Tertullian said Timothy not drinking would help his stomach (160-220 AD)

Tertullian (c. 160-220 AD) strikingly compared the strong penalty of the Levitical priests to ministers in the Church. ‘For abstinence from wine withal has honourable badges of its own… So true is it, that such as shall have ministered in the Church, being not sober, shall “die”’. Continue reading “Tertullian said Timothy not drinking would help his stomach (160-220 AD)”

Joseph the original “Nazarite”

Joseph the original “Nazarite”

Before Jacob died, he blessed his sons including Joseph: “The blessings of your father Have excelled the blessings of my ancestors, Up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills. They shall be on the head of Joseph, And on the crown of the head of him who was separate [separate in Hebrew: nazar] from his brothers.” (Gen. 49:26)

“The majority opinion of the rabbis is that Joseph always kept in mind his father and brothers. Some declare that during the 22 years he was away from home he drank no wine (Shab. 139a; Gen. R. 94:25).” (New World Encyclopedia)

Certainly Joseph could not expect to behave wisely if he were to drink and forget the law. (Prov. 31:5) This is true regardless of Joseph technically taking a Nazarite vow or not.

Interestingly this term nazar describing Joseph in Gen. 49:26 is the term used of the Nazarite vow in Numbers 6:1-21. Besides alcoholic wine, Jewish usage of Hebrew clearly shows simple grape juice was also within the meaning of “yayin” wine: “Wine … when the grapes have been crushed and the wine begins to flow, even though it has not descended into the cistern and is still in the wine press.” (Sefer Kedushah, MaAchalot Assurot, Ch. 11, Halacha 11) Continue reading “Joseph the original “Nazarite””

Bible says be sober again and again

Leviticus 10:8-11

Lev 10:8 Then the LORD spoke to Aaron, saying:

Lev 10:9 “Do not drink wine or intoxicating drink, you, nor your sons with you, when you go into the tabernacle of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations,

Lev 10:10 that you may distinguish between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean,

Lev 10:11 and that you may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD has spoken to them by the hand of Moses.”

(NKJV) Continue reading “Bible says be sober again and again”

1 Timothy 5:23 why non-alcoholic wine for Timothy’s stomach

“No longer drink only water, but use a little [oinos] wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.” (1 Timothy 5:23) Like the Greek term oinos, the meaning of Hebrew yayin is not limited to alcoholic wine. Below I explain why I understand that Timothy had initially foregone even non-alcoholic [oinos] wine too. Interestingly, the Alcohol Answers site states: “Alcohol, even in relatively small amounts, can interfere with many stomach functions.” Continue reading “1 Timothy 5:23 why non-alcoholic wine for Timothy’s stomach”

Isaiah 25:6 “banquet of preserved things” in Young’s Literal Translation

Isaiah 25:6 in Young’s Literal Translation does not include the word wine at all – because this verse in Hebrew does not say yayin (wine). YLT renders shemarim as “preserved things.” “And made hath Jehovah of Hosts, For all the peoples in this mount, A banquet of fat things, a banquet of preserved things, Fat things full of marrow, preserved things refined.” (Young’s Literal Translation)

The advantages of unfermented grape juice for the Lord’s Supper

Caution with the vague term ‘wine’ in communion service

A minister today needs caution when using unfermented grape juice and simply calling it ‘wine’ during a communion service. Participants may become confused, unless it is specifically stated that it is not the fermented type. They may know the term ‘wine’ is variously understood by different Christians (more so than other terms). Whatever the meanings of ‘wine’ – the Holy Bible itself does not use this particular term ‘wine’ (oinos) in reference to the Lord’s Supper. In every case, the Gospels only say ‘the fruit of the vine’ or ‘the cup’ (Matt. 26:27-29; Mark 14:23-24; Luke 22:17-18,20). Continue reading “The advantages of unfermented grape juice for the Lord’s Supper”

All or Nothing – Bottle or Christ

NOT: how much can I get away with, yet perhaps be saved? RATHER: how much can I please the Lord in every way?

‘And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner?’ (1 Pet. 4:18; Note context: they previously attended drinking parties 4:3 but now became sober & prayerful 4:7 because the final judgement is at hand.) Continue reading “All or Nothing – Bottle or Christ”

What the Bible says about drinking alcohol: it bites like a SNAKE (Prov. 23:29-35)

Download “Alcohol: What the Bible Says” in Adobe Reader format (224 KB)

This leaflet may be freely copied without alteration.

“Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbor…” (Hab. 2:15)

“…Drunkenness…and the like…those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God… And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” (Gal. 5:21-24)

Continue reading “What the Bible says about drinking alcohol: it bites like a SNAKE (Prov. 23:29-35)”

Deut. 14:26 Shekhar – meaning sweet drink or strong drink in Bible?

Deuteronomy 14:26 simply refers to wine and fruit-cider (yayin and shekhar) at a feast. The Hebrew text does not specify ‘hard’ cider.

Hard cider recieves no specific endorsement. (See also: broad meaning of wine (yayin) – documented.)

Shekhar: noun, fruit-cider; juice from dates, palms, or various fruits (generally other than grapes), whether it be unfermented sweet cider, or else fermented – (i.e. vinegar or any kind of intoxicating hard cider); sometimes even the fruit itself (Hebrew, Strong’s number: 7941). Continue reading “Deut. 14:26 Shekhar – meaning sweet drink or strong drink in Bible?”