Did Jesus turn the water into wine, or grape juice

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by rjprince, Mar 29, 2006.

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Did Jesus turn the water into wine, or grape juice?

  1. Jesus made wine...

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  2. Jesus made grape juice...

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  1. rjprince

    rjprince
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    In this subject, as in all others, believers must be first concerned to understand what the Bible clearly says about the matter. One cannot allow his personal ideas our preconceptions to in any way color or cloud his interpretation of scripture in any matter. One writer of the last century said it well when he defined the purpose of his commentary as being to “honestly ascertain the sense of the sacred text without regard to any preconceived systems, and fearless of any possible consequences.” To impose our own ideas on this matter, or to search the commentaries till we find one that supports our position is not only intellectual dishonesty, but it is theological suicide. To be sure, it is a wise man who does his homework and fully researches what other godly and gifted men have concluded about a particular issue. Yet we must not lose sight of the fact that just as Solomon praises the wisdom of one who listens to wise counselors we also find a strong warning against those who give bad advice. (Pro 11:15; 12:20; 15:22; 24:6; 2Chron 22:3-4, 18; Pro 1:10; 12:5; 13:20; 19:27).

    What is one to believe concerning the nature of Biblical wine? In reference to wine in the Old Testament, Unger’s Bible Dictionary says:
    In most of the passages in the Bible where yayin is used (eighty-three out of one hundred and thirty-eight), it certainly means fermented grape juice, and in the remainder it may be fairly presumed to do so. In four only (Isa 16:10; Jer 40:10-12; Lam 2:12) is it really doubtful. In no passage can it be positivley shown to have any other meaning. The intoxicating character of yayin in general is plain from Scripture.

    Concerning the wine in John 2, one of my college professors taught:
    If the wine Jesus made was alcoholic, He would have encouraged drunkenness! The miracle in John 2 is often used to support “social drinking.” But a careful reading will teach just the opposite. Verse 10 quotes the governor of the feast as saying, “every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have WELL DRUNK, then that which is worse...” Obviously these people had drunk a lot! If it was alcoholic, they were drunk, and Jesus would have made them drunker. It is not necessary to interpret this as alcoholic. Drinking an excess of tea or coffee or cola or almost any beverage will dull one’s taste for it, as anyone knows.
    Though many wise and godly men have differed greatly on this matter, the subject is not an obsure one as far as the Word of God is concerned. The fact that many good men hold different interpretations on this matter suggests that our study must be very thorough. Whenever there is such a wide diversity of opinion among men who have devoted their lives to the study of the Bible the serious student of the Word cannot make up his mind lightly or frivolously. It is not sufficient to quote one respected Bible scholar over against another. The arguments they present and the issues they raise must be fully addressed, individually considered, and weighed against the Word of God. One cannot deny a clear statement in the Word of God just because it may be difficult to harmonize with preconceived notions of what is right and wrong.

    The serious student of the Bible must be seek to discern the meaning of the text by following sound principles of interpretation without regard for the consequences. If God said it, the fact that we may have difficulty explaining or applying it is of little consequence. There is a tendency among fundamentalist conservatives to cite ones personal preferences and views as though they came verbatim from the Word of God. Conservative Bible believers certainly have greater regard for the Word of God than to take away from what God has said. Why is it then that some feel quite comfortable adding their own interpretations, against the clear meaning of the original words, and then declaring that the result of such interpretive addition is “the Word of God.” It is extremely arrogant and self-deceived for any man to think that he can improve on what God has said. Indeed, Revelation 22:18-19 stresses the serious nature of either adding to or subtracting from the Word of God. Could there be any significance in the fact that adding to the Word is condemned first? Could it be that for some it is much more natural to add to the Word than to subtract from the Word?

    There are at least six key principles of Bible interpretation:

    1. Consider to whom the passage is addressed.

    2. Consider the context of the passage.

    3. Consider other passages relating to the subject.

    4. Never interpret a clear passage in light of an unclear passage

    5. Always accept the literal interpretation of a passage if the normal word usage and meaning will allow.

    6. Consider the original meaning of the words.

    These principles of sound Bible interpretation are neither optional nor whimsical. It is certainly possible to add to these principles and clarify different styles of writing in Scripture, yet if any one of these key principles is violated there is a serious danger of misinterpreting the Bible.

    In the Old Testament wine (yayin) was clearly fermented. It was the instrument of Noah’s drunkeness (Gen 9:21); Nabal drank wine and was very drunken (1Sam 25:36-37); the drunkards of Ephraim were drunk with wine (Isa 28:1). Some would attempt to make the same term apply to that which is non-alcoholic and that which is alcoholic suggesting that sometimes words are used generically. It is true that some words are used in a generic sense, however the Hebrew words for wine, strong drink, new wine, grapes, and raisins are very specific. The person who would attempt to build a case for non-alcoholic wine must do so by ignoring the simple meaning of both the original and english languages. One writer refers to the practice of reading into the scriptures as “hermeneutical ventriloquism.” At the end of this brief treatment of the subject is a listing of every occurrence of the two key Hebrew words used in reference to alcoholic beverage in the Old Testament and the key words used in the New Testament. It is readily observable that the same words are used both in positive, negative, and neutral manners. Sometimes the wine is said to be a blessing from God (Gen 27:28; 49:12; Num 18:12; Deut 7:13; 14:23,26 et.al. - and others). Sometimes we find the abuse of wine causing drunkenness and leading to shameful behavior (Gen 9:21,24; 19:32-34 et.al.). Many times wine is presented as an offering (Gen 14:28; Exod 29:40 et.al.).

    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. Rather, it must be argued logically by pitting Scripture against Scripture. For instance, since drunkenness is everywhere condemned in Scripture and since there are numerous warnings against the danger of being influenced and controlled by alcohol the Jesus certainly could not have made alcoholic wine. However, such arguments deny the clear and basic meaning of the words in order to simplify a Biblical difficulty that some would rather deny altogether.

    With Paul we must ask, “What saith the Scripture?” (Rom 4:3). John 2:10 says that the wine that Jesus made was the kind that was usually put out first. Then after everyone had “well drunk” then the lesser quality was put out. It is inconsistent to understand simple words to mean one thing in one passage and another some place else. The key words in John 2:10 are the words wine and well drunk. In the Greek they are the words oinos and methuo. These same words are used in Eph 5:18 where we read, “be not drunk with wine.” If methuo means drunk in Ephesians, it must mean drunk in John 2:10. The word methuo is used seven times in the New Testament and is translated as “drunken” five times, “made drunk” one time, and “well drunk” one time (Matt 24:49; Acts 2:15; 1Cor 11:21; 1Thes 5:7; Rev 17:6; 17:2; John 2:10). The words are clear and for the thorough student who approaches the Bible with the intent of discovering what it says and what it means without regard for personal bias, the meaning is unmistakable. It is at best naive to claim that the wine in John chapter 2 was non-alcoholic. It is simply not possible for the serious student of the Bible to stick his head in the sand and contend that it was grape juice.
    One rather unique interpretation of Eph 5:18 suggests that the Greek tense behind “be not drunk with wine” implies that one should “not even begin to be drunk with wine.” In other words, “do not drink the first drop.” This may be good advice, but is it the meaning of the text? The claim for this interpretation has no basis in the Greek wording or syntax of the passage, nor can any reputable support be found for such a view. Drunkenness is everywhere condemned in the Word of God just as is gluttony. Sometimes the concept of drunkenness is combined with gluttony (Deu 21:20; Pro 23:21; Matt 11:19; Luke 7:34). Could we then infer that in order to avoid becoming a glutton one should not take the first bite? While recognizing that food is required for sustaining life and wine is not, the interpretive process of such an argument is certainly flawed.
    Further, what can be done with passages like Matt 11:19 and Luke 7:34 where we read that the “Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners.”? If the charge of gluttony was a charge of eating too much food, how can the second accusation be anything less than drinking too much wine? This was the charge made by the religious leaders of the day. It was not necessarily true. Yet, if Jesus did not eat some food and drink at least drink some wine in moderation, how could they have made such a charge? Further, Jesus Himself says that the Son of Man came “eating and drinking.” If He drank only water, such a charge would be ludicrous. This is not reading into the text! It is simply taking the words of Scripture at face value.

    Where does that then leave us? Can we now say that it is perfectly fine for a Christian to consume alcoholic beverage as long as it is with a meal or in moderation? In our desire to promote wholesomeness in our families can we act as if the Bible totally prohibits and condemns all fermented wine?

    It may be well to compare this issue with a situation in Corinth (1Cor 8:1-13). It was common that meat was often brought to a pagan altar and sacrificed to the pagan god. Paganism and idolatry were rampant in the city. Since the pagan god obviously could not consume that which was left over from the sacrifice the priests and priestesses would take the meat that had been offered and sell it at a discounted price. This was one of the ways they were supported by the community. The pagan god was appeased; the worshiper felt like he was in better standing with his god; the priests and priestesses made a little extra money on the side; and, somebody got a good deal on meat for the family and friends. Everybody was happy. Everybody except the young converts to Christianity who had formerly worshiped the pagan gods. They had been so deeply entrenched in their former paganism that they still cringed whenever they thought about their former worship. Paul says,
    We know that they are those that are called ‘gods’, but really aren’t. We know that there is only one God, the other ‘gods’ are nothing but wood and stone (verses 4-6). But, not everybody understands that. When someone with a pagan background still cringes over the thought of the former ‘god’ he may be bothered by seeing another believer eat the meat that has been sacrificed to idol (v. 7). God does not care what we eat. If we eat ‘idol meat,’ God won’t love us less. If we don’t eat it, He won’t love us more. If that was all there was to it, you could go ahead and eat all the ‘idol meat’ you wanted. But the weaker brothers don’t think it is right to do that. If they see you do it, they may think they can too, even though they feel guilty about it. If they go against their conscience, they are on dangerous ground. If you cause them to violate their conscience by insisting on your right to eat ‘idol meat’, you not only hurt them, but you sin against Christ (v 11-12). If eating that meat is going to hurt my baby brothers in Christ, I won’t eat meat. It is worth giving it up, even though I could argue that the idol is nothing and meat is meat. My brother is more important than for me to get my own way about the matter. (RJP’s Paraphrase of the passage)

    In Romans 14:19-21 Paul says much the same thing.
    Let’s live in peace and seek to build each other up. Don’t destroy what God is doing over a piece of steak. Sure, meat is meat, but it is wrong if you are calloused to the tenderness of a younger brother in Christ. If it may hurt your brother, don’t do it. Don’t eat meat, or drink wine, or do anything else that may cause them to fall. (RJP’s Paraphrase, again)

    It is not very mature for a believer to insist on his right to do something if it is hurting another believer in Christ. There are some things that may be in the realm of biblical freedom, but not to the neglect of those around us. Later in the Corinthian passage, Paul said, “I am become all things to all men” in order that I might be a better witness for the Lord Jesus Christ and more effectively draw them to the Savior (1Cor 9:22; 10:33).

    A further issue relates to the danger and power of alcohol. It might be well to ask the following questions.
    1. Does it have the power to control me?
    2. Has it ever controlled anyone else?
    3. Is the potential risk worth any potential gain?
    4. Does this strengthen my walk with the Lord?
    5. Does this strengthen my relationship with others?
    6. Will this potentially help or hinder my testimony?

    Another matter worth considering is that when we think about the wines and alcoholic beverages of Bible times we are dealing with a much lower content of alcohol prior to modern processes of fermentation which give the beverage much more “kick”. Further, even these drinks were often mixed with water to reduce the intoxicating effects. Culturally, for many people in our area of the country, drinking alcoholic beverages may hinder our testimony.
    Can we say that the Word of God absolutely forbids the use of alcoholic drink as beverage with meals and in conservative moderation? Could we say that with full intellectual integrity? Could we say that for the sake of testimony, self-protection, family preservation, and health that Christians should abstain from alcohol? Personally, I am much more comfortable and honest with myself and with the Word of God in holding to the latter position. Could this bother some people? Yes. Does it matter? Yes. But what matters most is that the Word of God be handled with the utmost integrity and respect. If God had wanted to say things differently, He could have. I am not in the business of trying to reword what God has said into something that I think is a little better.
    The following list contains every occurrence of the Hebrew word yayin: Gen 9:21,24; 14:18; 19:32,33,34,35; 27:25; 49:11,12; Exo 29:40; Lev 10:9; 23:13; Num 6:3,4,20;15:5,7,10; 28:14; Deu 14:26; 28:39; 29:6; 32:33,38; Jos 9:4,13; Jud 13:4,7,14; 19:19; 1Sa 1:14,15,24; 10:3; 16:20; 25:18,37; 2Sa 13:28; 16:1,2; 1Ch 9:29; 12:40; 27:27; 2Ch 2:10,15; 11:11; Neh 2:1; 5:15,18; 13:15; Est 1:7,10; 5:6; 7:2,7,8; Job 1:13,18; 32:19; Psa 60:3; 75:8; 78:65; 104:15; Pro 4:17; 9:2,5; 20:1; 21:17; 23:20,30,31; 31:4,6; Ecc 2:3; 9:7; 10:19; Son 1:2,4; 2:4; 4:10; 5:1; 7:9; 8:2; Isa 5:11,12,22; 16:10; 22:13; 24:9,11; 28:1,7; 29:9; 51:21; 55:1; 56:12; Jer 13:12; 23:9; 25:15;35:2,5,6,8,14; 40:10,12; 48:33; 51:7; Lam 2:12; Eze 27:18; 44:21; Dan 1:5,8,16; 10:3; Hos 4:11;7:5; 9:4; 14:7; Joe 1:5; 3:3; Amos 2:8,12; 5:11; 6:6; 9:14; Mic 2:11; 6:15; Hab 2:5; Zep 1:13; Hag2:12; Zec 9:15; 10:7. The word occurs 140 times and is translated as wine 138 times. In Song of Solomon 2:4 it is translated banqueting. In Proverbs 23:20 it is combined with caba and translated winebibbers. Some of the passages that may be seen as presenting wine in a positive sense are in bold.

    The following list contains every occurrence of the Hebrew word shekar: Lev 10:9; Num 6:3; 28:7; Deu 14:26; 29:6; Jud 13:4,7,14; 1Sa 1:15; Psa 69:12; Pro 20:1; 31:4,6; Isa 5:11,22; 24:9; 28:7; 29:9; 56:12; Mic 2:11. The word occurs 23 times and is translated as strong drink 21 times. It is translated strong wine in Num 28:7. It is translated drunkard in Psa 69:12. Of the 21 verses in which it occurs 19 are in a context that could be considered negative. The two in a positive context are bold.

    The following list contains every occurrence of the Greek word oinos: Mat 9:17; Mar 2:22; 15:23; Luk 1:15; 5:37,38; 7:33; 10:34; Joh 2:3,9,10; 4:46; Ro 14:21; Eph 5:18; 1Ti 3:8; 5:23; Tit 2:3; Re 6:6; 14:8,10; 16:19; 17:2; 18:3,13; 19:15. In addition, gleukos, or sweet wine occurs once in Acts 2:13. The Greek word Sikera, or strong drink; it is used once in Luke 1:15. The word oxos, translated vinegar in the KJV, is used 7 times. It refers to the cheap sour wine that was the common drink of the Roman soldiers and the poor. It is used in the following passages where we are told that Jesus received the vinegar: Matt 27:34,48; Mar 15:36; Luke 23:36; John 19:29,30.

    It is true that the New Testament Greek word oinos is less specific than some of the Old Testament Hebrew words. It has been argued that oinos is used in Classical Greek to refer to grapes, fresh juice, jellies, jams, and dried grapes. This makes little difference since the context and wording of John 2 clearly indicates that fermented wine is in view.

    So, what think ye?

    [ March 29, 2006, 01:30 AM: Message edited by: rjprince ]
     
  2. James_Newman

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    Pro 10:22 The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.

    This is grape juice:
    Isaiah 65:8
    8 Thus saith the LORD, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants' sakes, that I may not destroy them all.

    It has a blessing in it.

    This is alcoholic wine:
    Proverbs 23:29-32
    29 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?
    30 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.
    31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his color in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.
    32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.

    It has a curse in it.

    If the Lord adds no sorrow with His blessings, how can you believe he was making alcoholic wine that at the last bites like a serpent?
     
  3. rjprince

    rjprince
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    In the Isa passage the word used is tirosh, in Pro 23 it is yayin.

    Did you even look up the positive references to alcoholic wine (yayin)?

    Ge 14:18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.
    Ge 27:25 And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son’s venison, that my soul may bless thee. And he brought it near to him, and he did eat: and he brought him wine, and he drank.
    Ge 49:11 Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass’s colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:
    Ge 49:12 His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.
    Ex 29:40 And with the one lamb a tenth deal of flour mingled with the fourth part of an hin of beaten oil; and the fourth part of an hin of wine for a drink offering.
    Le 23:13 And the meat offering thereof shall be two tenth deals of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto the LORD for a sweet savour: and the drink offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of an hin.
    Nu 6:3 He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink, and shall drink no vinegar of wine, or vinegar of strong drink, neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried.
    Nu 6:4 All the days of his separation shall he eat nothing that is made of the vine tree, from the kernels even to the husk.
    Nu 6:20 And the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the LORD: this is holy for the priest, with the wave breast and heave shoulder: and after that the Nazarite may drink wine.
    Nu 15:5 And the fourth part of an hin of wine for a drink offering shalt thou prepare with the burnt offering or sacrifice, for one lamb.
    Nu 15:7 And for a drink offering thou shalt offer the third part of an hin of wine, for a sweet savour unto the LORD.
    Nu 15:10 And thou shalt bring for a drink offering half an hin of wine, for an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD.
    Nu 28:14 And their drink offerings shall be half an hin of wine unto a bullock, and the third part of an hin unto a ram, and a fourth part of an hin unto a lamb: this is the burnt offering of every month throughout the months of the year.
    De 14:26 And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatsoever thy soul desireth: and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou, and thine household,
    De 28:39 Thou shalt plant vineyards, and dress them, but shalt neither drink of the wine, nor gather the grapes; for the worms shall eat them.
    Jos 9:4 They did work wilily, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles, old, and rent, and bound up;
    Jos 9:13 And these bottles of wine, which we filled, were new; and, behold, they be rent: and these our garments and our shoes are become old by reason of the very long journey.
    Jud 19:19 Yet there is both straw and provender for our asses; and there is bread and wine also for me, and for thy handmaid, and for the young man which is with thy servants: there is no want of any thing.
    1Sa 1:24 And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bullocks, and one ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, and brought him unto the house of the LORD in Shiloh: and the child was young.
    1Sa 10:3 Then shalt thou go on forward from thence, and thou shalt come to the plain of Tabor, and there shall meet thee three men going up to God to Bethel, one carrying three kids, and another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a bottle of wine:
    1Sa 16:20 And Jesse took an ass laden with bread, and a bottle of wine, and a kid, and sent them by David his son unto Saul.
    1Sa 25:18 ¶ Then Abigail made haste, and took two hundred loaves, and two bottles of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn, and an hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on asses.
    2Sa 16:1 ¶ And when David was a little past the top of the hill, behold, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him, with a couple of asses saddled, and upon them two hundred loaves of bread, and an hundred bunches of raisins, and an hundred of summer fruits, and a bottle of wine.
    2Sa 16:2 And the king said unto Ziba, What meanest thou by these? And Ziba said, The asses be for the king’s household to ride on; and the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat; and the wine, that such as be faint in the wilderness may drink.
    1Ch 9:29 Some of them also were appointed to oversee the vessels, and all the instruments of the sanctuary, and the fine flour, and the wine, and the oil, and the frankincense, and the spices.
    1Ch 12:40 Moreover they that were nigh them, even unto Issachar and Zebulun and Naphtali, brought bread on asses, and on camels, and on mules, and on oxen, and meat, meal, cakes of figs, and bunches of raisins, and wine, and oil, and oxen, and sheep abundantly: for there was joy in Israel.
    1Ch 27:27 And over the vineyards was Shimei the Ramathite: over the increase of the vineyards for the wine cellars was Zabdi the Shiphmite:
    2Ch 2:10 And, behold, I will give to thy servants, the hewers that cut timber, twenty thousand measures of beaten wheat, and twenty thousand measures of barley, and twenty thousand baths of wine, and twenty thousand baths of oil.
    2Ch 2:15 Now therefore the wheat, and the barley, the oil, and the wine, which my lord hath spoken of, let him send unto his servants:
    2Ch 11:11 And he fortified the strong holds, and put captains in them, and store of victual, and of oil and wine.
    Ne 2:1 ¶ And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence.
    Ne 5:15 But the former governors that had been before me were chargeable unto the people, and had taken of them bread and wine, beside forty shekels of silver; yea, even their servants bare rule over the people: but so did not I, because of the fear of God.
    Ne 5:18 Now that which was prepared for me daily was one ox and six choice sheep; also fowls were prepared for me, and once in ten days store of all sorts of wine: yet for all this required not I the bread of the governor, because the bondage was heavy upon this people.
    Es 1:7 And they gave them drink in vessels of gold, (the vessels being diverse one from another,) and royal wine in abundance, according to the state of the king.
    Es 1:10 ¶ On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, and Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, the seven chamberlains that served in the presence of Ahasuerus the king,
    Es 5:6 And the king said unto Esther at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition? and it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request? even to the half of the kingdom it shall be performed.
    Es 7:2 And the king said again unto Esther on the second day at the banquet of wine, What is thy petition, queen Esther? and it shall be granted thee: and what is thy request? and it shall be performed, even to the half of the kingdom.
    Es 7:7 ¶ And the king arising from the banquet of wine in his wrath went into the palace garden: and Haman stood up to make request for his life to Esther the queen; for he saw that there was evil determined against him by the king.
    Es 7:8 Then the king returned out of the palace garden into the place of the banquet of wine; and Haman was fallen upon the bed whereon Esther was. Then said the king, Will he force the queen also before me in the house? As the word went out of the king’s mouth, they covered Haman’s face.
    Job 1:13 ¶ And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house:
    Job 1:18 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house:
    Job 32:19 Behold, my belly is as wine which hath no vent; it is ready to burst like new bottles.
    Pr 31:6 Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.
    Ec 9:7 Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works.
    Ec 10:19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.
     
  4. rjprince

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    A man convinced against his will...
    is of the same opinion still.
     
  5. gb93433

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    Drinking too much water will kill you. Does that mean we should abstain from drinking it?
     
  6. James_Newman

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    Who hath contentions? They that tarry long at the wine.

    You said
    But clearly the english supports the idea that there are two types of wine in the bible. I don't care much for greek and hebrew.
     
  7. Frenchy

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    Glad to see that others take the literal translation, that Jesus turned water into wine. i find nothing in the bible that says wine is bad for you or wrong. anything in excess is wrong, even food.
     
  8. standingfirminChrist

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    I have mentioned it in past threads, I will mention it again

    Proverbs 23:31 Look not upon the wine (yayin).


    The Hebrew word for 'Look' is ' ra'ah '. It means do not have experience with, do not touch, do not approve of.

    Puts a new light to the wedding feast of Cana. If God inspired Solomon to write that one is not to have experience with alcoholic wine, it would make sense that Christ would not be turning the wine at the wedding feast to alcoholic wine.

    The wine at the wedding feast could not have been an alcoholic wine anyway. If it were alcoholic, the men would already have been drunk; for the Bible says they had well drunk already. Would Jesus, the Lamb of God, contributed to drunkenness which is a sin that will put someone in the lake of fire for all eternity?

    I think not.
     
  9. Frenchy

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    there are several neutral, almost casual references to alcoholic beverages. Genesis 14:18 refers to Melchizedek, a type of Christ, as offering wine to Abram; Nehemiah 2:1 refers to the king drinking wine (Nehemiah was required to taste it first to make sure it was not poisoned); Esther 5:6; 7:1-2 speaks of wine that Esther (the godly Jewess) drank with the king; Job 1:13 refers to righteous Job’s family drinking wine; Daniel 10:3 speaks of drinking wine as a blessing after a time of fasting. Some of Jesus’ parables are about wine, wineskins, vineyards (cf. Matt 9:17; 21:33; even John 15 speaks of God the Father as the vinedresser!). Paul tells Timothy to drink some wine for his stomach’s sake and not just water (1 Tim 5:23). The same Greek and Hebrew terms that were used to speak of the abuses of wine are used in these passages. One cannot argue, therefore, that alcoholic beverages are in themselves proscribed, while grape juice is permitted. The lexical data cannot be so twisted.

    There are, as well, positive statements about alcoholic beverages: Deut 14:26 implies that it is a good thing to drink wine and strong drink to the Lord: “And you may spend the money for whatever your heart desires, for oxen, or sheep, or wine, or strong drink, or whatever your heart desires; and there you shall eat in the presence of the LORD your God and rejoice, you and your household” (NASB). Psalm 4:7 compares joy in the Lord to the abundance of wine; Psalm 104:14-15 credits God as the creator of wine that “makes a man’s heart glad” (cf. also Hos 2:8); honoring the Lord with one’s wealth is rewarded with the blessings of abundant stores of wine (Prov 3:10); love is compared to wine repeatedly in the Song of Songs, as though good wine were similarly sweet (1:2, 4; 4:10; 7:9). The Lord prepares a banquet with “well-aged wines... and fine, well-aged wines” for his people (Isa 25:6) [obviously this cannot be grape juice, for aging does nothing but ferment it!].

    The lack of wine is viewed as a judgment from God (Jer 48:33; Lam 2:12; Hos 2:9; Joel 1:10; Hag 2:16); and, conversely, its provision is viewed as a blessing from the Lord (cf. Gen 27:28; Deut 7:13; 11:14; Joel 2:19, 24; 3:18; Amos 9:13-14). Cf. also Isa 55:1; Jer 31:12; Zech 9:17.

    Indeed, there was even the Passover tradition that went beyond the biblical teaching: by the time of the first century, every adult was obliged to have four glasses of wine during the Passover celebration. Jesus and his disciples did this in the Last Supper.6 The fact that the wine of the Passover was a symbol the Lord used for his blood and for the new covenant implicitly shows that our Lord’s view of wine was quite different from that of many modern Christians.

    What is truly remarkable here are the many positive statements made about wine and alcoholic beverages in the Bible.7 Wine is so often connected with the blessings of God that we are hard-pressed to figure out why so many modern Christians view drink as the worst of all evils. Why, if one didn’t know better, he might think that God actually wanted us to enjoy life! Unfortunately, the only Bible most of our pagan friends will read is the one written on our lives and spoken from our lips. The Bible they know is a book of ‘Thou shalt nots,’ and the God they know is a cosmic killjoy.

    I think the best balance on this issue can be see in Luke 7:33-34: John the Baptist abstained from drinking wine; Jesus did not abstain [indeed, people called him a drunkard! Although certainly not true, it would be difficult for this charge to have been made had Jesus only drunk grape juice]. Both respected one another and both recognized that their individual lifestyles were not universal principles. One man may choose not to drink; another may choose to drink. We ought not condemn another servant of the Lord for his choice.

    As well, Romans 14 is a key passage for gleaning principles about how we ought to conduct ourselves in relation to one another on this issue: weaker brothers ought not to judge those whose freedom in Christ allows them to enjoy alcoholic beverages; stronger brothers ought not to disdain weaker brothers for their stance. Whether we drink or not, let us do all things to the glory of God.

    http://www.bible.org/page.asp?page_id=988
     
  10. James_Newman

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    Song of Solomon 5:1
    1 I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse: I have gathered my myrrh with my spice; I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey; I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.

    Suppose ye that the Lord is mixin up some white russians? And then inviting us to tarry long at them? Absurd.
     
  11. Frenchy

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    Song of Solomon is a poetic book not to be taken literally. if it was then your assessment is correct.

    commentary says

    The Song of Solomon is a lyric poem meant to extol the virtues of love between a husband and his wife. The poem clearly presents marriage as God’s design. A man and woman are to live together within the context of marriage, loving each other spiritually, emotionally, and physically.

    This book combats two extremes: asceticism (the denial of all pleasure) and hedonism (the pursuit of only pleasure). The marriage profiled in The Song of Solomon is a model of care, commitment, and delight.
     
  12. DHK

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    Context is everything. There are many words in the Bible, the meanings of which cannot be determined without the context.

    1. Wine in the Hebrew is yayin. It either fermented or unfermented according to context.

    2. Wine in the Greek is oinos. It is either fermented or unfermented according to the context.

    3. Cider in the English is cider. It is either fermented or unfermented according to the context (more precisely the location--Second Cup in Canada vs. Cafe in Germany).

    Words have meanings, usually more than one, and only the context can determine which one is the correct one.
    DHK
     
  13. Trinity C.

    Trinity C.
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    Studying what little I have in viticulture and winemaking I going to take a stab at this. I appreciate the background scriptures on all cases, however, I believe a detail is being missed. The whole drink or not to drink debate was well brought to light. This was Jesus' first miracle, a miracle over creation. In light of this let's seriously look at this in simplicity, without allowing doctrinal stances to be involved. Water is a natural element of God's creation. The issue IS changing it into wine. It takes several months to ferment juice into a base wine. However, the host proclaims that this is the "good" wine. Whether or not we're familiar with wine, I think that we all can agree that wine that is older is better. Why is it that the oldest of wines are sought out by those that can afford it? It is a luxury for them to have the best. With this being Jesus' first recorded "miracle" (as defined as an event to produce faith; I use this definition loosely, mind you) It shows His power over the very thing that was created by Him and for Him. Rememeber, Jesus said it was not yet his time. Whether we agree or disagree on the topic of wine being permissable is irrelevant in light of the miracle. The important thing to remember is that Jesus changed water into something that it can never do by itself, it was changed at the molecular level into something totally different. Let us not detract from Jesus's power over His creation simply because it doesn't fit our mode of thinking. Looking forward to reponses. Just to curb curiosity, I abstain from drink for my own conscience's sake.
     
  14. EdSutton

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    Just outta' curiosity, are you here referring to yourself, or someone else??? Just wonderin'!

    I've listened to this discussion over the years, at different times. I am not willing to be as 'dogmatic' on it, as some I've run into. I am willing to say, as Scripture says, "Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess..." and would offer that one who is, is "tarrying far too long" with the wine. As a couple have pointed out, context!

    I happen to be a 'tee-totaler'. I'm sure some of this came from my background, as to having no desire. I'm also sure part has come from my own dislike of the odor and smell of beverage alcohol, from the first time I smelled whiskey and beer. I never was around or even smelled wine in any form for many years. I've never had a problem with it, personally.

    As another pointed out, there are positive things spoken as well as negative about wine. Take the 'totality' of Scripture's testimony. I'd suggest no one could go wrong, there.
    In His grace,
    Ed
     
  15. EdSutton

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    Let me toss this out, as well. I've been to meetings, parties, etc., over the years where it seemed to be expected that everyone wanted something to drink of an alcoholic nature. When offered, I merely say, "No thanks, I don't care for any." That has always seemed to settle the question, without seeming to make "a big production" out of the situation.

    I also happen to be a diabetic. I pass on certain foods at certain times, in the same way. From my experience, that'll work just fine. At least, it always has for me, in both instances.
    Ed
     
  16. Johnv

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    Wine. Period. End of story.

    In fact, the scriptural narrative says it was the best and sweetest wine. Unfermented juice was not considered to be of quality. The best, sweetest, most expensive, and highest quality wines were allowed to ferment under great care by the winemaker.

    [Snipped]

    [ April 01, 2006, 02:19 AM: Message edited by: Bible-boy ]
     
  17. standingfirminChrist

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    I did not vote. As DHK points out, the context in the passage will tell whether the wine was alcoholic or not.

    I feel the questions should have been Did Jesus make alcoholic wine? or non-alcoholic wine?

    The first place wine is mentioned, it is associated with a curse. Noah got drunk and that drunkenness caused his son Ham to sin; bringing a curse upon Ham and all his descendants.

    I do not believe Jesus turned the water into an alcoholic wine, as I stated earlier.

    Also, the argument that Jesus drank alcoholic wine is a lame one. Given that He is the King of kings and the Prince of Peace, and the fact that Solomon wrote in Proverbs 31 that is is not given for kings or princes to drink wine, and the fact that 'Look not' upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his color in the cup, when it moveth itself aright (alcoholic)means do not have experience with, is enough to show the wine Jesus drank was not an alcoholic beverage.
     
  18. macitruth

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    I am not a theologian and I will not pretend to know whether the wine mentioned contained alcohol.
    It has been my experience that most of the time people try to use this as an excuse to go out and have a good old time drinking and then excuse themselves. My Bible clearly teaches that I am not to be drunk. My Bible clearly teaches me that I am not to be a stumbling block. So I am disobedient if I drink to get drunk and having a a glass of wine in moderation has the potention to cause someone else to stumble. Therefore I do not believe it is God's will that I consume alcohol.
     
  19. macitruth

    macitruth
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    *potential
     
  20. Petrel

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    Are you accusing 5/6 of us of being drunkards? I have never been drunk in my life and I certainly do not consider consuming an alcoholic beverage a form of entertainment. I would appreciate an apology.

    There are many many ways of being a stumbling block, in my opinion among Christians legalistic self-righteousness is the major one.
     

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