The Wedding Feast at Cana

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by InTheLight, Jun 14, 2012.

  1. InTheLight

    InTheLight
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    There is no doubt in my mind that Jesus created fine wine (alcoholic) and not grape juice at Cana. We can debate that if you like but I'd like to explore the nature of the wedding feast.

    I have heard teaching that the Jewish wedding and feast (wedding reception) of the days of Jesus took place over several days. The basis for this belief is Gen. 29:27. This makes sense to me since it was unlikely that the wedding would run out of wine on the same day of the wedding. Also it would explain the comment by the master of the feast, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!” If the event took place over several days it seems reasonable that the fine wine would be set out first and after the guests were drunk, the cheap wine could be served because they wouldn't know the difference.

    Does anybody have any thoughts on whether the wedding feast of Cana was one day or over several days?

    What was the Jewish tradition of the era?
     
  2. preachinjesus

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    This is the catch-22 for teetotalers.

    You gotta deal with this and, honestly, their answers aren't satisfactory.

    Personally, I imagine there were plenty of folks dancing around with lampshades on their heads as a result of the wine Jesus made. Just saying...

    To my knowledge a wedding feast in Jewish tradition of that era was a multi-day event where the good stuff was served first and it got watered down (cuz the drunker you get the wine still tastes the same...I've been told.) It would have been noted if the wine was non-alcoholic. Actually, it would have been offensive.
     
  3. InTheLight

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    Yep, it's Exhibit A against total abstinence and a big reason for my change of mind.

    That's what I've been reading while Googling this in the past half hour. The tradition of being a good host and offering excellent hospitality meant it was an embarrassment to run out of wine and serving grape juice would have been insulting.
     
  4. agedman

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    I really do not care to "debate" the issue with the BB; merely to let others who visit know that there is really no Biblical excuse to consume any intoxicant other than the medical issue stated below. Folks on the BB have spent many hours, days, on this kind of thread. I only post now, to let the young reader or others who generally do not post know that there is Biblical reason and principle for not consuming intoxicants. There will be those who object, but that is the nature of the BB.


    Here are some of the basic issues that believer consumers must put aside to excuse consumption of intoxicants.

    1) The believer is to be an example of Christ. Having served the public in the business field for decades, I never met an unregenerate that doesn't scoff at believers who consume an intoxicant. They belittle them as pure fakes. The lack of testimony is astounding on this issue.

    2) Christ would never violate His own self (The Word).

    3) The whole purpose of the intoxicant is to poison. It matters not in the slightest "how much" or that one doesn't become "drunk," for those are man made standard attempts at righteousness and not Godliness. The human body is not aided by toxins, they are poisons. Anyone who has been present during the detoxification process of the drunk, can attest to the horrible rebuke the body goes through.

    4) Christ never willingly took in any amount of toxin and remained the pure Lamb of God without blemish. Because the purpose of the toxin is to poison, on some micro cellular level, even a sip of a toxin would have perverted Christ. This is actually born out in number 5 on this list.

    5) On the Cross Christ was given drink twice. The first was water, which He consumed. The second mixed water with an intoxicant, which He spit out. Even in death, He allowed no intoxicants to enter Him.

    6) There are three places intoxicants are permitted in Scriptures.

    The first is if one journeys from a far off land to come to Temple. There is no Temple and no one journeys under the same conditions as found in the Deut. permission. So that "permission" is void as not applicable.

    The second is the injunction to give strong drink to those who have no hope. The believer is NEVER without hope in Christ. So that "permission" is void and not applicable.

    The third is medicinal use. Paul's instruction to Tim to "take a little" with the assumption that Dr. Luke (traveling with Paul) made the remote diagnosis and recommended treatment. It would stand that ONLY under medical authority and oversight would consumption of any intoxicant be permitted to the believer. Tim was an obvious abstainer or Paul would never have needed to include the formula for the stomach treatment. Tim wasn't to have a glass, or a bottle, or a can consumption. A little would be like a tablespoon sized amount, a sip, is a little to even a child's thinking. But some believers would desire the little to be a grand amount - a beverage size. ​

    7) "New Wine" is non-intoxicant like grape juice. It has had no time to ferment and acquire the bitterness of the natural yeast. Note: all sweet tasting wines must have yeast added, sweeteners and multiple straining to remove particles and bitterness in the processing making the new wine old for this is not something done overnight.

    8) The believer is to be as Christlike as possible.

    9) All intoxicants have one goal when consumed by a person. To pervert judgment and rational sensibilities. For the believer to purposely consume something that has as the core perversion and irrationality is NOT being filled with the Holy Spirit.

    10) Government statutes establishing when a person is drunk is certainly never God's standard. God's standard is Holiness.


    Someone of the BB will certainly post about the scheming agenda seeking pharisees who accused Christ of spending time eating and drinking with sinners. However, there is no proof that the accusations were fact, and, in fact, it is evident that the religious rulers were trying all manner of deceitfulness to liable the Savior. So those who would use that as an excuse have no real foundation in those passages.

    There are many diversions attempted to excuse consuming an intoxicant by those who desire an excuse. Shifting the focus upon coffee, sodas, sugary snacks, weight, and a host of other non-issues, are just some of the vain attempts to mock and ridicule those who would hold that the Bible does lay out principles that are directly against consuming an intoxicant. Especially in this day, when water purification is pretty much a non-issue in the "civilized world, some on the BB will use that as an excuse, too, as if they dwell in the desert and have to drink goats milk and eat camel eyes.

    Some will point to the historical use by believers or cultures of the past or other countries. However, that is a non-starter for the believer does not live in the past. I do not know of another country in which the paying public cannot find alternative beverage choices other than an intoxicant. The consumption is NOT a doctrine in which great theological historical thinking and views have established president, so looking for examples in the past for excuse to use in today's application is frightfully frail and perilously poor attempts seeking to assuage the mind and heart.




    Wine is a mocker

    Strong drink is raging

    Fools are deceived by them.
     
  5. InTheLight

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    So Christ turned water into grape juice at Cana?
     
  6. John of Japan

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    Against my better judgment (having seen how these arguments go on the BB), I'll try a post.

    You know, teetotalers always get attacked on this one, and folks seek to prove they are wrong. For once I'd like to see someone actually prove that the wine at the wedding feast was (1) actually alcoholic, and (2) as high an alcohol content as modern wines. Anyone up to that?
     
  7. InTheLight

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    I think (1) actually alcoholic, is implied in the text. When the master of the feast said, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!”

    “Every man serves the good wine first, and when the people have [d]drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.” NASB

    [d] or have become drunk


    As to (2) high alcohol content, I don't know.
     
  8. preachinjesus

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    If it had been in Christ's day and was a traditional Jewish ceremony they would have used Kosher wine. Normally (in traditions carried through until today) this process would produce wines with 7 to 13 percent alcohol content.

    Why they wouldn't use Kosher wine at the wedding celebration would be beyond reasonable exegesis.
     
  9. webdog

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    irrelevant and off topic, but the norm when you cannot answer
     
  10. webdog

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    1. The context. Someone drinking grape juice would know good from bad juice (if there is even such a thing)
    2. Fermentation is a chemical process that results in 14% apv. The good wine is the well aged, well refined wine (Is. 25). It would have been the max, 14% apv
     
  11. John of Japan

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    The Greek word here is methuo (mequw), which doesn't necessarily mean to get drunk. In the LXX (Septuagint) it occurs often in speaking of water (Ps. 65:9-10, Is. 58:11, Jer. 31:12, etc.). So in order to prove that people were drunk, instead of having just drunk a lot, you first have to prove that the wine was intoxicating.
    Then it may not have been an intoxicating wine, right? I mean, you can't get drunk on 1 or 2% unless you drink more than your stomach can hold, right?
     
  12. John of Japan

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    But if I've drunk a lot of one drink (say cola) over a long period of time, my taste buds are dulled. So you could sneak in an inferior cola and I might not know it.

    Furthermore, granting that alcoholic wine was served at the wedding, that doesn't prove that Jesus made alcohol. Maybe He thought grape juice tasted better and preferred it Himself. Frankly, I've tasted grape juice and modern wine, and much prefer the taste of grape juice.

    I recently read an account from Bible times where the king had his cupbearer squeeze the grapes directly into the cup, and then enjoyed his pure grape juice.
    "Results in." Doesn't that mean that it is various % along the way? How do we know Jesus made 14% alcohol, the end product? Can you prove that 1st century people always waited until it was 14%? Maybe Jesus preferred 1% or 2%. Or that it was even alcoholic? (See my previous post.)
     
    #12 John of Japan, Jun 15, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 15, 2012
  13. Fred's Wife

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    From "Should Christians Drink?: The Case For Total Abstinence" by Peter Masters (pg.19-20):

    "The commonly available alcoholic drinks in Bible times were wines and beers, with the wines prevailing in ancient Palestine. These were considerably weaker than many of the strong wines of today particularly 'chaptalized'* and fortified wines, not to mention distilled spirits, none of which existed in those days.

    The highest achievable alcohol content of wines produced by ordinary fermentation---the only process available in Bible times---is around 14%. In those days, however, wine was not normally fermented anywhere near to that ceiling because of the unpleasant taste produced by extraneous bacteria which their technology could not eliminate. These joined in the fermentation process turning the sugar into vinegar. The common wines of Palestine were fermented for only three to four days (compared with the six-month period of the Greeks), and while their strength is not known, the indications are that they were extremely weak.

    Andre Bustanoby, in his book The Wrath of Grapes, writes against abstention and in favour of moderation only. But from a detailed examination of the ancient wine-making process he concludes that alcohol abuse was not a major problem to the ordinary people of ancient times because good strength wine was expensive and not in great supply. The common wine, he asserts, was poor-quality wine of low alcohol content. Indeed, much of it never became true wine at all--'It was just aerobically fermented must.'

    'Must' is the juice of the grape, which begins to ferment as soon as it is pressed from the grape."

    * Chaptalization is the process of adding sugar to unfermented grape must in order to increase the alcohol content after fermentation

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaptalization
     
  14. webdog

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    you just don't know your cola's :laugh:

    it was deemed the best, was it not? The same "best" the Lord of Hosts will serve us one day...well aged and well refined? I have yet to hear that Welches is that much superior past its expiration date...and at any rate it still ferments!

    wasn't that figurative...and if not was it referred to as wine?

    I answered this when I stated He made the best wine, and when allowing Bible to explain Bible (along with what we know from wine making) the best is well aged...even to this day.
     
    #14 webdog, Jun 15, 2012
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  15. webdog

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    There are numerous wineries today employing ancient methods of wine making. The article is blatantly false pertaining to alcohol content and quality.
     
  16. John of Japan

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    Excellent information!
     
  17. webdog

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    ...besides, based on Andre Busybody's info above the good wine was both expensive and higher in alcohol, which further supports the op.
     
  18. John of Japan

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    Hah! I can tell Coke fr. Diet Coke from Pepsi from.... :tongue3:
    This is inconclusive in the original, I believe.

    "And made hath Jehovah of Hosts, For all the peoples in this mount, A banquet of fat things, a banquet of preserved things, Fat things full of marrow, preserved things refined." (Young's)
    Don't know, didn't read it in the original. But what other word would have been used?
    See above. Please prove that the common translation is the best one.
     
  19. Steadfast Fred

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    The statement that identified the wine that Jesus made as "best" does not necessitate that the wine was more intoxicating than other wine, or even "as intoxicating as other wines". Today, if you purchased the worst wine on the shelves, you could drink it and get drunk.

    Best referred to taste, not ability to intoxicate.

    Just read the critiques given by connoisseurs of "fine wine". When googling, one will find that connoisseurs judge wine on taste, not "ability to intoxicate."
     
    #19 Steadfast Fred, Jun 15, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 15, 2012
  20. jbh28

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    1) The Bible says so. the Greek word there means a beverage that has alcohol instead of the Greek word that would mean simply grape juice.
    2) anyone that says it was as high as modern wines today is incorrect. First, wine then didn't have as much alcohol as today because today we have processes that put more in it. Also, much of the time it was diluted up to 12 parts water to 1 part wine. So yes, it very likely has alcohol(as that was the word used) it can't be accurately compared to today's wines as they are much, much more alcoholic.


    I btw, don't drink for what I believe are very good reasons.
     

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