Christ's First Miracle

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by jsn9333, Aug 8, 2007.

  1. jsn9333

    jsn9333
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    I would like this thread to stay on the topic of alcohol (wine specifically) as it relates to the Bible. Please do not mention any illegal intoxicants in this thread as they might apply to yourself or even to others. It is against forum rules. In the past people have gotten my threads locked by continuing to bring up illegal intoxicant use. Please do not do that; in fact, do not even mention any legal intoxicants (like salvia, etc.) other then the drug alcohol.

    Christ's First Miracle involved two of my favorite things (weddings and wine!). Recently, the following two points were made in an attempt to establish that the wine Christ made was in fact not wine but was non-alcoholic grape juice. I would like to continue that discussion if possible.

    I had made the point that the host in the record of the miracle (in John 2) said, "Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have become drunken; but you have saved the choice wine for now." The word he used to describe how people get from the choice wine is, methyƍ. That is the greek word that is translated into "drunken" in my above quote of John 2. It literally translates to "drunken". It does not merely mean "satisified" (as with water or grape juice). However, I also made the point that to be somewhat "drunken" though still sober (in other words, having not had enough to drink to fail a sobriety test) is not a sin. Ephesians 5:18 says not to be drunk "in excess", implying that the intoxication resulting from a glass or two of wine is not a sin, but rather the excessive drunkenness as described in various passages as leading to "stumbling as if on high seas" and "vomiting" is what is sinful.

    The key to understanding the Bible is context and knowing something about the original language. This word "methyo" is only used in relation to wine and not to other beverages. It does not merely mean "satisfied" or "filled". There are other greek words that mean those things. This word means "drunk". (It is used in reference to blood sometimes, but only when speaking metaphorically about war... other then that it is only used in reference to wine).

    If someone said they went to the bar, ordered wine, and drank until he considered himself sufficiently drunk... it would be foolish if you tried to argue that they were just drinking grape juice. Then again, if they said they went to a restaurant, ordered a beverage, and drank it until they were satisfied... then grape juice would be a real possibility.

    What you are doing is entirely changing the context and even words to fit your own desired interpretation. The context is a wedding party, the drink is wine, and the word used to describe how people get is "drunk", a word that is only used in reference to wine (not "satisfied").

    I did a search for the post you mentioned above. The first post that came up says the following, "One of the key arguments advanced by those who advocate a non-alcoholic wine is that Jesus turned the water into grape juice. This argument cannot be based on any grammatical or linguistic foundation, there is none."

    I totally agree.


    Job 31:1 says "I have made a covenant with my eyes, not to look at a girl" in some translations. But it would be foolish to think that means we must never look at any female (like muslims).

    You have too look at context. The word he uses can also be translated "gaze", which implies lust. Then if you look at the context of the rest of the Bible, "lust" makes sense because we are commanded everywhere to never lust. We are never (anywhere else) told not to even look at a woman. In fact, there are lots of examples where godly men do look at and talk to women.

    Yet if you took Job 31:1 and by that verse alone decided men should never look at women period, then you would be doing the same thing you're doing with Proverbs 23.

    The actual word used in the passage is "gaze". It is a similar implication as the word "lust". The same passage also sets up the context of verse 30 by mentioning drinking "too much wine" (verse 20) and "lingering over the wine" (verse 30). The phrase "too much" in your Proverbs 23 passage implies that "some" of this wine you are saying we shouldn't even look at is okay, but "too much" is bad. God never says, "don't commit too much adultery" because even a little is already too much. Yet in Proverbs 23 we are told not to take "too much" of the wine, and are also told not to lust after it.

    You're having to jump through a lot of hoops to stick to your guns on this one. It doesn't take much more then a simple desire to examine the context of God's Word and put aside traditions of men to understand that the Muslims are wrong for making women wear full face and body coverings, and Prohibitionists are wrong for thinking it is a sin to look at a glass of wine.

    Ephesians 5:18 says (literally when you look at the greek) "do not be drunk in excess" with wine. It is not a sin to drink a glass or two of wine and become a little intoxicated (yet still be well sober according to our governments rules of it means to pass a sobriety test). It is a sin to be drunk "in excess", which means you are no longer sober.
     
  2. standingfirminChrist

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    Since Christ's desire that man not be led into temptation (Matthew 6:13), Christ would not have produced and given a beverage to man that would tempt man to become drunken.

    The wine Christ produced was not alcoholic.
     
  3. Linda64

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    Christ's first miracle wasn't turning water into an intoxicating beverage. The use of the word "wine" in the modern day sense always means alcoholic. The use of the word "wine" in the Bible doesn't always mean alcoholic--depending on the context, it can mean alcoholic or non-alcoholic. Common sense will tell you which type of "wine" it is.

    Yes, Jesus Christ turned the water into "wine", but that "wine" was not alcoholic.

    As far as others getting your previous threads closed, this is not true. You, jsn, were the person who originally brought up the subject of illegal drugs--not any of the others. By the title of the thread you started, that was moved to the Men's Private Forum, illegal drug use was implied. So don't go pointing fingers at others for getting your threads closed.
     
  4. jsn9333

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    I can't access that forum, and have been asked in PM by a moderator to no longer post in the thread he moved there (funny how that happened just after someone makes a point about me such that I can't respond to their accusations).

    I'll ask you again, please do not bring up illegal intoxicants in this thread. Thank you. I'll ask a third time (since the first one went in one ear and out the other)... please do not bring up illegal intoxicants in this thread.

    IF you can approach any of my specific points in this thread, please do. So far you have merely repeated what was originally claimed.
     
  5. jsn9333

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    My Bible says God has made every plant, including the grape. Many grapes will ferment and make wine over time even if not picked... it just happens naturally sometimes. That is how God made the plant. So God (through nature) can make the grape resulting at times in intoxicating (or "tempting" as you say) beverage, but according to you God could not have made intoxicating beverage through a miracle.

    Considering the original Greek and the direct implications of the various passages I've cited ("too much" wine being warned against, drunk "in excess" being called sin", etc.), I'm not sure it is a good bet to rely simply on your own idea that God is allowed to make wine through nature, but He is not allowed to do so through a miracle.
     
  6. standingfirminChrist

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    Your saying that Jesus created fermented beverage goes against His own command not to put a stumbling block before another. If it had been alcoholic, then Christ would have been putting a stumbling block before many... making Christ nature contrary to what it was.

    The wine at Cana of Galilee was non-alcoholic.
     
  7. Jkdbuck76

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    I'm not going to say which I believe....whether alcoholic or non-alcoholic.

    However, someone is saying that Jesus wouldn't make wine because He wouldn't tempt somebody or put a stumbling block in their road.

    In light of this, I ask the question: OK, then why did he put the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden? If there was EVER a stumbling block, then that would be it. Wouldn't it?

    I'm not saying that God tempts people with evil (read James), but if He made water into real wine, it doesn't mean He endorsed drunkenness. The bible forbids such.

    The great thing to ponder is not alcohol! The great thing to ponder is:
    why did Jesus perform His first miracle at 30 years of age? Why did He do it at a wedding? Why not the first miracle at boat ramp, or at the temple or at a bar mitzvah? Why at a wedding? Does this have some symbolic value? Does this say how He regards marriage? Is it a foreshadowing of the marriage supper of the Lamb? Why did He do wait until He had disciples? Why did He do it at Mary's urging?

    There is a lot more in the account to ponder than alcohol.
     
  8. standingfirminChrist

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    God did not put a stumbling block in the garden. The Bible records that when God finished the work that He did, it was very good.

    The tree was not the stumbling block until satan deceived the woman.
     
  9. saturneptune

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    The entire premise of your thread is incorrect. Christ's first miracle recorded in the Bible is Creation of the universe. It seems to me you need to do some more study.
     
  10. npetreley

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    I'm just going to get some popcorn and watch this one. ;)
     
  11. Jkdbuck76

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    Ok, standingfirm. But God certainly put a test in the Garden. There is "tempting" which is enticement to do evil and there is "tempting" which is testing. While God does not tempt us to do evil, He certainly puts us in a situation whereby we are tested.

    Saturnneptune:
    I think the OP is correct...in a certain sense:
    John 2:11 indicates it was His first.
    But whether or not it was His first miracle is not the crux of the issue!
    It is whether or not the wine was alcoholic.

    Fine, the water-into-wine would be His first miracle in His
    earthly ministry while he tabernacled amongst us.

    The creation was certainly done by Him as John 1:3 says.
    Could the OP have made his statement a little clearer? Sure.
    Yet still he is brining up some points for discussion.
     
  12. standingfirminChrist

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    God placed man in the garden and commanded him not to eat of the tree in the midst of the garden. He was not testing man at all.
     
  13. webdog

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    It's illegal to drink wine and drive ;)
     
  14. Amy.G

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    I agree. If we tell our children "don't go into the street", we're not testing them or tempting them, we're commanding them! And we mean it!
     
  15. jsn9333

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    Actually, the bible doesn't give a definition of the word "miracle". If we get to make up our own definition (as you have done), then one could simply respond by saying the first miracle was His existence in the first place or the creation of angels (which possibly occurred before the creation of the universe the earth resides in). It seems your arrogant accusation that I "need more study" is entirely without basis, unless you have a verse of the Bible that defines what exactly a miracle is.

    Anyway, as if your prideful remark is even wroth responding to, the "water into wine" event at Cana is commonly referred to as the 'first miracle of Christ' in New Testament seminary classes, since it is the first recorded time he displayed his power over the laws of nature as the "God-man" here on earth.

    However, as I said, "miracle" is man-made term that is simply used in the common vernacular.
     
    #15 jsn9333, Aug 8, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 8, 2007
  16. jsn9333

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    What your suggesting is like saying God could not have actually created womenkind, because some men stumble into adultery with them. It is just not very logical. God can make women, and yet instruct men in how to properly interact with them. Just because some people abuse the gift (adultery, rape, etc.) doesn't mean God caused them to stumble by putting a stumbling block before them.

    Similarly he can make wine and yet instruct mankind in how to properly interact with the substance. That would explain the verses admonishing us to avoid drinking "too much" wine and to avoid being drunk "in excess". I know of no other way to explain those verses.

    Again, many grapes will ferment and make wine over time even if not picked... it just happens naturally sometimes. That is how God made the plant. So God (through nature) can make the grape resulting at times in intoxicating (or "tempting" as you say) beverage, but according to you God could not have made intoxicating beverage through a miracle. That makes no sense. If God made grapes, then God made alcohol. Grapes naturally produce that substance in the right conditions.
     
    #16 jsn9333, Aug 8, 2007
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  17. webdog

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    Excellent post :thumbs:
     
  18. npetreley

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    Well, that's not really a good analogy. We didn't put the street there (God placed the tree there). Also, we need streets to get around. I don't see anything in the Bible that says the garden needed that tree. We don't know what our kids will do. God knew what Adam and Eve would do. So it's difficult if not impossible to create a human analogy for this.
     
  19. canadyjd

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    Yes, indeed.

    First of all, Jesus didn't create a 120 to 180 gallons of wine for consumption. Even if you hold the water that was turned into wine was in the pots (and not just in the cup), the fact they were in ceremonial cleaning pots would have prevented any Jew from knowingly drinking it. It would have been unclean to do so. This, perhaps, is why John points out that the head waiter did not know where to wine had come from.

    Secondly, the ceremonial waters pots being full to the brim (which is not usual for a pot being used to clean your hands and arms) symbolizes the fullness of the ceremonial laws, which were about to pass with the coming of Jesus Christ.

    His disciples were there to witness this miracle that symbolized the coming of the New Covenant. That the new wine is called "the best wine", deomonstrates the better quality of the New Convenant. The miracle may have been, more of less, a private miracle for the disciples since few knew it occurred, apparently.

    He did not do as His mother asked, since He didn't give them wine that was to be consumed (being in the cleaning pots). He specifically told her His time had not yet come.

    Wine in the first century, according to my Greek prof. was indeed alcoholic. However, the level of alcohol was extremely low by modern standards, less than 2% or so. In addition, a person was considered to be a barbarian if they drank wine that was not cut 50% with water. A person would have to drink a great deal of wine to become intoxicated.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  20. jsn9333

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    I've just never heard so much "Scripture gymnastics" as when I speak to fellow Baptists about this topic. For people who claim to be "Scripture alone" Christians, this does not make the cause look very good. I mean, you honestly want me to believe that when a wedding party ran out of wine and Christ's mother asked him to help, he turned water into wine, asked that some be drawn out and handed to the host, but he did not want the host to drink any!!!???

    I mean seriously... who in their right mind would believe that? And similarly nonsensical is the fact that ff "2% alcohol on average" were the case, the verses warning Christians not to get exceedingly drunk or to drink too much wine wouldn't make any sense. It is literally impossible to get exceedingly drunk (or even a little drunk) from a beverage that is 2% alcohol and has been cut with water on top of that!

    Wow, where to begin? First of all, you should listen to the views of several Greek professors, not just one. What school did this man teach at, if you don't mind me asking? I have never heard anyone claim the wine of history had such a low content of alcohol unless that person was against alcohol (typically a Baptist). That says something, I think.

    I prefer to go to a historian for information on first century wine, not a linguist. History has shown that distillation was unknown in the ancient world (and would not be discovered until the early middle ages); wine, therefore, was the strongest drink of the Romans and the Jews. Falernian was a common wine at the time, it was full-bodied (firmissima), with an alcohol content as much as fifteen or sixteen percent (at which point the yeast is killed by the alcohol it produces... only distillation can create a stronger drink).

    Now wine could be made with various alcohol contents, but I've never seen any historical document claiming the average was 2%. In fact, history seems to indicate that the content was much higher then that on average. Various wineries in Asia and Europe have been operating for thousands of years and churning out wine with much higher alcohol content the same way they have historically. If "2% alcohol" were the case, the verses warning Christians not to get exceedingly drunk or to drink too much wine wouldn't make any sense. It would be practically impossible to get drunk (stumbling drunk as described in Proverbs) from a 2% alcohol beverage. You're body would process that alcohol before you could ingest enough to become drunk.

    People did mix water and wine at times, but Romans were more known for this then Jews. And 15% alcoholic beverage cut with part for part water is still stronger then most beers on the market today.

    As far as the ceremonial pots, I'm not sure where you get your information that Jews would not have drank from them. John 2 makes it very clear that Jesus served the wine he made from the water in those pots. Even if Pharisees would've had a problem with it, that would not have barred Christ from doing it. For instance, the Pharisees reprimanded His disciples for picking some grain on the Sabbath once, But Christ defended them.

    Finally, as far as your statement "First of all, Jesus didn't create a 120 to 180 gallons of wine for consumption," can I ask how you come to this conclusion? Because my Bible say he turned 6 twenty to thirty gallon water containers into wine. What does your say? We don't know how large the wedding party was. Also keep in mind that often these parties went on for multiple days sometimes even a week. And perhaps he created more then enough for everyone.

    Finally, how do you come to the conlusion that Christ did not want the wine consumed? He himself is recorded as saying, ""Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet."
     
    #20 jsn9333, Aug 8, 2007
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