The Best Wine

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by His Blood Spoke My Name, Aug 31, 2006.

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  1. His Blood Spoke My Name

    His Blood Spoke My Name
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    The “Best” Wine

    In John 2:10, the governor of the feast said to the bridegroom concerning the wine Jesus made, ‘thou hast kept the good wine until now.” This has led to endless debates regarding the nature of the good or best wine. There are those who insist that the wine was intoxicating, due to general familiarity and personal preference. On the other hand, as we learnt earlier, we know that this would be impossible, in the light of the Old Testament passages, which clearly condemns the use of alcoholic beverages.

    In commenting on the wine Jesus produced, Bustanoby quickly rules out any idea in his own mind that it was unfermented grape juice. On page 75, he states:

    In chapter 4, we saw that the “best” wine to those living in those days was not grape juice… the best wine was aged wine.

    Commenting earlier on what was considered the “best” wine in ancient times, he states the following on page 22:

    However, we shall see that only the best wine was fully aged and high in alcohol content.

    Here in the above comments, Bustanoby indirectly charges our Lord Jesus Christ of creating a dangerous, poisonous, and intoxicating beverage of high alcoholic content in order to manifest His glory; an act which would clearly breach the Old Testament commandments. This is a very serious charge indeed, which has far reaching consequences, of which even Bustanoby himself seems to be aware of, but finds great difficulty in explaining away. This point is made apparent on page 55, when he contradicts himself by stating the following concerning the “wines on the lees,” mentioned in Isaiah 25:6:

    Isaiah in the passage quoted above (25:6), sees God feasting with his people – not on grape juice but on fine, clarified wine of low alcoholic content. God gives his people only the best wine.

    Bustanoby can’t seem to make his mind up! One moment he states that the “best” wine was high in alcoholic content, and in the next, he says it was low in alcoholic content!

    In replying to a statement in David Wilkerson’s book, “Sipping Saints,” which stated that unfermented grape juice was considered the best wine among the ancients, he includes the following in his arguments on page 43:

    There is no evidence in extra-biblical literature that unfermented wine was considered by the Jews, Greeks, or Romans as the best wine. The contention that grape juice was considered the best wine is simply a myth.

    This statement is totally false. We have learnt earlier in our studies that there is ample evidence (if one looks for it) that there were those among the ancient Jews, Greeks, and Romans who considered unfermented grape juice to be better than alcoholic wine. Having said this, the truth of the matter is that what one considered the “best” wine was a matter of personal preference. In Luke 5:39, Jesus said:

    No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.

    Here Jesus makes it plain that those who were used to drinking fermented wine (old) would not immediately desire unfermented wine (new), due to familiarity. Amazingly enough, in answer to statements that unfermented grape juice was considered by the Jews to be superior to fermented wine, Bustanoby himself brings out this point. On page 39-40, he states:

    There is no questions that the ancients drank a variety of beverages, both fermented and unfermented. But to say that the unfermented juice of the grape or boiled wine was considered the best wine simply is fiction. That is like comparing Coca-Cola and Chianti. Each is “the best” in its class if Coke is your preference in a soft drink and Chianti is your preference in wine. But they cannot be compared, because they are different types of beverages. Declaring that the unfermented juice of the grape was regarded as superior to carefully fermented aged wine makes the same mistake. There is no comparison. Each is in a class by itself.

    The main thought of this statement is basically correct, but again he contradicts himself. After making conflicting statements that the best wine was first high in alcoholic content and afterwards stating that it was low in alcoholic content, and then repudiating the fact that grape juice was considered the best. He here makes a more reasonable statement, conceding the fact that the ancients used unfermented beverages and that alcoholic and non-alcoholic wines could be classed separately. Bustanoby’s reasoning is confusing to say the least! This demonstrates to us how tragic it becomes when one uses human reasoning rather than the solid principles of Scripture to determine the will of God.

    In order to determine the nature of the wine Jesus created, there is a vital and paramount truth that must be understood, and that is we should not pay too much attention to whether men considered grape juice or alcoholic wine to be the best, but we should consider what God considered to be good wine. From our detailed study of the Old Testament we know that this was certainly was not alcoholic wine but the “pure blood of the grape,” which was unfermented grape juice. Just exactly what the sweetness, thickness, etc., of the wine was we do not know, but we do know that it was good and perfect because Jesus had supernaturally produced it.

    Even if those at the wedding had been used to drinking alcoholic wine previously, the drinking of the fresh uncontaminated grape juice, which Jesus created, would be no problem. If we again look at our Lord’s parable in Luke 5:39, we will see this explained:

    And no one after drinking old wine immediately desires new wine, for he says, the old is good or better. (Amplified Bible)

    This parable is often used by liberals as an argument for the use and superiority of alcoholic wine, but if one reads it carefully, it is in fact one of the strongest texts in favour of the superiority of unfermented grape juice. The clear implication of the parable is that one who drinks alcoholic wine will not automatically desire non-alcoholic wine, but if they were to try it, they would discover that unfermented grape juice was better, just like His doctrine that He was offering to Israel. Our Lord could not have used a better analogy than this to describe the response to His message of the Kingdom. According to Jesus’ words in John 3:19, men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

    Today, as in Jesus’ day, the great majority of men think that sin is better than righteousness, but that does not mean that this is so! God knows that the cravings of sinful men are usually to their detriment. The wine that Jesus created was not necessarily what man considered to be good, but that which was good for man! And we know from Scripture that this was certainly not fermented wine of high or low alcoholic content but a wine that was absolutely pure and harmless just like our Lord and Savior.

    taken from Leighton G. Campbell’s book, “Wine in the Bible and the Scriptural Case for Total Abstinence” pp 266-270
     
  2. webdog

    webdog
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    You really are obsessed with this...aren't you? It's almost idolatry!
     
  3. His Blood Spoke My Name

    His Blood Spoke My Name
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    When the Lord Jesus Christ tells me to stop preaching against alcohol, I will stop.
     
  4. standingfirminChrist

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    Since when did teaching the truth about God's Word become idolatry?
     
  5. Gina B

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    John 2:10

    And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.

    Let's look at some commentaries on this:

    John Gill's on "that which is worse":
    not bad wine, but (ton elassw) , "that which is lesser"; a weaker bodied wine, that is lowered, and of less strength, and not so intoxicating, and which is fittest for the guests. So Martial advises Sextilianus, after he had drank the tenth cup, not to drink the best wine, but to ask his host for wine of Laletania, which was a weaker and lower sort of wine.

    1599 Geneva Study Bible on "well drunk":
    Literally, "are drunken". Now this saying, to be drunken, does not always refer to being drunk in the evil sense in the Hebrew language, but sometimes signifies an abundant and plentiful use of wine, which is nonetheless a measured amount...


    The Fourfold Gospel on "kept the good wine until now...":
    It is part of Christ's system to reserve the best until the last. Sin's first cup is always the sweetest, but with God that which follows is ever superior to that which has preceded it. As to the bearing of this miracle upon the question of temperance, the New Testament elsewhere clearly condemns the immoderate use of wine, and as these condemnations proceed from Christ we may rightly conceive of him, as in this instance, doing nothing contrary thereto. The liquors of this land in the strength of their intoxicating properties differ so widely from the light wines of Palestine that even the most moderate use of them seems immoderate in comparison. In creating wine Jesus did no more than as Creator and Renewer of the earth he had always done. From the beginning God has always so created or replenished the earth as to allow the possibility of excess.

    People's New Testament on "Thou has kept the good wine...":
    What meaneth Christ making wine? In Palestine there were three kinds of wine: 1. Fermented wines, which, however, were very unlike our fiery liquors, and contained only a small per cent of alcohol. These were mixed with two or three parts of water. The fermented, at first mild, and then diluted with water, was only intoxicating when used in enormous quantities. 2. The unfermented juice of the grape. 3. An intoxicating drink called "new wine" in Acts 2:13

    Matthew Henry Complete Commentary (this was long so I just took out a portion pertaining to this verse) :
    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica][FONT=Arial, Helvetica]...When Christ provided so much good wine for them that had well drunk, he intended to try their sobriety, and to teach them how to abound, as well as how to want. Temperance per force is a thankless virtue; but if divine providence gives us abundance of the delights of sense, and divine grace enables us to use them moderately, this is self-denial that is praiseworthy. He also intended that some should be left for the confirmation of the truth of the miracle to the faith of others. And we have reason to think that the guests at this table were so well taught, or at least were now so well awed by the presence of Christ, that none of them abused this wine to excess. Theses two considerations, drawn from this story, may be sufficient at any time to fortify us against temptations to intemperance: First, That our meat and drink are the gifts of God’s bounty to us, and we owe our liberty to use them, and our comfort in the use of them, to the mediation of Christ; it is therefore ungrateful and impious to abuse them...


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  6. His Blood Spoke My Name

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    The remark by the governor of the feast in which he says, "thou hast kept the good wine until now" deserves a full explanation, as many automatically assume that the best wine must have been the most alcoholic. The problem with some is, as Jesus said, Ye judge after the flesh. (John 8:15) In understanding the nature of the wine we should again take heed to our Lord's words, Judge not according to the appearance but judge righteous judgment. (John 7:24) The Rev. Dr. William Patton quotes the Rev. Dr. Jacobus' comments on the wine our Lord created, which states:

    This wine was not that fermented liquor which passes now under that name. All who know of the wines then used will understand rather the unfermented juice of the grape. The present wines of Jerusalem and Lebanon, as we tasted them, were commonly boiled and sweet, without intoxicating qualities, such as we here get in liquors we call wines. The boiling prevents the fermentation. Those were esteemed the best wines which were the least strong.


    He also quotes Dr. S.M. Isaacs, an eminent Jewish rabbi as saying:

    In the Holy Land they do not commonly use fermented wines. The best wines are preserved sweet and unfermented.


    We also find agreement with this in Professor Moses Stuart's writings, which state:

    Facts show that ancients not only preserved their wine unfermented, but regarded it as of a higher flavor and finer quality than fermented wine.

    taken from Leighton G. Campbell's book, 'Wine in the Bible and the Scriptural Case for Total Abstinence' pp 146,147
     
  7. webdog

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    ...not the most alcoholic...the oldest. Fermentation ceases, but the quality gets better with age.
     
  8. Diggin in da Word

    Diggin in da Word
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    ... men chose to walk in darkness because their deeds were evil.
     
  9. DHK

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    Be realistic.
    ...not the most alcoholic...but the one with the best quality.
    Could any one make any beverage alcoholic or non-alcoholic any better than the Creator himself. Objective Bible study leads us to believe that Christ would not create fermented wine. That being the case we know that even the absolute best fermented wine in this world, that money could buy could never compare with the juice that Christ created that day. There is nothing that man makes that is perfect. It is always flawed simply because man is man. He has a depraved nature, is not perfect, is not sinless, and cannot make any one thing perfect. Perfection is an impossibility with man.
    With Christ, everything he does is to perfection. There is not a flaw in anything that he creates. There was no flaw, no corruption, no yeast (a symbol of corruption), nothing to suggest any bad taste at all. Not even the best wine could compare with what Christ created. All the speculation in the world by the arm-chair theologians on this board cannot put them back in time to be able to taste the juice that Christ created. So why even argue about what the Creator perfectly created. It was perfect; something man cannot do. That is the one thing that you all need to keep in mind.

    Generally speaking here are the others.
    There is a general theme that runs throughout the entirety of the Bible, and that is that if ferementation (or leaven or yeast) does not mean the actual process) it refers to sin, corruption and false doctrine. You find this theme throughout the entirety of the Bible, just as you find that the blood sacrifices of animals picture the One sacrifice (the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world--John 1:29) that was yet to come. There are certain things in the Bible that have definite symbolic meaning and yeast or leaven is one of them.

    2. For this reason Christ would never have never used wine either at the wiedding of Cana, or at the Passover, where it would have been strictly forbidden by law.

    3. At the wedding he knew that he would have been compromising the lives of many, putting there lives in danger:
    --recovering alcoholics
    --those on other "medications" that would not mix with alcohol.
    --those that would be offended by alcohol (1Cor.8:13).
    --the danger it would have been to children at the wedding.
    --the danger it would have been to pregnant women at the wedding.
    --and there are more; many more medical and scientific reason why Christ would not and could not have made an alcoholic beverage at that wedding.

    Christ was and is sinless. Never would he have partaken of anything that represented sin. The thought of doing so is abhorrent.
    DHK
     
  10. ACADEMIC

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    Ya-a-a-a-a-awn. ZZZZzzzzzzzzz. :sleep:
     
    #10 ACADEMIC, Sep 1, 2006
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  11. webdog

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    I'm very realistic. Fermentation stops around 14%. Does time stop at 14% too?
    If He so allowed, yes. Are you putting restrictions on Him? BTW we only squeeze the grape...God does the rest.
    :laugh: Yeah...whatever...
    The text does not say that. The master of ceremonies only stated that the "best" was saved for last. It seems pretty clear that he had something very similar to compare it to.
    True. Did man "make" fermentation? Did man have anything to do with the physics of fermentation? Case closed.
     
  12. His Blood Spoke My Name

    His Blood Spoke My Name
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    No, it is your mind that is closed. The case will not be closed until you stand before the Lord's throne.
     
  13. webdog

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    So I won't have any idea that man has no part in the physics of fermentation until I stand before God? You really make no sense. Please read before you post.
     
  14. corndogggy

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    From one dog to another, I second that motion. :thumbsup:


    My biggest problem with this story is that it's a historically known fact and backed up in this passage that the better wine (not necessarily the most alcoholic) was put out first because once people got tipsy, they wouldn't be able to distinguish the cheaper wine as well after that point, so the cheap wine was put out in order to save money... if they can't tell the difference, there's no reason to waste money or waste the good wine.

    Put it into the context of tea. Have you ever heard of a party where they put out the good tea first then when everybody has drank too much (which this passage does in fact say), then they bring out the cheap tea? No, that doesn't make any sense. Even if they did do such a thing, they would simply serve the good tea until it ran out... there would be no reason whatsoever to wait until the point where people drank too much, and then bring out the cheap tea... makes no sense at all.

    Anybody who drinks knows that this is exactly what you do even today. If I only have two beers left in the fridge, one being a $7 per bottle Trappist from Belgium, and the other being a Miller Lite... it is guaranteed that I'll be grabbing the Trappist first. Which, by the way, do you know where Trappists, the best beers in the world, are made? Monestaries. Monks make it. They brew for 3 months out of the year to support their monestary, then they can concentrate entirely on God for the rest of the year. I, for one, think this is awesome. St. Pauli Girl was brewed in a monestary too. Maybe I should convert to Catholicism...
     
    #14 corndogggy, Sep 1, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 1, 2006
  15. James_Newman

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    Last month, for the Lord's supper, the pastor's wife pressed the juice from fresh grapes. I can safely say that that was one of the most delicious things I have ever tasted, far better than that purple stuff in the plastic jug at Wal-Mart.
     
  16. James_Newman

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    Anybody who has been stung by alcohol knows that keeping that swill in your refrigerator is foolish.
     
  17. webdog

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    Are you referring to alcoholics or drunkards? Not to the average person, I'm sure.
     
  18. James_Newman

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    I'm referring to watered down, liquored up lukewarm Christians that make a mock of sin.
    Pro 23:31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his color in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.
    Pro 23:32 At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
    Pro 23:33 Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.

    Christians ought to be ashamed to be teaching their children that its ok to ignore wisdom from the bible in the name of 'liberty' which is really bondage. At the last, it biteth like a serpent and thine eyes shall behold strange women and thine heart utter perverse things.
     
  19. webdog

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    *sigh* Another handful of verses plucked to support a personal conviction. When will you people learn...

    I'm going to teach my son what the Bible says about drinking...and it's not the same legalistic thing I was taught growing up...but the truth. I'm afraid you are the one in bondage, as my Bible doesn't state drinking is a sin, but addiction and drunkeness are.
     
  20. corndogggy

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    Like I said in another thread, if you're going to quote Proverbs 23, quote the entire chapter, as you are simply taking things out of context. It is easy to see that Proverbs 23 is dealing with drunkenness and not very moderate drinking. Moderate drinkers don't feel like they've been beat up, or have bloodshot eyes, or have hallucinations, or feel dizzly like they're riding on a boat, or become dirt poor due to drinking, or pass out after drinking then wake up wanting more... doesn't work that way, they're talking about drunkenness.
     
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