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Booze In The Bible

The Law of The Nazir

The Nazirite Vow described in Numbers 6:1-21 is frequently referenced to support the prohibitionist view. Any who would dedicate himself to the Lord must abstain from alcoholic beverages. This can be answered on two fronts. First, the argument fails a simple consistency check. Second, the Nazirite Vow is not as simple as the prohibitionists’ superficial […]

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Booze In The Bible

Strong Drink

Recently, someone directed my attention to the International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (ISBE), specifically the contents of its entry on wine related to the Hebrew word shekar. This was offered as evidence that shekar was not necessarily alcoholic. Here is the relevant part of the ISBE entry Wine; Wine Press: (7) שׁכר, shēkhār (22 times), translated […]

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Booze In The Bible

Wine is a Mocker

A prohibitionist claimed: There is no way around Proverbs 20:1. So, let’s take a look at this verse that will absolutely prove the prohibitionist correct: Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. The first two clauses are offered as absolute proof that any alcohol […]

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Booze In The Bible

Behold a Gluttonous Man, and a Winebibber

Prohibitionists have an interesting way of dealing with these two passages: Matthew 11:18-19: 18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. 19 The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom […]

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Booze In The Bible

Twenty To One Revisited

Let’s revisit the claim that wine was diluted to a water-to-wine ratio of Twenty To One. This ratio comes up in support of the claim that the only use for wine in biblical times was for purifying water. Citing this ratio as support shows not only the absurdity of the claim, but also reveals the […]

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Booze In The Bible Reference

Bacchus and Anti-Bacchus

Below are links to a two-part article written by John MacLean in 1841. Dr. MacLean was Professor of Ancient Languages at the College of New Jersey at the time. In this two-part article, John MacLean examines the claims made in two articles: Bacchus, by Ralph Barnes Grindrod Anti-Bacchus, by Rev B. Parsons In John MacLean’s […]

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Booze In The Bible

Not Given To Wine

1 Timothy 3:3 and Titus 1:7 both include “not given to wine” (KJV) in the qualifications for a bishop. Some prohibitionists interpret these verses to say that church leaders must abstain from alcoholic beverages. Some even say that the Greek word translated as “given to wine”, πάροινος, comes from πάρα οινος, meaning “next to wine”, […]

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Booze In The Bible

The Feast of Unleavened Wine

One argument that is supposed to prove that the wine used by Jesus to institute the Lord’s Supper was just grape juice, is that leavening was forbidden to be used in the Passover, also called The Feast of Unleavened Bread. I read one claim that Jews were forbidden to partake of anything that contained any […]

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Booze In The Bible

Don’t Look!

Proverbs 23:31-33 says [NASB®]: Do not look on the wine when it is red, When it sparkles in the cup, When it goes down smoothly; At the last it bites like a serpent, And stings like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things, And your mind will utter perverse things. This passage is interpreted […]

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Booze In The Bible

Only Barbarians

Once again, I’d like to look at a quote from Robert Stein’s 1975 article. In my last posting, I quoted this: “The ratio of water might vary, but ony barbarians drank it unmixed, and a mixture of wine and water of equals parts was seen as ‘strong drink’ and frowned upon.” This time, I’d like […]