On our newsgroup, someone posted up your article on 'pharmakeia' and I read it. Then, I went to your site and got your email address for the purpose of writing to you.
There was a critic of your work that claimed to leave out the use of drugs by the pharmaceutical industry is deceptive. You claimed that words in the Word can have many different meanings and choose as your example 'zeal.' This word from the Word is KNH or canna. The same name for the town where the first miracle took place. There are other definitions for KNH that you failed to mention. I invite you to examine those definitions in this study.
[The person then listed a web page where people claimed to find several Hebrew words to mean cannabis (marijuana). It goes so far as to claim:
"Marijuana in the Bible is the Tree of Life and the Way of Redemption for our Health, Wealth and the Fallen State of our Souls with cognate study of KNH, BSM & MKNH in the literal Word with Genesis 4:1; 14:19,22; 1st Kings 14:15, Ezekiel 31:9, Matthew 11:7, Luke 7:24 for the revelatory Word."
"Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation--as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures" (II Peter 3:14-16).
"If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself" (I Timothy 6:3-5).
The style of argumentation basically claims that if there is some way to get from point A to point B, no matter how obscure or twisted the path, then point A must be the same location as point B.
The absurdity of this way of thinking is well illustrated by the old joke:
Why are fire engines red?
- Because they've got 8 wheels and 4 people on them
- 8 + 4 = 12
- There are 12 inches in a foot
- One foot is a ruler
- There was a ruler named Queen Elizabeth
- A ship named Queen Elizabeth sails the seas
- In the seas are fish
- On the fish are fins
- The Fins fought the Russians
- And Russians are red.
And that's why fire engines are red. Because they're always rushin'
The marijuana plant falls in the genus of hemp plants. The Latin name for this group is cannabis, a word the Romans borrowed from the Greeks. In Greek, the word is kannabis, which means, of all things, hemp.
What these foolish people did was find a similar-sounding word in Hebrew, but they only matched the first two syllables! Yes, Jesus did his first miracle in the town of Cana. But its name comes from the nearby wadi, which is mentioned in Joshua: "The border went out from Tappuah westward to the Brook Kanah, and it ended at the sea. This was the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Ephraim according to their families" (Joshua 16:8). (The translated Hebrew word is קָנָה qanah). Why was the brook named this? Because the Hebrew word קָנֶה qaneh means a reed or stalk. It refers to plants that grow in marshy soil which have stiff woody stems -- these are not hemp plants.
To connect this to something advocated by God, they move from the town of Cana qanah to zealous קָנַּא qin'ah. Even non-Hebrew readers should be able to see the words are not the same, despite their similarities in transliteration.
But the real point is why should one? There is a Greek word for hemp plants. Why chase after imaginary connections. It is because the Greek word for hemp doesn't appear in the Bible! Thus they have to imagine some type of justification for their drug use.
The sad part is that people are so focused on justifying what they've already made up their minds about, they don't see what the Bible actually says. Drug use is condemned because it alters the user's mind. A person on drugs, like marijuana, is not sober-minded as advocated in the Scriptures. "Likewise exhort the young men to be sober-minded" (Titus 2:6). They know it. When they are high, they refer to the state as being stoned. They know they aren't thinking straight. Marijuana causes a distortion in the perception of sight, sound, time, and touch. It interferes with thinking and problem-solving. It can cause a loss of coordination, paranoia, and anxiety attacks. Marijuana reduces inhibitions against risky behavior -- the same reason alcohol use is condemned in the Scriptures. "But they also have erred through wine, And through intoxicating drink are out of the way; The priest and the prophet have erred through intoxicating drink, They are swallowed up by wine, They are out of the way through intoxicating drink; They err in vision, they stumble in judgment" (Isaiah 28:7).
Perhaps this explains the warped thinking on this person's part. Perhaps he has been using weed for too long and he doesn't even realize he isn't thinking soberly and logically. Recreational use of marijuana is condemned in Scriptures, not justified.
There are to be mockers in the last day. Your reply mocks the Word of God and the testimony of Rick ... 'Zeal' in the Word of God refers to the attitude of the farmer over his hemp crop. You call the 'tree of life' and by inference the prophecies of the 'healing of the nations' in the Revelation as merely 'suspicious' activity in your article on 'legalizing drugs'.
In John, "Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?" 10:32
Christian means those who have been 'anointed' with the oil of Moses according to order in 1st John Chapter 2. The second coming is a manifestation of this call to order for His bride the Church.
I encourage you to read with understanding Isaiah 28 and repent of your anti-anointed falsification of the Word of God, 'now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord God of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth.'
"Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world" (I John 4:1).
As strange as it might seem, there are really are people who not only promote drug use but have made a religion out of it. Sometimes we fool ourselves into thinking this was something people did back in the ancient days, little realizing that the seeds of such dangerous nonsense still exist in society and will germinate at any time.
Accuracy does not matter to such people. Like the Devil before Jesus in the wilderness, they will spout Scriptures and make arguments that might sound sophisticated to a few but are in truth empty words based on nothing.