“The fruit of the vine” or “wine”: translation question


The words of institution spoken by Jesus at the Last Supper. ― In some translations (JB, TEV, possibly others) Jesus says, “I will not drink wine until the day I drink it with you in the kingdom of my Father” (Mark 14:25, par. Matt. 26:29, Luke 22:18). Other translations (KJV, NABRE, NIV) don’t use the word “wine” but call it “the fruit of the vine,” which is a literal translation of the Greek text. Does this roundabout expression occur anywhere else in the NT? In the parable of the new wine in old wineskins, Jesus used the word “wine” (oinos). Is there any significance in translators choosing one term rather than the other, in the formula of the institution of the Eucharist?


I don’t know but isn’t wine more of the proverbial fruit of the fruit (grape) of the vine? The latter might be more poetic in its structure (seems Shakespeare did a lot of this) but either way should work in its message.

My two-cents worth.


This is very simple and obvious to Jews who celebrate the Passover Seder. The blessing of the wine begins “Blessed are you, our God, King of the Universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.” So this is a poetic and traditional reference that has a powerful effect on those who understand it.


Read this article from Catholic Answers: catholic.com/tracts/bible-translations-guide

It has to do with the intent of the translator. While sometimes the dynamic translations can help teach the meaning of the Scriptures, they often allow for a misunderstanding of theology.


Proof in point regarding my comment re theology. There is often a specific reason Jesus selects the words he uses, same with the authors of The Bible.


Thank you, **Elizium. **You’ve clearly put your finger on it: “the fruit of the vine” would be the appropriate term to use at a Passover meal.

A further question now occurs to me: Could that blessing possibly originate, in its turn, from a verse in the Hebrew Bible? I’ve just been having a look at the Bible Hub concordance (link below) and it’s easy enough to find the two words separately, “fruit” and “vine,” but as far as I could see they never occur together in the OT. Or do they?





On my Catholic Public Domain Bible, the words vine and fruit are found:

[CPDV] Song of Solomon 7:9
Groom: “I said, I will ascend to the palm tree, and take hold of its fruit. And your breasts will be like clusters of grapes on the vine. And the fragrance of your mouth will be like apples.”

[CPDV] Sirach 24:23
Like the vine, I have born the fruit of a sweet fragrance. And my flowers are the fruit of honor and integrity.

[CPDV] Ezekiel 19:10
Your mother is like a vine, in your blood, planted by the water; her fruit and her branches have increased because of many waters.

[CPDV] Hosea 10:1
Israel is a leafy vine, its fruit has been suitable to him. According to the multitude of his fruit, he has multiplied altars; according to the fertility of his land, he has abounded with graven images.

[CPDV] Joel 2:22
Animals of the countryside, do not be afraid. For the beauty of the wilderness has sprung forth. For the tree has borne its fruit. The fig tree and the vine have bestowed their virtue.

[CPDV] Zechariah 8:12
But there will be a seed of peace: the vine will give her fruit, and the earth will give her seedlings, and the heavens will give their dew. And I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things.

[CPDV] Malachi 3:11
And I will rebuke for your sakes the devourer, and he will not corrupt the fruit of your land. Neither will the vine in the field be barren, says the Lord of hosts.

The Israelis correctly identify the grape as the fruit of the vine and by extension wine is also a fruit of the vine. As without the vine there could not be wine! :smiley:


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