What does the Bible really say about wine?

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Rooster, Oct 24, 2004.

  1. Rooster

    Rooster
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    The problem: the Bible clearly condemns drunkeness (Luke 21:34, Romans 13:12-14, Ephesians 5:8) Yet the Bible seems to allow for drinking (John 2:1-11) Was this wine alcoholic? Does the miracle by Jesus justify social drinking?

    Wine in the Old Testement:

    YAYIN- The most common OT word for wine, used 140 times. It is commonly viewed as an intoxicating beverage. it is the drink that made Noah drunk (Gen 9:21-24); Made Lot drunk(Gen 19:32-35); and was used by Eli as he accused Hannah of being drunk (1 sam 1:14-15) It is used through out the OT. It is also used as a drink offering to be poured out before the Lord(Exodus 29:40, Lev 23:13, Num 15:5, 7, 10)


    TIROSH- This term for new or fresh wine is used 38 times in the OT. It is commonly used fruits, juice, or unfermented wine. The one time it appears to be used as an intoxicating beverage is Hosea 4:11, where it is used in connection with YAYIN.

    ASIS- This word, used only 5 times in the OT is translated juice, new wine, or sweet wine. While this would seem to apply an unfermented juice, two of the verses clearly indicat an intoxicating beverage (Isaiah 49:26, Joel 1:5) In Bible times sweet wine was used of a stronger wine than the normal YAYIN.

    SHEKAR- This term is used 23 times in the OT for strong drink. It is closely related to terms of drunkeness, and intoxication. It refers to any alcoholic beverage prepared from fruit , grain, including beer.

    OTHER TERMS: There are a number of Hebrew, and Aramaic terms used in the OT for wine, wine presses, grapes, vinager, drinking, and drunkeness. One word, 'enab, is translated grapes 18 times and wine once. One word for drunkeness is also translated water. The signifigance here is that the context must determine each use.

    Wine in the New Testiment:

    ONINOS- The normal term for wine in the NT, it is used 36 times in its various forms. It can be anything from fresh grapes, to rasins, to juice, to fermented wine. In Matthew 9:17, and Mark 2:22 the term is used of fresh, unfermented juice and also of wine after fermentation. It is used in Ephesians 5:18, "Be not drunk with wine..." it is also the term used in John 2, when Christ turned the water into wine.

    GLEUKOS- This term, used once in the NT, generaly refers to new wine, sweet juice freshly pressed from the grapes. However, its one NT use is Acts 2:13, were Peter declares the disciples are not drunk with new wine, clearly refering to an intoxicateing drink.

    SIKERA- T his is a typical term for strong drink, refering to an intoxicating beverage other than wine, made from sweet ingredients such as grains, vegetables, or the juice of fruits (e.g. Beer) it is used once in the NT , in Luke 1:15 , where it was prohibited for John the Independent Fundimental Baptist( :D ) .
     
  2. manchester

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    The parable of the old wineskin and new wineskin makes no sense if he means grape juice. And giving people the best wine at the beginning of a party and then the cheap wine after they are drunk makes clear that they drank. A deacon shouldn't be in the habit of drinking "much wine" - makes no sense if it's talking about grape juice.
     
  3. James_Newman

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    Isaiah 65:8
    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.

    Whatever this new wine is, it is found in a cluster of grapes. That must make it grape juice! How does the parable of the wineskin make sense any other way? If you put new wine (grape juice) into an old wineskin, the grape juice will start to ferment due to the bacteria in the old wineskin, causing gas to build up and split the wineskin.

    Well drunk does not mean these men were already blasted when Jesus showed up. Well drunk means they had plenty to drink already, and not necessarily alcoholic wine. The inference is that the wine that Jesus produced tasted better, was more refreshing than the wine that had been provided by the host, and the guests were amazed that this wine wasn't brought forth in the beginning. Speaking from experience, if these men were already 'drunk' they would not have been able to tell the difference. Jesus would not 'make provision for the flesh' by producing an intoxicating substance that would entice men to sin. Yes, drunkenness is a sin.

    If a deacon should not be given to much wine, perhaps it is because wine is a luxury. The cost of juice certainly exceeds the cost of water, even today good juice can be prohibitively expensive for a family on a budget. God does not want people who are wasteful with His resources placed in positions of responsibility, let alone drunkards.
     
  4. manchester

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    Grape juice does not release gas, new wine does. Fermenting/ed wine is not grape juice. If you want to say that "grape juice" is fermenting/ed grape juice, that's fine but that's what everyone else calls wine and you've conceded any point you were trying to make.

    A deacon shouldn't drink too much grape juice because grape juice must have been expensive back then? :rolleyes:
     
  5. gb93433

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    If you have been a grape farmer like my parents once were you would know about how long grape juice would last in warm to hot weather without refrigeration. You would also know what pure grape juice tastes like (not like Welch's).

    Grape juice ferments to make wine or vinegar depending on how much air it gets. It does not stay grape juice.
     
  6. James_Newman

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    James 1
    12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
    13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
    14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

    So by this scripture, am I to understand that Jesus turned the water into wine, but had no intention of anyone drinking it? If they did drink it, and happened to get drunk, at the judgment seat they will point at Jesus and say 'but He put the wine before me!' and Jesus will say, 'but I didn't make you drink it, did I? '

    If drunkenness is a sin, Jesus made juice.
     
  7. Rachel

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    I had understood the scripture's about not getting drunk to mean 'not drink too much' wine or beer or whatever. Have a glass or two as long as you don't get 'intoxicated', because then that would be sin. Back then they didn't have many choices on what to drink did they?

    Rachel
     
  8. James_Newman

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    I have seen documentation of the Jews having the knowledge to preserve grape juice without fermentation. If you like, I will try to find out where it is. It basically involved boiling and reducing the juice to a concentrate. This would produce a 'jelly' that would resist fermentation and could be reconstituted with water. We like to assume the ancient people in the bible were little better than cavemen but they were quite sophisticated.
     
  9. James_Newman

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  10. manchester

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    Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water"; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, "Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet." They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, "Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now." John 2:7-10

    - What does it mean that "everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink"? Why did they drink grape juice at parties, and begin with the best grape juice first and when people had "too much to drink" of non-alcoholic grape juice bring out the cheap grape juice?

    - Why does the parable of the old and new wineskins show that even "new wine" is fermenting/ed, and gives off so much gas that it can burst an old wineskin, if it's just unfermented grape juice? And why does old wine have no fermentation if even the new wine is clearly fermented?

    - Why do the scriptures explicitly single out drinking grape juice among all the things a person can do? Why do they say that a deacon should not drink "much wine"?
     
  11. mioque

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    Boiling down grapejuice to jelly had it's own problems, potentially worse than the overconsumption of alcohol. Boiling down was done in lead kettles making regular use of the product a serious leadpoisoning hazard.
     
  12. MTA

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    Eph 5:18 And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

    The issue with wine, or any alcoholic beverage, is not in the consumption, but in becoming intoxicated.

    Rom 14:21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.

    This verse, more than any should guide us as Christians. If our actions are misinterpreted by the people we are trying to reach with the Gospel, then we clearly should not participate in anything that might be misinterpreted as being contrary to Christian behavior. The stima surrounding alcohol needs no clarification and the Bible is clear that we are to be wary of it.

    Pro 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.

    Pro 21:17 He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich.

    Pro 23:29 Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?
    Pro 23:30 They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.

    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.


    I have heard some people arguing about their rights to use alcohol and the Bible does not require anyone to abstain from the use of alcohol. However, Paul states that simply because he could do certain things without penalty did not mean it was beneficial for him to do those things.

    1Co 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.
     
  13. James_Newman

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    When you throw a party for your kids, do you bring out the Coca Cola first, or the Dr Thunder?
    If you would read any of the information at the site I linked to, you would see that not even a new wineskin would be able to hold the pressure from fermenting juice. The old wineskin contained material that would induce fermentation in the new wine and thus burst the skin. The new wineskin does not contain this fermenting agent, thus no bursting.
    Why was a Nazarite forbidden to drink grape juice at all? It also says they should be the husband of one wife. Where is it a commandment not to have more than one wife?
     
  14. Rooster

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    permitted uses of wine:
    Wine is used of grapes or freshly pressed grape juice (Isaiah 16:10)
    Wine is used in the drink offerings (Exodus 29:40)
    Wine is an indication of Gods provision, and blessing(Psalm 104:15, Prov. 3:9-10, Joel 2:23-24)
    Wine is used of the proper use of medicine(prov. 31:6-7, Luke 10:33-34, 1 Tim. 5:23)
    Wine is mixed with water, In Biblical times the water was not always pure to drink. Mixing one part wine with 3-6 parts water was a common way to purify the water. Since naturaly fermented wine has alcohol, this dilution would lower the alcohol content. The process of distillation was not discovered untill about the 12th century. Biblical wines, even the intoxicating ones, were reletivly low in thier alcohol content, when compared with alcoholic beverages today.
     
  15. av1611jim

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    I believe MTA is on the right track.
    I might add,
    "Abstain from all appearences of evil"

    Do some christians consider drinking alcoholic beverages evil?
    Yes. Then, for their sake, abstain from it yourself.

    Do the unsaved believe christians should not drink alcoholic beverages? In general, yes.
    Then, for their sake, abstain from it yourself.

    In all our behaviors, we should think of others more so than ourselves.

    IMO: it is the very selfish christian who would say it's ok to drink alcoholic beverages. "Who are you to judge me?" "Jesus made wine, didn't He?" "I see nothing wrong with it."

    Again, the issue is not about you.
    It is about this -> "What will this say to others?"

    What say ye?

    In HIS service;
    Jim
     
  16. Johnv

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    You're correct:

    Scripture expressly forbids drunkenness.

    Scripture does not forbid the consumption of alcoholic beverages in general.

    Scripture even recommends the use of wine in specific cases.

    The miracle of Jesus turning water into wine neither condones nor forbids social drinking. It doesn't address the topic at all. As far as the wine being alcoholic, there's no reason to think it wasn't. Wine contains alcohol. If it doesn't, it's grape juice.

    Bottom line: Christians are allowed, but not required, to consume alcohol, or use it for purposes such as medicinal. However, Christians are expressly forbidden from engaging in drunkenness.
     
  17. Rooster

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    The Bible clearly condemns drunkenness:
    Isaiah pronounces woes agianst drunkards(Isa. 5:11-12, 22-23)
    Drunkeness and Hedonism were causes for Gods judgment of Israel (Amos 6:1-7)
    Paul condemns drunkeness 9Romans 13:12-14, Eph, 5:18)
    True belivers are not charicterized by drunkeness(1 Cor. 6:9-11, Gal 5:19-21)
    Drunkeness is a cause for church discipline(1 Cor. 5:11)
     
  18. KenH

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    That is not true. You should not tell a falsehood such as that.
     
  19. Marcia

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    I agree with av1611jim, MTA, and Rooster. [See Rooster, we are agreeing again! What a miracle! ;) ].

    There are a lot of alcoholics and lost people out there, and drinking could lead to someone stumbling and/or could hurt your witness for Christ. You can never tell who the alcoholic (and sometimes the lost person) is who might be around when you are drinking. I am not saying the alcoholic is not accountable for his or her actions, but we are told not to be a stumbling block to our brother (and there are plenty of alcoholics who are believers).

    Being the daughter of an alcoholic parent, I know what devastation alcoholism can have firsthand. It affects everyone in the family and the effects go on for a lifetime.

    If Christians think it's okay to drink, then it seems best, imo, that they do it in the privacy of their homes.
     
  20. Rooster

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    I belive this could be an official act of congress! ;)
     

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