PDF What Would Jesus Drink? What the Bible Really Says About Alcohol

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  1. Question: Does the Bible allow a Christian to drink alcohol?
  2. What Would Jesus Drink |
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The principle governing his attitude appears at the conclusion of a section in 1 Corinthians where Paul addresses himself to varying attitudes toward eating, drinking, and marriage: "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God" But what about current attitudes and practices? Shall we simply extend the biblical advocacy of moderation to our present times? To the contrary, certain scientific, historical, and cultural conditions make personal and corporate decisions regarding drinking more complicated than in antiquity.

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Question: Does the Bible allow a Christian to drink alcohol?

Attitudes today must be informed by both contextual and theological considerations. For one thing, a significant difference between alcoholic drinks of the first century and of today has come with the advent of distilled liquors. In New Testament times the main alcoholic substance was wine sometimes watered as a substitute for plain drinking water. Today, alcoholic drinks can be much more potent. Very often, such substances are not drunk as a beverage for the sake of taste and refreshment but as a highly concentrated drug taken for "the effect.

Alcohol consumption in North America clearly has reached disastrous proportions. Millions of Americans use alcohol as a drug. It is used by many not to "gladden the heart" Psalm , but to escape reality. Alcohol is the depressant of choice for millions who find it difficult to cope with life. Increasingly, youth use alcohol as an alternative to illicit drugs.

Yet its total effect is possibly more disastrous than that of hard drugs. Our society has failed to institutionalize drinking in a way that would place it within a healthful setting and define its limits. Many who drink at bars, parties, and even in the home are separated from the positive elements of life. One Sunday morning while preparing for a service, a young Christian man who had previously attended our services approached me. He drank it Himself.

What Would Jesus Drink |

Hung-over and stupefied, he stood there dumfounded as I corrected this popular lie using the same Bible he referred me to. I immediately took him to the following Scripture passage in Isaiah. It is grape juice. Fermented and unfermented. I explained that Jesus neither drank nor created fermented, alcoholic wine. Disobedience is sin and Jesus never sinned. I then took him to the following passage of Scripture that Jesus, the fulfillment of the Levitical Priesthood and our High Priest, would have obeyed. He would have been just another sinner man, like everyone else.

When reading Bible verses that include the word "wine" one must determine whether they are reading about fermented or unfermented wine. It is very easy to do so. All one must do is open a Bible concordance and look the word up. If you don't have a Bible concordance you can borrow one at a public library or from your local Church.

The Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew. The New Testament was originally written in Greek. A Bible concordance is divided into two sections. The first section has word definitions for every Hebrew word in the Old Testament. The second section has word definitions for every Greek word in the New Testament. Every English word in the Bible is number coded to its original Hebrew or Greek word.

It is so simple to look up original word definitions in a Bible concordance that any child who can read is able to do so. In today's high-tech world, Bibles with concordances are available both online and as software. All one must do is left click the English Bible word in question and instantly the Hebrew or Greek definition appears in a window.

One must never refuse to employ the use of a concordance when there is a question about which type of wine one is reading about - fermented or unfermented. Over the years many have written to me or confronted me directly over this "Jesus drank wine" lie teaching. They have pointed out to me that Leviticus says, "Do not drink wine nor strong drink My answer is always the same. Therefore, they were not allowed to drink unholy and unclean substances whether inside the Tabernacle or outside of the Tabernacle.


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Wouldn't that mean that you should never partake of what God refers to as unholy and unclean? Because God visited there occasionally He particularly forbade the use of fermented wine and strong drink by any of the Priests while they were present there. Because fermented wine and strong drink are unholy and God is Holy. Today, the Tabernacle of God is compromised of Born Again human beings, which God indwells permanently. This is all the more reason to not partake of fermented wine and strong drink under the New Covenant.

Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit which are God's. Here the Apostle Paul makes it perfectly clear that the body of every Born Again human being is a component in the new Temple of God. I tell my detractors, "You insist that the Priests of the Old Covenant were only forbidden to use fermented wine and strong drink when they were inside the Tabernacle, correct? Well, how much more true is it that New Covenant Believers should never use fermented wine or strong drink seeing that we actually ARE the Temple of the Lord?

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Simple stuff! Jesus created "holy" and "clean" unfermented wine, or premier quality grape juice in its freshest, most unfermented state. One of the clearest examples in Scripture of the use of the term "wine" referring to unfermented grape juice is found in Genesis There we read the narrative of Joseph's interpretation of Pharaoh's Cup-Bearer's dream while in prison. For centuries his works were more widely read in Europe than any book other than the Bible.

Author of "Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews," finally published in English in , Josephus refers to Joseph's interpretation of Pharaoh's Cup-Bearer's dream as follows. Thou sayest that thou didst squeeze this wine from three clusters of grapes with thine hands and that the King received it: know, therefore, that the vision is for thy good. Here in Flavius Josephus' translation of the Cup-Bearer's dream "wine" gleukos is used as a proper rendering for fresh, unfermented grape juice.

Quite obviously in Flavius Josephus' day it was understood "wine" could mean either fermented or unfermented grape juice.

Christians and Alcohol (Selected Scriptures)

It was also understood one needed to take pains to discover which of the two were being addressed while one was reading the Scripture. This was done by looking carefully at the original Hebrew word, which is exactly what Flavius Josephus did as a scholar. In this case Flavius Josephus makes it clear that it was fresh grape juice, unfermented "wine," that was squeezed into Pharaoh's cup in the dream and not fermented "wine.

Flavius Josephus' proper translation also offers further significant insight. That being that it was customary hundreds of years before Israel was released from Egyptian captivity to squeeze the juice from grapes, drinking it immediately in its fresh, unfermented state and referring to it as "wine.


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  4. This is what Moses, the author of Genesis, and Flavius Josephus referred to as "gleukos. This strongly supports the conclusion that fresh, unfermented grape juice was called "wine" as far back as Genesis, the Book of Beginnings. When the King James version of the Bible was produced its translators also understood that "wine" is a reference to both fermented and unfermented grape juice for they used the word "wine" to refer to both. Therefore, simple, proper research is necessary to determine which definition is proper when reading the King James Bible.

    Today, however, "wine" is always assumed to mean only the fermented juice of grapes. Unfortunately, modern translations of the Bible do not indicate whether the text refers to fermented or unfermented grape juice. By their failing to provide proper clarification and word usage, today's Bible readers are easily misled into believing that all references to "wine" in the Bible are references to fermented, alcoholic grape juice when they are not.

    The f ermentation of wine is an aging process that happens over an extended period of time. It is a process of decay, which is rooted in death. Satan is the author of death, not Jesus or His Father.

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    First, at the wedding feast of Cana Jesus created premier quality grape juice instantly, not over time - without decay, without death and without the help of Satan. Second, as stated, death and decay do not come from God. Death and decay come only from Satan. To say that Jesus created fermented, decayed wine is to say He did so with the help of Satan, for Satan alone is the author of death and decay.

    To say that Jesus performed a miracle of turning water into "fermented" wine is to say that He did so by the destructive, decay-producing power of Satan, not by the constructive power of the Holy Spirit. When they accused Him of performing miracles by the power of Satan, Jesus warned the Pharisees that they were actually blaspheming the Holy Spirit Who was performing the miracles through Him. Without meaning to, those who insist that Jesus miraculously created fermented wine are actually accusing Him of doing so by the power of Satan - the author of death and decay.

    Some have written to me insisting that God can produce decay and fermentation "if He wants to. Yes, with God all things are possible, but only within the boundaries of His written Word. God can and will do anything to accomplish His will, but only according to what is written in His Word. He will not violate His Word. God's written Word reveals that Satan alone is the author and producer of death - including the death and decay process known as "fermentation.

    God's written Word says that God and Jesus are the authors of life and only life, not death. It is not possible for Jesus to have created fermented wine because He is not the author of death and its resulting process of decay. He is the Author of Life and Life alone.

    This article is about appearances of alcohol and its use in the Bible. See also: Christian views on alcohol. Canons and books. Tanakh Torah Nevi'im Ketuvim. Christian biblical canons. Deuterocanon Antilegomena. Authorship and development. Authorship Dating Hebrew canon. Pauline epistles Petrine epistles. Translations and manuscripts. Biblical studies.

    Hermeneutics Pesher Midrash Pardes. Allegorical interpretation Literalism. Gnostic Islamic Qur'anic. Inerrancy Infallibility. Easton b. These were the main products of ancient Palestine, in order of importance. The fruit of the vine was consumed both fresh and dried raisins , but it was primarily consumed as wine. Wine was, in antiquity, an important food and not just an embellishment to a feast Wine was essentially a man's drink in antiquity, when it became a significant dietary component.

    Even slaves were given a generous wine ration. Scholars estimate that in ancient Rome an adult consumed a liter of wine daily. Even a minimal estimate of g. The references [to alcohol] in the [New Testament] are very much fewer in number, but once more the good and the bad aspects are equally apparent The reason for the presence of these two conflicting opinions on the nature of wine [is that the] consequences of wine drinking follow its use and not its nature.

    Happy results ensue when it is drunk in its proper measure and evil results when it is drunk to excess. The nature of wine is indifferent. Specific links are given in the "Strong's no. Easton a. The Old Testament employs a number of words for different kinds of wine. Precise translations for the Hebrew words are elusive since we do not know exactly how they differ from each other, but translators regularly use terms such as 'wine', 'new wine', 'spiced wine' and 'sweet wine'.

    Passages such as Hosea make clear that these wines were alcoholic and intoxicating; there is no basis for suggesting that either the Greek or the Hebrew terms for wine refer to unfermented grape juice.

    When juice is referred to, it is not called wine Genesis Nor can 'new wine' What Did the Ancient Israelites Eat? It is obvious, however, that according to custom Jesus was proffering wine in the cup over which He pronounced the blessing; this may be seen especially from the solemn [ fruit of the vine ] Mark and par. He saw nothing intrinsically evil in wine. Miller et al. Bible Gateway. Retrieved Juice does not come "from the grape" fermented. Thus, wine had the meaning of unfermented, as well as fermented grape juice.

    Liquor or Liquour, anything that is liquid: Drink, Juice, etc. Magen Broshi Israel Museum Journal. III : 21— V : 41— Browning []. A Dictionary of the Bible. Ross, Thomas D. Coogan In Bruce Metzger and M. Coogan ed. The Oxford Companion to the Bible. Dommershausen Johannes Botterweck; Helmer Ringgren eds.

    Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament. David E. Ralph Earle Word Meanings in the New Testament. Matthew George Easton a. Easton's Bible Dictionary. Matthew George Easton b. Fitzsimmonds Douglas ed. New Bible Dictionary 2nd ed.