Biblical Question: Wine vs Grape Juice


#1

I heard an evangelical on the radio the other day talking about how Jesus did not drink wine (i.e., the water he changed into wine was really changed into grape juice). The reason she gave was that the Greek word used in that case (John 2:3) really means grape juice. My question is, what is that word, and is it the same word used in other cases where clearly an intoxicating drink is suggested? e.g., Ephesians 5:18, Rev 17:2.

Also, what about the OT, Genesis 9:21, Psalms 60:3, Isaiah 28:7?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


#2

This has been discussed recently in this thread:

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=44772

I’m not sure if the translation issue was discussed but most all the other bases were covered, including one or two very good posts by a Jewish member who is really up on his Old Testment history. Remember, when Jesus walked the earth, the NT wasn’t written yet.


#3

[left]For what it is worth, the LCMS rejects grape juice communion.

lcms.org/graphics/assets/media/CTCR/Theol_lord_supper1.pdf

All four accounts of the Lord’s Supper speak of “the cup.” The content of this cup was most definitely wine. The references in Matt. 26:29 and parallels to the “fruit of the vine” would not have suggested anything else to Jesus’ listeners than the grape wine of the Jewish Passover ritual. [19] In 1 Cor. 11:21 there is corroboration that the early Christian church understood wine for “fruit of the vine.” Some of the Corinthians, sadly, had abused the Holy Supper by becoming drunk.

The color, type, or origin of the grape wine is a matter which Christians can select in accord with their situation.
In the oft-cited pastoral circumstance of an alcoholic communicant, the counsel of foregoing Communion for a period of time or the action of diluting the wine with water (perhaps done at the Lord’s Supper itself) are preferable. In the extreme situation where even greatly diluted wine may lead to severe temptation, no fully satisfactory answer, in the opinion of the CTCR, can be formulated. The counsel of completely foregoing Communion is clearly unsatisfactory. In this situation, too, the actions of diluting the wine with water or intinction would be preferable. The substitution of grape juice raises the question of whether the Lord’s instruction is being heeded. Luther’s openness to Communion in one kinds is difficult in view of confessional texts which strongly urge the Biblical paradigm of both kinds, though the Confessions do not address the extreme situation.

A similar pastoral problem is posed by those rare instances where a severe physical reaction is caused by the elements (as, for example, when the recipient is concurrently taking certain medications, or is simply allergic to one or the other of the elements). The pastor, in such cases, will surely stress the Gospel’s power and total effectiveness in the individual’s life and patiently seek a practical solution that both honors Christ’s word and satisfies the desire to partake in the Lord’s Supper.
[/left]


#4

it was definetly wine… i dont know why people cannot grasp the fact that it is not wrong to drink wine as long as u dont overdo it. Jesus did as it is said in his word.


#5

In a reprimand to a certain group Jesus got on to them and said that John the Babtist neither ate or drank and they called him a mad man,Jesus came and ate and drank and they called Him a gluttun and a drunkard,on a common sense level if they do not know by then it is wine then they are blind by choice.:nope:


#6

We know it was wine! Here is a little secret from the inside: when Baptists can’t make a doctrine co-exist with scripture and thier practices, they simply pretend that it does.

The intentions are good…but it’s wrong to lie.

So the fact is, we’re opposed to it because some people are alcoholics and even a sniff of it can trigger a lapse.


#7

[quote=liv3ordie]I heard an evangelical on the radio the other day talking about how Jesus did not drink wine (i.e., the water he changed into wine was really changed into grape juice). The reason she gave was that the Greek word used in that case (John 2:3) really means grape juice. My question is, what is that word, and is it the same word used in other cases where clearly an intoxicating drink is suggested? e.g., Ephesians 5:18, Rev 17:2.

Also, what about the OT, Genesis 9:21, Psalms 60:3, Isaiah 28:7?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
[/quote]

How about this for a translation - the Jehovah’s Witnesses translate the word stauros into"torture stake". They say Jesus died on a torture stake!

What do you think? Did the people at the wedding drink Welches Grape Juice, or wine? I vote wine. :cool:

According to Strong’s biblical Greek dictionary the word used in John 2:1-10 is:
oinon <3631> {WINE}

The truth is people drank wine then, and lots of it. The Romans has Bacchus, God of Wine. The Greeks had Dionysus, God of Wine. For all the Roman and Greek culture I’ve studied in college, I don’t recall a God of Grape Juice.

The flasks transported around the Mediteranian Sea carried wine. The Greeks, Romans and Egyptians traded wine. Wine was, and still is, the cultural table aperatif. No household, then or now, is without wine.

Some people like to translate so they look good. They often miss the fact that they have to translate in ANCIENT GREEK, translating instead into the modern Greek. They also overlook the obvious: Those people drank wine.

*(Legal notice: The author of this particular post does not endorse any particular grape juice product and uses the brand name “Welches” without permission and only for contextual example.) *That aughta cover it.

With Jesus,
Subrosa


#8

[quote=liv3ordie]I heard an evangelical on the radio the other day talking about how Jesus did not drink wine (i.e., the water he changed into wine was really changed into grape juice). The reason she gave was that the Greek word used in that case (John 2:3) really means grape juice. My question is, what is that word, and is it the same word used in other cases where clearly an intoxicating drink is suggested? e.g., Ephesians 5:18, Rev 17:2.

Also, what about the OT, Genesis 9:21, Psalms 60:3, Isaiah 28:7?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
[/quote]

If it’s an anti-alcohol movement, have him check out Deuteronomy 14:26, where the Israelites are commanded to party before the Lord with, among other things, wine or strong drink. It doesn’t say anything towards the issue of wine versus grape juice, but it is relevant to the question of alcohol.

  • Liberian

#9

The whole argument is silly. Grapes start turning into wine almost the minute they are picked! In fact, almost Any fruit turns into furments if it lays around for a few hours or so without being refrigerated. Surely some of you have fruit trees and have seen drunk birds under them who wabble and fall over themselves when they stay to long at the fest underneath. Yes. It is funny. Gods humor.

Grapes especially, even carry a special mold that encourages fermentation. No. The next step after squeezing grapes is not grape juice in the Middle East, any juice instantly starts to forment before you can get it home to the presses and starts turning to WINE. Then if the grapes are not tended to, sour and turn into vinegar.

There was no special cooling methods in Jesus’ time - unless you could carry ice down from the mountains to preserve grape juice. I understand the Pharaoh done this, and also Nebuchadnezzar. I doubt that Jesus and His apostles had those kind of connections. In fact.No one had those kind of connections much until refrigeration was invented __which Mr. Welch took full advantage of… and someone please correct me If I’m wrong; pushed as the proper drink of communion- as a leader of the 7th Day Advantists!

Some people will do anything to make Catholicism look bad, they fear it’s implications so … (ITS TRUE!) . Even try to make Christs actions at the Last Supper into a sham. No problem. Lets call Real Wine - Grape Juice, Perhaps a saltine cracker - bread, and call a sacrafice a memorial. Since anyone can do that.


#10

My college classes included many police officers, due to a deal the city had with the college.

When teaching American church history and covering the 19th century temperance movement, I would ask the patrolmen in the class to estimate “How many of your calls would have been unnecessary if someone hadn’t been drinking?” The estimates were usually around 90%.

Then I’d turn to the rest of the class and say “Imagine that. Imagine what Memphis would be like with a 90% reduction in crime. Can you blame those people for trying?”

I’ve seen many praises of wine on these forums. I doubt that any of them come from someone reared in an alcoholic home.

I’ve never seen anyone begin to drink and become a better person; he always declines in those qualities that distinguish him from brutes once the alcohol hits his brain.

(FWIW, “wine” may properly refer to grapes, vines, juice, jelly, or booze. Context, not a dictionary, determines the interpretation in any given instance.)


#11

If you haven’t already - please seek out Scott Hahn’s Transcript of
THE FOURTH CUP (The Sacrament of the Eucharist)

star.ucl.ac.uk/~vgg/rc/aplgtc/hahn/m4/4cp.html

It is MAGNIFICENT!


#12

There was no refrigeration then as we have it today. The grapes fermented needed no refrigeration as we know it today. This was a way of life.


#13

[quote=Kevan]My college classes included many police officers, due to a deal the city had with the college.

When teaching American church history and covering the 19th century temperance movement, I would ask the patrolmen in the class to estimate “How many of your calls would have been unnecessary if someone hadn’t been drinking?” The estimates were usually around 90%.

Then I’d turn to the rest of the class and say “Imagine that. Imagine what Memphis would be like with a 90% reduction in crime. Can you blame those people for trying?”

I’ve seen many praises of wine on these forums. I doubt that any of them come from someone reared in an alcoholic home.

I’ve never seen anyone begin to drink and become a better person; he always declines in those qualities that distinguish him from brutes once the alcohol hits his brain.

(FWIW, “wine” may properly refer to grapes, vines, juice, jelly, or booze. Context, not a dictionary, determines the interpretation in any given instance.)
[/quote]

Kevan,

When I was eleven I watched my aunt die from her alcoholism. Admittedly she was visiting us, not living with us, but it was still quite a heavy experience.

Wine, when properly used, can indeed be a good thing for reducing stress. When improperly used, it can be a very bad thing.

I agree wholeheartedly about the temperance movement and a 90 percent reduction in crime. In fact, I read some years ago about the economic boom in the slums of Brazil because of the people converting to Pentecostalism. Instead of the husbands drinking a quarter of the family earnings at the bar on the way home, they were now spending it on their families. This is a real scandal, but like most things, it is beyond our individual power to correct. But changing the Eucharist is not the answer.

  • Liberian

#14

Growing up in an alcoholic home is an experience all its own. But I concede that your experience with your aunt could lay some pretty deep tracks in your memory.

There’s no solution to the alcohol problem, in my opinion. Like death, it is a curse that will be with humanity until the end. But although I admit its inevitability, I have little sympathy with those who sing its praises and glory in it.

And I still maintain that the effects of drinking do not improve the drinker. He becomes inferior by the time the effects become visible and the progression is uniformly downward as the drinking continues.

I’ve spent a lot of time among drinkers, although not in my own family. So I’m not formulating my opinions from books or movies. I’m speaking from an sincere evaluation of the evidence. On that basis, I’d actually say that I’d prefer to see someone using marijuana than alcohol–and I’m a Fundamentalist! :eek:


#15

The passover supper, and every other sabbath meal, MUST be celebrated with “the fruit of the vine.” The Talmud directs that the “fruit of the vine” be diluted to make it safe for children to drink

In Israel, grapes are harvested between August and October. Always have been. Some years God sends drought and famine, and there is no harvest. “Fruit of the vine” from previous harvests must be stored against future shortages.

Most people in Jesus’ time had no access to refrigerators or underground cool storage rooms. The Jews had to preserve the grape juice by fermenting it. Did you ever leave a glass of fresh grape juice out overnight, and sniff it the next day? (People with small kids can relate.)

Passover is in the spring, 6 months after harvest. Jesus celebrated the Last Supper at Passover.

=>> Jesus consecrated fermented wine into his Precious Blood.

Any questions?


#16

[quote=Kevan]I’ve spent a lot of time among drinkers, although not in my own family. So I’m not formulating my opinions from books or movies. I’m speaking from an sincere evaluation of the evidence. On that basis, I’d actually say that I’d prefer to see someone using marijuana than alcohol–and I’m a Fundamentalist! :eek:
[/quote]

I have drinkers, and alcoholics, in my family, so I’ve walked the walk here.

Alcohol is a water-soluble substance. If you cease to injest it, it is metabolized by the body in a matter of hours. Then the intoxicating effects are gone, sometimes leaving behind a king-size headache.

The intoxicating part of marijuana, THC, is a fat-soluble substance. Instead of being processed out of the body, it is stored in our body fat. The rush of the initial “high” is gone quickly, but the chemical remains in the body dulling the senses. That is why a pee-in-the-bottle test can pick up evidence of marijuana use 3 months after the fact.

I normally never drink. But if I really need something to help me relax (like the day I witnessed an airplane crash - I DID!!) I will turn to alcohol before marijuana anytime.


#17

It is only my opinion but leaving the Scriptures aside for the moment, practically speaking, would it not make sense to substitut water with diluted wine if the water was deemed undrinkable as im sure it was from time to time? The alcohol content in the wine even in a diluted state was probably enough to kill any harmful germs. I doubt very much if grape juice by itself had any medicinal effect on available water for the day.

StMarkEofE


#18

The Bible distinguishes wine from grape juice In Num 6.3.


#19

[quote=Kevan]My college classes included many police officers, due to a deal the city had with the college.

When teaching American church history and covering the 19th century temperance movement, I would ask the patrolmen in the class to estimate “How many of your calls would have been unnecessary if someone hadn’t been drinking?” The estimates were usually around 90%.

Then I’d turn to the rest of the class and say “Imagine that. Imagine what Memphis would be like with a 90% reduction in crime. Can you blame those people for trying?”

I’ve seen many praises of wine on these forums. I doubt that any of them come from someone reared in an alcoholic home.

I’ve never seen anyone begin to drink and become a better person; he always declines in those qualities that distinguish him from brutes once the alcohol hits his brain.

(FWIW, “wine” may properly refer to grapes, vines, juice, jelly, or booze. Context, not a dictionary, determines the interpretation in any given instance.)
[/quote]

Hello,

Alcoholism runs in my family. I grew up with stories of my alcoholic grandfather who beat his wife and son and tried at one point to prostitute his oldest daugther.(luckily, it didn’t happen) Because of her upbringing, my mother refused to let alcohol of any sorts into her household. If my stepfather wanted to drink, he had to leave the household. Yet, this ban did not help my mom. She, herself, got addicted to other substances. Because she had migrane headaches she started taking pain medicine(this was in the 70’s and 80’s). Not only did she get addicted and Dr. shop, but she occasionally smoked pot as well. WHen I was a teenager she once had me ride the city bus downtown and meet some friends of hers to buy pot from.:frowning: It was for her, I didn’t smoke pot. Her justification was that because she was an adult, cops would be harder on her. Of course, when you grow up in such a household, you are terrified of the parent and do as your told. The point of this is that I have first of knowledge of addictions and addictive personalities. You could take away all alcohol but people will find something to get addicted to or misuse. Its not the alcohol or drinking it that is at fault, its the addiction.


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