This study will attempt to take a look at the use of wine in the scriptures. In doing so we will be observing the use of the word 'wine' and other related critical words, within their scriptural context, and trying to ascertain their true biblical meanings. With this in mind we will attempt to biblically answer the most often raised questions on this subject and to give some clear cut recommendations as to a Christians true position in regards to this often controvertial subject. One word of caution before we begin, and it is a caution that needs to be heeded whenever we study the scriptures.

DEUTERONOMY 4:2 NKJV  "You shall not add to the word which I command you, nor take anything from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.

REVELATION 22:18-19 NKJV 18 For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

MATTHEW 15:9 NKJV And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'"

There are three principal errors which have always dogged the church, a/ a legalistic overinterpretation of scripture(twisting it into saying more than what it says),

b/ a licentious ignorance or disregard for plain admonitions of God(making it say less than what it says),

c/ and a combining of the two previously mentioned points, in an effort to force the Bible to prove a position, which leaves one with nothing more than a spiritual concoction using the Word of God in the same manner that witches mix potions and sorcerors use talismans and cast spells.

We will attempt to keep this in mind when we view the principal passages on this subject. This does not dissallow us from asking questions raised by the text, nor from searching for answers elsewhere in scripture, nor from pointing out things which the text does NOT say.

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The following notes refer to key greek words using Strongs numbering system as a reference. The actual scriptures quoted will have the key words referenced using this numbering system so that you can refer to the proper definition of the word quickly.

Strongs refers to the "Greek Dictionary of the New Testament" found in the back of "Strongs Exhaustive Concordance".

Thayers refers to "Thayers Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament", a standard reference work for the study of the greek in the N.T..

Vines refers to W.E. Vine's "Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words. This is also a standard reference work for students of the Bible.


1098 gleukos

STRONGS: sweet wine, but used of more saccharine(and therefore highly inebriating) fermented wine:--new wine.

THAYERS: must, the sweet juice pressed from the grape; sweet wine:

VINES: denotes sweet "new wine," or must, Acts 2:13, where the accusation shows that it was intoxicant and must have been undergoing fermentation some time.

2570 kalos

STRONGS: beautiful, but chiefly good, i.e. valuable or virtuous.

THAYERS: beautiful, applied by the Greeks to everything so distinguished in form, excellence, goodness, usefulness, as to be pleasing;

VINES: denotes that which is intrinsically good, and so, goodly, fair, beautiful, as (a) of that which is well adapted to its circumstances or ends, e.g., fruit,...

3182 methusko

STRONGS: a prolonged form of 3184; to intoxicate:--be drunk (-en).

THAYERS: to intoxicate, make drunk; to get drunk, become intoxicated:

VINES: signifies to make drunk, or to grow drunk, to be intoxicated,

3184 methuo

STRONGS: from another form of 3178; to drink to intoxication, i.e. get drunk:

THAYERS: to be drunken:

VINES: signifies to be drunk with wine

3325 mestoo

STRONGS: from 3324; to replenish, i.e. (by implication) to intoxicate:--fill.

THAYERS: to fill, fill full:

VINES: to fill full, from mestos, full, is used of being filled with wine, Acts 2:13,

3630 oinopotes

STRONGS: from 3631 and a derivative of the alternate of 4095; a tippler:--winebibber.

THAYERS: a winebibber, given to wine:

VINES: a winedrinker

3631 oinos

STRONGS: "wine" (lit. or fig.):--wine.

THAYERS: wine;

VINES: is the general word for wine. The mention of the bursting of the wineskins, Matt 9:17; Mark 2:22; Luke 5:37, implies fermentation. The drinking of wine could be a stumbling-block and the Apostle enjoins abstinence in this respect, as in others, so as to avoid giving an occasion of stumbling to a brother, Rom. 14:21.

3632 oinophlugia

STRONGS: from 3631 and a form of the base of 5397; an overflow (or surplus) of wine, i.e. vinolency (drunkenness):--excess of wine.

THAYERS: drunkenness,

VINES: drunkenness, debauchery (oinos, wine, phluo, to bubble up, overflow), is rendered "excess of wine,"

4095 pino

STRONGS: drink

THAYERS: drink

VINES: to drink

4183 polus

STRONGS: (singular) much (in any respect) or (plural) many;

THAYERS: much; used a. of multitude, number, etc., many, numerous, great:

VINES: much, many, great, is used especially of number when its significance is "many,"

4337 prosecho

STRONGS: from 4314 and 2192; to hold the mind towards, i.e. pay attention to, be cautious about, apply oneself to, adhere to: beware, be given to, give (take) heed, (to, unto) have regard.

THAYERS: 1. to bring to, bring near; 2. to turn the mind to, to attend to, be attentive: 3. to apply one's self to, attach one's self to, hold or cleave to a person or a thing,

VINES: to turn one's mind to, attend to, is used of giving oneself up to, 1 Tim. 3:8 (to wine);

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As is obvious from the title the first question that will be answered from scripture will be what kind of wine we are dealing with:

(a)wine in the scriptures is non-alcoholic grape juice,

(b) it was watered down or very low in alcoholic content in relation to present day wines,

(c) wine in the scriptures is similar in alcoholic content to present day wines

ACTS 2:13 NKJV Others mocking said, "They are full(3325) of new wine(1098)."

As the context and the words themselves indicate, these people who were filled with the Spirit of God were 'mockingly' being accused of a state of drunkenness. I have used this scripture first simply because the word used for 'wine' in this instance differs with all the other scripture references to wine in the N.T.

JOHN 2:3,10 NKJV And when they ran out of wine(3631), the mother of Jesus said to Him, "They have no wine(3631)." 10 And he said to him, "Every man at the beginning sets out the good(2570) wine(3631), and when the guests have well drunk(3184 drunken), then that which is inferior; but you have kept the good(2570) wine(3631) until now."

A very important piece of scripture for the understanding of what type of wine we are dealing with. It has even further ramifications in that it is our Lord's first recorded miracle. Verse 10 indicates clearly the type of wine used at the feast and the type that was formed out of water. Look at the key word 'drunk' for it does not mean 'full' but it means 'drunken'. The steward of the feast has informed us of the protocol for the serving of wine at a wedding. You serve the 'good wine'(kalos oinos) first until the guests are drunken(doesn't necessarily mean complete intoxication), and then you serve the poor. At this feast they ran out, until the Lord performed his miracle, at which point the steward(who was uninformed as to where the wine came from) accused the bridegroom of a breach of protocol in saving the 'good wine'(kalos oinos) until last. If the 'good wine'(kalos oinos) in the first portion of verse 10 could cause drunkenness, we have no reason to believe that the 'good wine'(kalos oinos) of our Lord, mentioned at the end of verse 10 is any different. Thus proving conclusively that at least in this portion of scripture 'wine'(3631) is an alcoholic (fermented) beverage. Quoting from 'The New Testament In Everyday English' by Jay E. Adams, John 2:10 ""Most people serve the fine wine first, and when they have become drunk they serve the poorer wine. You have kept the fine wine till now."

EPHESIANS 5:18 NKJV And do not be drunk(3182) with wine(3631), in which is dissipation; but be filled with the spirit,

The scripture is clearly an emphatic command not to be drunk with wine. If 'wine'(oinos) is non-alcoholic or watered down how can you get drunk with it?

1 TIMOTHY 3:8 NKJV Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given(4337) to much(4183) wine(3631), not greedy for money,

Again, an emphatic command not to be one who drinks much wine. The context being that drinking 'much' would carry certain repercusions, such as drunkenness. If 'wine' was grape juice the admonition would be ridiculous.

TITUS 2:3 NKJV the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much(4183) wine(3631), teachers of good things--

The command is to be 'not given to much wine'.


To answer the three initial questions that were raised,

a/ If 'wine'(oinos 3631) is non-alcoholic then how is it possible to be drunk with 'oinos', and why would God, through Paul, recommend not to be 'drunk with wine'(oinos 3631)(Eph 5:18) if wine couldn't make you drunk. The concept that 'wine' in the N.T. is grape juice(non-alcoholic), is not only absurd in view of the scriptures, but makes God a fool for recommending something that is not possible. An obvious man made doctrine contrary to the Word of God.

b/ That 'wine' in N.T. times was very low in alcoholic content is an acknowledged 'possibility', but sufficiently potent to cause intoxication upon consumption of a reasonable amount, as John 2:2-10, Ephesians 5:18, 1 Timothy 3:8, Titus 2:3, obviously indicate. That they watered it down prior to meal time is also a 'possibilty' but carrys no scriptural evidence to back it up. I should also note that there is no indication in the scripture passages that the wine used was any less potent than what we have today.

c/ Most will agree that 'wine'(oinos) in the N.T. is similar to our present day wine, with the above scripture references giving ample evidence of its potency.

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Let us now take a look at some Old Testament scriptures before we return to the new. We will first look at the law concerning wine to the Levites, then to the law of offerings, and finally to the question of Nazirites. We will then return to the N.T. for our final studies and seed the appropriate O.T. passages concerning the use and abuse of wine as they apply in the New. I haven't bothered to go into detail on the words in the hebrew but I did note the two key words wine(yayin) and strong drink(shakar) which "Ungers Bible Dictionary" defines as "Heb.yayin (effervescing) is rendered invariably in the A.V. "wine,"...This term corresponds to the Gr. 'oinos', and our 'wine'. In most of the passages in the Bible where 'yayin' is used (eighty-three out of one hundred and thirty-eight), it certainly means fermented grape juice, and in the remainder it may fairly be presumed to do so....In no passage can it be positively shown to have any other meaning. Heb. 'shakar' (an intoxicant), an inebriating drink, whether wine prepared or distilled from barley, honey, or dates, 'yayin' referring more especially to wine made from grapes. Shekar is rendered in the A.V. "strong drink" twenty-one times, and once "strong wine". The liquors included under 'shekar' might therefore be pomegranate wine, palm wine, apple wine, honey wine, perhaps even beer,..."



LEVITICUS 10:9 NKJV "Do not drink wine(yayin) or intoxicating drink(shakar), you, nor your sons with you, when you go into the tabernacle of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations,

EZEKIEL 44:21 "No priest shall drink wine(yayin) when he enters the inner court.

Notice that they are not being completely forbidden from wine, but only from drinking it prior to or upon entering the tabernacle or inner court of the temple. This does not infer that abuse is allowable for priests.


LEVITICUS 23:13 ...and its drink offering shall be of wine(yayin), one-fourth of a hin.

NUMBERS 15:5,7,10

5 'and one-fourth of a hin of wine(yayin) as a drink offering you shall prepare...
7 'and as a drink offering you shall offer one-third of a hin of wine(yayin) as a sweet aroma to the Lord.
10 'and you shall bring as the drink offering half a hin of wine as an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the Lord.

NUMBERS 28:14 'Their drink offering shall be half a hin of wine(yayin) for a bull, one-third of a hin for a ram, and one-fourth of a hin for a lamb; this is the burnt offering for each month throughout the months of the year.


NUMBERS 6:2-4,20 NKJV "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: 'When either a man or woman consecrates an offering to take the vow of a Nazirite, to separate himself to the Lord,
3 'he shall separate himself from wine(yayin) and similar drink(shakar); he shall drink neither vinegar made from wine(yayin) nor vinegar made from similar drink(shakar); neither shall he drink any grape juice, nor eat fresh grapes or raisins.
4 'All the days of his separation he shall eat nothing that is produced by the grapevine, from seed to skin.
20 'and the priest shall wave them as a wave offering before the Lord; they are holy for the priest, together with the breast of the wave offering and the thigh of the heave offering. After that the Nazirite may drink wine(yayin).'

DEUTERONOMY 29:6 NKJV "you have not eaten bread, nor have you drunk wine(yayin) or similar drink(shakar); that you may know that I am the Lord your God.

JUDGES 13:4-5,7,13-14,24 NKJV  "Now therefore, please be careful not to drink wine(yayin) or similar drink(shakar), and not to eat any unclean thing.
5 "For behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. And no razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines."
7 "And He said to me, 'Behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. Now drink no wine(yayin) or similar drink(shakar), nor eat anything unclean, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death.'"
13 So the Angel of the Lord said to Manoah, "Of all that I said to the woman let her be careful.
14 "She may not eat anything that comes from the vine, nor may she drink wine(yayin) or similar drink(shakar), nor eat anything unclean. All that I commanded her let her observe."
24 So the woman bore a son and called his name Samson; and the child grew, and the Lord blessed him.

JUDGES 16:17 NKJV that he told her all his heart, and said to her, "No razor has ever come upon my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother's womb. If I am shaven then my strength will leave me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man."

AMOS 2:11-12 NKJV I raised up some of your sons as prophets, And some of your young men as Nazirites. Is it not so, O you children of Israel?" Says the Lord.
12 "But you gave the Nazirites wine(yayin) to drink, And commanded the prophets saying, 'Do not prophesy!'

LUKE 1:13-15 NKJV 13 But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.
14 "And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.
15 "For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine(3631 oinos) nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb.

There are two types of Nazirites, the one consecrated from birth, and the one who undertakes a Nazirite vow for a specific period of time. Neither one is allowed to touch anything that comes from a grape vine, not raisins, grape juice, wine, vinegar, etc. for the entire period of their vow. I hope you noticed that the nation of Israel was under a Nazirite vow during their wandering in the wilderness(Deut. 29:6).


Are Nazirites the same as Nazarenes as mentioned in the N.T. and as such do the biblical rules of abstention for Nazirites apply to Christians.

MATTHEW 2:23 NKJV And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, "He shall be called a Nazarene."

ACTS 24:5 NKJV "For we have found this man a plague, a creator of dissention among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes.

If Nazirites were not allowed to eat or drink anything that came from the vine(NUMBERS 6:3; JUDGES 13:4,7,14;) then how can Christ drink of the "fruit of the vine"(MATTHEW 26:29; MARK 14:25) or Paul recommend to Timothy to "use a little wine for your stomachs sake"(1 TIMOTHY 5:23) if a Nazarene is a Nazirite. Since the Bible does not contradict itself on doctrine then it is obvious that 'Nazarene' refers to the place of the Lord's childhood as is implied by MATTHEW 2:23.


GENESIS 9:21,24 PSALM 104:15 NKJV And wine(yayin) that makes glad the heart of man, Oil to make his face shine, And bread which strengthens man's heart.

6 PROVERBS 20:1 NKJV Wine(yayin) is a mocker, Intoxicating drink(shakar) arouses brawling, And whoever is led astray by it is not wise.

PROVERBS 21:17 NKJV He who loves pleasure will be a poor man; He who loves wine(yayin) and oil will not be rich.

PROVERBS 23:29-35 NKJV Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? 30 Those who linger long at the wine(yayin), Those who go in search of mixed wine. 31 Do not look on the wine(yayin) when it is red, When it sparkles in the cup, When it swirls around smoothly; 32 At the last it bites like a serpent, And stings like a viper. 33 Your eyes will see strange things, And your heart will utter perverse things. 34 Yes, you will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, Or like one who lies at the top of the mast, saying: 35 "They have struck me, but I was not hurt; They have beaten me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?"

PROVERBS 31:4-6 NKJV 4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, It is not for kings to drink wine, Nor for princes intoxicating drink; 5 Lest they drink and forget the law, And pervert the justice of all the afflicted. 6 Give strong drink(shakar) to him who is perishing, And wine(yayin) to those who are bitter of heart.

ECCLESIASTES 10:16-19 NKJV 16 Who to you, O land, when your king is a child, And your princes feast in the morning! 17 Blessed are you, O land, when your king is the son of nobles, And your princes feast at the proper time-- For strength and not for drunkenness! 18 Because of laziness the building decays, And through idleness of hands the house leaks. 19 A feast is made for laughter, And wine(yayin) makes merry; But money answers everything.

ISAIAH 5:11 NKJV Woe to those who rise early in the morning, That they may follow intoxicating drink(shakar); Who continue until night, till wine(yayin) inflames them!

ISAIAH 5:22 NKJV Woe to men mighty at drinking wine(yayin), Woe to men valiant for mixing intoxicating drink(shakar),

ISAIAH 28:7 NKJV But they also have erred through wine(yayin), And through intoxicating drink(shakar) are out of the way; The priest and the prophet have erred through intoxicating drink(shakar), They are swallowed up by wine(yayin), They are out of the way through intoxicating drink(shakar); They err in vision, they stumble in judgment.

ISAIAH 56:9-12 NKJV 9 All you beasts of the field, come to devour, All you beasts in the forest. 10 His watchmen are blind, They are all ignorant; They are all dumb dogs, They cannot bark; Sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. 11 Yes, they are greedy dogs Which never have enough. And they are shepherds Who cannot understand; They all look to their own way, Every one for his own gain, From his own territory. 12 "Come," one says, "I will bring wine(yayin), And we will fill ourselves with intoxicating drink(shakar); Tomorrow will be as today, And much more abundant."


GENESIS 9:20-25 NKJV 20 And Noah began to be a farmer, and he planted a vineyard. 21 Then he drank of the wine(yayin) and was drunk, and became uncovered in his tent. 22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. 23 But Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and went backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father's nakedness. 24 So Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done to him. 25 Then he said: "Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants He shall be to his brethren."

A very notable slice of scripture for drunkard and abstainer alike. Let us first deal with the drunkards view, for invariably he will note that it was not Noah that was cursed but the son of the gossip. This is accurate and true. What the drunkard will fail to notice, is that this is the only recorded time that Noah was ever intoxicated, with nothing in the life of Noah prior to or after the incident indicating otherwise. If I were to spend a considerable time building a very large ship, in the middle of dry land, with the announced intention of filling it with all the different kinds of beasts that walked the earth, without having to go capture them, I'm afraid most of my neighbors would tend to doubt my sanity. Add to this the intended means of floating the ship away will be with a lot of rain(which no one had ever seen before, since until then it had never rained), and my answer again to my neighbors, when I'm asked how much rain, is that there will be enough to cover the entire earth. Imagine going to a colony on Mars and telling them that its going to rain enough to cause a flood. Incredible! Imagine the books of theology that would spring up concerning this 'spiritual' flood, imagine the endless interpretations on such a subject! Anyways, back to my point, I've spent a considerable time building this ship, get all the details of loading taken care of, watch the rain fall, spend one year and ten days floating around in a barge full of several thousand animals,(they still did what animals in barns usually do, make a racket, create a stench, etc.), only have one little window, with no radio, tv, cassettes, no christian rock, I could go on but you get the picture. I think Noah was entirely justified when he sampled his first batch of wine, for he also had to plant the vines, wait for them to grow, harvest the grapes, prepare the juice and allow it time to ferment, it would be incredible to think that after all this we could expect Noah to have just one sip of his handiwork. I can see him now, kicking back in his tent, sampling his first glass(skin), then the second, then the third, with each drink breaking down the resistance for the next(if there was any), until his senses were so befuddled that he was 'no longer with it'. I say again that Noah was completely justified in what he did, but I also add that of all those people I know personally and have read of in Scripture, he was the only one that could make that claim. Nor is there any indication that he repeated the act. Does this then allow a Christian an occasional drinking binge? NO. Was Noah a Christian? NO! Did Noah have the Spirit of God residing in him? NO! Was Noah bound by the commands of Scripture, in Ephesians 5:18 "be not drunk with wine" or 1 Timothy 3:8 "not given to much wine" or Titus 2:3 "not given to much wine"? NO! Had not been written yet. To those who would like to point out the results of his act in the cursing of Canaan, I will note that it was the gossipper that was cursed and not the drunkard.


ROMANS 14:1-4,10-23 NKJV 1 Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. 2 For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. 3 Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him. 4 Who are you to judge another's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand. 10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11 For it is written: "As I live, says the Lord, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God." 12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. 13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother's way. 14 I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unlcean. 15 Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; 17 for the kingdom of God is not food and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by whichd one may edify another. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. 21 It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine(3631) nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak. 22 Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. 23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.

The verse of context is verse 1 "one who is weak in the faith", and add to that verse 13 "Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother's way", and finally verse 21 "It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.(noteing that the NIV, NASV, RSV etc. omit "or is offended or is made weak"). The scriptures here are fairly clear that we should do nothing which will cause our brother to stumble. They are also clear, as verse 14 states "that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean.", and verse 20 "All things indeed are pure," so it is obvious that Paul is forbidding anything that will cause our brother to stumble in the faith. Would it be sin to have a glass of wine at a meal in front of an ex-alcoholic? You better believe it! Would it be sin to have a glass of wine at a meal with a Lutheran who was doing the same? No!


GENESIS 14:18 NKJV Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High.

DEUTERONOMY 14:24-26 24 "But if the journey is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry the tithe, or if the place where the Lord your God chooses to put His name is too far from you, when the Lord your God has blessed you, 25 "then you shall exchange it for money, take the money in your hand, and go to the place which the Lord your God chooses. 26 "And you shall spend that money for whatever your heart desires: for oxen or sheep, for wine(yayin) or similar drink(shakar), for whatever your heart desires; you shall eat there before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your household.

JOHN 2:2-10

MATTHEW 11:19 "The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Look, a gluttonous man and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' But wisdom is justified by her children."

LUKE 7:34 "The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, 'Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!'

TIMOTHY 3:8 NKJV Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given(4337) to much(4183) wine(3631), not greedy for money,

Again, an emphatic command not to be one who drinks much wine. If the intent had been to forbid wine, then Paul would have left no doubt by saying 'not given to wine'. If I say 'do not eat a lot of food', am I saying 'do not eat food'? No! So the scripture is not forbidding the use of wine but the abuse.

1 TIMOTHY 5:23 NKJV No longer drink only water, but use a little wine(3631) for your stomach's sake and your frequent infirmities.

As you will notice Timothy is being recommended to drink 'wine'(oinos), the same stuff that in other references in the N.T. are obviously alcoholic beverages. To keep it in context it should be noted that it is because of infirmities, probably caused by the water, such as are noted in such places as Mexico, Europe, etc.. Safe, distilled, bottled water was unheard of in that day leaving the only safe liquid drink being wine. Some have argued, logically of course, that this would also apply to stomach infirmities caused by stress, since anxiety causes excess acid in the stomach giving cramps etc.. For the Christian, this is not the case, since this would bypass the Christians escape valve of going to the Lord in prayer and "casting all your cares upon Him"(1 PET 5:7), and "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."(MATT 11:28). The Christian who turns to the bottle(little or much) due to anxiety is indeed a sorry sight, for he does one of two things;

a/ he denies God's way of relieving his anxietys as previously mentioned, and in the process gives ample witness of his lack of faith and trust in God.

b/ he is under conviction from the Holy Spirit, either for sins of commission or ommission, and thereby grieves the Holy Spirit, making his state far worse than the origional transgression. He thus denies the grace of God that can only be obtained through prayers of repentance.

Thus drinking wine, or any other intoxicating beverage, for the purpose of relieving anxiety of any type can have disastrous results for a Christian. I speak from experience! The scriptures dealing with drinking to excess are clear and apparent, it is a command, not a suggestion. That the consumption of wine is allowable for a Christian is also plain, but under limitations. Never to excess, never as a cause of stumbling to a brother, and never to wash away anxieties, frustrations etc.. Reread my comments on Romans 14, and 1 Timothy 5:23. Scripture does not contradict itself so both Romans 14 and 1 Timothy 5:23 need to be clearly understood in context. The recommendation in Timothy is not a license to stumble a brother, nor does Romans rule out the use of wine within limits.


DEUTERONOMY 29:6 "you have not eaten bread, nor have you drunk wine(yayin) or similar drink(shakar); that you may know that I am the Lord your God.

1 SAMUEL 1:14-15  So Eli said to her, "How long will you be drunk? Put your wine(wine) away from you!" But Hannah answered and said, "No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine(yayin) nor intoxicating drink(shakar), but have poured our my soul before the LORD.

1 PETER 4:3  For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles- when we walked in licentiousness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries.

EPHESIANS 5:18 NKJV And do not be drunk(3182) with wine(3631), in which is dissipation; but be filled with the spirit,

The scripture is clearly an emphatic command not to be drunk with wine. If 'wine'(oinos) is non-alcoholic or watered down how can you get drunk with it? 1 TIMOTHY 3:8 NKJV Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given(4337) to much(4183) wine(3631), not greedy for money, Again, an emphatic command not to be one who drinks much wine. The context being that drinking 'much' would carry certain repercusions, such as drunkenness. If 'wine' was grape juice the admonition would be ridiculous.

TITUS 2:3 NKJV the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much(4183) wine(3631), teachers of good things--

The command is to be 'not given to much wine'.

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