Opinions on faith and life

Can Christians Drink Alcohol?

2002-01-01

From this quote of Vine’s Expository Dictionary and other commentaries I’ve read, it is clear that the scriptures do not command total abstinence.

Yayin is the usual Hebrew word for fermented grape. [It] clearly represents an intoxicating beverage. This is evident in its first biblical appearance: And Noah drank of the wine, and was drunken (Gen. 9.20-21). Deut. 14.26 says Use the silver to buy whatever you like: cattle, sheep, wine or other fermented drink, or anything you wish. Then you and your household shall eat there in the presence of the LORD your God and rejoice. Prov. 31.4-7 recommends that kings avoid wine and strong drink but that it be given to those troubled with problems that they might drink and forget their problems.

Oinos is the general [Greek] word for wine. The mention of the bursting of the wineskins (Matt. 9.17, etc.) implies fermentation. The drinking of wine could be a stumbling block and the apostle enjoins abstinence in this respect, as in others, so as to avoid giving an occasion of stumbling to a brother (Rom. 14.21). Gleukos denotes sweet or new wine (Acts 2.13), where the accusation shows that it was intoxicant and must have been undergoing fermentation some time.