|Q:Is it Wrong for a Christian to Drink Wine?
A: Some Sabbath Day Organizations have traditionally taught that
Christians should not drink wine. These same organizations try to
justify their position from the bible.
Furthermore, these organizations forbid the use of wine at the
Lord's Supper. Their teaching is that Christ always drank grape
juice and never consumed wine. The rationale behind this
philosophy is at least two-fold: 1) The traditions of their simple past,
and 2) The desire to keep their members free from any danger of
As for traditions, we must always balance belief with truth. If our
customs get in the way of reality, we must be willing to discard them
or we will never come to the knowledge of truth. If one uses the
bible to “prove” that one should not drink wine, when the bible
approves of drinking wine in moderation, one is in danger of making
the word of God of no effect through his tradition.
Mark 7:13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition,
which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.
The bible teaches a balanced approach concerning the drinking of
wine. Many verses of scripture inform us of the negative side of
drinking wine to excess. Many verses of scripture inform us of the
positive side of drinking wine in moderation.
As for whether the Christ drank wine at Passover and later, at the
Lord’s Supper: Consider that the harvest of grapes comes in the fall
of the year, and Passover and the Messiah’s institution of the Lord’
s Supper came in the spring. Therefore, it is unjustifiable to suggest
that the “fruit of the vine” was anything other than wine,
considering the era of these foundations.
Mark 14:25 Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the
vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.
In 30 AD and before, there were no methods of keeping grapes
other than as raisins or fermented drink, for long intervals: Such as
from harvest to the time of Passover. The canning process,
necessary for keeping grape juice, came much later, during
Napoleon’s time as a means of supplying his troops with better fare
to eat on their campaigns.
The bible teaches drinking wine in moderation. Therefore, we
disagree with those who would use a deceptive approach to this
subject by presenting only those scriptures that inform us of the
negative aspects of wine: As though this is the bible’s sole teaching
on the subject. The Sabbath organizations that traditionally find
wine drinking unacceptable have used this misleading tactic. It does
not promote truth. In fact, it destroys the foundation of their
teachings when one finds that God has several positive things to say
about drinking wine in moderation.
We are going to present the following verse to show that God
expects us to drink wine in moderation. Many verses in the bible
carry this theme and one may study them by searching the 212
verses in the bible that contain the word wine. Some verses use the
word wine more than once.
The very fact that the Apostle Peter cautioned against excess of
wine instructs us that God is not against wine in moderation:
1Peter 4:3 For the time past of [our] life may suffice us to have wrought the
will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine
(3632), revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:
The bible uses #3632 only this once, but we can observe by the word
“excess” that this Greek word refers to an intoxicating beverage.
We are going to present only a few scriptures, of the many in the
bible that show the positive side of drinking wine.
|Melchizedek – Priest of God – Serves wine:
The following scripture teaches us that the Word of God –
Melchizedek – served wine to Abram. In other words, the one who
became the Messiah of the New Testament served wine to His
disciple Abram: Later named Abraham.
Genesis 14:18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine
(03196): and he [was] the priest of the most high God.
Lest one jumps to the conclusion that Melchizedek served grape
juice to Abraham, let us investigate the Hebrew word used in this
verse #03196. In the following verse, the bible informs us that
Noah drank some wine – the same Hebrew word (03196) – and got
drunk. In other words, #03196 refers to a beverage from the vine
that will make one intoxicated, if he drinks too much.
Genesis 9:21 And he (Noah) drank of the wine (03196), and was drunken;
and he was uncovered within his tent.
The KJV bible does not use the term: Grape Juice. Grape Juice
could have existed only as a fresh drink during grape harvest time
throughout the literary period of the bible. We will observe a
Hebrew word very close to grape juice, later. The bible uses the
Hebrew word #03196, as we have shown above, an intoxicating
beverage 140 times: translated as wine, 137 times, as vine 1 time,
as banqueting 1 time, and as winebibbers + 05433 1 time.
|Isaac Drank Wine before Blessing Jacob:
The following scripture shows that Isaac had no reluctance to
drinking wine before he gave the blessing of inheritance to Jacob.
Genesis 27:25 And he said, Bring [it] near to me, and I will eat of my son’s
venison, that my soul may bless thee. And he brought [it] near to him, and
he did eat: and he brought him wine (03196), and he drank.
Furthermore, part of Isaac’s blessing to Jacob was plenty of wine!
Genesis 27:28 Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness
of the earth, and plenty of corn and (new) wine (08492):
The bible uses the Hebrew word (08492) for wine 38 times. The
KJV often translates this Hebrew word as “wine” but its more
precise meaning is “new wine”. The following verse uses both
03196 and 08492. Notice that new wine can intoxicate one just like
Hosea 4:11 Whoredom and wine (03196) and new wine (08492) take away
|Israelites Drank the New Wine of the Current
When the Israelites ate before YHWH their Elohiym, at the Feast
of Tabernacles, God expected them to bring a tithe of the new
wine (wine made just before leaving for the feast) and drink it in
His presence. This was in the one week of the Tabernacle Festival
when they were to drink and share 10% of the wine of the New
Year, during that one week! The new wine would be about one
month old by this time – just finished enough for drinking.
Deuteronomy 14:23 And thou shalt eat before the LORD thy God, in the
place which he shall choose to place his name there, the tithe of thy corn, of
thy (new) wine (08492), and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and
of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the LORD thy God always.
Deuteronomy 16:13 Thou shalt observe the feast of tabernacles seven days,
after that thou hast gathered in thy corn and thy wine(press)(03342):
The Hebrew word #03342 used above means “winepress”. The
bible uses this word 16 times: winepresses, 10 times; press 2 times;
fats (vats) 2 times; pressfat (press vat) 1 time; wine 1 time. The
one time that the KJV translators translated this word wine is in
the above verse. Other translations use the word winepress, in this
verse. The Israelites made their wine in their winepresses and
carried it with them to the Feast of Tabernacles. Had they made
grape juice, it would have ruined before they ever got to Jerusalem
for the feast.
A land of new wine was part of God’s blessing to Israel:
Deuteronomy 33:28 Israel then shall dwell in safety alone: the fountain of
Jacob [shall be] upon a land of corn and (new) wine (08492); also his
heavens shall drop down dew.
God required the tithe of the new wine as part of the Jews
obligation to the priesthood so that they too would have wine to
drink. However, the priests were not to drink wine while doing
their temple duties. The reason was simple: One could lose his life
while working in the tabernacle and later the temple, if he
displeased God. Therefore, God wanted nothing to cloud the
judgment of His priests. Wine is for relaxation. God wanted the
priests to be alert when doing their temple duties.
Nehemiah 13:12 Then brought all Judah the tithe of the corn and the new
wine (08492) and the oil unto the treasuries.
Leviticus 10:9 Do not drink wine (03196) nor strong drink, thou, nor thy
sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye
die: [it shall be] a statute for ever throughout your generations:
God gave wine to make the heart of man glad:
Psalms 104:15 And wine (03196) [that] maketh glad the heart of man, [and]
oil to make [his] face to shine, and bread [which] strengtheneth man’s
If the Israelites gave tithes of their wine, God would see to it that
their wine presses would “burst out” with new wine. In other
words, they would never want for plenty of wine.
Proverbs 3:10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall
burst out with new wine (08492).
Words of wisdom from the Proverbs: give wine to one of a heavy
heart to overcome the penetration of his poverty and misery. God
knows that sometimes life gets desperate. Wine in moderation at
such times can lift one’s spirit out of his misery.
Proverbs 31:6 Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine
(03196) unto those that be of heavy hearts.
7 Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.
Here again, a prophecy for the future, God blesses His people with
new wine. Most times when the bible mentions harvest time, the
word used for wine is 08492 because one makes new wine in the
fall along with harvesting corn or other grains for winter storage.
The grains go into granaries and the “fruit of the vine” goes into
Joel 2:19 Yea, the LORD will answer and say unto his people, Behold, I will
send you corn, and (new) wine (08492), and oil, and ye shall be satisfied
therewith: and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen:
Joel 2:24 And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats (vats) shall
overflow with (new) wine (08492) and oil.
Joel 3:18 And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the mountains shall
drop down new wine (wine juice) (06071), and the hills shall flow with milk,
and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come
forth of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim.
The bible uses the Hebrew word #06071 in the above verse. One
would probably best translate this word as “wine juice” – grape
juice prepared for making wine. The KJV bible uses this word only
5 times: new wine, 2 times; sweet wine, 2 times; and juice, 1 time.
This word seems to refer to the juice in the wine vat just after one
had pressed it out. This word would come closer to grape juice
than any word we have studied to this point. The object of
pressing out this juice in the vat was to culture it into wine. Hill
country is good grape growing country. “Mountains dropping down
grape juice for making wine” is a blessing waiting for the Israelites
during the 1000-year reign of the Christ on the earth in the near
In fact, God will bless future Israel with so much grape juice for
making wine that the bible uses the figure “mountains will drop
grape juice” for a plentiful supply of wine. In other words, the
figure is that the prospects for wine will be in such abundance that
it will seem that wine oozes out of the mountains.
Amos 9:13 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall
overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the
mountains shall drop sweet wine (wine juice)(06071), and all the hills shall
To prove that the bible intends that the grape juice of Amos 9:13 is
destined for the wineries, read Amos 9:14 – the next verse – where
the bible returns to 03196: The Hebrew word for finished or aged
wine. When Israel returns from their final captivity, they will plant
vineyards and drink the aged wine of those vineyards.
Amos 9:14 And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and
they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit [them]; and they shall plant
vineyards, and drink the wine (03196) thereof; they shall also make
gardens, and eat the fruit of them.
|New Testament Wine Drinking:
Christ came drinking wine and was accused of being a winebibber.
Supper for Him to acquire this tag. Furthermore, one could hardly
acquire the winebibber handle by drinking grape juice!
Luke 7:33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking
wine; and ye say, He hath a devil (demon).
34 The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a
gluttonous man, and a winebibber (3630), a friend of publicans and sinners!
The Greek word translated <winebibber> #3630 used twice in the
New Testament means a wino: In other words, an impoverished
Perhaps Christ got this winebibber designation because of the
150-180 gallons of the best of wine He made by a miracle, for the
wedding feast in Cana of Galilee. Certainly, Christ did not put a
damper on the feast by cautions of overdrinking! We will soon
show that this wine #3631 was an intoxicating beverage of the vine.
John 2:1 And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and
the mother of Jesus was there:
2 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.
3 And when they wanted wine (3631), the mother of Jesus saith unto him,
They have no wine (3631).
4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is
not yet come.
5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.
6 And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the
purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.
7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them
up to the brim.
8 And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the
feast. And they bare it.
9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine
(3631), and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water
knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,
10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine
(3631); and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou
hast kept the good wine (3631) until now.
|The Apostle Paul Advised Timothy to Drink Wine:
|The Apostle Paul encouraged Timothy to drink wine instead of
water for his infirmities. Apparently, Timothy had a low blood
sugar problem because his pancreas did not produce enough
natural alcohol and drinking a little wine throughout the day would
solve his problem. Yes, even the healthy pancreas of a teetotaler
produces alcohol. When it fails to do so, one’s body chemistry
gets out of balance and one will experience indigestion, lack of
body warmth, and a host of other problems may also develop.
1Timothy 5:23 Drink no longer water, but use a little wine (3631) for thy
stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.
The New Testament uses this Greek word #3631 33 times and the
KJV translates this word “wine” 32 times.
To illustrate that the Greek word #3631 is an intoxicating
beverage note how the Apostle Paul uses it in the following verse:
Ephesians 5:18 And be not drunk with wine (3631), wherein is excess; but
be filled with the Spirit;
As one should be able to see from these scriptures, God endorses
the moderate use of wine for His people. One can overdo a good
thing, therefore, to bring a balance, God also warns His people of
We have presented the positive perspective of wine drinking,
from the bible. Proper wine drinking requires character; and as
the current reason for our being human is to build character, this
is but another way to let one’s light shine to a world that does not
understand how to drink wine in moderation.
Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your
good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.