Monday, April 6, 2020

A Conversation Between a Teacher/Evangelist and Me

Shortly after becoming a Christian in Summer 1980, I was confronted by the man with whom I had studied the Bible and who had baptized me. Our conversation went something like this:

T/E:   Hey, I hear that you believe it is okay for Christians to drink alcoholic beverages. Why do you believe that?

Me:    Because that’s what the Bible teaches.

T/E:   No, it doesn’t. Christians should abstain from alcohol.

Me:    Then why does Paul say in First Corinthians 11 that the worshipers were getting drunk on the Lord’s Supper? They could only get drunk if the wine they were using was alcoholic.

T/E:   That’s not what the original Greek says. The word translated as drunk there really means “to become full”.

Me:    Then why did the translators use the word “drunk”?

T/E:   They just mistranslated it. Come to my office with me and I’ll show you.

I follow him to his office, and he pulls out his Greek New Testament and a Greek Dictionary. He opens the Bible to 1 Corinthians.

T/E:   Okay, here it is. Here’s the verse in First Corinthians you were talking about. And here’s the Greek word that is translated “drunk”. Now, let me show you what it says in the dictionary.

          He finds the word in the dictionary, but just sits there and says nothing.

Me:    So, what does it say the Greek word means?

T/E:   It says it means to be drunk. (Pauses) I’m going to have to study this more.

Me:    Okay. Let me know what you find out.

T/E:   I will.

          I never heard another word from him on the matter.