Fact check: where does Old Testament say any wine required at Passover?

R. C. Sproul made a very questionable claim: “…everybody knows that the Old Testament feast of the Passover, that Jesus celebrated in the upper room, called for the use of real wine – by Devine sanction.” (R. C. Sproul, The Wedding Feast, sermon at St Andrew’s Chapel, Sanford, Florida, 9 Jun. 2002.)

I found where the Old Testament talks about the Passover: wine is not mentioned!

I found no Old Testament verse that commands {yayin} “wine,” nor even mentions the fruit of the vine, for the Passover seder meal.

Ex. 12; Ex. 13:3-10; Ex. 23:15, 18; Ex. 34:18, 25; Lev. 23:5-8; Num. 9:1-14; Num. 28:16-25; Num. 33:3; Deut. 16:1-8; Josh. 5:10-11; 2 Kin. 23:9, 21-23; 2 Chr. 8:13; 2 Chr. 30; 2 Chr. 35:1-19; Ezra 6:19-22; Ezek. 45:21-24.

Sproul said “real wine” when he meant alcoholic wine exclusively, forgetting the unfermented wine of Isaiah 16:10 is equally real {yayin} “wine” – by God’s own word. (This verse is about wine, but not about the Passover.)

Also the Greek New Testament itself never says {oinos} “wine” referring to the Last Supper, but only refers to the cup and the “fruit of the vine.”

Matt. 26:2, 17-19; Mark 14:1, 12, 14, 16; Luke 2:41; Luke 22:1, 7-8; Luke 22:11, 13, 15; John 2:13, 23; John 6:4; John 11:55; John 12:1; John 13:1; John 18:28, 39; John 19:14; Acts 12:3-4; Acts 20:6; 1 Cor. 5:7-8; Heb. 11:28.

Nothing wrong with grape juice!

The danger of former alcoholics relapsing is one of multiple reasons for various church denominations to stipulate the observance the Lord’s Supper with only unfermented wine.

Paul rebukes some Corinthians for what? (1 Cor. 11:21)

Jeremiah 31:25 (Greek version) contrasts methuo with being hungry (peinao). 1 Cor. 11:21 likewise contrasts methuo with being hungry (peinao). I understand methuo in 1 Cor. 11:21 the same way as in Jeremiah 31:25. This is how several translations have rendered 1 Cor. 11:21, without any intoxication (for methuo) in this specific passage because in this context it is contrasted with being hungry:

“For, in eating it, every one takes first his own supper; and one, indeed, is hungry, and another is filled.” (Living Oracles New Testament)
“for in eating every one strives to take his own supper first, and while one is hungry, another is surfeited.” (Mace)
“for every one at eating taketh first his own supper, so one indeed is hungry and another is plentifully fed.” (Charles Thomson version)
“each one for the own supper takes before in the to eat, and one indeed is hungry, one but is filled.” (Emphatic Diaglott – Benjamin Wilson)

Judges 9:13 grapes “tirosh” cheer God and men

“But the vine said to them, ‘Shall I leave my TIROSH [grapes] that cheers God and men and go hold sway over the trees?’” (Judges 9:13)

cluster of green grapes
Tirosh – Grapes (Micah 6:15)

See the meaning of tirosh, as one “…shall tread grapes (tirosh), but not drink wine (yayin).” (Mic. 6:15 ESV) Unfermented grape juice in Isa. 16:10 was indeed within the meaning of yayin – and in Prov. 23:29-35 alcoholic wine was also within the meaning of yayin. The vine itself simply has solid grapes, namely tirosh in Hebrew.

Continue reading “Judges 9:13 grapes “tirosh” cheer God and men”

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)

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

Alcohol’s benefits debunked: Heart research reviewed

heartbeet sound wave

Researchers from Canada, USA, and Australia have together produced a meta-analysis of 54 published studies, regarding drinking, and death from all causes and from coronary heart disease (CHD).

The report found that many of the previous prospective studies have failed to distinguish between former drinkers and persons who never were drinkers.

This systematic error was used to support the hypothesis that alcohol use (by older users) reduces CHD risk.

Research actually showed: no evidence of alcohol helping heart

The researchers found that the few studies without this error showed no evidence of health benefits.

People may abstain because they are sick—they are not sick because they abstain. Continue reading “Alcohol’s benefits debunked: Heart research reviewed”

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