The issue of alcohol and the Christian is an incredibly volatile subject causing great division and stern judgments on both sides. I have been deeply affected by this issue myself, as I have many friends and family members who are controlled by alcohol. I am not a teetotaler, but I rarely drink. I don’t like wine. Some beers are pretty good. I like tequila. But if the consumption of alcohol were made illegal, I would not even really notice.

There are so many different positions out there with regard to this issue. Let me try to name a few:

  1. Those who abstain from alcohol and believe that this is the biblical position for everyone.
  2. Those who abstain from alcohol but don’t believe this is a biblical mandate to enforce on others.
  3. Those who drink alcohol only for “celebratory” purposes (i.e., Lord’s table), but don’t get drunk.
  4. Those who casually drink wine or beer, but abstain from “hard liquor” and don’t get drunk.
  5. Those who casually drink alcohol in order to feel “merry” or “tipsy” but don’t get drunk.
  6. Those who drink alcohol and get drunk occasionally but are not “drunkards” (i.e. addicted).

Outside of this, all Christians would (or should) agree that being addicted to alcohol is expressly forbidden in Scripture, as it relinquishes control of our faculties to alcohol rather than to the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18). Paul warns Timothy about such abuses with regard to the qualifications of a deacon (1 Tim. 3:8) and elders (1 Tim. 3:3).

I am not going to discuss here which of the above positions is correct. However, I do want to discuss one passage of Scripture that infuses the debate over alcohol with great passion. It is the subject of Christ and his relation to alcohol while here on earth. Most specifically, I want to ask the question of whether Christ, during the miracle at the Wedding of Cana in John 2, turned the water into wine, unfermented grape juice, or something else. Here is the text:

John 2:1-11
On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. 3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4 And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 6 Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. 9 When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 11 This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.

This question raised by this passage does indeed contribute a great deal to the overall debate. For if Christ turned the water into an alcoholic beverage, then his participation in the issue certainly does not bode well for those who preach that the biblical position requires Christians to abstain from alcohol altogether. He would have been serving as a bartender, if you will, at a celebration where abuse of alcohol certainly may have taken place. More than that, there is no reason to doubt that he himself would have drunk this wine.

Yet some maintain that the wine Jesus produced was a non-fermented type of wine called “new wine” (kainos neos). In this case, it would be like grape juice. Others believe that the wine Jesus created was watered down so much that one would have to suffer a severe bladder problem in order to get drunk. However, neither of these interpretations are supported by the best textual scholarship, and seem to be driven by a desire to maintain a rigid teetotaler position.

New Wine is Unfermented Wine?

R. A. Torrey does a good job of representing the position that the wine Christ provided was unfermented “new wine.”

“[Jesus] provided wine, but there is not a hint that the wine He made was intoxicating. It was fresh-made wine. New-made wine is never intoxicating. It is not intoxicating until some time after the process of fermentation has set in. Fermentation is a process of decay. There is not a hint that our Lord produced alcohol, which is a product of decay or death. He produced a living wine uncontaminated by fermentation. It is true it was better wine than they had been drinking, but that does not show for a moment that it was more fermented than that which they had before been drinking” (Difficulties in the Bible).

However, there are significant problems with this argument. New wine was fermented. Its ability to cause intoxication is well represented in the Scriptures (Is 49:26; Hos 4:11; cf. Judg 9:13; see “Wine” Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. 1992 [J. B. Green, S. McKnight & I. H. Marshall, Ed.], 870, Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press).

The happenings in Acts 2 represent this well. Having received the gift of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, the Apostles are speaking in tongues and sharing the Gospel with the people. Some people are amazed, but others accuse the Apostles of being intoxicated.

Acts 2:13:
“But others, mocking, said, ‘They are filled with new wine’.”

How could the Apostles be accused of being intoxicated from a drink that is not fermented? There is no indication, either in the culture of the day or in the Bible, that there was such a thing as unfermented wine. Wine is wine because it is fermented.

Some scholars have attempted to contrast the two Hebrew terms for wine in the Old Testament to make a case that one was unfermented grape juice. However, the evidence does not support such a conclusion. Leaning heavily on C. Seltman, Wine in the Ancient World, the Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible draws this conclusion about the term that is purported to refer to grape juice:

(1) The Hebrew word is found in primarily neutral contexts; (2) often that particular word is found in contexts definitely including a fermented beverage (e.g., Gn 27:28; Hos 4:11; Mi 6:15); (3) the Ugaritic parallel to the term in question refers with certainty to a fermented wine (4) the Septuagint equivalents refer to fermented wine; (5) fermentation in the ancient Near East, unlike Greece, took only about three days, and (6) the Mishna provides no such evidence of the practice of having unfermented wine. There seems to have been no attempts to preserve wine in an unfermented state; it may have been a near impossible task.

It would seem that, for the Hebrews, there is no way to use the term “grape juice” as a substitute for wine. The article concludes: “A careful examination of all the Hebrew words (as well as their Semitic cognates) and the Greek words for wine demonstrates that the ancients knew little, if anything, about unfermented wine.

Watered Down Wine?

Some make the case that the wine used in the New Testament was so watered down that it was nearly impossible to cause one to get drunk. Norman Geisler make such a case:

Wine today has a much higher level of alcohol than wine in the New Testament. In fact in New Testament times one would need to drink twenty-two glasses of wine in order to consume the large amount of alcohol in two martinis today. (“A Christian Perspective on Wine-Drinking” Bibliotheca Sacra, Issue 553, 1982).

However, this does not seem to be the case. Geisler is assuming a mixture evidenced by some ancient Greeks. Homer writes about a water to wine ratio of 20 to 1 (Homer, Odyssey 10. 208f). However, this may be because the wine was so strong! The Mishna, which represents a better accounting of the Hebrew usage of wine, assumes a ratio of two parts of water to one part wine. The Talmudic sources speak of three to one. Wine often would contain 15% alcohol. Even if it were mixed with three parts of water, this would put it at 5% alcohol. This is a higher percentage than much beer today! Pliny, the Roman Senator writing in the first century, spoke about wine that could hold a flame. For this to happen, it would had to have been in excess of 30% alcohol! No wonder some speak of adding twenty parts water.

Not only this, but wine diluted with water was symbolic of spiritual adulteration. Isaiah 1:22, speaking to the infidelity of the nation of Israel, says, “Your silver has become dross, your best wine mixed with water.” Just before this, God gives this rebuke: “How the faithful city has become a whore, she who was full of justice! Righteousness lodged in her, but now murderers.” The nation had gone astray. It is not seen as a good thing to have diluted wine.

Further (and most importantly) the story of Jesus at the wedding does not support a conclusion that the wine Jesus made was either excessively watered down or grape juice. After the head waiter had tasted the wine Jesus made, he went to the bridegroom and said this: “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” What Jesus created was “good wine.” According to the waiter, the custom was to serve the “good wine” first; then, when the people had “drunk” much of the wine, they served the cheaper wine. This word for “drunk” is methusko, which means “to become intoxicated.” It is the same word used in Ephesians 5:18, “Do not get drunk [methusko] with wine…” (see also Luke 12:45; 1 Thes 5:7; Rev. 17:12). The only testimony we have about the state of the wine Christ created is the headwaiter’s review of it, and he suggests that it is the type that can intoxicate (i.e., it was fermented). It is very difficult to draw any other conclusion.

Added to this, there is no reason to believe that Christ himself did not drink this fermented wine. It is evident that He drank wine at the passover (Mark 14:23). In fact, Christ seemed to have made a habit of drinking wine. According to his own testimony, he drank wine that others abstained from.

For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ 34 The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!” (Luke 7:33-34).

John the Baptist took a Nazirite vow and abstained from alcohol. But Christ did not. He explicitly says that he came “eating and drinking.” Because of this, others accused him of being a drunkard.

The implications for all of this are important in the discussion about alcohol and the Christian. Christ, in celebration of the Kingdom, produced an alcoholic beverage that could intoxicate. Christ was a bartender! This certainly does not solve any of the problems associated with alcohol. The problems are tremendous. But to be controlled by alcohol is not a modern problem. This problem has been around since ancient times. However, this does not mean that God forbids things that have the potential to be destructive. We must be careful that we don’t legislate God. It is not unlike issues of gun control, sugar consumption, or tobacco. All of these have potential to hurt people, all of these have a history of hurting people, all of these have people who attempt to force moderation or abstinence, but none of them are forbidden by God. We must be careful in what we attempt to forbid, even if the legislation is for a good purpose. The solution for problems associated with alcohol is not a mandate for abstinence, but education concerning its dangers.


C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo House Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. He can be contacted at [email protected]

    181 replies to "Did Jesus Turn Water into Wine or Grape Juice?"

    • bethyada

      The answer to your title is wine.

      Added support comes from 1 Corinthians 11:20 where some get drunk during the Lord’s supper. Paul condemns such behaviour, but it could hardly occur unless they were drinking wine.

      The real conundrum in this post is how you can like beer but hate wine? Who was the cruel sod who scoured your childhood taste buds?

    • Deborah

      Agreed! I’ve always found the whole “it was grape juice, not wine” thing to be laughable. I worked at a winery for many years so I know of what I speak. :)) Thomas B Welch only learned how to stop grape juice from fermenting (by pasteurizing it) in 1869. And, getting back to the water-to- wine miracle story itself, everyone seems to not “get” what the master of ceremonies said about the wine. He said most hosts bring out the good wine first, then later on when the guests have had their fill, they bring out the bad wine. Why? Because by that time the people would be so intoxicated and/or buzzing and would not notice (or even care!) that the quality of the wine had gotten worse.

    • Mark Nigro

      This is indeed an issue that needs discussion. Much of the controversy is linked more to the culture and one’s perception of Christianity within it, rather than to Christianity itself. In the USA alcohol is taboo. Speak with believers from, say, Europe, and it’s quite a different story. Evangelical Churches here in Italy have great difficulty understanding abstinence to alcohol among American evangelicals. And in our congregation specifically the issue has come up more than once due to our culturally diverse composition (including Americans). Pastoring in a cross cultural ministry I have seen first hand the importance of cutting through the thickets of tradition and culturally related misconceptions in order to let the Biblical speak and be our trendsetter.

    • Mike O

      I agree with everything you’re saying here. But we must remember that there *are* different positions on this subject. We should be careful not to flaunt our freedom and become a stumbling block to others.

      For me, I like an occasional beer or sometimes my wife and I will make “treats” for ourselves for a quiet evening together. But we used to hold leadership positions in a denomination that taught that all drinking was a sin. And while we were in leadership positions there, we did not drink. At all. It would have been an offense and a stumbling block to them. Not to mention rebellion and disobedience to authority.

      Romans 14:1-4 – Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.

      So regardless of where WE come down on the issue, we must be careful not to judge others who come down in a different place. And, practically speaking, when in the company of brothers and sisters in the lord who will struggle with your drinking, honor them and abstain. Even in your own house (IMO) why risk a stumbling block? Unless your freedom to drink is that important to you, but then that leads to a whole other question …

      Likewise, if you abstain, don’t let your abstinence become a stumbling block of law to those who don’t. If they drink, let them. Do not judge them. You hold to your own spiritual moorings, and let them hold to theirs. As Paul said, “God has accepted them,” and “they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.”

    • Mike O

      It’s not hypocrisy to abstain in the presence of those who abstain, if you have the freedom to partake.

    • Steve

      Jesus was called a drunkard, or Jesus did get drunk? Is there a difference?

      • kevin

        Jesus stated that he was called a glutton and a winebibber, in direct contrast to John, who lived as a Nazirite, abstaining from wine and eating wild foods.

        Jesus did not defend himself on the grounds that he too avoided alcohol, but rather attacked the hypocrisy of those attacking him. But such an attack would be empty and pointless unless Jesus did in fact avoid wine totally.

        He did drink wine, but he was no drunk.

    • Mark Nigro

      Another issue to address here is the meaning of “stumbling.” To truly stumble someone, I would need to be the cause of bringing him/her into sin. But it seems that the idea of stumbling has come to be anything that doesn’t meet another’s preconceived expectations and therefore causes surprise, thereafter being interpreted as an offense.

      Now if that is all it takes to stumble someone, where does it end? We will be brought into bondage according to other’s expectations rather than the Lord’s pleasure. In fact, I might say that I too am stumbled by such behavior. At the end of the day, the real problem is a person’s disapproval of that particular issue, rather than a biblical mandate. Let me illustrate.

      According to the above criteria, I’ve seen people ‘stumbled’ by other’s make up, participating in sports, length of shirt sleeves, ballroom dancing and the consumption of sweets. All of which, according to some, were sinful activities.

      So when someone tells me s/he’s been stumbled by another, I now ask for clarification. To this day, I’ve yet to see a genuine case of ‘stumbling’ by another’s freedom, including someone who struggled with alcohol falling into it again because another believer drank a glass of wine. Not to say it doesn’t happen.

      And I do agree that our freedom must never be used at the expense of another’s victory over a weakness that once controlled him, such as drunkenness. But I see here a need to define stumbling, and to discern when abstinence is truly needed. The only alternative is an unhealthy misused that brings unfruitful legalistic tendencies and a yoke of self-imposed religiosity.

    • Steve Martin

      Jesus liked to have a good time and enjoy with those who liked to have a good time and enjoy.

      He made 160 gallons (at least) of the best wine they had ever tasted. Not grape juice.

      Jesus drank wine, but did not get drunk. Getting drunk is a sin and the Scriptures make it clear that Jesus was without sin and obedient in every way.

      Jesus also ate, but was never a glutton.

      __

      We, who are free, “ought bear with the failings of the weak.”

      We certainly might want to refrain in the presence of our weaker brethren.

      My pastor and I go to dinner now and then and most of the time we will each have a beer.

    • Vinny

      One might serve the good wine first just in case people don’t drink it all making it unnecessary to ever serve the poor wine. That doesn’t seem to be what the master is saying though. I think the clear implication of his statement is that you serve the poor wine last because after people have drunk freely of the good wine, they won’t be able to tell the difference.

    • Mike O

      I agree, @Mark. We can’t live in bondage to the expectations or frailties of another. But at the same time, we can live in courtesy, and if someone thinks it is a sin, out of courtesy for them and the relationship, I would abstain.

      It cuts both ways, though. They should also move in courtesy towards your freedom and not be offended if you drink. But you can’t control them, and regardless of what they do or don’t do, you (I, actually) can move in grace and do my part to stay unified.

    • Jerry Peele

      I have a question. Is Princeton educated New Testament scholar Robert H. Stein wrong in his book “Difficult Passages in the New Testament”? Stein writes, “It is also clear that the term [wine] does not correspond exactly to what we mean by wine today” (p.233). In his discussion of reasons and methods for “mixing” wine, Stein wrote:
      Drinking wine unmixed…was looked upon as a Scythian or barbarian custom” (p.234). On page 236, he wrote: “When we come to the New Testament, we find that the content of the wine is never discussed. The burden of proof, however, is surely upon anyone who would say that the wine of the New Testament is substantially different from the wine mentioned by the Greeks, the rabbis during the Talmudic period, and the early church fathers. In the writings of the early church fathers it is clear that “wine” means wine mixed with water.” On page 237, he wrote: “Here it is obvious that unmixed wine and plain water were both found unacceptable at the Lord’s Supper. A mixture of wine and water was the norm.”

      Is Dr. Robert Stein wrong?

      • Kevin

        Absolutely.

        Looking to Greek culture to determine what Jews were doing is dubious at best. And poor Galileans were no real friends of the Hellenizers. Do you suppose Jesus followed Greek customs?

        The burden of proof is rather on those who would claim that “oinos” means something different, especially when unmodified, than it does anywhere else, including other pages of Scripture.
        You are aware that Noah got drunk on the same stuff Jesus made in Cana, yes? And that Paul warns the Ephesians not to get drunk with that very same stuff, preferring instead to fulled with the spirit.

        Try this on for size;
        http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/14941-wine

    • zhansman

      Another good treatment of this subject is Ken Gentry’s “God Gave Wine: What the Bible Says About Alcohol”. It has been a number of years since I read the book, but as I recall he made the argument that not being a stumbling block to someone regarding the consumption of alcoholic beverages meant to not entice them to violate their conscience.

    • Larry

      I continue to be amazed at how complicated people make this issue. “Don’t get drunk” doesn’t mean “don’t drink” any more than “Don’t be a glutton” means “Don’t eat.” This whole controversy really only dates back to the mid to late 19th century and the “Christian” temperance movement in the US that resulted in prohibition and, by extension, organized crime.

      Prior to that, the church pretty universally understood that wine and spirits could be enjoyed as long as they were not abused.

    • Chad Winters

      v. 10 where the MC says youre supposed to give the good stuff first and the cheap stuff after everyone has had too much to notice makes no sense if it is grape juice.

    • Don

      Did you have to make the obligatory reference to “conservative evangelicals” probably condemning Jesus?

    • C Michael Patton

      No. Over the top?

    • Chris

      Hello, this is my first time commenting on this blog.

      I have a question for those with theological training, that is, was the “fruit of the vine” served at the Lord’s supper an alcoholic drink or grape juice/unfermented wine?

      I ask this because it seems to me logical that fermentation by yeast was banned at Passover as evidenced by the unleavened bread. Some say that this was regular alcoholic wine. But why would the Lord serve alcoholic wine when yeast fermentation was not part of this holiday?

      I would appreciate any input.

      • Hi There

        Hi Chris. The fact is that wine does not contain leaven. How do we know this?
        Leaven was forbidden in all offerings to the Lord by fire (Lev 2:11; 6:17). However the drink offering which was poured out over the fire was strong wine (Num 28:7, 15:5,7,10; Deut 32:38).
        So we have two options: 1) Leaven only refers to grain yeast, or 2) Old Testament wine was always filtered to remove the dregs (dead yeast) from the liquid.
        Psalm 75:8, Isaiah 51:17 and 22 speak of wine dregs in a cup. Of course this is a spiritual cup but the analogy would surely be lost if all wine in those days was dreg-free.
        In which case, option 1 stands: leaven only refers to GRAIN yeast. This is the understanding of modern-day Jews.

    • Brian S

      Scripture is twisted wine is turned into a sin. Removing wine from Communion is not enough, if someone struggles with a weight problem should we not abstain from Bread as well. Christ did not institute a Sin.

    • C Michael Patton

      Is Stein wrong? I don’t think he is wrong about the facts, but to draw the conclusion that the Israelites were persuaded by the Greek definition of barbaric is not supported by the evidence. As well, it fails to account for the high alcoholic content the Greek wine.

      But I think the Talmud and Mishnah put to rest the 20/1 argument that seems so common.

      Finally, the most obvious issues such as Christ making fermented wine, christ being called a drunkard (how could they suppose such if most wine had little or no alcohol,?) John the Baptist refraining (why refrain if it was graphic juice), and Jesus’ contrast of his drinking with Johns refraining. None of these make sense if there was not substantial alcoholic content in the wine.

    • C Michael Patton

      Chris, the bread carried the yeast symbolism. There was no need to replicate it in the wine which represents something else.

    • Chad Winters

      from a biblical perspective, I think the teetotalers get there by eisegesis not exegesis. I also think alcohol abuse goes up in cultures where it is “sinful” vs cultures where it is what you drink with dinner

    • brig

      It’s easy to make an argument against wine during the Passover if you completely overlook the fact that it’s called the Festival of Unleavened Bread, and instead mistakenly assume it is actually the Festival of Unleavened Everything.

      My questions (yet unanswered in my dialogues with the teetotalling positions):
      * How did non-alcoholic wine become vinegar?
      * Why is it that abstinence is the default, instead of seeking maturity?
      * Why is the hypothetical “weaker brother” incapable of growing stronger? This seems like a failure of discipleship.

    • Jay

      Jerry Peele —
      Water is mixed with the wine before the wine is consecrated in the RC and other liturgical traditions.

    • Steve Martin

      All of God’s gifts can be abused.

      I don’t know anyone who does a good job of being a good steward, all the time.

      Maybe that’s why He had to come and die for us and forgive us.

    • John K

      I’m on the side that the wine Jesus drank could get someone intoxicated if they drank too much. But a pastor of a church I used to attend (who serves alcoholic wine at communion) gave an alternative argument to the serving good wine first tradition meaning people would get drunk. He said that it had to do with the palatte becoming dull apart from being intoxicated. Any thoughts? Also, I don’t think weaker brother issues require us to wrongly interpret Scripture. I understand different people hold different views, but to not advance an argument that biblical wine was alcoholic because of concern for the weaker brother is ultimately improper. Perhaps the denominational leadership position is an exception, but I can’t think of others.

    • Reggie

      Christ was a bartender? Unbelievable.

      Even if you are accurate in your depiction of the events, Christ should not be called a bartender. If Christ created intoxicating wine, we have no reason to associate him with the guy serving up mixed drinks and Bud Lights behind the counter of the local bar.

      That seems really inappropriate. The only reason to even use the phrase is for the purpose of saying something stimulating.

      Bartenders don’t create wine from water, and bartenders don’t perform miracles to testify to their power over creation.

      • C Michael Patton

        Reggie,

        It seems that you have something against bartenders. There are certainly reasons that people would not choose such a career. I don’t think that this was Jesus’ career. And it is true that he was not actually a bartender. He was the one making the wine! He was a bit more involved than even a bartender in providing drinks and “Bud Ligts”.

    • David

      Great article (and I hardly drink alcohol)

      Just to add that Keith Mathison has written a much longer piece on this whole subject, called “Protestant Transubstantiation” (!). It is in four parts and if you click this link you”ll find them linked at the bottom:

      http://www.theopedia.com/Keith_Mathison

      It is well worth reading for its detailed historical and biblical perspectives.

    • Caleb

      You said that gun control is not forbidden by God. That’s how you worded it, anyway.

      Amen to that. If only the right wing Christians of the GOP would hear you. Their gunslinging is embarrassing the rest of us.

    • David Paul Regier

      It doesn’t say that they were happy that the new wine was better than the first. If I were drunk at the party, I would have been angry with the bridegroom for withholding the good wine until after I was drunk.

      Doesn’t it say that this miracle was a sign? Is it possible that Israel was drunk on God’s favor and was unable to appreciate the new wine that was being poured? That would be consistent with the rest of the book of John.

      The story’s not about alcohol, but about judgment. And yes, we are to desire the new wine of the new covenant which bursts the old wineskins, being filled with the Spirit of God.

      And Welch’s® isn’t fit for a sign.

    • d1st

      We need to be careful that we don’t get into a habit of editing God’s Word for Him. If He did not include an absolute prohibition of alcohol then who are we to do it? When you read the Bible you can find some of the basic principles laid out. Consuming alcohol is not wrong in itself, but drunkeness and addiction is. The Bible also gives warnings about loving alcohol and anytime God gives a warning we should heed it. What I have seen happen sometimes is the flaunting of liberty and even a bit of rebelliousness among believers who drink socially. I’ve seen some who want to start debates and engage in pro-alcohol crusades. Totally unfitting. I personally abstain completely. I don’t enjoy the taste of alcohol so I have no reason to drink it. Before I was a believer I drank alcohol with the express purpose of getting drunk, so since I’m not allowed to do that I find no use for it in my life. My wife will have a drink or two every few weeks and I have no issue with it. SHe only does it with me in private as to offend no one. She has liberty to do it and the sensitivity not to broadcast it.

    • Jeff Ayers

      As an IFB (independent fundamental Baptist) for 30 years, all that I have known and been taught is total abstention and Jesus/ Paul did not use wine at the Lords Supper.

      However, the Bible DOES seem to support wine drinking, not only in the 3 passages you use (John 2, Acts 2 and Luke 7:33, 34- I did not use the Mark 14:23 passage because verse 25 calls it the fruit of the vine) but also in the following passages:

      Proverbs 31:6,7 Where King Lemuel was instructed by his mother to give wine to him that is of a heavy heart.

      I Tim 5:23 where Paul told Timothy to drink a LITTLE wine for his infirmities.

      I Tim 3:3 implies that a Bishop should not drink wine, but a deacon is commanded to not be given to “much wine”.

      CMP- How would you answer the typical claims that Christ could not have drank wine or gave wine for others to drink when considering these passages:

      Habakkuk 2:15 Woe unto him that GIVETH HIS NEIGHBOUR drink. Was Christ under a curse for giving his neighbors drink in John 2?

      Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. Why would Christ drink wine if it is a mocker (causing you to be a fool and thus be mocked) and is warned against so explicitly in Proverbs 23:29-35? Proverbs 23:31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.

      A typical message from “stalwart” of the IFB position is

      http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Books,%20Tracts%20&%20Preaching/Printed%20Sermons/Dr%20John%20Rice/double_curse.htm

    • Reformed baptist

      “Wine often would contain 15% alcohol”

      This is an assumption that is simply unsupported by all the evidence. Wine produced by ordinary fermentation can only achieve an alcohol content of around 14% – to achieve anything close to this ceiling 2000 years ago would have also produced such amounts of extraneous bacteria that the taste would have been foul. The best estimates put the strenght of locally produced wines at between 2-6%. Hence if teh artical is correct about the watering the drink on offer would be between 0.6-2% by volume.

      • C Michael Patton

        Fourteen to fifteen is not much difference. I don’t know much about ancient wine making techniques, so I referred to outside sources on Bible background. Do you have a source that says that the ancients in Israel had wine that was only 2-6%? But let me give you the benefit of the doubt. Let’s say that the wine Jesus produced was 3%. This is the same as the beer here in Oklahoma and, take my word for it, it is intoxicating.

    • Steve Martin

      John K.,

      That’s exactly it. The good stuff is wasted after people are tipsy. Might as well serve Ripple or Thunderbird (the cheap stuff from when I was a kid).

    • Phil McCheddar

      Chris (comment #17),

      I don’t know the answer to your good question but here is a tentative opinion.

      The Israelites were commanded to remove all yeast from their homes during Passover, but since yeast organisms are always naturally present everywhere I think this OT command referred to stores of cultured yeasts that people kept in their homes and used for food preparation, as complete eradication of yeast cells would be impossible.

      Under the right conditions of temperature and aeration, grape juice will automatically ferment without any cultured yeast being added, since some yeast organisms are naturally present in pressed grape juice. But the alcohol used at the Last Supper was probably made before Passover began, and so the prohibition of yeast at Passover wouldn’t apply, and we can’t draw any inferences about the alcoholic content of that wine from the prohibition of yeast at Passover.

      Vote now: the above is balderdash / horsefeathers / flimflam / hogwash

    • CT

      Wherever you fall on this topic, when you see such controversy, it is probably best to avoid it. Sometimes things that we may consider to be “right” or “O.K.”, still are not best. And, if things are not best, than why do it?
      I still have a hard time believing that if Christ were walking this earth, that He would be O.K. with opening a cold beer once in a while, even if it was in His own private time.
      I personally don’t see my Holy God in flesh doing that. Just my opinion.

    • David

      CT, could you elaborate on why you feel that way about Jesus. I’d love to know your reasoning…

    • LeeAnn

      Hi Caleb & friends, perhaps you live in a city. For those of us GOP, gun-slinging, right-wingers who live in rural areas, or entire states where the countryside is at our back door (Idaho is a good example), we use our guns recreationally. Just this past weekend, I, a 50-something mom, was out at the gun club with my kids shooting trap. First time I’d ever done it and it was fun! Gun-control is a restriction of our rights, & historically, we Americans have always had the right to bear arms. Just because it doesn’t seem fun or acceptable to you, doesn’t mean it’s wrong….kind of like drinking alcohol! Guns, like any good thing, can be abused, but that doesn’t mean they should be outlawed.

    • Gary

      being a stumbling block to me refers to someone who has had an addiction. while that brother “can” be ok with other people partaking, is alcohol so important to you that you *must* drink in that brother’s presence?

    • StuartB

      @reggie, neither do carpenters…

    • CT

      I just feel that all throughout Scriptures, that Christ was blameless, Holy, and above reproach in any situation – which is what we are commanded to do and be.
      – Be ye holy for I am holy
      – All things are lawful, but all things are not expedient (or best)
      – All things are lawful, but all things edify not.

      I just feel when an issue brings so much controversy, Christ is not glorified, therefore it is probably best not to do it, even if I think it is o.k. to do.

      If I am wrong, and when I get to heaven and God says it was o.k. to drink, then I just missed out on some drinking – and I was probably better off for it.
      If I am right, and I should abstain from drinking, than I am still probably better off for it.
      Either way, it is probably better for me to not drink than it is to drink – in any circumstance or situation.

    • brig

      @CT: I personally believe it to be important because it indicates one’s ability to handle the Word of God with integrity. If one can twist the Word of God to make one word mean the opposite, in order to bind the conscience of their flock, would be grave sin itself.

      If there were an issue with controversy, then Jesus is again at fault, for he engaged quite controversially with the status quo.

      If things that aren’t the best are now immoral, who is to say what is the best (best — normally a subjective view), and why are we now importing those external standards into our Christian ethics?

      It is also not that it was on his “private” time (eg, at the Last Supper), Jesus had public ministry where he ate and drank the food offered at the tables of sinners in full view of his mockers. Jesus was not a member of an ascetic Jewish sect who needed extra dietary regulation.

      Ultimately, this isn’t a matter of opinion, either. If we cannot trust the Word of God to tell us unequivocally that this is wine, then what can we know about Scripture that isn’t Gnostic or mystic?

    • aj

      Okay, I see the, “be nice” rule…but really this is perhaps the dumbest conversation I have ever been part of. What a waste of my time. I think I lost some iq points reading this. As if it matters whether or not the miracle resulted in wine or grape juice. Just..Wow. I feel like the Bible tells us somewhere not to argue over worthless things. Is anyone really going to drink like a fish tonight after hearing that Jesus might have actually made wine? And if it was grape juice, would it make the miracle any less miraculous. Have you people nothing else to write about. I’m thinking the original author’s thougt process had to be something along the lines, “I need something to draw hits to the site.” Seriously, Credo House, is the best you have?

    • CT

      I didn’t say He did this on his private time, I said even if it was his own private time. I also don’t think this issue was as controversial in Bible times as it is today.
      I think we “Christians” today, justify things (not just on this issue) just to suit a lifestyle that we want to live.
      As I said in my first comment, “this is just my opinion.”
      And, in the end, I have to answer for me and my family and you have to answer for yours.
      I will not loose any sleep at night if you, or other “Christians” choose to drink. But, for me, I would choose not to.

    • David

      CT, thanks for replying.

      A few points to make you think:

      If drinking alcohol was OK 2000 years ago, why isn’t it OK now?

      You use of the word “holy” was interesting. Why is drinking alcohol unholy? Again, it wasn’t in Biblical times.

      Jesus did cause controversy by going against the religious sensibilities of the day – eg healing on the sabbath. Paul likewise got himself into trouble.

      I was wondering if you were going to say that beer has so many negative connotations that Jesus would never touch it. In which case, could you see him having a glass of wine with a meal?

      I hardly ever drink and I’m not trying to change you, but I am interested in your reasons for not doing so.

    • ruben

      Hi CT, well said. For me I think the attitude towards wine is the most important thing, if we take it in a manner of celebration of life and God’s goodness then it is a good, life-affirming thing. But, as with anything (even religion!), good can easily be perverted into something bad.

    • CT

      I can’t say that drinking 2000 years ago was O.K. or deemed to be O.K. by Christ – I have heard all of the arguments for and against. I have heard how the wine then is the same and different as the wine now. I honestly do not know what the answer is, but because of that reason, I just feel it best to not participate.
      On a whole other note, I know many Christians who feel it is O.K. and do participate. I also have seen first hand how alcohol has ruined people, families, and their testimonies. And, had they not started with this very same intention of just drinking socially, or sparingly, they would not have ever reached that point.

    • Chad Winters

      One verse I didn’t see addressed in the article:

      Psa 104:14-15
      14 You cause the grass to grow for the livestock
      and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth
      15 and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man’s heart.

      It is an important discussion. When many Christians condemn others based on bad eisegesis, it is important.

      I have been in SBT denominations where whether you drink wine or not was the bellweather of your Christianity.

    • aj

      What’s important is why Christians feel like they can condemn another Christian. Making the discussion about alcohol consumption is a side show distraction that retards christian maturity.

    • Chad Winters

      Actually I think the ability to determine what the Bible is saying about something it says a lot about is very important.

      If we can’t all read the Bible in its totality and see that it says “alcohol can be good and pleasurable and is a gift from God, but can be dangerous if overdone or misused”, then I despair that there is any doctrine that can be clearly exegeted from Scripture.

      • Thnkr

        “If we can’t all read the Bible in its totality and see that…then I despair that there is any doctrine that can be clearly exegeted from Scripture.” SPOT ON! {thumbs up x 10)

        And I don’t even like alcohol (but if chocolate were booze, I’d be a wino by now {wink})…

    • Chad

      I agree with most of this, but habakkuk 2:15 makes me slightly uncomfortable about Jesus the divine bartender who keeps the party going.

      Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbors, pouring it from the wineskin till they are drunk, so that he can gaze on their naked bodies

    • Mike O

      I’ve been watching this unfold, and it’s interesting to watch people all reading the same word of God and walking away with different answers. Which is fine. And aj, if you think this conversation is not valuable to you, then don’t participate. But that doesn’t mean other people can’t get value from it.

      Anyone who has been a Christian for more than 10 minutes, knows we Christians are an opinionated lot. We study and pray and hear God, and we KNOW we are right. And we KNOW that what God told me, he probably meant to tell everybody. We like to spar – is that so wrong? Not if we listen to each other and learn from them. I for one am interested in all the views presented. CT basically said whether it’s right or wrong, s/he’s better off without it. Good point. Others said Jesus either would or wouldn’t drink beer. Interesting. Life and death questions?? No, but the bottom line is, people are working through what being a follower of Jesus should look like. That is not a silly conversation. Not to people who were taught that it is wrong when it isn’t, or to people who think it’s not wrong but they’re being told that it is.

      Plus, there are a lot of new Christians who are being told this or that by people they don’t know that well yet, and they honestly don’t know what they’re supposed to think or how to form a god-honoring opinion of their own. For them, and I think this conversation can be very helpful.

    • Jeff Ayers

      1 Corinthians 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.

      I believe this verse summarizes the issue in its entirety.

      Paul makes it clear that “ALL things are lawful unto me” (permissible and acceptable)… meaning that I CAN DRINK ALCOHOL if I want.

      “All things are not expedient” …meaning that there are enough good reasons to not drink alcohol (becoming an alcoholic, wasting money that could be better used, a bad testimony [even the world thinks a Christian should not drink], being a bad example for your kids etc.)

      “But I will not be brought under the power of any”…. this is the Bible definition of how you define being drunk and a drunkard. When the alcohol controls your thoughts, speech or actions then you are drunk. And when you have to have a drink you are a drunkard and “brought under the power of any”.)

      BTW–being drunk IS a sin… no matter what your “beliefs” are on this subject of whether you should drink wine.

      And the more important question is if you do get drunk, you will NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD… (1 Cor 6, Eph 5 and Gal 5)… Does anyone dare exegete these 3 passages and agree with Paul regarding “drunkenness … that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

    • Doug Roman

      I typically do not like to jump into the fray of blog posts but I find the statement “Christ was a bartender!” to be unnecessarily sensational, bordering on blasphemous. It seems to me that whatever contribution this article makes to the discussion on Christians and consuming alcohol as a beverage can be lost with such an inane remark.

    • Aaron

      That was a good read – article, comments and all! I’ve got a thirst now. Might have to stop at the pub on the way home for a quick pint….

    • Don K.

      I suppose it is best to state at the start that I am alcohol intolerant. I have never gotten any false feeling of well-being as before I could reach that point, I get many of the symptoms that others associate with hangover. But I do have several concerns.
      First, alcohol, even in small amounts in not neurologically neutral. The light-headedness associated with moderate usage is related to neuron damage or neuron death. This process, as best as researchers have been able to determine is random, explaining why some serious abusers get the DTs(delirium tremens) while others do not. While the risks for moderate users is much smaller, it is not zero and indeterminate with regard to long range affects. it may well be that some of the effects of aging may be related to long time usage.
      Second, the short-term advantages of alcohol use as an antibacterial is not required in our country as it was in Biblical times and many places to this day.
      Third, now in my mid-sixties, it seems that Prohibition was probably a mistake. Lost men and women need something to make their existence bearable until they may be found, if that is possible. Many may have been redirected to even more hazardous drugs while the attentions of law enforcement were concentrated on alcohol.
      Lastly, I believe that my enforced abstention has made me both need and desire more to follow on to know the Lord(Hos:6:3). I know I don’t need anything to holding back my slowly plodding soul.

    • Chad Winters

      Jeff Ayers:

      Again, eisegesis…you are reading back into Paul’s writing what you think about Alcohol, I see no evidence that that is what Paul was thinking about when he wrote that passage.

      Paul makes it clear that “ALL things are lawful unto me” (permissible and acceptable)… meaning that I CAN DRINK ALCOHOL if I want.
      “All things are not expedient” …meaning that there are enough good reasons to not drink alcohol”

      Your applications do not follow from the text. They are just added onto it. This is a pericope on sexual immorality.

      The World doesn’t think Christians should not drink…Americans who have been told by 1900s fundamentalists that Christians should not drink think that. German reformers in the 1500s did not think this.

    • Chad Winters

      Don:
      Moderate alcohol intake (Max 2 drinks per day for men, 1 for women) are medically considered overall beneficial, especially from a cardiovascular standpoint

    • brig

      @Doug: It’s only injurious to those with a pre-commitment to the evils of alcohol, otherwise it’s less blasphemous than “my boss is a Jewish carpenter.” The point was metaphorical: Jesus supplied an alcoholic beverage, as a matter of fact.

      @DonK: 1. Wernicke-Korsakoff is also observed in those who fast extensively and anyone with problems with thiamine is susceptible to the same neurological damage even with zero alcohol. 2. The antibacterial usage is merely postulated as a theory, but doesn’t really have any archaeological/historical evidence to support it. 3. There are far more reasons Prohibition was a really, really, really bad idea. And how did Temperance become Prohibition, anyway?

    • Tom

      Eccliastical people have made whole careers out of laying burdens on people that are heavy to bear.

    • Doug Roman

      Brig, you have made an erroneous assumption about my position. I don’t have a pre-commitment to the inherent evils of alcohol. There are good and bad metaphors. “Christ was a bartender” is a poor choice for a metaphor.

    • Jeff Ayers

      Chad,

      because you write “eisegesis” fails to carry the day in your failed attempt to disprove my point.

      Please read the Bible:
      1 Corinthians 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

      verse 10 comes before verse 12 (f which my post referenced) in my Bible.
      Verse 10 mentions “drunkards”.

      By the way, are you saying your “pericope” of sexual immorality means that it “is lawful and it is permissible”?

    • Shawn

      CJ said: <>

      So, deciphering a truth from the Scriptures is a waste of time? What qualifies as being worthy of your time?

      <>

      I think it matters. Apparently you didn’t really read the article very well. Plenty of reasons were given.

      <>

      And it’s “worthless” because you say it is? I don’t find anything in the Scriptures worthless.

      <>

      Actually yes. That’s the point of the miracle. And the point of the article is that some Christians are not only denying themselves the enjoyment of God’s creation, but also either condemning those who do, and/or having wrong ideas about Jesus/God and alcohol.

      Maybe something about the Left Behind series would’ve been more up your alley?

      ~Shawn

    • brig

      @DougR: It’s true — I do not know why you suggest either blasphemy or now “bad metaphor”. It’s largely true (in fact, IFBs do defend Jesus from bartending associations), and I have difficulty conceiving of alternative scenarios. It’s quite the sensationalist tactic to cry blasphemy, after all, and then leave us hanging as to why it was wrong to call Jesus a Teacher/Shepherd/Carpenter/Bartender/Physician/Bread/Husband/Friend/Counselor/Prince, or what precisely the criteria of ethical analogies might be. Inadequate metaphors don’t generally get to the blasphemy stage without calling into question the divinity or otherwise slandering the name of Christ, which implies that, somehow, a bartender is wicked. I would even personally use it in a sermon illustration, without fear that I’d be brought up on blasphemy charges. So I’m confused. What are you saying?

    • Dave

      AJ – the only one arguing here seems to be you with yourself.

      Im amazed culturally that we go nuts if someone wants to grab a beer once in a month; yet nobody ever ever ever takes the 400lb guy aside at the church BBQ to talk to him.

    • Susan

      I attended an apologetics conference not long ago where Norm Geisler argued that morality can be legislated. He based his entire talk on prohibition, the history of it, the benefits of it and why he thinks it would be a good idea to reestablish it. I was surprised that he would assert that.

    • Doug Roman

      Brig, your premise seems to be that since the Bible uses certain references to Jesus (such as teacher/shepherd) we therefore are free to ascribe any title/reference we deem appropriate to Jesus. There are at least two problems with this approach. First, the Bible is inspired and infallible, we are not. It is not right to conclude that since the Bible says “Jesus is the light of the world” that it is equally legitimate for us to say “Jesus was a bartender” or “Jesus was a poker dealer” or “Jesus was a used car salesman.” Second, to impute the same nobility to a bartender as to a carpenter is just bizarre. Bartending facilitates drunkenness, what vice does carpentry facilitate? Whether or not you can say “Jesus was a bartender” in one of your sermons is immaterial to this discussion and it does not automatically sanctify the reference. It’s not that we cannot employ other titles/references to Jesus but we need to regard the name as holy and handle it with great care.

      • sally

        brother, chillax !

        your problem isn’t with the «jesus is a bartender » statement as blasphemy,rather its your innate senseless contempt for bartenders that is causing you to be aggrieved.

        there are bartenders in all stratas of the hospitality industry and they are found in establishments on different parts of the spectrum

        yes you have tattooed , foul-mouthed b’tenders in dive bars, gay bars and despicable souls who are just on the job in the hopes of slinging a free drink

        they are few and far between, however. in the mid-to-higher end of the continuum, bartenders are level employees with heavy responsibilities. they are highly.trained and knowledge able in their craft.

        they sport a professional appearance and demeanor and take pride in their creations.an art known as “mixology”

        many laborers and handy men/ journey men ive encountered were ill-behaved,lazy and dirty

        on THAT basis, i might recoil at hearing jesus being called a «carpenter»

        im sorry all the bartenders you met were hooligans and hoodrats

        many in fact have a college degree and most all have exceptional people skills

        if you could change your paradigm some…..you would find nothing the author wrote offensive

        brother; what is your opinion of the cooks and servers at golden corral & the many other “stuff-your-face-to-infinity-and-beyond” super/mega buffets ???

        arent they guilty of promoting /enabling GLUTTONY,one of the 7 deadly sins and the vice the.bible actually condemns MORE OFTEN then drunkenness itself??

        hint : google is your friend !

    • brig

      No, my only point is that the Bible employs analogy and metaphor to describe a particular aspect of Jesus’ character/ministry/etc, and frequently, illustrations are merely distilled from and not verbatim Scripture. All vocations are equally noble, whether a doctor, professor, pastor, or even the one who shovels the excrement of swine, and all vocations can fall to vice. It is as equally absurd to suggest that bartenders and restaurant owners are ignoble because some cater to alcoholics as it is to suggest that hotel managers and desk clerks are likewise because some cater to prostitution. And you’re only vindicating what I’d originally intimated: you think there’s something inherently sinful here applied to Jesus.

      If Jesus supplied real wine at the wedding of Cana, then wasn’t he facilitating vice all the same in your view? I could be mistaken that your view doesn’t allow for the miracle to involve real wine, in which case the whole of this discussion was long ago moot. If it does, then I have no idea why in your view Jesus can dispense real wine but it’s wrong to draw parallels with someone else who does the same.

    • Doug Roman

      Brig, I need to disengage from this discussion due to other responsibilities. To say that Jesus turned water into wine is the equivalent of a bartender dispensing tequila shots seems to me to be a real stretch. We are clearly on different sides of this discussion. Grace and peace to you in the days ahead.

    • Shannon Dyess

      A great deal of cyber ink has been spilled over this issue of alcohol. I can certainly understand and see the various positions on the topic. However, I have a real problem with brothers in Christ who have no scruples about referring to the blessed Lord Jesus as a “bar tender.” I can provide you a part to work on my plumbing but that doesn’t make me a plumber. Just because Jesus provided the wine (regardless of what content you want to ascribe to it) does not mean one should stoop so low as to call God the Son, a bar tender! To associate that Name which is above every name with a bar tender is to treat His name with a profession that does not bring to mind holiness nor other attributes that are most often thought of as pleasing to Christ. To associate His name with such a handle is to treat it profanely if not with blasphemy. Friend, I was not redeemed with the blood of a bar tender!

    • brig

      @DougR: It’s probably because I don’t actually see tequila as more evil than wine, and I believe my bartending and waitressing brothers and sisters are dignified, and I think that John 2:10 is pretty clear on how much people had to drink already. If one is in disagreement over these verses, I can see the contention, but if the Bible means what it says without any special two-wine theories violating the laws of chemistry, then it’s very hard to justify sharp breaks (eg: why is wine OK but margaritas are verboten?). Even more difficult when “strong drinks” are part of worship and celebration: (Deu 14:26).

    • StuartB

      Hey Doug, long time.

      And not all bartenders dispense tequila shots. You are adding to the metaphor, adapting it, to suit your argument and (yes, most certainly) your pre-commitment to the inherent evils of alcohol, or has something changed in your views I wasn’t aware of?

      If Jesus was dispensing glasses of wine to people, then he was loosely doing the work of a bartender. Saying that is no less wrong than saying “Jesus was a clown” at times, whether or not he was wearing white paint and big shoes, although he did make jokes and probably clowned around.

    • StuartB

      @brig – That’s a part of the story that is rarely focused on. What does it say about Jesus that he was handing out alcohol of such high quality to people who were already blasted beyond reason?

    • StuartB

      And today’s Theological Word of the Day is, of course, “asceticism”…

    • brig

      @StuartB: They weren’t blasted beyond reason if they could discern good spirits from poor spirits. But yes, they most certainly had more than one. And Jesus did more than tend that bar in Cana, he poured out his blood, enough to cover all our sins. That’s a lot of bar tending. And eschatalogically there will be a great feast, where Jesus will yet again serve the best wine: cf Isaiah 25:6 et al.

      I do not know why bartenders are considered profane — who’s been slandering them? Are lawyers likewise in a profession of ill repute? What then of our Advocate, and Mediator? How sad that we can only cite the deviant examples of otherwise worthy callings, and claim by association the corruption of all.

    • Shawn

      < >

      Jesus is called a Mediator, and the Holy Spirit a Paraclete, both which amount to a lawyer, and we all know now corrupt lawyers can be. Then there’s the great Physician. Doctors are certainly not out of the question when it comes to unethical behavior. Then there’s the great/Shepherd. There’s nothing particularly honorable about shepherding. In fact, it’s a very smelly job. Ever smelled a lamb that hasn’t been sheared in a while? It’ll make you vomit on the spot. That’s probably the primary reason the Egyptians didn’t want the Hebrews around them, and why they were offended at shepherds — because of the stench.

      I’m not seeing that Jesus was handing out glasses of wine to anyone, other than at the Lord’s Supper. He made the wine (fermented, and that is unquestionable to any but those who are not willing to let the Scriptures speak for themselves. Period), at the wedding feast, and while the people there were obviously “merry” (one doesn’t become merry from drinking grape juice, folks), they weren’t intoxicated so much as to not notice the difference.

      But winemakers are not bartenders. They’re winemakers. Just as people who make break pads aren’t (necessarily) auto mechanics.

      Indeed as another posted from Isaiah 25:6, the Lord will indeed be serving wine (aged wine) to His people. I’ve got news for you folks: aged grape juice, which has had the halting ingredient added to it (which did not exist until Mr Welch invented it during the Prohibition) is disgusting. It’s not wine, it’s just filthy and no one would drink it. But aged wine is a joy, a gift from…

    • d4v34x

      Jesus likely wasn’t dispensing glasses of wine to folks bellying up to the bar or walking through the crowd with a tray like a cocktail waiter. He made wine in bulk, and, although not expressly in the text, it seems to me most likely the servants served it.

      So ‘vintner’ is probably a more fitting metaphor than ‘bartender’.

    • Jeff Ayers

      Galatians 5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

      We are free (liberty) to choose what we do. We are free to choose to walk in the spirit.

      We are free in all things that are not expressly prohibited in the new testament.

      But as with all freedoms, there are warnings of using and abusing that freedom (i.e. in this discussion–drinking alcohol).

      The freedom to drink alcohol is contrasted with the warning to not make an occasion to the flesh.

      For Paul warns a few verses later about the works of the flesh naming DRUNKENNESS.

      Again, my unanswered question about those Christians who get drunk… will they inherit the kingdom of God? (if so, what does this mean, if not then why did Paul say that drunkenness would cause them not to inherit the kingdom of God)

    • Shawn

      The thing that needs to be qualified is “drunk” or “drunkenness”. There’s a difference between different levels of alcohol consumption. There’s the drinking enough to feel a slight numbness in the lips, and a sense of ease, especially after a long, hard day at work; and then there’s the even happier feeling you get after perhaps one or two more drinks, as you’re sitting with friends, munching on Doritos and little sammiches; and then there’s probably where you ought to call it a night because you just want to hug everyone, and you’re probably talking a little too much (this is on the edge of actual drunkenness). I’ve been drunk probably only 2-3 times in my life. I never liked the feeling of it, and it usually happened when I wasn’t paying attention to the reality of how much I was drinking. All of these times were before I came to true understanding of the grace of God (I was raised in a Pentecostal Holiness Arminian type church where I’d lost and regained my salvation so many times I had no idea which one was the real one, and so I typically would abandon the faith every now and then when I thought I’d really blown it, and God couldn’t possibly take me back again). Drunkenness is more than merely catching a little buzz, and feeling “merry” as the Scriptures say. It has to do with losing control, perhaps even blacking out, and behaving in a manner that you would not normally. What we can’t get past is the fact that the wedding guests were already merry, they had “well drunk”, doesn’t mean they were smashed, only nicely buzzed and not as particular about taste at that point, and were looking for more, so that the merriment would not end. Jesus made more wine for them. Had He made grape juice they would have spit it out. There’s a HUGE difference between grape juice and cheaper wine. The only person who wouldn’t notice the difference between cheaper wine and grape juice would be stinking drunk. Then we’d have a problem with Jesus…

    • D Gross

      I happened across this article and wanted to add some info that I feel is important. We all agree that drunkenness is sin. This leaves the debate on grounds of whether or not it is okay to drink wine. I want to caution thinking like Deborah’s above: “Thomas B Welch only learned how to stop grape juice from fermenting (by pasteurizing it) in 1869.” This is simply NOT true. Grape juice was preserved in several ways for thousands of years before 1869. Grape juice was often boiled down into a concentrate and stored as such without refrigeration and it did not turn to alcoholic wine (sugar content is too high). I tried this experiment myself. I boiled freshly squeezed grape juice down to half and just put it into a container in the room. After a month, it was unchanged. Historically, people would add water to this concentrate in order to bring it back to balance for drinking. There were other methods, too, which involved a sulfur treatment. My point is that throughout history, there HAS been ways that were popular for people to preserve grape juice without refrigeration and before the 1800’s.

      Also, if you look in an old English dictionary (1600’s), you’ll find that the word “wine” did not have an alcohol only connotation. The Hebrew and Greek words (there are several) that are most often used could mean either something alcoholic or not.

      I am a missionary in Moldova. Moldova ranks #1 in the world for alcoholic consumption. Do a google search for Moldova and alcoholism and you’ll see. There is so much winemaking at home that each fall, that is what you smell as you walk down the street. The believers here do jar grape juice and it is AMAZING! Nothing like Welches. I can say that it is very enjoyable to drink. To assume that one needs to have alcohol in the blood to have a drink make them merry is also a mistake. I am not saying it is sin to consume small portions, but let’s not forget some of these facts.

    • D Gross

      P.S. I worked in the employment office of a large hospital corporation and was in charge of background checks and keying in each application in the system. I would say over 90% of all DUI’s listed on the applications were due to drinking ONE glass of wine at a birthday party or such. Legally, it does not take much at all to be considered “under the influence.” To say one must be “buzzing” or completely smashed to be considered drunk or under the influence is just incorrect. These people were deemed drunk by law and did not consider themselves drunk.

      • Kevin

        DUI is NOT being drunk.

        Many countries have legal restriction on drinking and driving far stricter than America. Many of the Eastern European countries are among these.

        The Moldovan DUIs have less to do with being drunk, than they do with drinking and driving.

        And reduced grape juice is not new, because it has been cooked.
        If you wish to make some kind of argument that the Greek word “oinos” refers to this sort of thing, you need evidentiary support, paying close attention to the fact that in the Bible “oinos” can intoxicate people.

    • John I.

      It surely seems wrong, indeed more that wrong: evil, to call something (wine) evil when in fact it is God Himself who gave it as a gift and pronounced it good.

      Furthermore, wine and other alcoholic drinks have been capable of being used for drunkeness and the destruction of families from time immemorial: Noah, etc. And even though from the beginning wine has been used for evil, God still commanded its use to his people, still considered it to be a good (and a reason why palestine / canaan was such a desirable land for his people), and even directly made it himself in a situation where it was likely some would abuse it.

      I believe it is an offense to God to conduct a communion service using a substitute for the wine that Jesus used and which is symbolic of his blood and Spirit. Water, Coca Cola, and grape juice are not symbolic and not blessed nor authorized by God for use in communion. Hence, I have communion with my family over a real meal, with real unleavened bread and wine because the grape juice at church does not cut it (though I do participate in this social activity–i.e. it’s not communion–to be at one with my brothers and sisters in my church). For those intolerant of wine, or former alcoholics, it seems to me that God’s grace would cover not drinking at a communion meal, but would not cover drinking an alleged substitute and pretending its the same.

      In regard to “1 Corinthians 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.” The more accepted and likely interpretation of this verse is that the first half of each contrast is a slogan that the Corinthians were using to justify their (sinful) behaviour, and the second half is Paul’s response based on Christ’s law of love and his understanding of the indwelling of Christ’s sent Spirit.

      John

    • Chad Winters

      Hank Haanegraaf wrote a book awhile back going through all the metaphors the Bible uses with Israel as God’s vineyard and God as the winemaker.

      Isaiah esp shows God’s punishment as removing the literal vineyards and wine as punishment for Israel’s unbelief.

      Isaiah 5:3
      “Now you dwellers in Jerusalem and people of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard.

      Isaiah 5:4
      What more could have been done for my vineyard than I have done for it? When I looked for good grapes, why did it yield only bad?

      Isaiah 5:5
      Now I will tell you what I am going to do to my vineyard: I will take away its hedge, and it will be destroyed; I will break down its wall, and it will be trampled.

      Isaiah 5:7
      The vineyard of the LORD Almighty is the nation of Israel, and the people of Judah are the vines he delighted in. And he looked for justice, but saw bloodshed; for righteousness, but heard cries of distress.

      Isaiah 5:10
      A ten-acre vineyard will produce only a bath of wine; a homer of seed will yield only an ephah of grain.”

      Isaiah 16:10
      Joy and gladness are taken away from the orchards; no one sings or shouts in the vineyards; no one treads out wine at the presses, for I have put an end to the shouting.

    • Chad Winters

      On the other hand healthy vineyards and good wine were a blessing

      Amos 9:14
      and I will bring my people Israel back from exile. “They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit.

    • Mike Senders

      A small error, but I must correct you on your Greek. You are correct that the word used in Eph is “methusko,” but it is not the same word used in John. The headwaiter in John 2 uses the verb, “methuo,” which essentially means the same thing. Just a little tip! Great article! I wrote a blog article on the same topic a month or so ago, definitely relevant.

    • Katherine

      “However, this does not mean that God forbids things that have the potential to be destructive. We must be careful that we don’t legislate God. It is not unlike issues of gun control, sugar consumption, or tobacco. All of these have potential to hurt people, all of these have a history of hurting people, all of these have people who attempt to force moderation or abstinence, but none of them are forbidden by God. We must be careful in what we attempt to forbid, even if the legislation is for a good purpose. The solution for problems associated with alcohol is not a mandate for abstinence, but education concerning its dangers.”

      How does this principle apply to marijuana and other illegal drugs?

      • Kevin

        Render unto Caesar…
        Illegal drugs are illegal, they are thus off-limits to believers. Until and unless they become legal.

        For the record, marijuana is still a Schedule I illicit drug at the Federal level, meaning it is still off-limits for us.

        If such things change, then the same calculus used for alcohol come into play; all things are lawful, but I will be under the control of nothing.

    • John I.

      Re #31/81: ” To assume that one needs to have alcohol in the blood to have a drink make them merry is also a mistake.”

      No, it’s not, given the context. Social merrymaking can occur around any drink, including water. However, this is not the same as the drink itself causing one to be merry. Only alcohol has this very well known physiological effect on the body, and the connection between alcohol and merrymaking has been made for millennia, including in the Bible.

    • Jeff

      In Answer to #32 – Reformed Baptist – what you are saying is deceiving or ignorant, cannot tell which one. Another type of bacteria enters into the wine after the wild yeast that is present in the air stops transforming sugar into alcohol at about 3%, so at the very least it will produce a content of 6% but most will reach the 15%. Many wine companies use this more natural method today

    • Austin

      Great article. I was raised in a home/church were “drinking was a sin and the Bible says so.” Through studying the Scriptures myself I have came to the position I am now-abstain from drinking because I don’t care for the taste, but do not believe drinking is sin. I believe it’s simply a beverage that should not be abused.

      Austin

    • john14

      it’s not about alcohol at all. wine is a metaphor for a liquid, coming from the fruit, which needs time to become potent.

    • joy cooganis

      People who want to drink , want to believe it was alcoholic wine but to say Jesus would be a part in creating sin and evil is blasphemous and dangerous . JEsus had power to create the water to what he wanted it to be , a new wine ,
      one that isn’t alcoholic , on the new wine you can become spiritually intoxicated on it because it’s been touched by the Divine hand , Jesus is clear on drinking and drunkenness in Proverbs and in the New Testament .
      Jesus was sinless and Holy . Don’t be deceived Jesus didn’t create alcoholic wine so people would drink and party , He created unalcoholic new wine so they could celebrate a Wedding !

    • John K

      Steve Martin, this is late, but I think you either misread my post, or just were completely dismissive of the argument. The argument that my pastor gave was that it had nothing to do with being tipsy or drunk or buzzed, but it just had to do with the taste and the pallate. And my pastor was not making an anti-alchohol argument, as he is a social drinker, but he saw that as a better interpretation of the text.

    • Shawn Hare

      J Cooganis, that is, without a doubt, utter nonsense. Anyone who unbiasedly looked at the context of the Cana wedding (as well as the rest of the Scriptures) would see very clearly that Jesus not only made alcoholic wine, but drank wine Himself. God REQUIRED the Israelites to offer STRONG DRINK to Him in the sacrifices: “Its drink offering shall be a quarter of a hin for each lamb. In the Holy Place you shall pour out a drink offering of strong drink to the Lord.” (Num 28:7 ESV)

      Strong drink is not wine, nor beer, but it is hard liquor.

      This “alcohol is unholy” argument is so easily smashed it’s just amazing that anyone even would hold to such a nonsensical position.

      Remember it was the US GOVERNMENT that put an end to the use of alcoholic wine in the communions of EVERY church in America during the Prohibition.

      The abuse of a thing doesn’t make the thing evil.
      Funny how you attack wine but not money, nor power, nor sex, nor food … yet all of these are abused (and more so) than alcohol.

    • Erykah hall

      The truth of the matter is, if your coming out of alcoholism you don’t need to try and find a scripture in the word to cater to your habits. Lets break these generational curses, our God is holy, sovereign and perfect in all his ways.to everyone pray for a revelation. Col3:1) set your heart on things above.

    • John I.

      re ” on the new wine you can become spiritually intoxicated on it because it’s been touched by the Divine hand ”

      uh, where is there any Scriptural support for this claim? And, further, has anyone ever made this strange / bizarre claim in the first 1,800 years of church history? not.

    • Annette

      To drink alcohol should be a personal decision. For some people one drink is enough, for someone else one will never be enough.
      I grew up in a home where there was zero tolerance for alcohol and judgment was placed on those who did. When I became an adult I made my own decision, which is to drink alcohol on rare occasion. One is my limit.
      I’ve always wondered if the emphasis on not drinking alcohol for protestants or especially evangelical type churches is because Catholic’s do approve of it?

    • Follower of Christ

      This is an absolute abomination. How can this website call themselves a ministry while calling Jesus a bartener? Have you lost your mind? Obviously the owner of this website is not Christian. No man of God would speak of Christ this way. And I hope He forgives you for such horrid statements. Next time keep your hellish words to yourself, damn devil author. GOD WILL BRING THIS WEBSITE DOWN EVIL DOERS YOU ARENOT TRUE FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST AND YOU WILL BE DAMED FOR WRITING THIS ARTICLE

    • Aaron

      I do not believe God and the Bible are simply against being a drunkard in that someone is addicted to alcohol but God is against being drunk at anytime. You should always have power over your actions and will. The word Christian means Christ-like. Being drunk is not Christlike. If you see a drunk fool you are not thinking “there’s a Christian.” So if it was real wine Jesus created it was because back then people went to weddings to celebrate the couple. Today people go to weddings to get drunk. Why would Jesus, who would die on the cross to break the controls of alocholism, have his first miracle go against that. Do you think he said “Here guys! Get wasted on me!”
      Luke 1:15
      15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.

      People that want to still go to Heaven or have God’s blessings yet still want to be selfish and please their flesh cling to this scripture and twist it to justify them getting drunk and fitting in with sinners. The Bible says Come out from among them (sinners) and be separate TOUCH NOT the unclean thing and I will receive you. Meaning of course if you do touch the unclean thing, I won’t receieve you.

    • stegokitty

      Aaron, you said ” So if it was real wine Jesus created it was because back then people went to weddings to celebrate the couple. Today people go to weddings to get drunk.”

      I don’t go to weddings to get drunk, and I do drink when I’m at weddings (or not at weddings). I don’t get drunk.

      Alcohol, like sex, and money, and food, and power, are gifts from God. There is a right way to use them and a wrong way to use them. Are you going to say “Since most people abuse sex (or money, or power, or food) then we should not have sex, and God would never sanction something as readily abused as sex”?

    • Aaron

      stegokitty,
      what I was saying is if the Bible says Jesus didn’t drink wine or strong drink and drunkards shall not inherit the kingdom of God, then why would his first miracle cause people to sin.
      not sure how then alcohol is a gift from God.

      • Kevin

        The Bible doesn’t say Jesus did not drink.
        The verse you cited from Luke1:15 is a prophecy about John the Baptist.

        And merely drinking wine is NOT a sin. As the kitty just said, it is quite easy to drink without getting drunk.

    • Chad

      Aaron. I don’t believe the bible ever stated Jesus did not drink wine. The verse you are quoting is about John the Baptist. Given the miracle at Cana and the Last Supper I think it is quite likely he did drink wine. Your argument: “then why would his first miracle cause people to sin.” begs the question as you assume drinking = sin and this is not biblical, despite misusing proof texts

    • Aaron

      So John was to be held to a higher standard than Jesus? Drinking was ok for him but not John. The Bible constantly tells us that a Christian needs to be sober and not given to strong drink. But if people want to get buzzed or socially drink or unwind and not push it then I guess go for it and play with fire. I just can’t see Jesus giving people the opportunity to sin.

    • stegokitty

      “what I was saying is if the Bible says Jesus didn’t drink wine or strong drink and drunkards shall not inherit the kingdom of God, then why would his first miracle cause people to sin.
      not sure how then alcohol is a gift from God.”

      Aaron, firstly, as Chad has already said, the Bible nowhere says that Jesus refrained from wine and strong drink.

      Secondly, you seem to be confusing drinking with getting drunk. Does everyone who has a sex end up having sex with someone of their own sex or an animal or some other sinful situation? Does everyone who has money end up being a greedy person, someone who would kill to keep it? Does everyone who eats become a glutton? Does everyone who is given authority abuse it? I’m assuming you’re a reasonable person and the answer to these is a resounding NO! So then why is it that you think people cannot drink alcohol without getting drunk?

      Thirdly I’ve written an essay on the topic, showing very clearly from the Scriptures (not from my imagination) that not only is alcohol (wine, beer, strong drink) a good gift from God, but that He even commands His people to participate in consuming it in His presence. If you are willing to look at the Biblical evidence, send me an email at stegokitty at gmail.
      The Lord bless you and keep you.

    • Aaron

      Stego,
      This topic is not a big deal for me. God had its seek him and have the Holy Ghost lead us to how God wants us to live. That is the key, having God show us, not us showing him how we want to live. so my concerns are people who want to still get drunk using scripture to tell God this is why they will drink instead of asking God to convict to them if he is fine or “blessing” them with alcohol and how much they can have and what type(s) of alcohol. I know God doesn’t want be to drink so I don’t try to find scriptures to justify it.

    • stegokitty

      Aaron, I wholeheartedly agree that we are not to tell God how we want to live but are to submit to His will. I don’t see anyone in this group (including myself) who wish to get drunk, nor to get God’s approval of getting drunk, nor of making excuses for getting drunk. You appear to be assuming that neither I nor anyone else here have sought the Scriptures on this matter. I just told you that this is not the case, and the Scriptures (that very Word of God which tells us how we are to live) support my position. You may be right that God does not want YOU to drink … not in this life, for whatever reason. I have no idea what God wants you to do concerning alcohol. And you have no idea of what God wants the rest of us to do about alcohol. Let’s let the Lord Himself speak:
      “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,” (Deut 14:26).

      This is only one instance, but I use it because of how blatant it is that God not only prescribes and approves of buying and drinking alcohol, but says to do so with rejoicing, in His presence.

      For you to do so would be sin, as you cannot with a clear conscience, but I can and so can others.

      Do you agree or disagree, and if the latter, why?
      And tell me what it is that you disagree with concerning the verse I just quoted (even from the KJV in case anyone wanted to give me any lip for using a “lesser” version).

    • Aaron

      if God uses that scripture to show someone it’s okay for them to drink wine, beer, or spirits then I am sure God will also show them the NT scripture that says Drunkards shall not inheret the kingdom of God. so then it’s all on that person to control themselves.
      I realize nobody here wants to get drunk but there are people that always want to party and get drunk and yet still be considered a Christian. so those types of people always look to this discussion and say good Christians think it’s okay for me to get drunk and bypass asking God about it.
      but again for me it’s not a big deal so thank you for your responses but I don’t feel the need for us to continue going back and forth since both of us are convicted in our own ways. if people want to know for themselves if it’s okay for them to drink and ask me I will tell him exactly what I believe but yet so love God will have to show them.

    • stegokitty

      Aaron: ” I realize nobody here wants to get drunk but there are people that always want to party and get drunk and yet still be considered a Christian. so those types of people always look to this discussion and say good Christians think it’s okay for me to get drunk and bypass asking God about it”

      Someone like that would be a reprobate, and would be looking for an excuse to get drunk. It doesn’t matter what you or I or anyone would say to that kind of person, no matter how much love and Scripture you give to them. It’s also highly unlikely that someone like that would even be in a theological discussion group. That’s not what anyone in this discussion has been trying to do. While I don’t think the “Jesus is a bartender” line is very appropriate, you and I are required to agree with what the Lord Himself says He will do for His people as a blessing: “On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.” (Isaiah 25:6)

      and … “And no one after drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good.’” (Luke 5:39)

      And I’m wondering if you’re going to be honest enough to agree that God, in the Deuteronomy passage says exactly what I suggested.

    • aaron

      Stego,
      Why are you trying to convince me? why do you have to feel right? I am not upset but like I said over and over its not a big deal for me but u need to feel u are right. I wont admit u are right because my opinion means nothing and I don’t want to use valueable prayer time to ask God what a NIV or whatever version u quoted means. I read the kjv and it only says ‘wine’ not ‘well-aged’ wine. so obvsly our discussion will stop here since im not getting into the difference between our bibles. God convicted to me to read and follow his guidance from the kjv. so I realky don’t care how others interpret other versions because it leads to disagreements over not important things like this.
      hope im not coming across as mean or upset but I’ve tried to end this debate because we are getting nowhere.
      God Bless and Happy Good Friday

    • stegokitty

      Aaron, actually you’re coming across as obstinate and “wanting to be right”. This isn’t about ME wanting to be right but declaring what the Scriptures clearly say and teach. And the KJV does NOT only say “wine” it says ” And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined”.

      Notice the two descriptives “on the lees” and “well refined”, BOTH which mean fermented, well-aged wine. In fact it means wine that has been purposefully treated in order to bring about MORE fermentation. Even a quick search for the definition of the word brings us this “Lees refers to deposits of dead yeast or residual yeast and other particles that precipitate, or are carried by the action of “fining”, to the bottom of a vat of wine after fermentation and aging.”

      Yet another shining example of why the KJV is not a helpful version because people today don’t even know what they’re reading.

      And you haven’t addressed the verse that I DID quote from the KJV where God says to the people of Israel to buy strong drink and to eat and drink before Him with rejoicing.

      Why is it so hard to admit that (perhaps) you’ve misunderstood the character of God and of His good gifts? I’m not trying to convince you to drink. I don’t want you to at all. You can’t as you haven’t a clear conscience of it. What I want you to do is to receive God as He is. and not as you think He ought to be.

    • Aaron

      Stego,
      As I have said before, I know God does not want me to drink so that is all I care about. I don’t care if he is ok or not ok with others drinking. I read the Bible as my roadmap. I see it as my contract with God. My relationship with God is laid out in the Bible and how the Holy Spirit leads me to live. So in it states what God does in our relationship and what I do. Therefore, I don’t read it, or furthermore ask God about his contract with others, especially with things that have nothing to do about making or missing Heaven.
      More specifically, our relationship contract with God is mostly found in the NT-where it says Drunkards shall not inherit the Kingdom of God, Christians are to be sober and not given to strong drink, etc. So God’s relationship with his children in the OT regarding wine has zero effect on me or others. Jesus came and died for us and set up a new relationship and new covenant in the NT. The temple’s veil was torn in two meaning the common man now can have a more intimate relationship with Jesus.
      So since I read the Bible, mainly the NT to define my walk with Christ and if I come across something I fully don’t understand I look up words in the dictionary, find their Hebrew and Greek meaning and most importantly pray as to what God is showing me. So I really don’t care if someone is right about an OT scripture and if it shows them they can drink. I am not losing sleep (but am using my time) about trying to find out this drinking debate.
      If all you want is for me to tell you that you are right, than I can say if what you are telling me God has convicted to you, than sure, you are right concerning your relationship. But I don’t take people’s word how they view scripture or how they tell me God has revealed them to me without me praying to God first. And sorry if this is insulting, I am not taking the time to pray on if this scripture means OT people can drink.
      I will never discount the OT but I honor God’s NT…

      • Kevin

        There is NOTHING in the New Testament that tells Christians to avoid “strong drink”.

    • stegokitty

      Aaron: “So God’s relationship with his children in the OT regarding wine has zero effect on me or others”

      And: “And sorry if this is insulting, I am not taking the time to pray on if this scripture means OT people can drink.
      I will never discount the OT but I honor God’s NT…”

      How can you insult me with such a proclamation?
      The only one you offend is God.
      You have basically said “If God has thusly dealt with people, and it offends my sensibilities, then I will not study nor pray about it, as I will have God in the image that I have prescribed for Him.”

      And you’ve displayed a clear disregard for the meaning of words (God does not tell you the meanings of words through prayer — that’s why He gave us Webster)
      God does not change.

      There is zero indication in the NT that anything concerning alcohol has changed from the OT, because in fact Jesus turned water into WINE (not grapejuice, as the context of the wedding forbids any such absurdity).

      This is about someone who refuses to back down from a wrong conclusion about God.
      Your responses are idolatrous and very disturbing.

    • Aaron

      ok then. we are at a good stopping point, lol. I know who I am, read the Bible as God’s roadmap for me and will lead others to have God show them how to live. if people want to drink and find scriptures where God is ok with it but realize God demands people to be sober since drunkards won’t go to Heaven, God bless them.
      yes the OT is our school master and shows God’s patience and the NT doesn’t discount it, but I first pray for God to direct me in a standard, decision, etc then read the Bible so God will convict a scripture. I dont make up my mind as to what I want to do then find a scripture to support it and ask God if it’s ok. not saying people here do that, but others do. also since God planted me in a church, a lot of my answers during sermons.
      so once again, sorry if I came across mean or uncaring. I don’t look to website discussions for my answers so I should’ve posted my beliefs here.

    • Aaron

      Sorry I meant to say I should not have posted my beliefs here.

    • DWhitehurst

      Wow. I am really late to the party I see. Did I miss it? Given the 5 month period of threads, it must have been a great party! I didn’t intend to be here, but in my ‘drunken stupor’ from googling “the history of wine” (huge Cali Zinfandel lover here, albeit not to the extent of father Noah perhaps) I somehow stumbled on a link and ended up in this party room. I must say up front that I loved the blog article. Great work!

      While I can’t say I loved some of the resultant replies, I must say I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time, as hard as the “holy laughter” of a Charismatic “Vineyard” member who swallowed the Holy Spirit, feathers and all!

      I need to get out more, out of the clicks of my own denomination’s blogs that is, realize again that people really do have some ‘interesting’ notions and ‘methods’ of interpreting Holy Scripture, or lack thereof. What do I call it? Eisegesis from a modern-day pharisaical teetotaler ascetic point of view? (Albeit when confronted with clear scripture then we’ll retreat to a disregarding, defiant, subjective, Gnostic posture of “Well, G-O-D may spell ‘God’ to you, but it spells ‘Dog’ to me!) Do they know what a metaphor is? Or reading things in their context? Or of letting Scripture be its own interpreter? Of speaking where Scripture speaks and being silent where Scripture is silent? But oh, they’re just “Bible Believers” unlike me. I just believe the argument really boils down to who has the right hermeneutic, if they have one at all.

      I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that some of the posters would be indignant with the blog author for calling Jesus a bartender. Yeesh, to think that I bartended whilst attending seminary in order to pay tuition! Just what connotation do they think the labels for Jesus of “Carpenter’s son”, “of Nazareth”, had for the people during his days of visible tabernacling among them? And Galilean fisherman/tax men as followers, and ex-prostitutes as groupies?

    • Chris

      I’m gonna try to make this short. It’s late and I’m tired. There is NO way that God wants us to drink alcohol. If during the efforts to interpret a scripture it contradicts other scripture and teachings of scripture, then you are NOT interpreting it correctly. Jesus would have cast more stumbling blocks at that wedding than anybody in history if it was alcoholic. Furthermore, no one really knows if their gonna be an alcoholic until they are one. Jesus would NEVER want anybody in that unwise position, drinking until they found themselves to be an addict. The Bible teaches us to be wise. Drinking IS NOT WISE. It is a sin to be unwise. Jesus was not unwise. To top it off, it is shocking how some on here have moved the goal posts, so to speak, to now the strongest drinks available is supposed to be alright. Then the goal posts were moved on how messed up you have to be before your really drunk enough to be a sin. JUST LISTEN TO YOURSELVES. It’s inevitable though, once you start accepting that Jesus was a wino that things get out of hand.

    • Chad

      Chris:
      Pages and pages of biblical exegesis with the weight of the evidence being on wine being a regular and approved dietary staple used in moderation and your rebuttal is “THERE IS NO WAY…LISTEN TO YOURSELVES!! I JUST KNOW IT CAN”T BE!!

      Really?

    • David

      Chris, I am sorry but you are guilty of eisegesis – reading your own narrative into the Bible. You may not like or agree with the view that wine in moderation is acceptable, but there is overwhelming evidence that this is what the Bible teaches. The belief in total abstinence for Christians only began with the temperance movement and has never been part of historic christian teaching, including that of all the great reformers.

    • Chris

      No folks. It doesn’t add up. You all are supporting your views the way you claim I am. And Chad, when I said listen to yourselves, I was referring to the people on here, and I’m not going back to see who they are, that says that you can get really drunk before your sinful. Also the ones that says basically God approves of Vodka, whiskey, ever clear or whatever. Contradicts other clear teaching. Proverbs 20: 1 and Proverbs 23: 31. You can’t crawl over those and say wine or any alcoholic beverage is permissible. So one has to go back to the drawing board and figure out what the Bible really says. Overwhelming evidence it’s ok??? Hardly. Abstinence began with temperance movement? No, it begin at least as far back as Proverbs. The reformers? They were learning after a long period of doctrinal darkness. They didn’t get everything right either. Maybe we should think of the temperance movement as a sort of reformation as well.

    • Chris

      Guess I’l say a bit more. I am 55 years old. I have observed people since I can remember. I have observed drinking people most of this time, even though I tried to avoid drinkers. It is my experience that people that drink, at some point are going to get drunk. Even if it’s by ‘accident’. I think most on here will agree that’s a sin. I have watched as social drinkers turned in to full blown alcoholics that would be drunk well before noon. They never recovered until their dying day. People such as this also set the pattern for generations to follow in their family. Like a curse. Even if you are right that alcohol is not totally forbidden, Romans 13:14 pretty well would forbid the use of it as making provision for the flesh, as a drinker is likely to go to far.

    • David

      Chris, I see the best way to reconcile the contradictions is to take the verses in proverbs as referring to alcohol in excess. That requires far less creative thinking than saying that God’s people were drinking unfermented grape juice when the text says wine. People become addicted to sex and money as well, but we don’t ban them completely.

    • Chris

      Opps. let me finish…. a dinker is likely to go too far, not only for themselves, but for the making of provision for the lust of the flesh in future generations as well. I know that pretty much everyone on here is set in their opinions. You folks are not likely to change, neither am I. It’s obvious that some on this page has more formal education than I do. That doesn’t make them right. I think all would agree on that. After all, there are atheists with more education than all of us. Everybody on here would agree that they are wrong or you wouldn’t be on here would you?

    • Chris

      Get out your Strongs. Mines in storage. I think you will find that the word translated as wine in the verse in question is something like ‘fruit of the vine.’ That can be either. So it is not so clearly fermented wine.

    • Chris

      Also reference Matt 9:17. Makes it about as clear as can be what new wine and old wine is. Don’t know much else to say if that’s not adequate.

    • David

      Chris, the phrase “fruit of the vine” is used by Jesus in the synoptic gospels, it is from the Jewish blessing for wine, which always refers to fermented wine, not grape juice.

      Education in itself doesn’t guarantee correctness, but lack thereof is more likely to produce a wrong answer. If you were ill, who would you want to be treated by? A fully qualified physician, or someone who’s hung around hospitals and read a few medical books?

      Many heresies and false teachings begin when uneducated people read the Bible and arrive at conclusions which cannot be supported from the original languages or historical context.

      On the subject of alcohol, there is some disagreement amongst theologians and I would never say that the answer can be given with absolute certainty, however the abstinence case is very much a minority opinion and I regard the scriptural support for it as very weak.

    • Chris

      I realize it is a minority opinion. I don’t think the case for abstinence is weak though. If the Bible had totally forbid it any stronger, then it could never have been used for any medicinal purpose, which it sometime was in Biblical times. That may be why it seems weak to you. Take the whole council of God, not just look for a loophole for permission. Would have said that a little different, but best I can do right now. LOL. For me, it is not in the character of God to permit alcoholic use for recreational purposes, which is basically all it’s used for these days. Recreational for this discussion would include relaxation.

    • Shawn Hare

      Chris,

      “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,” (Deut 14:26).

      The problem is that you’re voicing your opinion versus we, who are voicing what the Scriptures clearly teach and what, historically is the necessary interpretation.

      Just in this one verse God makes it CLEAR about His not only having noting against the right and lawful and good use of the good gift of alcohol but that He approves of such in His presence, even in a holy convocation.

      The case for abstinence isn’t weak, it’s absurd.

      Your observance of people abusing alcohol and claiming that thusly one cannot rightly partake is as ridiculous as saying “I’ve seen many people abuse (cake, sex, money, power, bacon, etc.) and therefore this is the only way that the use of it can be done, and therefore it’s sinful, so no one should call himself a Christian and eat cake, or bacon, or get money, or possess authority/power, nor have sex, except only to produce children.”

      Fundamentalism infused with moralism = the destruction of Christianity and of all reason.

      This isn’t about looking for a “loophole of permission” but of the entire council of God which teaches not only (as per the verse above) that it’s “okay” and even approved to partake of the good gift of fermented drink, but that to forbid such is to fall into the error of “Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath.” (Col 2:16).

      I’ve written an essay on the topic, though no doubt someone who has made up his mind about what God MUST be like (like himself) would not be interested in such. I’ve attempted to post it here but it’s too long. IF you want to surprise me, ask me and I’ll send it to you in email.

    • Chris

      Yeah, send it to me. [email protected]. So does that verse in Duet mean I can hire prostitutes as well? Whatsoever my soul desires.

    • Chris

      Shawn, I know you were trying to make a point, but you were putting a lot of words in my mouth.

    • Shawn Hare

      Chris, you said “Yeah, send it to me. [email protected]. So does that verse in Duet mean I can hire prostitutes as well? Whatsoever my soul desires.”

      Please notice that you didn’t actually address what the verse says plainly. And then you followed it up by an absurdity. There is not and cannot be a right and lawful use of prostitutes (in their normal line of work), seeing as the 7th commandment forbids any sexual activity outside the bond of marriage. And that is why I was able to take such liberties with “putting words into your mouth” because it’s precisely the sort of things you’ve proven to say … as per your previous comment. There ya go.

      I’ve sent the essay to you in email.
      Hopefully you’ll read it and be willing to be wrong if indeed you are … which you are.

    • Shawn Hare

      And Chris, I wasn’t aware that one could (unless he was a cannibal) eat a prostitute. So once again, your rebuttal fails to hold water.

    • Chad

      “And Chris, I wasn’t aware that one could (unless he was a cannibal) eat a prostitute. So once again, your rebuttal fails to hold water.”

      While I have been agreeing with Shawn Hare…I really wish he hadn’t written that last sentence…..

      Way too many double entendres going on there

    • Shawn Hare

      Chad, I didn’t intend any “double entendres”. I believe my response to Chris is quite valid. I suppose one might be able to make a “double entendre” of just about anything, hence the “that’s what she said” office/workplace jokes.

      But I was being completely and literally serious. Chris was using prostitution as a means of sand-bagging against actually addressing the verse I’d posted, when the verse is clearly talking about what one eats and drinks “before the Lord”. Jews (and Christians) are not in the habit of eating human beings, and therefore, contextually to bring up anything that is neither food nor drink, and present it as a means of rebuttal (really against what God commanded) it simply doesn’t work.

    • David Paul Regier

      Nothing new to add. Just wanted to keep the comment thread going until He comes back to tread the grape juice press of the fury of God the Almighty.

    • James-the-lesser

      My feeling on the whole matter is that if we spent as much time blogging on the benefits of being filled with the Spirit as we do on whether or not wine is wine or just plain grape juice we would all be much better off. I’m just saying. 🙂

    • radqueteer

      Let’s say Jesus DID make grape juice. You teetotalers still have all your work ahead of you, explaining why Jesus didn’t break up the party at Cana, roust out the drunkards, and basically go all “cleansing the Temple” on them. Why didn’t he lecture them about their sin of drinking? Tell them to “go and sin no more”? Why would he even be seen partaking in this debauchery?

      One other point: It’s always the very people who claim that the King James Version is the only inerrant translation of the Scripture who turn around and say wine doesn’t mean wine, day doesn’t mean day, generation doesn’t mean generation, King of Tyre doesn’t mean King of Tyre, and so on.

    • mel

      wow. The excuses you people make for drinking are amazing! Proverbs tells us to not even look at wine! Someone on here said that Jesus liked to have a good time. No dear, that is what you want to think. The ancient Jews had several ways of preserving grape juice by the way. What does the bible say about he who gives strong drink to his companions? Look it up! You really need to do more research. You are accusing Jesus of encouraging something that causes sin

    • Shawn

      mel: “Proverbs tells us to not even look at wine!”

      Reference please? But I won’t hold my breath, since there exists no such verse in the Bible.

      “You really need to do more research”

      Really? How do you interpret such verses as this one:
      “… then you shall turn it into money and bind up the money in your hand and go to the place that the Lord your God chooses and spend the money for whatever you desire—oxen or sheep OR WINE OR STRONG DRINK, whatever your appetite craves. And you shall eat there before the Lord your God and rejoice, you and your household.” (Deut 14:25-16)

      And this is but one of many verses in the Bible showing that wine, beer, and strong drink are good gifts from God, just as are wealth, health, sex, authority, food, etc., all of which are abused, but no one goes about saying we need to stop participating in them because of their abuses.

      IF you’re actually willing to hear the Scriptures speak, rather than your own emotions, I’ve written an essay on the topic, one that is FILLED with the Word. Let me know, and I’ll send you a copy in email.

    • Aaron

      Funny, God is telling people to have at what they lust after for. That makes sense.
      Let’s not forget we are flesh. We want to please ourselves. So if we live after the flesh we will find scriptures that will ease our consious. We will pretty much tell God, “Stop convicting me of this, you said here I can do it.”
      Let’s not forget God will always back down when we prove we want something. His will never overrides our will. His still small voice will never be louder/stronger than your own will.
      But my wife and many others had sins, habits, and most importantly, the desire for drinking, drugs, sex, etc leave her life INSTANTLY when she got saved.
      But I guess God “trusts” others with drinking and other things so it’s ok for them. “Work out your own salvation”, huh?
      “God, for my salvation I will do this for you and this for me.”
      Why do “Christians” want to drink? Are they missing out? Do they miss it from their old life, before they were saved? Do they want to fit in and not be peculiar?
      What happened to Come out and be ye separate, touch not the unclean and I will recieve you?” Are we convincing ourselves that alcohol is a clean thing?
      Pick up a beer, wine bottle or spirit and think about what it represents. What part of it would please God?
      But Shawn, if you are not abusing alcohol, when is it ok to use? For “health” reasons? Culture, celebration? What happens if you accidently get buzzed or drunk? Oh well, God forgive me, give me the strength not to drink so much next time?
      ….drunkards shall not inherit the kingdom of God, but I guess you can get buzzed or kick back with sinners you are “trying to win for Christ so I must appeal to them and be like them to win them.”

    • Gary

      I have no doubt that Jesus made real wine, there really shouldn’t be this debate. My question is what kind of wine? assume red, but what grape? what was popular or common to that region at that time? Would he have made something common to that region at all or did he dip into his personal cellar and pull something special out?

    • Shawn

      Aaron,

      There are so many problems with what you posted, but I’ll try and keep this as simple as possible.

      But first I must ask, Are you going to address the Deuteronomy passage I posted in my previous response?
      I also posted it elsewhere, but it’s been summarily ignored by “teetotalers” far and wide. It’d be nice if you’d address it in an honest manner.

      You also said “But my wife and many others had sins, habits, and most importantly, the desire for drinking, drugs, sex, etc leave her life INSTANTLY when she got saved.”

      Um, your wife lost her desire for sex?
      I feel sorry for you, bud.
      That’s really too bad.

      And your question to me about “abusing” alcohol is a display of conflating terms. There’s a difference between someone getting drunk by accident, and a drunkard. You DO know that, right?

      As for how much is okay, that’s like anything else in life. It’s going to depend on the situation. If I’m at home, it’s okay for me to have a little more than I would in public, for the simple reason that I’m not driving. However, I tend to not care much for anything but a single beer or glass of wine or gin and tonic or brandy in the evening if I’m by myself. My wife doesn’t care for the taste of alcohol, so that’s that.

      But like anything else, be it money, or sex, or power, or food, or drugs (prescription even) — ALL of these can be abused. There are more people abusing sex than abusing alcohol, but I don’t see Christians crying for other Christians to stop having sex … Oh … sorry about that. I forgot that your wife lost her desire.

      As I’ve said before, I’ve written a little essay on the topic of the Christian and fermented drinks. It’s absolutely chock full of Scripture. I’m happy to send it to you, if you’re willing to read it. I use gmail, and my name is stegokitty.
      Cheers!

    • Aaron

      Shawn,
      My wife got saved when she was in her early twenties before we met. So now obvsly we have a healthy sex life. If God is fine with you drinking, go for it. I just know he doesnt want me to. But I dont feel I am missing out or cabt relate to sinners. I am sure you are wise enough not to try to convince people like meto drink but oobviously you had enough of a desire to drink that you researched on it. God will judge us individually so if others he has convicted not to drink and they do, they will be judged no matter if they remind God of your essay or not.
      I am still curious why Christians would want to drink. Again, if it’s to fit in withsinners, then they are fellowshipping with darkness. Alcohol represents to many bad things. For me it’s unclean so I will touch not so I can be recieved.
      I really cant picture Jesus kicking back with a beer or spirit since he died to take the power from alcoholism and heal diseases it brings. If you think he would drink I guess it wouldn’t be around my wife since he took drinking out ofher life wwithout her even asking. All she was praying was the sinners prayer but it does make sense sins get washed while praying that prayer. But are you arguing God is good with her drinking again as long as she doesnt get drunk? That means he would be good with her swearing as long as it was every now and then.
      But I am not trying to convince you since you want to drink and like I said, I am sure you are not trying to convince others to drink. But send me some essays on things that really matter and will save souls. I am sure you just didnt write essays on it’s okay for Christ-like people to drink, lol. You probably have a good deal of knowledge on how to win sinners to Christ, recieving the Holy Gjost, and spiritual gifts so I’d like to read those. Send me links to those blogs please.

    • Lily

      I absolutely do not believe that Jesus served fermented wine to a group of people who had already been drinking for hours…. which means some of them were probably buzzed. That would mean Jesus would have done something that would likely cause some people to stumble. That would violate His own word which says do not cause anyone to stumble.

      Also, there are numerous other scriptures that I believe show that Jesus did not drink alcohol or serve up alcohol like a bartender to others. And the fact that so many people believe that He did is kind of amazing to me.

      That is not to say that drinking is a sin. Getting drunk is a sin, yes, we all agree on that. But drinking in and of itself is not. And I think God allows each of us to figure out for ourselves, as Christians, whether or not it is wise to drink. But it is undeniable that there are a number of scriptures that warn about drinking. (not just getting drunk, but just drinking period) So I don’t believe Jesus would set an example of drinking alcohol and handing out drinks to others.

    • Shawn

      Hi Lily,

      I notice that you (conveniently?) left out all of the “numerous verses” that supported your position, namely that Jesus did not drink alcohol, nor serve it to others (in both the wedding feast at Cana, and at the Last Supper with His closest disciples); and conspicuously missing are the “undeniable number” of Scriptures that warn about drinking alcohol.

      I also must wonder if you’ve ever had a drink in your life. I’m not asking this to be a “smarty” but because quite often it’s those folks who end up making the claim (from their emotions, NOT from anything in the Scriptures) that Jesus did not (and would not!) serve real, fermented wine to people who were already buzzed. I challenge you: try and hand someone who’s been drinking real wine a glass of grapejuice and I can guarantee you ONLY one reaction — them spitting it out immeidately.

      They’d have to be so smashed that their tastebuds were dead in order to think that fresh grape juice was fermented wine.

      But let’s just let the Word speak for itself:
      “When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.” (John 2:9-11 ESV)

      The Master of the feast notices that the finest AGED wine was being served AFTER the “okay” stuff, which is not how it’s done. You serve the good stuff FIRST, and then when everyone’s tied on a good buzz and their tastebuds aren’t quite as accurate, you can bring out the lesser stuff.

      And Jesus did this to MANIFEST HIS GLORY. What’s His glory? That He is GOD, the Creator, who created a world that appeared to be millions of years old,…

    • Aaron

      Shawn we get it. You really like drinking. Maybe you were a big partier before getting saved and had no problems letting God clean drugs, sex, smoking, swearing out of your life but you wanted to hold on to drinking so you found all these scriptures. Good for you.
      If people ask you would you give it up for God if he asked you probably dodge rhe question and say God would never ask me to give up something he is ok with and you do it in moderation.
      Speaking of dodging questions, please respond to me and give me links to studies about actual, eternity changing, important things. Like the gifts of the Spirit, healing, separation from the world, tithing/giving, You know things that move the heart of God, not pleasing the flesh.

    • Shawn

      Aaron,
      This has nothing to do with whether or not I participate in drinking alcohol. It has to do with TRUTH. I’M not the one(s) denying the CLEAR teaching of the Scriptures. You, Lily, and others are quite busy IGNORING the Scriptures, and substituting your emotions.

      I haven’t “dodged” anything. This is (yet another) emotional outburst from someone who hasn’t really got a supported position other than his wife’s life experience.

      And I SENT you the essay I did on the Christian and alcohol. Did you read it? Probably not. This conversation is about the Christ, the Christian, and alcohol — it’s not ABOUT the gifts of the Spirit and “eternity changing” things, though it is important. It’s always important to think rightly about God, which apparently is only important to you, so long as God fits into the neat little box you’ve prepared for Him.

      So really your entire final paragraph is a dodge, hidden in a self-righteous challenge.

    • Aaron

      Shawn, supportive position? Do not drink to excess, drunkards shall not inherit thekingdom of God. Do not give over to strong drink. I have no desire to drink so I guess I dont have to find a reason God would be ok with it.
      But if I let my flesh start to take over and want to dabble in porn, or flirting with women (or men) or whatever, I will be sure to contact you and find truth in the Bible.
      Again, if you want to drink, the Bible really doesnt say you cant drink and you know getting drunk is dead wrong. People who dont want to give up drinking or want to start drinking I guess have you to thank. And I guess God will be pleased with you for leading them to the truth?
      But please show me studies on you wrote on important things. Like I am sure you had a follow up study on people with drinking problems using the Word for delivernce over alcohol demons.
      BTW, I know tone is lost in email so dont take anything I type as anger or sarcasm. Lol, just to have a little fun with this, can you see Jesus handing out E-cigs, swimsuit magazines, R rated movies since they also all lead to sin? lol

    • Aaron

      so I have no desire to read your essay because I am sure you make it clear getting drunk is wrong and sinful. we both agree the bible doesnt say you cant drink as long as you dont get buzzed or drunk and scripture talks about wine and people prove or disprove it’s alcoholic wine. again, who really cares other than people who want to be a Christian that drinks.
      So not sure what you are trying to convince me of other maybe the wine Jesus turned from water was alcoholic and therefore was telling everyone it’s ok to drink as long as they dont get drunk. I honesty dont care whay the answer to that is because he shed his blood to defeat alcoholism and all addictions. He was offered alcohol and drugs while on the cross but refused so he can be in his right mind and be sure his will was not being overpowered by substance.
      Different topic, when people call you a bigot or hater for being against homosexuality, how to you defend yourself, God, and the Bible? I simply say it’s just another sin. Not worse than others but God’s word doesnt change just because society has. Society cant bully God into want they want. I still get hated but Christ said we will get hated for his sake. How do you handle it?

    • Shawn

      “But if I let my flesh start to take over and want to dabble in porn, or flirting with women (or men) or whatever, I will be sure to contact you and find truth in the Bible.”

      Wow. You do realize that slander is breaking the 9th commandment, right?

      The rest of your ignorant rant is part and parcel of your wicked slander, and your refusal to let the Scriptures actually mean what they say and teach as a whole, and not as a bunch of isolated verses.

      And as far as your second response goes, it actually sounds as if you were drunk when you wrote it. The first paragraph is incoherent.

      Sadly, the very same sort of reasoning that you use for not reading my essay concerning this issue, is the same kind of reasoning (or lack thereof) that those who promote the notion that homosexuality is okay.

      And it appears that you’re in the “all sin is the same” crowd. I’m not. While it’s true that every sin deserves God’s wrath and curse, it’s also true that some sins in themselves, and by reason of several aggravations, are more heinous in the sight of God than others.

      I’d go on, but why waste my time? You’ve already proven that you don’t care about what’s really true, just whatever is convenient to your own scruples.

    • Aaron

      so we’ll agree to disagree. not sure what truth you are trying to push or think im letting myself being blind to. Jesus served alcholoic wine? Really dont care to know because I dont want to drink. So what if your essay convinces me it was alcoholic wine Jesus was serving? Why would that then matter to me? Will you then try to get me to drink? Probably not but again, who cares?
      So as I take a drink of my latte, have a cold one on me, and Jesus.

    • Shawn

      ” Jesus served alcholoic wine? Really dont care to know because I dont want to drink. So what if your essay convinces me it was alcoholic wine Jesus was serving? Why would that then matter to me?”

      And there it is, folks. See it doesn’t matter what Jesus did, because Aaron doesn’t find any pleasure in it, nor in knowing it. Why would it matter to you?

      Truth matters, regardless of whether you find it to be personally satisfactory or not.

      I guess things like Christ’s deity aren’t really all that important either, since there are Arians who claim to believe on Christ as their saviour, and don’t need for Him to be God to do it …. nor does it matter that God is actually sovereign over His own creation and has foreordained whatsoever comes to pass, because there are these weak-minded, self-elevating Christians called Arminians who find no pleasure in thinking about the necessity of sovereign grace in salvation … and the list goes on and on, with people professing faith in Christ, who don’t see the value in believing that which is inconvenient to their own sensibilities.

      I’m not trying to convince you to DO anything other than to consider the whole counsel of the Scriptures. Even in the end, I don’t WANT you to drink. It would be sinful for you to do so, as your conscience doesn’t allow it. But I DO want you, as a fellow Christian, to think rightly about God.

      So I’ve really nothing more to say to you unless and until you read the essay. That is, unless you bring some more (unrepentant) slander against me.

    • Aaron

      Come on man, slander? I know this Christian alcohol thingnis your thing, uour passion, maybe you think it’s your calling, but we are on an obscure website and not in the national media. So I am not slandering you. Most people here disagree with you anyways so there really is no slander.
      You talk of truth. The Holy Spirit leads and guides in all truth. The Holy Spirit lead and guided me many years before drinking age (I am sure you believe Christian young people are sinning if casually drink as you say Christ did or let people- befoee the young Christians reach 21….
      100s of people in my church and other Penecostals are like my wife and God took all desire and addiction to drink after getting saved. So that is the Holy Spirit leading me and guiding me in all truth. That and the scriptures I already quoted. So that is why I have no desire to hunt for scriptures that make it ok to casually drink. The truth for me is God doesnt want me to. For me, convincing myself its ok to have a beer, glass of wine, or spirit-as you do, would be me going against God. That is why I really dont care if you and others are lead by rhe Holy Spirit to the truth that Jesus handed out alcohol to sinners or religious people. Me not believing God bartended doesnt mean I dont think rightly about God. God saves and delivers from sin. he holds the keys to death and hell and the kingdom of God (apparently with a beer in his other hand, lol (whoops is that slander, lol?)
      So again, what else about God are you passionate about and write essays and defend? This alcohol thing really cant be it.

    • Nick

      Ylt acts 2 13 says sweet wine also was the wedding at cana the only time jesus preformed the miracle if so then I believe the unfermanted type. Also I think john 2 25 sums up the whole point and is more important than anything else..

    • Roman

      I will tell you one thing and you can argue whatever you want, but this is the truth. God in 1 Corinthians 8 and Romans 14 said, if what you do causes your brother to stumble you are commit sin. ” 21 “It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble.” – Roman 14:21.

      In Mark 9:42, Matthew 18:6, and Luke 17:2 Jesus teaches that if one causes one of the little ones to stumble it would be better for that person to be thrown overboard with a stone over the head.

      When I was a sinner I would find any evidence I could to support my bad behavior. You can know nothing about how much Jesus drank, what kind of wine it actually was, or what was the result/intentions. But I guarantee you this if your article even causes one person to sin you have done more harm than good! How many people do you think heard only what they want to hear from your statement? Jesus was sinless, so even if he did drink wine, he didn’t lie, be prideful, boastful, arrogant, obnoxious, angry, rude, lustful, not in control or violent (what most people become after drinking).

      In 1 Peter 5:8 We are taught to be SOBER minded for we don’t know when the lord will return.

    • Shawn

      Roman,

      Have you stopped eating meat?
      Notice how you quoted the verse concerning “eating meat or drinking wine”, yet you only paid attention to the “wine” part.

      >”You can know nothing about how much Jesus drank, what kind of wine it actually was, or what was the result/intentions”>

      And while it’s true that I have no idea of how much wine Jesus drank (though I don’t recall anyone on this thread claiming to know how much wine Jesus drank so that gets thrown into the can labeled “straw man”), but I can most certainly know what kind of wine it was, and I’ve proven that point quite easily in my posts. Did you actually read my posts? I didn’t think so. Just more knee-jerk reactions, which is typical.

    • Shawn

      Nick,

      You said: “Ylt acts 2 13 says sweet wine also was the wedding at cana the only time jesus preformed the miracle if so then I believe the unfermanted type. Also I think john 2 25 sums up the whole point and is more important than anything else..”

      Perhaps you could point to some evidence supporting your position? All you’ve done so far is to tell us what you believe, without telling us why you believe it.

    • Shawn

      Nick,

      Also, I’m trying to figure out exactly what it is that’s supposed to be “summed up” in John 2:25.

      And since you didn’t bother to actually quote the reference for us, here it is:
      “He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.”

      I truly fail to see how this addresses anything at the wedding feast in Cana, nor of identifying any type of wine, etc. How about telling us what this verse us supposed to be telling us.

    • David

      When I study the Bible I look for any propositional statements concerning the subject at hand. Proverbs says propositionally that the substance of alcohol is an agent of mocking and brawling. The discussion on moderation is mute if this is true as God does not give license for us to participate in that which is intrinsically evil. Let the propositional truth guide your study and the ambiguous terms yayin and oinos takeon their appropriate meaning in any given passage. Alcohol is a unique substance that works directly in the moral processing part of the brain…one drink of alcohol lowers the ability to retain clear moral focus…thus is presented in in Ephesians 5:18,as the anti-type of the Holy Spirit…

    • Shawn

      “When I study the Bible I look for any propositional statements concerning the subject at hand.”

      Evidently you also choose to ignore the rest of Scripture when it comes into direct conflict with what you’ve chosen to believes is the correct answer. Why is it that you WILL NOT address the verses I’ve posted again and again, ESPECIALLY Deut 14:26?

      AND you’ve chosen to ignore the other passages in Proverbs where wine is given high priority:

      Do not spend your strength on women,
      your vigor on those who ruin kings.
      4It is not for kings, Lemuel—
      it is not for kings to drink wine,
      not for rulers to crave beer,
      5lest they drink and forget what has been decreed,
      and deprive all the oppressed of their rights.
      6Let beer be for those who are perishing,
      wine for those who are in anguish!
      7Let them drink and forget their poverty
      and remember their misery no more.
      8Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
      for the rights of all who are destitute.
      9Speak up and judge fairly;
      defend the rights of the poor and needy.

      And how about Proverbs 9? Notice that Wisdom calls for you to drink the WINE, yet Folly calls you to drink WATER.

      My question for you is, are you willing to take a look at a little essay I did on the very subject, which is absolutely chock full of Scripture? Do you dare challenge your own thinking and preconceptions?

    • The honest truth❤️

      I can prove you wrong my friend ❤️

      Romans 14:21
      “It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor anything whereby my brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak…”

      In my church we have a Christian who was once an alcoholic, for the sake of Christians with this temptation the church made a unified decision to use unfermented, fruit of the vine, for our communion (100% pure grape juice).
      The Bible says we are to serve God with our mind, wine has the ability to distort the human mind. How can I serve God if I have an unstable mind?

      The new laws did not come into effect until Christ died, and was resurrected. In the old law to drink wine was almost considered a form of thankfulness to God and all that he has supplied to you. The new law, does not say that to drink wine is a sin, but why allow temptation to sit on your tongue? Yes, in the new testament you see Jesus turned water to wine, but you also see him worshipping on the Sabbath day! This is because his a law did not come into effect until he died.

      The Bible says to be sober, for our adversary is like a lion seeking whom he may devour…. It does not become a sin unto you allow it to make you drunk, but why even risk allowing this sinful flesh to come so close to what, if taken too far, could take you to hell.

    • Annette Leon

      My thinking Jesus did not turn water into wine.The guests were well over the limit, that water was poured from the wine flask, they would not have known the difference.

    • sally

      im sure thats the excuse the applicants gave you – or the HR dept

      the fact is : in every state in the us you need a bal/bac of .08 to even be arrested much less prosecuted !

      youd have to have more than two drinks an hour to be intoxicated unless your like 13 yrs old……

    • Aaron

      Maybe weddings were different in Jesus’ s day. Maybe people didn’t drink to get stuck and act like fools as today. Now a days people care more about getting drunk at a wedding than the bride and groom.
      The same can be said for Christians who drink now. If they drink just to get wasted and use this scripture as an excuse while forgetting the scriptures about drunkards shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
      Point is, Jesus would not turn watern into wine so alcoholics or idiots who can’t have fun without being wasted could enjoy the wedding.
      Jesus died in the cross so the addiction of alcohol can be broken. He wouldn’t serve up the sin he would then die for. That would be hypocritical.

    • Dwight

      Ancient wine could exceed the 14-15% by fortifying the wine with sugar during it fermentatin process, which was done by drying raisins and then adding them into the wine. Also heat increased the sugar levels…hence the wines in the hotter regions of Palestine were often more alcoholic than the wines further north. Aristotle said, “Part 9 “Sweet wine does give off fumes, for it contains fat and behaves like oil. It does not solidify under the influence of cold and it is apt to burn. Really it is not wine at all in spite of its name: for it does not taste like wine and consequently does not inebriate as ordinary wine does. It contains but little fumigable stuff and consequently is inflammable.” so some wines were so high they could catch flame, but not sweet wine.

    • Kerney Paul Dupuis

      What amazes me most; is that most of the bloggers here actually believe that the transmutation of water into wine is possible. Contact me and I will sell you a philosophers stone that turns lead into gold.

    • meera

      The author of the bible / any religious text is totally perfect and may a lifetime to understand their language. To me wine – refers to strongess n power of god. If water is kept for a long time its power will fade, taste dies etc. But jesus turned such water into wine. If wine is kept for a time long it gets stronger and the effect of it is powerful. So jesus had to power to turn water(probably old kept water) into wine. The power of the water now is more powerful than ever because the lord has blessed it. His men were drunk with his blessings. I love literacy!!!

    • Aaron Versch

      Drinking is not a sin. Being drunk is. Drunkards shall not inherit the Kingdom of God. Like everything, it’s your intention and heart that matters. If you don’t want to give up alcohol and want to hold onto something in your former life, be careful.
      I hate it when people plan on sinning and use Noah bring drunk or David sinning as excuses. Mistakes are one thing, but if you plan on going out and getting wasted, don’t use the Word of God as an excuse.
      Alcoholism is an iniquity in my family. So I choose not to touch it and don’t put myself in a situation to look for an excuse. Science can tell me that it’s in my genes so I eventually will be an alcoholic but if I choose not to drink, my free will to drunk won’t ever be taken from me. I will never have to use science or scripture to convince me it’s ok. Touch not the unclean thing and I will receive you also means, touch the unclean thing and I will reject you. Your heart and intention makes things unclean.

    • Pktrkt

      Everyone misses the point. Wine or grape juice, it was a wasted miracle. If someone gives you three wishes you do not make wine one of them, but always wish for three more wishes on the third. A eternal supply of toilet paper for everyone would have been better than wine for a few.

    • genealogyangel

      For me, the main reason this is an issue that needs sounds research and respectful discussion is that I have a relative who is an active member of the WCTU. She brings up this topic in family gatherings. While I believe she is wrong in her thinking and has believed erroneous theories, I need to be able to talk about this with her in an edifying manner. It is significant to me that in recent years scientists/nutritionists have found that moderate drinking of wine is beneficial to one’s health; supposedly it increases heart health and protects against Alzheimer’s.

    • Aaron

      Of course science will back up anything you want. It will also discredit anything you want to. Just like reprobates can find theologians, professors, etc to twist the Word of God into anything they want so they don’t have to give up sin. If you want to moderately drink, and the Holy Spirit is not convicting you because your heart and reasoning is ok, have at it. But once you become drunk, watch out. The Bible clearly states drunkards cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.
      I am sure if someone wants to get wasted for whatever reason and still proclaim to be Christ-like, they will find an excuse to justify it, but why sadden God? It’s all about your personal relationship with him and winning souls for him. So if sin separates us from God and drunkenness is a sin, why purposely anger God?
      God can free addiction because he shed his blood to conquer all addiction. So bring your addiction to God. Remember though, it takes someone willingly making the decision to drink a whole lot of times in order to be addicted to it, so please don’t give the enemy any way into your soul.

    • Kevin

      Small editorial comment;
      kainos neos means new new, not new wine (which you know…but missed).

      -K

      I am of the personal choice in our walk camp.

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