The Bible and Use of Alcoholic Beverages: The Bible, Intoxication, & Sobriety Are social drinking and the

use of alcoholic beverages, as practiced in modern society, pleasing to God? Are modern wines the same as Bible wines? Was "wine" in the Bible always alcoholic? Did ancient people know how to preserve grape juice from fermenting? What does the Bible teach about sobriety, drunkenness, and intoxication? What effect does drinking have on health and on a Christian's influence? Note: The following is a brief outline to be considered when studying the issue of the use of modern alcoholic beverages. It is not intended to be a detailed study of every aspect of the subject.

Many scriptures speak unfavorably of it. 1 Samuel 1:13-16.I. 23:29-32. No New Testament passage speaks favorably of fermented wine drunk undiluted. Bible "Wines" "Wine" in the Bible sometimes refers to fermented (alcoholic) drinks." Bible "wine" may be fermented or unfermented. . 19:30-38 plus references below regarding drunkenness. Like our word "cider. Bible Wines Compared to Modern Wines A. "Wine" in the Bible sometimes refers to unfermented grape juice. Genesis 9:21-27. See Proverbs 20:1.

These and many other passages refer to "wine" favorably or as a blessing.wine from the presses Isaiah 65:8 .grapes squeezed into the cup Revelation 19:15 .After people had already drunk all the wine (vv 10.wine in the cluster Genesis 40:9-11 . Jesus would have provided for excessive drinking.Isaiah 16:10 .like treading grapes causes juice to flow.tread out wine in the presses Jeremiah 48:33 . so God's punishment would cause blood to flow like wine (Greek OINOS) from the press. John 2:1-11 .3). Jesus provided another 120-180 gallons. The blessing . but the "wine" is clearly not alcoholic. If this "wine" was alcoholic like modern alcoholic drinks.

yeast settles out . (Encyclopedias confirm this was the view.of "wine" in the Bible refers to unfermented grape juice.Thayer).) Ancient people did know how to preserve unfermented wine.wine was considered strong if "without mixture" ("unmixed" ASV. 2) Filtering (to remove the yeast) 3) Cooling (no fermentation below 45 degrees. Revelation 14:10 . At least 4 ways were known: 1) Boiling (kill bacteria and seal juice in a jar like canning. or boil to a syrup).) 4) Preservatives added (such as sulfur) . "undiluted with water" .see Zondervan's Dictionary.

3. because our grapes gave higher alcohol content and because distilled alcohol is now sometimes added. Modern wines are more alcoholic than Palestinian wines. the most likely thing to happen is that it ferments to vinegar! B. 2. Distilled drinks (such as whiskey) were unknown in Bible times. If grape juice ferments naturally. The total alcohol content of a typical modern drink is the same regardless of what kind of beverage is consumed. see also Bible Wines by Patton. Modern Alcoholic Beverages: 1.These methods are confirmed by any good encyclopedia. Note that fermenting grape juice to wine is just as hard as preserving it as grape juice. because lessalcoholic drinks are used in greater amount. .

6:10.A 1-ounce "shot" of whiskey (50% alcohol) contains as much alcohol as one glass of modern wine (10-23% alcohol) or as one can or bottle of beer (4-6% alcohol). 1 Peter 4:3 . Proverbs 20:1. Should a Christian drink a shot of whiskey? If not. Galatians 5:21. 1 Corinthians 5:11. why would it be acceptable to drink a glass of wine or a can of beer? II. Bible Teaching about Drinking Alcohol A. Intoxication (Drunkenness) Is Expressly Condemned Passages to consider: Ephesians 5:18. Romans 13:13. 23:29-32. 1 Thessalonians 5:6-8.

" .Amer.. Scriptures: . by means of alcoholic liquor.. to affect temporarily with diminished control over the physical and mental powers. he has lost to any extent some of that clearness of intellect and self-control that he would otherwise possess" . Med Assoc via AlcoNarFax. "A person is under the influence of alcohol when. We Must Be Sober. a drug. due to the imbibing of alcohol. and Exercise Self-Control in order to Avoid Temptation.. Vigilant.Question: At what point does a person become "intoxicated"? "Intoxicate .Random House College Dictionary.. p32 Quotes cited later show that this effect is caused by 1 or 2 modern drinks! B.

Pray. because it determines issues of life. Proverbs 6:27.Keep the heart diligently.Can we take fire to the bosom and not be burned? Proverbs 23:31.1 Peter 5:8 .Lose parts of the body rather than be lost for sin. vigilant because the devil seeks to devour.Be sober. 1 Corinthians 9:25-27 .32 . because of what it leads to at the end! So God expects us to avoid practices of personal pleasure and self-indulgence which hinder our ability to think clearly so as to ." Matthew 18:8.Exercise self-control to keep the body in control. avoid its lure from the beginning.Specifically regarding alcohol. "lead us not into temptation.9 . but deliver us from evil. Proverbs 4:23 . Matthew 6:13 .28 .

Consider now the evidence that drinking modern alcoholic beverages does tempt the drinker to sin and hinder sobriety. will-power. self-control. to please God he must be sure that he is sober! We should avoid alcohol because it tempts to sin and weakens the willpower and ability to control self and resist sin. Note that it is not enough for a drinker to claim. We will see that the very first effect caused by drinking alcoholic beverages is to weaken the mind's judgment. "You can't prove I am intoxicated. the Bible specifically warns us to avoid the lure of alcoholic drinks from the very beginning.recognize and resist temptation." Rather. For this reason. and inhibitions. Some sins drinking can tempt us or lure us toward: .

How many modern drinks can produce these effects? Dr. * Drinking weakens our will to resist temptation and ability to distinguish sin. It follows that every drinker is tempting himself to become an alcoholic or problem drinker. The person who does not drink cannot possibly become an alcoholic. but the Bible teaches that he should not even place himself in the position of being tempted. * Drinking tempts us to become clearly drunk (even if we are not addicted). Haven Emerson: "The earliest effect. it hinders sobriety.* 1 of every 10 social drinkers becomes an alcoholic or problem drinker. almost always unnoticed by the person who . The drinker may often resist the temptation to become drunk. That is.

is a loss of judgment. of self-control. 9." . p.AlcoNarFax."What Everyone Should Know about Alcoholic Beverages" National Safety Council: "The quantity of alcohol contained in an ounce of whiskey or a bottle of beer is sufficient to lower the ability of the driver or pedestrian to use the street safely." . of responsibility.AlcoNarFax. Now we know that impairment frequently occurs before a person feels the effects and after the consumption of one or two beers or one or two cocktails. It was formerly thought that this did not occur until a person was conspicuously drunk. of discretion. . Andrew Ivy: "All religious groups agree that it is morally wrong to drink to the point of impairing the higher faculties of the brain.has drunk the alcohol. Dr." .

. a "drunken spree") "Reveling" = wild parties with sexual looseness and drunkenness... "tippling" (NEB). long drawn out" . D. NKJV). but giving opportunity for excess" . . Modern Social Drinking Is Condemned As "Banqueting" .. "Banqueting" (KJV) = "drinking parties" (NASB.1 Peter 4:3 1 Peter 4:3 describes different degrees of drinking and commands us to avoid them all! "Excess of wine" = "extravagant indulgence . Drinking Is a Bad Example to Others. social drinking).Trench (hence. This passage specifically forbids the practice of modern social drinking. "not of necessity excessive.Trench (hence.C.

Proverbs 28:10. 2 Corinthians 6:3. 1 Timothy 4:12.8. and far more will get drunk. consider your influence on the following kinds of people: * Influence on young people . Matthew 5:13-16. If you drink.12. . they will be addicted again. Titus 2:7. * Influence on former addicts . 1 Peter 2:11. * Influence on people to whom we seek to teach the gospel .1 out of 10 of people who drink will become addicts.2.Passages to consider Luke 17:1.if they drink at all.most start drinking because of peers and parents.how can we convert drunkards or people who know Christians should not drink? * Influence on all people .

Drinking Is Harmful to Health Passages about caring for our health 3 John 2. also accidents (car wrecks. narcotic poison..Gould's Medical Dictionary .What is our condition before God if.2 Effects of drinking It causes Cirrhosis. Romans 12:1.." . because of our influence. etc.. A depressant.20. 1 Corinthians 6:19.brain cells are irreplaceable). intestines. brain damage (even in "moderation" . E. etc.. someone begins drinking or continues drinking and as a result becomes an alcoholic or simply gets drunk? No one ever became drunk or an alcoholic by following the example those who refuse to drink. damage to pancreas. stomach..) "Ethel Alcohol .

1 Corinthians 6:9-11. . but to do so they must cease their improper practice .Conclusion: Christians should not practice social drinking nor drink modern alcoholic drinks as a beverage as practiced in our society Drinkers can be forgiven.

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