A prohibitionist claimed:
There is no way around Proverbs 20:1.
So, let’s take a look at this verse that will absolutely prove the prohibitionist correct:
Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
The first two clauses are offered as absolute proof that any alcohol consumption is forbidden by God, and the last part of the verse is discarded as meaningless rambling to fill out the meter of the poetry.
However, when we read the verse in its entirety, which I’ve been told is a legitimate method of exegesis, we can’t help but notice that “whosoever is deceived [by wine or string drink] is not wise.”
Any moderationist would freely agree that that it is not wise to be deceived by wine, and that falling into drunkenness constitutes such deception. In fact, many concordances and lexicons say that the Hebrew word used here for “deceived” can refer to intoxication, so that can hardly be called an unreasonable interpretation.
The only thing that can be said of Proverbs 20:1 with any certainty is that it is one of the many passages in the Bible that speaks of the foolishness of intoxication.