Early Christians Sober

John of Lycopolis (c. 395 AD)

‘if there is any sharp wine I excommunicate it, but I drink the good.’

(‘The Lusiac History’, Ch. 35, John of Lycopolis)

Gregory of Nyssa (330-395 AD)

Gregory did not say all wines were alcoholic.

‘Moreover console each other with the following words; it is a good medicine that Solomon has for sorrow; for he bids wine be given to the sorrowful; saying this to us, the labourers in the vineyard: “Give,” therefore, “your wine to those that are in sorrow,” not that wine which produces drunkenness, plots against the senses, and destroys the body, but such as gladdens the heart, the wine which the Prophet recommends when he says: “Wine maketh glad the heart of man.” Pledge each other in that liquor undiluted and with the unstinted goblets of the word, that thus our grief may be turned to joy and gladness, by the grace of the Only-begotten Son of God, through Whom be glory to God, even the Father, for ever and ever. Amen.’

(Gregory of Nyssa, ‘Funeral Oration on Meletius’, citing Proverbs 31:6 and Psalm 104:15)

Cyril of Alexandria (376-444 AD)

‘… for thou saidst, “Behold a man gluttonous, and drinking wine! a friend of publicans and sinners!” Because thou hast occasionally seen Jesus faring luxuriously, does He appear to thee a drinker of wine, and a carouser, and gluttonous? How canst thou prove this? … He even said, at one time: “The prince of this world cometh, and will find nothing in Me?”…’

(Cyril of Alexandria, ‘Commentary on Luke’, Sermon 39, citing Luke 7:34 and John 14:30)

Compare Young’s Literal Translation of the false accusation: ‘the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and ye say, Lo, a man, a glutton, and a wine drinker, a friend of tax-gatherers and sinners.’
(Luke 7:34, Young’s Literal Translation)

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