No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and frequent ailments.
A vast number of Fundamentalist and Evangelical Protestants have an aversion to wine. These Protestants say that the Lord Jesus Christ did not use wine at the last supper but grape juice. In other words, they allege that the wine in Sacred Scripture is grape juice, non-fermented wine and did not contain alcohol.Let us look at the Biblical texts regarding this issue. Wine is first mentioned in Sacred Scripture in the book of Genesis. In Genesis 9:20-21, the Scripture states
Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded to plant a vineyard. When he drank some of its wine he became drunk and lay uncovered inside of his tent.
The phrase “he became drunk” affirms that the liquid used was wine and not grape juice. Wine here is a drink that intoxicates, and this wine surely contains alcohol. Genesis 14:18 states
…and Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine; and he was the Priest of the most high God.
To this day, through the consecration prayers of a Hierarchical Priest in a Catholic Mass, the bread and wine become the Body-Blood-Soul-and-Divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ! In Exodus 29:40, Sacred Scripture gives affirmation that wine is used for a libation. Yes, wine is used in a spiritual offering. Just as wine was used in the Old Testament for offerings to God, bread and wine are used in every Catholic Mass for the magnificent sacrificial offering to the Father. Through this offering and the consecration prayers of the Ministerial Priest, they become the “Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ.”
In Genesis 19:32, Lot’s daughter states
Come, let us make our Father drink wine and we will lie with him.
In Leviticus 10:8-9, Almighty God speaks to Aaron telling him not to drink wine or strong drink when going into a tent meeting. Notice that God tells him to abstain from drinking wine which contained alcohol. Many give the definition of strong drink as beer. In 2 Samuel 16:2, Sacred Scripture gives evidence that wine was used as an antidote for weariness, for those who faint in the wilderness. In 2 Chronicles 11:11, Sacred Scripture gives evidence that wine was used as a beverage for the soldiers. In Nehemiah 2:1-4, Sacred Scripture here gives evidence that Nehemiah had wine taken up to King Artaxerxes. Wine was a drink for kings. Proverbs 31:4 also gives affirmation wine was a drink for kings. In Esther 1:7, Sacred Scripture gives evidence that royal wine was lavished in accordance to the bounty of the king.
Let us now look at the book of Judith who was a Jewish woman. Her strength came from God in response to her trust in him because of her faithfulness. Judith brought about the salvation of her people when they were threatened by the army of Holofernes. Judith 12:10-20 to Judith13:1-9 gives affirmative evidence that the Holofernes who was the chief general in the army of Nebuchadnezzar and second to him, drank excessive wine and got drunk before Judith cut the head off Holofernes with a sword. Surely Holofernes did not get drunk and merry drinking grape juice. The book of Judith is a deutero-canonical book which was deleted from Sacred Scripture by the Protestant Reformers. In Song of Songs 4:10, Sacred Scripture gives evidence that love is better than wine. Notice how love is compared with wine and we are told love is better. If wine did not contain alcohol that would make one feel sentimental or melancholy, why would the Biblical text use it in this manner? Surely grape juice would not make one feel sentimental or melancholy.
Proverbs 20:1 states
Wine is a mocker and beer is a brawler whoever is lead astray by them is not wise.
Sacred Scripture, the Church, and reason absolutely teach that wine, when used in moderation, is a blessing from God. When it is used excessively, it is an abomination. Drunkenness is sinful!
Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them. (Isaiah 5:11)
Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks. (Isaiah 5:22)
Isaiah 28:1-7 gives absolute definitive affirmation regarding drunkenness. Please read this Biblical text in its fullness. Look at part of the Biblical text:
Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, that are overcome by wine. The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim shall be trodden under foot.
In this Biblical text, Isaiah gives absolute evidence the drunkards stumble in judgment. Sacred Scripture exhorts that drunkenness is an abomination against God.
In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, St. Paul states
Do you not know that the wicked, will not enter the Kingdom of God. Do not be deceived, neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will enter the Kingdom of God!
Notice drunkards will not reach the Kingdom of God. Ecclesiastes 10:17 states
Blessed are you, O land whose king is of noble birth and whose princes eat at a proper time – for strength and not for drunkenness.
Sacred Scripture gives definitive affirmation of the woes, the repugnancy, mockery, and consequences of drinking excessive wine and strong drink. Tobit 4:15 states
Do not drink wine to excess or let drunkenness go with you on your way.
Proverbs 23:20-21 states
Be not among winebibbers, or among gluttonous eaters of meat, for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty.
Sirach 31:28-30 states
Wine drunk in season and temperately is rejoicing of heart and gladness of soul. Wine drunk to excess is bitterness of soul, with provocation and stumbling.
Habakkuk 2:5 gives definitive affirmation that wine is a betrayer:
He that transgresseth by wine is prideful.
In Habakkuk 2:15, Scripture states
Woe to him who makes his neighbors drink of the cup of wrath, and makes them drunk!
Proverbs 21:17 gives definitive evidence that he who loves pleasure; he who loves wine will never be rich. Proverbs 23:32 warns of wine’s influence and end. It
…biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
Hosea 4:11 states
Whoredom and wine and new wine take away the heart.
In Ephesians 5:18, St. Paul exhorts
Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; for be filled with the Spirit!
1 Timothy 3:8 gives evidence that Deacons must not indulge in much wine. Titus 2:3 gives evidence that the older women be reverent in behavior and walk in holiness, not be slanderers and drink too much wine. In 1 Peter 4:2-3, St. Peter states
Do not live in the human passions of the flesh, but live in the will of God. Do not live like the Gentiles do, living in licentiousness, passions, drunkenness, revels, carousing, and lawless idolatry.
The Bible talks about the goodness and blessings of God when wine is used in moderation and used correctly. Read the following scriptures: Deuteronomy 7:13, Proverbs 3:10, Hosea 2:9, and Joel 2:23-24! He withdraws wine in punishment. See Deuteronomy 28:39, Hosea 2:11-12, Hosea 9:1-3, Amos 5:10-13, and Zephaniah 1:13! In Deuteronomy 14:26, the Bible refers to the goodness of wine! In Psalm 104:15, Scripture states
That wine makes glad the heart of man.
In 1 Timothy 5:23, St. Paul tells Timothy to use wine for medicinal purposes. St. Paul states
No longer use only water, but use a little wine for your stomach and other frequent ailments and infirmities.
Let us look at the parable of the Good Samaritan, Luke 10:30-37! In Luke 10:34, Jesus said the good Samaritan poured wine on the man’s wounds. This wine had to have alcohol for medicinal purpose, cleaning of the wound. Surely the good Samaritan would not pour grape juice on the wounds. Jesus frequently used wine in his parables! Matthew 20:1-16 – the parable of the Laborers in the vineyard! Matthew 21:33-44, Mark 11:1-12, and Luke 20:9-19 – the parable of tenants, or also called the parable of the Wicked Husbandmen! These parables correlate with Isaiah 5:1-12 regarding the vineyard of the Lord! John 2:1-10 – the wedding at Cana! Here Jesus turns water into to wine at the powerful intercession of his Mother, Mary. This is Jesus’ first public miracle. If Jesus turned the water into grape juice, why would the steward of the feast state
Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink. But you have kept the good wine till now?
There are three important Biblical texts which affirm Catholic truth, that the “wine” referred to in the Bible was truly wine and not grape juice:
Matthew 11:18: Sacred Scripture states
For John the Baptist came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He has a demon! The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners. But wisdom is proved right by her actions.
Luke 7:34-36: Scripture states
For John the Baptist came neither eating bread or 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.
Would Jesus Christ be called a drunkard, or winebibber, drinking grape juice?
Acts 2:1-15: The pouring out of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost! In Acts 2:13 when the apostles were speaking in tongues some made fun of them, saying they drank to much wine. In Acts 2:15, during Peter’s Pentecost speech, St. Peter states
These men are not drunk, it is only nine in the morning.
In 1 Corinthians 11:20-21, St. Paul states
When you meet together, it is not for eating the Lord’s Supper. For in eating everyone taketh before other his own supper; for one is hungry and another is drunken.
How can one get drunken on grape juice which has no intoxicating effects? The true wine scripture talks about contains alcohol and intoxicates! The Greek word for wine is oinos, means wine that intoxicates! Drunkenness in Greek is oinophlygia. In the Old Testament Hebrew thinking, drunkenness was a characteristic of the Gentile way of life. See Deuteronomy 32:14, Sirach 39:26, and Isaiah 63:3!
Revelations 14:20 gives evidence that wine because of its color can be called the blood of the grape. Scripture gives warning of falsehood and folly. The Fundamentalist, Evangelical and Pentecostal Protestant view of wine that does not intoxicate is falsehood! Sacred Scripture gives an absolute affirmative warning to beware of false teachers and those who use sacred Scripture to their own destruction. In Matthew 4:1-12, during Jesus’ temptation by the devil, the devil uses Scripture in half truth in his temptation of Jesus. The devil quotes Psalm 91:11-12:
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
Look at Matthew 4:5 and see these same words used by the devil in his temptation of Jesus. 1 Timothy 4:1 states
The Spirit clearly says in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.
In Acts 20:28-31, St. Paul states
Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you guardians, to feed the Church of the Lord, which he obtained with his own blood. I know after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you not sparing the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw disciples after them!
The preponderance amount of Biblical evidence presented in this article gives absolute affirmative proof that the Catholic teaching regarding wine is the absolute true Biblical teaching that wine was fermented and contained alcohol. The Fundamentalist and Pentecostal Protestant position that wine was not fermented and was grape juice is incongruent with the Biblical texts and tradition. Ask any Orthodox Rabbi or Jewish theologian! Here is the answer. Absolutely No! Let us never forget the magnificent words of the great Apostle and first Pope St. Peter. In 2 Peter 3:15-16, St. Peter exhorts
Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures to their own destruction.
Fundamentalist, Evangelical and Pentecostal Protestants in their false Biblical interpretation regarding wine and grape juice absolutely violates the historical content of Biblical exegesis. There must be proper methodology for legitimate interpretation. There must be a correct evaluation regarding the level of specificity of the original application in interpretation. One cannot negate Patristics and science in hermeneutical study. The hermeneutical spiral thrown by Fundamentalist and Pentecostal Protestants regarding wine jettisons all inductive assessments of facts of data regarding Biblical interpretation regarding this subject.
In Matthew 7:15, Jesus states
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves!
Jesus Christ has given divine truth in his word and teaching. Let us remain in this divine truth. Some people abandon truth in an attempt to justify their own pre-conceived notions and theological schemes. The Church is the Pillar and Ground of Truth. Look at the words of Jesus Christ in his Priestly prayer to the Almighty Father. John 17:17- Sanctify them in the truth! Thy Word is Truth! The truth given to her by Christ himself. Seek truth and righteousness! Jesus is the truth! In John 14:6, Jesus states
I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life!