to make the mixture (and there's the modern
>Greek word, KRASI from the ancient KRASIS) match one's preference for
>flavor and alcoholic strength.

        Well, that answers my question. I looked up some of the references LSJ
gives and found hUDROPOTEW does consistently carry the implication of
drinking *only* water. Herodotus, in a construction that shows similarity
to 1Tim. 5:23, applies it to a people who live where grapes do not grow
saying, OUK OINWi DIACREWNTAI ALLA UDROPOTEOUSI (Her. 1:71:3). Plato uses
it along with KATISCNAINOMENOS "dieting"(?) (Rep. 8:561c). There is
another word for teetotaler, the cognate hUDROPOTHS which, according to
LSJ, is used by one of the Greek authors in a pejorative sense.

David L. Moore
Miami, Florida, USA
Southeastern Spanish District of the A/G Dept. of Education
Home Page:


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:39:23 EDT