What Does The Bible Say About Alcohol?

What Does The Bible Say About Alcohol
I used to drink too much. To be honest, I was a drunk. The Lord saved me from unbelief and addiction at the age of 21. I am now 37 and have been sober for almost 16 years. The Lord is good. For many years, my position on alcohol was simple: alcohol is not always bad, but it is never good.

  • However, I realize now that my thinking was not entirely based on Scripture.
  • I knew the Bible’s warnings against alcohol, but I didn’t see any value in drinking.
  • Since then, I’ve had to adjust my thinking on alcohol to align with Scripture.
  • Here is a biblical framework for thinking through this topic.
  • Drinking Alcohol is Not a Sin Contrary to what many Christians have grown up hearing, it is not a sin to drink alcohol.

Scripture nowhere condemns or prohibits consuming moderate levels of alcohol. Case in point—Jesus drank wine. The religious leaders accused our Lord of being a drunkard. “The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!'” (Luke 7:34).

Of course, Jesus never got drunk, but he did drink wine. We all know he made water into wine at a party, and it would have been customary for him to enjoy a drink with his friends (John 2:1-11). It was also tradition for Jews to drink wine at the yearly Passover meal, in which Jesus routinely participated.

He also instituted the Lord’s Supper with bread and wine (Luke 22:14-20). It’s clear that drinking is not a sin; otherwise, Jesus would not have done it. Drinking Alcohol Can be a Blessing The Bible doesn’t present drinking in moderation as merely neutral; it is also depicted as a blessing.

  • The Psalmist says that in addition to the many earthly blessings God bestows, the Lord gives “wine to gladden the heart of man” (Psalm 104:15).
  • Friends enjoying a meal together may choose to enhance their gathering by sharing drinks.
  • Alcohol can encourage relaxation, happiness, and laughter.
  • These are all blessings from God (see also Eccl.9:7, Isaiah 55:1-3, Amos 9:14).

Alcohol can also be used for medicinal purposes. “Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress.” (Proverbs 31:61, 1 Tim.5:23). Today, we use even stronger medications, but in the past, it was alcohol that provided relief from pain.

  1. This, too, is a blessing from God.
  2. In a broken world full of pain, the Lord has provided help in our times of suffering.
  3. Finally, the Lord promised that in the New Heavens and New Earth, there will be wine when we feast with God Himself.
  4. On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.” (Isaiah 25:6).

The Lord will share a drink with us in heaven. Drunkenness is a Sin Drinking is not a sin, and it is often a God-given blessing. However, Scripture’s overwhelming testimony is that drinking alcohol can be spiritually dangerous. Christians are allowed by God to drink alcohol, but we are forbidden to get drunk.

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit.” (Ephesians 5:18; also see Proverbs 20:1, 23:20, Isaiah 5:22). This is a command from the Spirit-inspired apostle. Christians, “do not get drunk.” To get drunk, then, is a sin. Christians who drink alcohol may raise a question here.

“What does it mean to be drunk?” It’s a fair question. In most states, the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for driving a vehicle is,08 (at this point, you are considered legally impaired). Body weight, how much one drinks, and the amount of time between drinks will determine your BAC.

For example, according to some research, a male weighing 200 lbs. can consume one 12 oz beer and only reach a level of,02 BAC. Our bodies metabolize alcohol over time, and our BAC will drop,015% every hour from our last drink. ( Source ) Additionally, many would argue that even though,08 is the legal standard for intoxication, that doesn’t necessarily meet the Bible’s definition of drunkenness.

The positive command Paul gives to believers in contrast to drunkenness is that we should be “filled with the Spirit” (Eph.5:18). The issue, then, is about control. We must be controlled by the Spirit and not alcohol. So then, drunkenness, in Paul’s mind, at least means we have lost control.

I suspect most believers would say that 1-2 drinks would not cause them to lose control. All this to say, what qualifies as being drunk varies from person to person. The command is easy: do not get drunk. Defining drunkenness, on the other hand, is not as simple. My pastoral counsel would be to err on the side of caution.

Use discretion and be wise with alcohol. Like sex, it can be wonderful, but if it is not contained and appropriately used, it can also be deadly. The measurements above are a helpful guide. Suppose we define drunkenness according to the dictionary, In that case, it means “having the faculties impaired by alcohol” and reaching “a level of alcohol in the blood that exceeds a maximum prescribed by law.” Paul’s counsel here is helpful.

“‘All things are lawful for me,’ but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful for me,’ but I will not be enslaved by anything.” (1 Cor.6:12). The Dangers of Alcohol I’d be willing to bet my last dollar that everyone reading this article has been impacted by addiction in one way or another. Either you have struggled with substance abuse, or someone you know (and probably love) has struggled.

It’s an epidemic in our country, and alcohol is at the heart of it. This is why Scripture warns against the dangers of drunkenness. Several categories must be established here.

Drunkenness ruins lives. “Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat, for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags.” (Proverbs 23:20-21). God’s judgment is on the drunkard. “Woe (a pronouncement of judgment) to those who rise early in the morning, that they may run after strong drink, who tarry late into the evening as wine inflames them!” (Isaiah 5:11, 22) Drunkards cannot serve in church leadership. Elders must be “sober mindedand not a drunkard.” Likewise, deacons cannot be “addicted to much wine” (1 Tim.3:2-3, 8, also see Prov.31:4-5). Drunkards are considered unbelievers in the Bible. “For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry” (1 Peter 4:3; also see Romans 13:13, Luke 21:34, Isaiah 28:1). Godliness is characterized by sober-mindedness. “Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine.” (Titus 2:3). Drunkards will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Cor.6:9-10, also see Gal.5:19-21).

What’s Our Motive for Drinking? Christians are called to live every part of their lives to the glory of God, and that includes both eating and drinking: “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Cor.10:31). If our drinking alcohol helps us in appreciating a pleasure God created, especially in fellowship with others, it can be a blessing.

Yet, if our reason for drinking is to become drunk, seek temporary escape from difficulties, or conform to the practice of others against our conscience, we are drinking to our own peril. Some Christians may also have been guilty of flaunting their freedom in defiance of the convictions of other believers or with no regard for the temptations of others to drunkenness (1 Cor.8:8-13).

As with any action we take, we must ensure it demonstrates both our love for the Lord and for others. God created alcohol, and in many places, the Bible describes it a God-given gift and blessing. But like all things the Lord has given, we must use it with wisdom and caution.

  1. Unfortunately, because we are sinners, we tend to turn God’s good gifts into idolatry and sin.
  2. Alcohol is no exception.
  3. In fact, it stands out as one of Scripture’s major themes regarding warnings and judgment against a particular kind of sin.
  4. Drunkenness, therefore, is forbidden, and for good reason.
  5. The drunkard’s life is dishonoring to God and destructive to oneself, family, and friends.

Worst of all, a drunkard is a slave to alcohol and demonstrates a heart where the Holy Spirit does not reside. As Scripture says, such a person will not go to heaven. Note: This article and our many resources are made available for free through the generous support of others. Brandon is the Associate Pastor of The Journey Church in Lebanon, TN and leads the TJC RE:GENERATION ministry for the church. Brandon is married to Sherrie and has a daugher, Emma. Recent Articles:

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What does God say about drinking alcohol in the Bible?

Should Christians Drink Alcohol? “Here are your keys,” muttered the secretary when I arrived to pick up the keys to my office at Aberdeen University, where I would be studying for my doctorate in theology. “It looks like you’re in The Old Brewery.” Intrigued by the name, I later found out that it reflected the building’s original function.

  1. Aberdeen was founded in the 15th century and used to train monks for ministry.
  2. In the brewery, monks brewed vast quantities of Scottish ale, which was served by the liter at mealtimes.
  3. And here I was, a post-fundamentalist Ph.D.
  4. Student studying the Scriptures in a malted sanctuary where late medieval Bible college students once clapped mugs together in an act of worship.

Throughout Christian history, alcohol was rarely a taboo as it is in some circles today. John Calvin had a stipend of 250 gallons of wine per year written into his church contract. Martin Luther’s wife was a famed brewer of beer, which certainly won Martin’s heart.

  • And the Guinness family created their renowned Irish Stout as an act of worship to Jesus.
  • From Bordeaux to Berlin, wine and beer have always been part of church tradition.
  • But what was once considered the nectar of heaven was later condemned as the devil’s libation.
  • Moderation not Abstinence Even though some Christians advocate for the total abstinence of alcohol as a moral mandate for all believers, the Bible never requires all believers to abstain from alcohol.

It condemns drunkenness and being enslaved to wine (Ephesians 5:18; Titus 2:3), but it never says that tee-totaling is the better way to obey God. In fact, the Bible never says that abstaining from alcohol is the wisest way to avoid getting drunk. Think about it.

Alcoholism has been rampant through every age, but the Bible never says that all believers should therefore refrain from drinking. If Christians want to forbid all alcohol consumption to avoid drunkenness, then to be consistent, they should also avoid making a lot of money to guard against the crushing sin of materialism and the misuse of wealth.

What About our Testimony? I sometimes hear that when Christians drink, it ruins their testimony. But quite honestly, I’ve never understood this line of thinking. It’s one thing if you’ve struggled with alcoholism or are ministering in a Muslim country, but for the most part, most non-Christians I know are turned off by the arbitrary dos and don’ts created by modern Christians.

  1. I’m not convinced that if my unbelieving neighbor sees me slipping into a pub, I will lose much traction to my Gospel witness.
  2. In many cases, the Gospel will shine brighter when you break down wrong assumptions about Christianity by having a beer with your neighbor.
  3. When we strip away all the man-made clutter that dims the Gospel, the full glory of Jesus shines much brighter.

A good chunk of the dying world that’s rejected Christianity hasn’t said no to Jesus, but no to a pharisaical version of Him. Some people have been turned off by the Gospel because they’ve thought that becoming a Christ-follower meant giving up having a beer with your friends after work.

If this is the “good news” we preach, then the true beauty of a crucified and risen King will become covered in the fog of a man-made, pharisaical “don’t drink” gospel. AA didn’t hang on a cross for your sins and abstaining from alcohol won’t give you resurrection life. Any Christianese, man-made, unbiblical footnotes to the gospel are actually a distraction and offense to the Gospel.

Lower Alcohol Content? Now, some say that wine in the Bible was nothing more than grape juice and therefore neither Jesus nor the Biblical writers advocated drinking alcohol. Others say that wine was so diluted that it hardly contained any alcohol. But neither of these views can be substantiated by what the Scriptures actually say.

If wine was really unfermented grape juice, then why did Paul warn the Ephesians: “Do not get drunk with grape juice, which is debauchery, but be filled by the Spirit?” This doesn’t make sense. It is true that wine back then probably had a lower ABV than today’s stuff. But whatever the alcohol content, people were quite able to get smashed by drinking too much of it (Proverbs 20:1; Isaiah 5:11).

Still, the Bible never says not to drink it. There’s another alcoholic beverage mentioned in the Bible called “strong drink. The Hebrew word for “strong drink,” shakar, refers to fermented barley, which is why some translations call it “beer.” Shakar had an ABV of around 6-12 percent, similar to a Belgium Tripel Ale or a Double IPA.

Like all alcoholic beverages, the Bible prohibits abusing beer (Isaiah 5:11; 28:7; Proverbs 20:1; 31:4). But in moderation, drinking beer was encouraged (Proverbs 31:6). In fact, Deuteronomy 14:26 actually commands Israelites to use some of their tithe money to buy some beers and celebrate before the Lord.

(Ever hear that verse being read as the ushers are passing the plates?) They were also commanded to offer up two liters of beer to God six days a week and even more on the Sabbath (see Numbers 28:7-10). This is why the absence of beer (and wine) was an outcome of God’s judgment on the nation.

Wine as a Blessing But the Bible goes further than admitting that drinking is simply allowed. Throughout Scripture, the production and consumption of beer and wine are often connected to the covenant promises of God. Under the old covenant, wine is a blessing (Deut 7:13; 11:14) and the absence of wine a curse (28:39, 51).

When Israel looked to the future, God promises to flood them wine flowing from the mountaintops (Amos 9:14; Joel 3:18) and vats brimming with fresh wine (Joel 2:19, 24). Jesus signals the beginning of such blessings by creating an over-abundance (150 gallons) of wine at Cana (John 2:1-10).

  • And on the eve of his death, He sanctified a cup of wine as “the new covenant in my blood” (Luke 22:14-23).
  • When Christ comes back, He’ll prepare “well-aged wine” (Isaiah 25:6)—the stuff I only notice on the top shelf but can never afford—and for theological reasons it will be served, as at Cana, in abundance.

Although a good beer and rich wine are blessings from God, they should be consumed with caution. There’s a growing tendency, however, among some younger evangelicals to celebrate their freedom without discipline. These young, restless, and slightly inebriated libertines are doing some great things for the Kingdom.

They’re feeding the poor, living in community and planting authentic churches—or missional communities—all to the glory of God. Yes, God cares about the poor; He also cares about your sobriety. Enjoying alcohol in moderation takes discipline, and many beer drinkers, I hate to say it, aren’t known for their discipline.

A good glass of beer can be celebratory; it doesn’t belong in the hands of an undisciplined 16-year-old playing video games in his mom’s basement. Belgium ale is strong and complex. Savor it, sanctify it, and let it meditate on your palate. Give glory to God, not just to your thirst, when enjoying the blessings that flow from Eden.

  1. Drunkenness may not be at the top of God’s list of most heinous sins; neither should it be tossed aside as a relic of American fundamentalism.
  2. Drinking alcohol without celebrating the Cross and Kingdom is theologically anemic.
  3. Abusing alcohol mocks the blood of Christ and scoffs at God’s holiness.
  4. But moderate, intentional, celebratory and reflective drinking of wine and beer, which contemplates the crucified and risen King and anticipates our future glory, is rooted in the grace that poured from Christ’s veins on Calvary.

I originally wrote this post for in 2014. : Should Christians Drink Alcohol?

What does the Bible say about drinking and partying?

Dear Faculty, Why are Christians against drinking, smoking and partying? Sincerely, Theophilus Dear Theophilus, we are just coming off the holiday season where many partook of festivities that may or may not have included libations and other behaviors typically considered unsavory by Christians.

For that reason, this post may be a couple of weeks too late! However, I am not naïve to the opportunities and temptations college students face each week. So, I may not be too late after all! The way one typically answers this question is to go to a series of Bible verses about drunkenness or our bodies being “temples of the Holy Spirit” to outline some boundaries for the Christian life.

I would like to take a slightly different track. First, I would like to emphasize the goods we are to pursue as opposed to trying to outline the evils we should avoid. That is, I would like to focus on the “Thou shall’s” to make sense of any “Thou shall not’s.” If we focus only on the prohibitions of certain behaviors without understanding their relationship to the good, then they often feel arbitrary and unpersuasive and God feels more like the cosmic killjoy keeping us from all the pleasures of life.

The fact is that the Bible does not prohibit celebration. Neither does it make a wholesale prohibition of wine or other strong drink (see as examples Deut.14:26 and John 4). If Jesus’ first miracle is to turn water into wine, it is very difficult to call for complete abstinence from alcoholic drink. In my mind, the key to understanding these do’s and don’ts is through the lens of the Apostle Paul’s advice, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).

What are the goods to pursue? The Bible does present drunkenness as something to avoid and resist. Why? Because drunkenness opposes the goods of sober-mindedness, alertness, and freedom. The Proverbs equates addiction to strong drinks with folly that destroys lives as opposed to the wisdom that gives life.

  • Alcohol can become a master demanding obedience.
  • The Christian is to have a new mind not mastered by appetites and passions.
  • Rather, there is a freedom from our appetites and passions to walk in a new manner governed by wisdom, truth and the pursuit of God’s glory.
  • Some illustrations may help.C.S.
  • Lewis, J.R.R.
See also:  How To Measure Alcohol Content In Wine?

Tolkien and the Inklings gathered at the local pub with a beer, laughing while they share the ideas they are thinking, the stories they are writing and genuinely enjoying their Christian friendship is a very different picture than students binge drinking until they are passed out on a bathroom floor.

  1. A celebratory drink for a friend’s new job is very different than the man losing his job because he cannot keep sober.
  2. Having a drink as a joyful celebration of God’s gifts is very different than a drink to numb the pain or medicate our anxieties.
  3. Theophilus, this is brief, but I wanted to present what Christians are for to understand some of the things they may be against.

Temptation is much easier to overcome when you are convinced of a good to pursue as opposed to merely told of pleasures to avoid. Christians are for joy. They are for a clear mind. They are for a free will. They are for the enjoyment of life as gift of God’s grace in a way that enhances life and does not diminish it.

I hope this helps! Interested in having a question answered by Dear Theophilus writers? Send them all to [email protected] with “Dear Theophilus” in the subject line. You can learn more about GCU’s College of Theology by visiting our website or clicking the Request More Information button. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.

Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.

Why is alcohol called spirits Bible?

Origins of the Term “Spirits” – Alchemy and distillation date back to the earliest times when the word “spirits” was first used. Alcohol was once thought to have mystical properties that could turn common metals into gold. This magical essence, which was believed to be the substance’s life force, was referred to as having a “spirit.” Whiskey, gin, and vodka are just a few examples of refined alcoholic beverages that have come to be referred to as “spirits” over time. These drinks were thought to hold both the spirit or life force that gave them their power as well as the essence of the plant or grain from which they were derived.

Is drinking a mortal sin?

What St. Thomas Aquinas Says – To show just how foreign drunkenness is to the Christian way of life, we need only to look to the Angelic Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas, in his Summa Theologiae, One of the questions in the Summa that he writes on is very direct.

He asks ” Is drunkenness a sin? ” The way that the Summa is set up involves St. Thomas writing an “objection” to the questions, typically three or four objections. Following the objections, St. Thomas answers, “On the Contrary”, refuting those same objections, and then goes into greater detail as to why the objections are wrong.

Take a look at the second objection to this question on drunkenness: “Every sin is voluntary, But no man wishes to be drunk, since no man wishes to be deprived of the use of reason. Therefore drunkenness is not a sin.” (ST II-II, Q 150, A 1, arg 2) Did you catch that? Even the objector, who does not see drunkenness as a sin, cannot fathom how any man would wish to be drunk.

  • How far have we fallen in our own time and place where many of our peers absolutely do wish to be drunk so that they actually can be deprived of their reason! St.
  • Thomas replies that one may become drunk without sinning, for instance, when they are unaware that the beverage they are drinking is very strong.

However, he also points out that “drunkenness may result from inordinate concupiscence and use of wine: in this way it is accounted a sin, and is comprised under gluttony”. Many of us are aware that gluttony, the inordinate desire to continue to gorge ourselves, can be a deadly sin.

This doesn’t apply only to eating, but clearly drinking as well. The next question St. Thomas asks is a logical one, ” Is drunkenness a mortal sin?” He answers: “The sin of drunkenness, as stated in the foregoing Article, consists in the immoderate use and concupiscence of wine t may happen that a man is well aware that the drink is immoderate and intoxicating, and yet he would rather be drunk than abstain from drink.

Such a man is a drunkard properly speaking “On this way drunkenness is a mortal sin, because then a man willingly and knowingly deprives himself of the use of reason, whereby he performs virtuous deeds and avoids sin, and thus he sins mortally by running the risk of falling into sin.

Was the wine in the Bible alcoholic?

Charles L. Quarles | July 22, 2021 – By Dr. Charles L. Quarles Unfortunately, many Christians know little about the ancient Mediterranean world. When they read the New Testament, they naturally imagine that things there and then must have been very much like they are here and now. Famous Christian art provides many examples of such anachronisms.

Artists of previous centuries often depicted biblical figures wearing the fashions and using the technology of the artist’s own time rather than those of the actual biblical world (see Gerbrand van den Eeckhout’s painting, “Vision of Cornelius the Centurion” or Rembrandt’s “The Prodigal Son in the Brothel”).

We may unknowingly commit similar anachronisms when we read the New Testament. One such anachronism relates to modern Christian views of alcohol. The New Testament clearly prohibits drunkenness (Eph.5:18) and even insists that drunkenness is inconsistent with an authentic Christian lifestyle (1 Cor.6:9-11).

However, other texts show that the New Testament authors approved the use of wine in moderation (1 Tim.3:3, 8; 5:23; Titus 2:3). Today’s readers reasonably conclude that the Bible approves of the use of all modern alcoholic beverages in moderation today. The unstated assumption of this argument is that modern alcoholic beverages are very similar to biblical wine.

It turns out that the assumption is really a presumption. New Testament wine (by which I mean the wine ordinarily consumed in the New Testament world) was significantly different from many modern alcoholic beverages. How was this wine different? First, ancient beverages did not contain distilled alcohol like modern alcoholic beverages often do.

  • Distillation was invented by Arab alchemists in the 8 th century long after the New Testament era.
  • The strongest alcoholic beverage that was accessible to the New Testament authors and their original readers was natural wine that had an alcoholic content of 11-12 percent (before dilution).
  • Second, ancient wine was normally diluted.

Even ancient pagans considered drinking wine full strength to be a barbaric practice. They typically diluted wine with large amounts of water before the wine was consumed. Ancient wine was stored undiluted in large jars called amphorae, Before it was consumed, it was poured into large bowls called kraters where it was mixed with snow or water before being poured into cups (called kylix ).

The ratio of wine to water varied. However, the ancients were virtually unanimous that a dilution rate of at least two parts water to one part wine was necessary. Anacreon called unmixed wine “a Scythian draught.” Scythians ranked with primitive cannibals as the most barbaric of peoples. Archippus said those who drank wine half and half were “wretches.” Mnesitheus of Athens wrote that to those “who mix and drink it moderately, it gives good cheer; but if you overstep the bounds, it brings violence.

Mix it half and half, and you get madness; unmixed bodily collapse.” One of the most helpful discussions of dilution rates appears in a work by Athenaus of Naucratis called Deipnosophistae (Banquet of the Learned; c. AD 228). Athenaus mentions several different dilution rates that he culled from ancient works.

Ancient Writer Water:Wine
Homer 20:1
Pliny 8:1
Aristophanes 2 or 3:1
Euenos 3:1
Hesiod 3:1
Alexis 4:1
Diocles 2:1
Ion 3:1
Nichochares 5:2
Anacreon 2:1

The alcohol content was negligible by modern standards. The Old Testament Apocrypha also documents the practice of diluting wine with water.2 Maccabees 15:39 states, “It is harmful to drink wine alone, or again, to drink water alone, while wine mixed with water is sweet and delicious and enhances one’s enjoyment.” A careful study of the Mishnah and Talmuds shows that the normal dilution rate among the Jews was 3 parts water to 1 part wine.B.

Shabbath 77a says that wine that does not mix well with three parts water is not true wine.B. Pesahim 108b states that the wine consumed during Passover was 3:1 wine. This was very likely the commonly accepted dilution rate among Jews of the NT era as well. This dilution rate reduces the alcohol content of New Testament wine to 2.75 to 3.0 percent.

Although Federal law in the US classifies a beverage with 0.5 percent or more alcohol by volume as an alcoholic beverage, state laws may differ. In some states, a beverage with the weak alcohol content of New Testament wine is not even considered an alcoholic beverage.

  1. According to Title 67 of the Mississippi Code, “wine containing five percent (5%) or less of alcohol by weight” shall not be considered an alcoholic beverage.
  2. To answer the question we posed earlier, was New Testament wine alcoholic? Certainly, it was fermented and had a modest alcohol content.
  3. But the alcohol content was negligible by modern standards.

Editor’s Note: In a future article, we will compare New Testament wine to modern alcoholic beverages. We will seek to determine if the approval of New Testament wine in moderation provides ethical justification for the consumption of significantly stronger alcoholic beverages today. Charles L. Quarles is Research Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology and Charles Page Chair of Biblical Theology at SEBTS. He has served at SEBTS since 2013. His current research focuses on the Gospel of Matthew, New Testament textual criticism, and the biblical theology of the work of Christ.

Can Christians drink coffee?

Father, Son and Holy Roast: How coffee became Christians’ acceptable vice Christians and coffee have a long and storied history, from the Reformation to the church basement coffee hour. Wherever two or more are gathered in the name of God, you can usually also find an urn of mediocre brew and a stack of Styrofoam cups.

  • The trajectory of coffee drinking in America, from a shared and slow activity to a personal and quick transaction, mirrors the trajectory of evangelical Christianity.
  • Lent is almost over, and many Christians will rejoice that they can once again get their regular coffee fix.
  • But most of us would never give it up in the first place.

Coffee fuels many of us—54 percent of American adults drink it on a, It gets us through the worst days, gives us a reason to get out of bed and restores us to the angels of our better nature. If that sounds a little religious, it’s no coincidence. Coffee is an acceptable vice.

  1. Unlike alcohol, which many evangelicals either abstain from or approach warily, coffee has been enthusiastically embraced.
  2. On other hand, some Christians give yoga the stink eye because of its Hindu origins.
  3. Coffee, whose first widespread religious use was as an aid to keep Muslim Sufis awake for midnight prayer, has faced no such exclusion.

In fact, during his tenure, Pope Clement VIII is reported to have said, “Why, this Satan’s drink is so delicious that it would be a pity to let the infidels have exclusive use of it. We shall fool Satan by baptizing it and making it a truly Christian beverage.” Thus the Christian marriage to coffee was born, and remade several times over throughout history—from the late 17th century, when the clergy observed that coffee consumption was having a sobering effect on the normally beer-swilling Brits, to the current-day evangelical love affair with the beans.

Drinking bouts in 17th-century Europe usually ended only when participants blacked out, according to Wolfgang Schivelbusch’s “.” Caffeine is chemically addictive like alcohol, but its rewards are much more productive and beneficial. Coffee makes a man more reasonable, better able to concentrate and hardworking.

No wonder people might see it going hand in hand with the Protestant work ethic. Although craft beer has become a bit in evangelical circles, it would still be regarded with surprise if someone were to say they loved “wine and Jesus” in the same way people talk about coffee and Jesus.

It might feel a bit naughty for evangelicals to talk about any addictions, but if they flip that idea on its head and talk about being “addicted” to Jesus, then anything addictive and non-harmful can be cast in a positive light. Jars of Clay, the popular Christian rock band, wrote an ode to coffee on their 1997 album “Much Afraid:” “I have this craving/Justifies behaving/I really need some of that/Ooo, good coffee/Strong coffee.” Coffee was—and still is, in many parts of the world—a communal ritual, something that brought people together while beans roasted over the fire, while someone ground the roasted beans with a mortar and pestle, while the boiling water was poured over the ground beans once, the cup drained, once more, three times in total.

You can get pourover coffee now in almost any city in America, but what you’re getting is one cup, maybe some morning chatter, and an invitation to step out of line while you wait. It’s kind of like evangelicalism—there is a gospel (coffee or Jesus, choose your poison), a decision to move forward, and sometimes-shallow conversation.

  1. Plus, you mostly go through it on your own.
  2. Coffee and religion has also been the on social media.
  3. If you search for the phrase “coffee and Jesus” on Twitter, you will get a whole lot () of people sharing pictures of their Bible and their morning cup of joe.
  4. The reliance on coffee in social media gives evangelicals a common touchpoint with their secular friends and followers.

“You may not love Jesus, but almost everyone loves coffee,” the logic goes, and, indeed, that sentiment is responsible for scores of Christian coffee houses across America. Places like in Mountain View, Calif., whose motto–”Caffeine, Culture, and Community”–reveals its Christian roots.

The cafe was started by a local church and functions as a non-profit, but you’d be hard-pressed to know any of that unless you dug deep into its Web site. Nonbelievers may not be likely to step into a sanctuary on Sunday mornings, but who doesn’t want to go to a coffee shop? And Red Rock isn’t handing tracts out with your latte; it’s just a place that serves good coffee and gives some of their money back to the community.

Red Rock serves as one of the places where coffee culture and Christian culture meet in a way that does no harm. The most immediate thing that a Christian sharing her love of coffee and Jesus wants to communicate, though, is that she is talking with a personal God in much the same way she would talk with a friend.

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Intimacy is the assertion behind every tweet about a quiet time: It’s just me and my pal Jesus, sitting together at my kitchen table, connecting over what we want the day to look like. To evangelicals, posting a picture of their Bible and a cup of coffee isn’t too different from Instagramming a photo of them out to dinner with their best friend.

It’s the way life is shared from one party to another. Posting a coffee “gram” does the nice work of placing something very concrete (a cup of hot coffee) with something pretty abstract (the second person of the Trinity whose life, death, and resurrection two millennia ago still somehow mysteriously shapes our lives).

  1. We may not be able to hear from Jesus in the way that his disciples could, but we can still begin our days behaving as if he is right next to us, the reasoning goes.
  2. Coffee has seen Christianity through a Reformation, modernity and postmodernity, through boring Sunday sermons and lively evening revivals.

Now it takes its place on the kitchen table, next to the Bible—close enough to be in the same frame. is a writer and editor living in San Francisco. Interested in more articles about religion? Read more from : : Father, Son and Holy Roast: How coffee became Christians’ acceptable vice

Is alcohol forbidden in the Bible?

I used to drink too much. To be honest, I was a drunk. The Lord saved me from unbelief and addiction at the age of 21. I am now 37 and have been sober for almost 16 years. The Lord is good. For many years, my position on alcohol was simple: alcohol is not always bad, but it is never good.

  1. However, I realize now that my thinking was not entirely based on Scripture.
  2. I knew the Bible’s warnings against alcohol, but I didn’t see any value in drinking.
  3. Since then, I’ve had to adjust my thinking on alcohol to align with Scripture.
  4. Here is a biblical framework for thinking through this topic.
  5. Drinking Alcohol is Not a Sin Contrary to what many Christians have grown up hearing, it is not a sin to drink alcohol.

Scripture nowhere condemns or prohibits consuming moderate levels of alcohol. Case in point—Jesus drank wine. The religious leaders accused our Lord of being a drunkard. “The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!'” (Luke 7:34).

Of course, Jesus never got drunk, but he did drink wine. We all know he made water into wine at a party, and it would have been customary for him to enjoy a drink with his friends (John 2:1-11). It was also tradition for Jews to drink wine at the yearly Passover meal, in which Jesus routinely participated.

He also instituted the Lord’s Supper with bread and wine (Luke 22:14-20). It’s clear that drinking is not a sin; otherwise, Jesus would not have done it. Drinking Alcohol Can be a Blessing The Bible doesn’t present drinking in moderation as merely neutral; it is also depicted as a blessing.

The Psalmist says that in addition to the many earthly blessings God bestows, the Lord gives “wine to gladden the heart of man” (Psalm 104:15). Friends enjoying a meal together may choose to enhance their gathering by sharing drinks. Alcohol can encourage relaxation, happiness, and laughter. These are all blessings from God (see also Eccl.9:7, Isaiah 55:1-3, Amos 9:14).

Alcohol can also be used for medicinal purposes. “Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress.” (Proverbs 31:61, 1 Tim.5:23). Today, we use even stronger medications, but in the past, it was alcohol that provided relief from pain.

  1. This, too, is a blessing from God.
  2. In a broken world full of pain, the Lord has provided help in our times of suffering.
  3. Finally, the Lord promised that in the New Heavens and New Earth, there will be wine when we feast with God Himself.
  4. On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.” (Isaiah 25:6).

The Lord will share a drink with us in heaven. Drunkenness is a Sin Drinking is not a sin, and it is often a God-given blessing. However, Scripture’s overwhelming testimony is that drinking alcohol can be spiritually dangerous. Christians are allowed by God to drink alcohol, but we are forbidden to get drunk.

  1. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit.” (Ephesians 5:18; also see Proverbs 20:1, 23:20, Isaiah 5:22).
  2. This is a command from the Spirit-inspired apostle.
  3. Christians, “do not get drunk.” To get drunk, then, is a sin.
  4. Christians who drink alcohol may raise a question here.

“What does it mean to be drunk?” It’s a fair question. In most states, the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for driving a vehicle is,08 (at this point, you are considered legally impaired). Body weight, how much one drinks, and the amount of time between drinks will determine your BAC.

  1. For example, according to some research, a male weighing 200 lbs.
  2. Can consume one 12 oz beer and only reach a level of,02 BAC.
  3. Our bodies metabolize alcohol over time, and our BAC will drop,015% every hour from our last drink.
  4. Source ) Additionally, many would argue that even though,08 is the legal standard for intoxication, that doesn’t necessarily meet the Bible’s definition of drunkenness.

The positive command Paul gives to believers in contrast to drunkenness is that we should be “filled with the Spirit” (Eph.5:18). The issue, then, is about control. We must be controlled by the Spirit and not alcohol. So then, drunkenness, in Paul’s mind, at least means we have lost control.

I suspect most believers would say that 1-2 drinks would not cause them to lose control. All this to say, what qualifies as being drunk varies from person to person. The command is easy: do not get drunk. Defining drunkenness, on the other hand, is not as simple. My pastoral counsel would be to err on the side of caution.

Use discretion and be wise with alcohol. Like sex, it can be wonderful, but if it is not contained and appropriately used, it can also be deadly. The measurements above are a helpful guide. Suppose we define drunkenness according to the dictionary, In that case, it means “having the faculties impaired by alcohol” and reaching “a level of alcohol in the blood that exceeds a maximum prescribed by law.” Paul’s counsel here is helpful.

  • ‘All things are lawful for me,’ but not all things are helpful.
  • All things are lawful for me,’ but I will not be enslaved by anything.” (1 Cor.6:12).
  • The Dangers of Alcohol I’d be willing to bet my last dollar that everyone reading this article has been impacted by addiction in one way or another.
  • Either you have struggled with substance abuse, or someone you know (and probably love) has struggled.

It’s an epidemic in our country, and alcohol is at the heart of it. This is why Scripture warns against the dangers of drunkenness. Several categories must be established here.

Drunkenness ruins lives. “Be not among drunkards or among gluttonous eaters of meat, for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and slumber will clothe them with rags.” (Proverbs 23:20-21). God’s judgment is on the drunkard. “Woe (a pronouncement of judgment) to those who rise early in the morning, that they may run after strong drink, who tarry late into the evening as wine inflames them!” (Isaiah 5:11, 22) Drunkards cannot serve in church leadership. Elders must be “sober mindedand not a drunkard.” Likewise, deacons cannot be “addicted to much wine” (1 Tim.3:2-3, 8, also see Prov.31:4-5). Drunkards are considered unbelievers in the Bible. “For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry” (1 Peter 4:3; also see Romans 13:13, Luke 21:34, Isaiah 28:1). Godliness is characterized by sober-mindedness. “Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine.” (Titus 2:3). Drunkards will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Cor.6:9-10, also see Gal.5:19-21).

What’s Our Motive for Drinking? Christians are called to live every part of their lives to the glory of God, and that includes both eating and drinking: “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Cor.10:31). If our drinking alcohol helps us in appreciating a pleasure God created, especially in fellowship with others, it can be a blessing.

  • Yet, if our reason for drinking is to become drunk, seek temporary escape from difficulties, or conform to the practice of others against our conscience, we are drinking to our own peril.
  • Some Christians may also have been guilty of flaunting their freedom in defiance of the convictions of other believers or with no regard for the temptations of others to drunkenness (1 Cor.8:8-13).

As with any action we take, we must ensure it demonstrates both our love for the Lord and for others. God created alcohol, and in many places, the Bible describes it a God-given gift and blessing. But like all things the Lord has given, we must use it with wisdom and caution.

  • Unfortunately, because we are sinners, we tend to turn God’s good gifts into idolatry and sin.
  • Alcohol is no exception.
  • In fact, it stands out as one of Scripture’s major themes regarding warnings and judgment against a particular kind of sin.
  • Drunkenness, therefore, is forbidden, and for good reason.
  • The drunkard’s life is dishonoring to God and destructive to oneself, family, and friends.

Worst of all, a drunkard is a slave to alcohol and demonstrates a heart where the Holy Spirit does not reside. As Scripture says, such a person will not go to heaven. Note: This article and our many resources are made available for free through the generous support of others. Brandon is the Associate Pastor of The Journey Church in Lebanon, TN and leads the TJC RE:GENERATION ministry for the church. Brandon is married to Sherrie and has a daugher, Emma. Recent Articles:

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Does the Bible say drinking alcohol is a sin?

Drunkenness – Easton’s Bible Dictionary says, “The sin of drunkenness, must have been not uncommon in the olden times, for it is mentioned either metaphorically or literally more than seventy times in the Bible,” though some suggest it was a “vice of the wealthy rather than of the poor.” Biblical interpreters generally agree that the Hebrew and Christian scriptures condemn ordinary drunkenness as a serious spiritual and moral failing in passages such as these (all from the New International Version ):

  • Proverbs 23:20 f: “Do not mix with winebibbers, or gluttonous eaters of meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.”
  • Isaiah 5:11 f: “Woe to those who rise early in the morning to run after their drinks, who stay up late at night till they are inflamed with wine. They have harps and lyres at their banquets, tambourines and flutes and wine, but they have no regard for the deeds of the L ORD, no respect for the work of his hands.”
  • Galatians 5:19–21 : “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious:, drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
  • Ephesians 5:18 : “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.”

The consequences of the drunkenness of Noah and Lot “were intended to serve as examples of the dangers and repulsiveness of intemperance.” The title character in the Book of Judith uses the drunkenness of the Assyrian general Holofernes to behead him in a heroic victory for the Jewish people and an embarrassing defeat for the general, who had schemed to seduce Judith.

One of the original sections of 1 Esdras describes a debate among three courtiers of Darius I of Persia over whether wine, the king, or women (but above all the truth) is the strongest. The argument for wine does not prevail in the contest, but it provides a vivid description of the ancients’ view of the power wine can wield in excessive quantity.

A disputed but important passage is Proverbs 31:4–7, Some Christians assert that alcohol was prohibited to kings at all times, while most interpreters contend that only its abuse is in view here. Some argue that the latter instructions regarding the perishing should be understood as sarcasm when compared with the preceding verses, while others contend the beer and wine are intended as a cordial to raise the spirits of the perishing, while some suggest that the Bible is here authorizing alcohol as an anesthetic,

Can Christians eat pork?

In Abrahamic religions, eating pig flesh is clearly forbidden by Jewish (kashrut), Islamic (haram) and Adventist (kosher animals) dietary laws. Although Christianity is also an Abrahamic religion, most of its adherents do not follow these aspects of Mosaic law and are permitted to consume pork.

Why is alcohol haram?

It is believed that the Quran forbids alcohol because it harms one’s health, can lead to addiction and disrupts society. A general warning was given to prohibit Muslims from attending prayers in a drunken state (Quran, 4:43).

What are the 3 mortal sins in the Bible?

In AD 385, Pacian of Barcelona, in his Sermon Exhorting to Penance, gives contempt of God, murder, and fornication as examples of ‘mortal’ or ‘capital sins.’

Can sins get drunk?

The Sims 4 (Video Game 2014) – IMDb

Mild With The Sims 4 Get Famous, celebrities consuming enough bar beverages (bar Water, Mineral Water, Creme-Cola and other non-alcoholic beverages) may gain the “Juice Enthusiast” quirk, provided a free quirk slot has been unlocked. This quirk, being similar to the alcohol addiction, presses the sim to continue consuming bar beverages at a regular interval, providing a negative buff if not remedied. This quirk cannot be treated in normal circumstances. With the Sims 4 City Living, sims may smoke the water pipe ingame, which emits water bubbles. Improper use of the water pipe however makes the sim dazed. Sims can go to a bar With the Sims 4 Eco Lifestyle, sims may produce (partially alcoholic) beverages from the “Juice Fizzing” Machine, which includes Fizzy Juice, Seltzer, Kombucha and Honey Mead. Drinking too much Kombucha results in the sim getting dazed. The Sims 4: Discover University reintroduces Juice Pong (the Sims-equivalent of Beer Pong), and Juice Kegs, which allows the sims to do a keg stand (Sims with the Bro Trait are more likely to succeed) Sims can purchase a home bar and can learn the mixology skill. Though the bottles are not specifically detailed, it can be assumed that they are alcoholic. Sims can get dazed (which is the equivalent to drunk) by too much drinks and coffee.

: The Sims 4 (Video Game 2014) – IMDb

What are the 4 mortal sins?

The term sin can be broadly defined as any action or thought that goes against moral or religious law. In Christianity, sins are typically thought of as offenses against God. Within Catholicism, sins fall into two categories: mortal sins and venial sins,

  1. Mortal sins are also known as cardinal sins and are the more serious of the two types.
  2. These sins involve a grave matter committed with full knowledge and done freely and deliberately.
  3. Examples of mortal sins include murder, adultery, blasphemy, and idolatry.
  4. Some extreme instances of these sins, such as violence against the pope, can even result in ex-communication from the church which is a severe punishment that excludes a person from the sacraments and other aspects of the faith.

Venial sins are less serious offenses against God’s law and involve lesser matters, partial knowledge, impulsive behavior, or actions done inadvertently. Examples of venial sins include lying, overeating, pride, and indulging in sensual pleasures (e.g.

Is it forbidden to eat pork in the Bible?

Indeed, in the Hebrew Bible, eating pork is not only unclean, it is treated as disgusting and horrific. The book of Isaiah associates it with death, idolatry, and sin (65:4; 66:3).

Who was the first drunkard in the Bible?

Definition and origin – In the Bible, the few chapters that come between the creation of Adam and the birth of Noah contain no mention of alcoholic drinks. After the account of the great flood, the biblical Noah is said to have cultivated a vineyard, made wine, and become intoxicated,

  • Thus, the discovery of fermentation is traditionally attributed to Noah because this is the first time alcohol appears in the Bible.
  • Noah’s wine has been described as a “pleasant relief for man from the toilsome work of the crop”.
  • There is debate as to whether certain references to wine in the Bible are actually to a non-intoxicating substance, but, at least in this passage, the Bible states Noah became drunk ( Hebrew : ישכר yiškār ) after consuming wine ( יין ‎ yayin ).
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It has been suggested that Noah’s wine must have been drugged as it could not have been strong enough to cause him to become intoxicated. Rabbinic literature goes as far as to suggest that the grape vine-branch had its origins with Adam, and that Satan, along with fertilization using animal blood, played a part in the production of the wine.

  1. It blames those factors (especially the latter two) for the aforementioned potency of the wine.
  2. From a biblical view, fermented beverages presumably spread throughout the world after Noah’s supposed discovery, as alcoholic beverages are historically widespread.
  3. Some climates are not suited for the growing of grapes; hence it is purported that humanity was led to discover other means (e.g.

beer ) of not simply satisfying thirst but also stimulating the mind.

What does the Bible say about a strong drink?

Prov.31 –

It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink : Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.

Can Christians get tattoos?

Christianity – Some Christians take issue with tattooing, upholding the Hebrew prohibition. The Hebrew prohibition is based on interpreting Leviticus 19:28—”Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you”—so as to prohibit tattoos.

Interpretations of the passage vary, however. Some believe that it refers specifically to, and exclusively prohibits, an ancient form of self-mutilation during mourning (as discussed in the Judaism section ). Under this interpretation, tattooing is permitted to Jews and Christians. Another interpretation is that it refers only to the tattooing of ink with ashes of deceased family.

Others hold that the prohibition of Leviticus 19:28, regardless of its interpretation, is not binding upon Christians—just as prohibitions like “nor shall there come upon you a garment of cloth made of two kinds of stuff” (Leviticus 19:19) are not binding—because it is part of the Jewish ceremonial law, binding only upon the Jewish people (see New Covenant § Christian view ).

Are Mormons Christians?

Beliefs –

  • Mormons consider themselves Christians, but many Christians don’t recognize Mormonism as an official denomination.
  • Mormons believe in the crucifixion, resurrection and divinity of Jesus Christ. Followers claim that God sent more prophets after Jesus’s death. They say that the original church has been restored in modern times.
  • Mormons embrace four different texts: The Christian Bible, The Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and The Pearl of Great Price.
  • According to the LDS church, Adam and Eve lived in Daviess County, Missouri after being driven from the Garden of Eden.
  • There are three levels of heaven—celestial, terrestrial and telestial—in Mormonism. Only those in the celestial kingdom will live in God’s presence.
  • Followers don’t recognize the Christian concept of the trinity (God existing in three persons). Instead, they believe the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are three separate gods.
  • The The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints considers Joseph Smith, who founded Mormonism, a prophet.
  • Mormons follow a strict healthy lifestyle that doesn’t allow them to consume alcohol, tobacco, coffee or tea.
  • Family life, good deeds, respect for authority and missionary work are important values in Mormonism.
  • Mormons practice clothing rituals that include wearing special undergarments that have religious significance. Known as the “temple garment,” the attire is worn by adult members who make sacred promises to God.
  • Not all Mormon churches accept the label “Mormon,” because the term has at times been used in a derogatory manner, and it does not allow for the variety of beliefs that exist among churches that follow the Book of Mormon and the teachings of Joseph Smith.

What does the Bible say about tattoos?

Tattoos have been around for millennia. People got them at least five thousand years ago. Today they’re common everywhere from Maori communities in New Zealand to office parks in Ohio, But in the ancient Middle East, the writers of the Hebrew Bible forbade tattooing.

Per Leviticus 19:28, “You shall not make gashes in your flesh for the dead, or incise any marks on yourselves.” Historically, scholars have often understood this as a warning against pagan practices of mourning. But language scholar John Huehnergard and ancient-Israel expert Harold Liebowitz argue that tattooing was understood differently in ancient times,

Huehnergard and Liebowitz note that the appearance of the ban on incisions—or tattoos—comes right after words clearly related to mourning, perhaps confirming the original theory. And yet, looking at what’s known about death rituals in ancient Mesopotamia, Syria, Israel, and Egypt, they find no references to marking the skin as a sign of mourning.

They also note that there are other examples in Leviticus and Exodus where two halves of a verse address different issues. So that could be the case here, too. What tattoos were apparently often used for in ancient Mesopotamia was marking enslaved people (and, in Egypt, as decorations for women of all social classes).

Egyptian captives were branded with the name of a god, marking them as belongings of the priests or pharaoh. But devotees might also be branded with the name of the god they worshiped. Huehnergard and Liebowitz suggest that, given the key role of the escape from Egyptian bondage in ancient Jewish law, the Torah originally banned tattooing because it was “the symbol of servitude.” Interestingly, though, they write that there’s one other apparent reference to tattooing in the Hebrew Bible.

  • Isaiah 44:5 describes the children of Jacob committing themselves to God: “One shall say, ‘I am the LORD’s’ Another shall mark his arm ‘of the LORD.'” Here a tattoo appears to be allowable as a sign of submission, not to a human master but to God.
  • Ancient rabbinic debates produced a variety of different theories about the meaning of the prohibition on tattooing.

Some authorities believed that tattoos were only disallowed if they had certain messages, such as the name of God, the phrase “I am the Lord,” or the name of a pagan deity. Talmudic law developed around 200 CE says that a tattoo is only disallowed if it is done “for the purpose of idolatry”—but not if it’s intended to mark a person’s enslaved status.

Is it sin to drink alcohol in Bible?

Drinking Alcohol is Not a Sin Contrary to what many Christians have grown up hearing, it is not a sin to drink alcohol. Scripture nowhere condemns or prohibits consuming moderate levels of alcohol. Case in point—Jesus drank wine.

Is alcohol a sin Bible verse?

Drunkenness – Easton’s Bible Dictionary says, “The sin of drunkenness, must have been not uncommon in the olden times, for it is mentioned either metaphorically or literally more than seventy times in the Bible,” though some suggest it was a “vice of the wealthy rather than of the poor.” Biblical interpreters generally agree that the Hebrew and Christian scriptures condemn ordinary drunkenness as a serious spiritual and moral failing in passages such as these (all from the New International Version ):

  • Proverbs 23:20 f: “Do not mix with winebibbers, or gluttonous eaters of meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.”
  • Isaiah 5:11 f: “Woe to those who rise early in the morning to run after their drinks, who stay up late at night till they are inflamed with wine. They have harps and lyres at their banquets, tambourines and flutes and wine, but they have no regard for the deeds of the L ORD, no respect for the work of his hands.”
  • Galatians 5:19–21 : “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious:, drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
  • Ephesians 5:18 : “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.”

The consequences of the drunkenness of Noah and Lot “were intended to serve as examples of the dangers and repulsiveness of intemperance.” The title character in the Book of Judith uses the drunkenness of the Assyrian general Holofernes to behead him in a heroic victory for the Jewish people and an embarrassing defeat for the general, who had schemed to seduce Judith.

  1. One of the original sections of 1 Esdras describes a debate among three courtiers of Darius I of Persia over whether wine, the king, or women (but above all the truth) is the strongest.
  2. The argument for wine does not prevail in the contest, but it provides a vivid description of the ancients’ view of the power wine can wield in excessive quantity.

A disputed but important passage is Proverbs 31:4–7, Some Christians assert that alcohol was prohibited to kings at all times, while most interpreters contend that only its abuse is in view here. Some argue that the latter instructions regarding the perishing should be understood as sarcasm when compared with the preceding verses, while others contend the beer and wine are intended as a cordial to raise the spirits of the perishing, while some suggest that the Bible is here authorizing alcohol as an anesthetic,

Which verse in the Bible talks about drinking wine?

There is a blessing in the juice of the grape. Many Christian advocates of drinking alcoholic wine point to a verse in 1 Timothy. Paul says, ” Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities ” (1 Tim 5:23).

What did Paul mean when he instructed Timothy to take “a little wine” for thy stomach’s sake? It’s obvious that Paul was not advocating social drinking in this passage. He clearly states, “Drink no longer water, ” (Anyone who has traveled in the Middle East knows the difficulty of getting pure, unpolluted water), but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.

Whatever kind of wine Paul was talking about (fermented or unfermented), it is exceedingly plain that the purpose of his counsel to Timothy was due to his stomach ailments. Paul’s counsel related to a medicinal use, not a social enjoyment. What kind of wine was Paul recommending? Would the apostle encourage the moderate us of a drink which Proverbs 23:31 says “Look not upon the wine when it is red, ” a drink which brings “woe sorrow, babbling, and wounds” (Proverbs 23:29).

A drink which is deceptive (Proverbs 20:1), a drink which perverts the judgment causing tine eyes to behold strange women and thine heart to utter strange things (Proverbs 23:32-33). Certainly not! The Bible uses the word wine to refer to both an alcoholic fermented beverage as well as unfermented grape juice.

According to Isaiah 65:8, the new wine is found in a cluster and there is blessing in it. This is obviously the unfermented, freshly squeezed juice of the grape. Referring to the communion wine served, Jesus told His disciples that He would not participate in the service again until He “drank it new with them in the Father’s kingdom” (Matt.26:29).

  1. The communion wine representing Christ’s pure, undefiled Blood must be unfermented since fermentation is a sign of sin.
  2. In 1 Timothy 5:23, Paul encourages Timothy to use a little wine or grape products for his stomach’s sake.
  3. Unfermented grape juice has healthful properties for the body.
  4. Indeed there is blessing in the freshly squeezed juice of the grape.

The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 5:8, ” Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour,” The advice is to be SOBER. When you are not sharp and have all your wits about you Satan can tempt and deceive you.

A recent health article on CNN.com states in part, The latest studies show you can get all the same benefits from grape juice as you can from wine. The reason purple grape juice contains the same powerful disease-fighting antioxidants, called flavonoids, that are believed to give wine many of its heart-friendly benefits.

The flavonoids in grape juice, like those in wine, have been shown to prevent the oxidation of so called bad cholesterol LDLs, or low density lipoproteins that leads to formation of plaque in artery walls. It goes to tell us that the alcohol found in wine is actually harmful to you, University of Wisconsin researcher John Folts, Ph.D.

says, “with grape juice, you can drink enough to get the benefit without worrying about becoming intoxicated.” What’s more, alcoholic drinks don’t seem to improve the function of cells in blood vessel linings the way grape juice does. And alcohol generates free radicals unstable oxygen molecules that can actually cause damage to blood vessel tissues dampening any of the benefits that red wines antioxidants may offer.

Is Drinking Alcohol a Sin?

The word ‘grape juice’ first appeared in Webster’s Dictionary in 1896. In ancient literature wine had the dual meaning of fermented or unfermented grape juice. Aristotle wrote of a sweet grape beverage he called wine: “It has not the effect of wine, for it does not intoxicate like ordinary wine.” Marcus Cato describes “wine still hanging on the grapes.” Since wine could be fermented or unfermented, the translators of the King James Version of the Bible did not always specify which meaning the Hebrew yayin or Greek oinos had in a text.

We can’t assume that just because the Bible says ‘wine’ that it is referring to the fermented type. As prudent Bible students we must sort out the context. In John 10:10 in part says, ” I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly,” God says, In using alcohol we participate in destroying not only our own life but often the lives of others.

We must live for God and seek to honor Him in all that we do. ” Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God ” (1 Corinthians 10:31). It is impossible to drink alcohol to the glory of God. Despite the prevailing view that the Bible supports the moderate use of alcohol, we have seen that God has set a standard of total abstinence for Christians.

How bad is drinking alcohol?

Long-Term Health Risks – Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to the development of chronic diseases and other serious problems including:

  • High blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, and digestive problems.6,16
  • of the breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, voice box, liver, colon, and rectum.6,17
  • Weakening of the immune system, increasing the chances of getting sick.6,16
  • Learning and memory problems, including dementia and poor school performance.6,18
  • Mental health problems, including depression and anxiety.6,19
  • Social problems, including family problems, job-related problems, and unemployment.6,20,21
  • Alcohol use disorders, or alcohol dependence.5

By not drinking too much, you can reduce the risk of these short- and long-term health risks.

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention., Accessed April 19, 2022.
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