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And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be ye filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18)
Oh, And By The Way, A Little Wine...
Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities. (1 Timothy 5:23)
Alcohol and Common Objections
Despite the Biblical evidence that wine is a gift of God and a blessing to be enjoyed, many are still opposed to the Christian use of alcohol. In this chapter, we will examine a few of popular arguments for abstention.
Alcohol and the Bible
The use of alcohol among Christians is one of the more controversial issues of the last two centuries, particularly within American churches. Three main positions were forged:
Facts and Comments About Grapes and Wine
Grapes are harvested during the peak of ripeness, which lasts only about two weeks.
“Do not drink intoxicating wine... when you come into the Tabernacle...” —Shemini 10:9
Really? Red Wine Is Good for the Stomach
When it comes to the health-promoting effects of red wine, its potential to protect against heart disease tends to get all the attention. But there are some who see it as a sort of probiotic delivery system, capable of benefiting the stomach as well. Supplements and foods with probiotics — live micro-organisms that support digestive health — have become hugely popular. While probiotics are increasingly added to a variety of foods, some contain them naturally, especially fermented products like yogurt and wine.
The Alcohol Content of Wine in the Bible
Those who oppose the Christian use of alcohol often argue that the alcohol content of wine in Bible plays an essential role in determining whether the use of alcohol is permissible for Christians.
Alcoholic Beverages Sinful?
Do you believe that consuming alcoholic beverages is sinful or unwise? Have you ever read Psalms 104:14-15? Take a gander:
Drink to Your Health (in Moderation), the Science Says
Over the past year, I’ve tried to clear up a lot of the misconceptions on food and drink: about salt, artificial sweeteners, among others, even water.
Everything in Moderation, Including Moderation
I’ve been drinking more beer in the last three months than I have in the last fifteen years. Meaning, I’ve been drinking beer at all. I gave it up because it made me sluggish, but I’ve fallen back in love with beer’s flavor. Is this an unhealthy development?
The common Hebrew word for wine is yayin, from a root meaning “to boil up,” “to be in a ferment.” Others derive it from a root meaning “to tread out,” and hence the juice of the grape trodden out. The Greek word for wine is oinos, and the Latin vinun. But besides this common Hebrew word, there are several others which are thus rendered.
dregs: The “sediments,” “lees,” “grounds of liquor”; only in plural. In the King James Version it stands for: (1) Hebrew ḳubba‛ath, “bowl,” “chalice,” found only in Isaiah 51:17, 51:22: “the dregs of the cup of trembling”; “the dregs of the cup of my fury.” The Revised Version correctly changes “dregs” into “bowl.” (2) Hebrew shemārīm, “sediments” or “dregs,” especially lees of wine. “The dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring (the American Standard Revised Version “drain”) them out and drink them” (Psalms 75:8), i.e. God gives to the wicked the cup of wrathful judgment, which they must drink to the last drop.
lik ́ẽr: Every sort of intoxicating liquor except the beverage prepared from the juice of the grape (yayin), according to the usage of the Old Testament, is comprehended under the generic term שׁכר, shēkhār (compare shākhar, to “be drunk”), rendered “strong drink” (compare Greek síkera in Luke 1:15). The two terms, yayin and shēkhār, “wine” and “strong drink,” are often found together and are used by Old Testament writers as an exhaustive classification of the beverages in use among the ancient Hebrews (Leviticus 10:9; 1 Samuel 1:15; Proverbs 20:1, etc.). See WINE; DRINK, STRONG.
pres ́fat (Haggai 2:16 in the King James Version, the English Revised Version “winefat,” the American Standard Revised Version “winevat”). See WINE.
(1) גּפן, gephen, usually the cultivated grape vine. In Numbers 6:4; Judges 13:14 we have היּין גּפן, gephen ha-yayīn, literally, “vine of wine,” translated “grape vine” (Numbers) and “vine,” margin “grape vine” (Jgs); 2 Kings 4:39, שׂדה גּפן, gephen sādheh English Versions of the Bible “wild vine”; Deuteronomy 32:32, סדם גּפן, gephen ṣedhōm, “vine of Sodom.”
Wine; Wine Press
wīn, wīn ́pres:
The juice of the grape is the subject of special praise in the Scriptures. The “vine tree” is distinguished from the other trees in the forest (Ezekiel 15:2). The fig-tree is next in rank to the vine (Deuteronomy 8:8), though as food the fig is of greater importance (comp. Numbers 20:5) than the “wine which cheereth God and man” (Judges 9:13; comp. Psalms 104:15; Ecclesiastes 10:19). Wine is a good stimulant for “such as be faint in the wilderness” (2 Samuel 16:2), and for “those that be of heavy hearts” (Proverbs 31:6).
Vine, this well-known and valuable plant is the subject of frequent Biblical notice and a conspicuous element of Oriental agriculture.
Wine, both natural and artificial, is frequently mentioned in the Bible, and in modern times, especially in connection with the temperance cause, its character and use have been a subject of no little nor always temperate controversy. We propose here to treat it in the light of Scripture, history, and morals, unbiased by the disputes into which learned and good men have allowed themselves to fall upon the subject.
Wine-press, is the rendering in the A.V. of three Hebrew and one Greek words: גִּת, gath (“wine-press,” Judges 6:11; Nehemiah 13:15; Lamentations 1:15; “wine-fat,” Isaiah 63:2; “press,” Joel 3:13), which denotes the whole apparatus, SEE GETHSEMANE, or (as Gesenius prefers) simply the large vat (ληνός) in which the grapes were trodden, the latter being a meaning specifically borne by פּוּרָה, purah (“wine-press,” Isaiah 63:3; “press,” Haggai 2:16); while יֶקֶב yekeb (“wine-press,” Numbers 18:27,30; Deuteronomy 15:14; Judges 7:25; 2 Kings 6:27; Job 24:11; Isaiah 5:2; Jeremiah 48:33; Hosea 9:2; Zechariah 14:10; “press,” Proverbs 3:10; Isaiah 16:10; “fat,” Joel 2:24; 3:13; “press-fat,” Haggai 2:16; “wine,"’ Deuteronomy 16:13) is thought to denote the lower trough or receptacle into which the expressed juice flows, theὑπολήνιον of Mark 12:1. The last Hebrew word is derived by Gesenius (Thesaur. page 619 b) from a root signifying to hollow or dig out; and in accordance with this is the practice in Palestine, where the “wine-press” and “vats” appear to have been excavated out of the native rock of the hills on which the vineyards lay. From these scanty notices contained in the Bible we gather that the wine- presses of the Jews consisted of two receptacles or vats placed at different elevations, id the upper one of which the grapes were trodden, while the lower one received the expressed juice. The two. vats are mentioned together only in Joel 3:13: “The press (gath) is full; the fats (yekebim) overflow” the upper vat being full of fruit, the lower one overflowing with the must. Yekeb is similarly applied in Joel 2:24, and probably in Proverbs 3:10, where the verb rendered “burst out” in the A.V. may bear the more general sense of “abound” (Gesen. Thesaur. page 1130). Gats is also strictly applied to the upper vat in Nehemiah 13:15; Lamentations 1:15, and Isaiah 63:2, with purdh in a parallel sense in the following verse. Elsewhere yekeb is not strictly applied; for in Job 24:11, and Jeremiah 48:33, it refers to the upper vat, just as in Matthew 21:33, ὑπολήνιον (properly the vat under the press) is substituted for ληνός, as given in Mark 12:1. It would, moreover, appear natural to describe the whole arrangement by the term gath, as denoting the most important portion of it; but, with the exception of “proper names” in which the word appears, such as Gath, Gath-rinmmon, Gath-hepher, and Gittaimn, the termn ye'ekeb is applied to it (Judges 7:25; Zechariah 14:10). The same term is also applied to the produce of the wine-press ( Numbers 18:27,30; Deuteronomy 15:14; 2 Kings 6:27; Hosea 9:2). The term purdh, as used in Haggai 2:16, perhaps refers to the contents of a winevat, rather than to the press or vat itself. The two vats were usually dug or hewn out of the solid rock (Isaiah 5:2, marg.; Matthew 21:33). Ancient wine-presses, so constructed, are still to be seen in Palestine (Robinson, Bibl. Res. 3:137; comp. page 603). Dr. Tristram examined several of these on Mount Carmel, which he describes as being exactly like others observed in the south of Judah. “In all cases a flat or gently sloping rock is made use of for their construction. At the upper end a trough is cut about three feet deep and four and a half by three and a half feet in length and breadth. Just below this, in the same rock, is hewn a second trough, fourteen inches deep and four feet by three in size. The two are connected by two or three small holes bored through the rock close to the bottom of the upper trough, so that, on the grapes being put in and pressed down, the juice streamed into the lower vat. Every vineyard seems to have had one of these presses” (Land of Israel, page 106). The wine-presses were thus permanent, and were sufficiently well known to serve as indications of certain localities (Judges 7:25; Zechariah 14:10). The upper receptacle (gath) was large enough to admit of threshing being carried on in (not “by,” as in the A.V.) it, as was done by Gideon for the sake of concealment (Judges 6:11). SEE PRESS; SEE VINEYARD.
History of wine
The earliest archaeological evidence of wine production yet found has been at sites in Georgia (c. 6000 BC), Iran (c. 5000 BC), Greece (c. 4500 BC) and Armenia (c. 4100 BC), where the oldest winery to date was uncovered.
Prohibition is the illegality of the manufacturing, storage in barrels or bottles, transportation, sale, possession, and consumption of alcohol including alcoholic beverages, or a period of time during which such illegality was enforced.
Teetotalism is the practice or promotion of complete personal abstinence from alcoholic beverages. A person who practices (and possibly advocates) teetotalism is called a teetotaler (also spelled teetotaller; plural teetotalers or teetotallers) or is simply said to be teetotal. The teetotalism movement was first started in Preston, England, in the early 19th century. The Preston Temperance Society was founded in 1833 by Joseph Livesey, who was to become a leader of the temperance movement and the author of The Pledge: “We agree to abstain from all liquors of an intoxicating quality whether ale, porter, wine or ardent spirits, except as medicine.”
Wine (from Latin vinum) is an alcoholic beverage made from grapes, generally Vitis vinifera, fermented without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, water, or other nutrients.