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Ephesians 5:18–19 And Religious Intoxication In The World Of Paul

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Chapter Summary

In a recent publication Stanley Porter offers a fresh analysis of Paul's injunctions in Ephesians 5:18-19 in the light of possible allusion to the cult of Dionysus. Engaging in a religious meal, in a state of intoxication, may have brought to mind Bacchic rites. This chapter focuses primarily upon the Judaic tradition and begins with a few statements by Greek writers, often in reference to the cult of Dionysus. Israel's wisdom tradition warns of the dangers of wine and strong drink. The patriarch is shameless in blaming wine and women for his failings and troubles. It is probable, therefore, that Paul's warning in Ephesians 5:18, which deliberately echoes Prov 23:31 in the Old Greek, was directed against pagan religious intoxication, best known in the form of the cult of Dionysus.

Keywords:Bacchic rites; Dionysus; Ephesians 5:18-19; Greek writers; Old Greek; patriarch; Paul; religious intoxication; Stanley Porter; wine



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