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Bible Lexicons

Trench's Synonyms of the New Testament


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methe (Strong's #3178) Drunkenness

potos (Strong's #4224) Drunking Party

oinophlygia (Strong's #3632) Excess of Wine

kraipale (Strong's #2897)

komos (Strong's #2970) Revelry

Methe, potos, oinophlygia, komos, and kraipale refer from different perspectives to riotousness and excessive drinking of wine.

Methe ( Luke 21:34; Romans 13:13; Galatians 5:21) and potos (only in1Peter4:3) may be distinguished as an abstract and a concrete. Methe means "drunkenness" ( Joel 1:5; Ezekiel 39:19); potos refers to a drinking bout, a banquet, or a symposium. Potos does not necessarily imply excessiveness, though it does provide an opportunity for excess.

Oinophlygia, which is translated as "excess of wine" in the Authorized Version, occurs in the New Testament only in1Peter4:3 and never in the Septuagint, though oinophlygein is used in Deuteronomy 21:20 and Isaiah 56:12. Because oinophlygia refers to something worse than methe,Philo listed it among the "extreme lusts." Strictly speaking, oinophlygia means "insatiate desire for wine" or "insatiate desire." Commonly, however, oinophlygia is used to refer to a debauch, to an extravagant indulgence in alcoholic beverages that may permanently damage the body. According to Arrian, this type of fatal orgy was responsible for the death of Alexander the Great.

Komos is found only in the plural in the New Testament, where it is translated in the Authorized Version once as "rioting" ( Romans 13:13) and twice as "revelings" ( Galatians 5:21; 1 Peter 4:3). Komos unites the concepts of rioting and revelry. At the same time, komos often refers to the company of revelers themselvesto a festive company that is not necessarily riotous and drunken. Generally, however, komos refers to excess and is applied in a special sense to troops of drunken revelers who at the end of their revels, with garlands on their heads, with torches in their hands, and with shouting and singing pass to the harlots' houses or wander through the streets insulting everyone they meet. In the indignant words of Milton: "When night darkens the streets, then wander forth the sons of Belial, flown with insolence and wine. " Plutarch characterized the mad drunken march of Alexander and his army through Carmania on their return from their Indian expedition as a komos.

Kraipale is another word whose derivation remains obscure. In the New Testament it occurs only in Luke 21:34, where it is translated as "surfeiting," "carousing," or "dissipation." It does not occur in the Septuagint, though the verb kraipalao is used three times ( Psalm 78:65; Isaiah 24:20; Isaiah 29:9). The early sense of the English word fulsomeness would express kraipale very well, though fulsomeness refers to the disgust and loathing that arise from eating too much meat and drinking too much wine, while kraipale refers only to the latter.

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Bibliography Information
Trench, Richard C. Entry for 'Drunkenness'. Synonyms of the New Testament. 1854.

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