This booklet by Dr. Kanoy is one of the
best in regard to how the Christian should view
the matter of strong drink.
WINE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
Thus saith the Lord, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants’ sakes, that I may not destroy them all. Isaiah 65:8.
Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. Proverbs 20:1.
“Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?
They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.” Proverbs 23:29-32.
“Woe unto him that giveth his neighbor drink, that puttest thy bottle to him…” Hab. 2:15.
In the Old Testament there are two Hebrew words that are used, one is “Yayain.” Young’s Concordance defines this word as “what is pressed out” grape juice. The other word is the word “Tirosh” defined as “what is possessed,” new wine. So we take it that in Bible times grape juice was called wine. They had no way to keep it fresh and so eventually, it would become “Yayain” fermented wine, strong drink. We need to consider a long time authority on this matter, Smith’s Bible Dictionary: “The simple wines of antiquity was incomparably less deadly than the stupefying and ardent beverages of our western nations. The wines of antiquity was more like syrups; many of them were not intoxicant; many more intoxicant in a small degree; and all of them, as a rule, taken only when largely diluted with water. They contained, even undiluted, but 4 or 5 percent of alcohol.”
The Hebrew word “Yain,” wine, is the same root word in the Greek, was not confined to an intoxicating liquor made of fruits by alcoholic fermentation of their expressed juices, but more frequently referred to a thick, non-intoxicating syrup, or jam, produced by boiling. This was done to store the articles of food, exactly what we do even today. We store them in bottles, jars, metal cans, while they put them in skins (bottles).
The Greek word “Oinos, Oinon, Oine,” the grape, or vine-plant, is used by many to always mean fermented and intoxicating liquor, which is totally inaccurate, and only could come from pure ignorance or from those who fancied drunkenness to be the highest delight, and intoxication a christian practice; the Mohammedan Arabians were always sober people. Oinos, wine, or drink made from any fruit, grain, such as dates, apples, pears, barley, or lotus seed. If specially indicated as made from grapes it is called Oinos’ ampelinos. As in the Hebrew “Yain,” the word does not in the Greek always signify fermented intoxicating drink, but grapes as fresh fruit, dried as raisins, or jam, or preserved by boiling for storage, or as a thick syrup for table use for spreading on bread as we do butter, and this was also dissolved in water for a drink or beverage at meals, as described in the Bible by Solomon and others. This mixing of the syrups with water ready for use at meals is referred to in more than one of our Lord’s parables. This drink was absolutely non-alcoholic and non-intoxicating. Grape juice was also prepared by heating it, as soon as possible after it had been squeezed in the press, by boiling, so as to prevent fermentation, and yet preserve its thin liquid form as a drink. To insure this, certain resinous gums were dissolved in this juice, or sulphate of lime, which is called gypsum, was put into it.
All of these plans for producing a non-intoxicating wine are still followed in every grape-growing country of Southern Europe and Asia, as of old.
It should be taken in mind that when reading in the Bible concerning “Wine,” we are seldom dealing with the strongly intoxicating and loaded liquors, but usually with beverages such as I have already described. These were harmless and sober as our own teas, coffees, and cocoas. Had they not been so, the ancient populations would have been perpetually in a state of drunkenness. These facts should never be forgotten when we read of “wine” there; this was simple fruit syrup, except where especially stated to be of the intoxicating kinds, which latter the prophets always condemn.
WINE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
1. References in Matthew’s Gospel:
Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved. Matthew 9:17.
Only a determination to misread this metaphorical illustration of the subject which Jesus was discussing with the disciples of John, can pervert this passage into a recommendation or sanction for habitual use of intoxicating liquors. That the “Oinon,” that is “fresh grape juice” (if literally translated), referred to had not been fermented to the still liquid forr is clear, for if it had been so it would not “burst the old wine skins” by beginning to ferment in them on account of the yeast or acid with which the old skins were saturated, setting up alcoholic action. To keep the juice of the grapes sweet and wholesome, it needed to be specially prepared before being poured into new sweet skins, where it would keep pure and benefit men as an article of diet, as his listeners knew well, as a syrup or jam. Jesus wished to show John’s disciples that before He could form the church or any organization to be an instrument of continuing his doctrines, he had to prepare His disciples by course of mental education to receive His spiritual teaching, free from “dead rituals” of the Sadducean priesthood of Jerusalem, and then inspire them with a newly created organization to preserve and serve out the Gospel and doctrine to mankind. All the ignorant commentators that say He insisted upon the drinking of intoxicants, is nothing short of blasphemy and is a disgrace to our informed age that men and
writers should say that “Christianity has given a sacred character to wine and its use.”
2. References in Mark’s Gospel:
And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles. Mark 2:22.
To this passage comments gone before will apply; but the following passage will demand a special word of consideration from the way it has been perverted and distorted by so called commentators. It is:
And when they mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him. And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross. And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull. And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not. And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take. Mark 15:20-24.
The questions suggested in the above, to which no one seems to have found an answer is: Why did Jesus refuse to drink the wine, medicated with a narcotic by the Centurion, out of a feeling of mercy to Jesus, whom he knew had been unjustly condemned to death by false accusation, and that Pilate had been driven to condemn Him by terror for his own personal safety, after the Sadducean priests had threatened to accuse him to the Roman Emperor as a confederate of the Jews against the Empire, unless he did hand Jesus over to their will to be crucified? This liquor was not offered to the two robbers who had been convicted of some real crime. This was an act of mercy on the part of the Centurion, who commanded the detachment of soldiers, specially to Jesus. Sometimes the wine would be mixed with myrrh and given to dying men to hurry up death. Sometimes “Wormwood” was used to cause paralysis so as to bring about a speedy death. Why did not Jesus drink it? Why did he not accept this act of mercy? I read that, “Our Saviour refused the narcotic wine because he did not wish to diminish in the slightest degree the cruel tortures of death he was about to suffer for mankind!”
As to the bodily torments, he was to suffer the same as the two miserable robbers, his companions, in the method of death. There must have been far more reason for his refusal than is usually given. What was it?
Upon that day Jesus the Messiah had entered upon his office of the “Eternal High Priest of Mankind,” and was about to sacrifice the “Paschal Lamb,” his earthly body upon a cross. Paul commenting upon the fact wrote:
Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. I Corinthians 5:6-8.
By this we perceive that the crucifixion not only occurred during the passover week, but was done by Christ “offering himself” (Genesis 22:8), that is his body upon a cross at the Passover to free mankind from sin; but he also was spiritually the High Priest fulfilling the duties of his office of sacrifice (Hebrews 10:19-28).
The officiating High Priest was, by the Law given through Moses, prohibited from “drinking intoxicating wine” during the period of his ministration, before entering the sanctuary, or while he was engaged in its duties. (See Leviticus 10:8-11). The first reason for these ceremonial laws and rules (this is the way God dealt with the nation of Israel) was that “throughout your generation” you may put “difference between holy and unholy, unclean and clean.” Alcoholic liquor is unholy and those who drink it are not holy, not set apart for God. It is also unclean, morally depraving and those who drink it or sell it are being depraved and defiled. The second reason is that “ye may teach the
children of Israel all the statutes.” We are to teach our children the Word of God, but how can you teach the Word of God if you or I are not separated unto Him? How can one preach or teach righteousness and drink himself? How can someone warn about sin when he is deceived and led into sin by strong drink?
These Divine Laws, and the statements of the Apostle, show why Jesus refused to drink of the drugged wine offered to Him by the pagan but merciful Centurion, or by his order; the wine was a liquor served out to the Roman soldiers as part of their diet, and was fermented as well as drugged, and so was an intoxicant, and forbidden to Christ as our High Priest, and also as an Israelite humanly; the whole nation was also prohibited during the seven days’ preparation for the Passover from having any fermented thing in their dwellings or to drink fermented liquors, and Jesus came to “fulfill the whole law.” He obeyed it completely, and as both a High Priest and as an Israelite refused to drink the intoxicant offered to Him.
3. References in Luke’s Gospel:
And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth
shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb. And many of the children of Israel shall He turn to the Lord their God. Luke 1:11-16.
And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. Luke 5:37.
For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and ye say, He hath a devil. The Son of Man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber,
a friend of publicans and sinners! But wisdom is justified of all her children. Luke 7:33-35.
In this striking passage from the gospel there is not the slightest encouragement for the habitual use of liquor or intoxicants of any kind, by whatever name they may be called. The whole force of the reproof of our Lord to the men of his day lay in the falsehood of the statements of His and John’s critics. That is, the charge against John, the Nazarite, was a lie, and against Jesus also, both invented by adversaries, because the two denounced the hypocrisy and vices of that age and of all that should follow, our own included. Only those who seek to justify themselves in drunkenness could ever pervert this passage to command Christians to drink alcoholic liquors as a sacred duty. Even in Luke 10:29-37 where wine is “poured in,” this is a beautiful illustration of true joy and what constitutes neighborly kindness, but there is not in it any command to drink intoxicants, or that the “wine” used with the oil to prevent inflammation of those wounds was a fermented alcoholic liquor. In Numbers 6:1-8, we have the lesson of the Nazarite. The Nazarite could not drink wine, not even grape juice, “neither shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried.” That is, no grape juice, not even fermented,no grapes, no raisins. Maybe the reason for this is a spiritual lesson to be learned, “to avoid the appearance of evil,” and all the things that might lead to evil.
4. References in John’s Gospel:
And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. His mother said unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And
they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was:[but the servants which drew the water knew;] the governor of the feast called the bridegroom. And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. John 2:1-10.
Probably the above passage is one of the most misunderstood and misrepresented one in the New Testament. The misunderstanding has come from imposing upon the Greek text, and the knowledge of Jewish habits of food and drink, that the word “wine” always means intoxicating liquor. Among the Romans, such an idea was attached to “wine” as a universal conception. On the contrary, the “best wine” was not fermented at all. The word is “Oinos” or fruit of the vine, and this is not intoxicating drink. The drink of the Romans was juice of the grape, which they mixed with water, both hot and cold. Fermented wine was rare in early Roman times; it was only used as an act of worship in the heathen temples; and men under thirty, and women all their lives, were forbidden to use it.
Fresh grape juice was called mustum, and to make it keep without fermentation it was boiled until it became thick, like molasses, and
in that state was named defrutum, that is, made from fruit, and stored away in jars for future use. Aristotle says that by keeping for a time in skins and jars it became as thick as butter, and had to be cut out by spoons. Pliny, the Roman writer, records that when the grape juice was boiled down to one-third of its bulk, to secure the finest flavor, that is, to be made into the “best wine,” it was called sapa. Our word “savory” comes from this word. Then it is certain that the “wine” created by Christ at Cana was a non-intoxicating kind, but was the “ordinary drink of the people” in everyday life. Some commentators have said that “all the guests were well drunk” when Jesus performed this miracle, and Jesus decided to make them more so, in order to show people the sacred nature of liquor. Would Jesus ever put the bottle to his neighbor’s mouth? Jesus kept the law completely.
5. References by Paul:
It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. Hast thou faith? Have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin. Romans 14:21-23.
“You have faith? Have it by yourself before God – he is happy who does not convict himself by what he approves! And all not originating from faith is sin. And we, the strong, ought to support the weakness of the feeble, and not to indulge ourselves. Let each make himself pleasant to his neighbor to promote loving kindness. For Christ did not indulge himself.”
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Ephesians 5:18-21.
The Apostle here is referring to intoxicating drink, which he condemned, not to the unfermented grape juice he referred to in Romans 14:21.
This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach,; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; [For if a man know not how to rule his own house,how shall he take care of the church of God?] Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. Likewise must the deacons be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; I Timothy 3:1-8.
In this rule for the ministers of the church, there is no indication whether the Apostle speaks of the ordinary domestic unfermented wine of his day commonly used in domestic life, or of the same juices fermented so as to be intoxicating. I think he meant the latter, which he clearly forbids.
Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities. I Timothy 5:23.
This advice of the Apostle to his friend Timothy is a favorite field of battle of those who claim the habit of using strong drink is suitable for God’s people. Paul did not contradict himself in his prohibition of the use of intoxicating wine to preachers or bishops (I Timothy 3:3) and then ordered Timothy, who held an apostolic position to drink liquor regularly. “Stomach wine” or “wine for the stomach,” the old writers upon Greek medicine tell us, was grape-juice, prepared as a thick unfermented syrup, for the use as a medicine for weak or sick people. The word used is a Greek word “Tipos.” The correct rendering of this verse in the Greek New Testament reads as follows: “No longer drink water alone, but use with a little wine for the stomach, because of your frequent infirmities.” The Apostle’s use of the dative case, which must be rendered in the English by the adverb “with” indicates that “a little stomach wine” should be mixed, or mingled, as in other parts it is translated, with water as the syrup prepared from grapes and other fruits was done for the use as a tonic to the stomach.
6. The Lord’s Supper and Wine:
A bishop in the Anglican church declared “that the example of our Lord necessitates the use of fermented wine in the administration of the Lord’s supper.” I say that this is a God-dishonoring statement. There is not a trace of evidence to show that his “fruit of the vine” was intoxicating. There is no divine authority for the use of wine at all, fermented or unfermented, at the Passover (Lord’s Supper). All students of the inspired word will agree that Almighty God forbade even the presence of bharm (yeast, leaven, ferment) at the Passover, because it is the cause of putrefaction. It rots corn, vegetables, etc., and is the emblem of corruption,
disease, and death, and not life.
Now, Jesus Christ described the wine that was being used at his Passover as the “fruit of the vine,” e.g., the offspring of the vine, or that which is borne of the vine. Now, the vine does not bear intoxicating drink. The fruit of the vine is not intoxicating. There is no alcohol in the fruit of the vine. It is pure, good, wholesome, and health-giving, a beautiful emblem of the life and strength-giving grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Intoxicating wine is the emblem of disease, sin, and death. Moreover, just think of the condition the party keeping the Passover must have been in; for the Jewish Mishna says: “A person shall not have less than four cups of wine, even if they be given to him from the fund devoted to the charitable support of the very poor. Each cup must contain the quarter of a quarter of a hin – that is three gills English measure – so that the four cups would contain twelve gills, or a bottle and a-half (three pints).” If the wine used was fermented grape-juice, the four cups would contain about six ounces of pure alcohol, equal to twelve ounces of proof spirit; and when we remember that each member of the family of twelve years of age and upwards had to drink four cups, twelve gills, it is certain that, if the wine was intoxicating, they must have been drunk at the end of the feast, especially the women and the boys and girls who were not accustomed to the use of intoxicating wine. How terrible to think of the mass of drunkenness in the Jewish families on the Passover night!
It is perfectly revolting to think that our Lord and Saviour could countenance or sanction such a man-injuring and God-dishonoring system.
Jesus Christ was God’s High Priest, and Almighty God had strictly forbidden the priests to use intoxicating wine when ministering before him. In Lev. 10:8-10 it is written:
And the Lord spake unto Aaron, saying, do not drink wine 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: and that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between the unclean and the clean.
God had also forbidden the presence of all fermented things at the Passover Service. It was therefore impossible for his Incarnate Son to act contrary to the Father’s will, for he said…l am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. Matthew 5:17.
Although the customs of the Jews are no certain guide to Christians in this matter, yet it is an undeniable fact that vast numbers of pious Jewish families have used unfermented wine at the Passover all down the ages, and are using such wine now year by year. It is simply “the fruit of the vine.” They cut up a quantity of raisins and place them in an earthen vessel, and add water to them, and allow them to simmer in the oven for a time, then separate the juice from the skins and pips, then put it in the Passover vessel, and they use the wine (juice) for the Passover Service.
In our Lord’s time there was always an ample supply of the pure “fruit of the vine,” which was preserved in an unfermented state.
The theologians have taught, and alas, still teach, that the contents of the cup which our Lord said was His blood was of the same nature as the thing which the Scriptures had said was as the poison of serpents – as the adder’s poison. How can such a death-producing thing be a fit emblem of the life-giving power of the blood of Jesus Christ?
It is painful to realize how the Churches have erred, and misrepresented Christ, and misled the nations by forcing the use of intoxicating wine on the Lord’s table and upon mankind.
The general word for wine, oinos, is never used in Holy Scripture to describe the wine used at the Lord’s Supper. Is this by chance, or is it of design? Surely it is of design, because oinos might be intoxicating, but the fruit of the vine never is.
According to God’s command (Lev. 10:9) and the teaching of the Jewish Mishna, they were not allowed to drink intoxicating wine when serving before the Lord. How terrible it is to be taught by Christian theologians that Christ broke the divine law, and taught
His infant Church to break the law He Himself had made, for He was the Lawgiver with the Father and the Holy Ghost.
If the wine which was used at the first institution was intoxicating, then the great body of Nazarites, Rechabites, the followers of John the Baptist, and especially the Essenes (a vast multitude of the best of the people), would be prevented partaking, because they never used intoxicating wine of any kind. Jeremiah’s description of the Nazarites might fairly be used to describe these holy people. They “were purer than snow, whiter than milk, more ruddy in body than rubies” (Lam. 4:7). These people were all abstainers from intoxicating drink, and were in much favor with the Lord. Surely it is not possible that the Lord of life would cause all these people, who were the cream of society in that day in Jerusalem, to violate their consciences by forcing upon them the intoxicating cup.
It is most trying to many communicants who are abstainers to be forced either to partake of the intoxicating wine or to pass the cup. It is especially trying for them to have to take their children to the holy table, where they will taste intoxicating drink for the first time And some of it is most intoxicating, having not less than from 10 to 30 per cent alcohol in it.
There are four passages in the New Testament in which is given the account of the institution of the Lord’s Supper (KJV).
And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take eat, this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom. Matthew 26:26-29.
And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. And he said unto them, This is my blood
of the new testament, which is shed for many.
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. Mark 14:22-25.
And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said. Take this, and divide it among yourselves: For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood which is shed for you. Luke 22:15-20.
For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread; And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. I Corinthians 11:23-26.
NOTE: Not one New Testament passage uses the word “wine.”
1. Did Jesus Drink Wine?
The theologians have taught all down the ages that our blessed
Lord and Savior did drink intoxicating drink, as His ordinary everyday drink, because they say there was no such thing as unintoxicating wine in His day. But the eyes of some of the most learned of our day appear to be opening wide enough to see that the theologians were wrong.
Dr. Kynaston, Professor of Greek at Durham University, says:
“We cannot prove from the words in the Bible that our Lord did or did not drink intoxicating wine.” This is a step in the right direction. The theologians have also taught equally definitely that oinos always meant intoxicating wine; but Sir Richard Jebb, Professor of Greek at Cambridge University said that “oinos is a general term, and might include all kinds of beverages.”
Anacreon, who wrote some five hundred years, B.C., Ode
“Only males tread the grapes, Setting free the Oinos (wine).”
Here at this early period, we see that the juice in the grapes was called (wine) oinos. And all sane persons know that the juice in the grapes is not intoxicating. Nothing is clearer to those who have studied this question than the Hebrew word “yain” and the Greek word “oinos” were, as Professor Sir R. Jebbs says of “oinos,” general words in those early days, and were used to describe sometimes the fruit on the vines, the juice in the grapes, the juice when it was being pressed out, when it was preserved in an unfermented state and therefore unintoxicating, and when it was fermented and intoxicating.
There is overwhelming proof that there has been in use all down the centuries, in all grape-growing countries, grape-juice fermented and intoxicating, and also an abundance of grape-juice preserved in an unfermented state, and therefore not intoxicating; and both have been called wine.
But the unintoxicating, in addition to being called wine, has been called by various other names, such as glukus, vinum, mustum, sapa, careum, siraeum, hepsema, pekmez, new wine. A great
many more names might be added, but a full description may be seen in Dr. Norman Kerr’s book on Wines, Scriptural and Eccleiastical, and also in the Temperance Bible Commentary by Dr. F. R. Lees and Dr. Dawson Burns. These words mainly describe a wine made from grape juice by reducing the juice to a sweet liquid by boiling. It was too thick and too sweet to drink pure. And this is a main reason why the Greeks and Romans added so much water to it before drinking, and also why water was added to it before it was used at the Lord’s Supper. Water was also added to the intoxicating wine to reduce its intoxicating power.
There is therefore clearly no justification whatever for the misleading statements of the theologians, that there was no such thing as unintoxicating wine in the days of our Lord. It is equally clear that there is no proof, either in holy scripture or out of it, that our Lord ever drank intoxicating wine.
It is no more true to say that the word “wine” always meant intoxicating wine than it is to say that the word “bread” always meant fermented bread just as the word “bread” sometimes meant fermented bread and sometimes unfermented. So the word “oinos” (wine) sometimes was used to describe the grape-juice when it was fermented and sometimes when it was unfermented. St. Matthew 26:26 reads:
Jesus took bread and blessed it.
Here it is not stated whether the bread was fermented or not, but we know it was unfermented (unleavened), because it was the Passover bread. Haggai 1:11 reads:
I called for a drought…upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil.
It is clear that the new wine in this verse means the growing grapes, for if the wine was in the casks or skin bottles the drought could have no effect upon it. There isn’t a trace of evidence to prove that our Savior Jesus Christ ever drank or sanctioned the use of intoxicating drink. Habit-forming wine is alcoholic wine, and
any preacher or layman who drinks “much wine” is drinking alcoholic wine, and this is forbidden in the Word of God.
II. Alcoholic Wine is Not the “Fruit of the Vine.”
There are thirteen different words or vocables used (in the Bible); nine in the Hebrew and Chaldee, and four in the Greek, all of which are rendered by the European translators indiscriminately as “wine or strong drink,” although all intrinsically are solid substances, but which may be turned into intoxicants by human ingenuity. When, however, we examine the passages where these words are used, we find the sacred writers speak, in the most numerous cases, of them, not as intoxicants, but as foods, which was their ordinary form of consumption. Where distinct reference is made to them as means after human manipulation of intoxication, drunkenness, and debauchery, their use in that form is invariably condemned and vehemently denounced by the Prophets and Moralists of the Bible as the causes of personal sin and national ruin. Their use in these forms of alcoholic liquors, or fermented wine, was absolutely forbidden in the religious ordinances of the Temple or Altars, and especially from the sacred rites of the Passover, and to all priests during the period of their ministrations.
1. Curse In the Children’s Cup:
The following article appeared in the Temperance Crusade, founded by my friend Shelton Jones. I cannot imagine after reading this article how any child of God or sane person could be in favor of wine, liquor or strong drink of any kind. I quote:
“There is a harm in alcoholic drinking and indulgence more terrible and yet less spoken of than in the way of economic loss, domestic strife, social ruin, moral debauchery, physical harm or spiritual loss. It is the blight to future generations. Don’t take my word for it. I am not an authority in this field, and do not pretend to be. But there is plenty of evidence in the annals of Medical science, social investigation and hospital records.”
Dr. Watts Eden, an eminent medical authority declares: “On no conceivable theory can you imagine anything but harm to the growing tissue of an unborn child in even moderate doses of alcohol. Within ten minutes the alcohol begins to pass into the mother’s blood and into the blood of her child. Indeed, the mother who drinks when carrying a child is veritably, and indeed giving her child alcohol.”
Dr. A. C. Kirkley, for many years a leading physician in Toledo, Ohio, in speaking of the effects of beer drinking on the off-spring declared: “He who sins through physical excess does not do half the harm to himself that he does to the inheritors of his blood. It is your stout old hero, who goes to bed every night with liquor enough under his belt to befuddle the brains of half-a-dozen ordinary men, and yet lives out his three score years and ten, that will be found at the head of the stock that pours into the world, generation after generation, such a crop of lunatics, epileptics, eccentrics, and inebriates as we often see.”
Dr. A. McFarland, a leading physician of the same city declared, “There is not a doubt but that drinking not only makes more destructive whatever taint may exist, but impairs the health and natural vigor for remote generations.”
Dr. W. D. Partlow of the Partlow schools and the Alabama Insane Hospitals, corroborates these testimonials in these words: “Children of habitual drunkards may be epileptic or mentally deficient or both; or persons on debauch or with alcohol in their blood stream, at the time of conception, either father or mother, may produce a child who is epileptic or mentally deficient or both.”
An investigation of the off-spring of twenty-one drinking mothers in Liverpool prison with those of twenty-eight women relatives who were sober and had sober husbands revealed that the drinking mothers lost 55.2 per cent of their babies before they were two
years old, but the sober relatives lost only 23.9 per cent before the second year.
Among Bavarians, the greatest beer drinking people on earth, with the exception of the Americans, 300 of every 1,000 babies were born dead, and 69,000 die each year before they are one year old. Norway mothers had as many dead-born babies as Bavarian mothers until they were taught not to drink alcoholic liquor. Now they lose eighty to ninety out of every one thousand babies.
The report of a commission to investigate the extent of feeblemindedness, epilepsy, and insanity in the state of Michigan reported: “No thorough study of its (alcohol’s) influence could warrant any other conclusion than that it is the most active influence present in our social life for the production of poverty, criminality and physical and nervous degeneracy.”
Other equally, emphatic and reliable quotations might be cited bearing testimony on this subject but these are ample to convince any fair-minded person that the matter of drink is more than a mere personal and individual matter. It affects children yet unborn. When we see the widespread drinking debauch indulged in by the youth and young married people today; with 82 per cent of married couples between ages 22 and 33 years now drinking regularly, it makes thinking people shudder to think of what America may reap in the way of a harvest of epileptics, feeble-minded, inebriates, and lunatics in the next generation.
We are sowing the seeds of racial degeneration, social degeneration, and physical degeneration and the harvest will be reaped in the bodies, minds, and souls of those that are yet unborn. Thousands of children who have no choice as to who their parents will be, who cannot say when or where or to whom they will be born, will come into this world with the blight and curse of booze upon them before they are born. That is the price future generations will have to pay for the stupid, costly folly of repealing the eighteenth amendment and turning this rotten traffic in drink loose to curse, not only in this generation, but those yet to come.
It is somebody else’s business. It is the business of every citizen in this country. It is the business of every tax payer who must provide public institutions, insane asylums, schools for the feeble minded, epileptic colonies and hospitals to care for the drunks.
You say, “it is none of your business, if the other fellow wishes to drink” …. then I say you are stupid and foolish. You take that attitude, let him drink, and his children will be born idiots, imbecile and feeble-minded and you will provide tax money and construct institutions of charity to care for them. That money will come out of your pocket and the pocket of your children. You had as well say, “you don’t care if your neighbor has small pox.” You had as well say, “you don’t care if your neighbor has TB and comes in and spits around on the floor of your home.” You had as well say, “you don’t care if your next door neighbor across the yard fence raises pole cats and rattle snakes.”
And don’t forget, legal liquor sold in a legal front street ABC store, or in a fancy cafe served by a pretty girl with a plate of bacon and beans with the government getting its rake-off in revenue and using it to bribe old people into voting for liquor with the promise of a pension check, will ruin the body, scatter social disease, and degenerate unborn children just as will bootleg hooch sold in a fruit jar through a knot hole in the back alley fence after dark.
You say, “it will never cause a baby in your home to be such an object of degeneracy!” That’s what they all say, but the hospital records reveal it happens every day.
Article By Dr. Bill Kanoy