Does the Bible prohibit strong drinks?

Please help an RCIA student out. I read a comment today on YouTube from a Catholic who said that the Bible prohibits strong drinks. I never got that from reading the Bible. This guy may be completely wrong.

I don’t drink much at all, but when I do, I usually have one or two shots of Burban whisky, which I sip. I don’t like being drunk, because I get hot and dizzy, and I also know that the Bible does prohibit drinking in excess. I also don’t like shooting the whisky down, because it ruins the taste. The Catholic Church doesn’t consider what I’m doing a sin, does it?

No. The Church is fine with responsible drinking. You obviously know what your limits are and are careful to remain within them.

Some people feel that the Church doesn’t give us enough rules so they make up their own. :shrug:

He is. The Bible encourages both wine and strong drink when it is appropriate. At a party, for example, Jesus produced tons of wine that was WAY too much for the whole party to drink–John 2:1-11. But that obviously doesn’t mean He was encouraging them to sin.

So in the Old Testament Book of Proverbs, we are advised to give wine and strong drink to a friend in need (Proverbs 31:6), and in the Books of Moses, God tells the Israelites to celebrate–He specifically says that their party should involve drinking wine and strong drink! (Deut. 14:26)

Also, in the Letters to Timothy, Paul tells his protege that water is not enough sometimes–that wine should be sought instead, if the occasion calls for it (1 Tim. 5:23).

So you’re fine. Just don’t get drunk; drinking, though, is fine.

As the Book of Sirach says: “Do not aim to be valiant over wine,
for wine has destroyed many.
Fire and water prove the temper of steel,
so wine tests hearts in the strife of the proud.
Wine is like life to men,
if you drink it in moderation.
What is life to a man who is without wine?” (Sirach 31:25-27)

Excellent post, Dmar!

The Bible does speak out against drinking to excess, which I interpret as alcoholic drinking. Those who say the Bible prohibits alcoholic beverages are taking verses out of context, such as verse 31 below. Making it stand alone, it may seem to prohibit drinking, but taken in context, it’s just part of an excellent description of drinking to excess. I should know; I’m a sober alcoholic.

29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
Who has strife? Who has complaining?
Who has wounds without cause?
Who has redness of eyes?
30 Those who tarry long over wine,
those who go to try mixed wine.
31 Do not look at wine when it is red,
when it sparkles in the cup
and goes down smoothly.
32 At the last it bites like a serpent,
and stings like an adder.
33 Your eyes will see strange things,
and your mind utter perverse things.
34 You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea,
like one who lies on the top of a mast.
35 “They struck me,” you will say, “but I was not hurt;
they beat me, but I did not feel it.
When shall I awake?
I will seek another drink.”

Prov 23:29-35 (RSV)

God bless you,


How can the Bible prohibit strong drink when christ turned water into wine in the wedding in Canaan. Not just even old wine either, apparently a very good one. The only thing the Bible advises against in drunkeness. If you are drinking responsibly there is not a problem with it.
God Bless

Samson was prohibited strong drink, as were those desiring to
be Nazarites. John the Baptist was also prohibited strong drink.
So was Samuel, for his whole life.

I do not like the attitude around that you must drink alcohol in
order to prove you are friendly.

Whiskey was not even around at the time any of the Bible was being written. The strong drink reference can not be talking about anything much over 13% by vol. Something distilled was not even on th emind of the writer.

Oddly enough … it was muslims that gave us distilling :wink:
That & coffee.

What has that got to do with Biblical prohibition of drinking?

Well I was just showing where it was prohibited. They were
individual cases, not the general public. I would just ask the
man where he saw a general prohibition because I haven’t seen

I still wish everyone didn’t have to drink so much to be cool:cool:
Just because Jesus and the disciples did it doesn’t make it
right (did I just say that?) I just see where this thread is going
and everyone is going to point out how great drinking is so
people like my 2 uncles who both died of alcohol can just keep
doing it and calling it right…

Anything can be abused. People overeat, become obese, ruin their health, and die of heart disease/stroke/cancer/diabetes. That does not make eating wrong. Or they get addicted to drugs, and eventually overdose. That does not make all drugs wrong.

Alcohol is not inherently evil. Drinking an alcoholic beverage is not, in and of itself, a sinful act. It is if you can’t control your drinking, or are doing it with the intent to become drunk, or to lower your inhibitions against sin.

And I say this as a practical teetotaler who can’t hold his liquor.

No, you don’t have to have booze to have a good time. You don’t have to have fondues or chip dip or paper hats or dumb games. But people do. And it’s OK if it is not abused (including the paper hats).

No one is saying it’s a good thing that your uncles died of the effects of alcohol. And it’s uncharitable of you to suggest that we do. For you to suggest that to have a drink means it’s OK for people to die from abusing alcohol…well, next time you are on your knees praying to Jesus, why don’t you try that reasoning on Him? Since it is on record that He makes His own homebrew, obviously He believes that everyone should drink until they drop, eh?

Not at all. The Bible preaches against drunkenness, not alcohol; against lasciviousness, not sex; gluttony, not eating.

All things in moderation…except the love of God (diliges Dominum Deum tuum) and one’s neighbour.

Gosh, that was a kind and sensible reply. It reminded me of
the editor reading “Yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus”.

I do see your points, but I’m just one of those that doesn’t
associate joy with alcohol.:shrug:

And sometimes I think it would be prohibited in the Bible if only it was later in time. Like in the OT God kept telling His chosen
people to Kill, Kill, Kill. (wars) Then John the Baptist comes along and says, “do violence to no man” and Jesus says, “Those
who live by the sword will die by the sword.” Then there’s another
time when the apostles ask Jesus, “Then why did Moses permit
divorce?” And Jesus said, “because your hearts were hard”.

Maybe back then there was no way people could understand
not to attack a country and take it over, so God just had to meet
them where they were. Maybe back then there was no way the
people could understand not to have a divorce if they want to and
God just had to meet them where they were.

Maybe back then there was no way people could understand
not to damage their liver with alcohol. Maybe Jesus just met
people where they were. For Samson, the Nazarites, Samuel,
and John the Baptist, abstaining from alcohol was holy.

Jesus changed water into wine.

Let’s not rewrite the Bible for him.

Heh - I can’t understand why people think they have to drink to have fun, but they do. So I just:shrug:

I don’t drink, I just don’t. I don’t like the taste at all, but I do cook with liqueurs and wine. I don’t think drinking is sinful, but drunkeness is.


I take drugs. I have to, they’re prescribed. But if I take them too often, or for the wrong reasons, I run the risk of addiction or an overdose. That would be sinful.

I like to sleep in once in a while. With my goofy work hours and my erratic sleep patterns, I believe it does me good to recharge my batteries once in a while. But if I spend too much time abed, I run the risk of succumbing to sloth – which I have done on occasion. :blush:

I can see some people’s aversion to drink. I remember when I was in the Forces, our unit used to go on a “smoker”, a party in the woods where we could BBQ a few steaks, throw around the ol’ pigskin, quaff a few beers, etc. We camped out so that no one would be driving after having a drink. Well, some folks would start getting out of control (more than a few beers), some stuff would get broken, etc. Because I was a senior NCO and didn’t drink, I was expected to play babysitter to the drunkards. So basically I stopped going, or if I did, I left with the “last bus”, people who went home after supper the first night.

But it wasn’t “the drink” that did it. It was the eejits who didn’t know where to draw the line – or didn’t care to. In my circle of friends, everyone drank, but invariably only one. At a house party, the host would break out a bottle of something new, and we’d each have one glass, or a part glass – port, sherry, wine, grappa :eek: , mead…We enjoyed the drink, like we enjoyed the food, or the music, or what have you, but that’s as far as it went. And if we didn’t have it, we didn’t miss it.:shrug:

Jesus called wine “my blood.”

try a well aged, blended Scotch whisky (note how its spelled).

It’s not that we require drinking to have fun, it’s just that drinking in moderation can make things a little funner. It helps you ease into social situations without becoming stressed, and is an excellent way to relax - so long as it is used in moderation.

I tend to avoid alcohol because I come from a long and noble line of functioning alcoholics . . . but I certainly enjoy a few beers at parties. I usually drink around 3: that’s enough that I can “feel” it, and notice its effects, but I am not dizzy or feeling uninhibited or any of the other signs of drunkenness. The amount of alcohol that is acceptable will vary a lot of course based on body weight and tolerance (which is partly inherited). Some people can drink six beers and just be “buzzed” while for some 1 beer is the limit.

and it goes without saying: never drink while you’re playing poker.

You got that right :wink:

The Bible says getting drunk is a bad thing to do - or that it’s a stupid idea. I don’t have any specific Scriptures on hand, but I know there are some in Proverbs.

You can drink alcohol and not get drunk. Unfortunately many American college students haven’t figured this out yet. :rolleyes:

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