Did Jesus Ferment Juice Into A BeverageThat Ruins Peoples’ Livers?

The English versions of the Bible say Jesus made and drank wine.

But, did the original word mean “wine” as the alcoholic beverage we drink today?  Since their beginnings, some denominations have advocated temperance.  These denominations seem to deny carrying around fruit juice in warm flasks could have resulted in fermentation.

Yet other large denominations, like the Catholics, enjoy thinking the word “wine” was literal wine.

In all of this theological debate one thing is omitted.  Since the beginning of human history, there has been this problem of how to preserve abundant calories harvested at the end of the growing season to be used later when calories are scarce.  Fermentation allowed preservation and must have been discovered very early.

One could guess fermentation was not understood so was attributed to a super natural force.  Thus, the god would be given thanks for fermented calories, especially if they gave people a happy buzz.

But, along comes the link below by a temperance theologian.  He explains the Bible’s Greek word, “oinas” was generic for all beverages, not just wine.  While, he admits, it could have referred to alcoholic wine, Jesus would not have condoned such a harmful and sinful drink.  He thinks it referred to fresh grape juice or wine with the alcohol boiled off.

This unlikely interpretation is typical of the field of literal apologetics.  Take current conventional wisdom and twist the Bible’s meaning to fit it, even it the Bible actually says something else.



27 Responses

  1. Henry

    Jon:“Did Jesus Ferment Juice into a BeverageThat Ruins Peoples’ Livers?”

    Wine doesn’t ruin livers. Drinking excessive amounts of wine ruins livers.

      1. Henry

        It isn’t. However, drunkenness is discouraged. Drinking wine is not drunkenness. Drinking lots of wine is drunkenness.

          1. Henry

            Look in Luke if you need to be discouraged from drunkenness.

            Look in John if you need to be discouraged from homosexual activities.

          2. Wanna B Sure

            I am reminded of the letters to the seven churches of Asia. Some with unsound doctrine and practices. Yup, that’s in the Bible.

          3. Henry

            entech:“Look in the Bible if you need to be discouraged from churches.”

            That would be the atheist glass half-empty or empty approach. I like to look at it from the glass half full approach and seeing the mistakes and sin of the churches the Bible points out, and learning from that, ask the question: what should the church I am associated with look like? Then, one can have the full glass. There will be a few spots on the glass, but they quickly rinse off clear using a red solution.

          4. Jinx

            Individuals with alcoholic family members shouldn’t even have 1 drink or can of beer due to the fact they may be genetically predisposed to problems with alcohol.

            Myself? I am the opposite, my body cannot break down acetylaldehyde, a byproduct of alcohol digestion, and I get violently ill if I have any more than a small glass of wine.

          5. Jinx 11:23 I have a friend with that condition. It causes trouble for lots of people on various medications.

            Someone can correct me if this is incorrect, but as I understand it, alcohol always attacks the liver. In small amounts, it usually does not do enough damage to be concerned. The heart may benefit, but the liver never does.

      2. PK

        Must be pretty cool that you know what Jesus did and did not talk about! Please enlighten me how you know he never talked about homosexuality or drunkeness? : ) Were you there with him? What did you hear him talk about that’s not recorded in the Bible? Feel free to follow up with Catholic and other scripture scholars about what the most commonly served drink was at weddings and other religious ceremonies of Jesus’ time. Yes, we do enjoy thinking and believing that wine was used in various ways. Oh, I might add that we enjoy having a glass of wine or two as well! : )

        “Henry 12:04 “Wine doesn’t ruin livers. Drinking excessive amounts of wine ruins livers. Maybe that is in the Bible–I haven’t seen it.” —Really Jon, former mayor of fargo, with poor logic skills? No duh, this is not in the Bible. Does it take the Bible or a genius to honestly acknowledge that drinking excessive amounts of any alcoholic beverage will can lead to liver failure.

        1. PK Welcome back.

          “Does it take a genius to honestly acknowledge drinking excessive amounts..will lead to liver failure?”

          From what I understand, for many people, it does not require excessive amounts to do some damange. I don’t actually think there was a Jesus who made wine or advocated drinking it. It was, instead, something writers of the time wanted to attribute to the Jesus character because they, themselves, wanted to drink wine.

          1. Michael 3:12 “are you a teetotaler?”

            No. But, learning more about alcohol from a relative who is studying to be an alcohol councelor I’m learning the health benefits of wine are offset by seldom mentioned harmful effects it has on our bodies.

  2. Michael Ross

    “He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth;
    And wine [that] maketh glad the heart of man, [and] oil to make [his] face to shine, and bread [which] strengtheneth man’s heart.”(Psalm 104:14-15)

    “. . . and take a little wine for your stomach’s sake, and you many illnesses” (1 Timothy 5:23)

    All these things that God gives are good. Notice that it “makes glad” the hearts of men. Grape juice is delicious and healthful but doesn’t “make glad” . Alcoholic wine does that. Wine is moderate quantities is healthful according to the apostle and doctors and nutritionists. Foolish people often over do a good thing. Eating, drinking, sex (within the bonds of heterosexual marriage) are all good things. Over indulging and misuse of the cause problems.

    1. Michael 1:54 “Grape juice is..healthful but doesn’t ‘make glad’. Alocholic wine does that.”

      That Jesus endorsed a euphoric substance seems like an endorsement of marajuwana.

      1. Michael Ross

        Was Pot around then? I never used the stuff but I don’t think it should be illegal. Putting people in jail for using it is absurd.

      2. entech

        The use of cannabis has a long and wide history (Wikipedia has a long article its religious and spiritual use), form China through Africa used for inducing trances. Nothing specific about the early periods in that area, there is a lot in worldwide writing about medical use as well as ritual, there don’t seem to be any medical writings from Biblical times. I would suggest it is possible in Biblical times given the wide use in surrounding areas.

        Apparently some discussion over whether it is banned in the Koran as an intoxicant.
        I have read that a lot of early Islamic thought developed over all night discussion sessions fuelled by coffee, Arabs drink coffee a lot stronger than we do. The first time Greek friends gave me their idea of coffee, strong and sweet, I certainly felt a strong tingling effect.

        Anthropology shows that there is almost universal use of hallucinogenic plants in some form or another, and that some must have been the result of a lot of experimentation. Betel requires that it be chewed with mineral lime to release the active alkaloids, I have seen it a lot in Papua New Guinea, it turns the mouth bright red (with a lot of ugly spitting) rots the teeth and apparently tastes quite bitter and awful. In America various mushrooms and cactuses have a similar use. And whoever first discovered smoking the sap of a particular kind of poppy.
        If, as it seems, there is a fairly universal religion in most cultures it is more than likely that removing oneself from reality, trances and dream states would be a part of it. This would be attested to by some of the non intuitive ways that they were developed for use, in modern life and subject to advertising it seems natural to set leaves on fire and pop them in your mouth but who would have thought of it first, and many of them have a fine line between the amount that gets you were you want to go and the lethal amount – must have been lots of overdoses from way back.

        1. entech 1:11 Betel..New Guinea..

          I saw a lot of that used in rural Bangladesh.. red mouths, totally disgusting. It makes one thing drugs of some kind have been used by humans since way back.

        2. entech

          It is not only drugs that are used to find an alternate reality.

          Fasting and meditation, long periods of solitude all alter consciousness. The effect depends on the starting point, Catholic nuns see visions of the virgin, Buddhist nuns visions of the Buddha.

          The whirling dervishes, for example, dancing and spinning until dizzy and “out of it” from the imbalance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood. Writing this reminds of schooldays and hymn singing every morning before classes, at fourteen I remember feeling quite euphoric when singing, even then I must have slipped away from the true path because I realised it was to do with breathing and actually tried to sing louder and stronger with longer periods between breaths to enhance the effect. I guess according to some prohibitionist types that think all is evil and leads to worse, enjoying that strange sensation should have been a forerunner to becoming a heroin addict.

    2. entech

      Over indulgence can lead to that, perhaps out of context but that is me, quote that reflects the “hangover”, “death where is thy sting”. Been a long time but I do remember talking about feeling like death warmed up.

  3. entech

    I don’t know about the Jesus stories but it is recorded from the (new) beginning, the new beginning I mean is after the flood when we all had progenitors in Noah and his kids and their wives.
    The end of the strangest story is the strangest of all, the first thing Noah does is plant grapes, make wine, get rotten drunk and blame everyone else for his shame, including cursing his grandson for eternity, the grandson who wasn’t even there.
    Google it, there are some even stranger interpretations around, uncovering the nakedness of his father actually meant sleeping with his mother (probably step-mother in fact, not enough details) and being the father of Canaan which is why Noah was so angry at him.

    There is more look it up and don’t blame me I don’t believe a word of it, blame the writers.

    These are a couple I found while skimming around. All goes to show that that book should be kept away from children.



    1. entech 4:12 “don’t blame me I don’t believe a word of it, blame the writers.”

      Thank you for sharing those “informative” links. Obviously, the writers have spent a considerable portion of their lives interpreting the Bible. People who study it for years come to have a full understanding. The only problem so many come to the opposite conclusions.

      1. entech

        Some do seem to be able to find a lot of sinful interpretation, and as you say many of them find a different sin in the same event.

        To misquote Shakespeare:
        There are more sins than your imagination can dream of, Jon.

        1. entech

          Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio.

          Its contagious, I hope the bard did not mean that in a Biblical way of knowing. 🙄

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