"It depresses brain function"

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David R. Brumbelow's picture

This article presents another reason to stay away from beverage alcohol.  As Solomon said, don't even look at it. 

If you want the health benefits, just drink unfermented wine or grape juice.  It has the health benefits with none of the harmful side effects.  Just drink the unfermented wine in moderation. 

David R. Brumbelow

Dick Dayton's picture

Many years ago, I was listening to our local National Public Radio station one December, and they were talking with a University of Iowa doctor about dealing with hangovers.  He said we must remember that part of the word "intoxicated" is the word "toxin," and that alcohol is a toxin. The hangover comes from the attempt of the cells to metabolize the alcohol, and that draws water from the cells.

 

In another NPR feature, they talked about the potential medical benefits of a glass or two of wine, but mentioned that the benefits from unfermented grape juice were even a bit more.

 

Years ago, I came across a book called "Bible Wines And The Laws Of Fermentation Of The Ancients" which went into each use of the words for wine in both testaments. The author showed that the unfermented was of higher value in people's eyes, and that fermented wine was not usually positively discussed.

 

In the Baptist Bulletin for July, 2010, Jeff Straub wrote an article entitled "Keeping The Saints Sober."  It is one of the best and most balanced articles I have seen on this subject, and is well worth the read.  It should be available in the archives if you do a search.

Dick Dayton

David R. Brumbelow's picture

Dick Dayton,
I agree. 
You mention the book, “Bible Wines: or the Laws of Fermentation and Wines of the Ancients” by William Patton.  It’s old (1871), but a classic.  It has good information about the Bible and wine and alcohol.  It is still in print today.  I too recommend it. 
David R. Brumbelow

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Interesting to me in the article: there seems to be no clear point at which alcohol presence in the brain = "drunkenness." To me, that underscores the difficulty of trying to use alcohol to "get happy" yet avoid the sin of drunkenness.

In ancient times, it would have been extremely difficult to avoid taking that chance, but it's easy today.

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

David R. Brumbelow wrote:

This article presents another reason to stay away from beverage alcohol.  As Solomon said, don't even look at it. 

If you want the health benefits, just drink unfermented wine or grape juice.  It has the health benefits with none of the harmful side effects.  Just drink the unfermented wine in moderation. 

David R. Brumbelow

Emphasis Added

You know, I hear these Proverbs citations in just about every discussion regarding alcohol. However, the people arguing from Proverbs rarely discuss Paul's instruction to Timothy to drink wine (not to mention Jesus making wine). You can't make Proverbs a dogmatic prohibition against alcohol without causing it to contradict the equally inspired words of the NT. And you can't argue that Proverbs wine is similar to alcohol today, then argue that NT wine was juice or low in alcoholic content. Somehow you have to reconcile these seemingly opposing views without doing violence to the text.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Jim's picture

Give a kid a candy bar and he is happy ... let a kid eat a bag full of Halloween candy and he is climbing the walls.

And adult drinks a cup of coffee in the morning and it "get's him going". Drink a pot of coffee and one is jazzed for a day.

A bowl of ice cream with one's birthday cake is celebration. A bowl of ice cream with cake every night leads to obesity.

It's about moderation

That being said:

  • Most people would be wise not to drink.
  • No Christian should abuse any liberty to negatively impact the Christian life of another
  • Or self

I cannot forbid what has not been forbidden.

David R. Brumbelow's picture

Chip,
Paul told Timothy to drink a little wine for his often infirmities.  Whether that wine was fermented or, probably more likely, unfermented, it was strictly for medicinal use.  He was not telling him to use it as a recreational mind-altering beverage. 

They used the same words for fermented or unfermented wine.  Jesus called both unfermented wine and fermented wine by the name “oinos.”  Scripture uses the same words for both. Just like we use words for both; words such as cider, drink, eggnog, punch, liquor. 

Proverbs 23 describes alcoholic wine in detail, by its effects, then says not to even look at it. 

In Bible days they could easily provide unfermented wine any time of the year; of course, they also had the alcoholic stuff. 
David R. Brumbelow

Jeffrey Dean's picture

Unfermented?  Not from the context.  And if you really want people to blow a gasket, mention that Jesus' first miracle was turning water into really good wine for people that had already been drinking average wine for a long time.  (Specifically, Jesus made wine for people who were already drunk.)

 

Greg Long's picture

Jeffrey, I am no subscriber to the "Two-Wine Theory," and I find no reason to think the wine Jesus made was non-alcoholic, but can you point to the verse that says the people at the party were drunk?

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Jeffrey Dean's picture

Just going by context and the known history of traditional Jewish weddings in that day. Add the fact that all the wine was gone.  Sprinkle in the report that most people serve the good wine first and then when everyone is buzzing they bring out the cheaper stuff (by then they don't care as long as it keeps coming.)  Then one can look at the huge quantity of wine that Jesus produced (the capacity of those jars points to one big party.)  And of course we have the scriptural reports of people calling Jesus all kinds of names because he reportedly partied and hung out with the wrong crowd.  That may be evidence that he was sometimes (often) in the company of alcohol drinkers.

 

But no, I cannot find a verse that specifically says a wedding guest was drunk.  You got me there.  But you could use a little latitude and imagine that out of say 100 guests drinking wine for days (I seem to remember that those weddings celebrations lasted around 5 days/someone will correct me I'm sure) that maybe one of them was a little toasted by the time the wine ran out.

David R. Brumbelow's picture

The Bible says Jesus made wine (oinos).  It does not say He made alcohol.  As mentioned before, Jesus called both kinds of wine by the name oinos. Therefore, either view, that He made alcohol or He did not make alcohol, is an interpretation, not just taking the Bible for what it says. 

Non-alcoholic wine was common in that day.  Aristotle, Plutarch, Athenaeus and others spoke of it.  It was easily preserved in that state. 

I do not believe Jesus made alcoholic wine, and again, the Bible never says He did.  I think there is credible, strong evidence that He did not make alcohol.  I do not believe, as some, that He went to a drunken party, and made another 120 gallons of a strong drug.  Jesus was not a divine bartender, or a drug-pusher.  Neither do I believe Jesus would attend a drug party today and make ten pounds of marijuana out of grass clippings, even where that drug is legal. 

I think Jesus was well aware of Proverbs 23.  It is interesting as well that after consuming great quantities of wine, there is no indication that anyone was drunk at the wedding at Cana.  No one went home and beat their wife as a result of Jesus making 120 gallons of wine. 
David R. Brumbelow
 

alex o.'s picture

Jeffrey Dean wrote:

Just going by context and the known history of traditional Jewish weddings in that day. Add the fact that all the wine was gone.  Sprinkle in the report that most people serve the good wine first and then when everyone is buzzing they bring out the cheaper stuff (by then they don't care as long as it keeps coming.)  Then one can look at the huge quantity of wine that Jesus produced (the capacity of those jars points to one big party.)  And of course we have the scriptural reports of people calling Jesus all kinds of names because he reportedly partied and hung out with the wrong crowd.  That may be evidence that he was sometimes (often) in the company of alcohol drinkers.

 

But no, I cannot find a verse that specifically says a wedding guest was drunk.  You got me there.  But you could use a little latitude and imagine that out of say 100 guests drinking wine for days (I seem to remember that those weddings celebrations lasted around 5 days/someone will correct me I'm sure) that maybe one of them was a little toasted by the time the wine ran out.

 

a normal 'social corrective' would have discouraged the celebrants from from 'acting the fool' at these functions. after all, a reputation then would have been as important as today. an elder, Levite, Pharisee, business woman, judge, scribe, etc. would not want folks to think they were not responsible people. they would have exercised self-control if from only 'practical purposes.'

also, a drink wears off a sedentary drinker in about an hour. add food to the equation, Jewish dancing, vigorous celebration, and the effects would be diluted.

 Jewish society was permeated with the vine and its products. they were the "vine taken out of Egypt".

"Our faith itself... is not our saviour. We have but one Saviour; and that one Saviour is Jesus Christ our Lord.  B.B. Warfield

http://beliefspeak2.net

alex o.'s picture

David R. Brumbelow wrote:

The Bible says Jesus made wine (oinos).  It does not say He made alcohol.  As mentioned before, Jesus called both kinds of wine by the name oinos. Therefore, either view, that He made alcohol or He did not make alcohol, is an interpretation, not just taking the Bible for what it says. 

Non-alcoholic wine was common in that day.  Aristotle, Plutarch, Athenaeus and others spoke of it.  It was easily preserved in that state. 

I do not believe Jesus made alcoholic wine, and again, the Bible never says He did.  I think there is credible, strong evidence that He did not make alcohol.  I do not believe, as some, that He went to a drunken party, and made another 120 gallons of a strong drug.  Jesus was not a divine bartender, or a drug-pusher.  Neither do I believe Jesus would attend a drug party today and make ten pounds of marijuana out of grass clippings, even where that drug is legal. 

I think Jesus was well aware of Proverbs 23.  It is interesting as well that after consuming great quantities of wine, there is no indication that anyone was drunk at the wedding at Cana.  No one went home and beat their wife as a result of Jesus making 120 gallons of wine. 
David R. Brumbelow
 

 

Hi David,

I do not have the time to go back and forth with you, and, besides (from your posting) I don't think you would really 'listen' to my arguments.

the Proverbs passage does not mean that we should not even observe an alcoholic beverage. the idea is, I believe, is to make it the center of the reason why you are drinking it. wine was a component and not the 'main thing' in a meal or celebration.

"Our faith itself... is not our saviour. We have but one Saviour; and that one Saviour is Jesus Christ our Lord.  B.B. Warfield

http://beliefspeak2.net

Jeffrey Dean's picture

I'm with you Alex.  Dancing, drinking, food, laughing... I think those were all components of a good Jewish wedding.  They were events to be cherished.  They bonded family and community.  That's why running out of wine was such a big deal.  It would have been remembered and therefore tarnished the reputations of the hosts.  And of course there would be all the social morays in place that we have today, but... someone(bodies) at that party had too much to drink.  Let's be practical and admit that being tipsy at a wedding in Cana would have been as common place as it is today.  And I think there are deeper theological implications in Jesus turning water into wine at the peak of the party.  

Even as a really young kid, I would listen to my IFB preacher explain that Jesus made grape juice and I would scratch my head.  He lost a lot of credibility with me. Looking back I really don't think he believed it.  I think it was just the company line.

Greg Long's picture

Jeffrey,

I understand what you are saying and I understand the context of Jewish weddings. I, like you, find it hard to defend exegetically and historically that there are two kinds of wine and that Jesus turned water into grape juice (although keep in mind wine ferments over time).

But if someone today were to say, "Most of the guests at modern weddings are drunk" you would quibble with that statement, wouldn't you? Yes, if alcoholic beverages are present at a wedding it is fair to say that in most cases there are at least some, if not most, people in attendance who are drunk. But I'm sure there are many other weddings at which alcohol is consumed in moderation by some (many? most?) people present.

The point is, we just don't know for sure what was going on at that wedding.

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Jeffrey Dean's picture

Greg, I totally agree that we do not know in detail, but we do know that Jesus saved the day by making a couple of kegs+ worth of exceptionally crafted wine.  And I think a good time was had by all.  (And I have been to more than a few weddings where most everyone was drunk, but they were mostly Catholic weddings.)

 

alex o.'s picture

Jeffrey Dean wrote:

Greg, I totally agree that we do not know in detail, but we do know that Jesus saved the day by making a couple of kegs+ worth of exceptionally crafted wine.  And I think a good time was had by all.  (And I have been to more than a few weddings where most everyone was drunk, but they were mostly Catholic weddings.)

 

 

the Jewish sacrificial system showed definitive proportions in the wine offering poured out at the base of the alter, so the worshipper too was to drink their wine in moderation.

the O.T. society certainly toiled very hard and usually had two vocations (for the male). they were also to observe the Sabbath once a week and cease from their toil. also the 3 festivals every male was mandated to appear before the Lord involved shouting and celebrating, all in a joyous, responsible way.

 

"Our faith itself... is not our saviour. We have but one Saviour; and that one Saviour is Jesus Christ our Lord.  B.B. Warfield

http://beliefspeak2.net

dmicah's picture

i could be wrong, but i feel like this subject has been debated before on this site. We all ended up in agreement right??

 

Smile

Dick Dayton's picture

David,

 

I tried to find the book so I could give it to others.  Do you know where it is available ?

Dick Dayton