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Difficult Bible Passages Jesus turned water into wine (John 2:1-11) Difficult passages sometimes used to cover sinful practices (2 Pet. 3:16) “twist the scriptures” All agree: Jesus turned water into “wine” What does Bible say about “wine?” Accurate Definition of Wine

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Difficult Bible Passages

Jesus turned water into wine (John 2:1-11)

  • Difficult passages sometimes used to cover sinful practices (2 Pet. 3:16) “twist the scriptures”

  • All agree: Jesus turned water into “wine”

  • What does Bible say about “wine?”


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Accurate Definition of Wine

  • “Wine” is a Generic word (covering all stages of the juice of the grape)

    • Like “groceries” (all kinds)

    • Like “cars” (all kinds)

    • “Wine” is either alcoholic or non-alcoholic (only 2 choices)

    • Which did Jesus produce?


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“Wine” Can Be Either Meaning

  • “Oinos” is the general word for wine (Vine, p. 219)

  • “Oinos” (NT) translates 3 Hebrew words (Thayer)

    • yayin, tiyrosh, hemer

    • Isa. 65:8 “grape in cluster” (tiyrosh)

  • Mt. 9:17 New wine into fermented

  • “Oinos” includes alcohol-free wine


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“Wine” Can Be Either Meaning

  • Josephus, a first-century writer, used the Greek word "wine" to refer to the fresh juice taken from the grapes, a non-intoxicating drink.Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book II, Chapter V, paragraph 2, tells "What Things Befell Joseph in Prison." Josephus says concerning the king's cupbearer, "He therefore said that in his sleep in saw three clusters of grapes hanging upon three branches of a vine, large already, and ripe for gathering; and that he squeezed them into a cup which the king held in his hand; and when he had strained the wine, he gave it to the king to drink, and that he received it from him with a pleasant countenance."


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Assumption Often Made

  • “Wine” only means alcoholic

  • If so, need to be consistent

    • Jesus created alcoholic drink

    • Gave to all to drink in social area

    • Nothing wrong with it at all

    • We can brew it, consume it, have guests drink (if not-why not?)


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Context Determines Meaning

  • “New Birth” Jn. 3:5; Rom. 6:1-7

  • Let Bible determine context

  • Is there anything about character and teaching of Jesus that would suggest incongruity of drinking alcohol? Accurately portray Jesus?

  • What is the context of Jesus/wine?


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Establish Context

  • Jesus and Holy Spirit Jn. 14:26; 16:13

  • 2 Tim. 3:16-17 All scripture inspired

  • Prov. 20:1; 23:29-35 HS in OT

  • Jesus greater than Solomon Mt 12:42

  • Would Jesus contradict HS?

  • Is His wisdom less than Solomon’s?


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Context of Jesus, Wine

  • Jesus and Holy Spirit Jn. 14:26; 16:13

  • 2 Tim. 3:16-17 All scripture inspired

  • Hab. 2:15 HS in OT “shame on his glory”

  • Did Jesus act to bring shame on his glory?


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Context of Jesus, Wine

  • Jesus and His character

    • Heb. 4:15 Jesus was“without sin”

    • Is alcohol consumption without sin? Even without Bible….

    • 1 Thes 5:22 abstain from “every form of evil”

    • Is alcohol industry without sin?


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“But what about….?”

  • 1 Tim. 3:3, 8 Elders, deacons, wine?

    • Does “not given to much wine” allow some use?

    • Compare: 2 Pet 2:14 Does “eyes full of adultery” allow some use?

    • “given to wine” = wine-bibbing

    • An elder is not to be guilty of this


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“But what about….?”

  • The Lord’s Supper

    • “Wine” never used with LS

    • “Fruit of the Vine”Mt. 26:29

    • Passover Feast Wine was used Mt. 26:17 “unleavened bread”

    • All yeast removed - yeast is fermenting factor - not allowed


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“But what about….?”

  • Medicinal purposes?

    • 1 Tim. 5:23 “a little wine”

    • No objection is this context

      • Bad water

      • Weak wine, not distilled liquor

      • Excuse or medical reason?


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Is It Fair?

  • Solomon “Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it swirls smoothly; at the last it bites like a serpent and stings like a viper”

  • Jesus “turned water into best wine” (It’s OK to drink alcohol)

  • Is scripture being twisted?


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