THE BIBLE AND WINE
THE BIBLE SPEAKS STRONGLY AGAINST DRINKING WINE:
Prov 20:l; 23:29-32; 3l:47; Isa 5:ll-l2; Isa 28:l,3,7, Hab 2:l5; Lk 2l:34; Rom l3:l3; l4:2l; Eph 5:l8; I Tim 3:l-3, Titus 2:3-4; I Pt 4:3-5.
WINE AS A MEDICINE:
In an age when medicines were not what they are today, wine in its diluted form could be prescribed as a medicine:
Prov 3l:6-7 (wine as a sedation prior to death); Mk l5:23 (Jesus near death); I Tim 5;23 (for bad stomach).
WINE BRINGS BIG TROUBLE:
Gen 9:20-25 (Noah = setting; first mention of wine in Bible; the lesson in the Word would have us understand not to drink strong drink, that is, undiluted wine). Lot and his family: wine = trouble. King Belshazzar: wine = trouble. King Solomon: wine = trouble, loss of power, soul and standing before God.
WINE IS DILUTED WHEN PRESENTED IN POSITIVE LIGHT:
When wine is presented in a positive light, it would be diluted wine, that is, grape juice, for God cannot contradict Himself in His Word. That is, when he gives warning not to drink wine, then when it is permitted, it is to be understood as diluted wine or grape juice. One cannot have God state a prohibition on the one hand and then make for an allowance on the other. Therefore, the defining wine drunk in a positive sense is to define wine as diluted or grape juice.
Gen l4:l8: Melchizedek (wine = diluted, as in ancient times, and used to purify water, as in ancient times; compare Homer (800-700 BC)).
Gen 27:28: Isaac's blessing; wine (Hebrew: tirosh = meaning "fresh grape juice") (interpretation same as above).
Ex 29:40: (wine = not consumed, but burnt off in whole burnt offering sacrifice at the temple).
Deut l4:26: (same as Gen l4:l8 interpretation).
Ps l04:l5: (wine = diluted, yet enjoyable; that is, grape juice) (compare Eccl l0:l7, l9).
Eccl l0:l7,l9: (wine = same as above; note that verse l7 is against drunkenness).
JESUS AND WINE:
Lk 7:3l-35: (l) Jesus did NOT drink wine, but simply gave the supposed edge of the argument to his persistent enemies; or (2) Jesus DID drink wine, therefore, it would have had to have been DILUTED for WATER PURIFICATION for He could not contradict God's Word regarding such prohibitions.
Jn 2:l-ll: ("good wine" = DIVINE MIRACLE WINE: the first and last of its kind in history --which could not have produced drunkenness for it came from God and God cannot contradict His own Word).
Lk 22:l8: (Passover wine: Talmud (Jewish oral tradition of 200 BC = 200 AD) = 4 cups of Passover wine = 3 parts of water to l part wine, therefore DILUTED).
Mk l5:23: Jesus refused sedative at death: wine and myrrh.
WINE IN ANCIENT TIMES:
* usually stored in pointed jugs, then poured into large bowls where it was MIXED WITH WATER, then poured into cups for drinking.
* ratio of water to wine varied:
(l) Homer: The Odyssey: 800-700BC: 20 parts of water to l part of wine
(2) Pliny: Natural History: AD 23-79: 8 parts of water to l part of wine
(3) Evenos: poet: 5th century BC: 3 parts of water to l part of wine
l part of water to l part of wine or less = "STRONG DRINK" AND WAS CONSIDERED A BARBARIAN PRACTICE.
* Question: Why water mixed with wine? Answer: Water often unsafe in those times; therefore, BOILING, METHODS OF FILTRATION OR WATER DILUTION were the safest and easiest routes to go; therefore, wine = purifying agent when necessary.
* Early Church Fathers (Justin Martyr, Cyprian, Clement of Alexandria) = wine in communion was to be mixed with water.
* In Roman Catholic Church, when priest partakes of wine in the Mass, he always mixes much water into the goblet in order to drink diluted wine. However, even with this public practice, there is much abuse of wine by Catholic clergy due to the wine being near them daily. There is much alcoholism among Catholic clergy--and always has been. It is a sad problem within the Roman Catholic Church, admitted by the clergy themselves.