Dedicated To The Men of God Who Preach the Word of God As It
Is To Men As They Are
"Preach The Word"
This booklet by Dr. Kanoy is one of the
best in regard to how the Christian should view
the matter of strong drink.
WINE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
Thus saith the Lord, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith,
Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants'
sakes, that I may not destroy them all. Isaiah 65:8.
Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby
is not wise. Proverbs 20:1.
“Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who
hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?
They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. Look not
thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup,
when it moveth itself aright. At the last it biteth like a serpent, and
stingeth like an adder.” Proverbs 23:29-32.
“Woe unto him that giveth his neighbor drink, that puttest thy bottle to
him...” Hab. 2:15.
In the Old Testament there are two Hebrew words that are used, one is "Yayain."
Young's Concordance defines this word as "what is pressed out" grape juice.
The other word is the word "Tirosh" defined as "what is possessed," new
wine. So we take it that in Bible times grape juice was called wine. They
had no way to keep it fresh and so eventually, it would become "Yayain"
fermented wine, strong drink. We need to consider a long time authority on
this matter, Smith's Bible Dictionary: "The simple wines of antiquity was
incomparably less deadly than the stupefying and ardent beverages of our
western nations. The wines of antiquity was more like syrups; many of them
were not intoxicant; many more intoxicant in a small degree; and all of
them, as a rule, taken only when largely diluted with water. They contained,
even undiluted, but 4 or 5 percent of alcohol."
The Hebrew word "Yain," wine, is the same root word in the Greek, was not
confined to an intoxicating liquor made of fruits by alcoholic fermentation
of their expressed juices, but more frequently referred to a thick,
non-intoxicating syrup, or jam, produced by boiling. This was done to store
the articles of food, exactly what we do even today. We store them in
bottles, jars, metal cans, while they put them in skins (bottles).
The Greek word "Oinos, Oinon, Oine," the grape, or vine-plant, is used by
many to always mean fermented and intoxicating liquor, which is totally
inaccurate, and only could come from pure ignorance or from those who
fancied drunkenness to be the highest delight, and intoxication a christian
practice; the Mohammedan Arabians were always sober people. Oinos, wine, or
drink made from any fruit, grain, such as dates, apples, pears, barley, or
lotus seed. If specially indicated as made from grapes it is called Oinos'
ampelinos. As in the Hebrew "Yain," the word does not in the Greek always
signify fermented intoxicating drink, but grapes as fresh fruit, dried as
raisins, or jam, or preserved by boiling for storage, or as a thick syrup
for table use for spreading on bread as we do butter, and this was also
dissolved in water for a drink or beverage at meals, as described in the
Bible by Solomon and others. This mixing of the syrups with water ready for
use at meals is referred to in more than one of our Lord's parables. This
drink was absolutely non-alcoholic and non-intoxicating. Grape juice was
also prepared by heating it, as soon as possible after it had been squeezed
in the press, by boiling, so as to prevent fermentation, and yet preserve
its thin liquid form as a drink. To insure this, certain resinous gums were
dissolved in this juice, or sulphate of lime, which is called gypsum, was
put into it.
All of these plans for producing a non-intoxicating wine are still followed
in every grape-growing country of Southern Europe and Asia, as of old.
It should be taken in mind that when reading in the Bible concerning "Wine,"
we are seldom dealing with the strongly intoxicating and loaded liquors, but
usually with beverages such as I have already described. These were harmless
and sober as our own teas, coffees, and cocoas. Had they not been so, the
ancient populations would have been perpetually in a state of drunkenness.
These facts should never be forgotten when we read of "wine" there; this was
simple fruit syrup, except where especially stated to be of the intoxicating
kinds, which latter the prophets always condemn.
WINE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
1. References in Matthew's Gospel:
Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and
the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new
bottles, and both are preserved. Matthew 9:17.
Only a determination to misread this metaphorical illustration of the
subject which Jesus was discussing with the disciples of John, can pervert
this passage into a recommendation or sanction for habitual use of
intoxicating liquors. That the "Oinon," that is "fresh grape juice" (if
literally translated), referred to had not been fermented to the still
liquid forr is clear, for if it had been so it would not "burst the old wine
skins" by beginning to ferment in them on account of the yeast or acid with
which the old skins were saturated, setting up alcoholic action. To keep the
juice of the grapes sweet and wholesome, it needed to be specially prepared
before being poured into new sweet skins, where it would keep pure and
benefit men as an article of diet, as his listeners knew well, as a syrup or
jam. Jesus wished to show John's disciples that before He could form the
church or any organization to be an instrument of continuing his doctrines,
he had to prepare His disciples by course of mental education to receive His
spiritual teaching, free from "dead rituals" of the Sadducean priesthood of
Jerusalem, and then inspire them with a newly created organization to
preserve and serve out the Gospel and doctrine to mankind. All the ignorant
commentators that say He insisted upon the drinking of intoxicants, is
nothing short of blasphemy and is a disgrace to our informed age that men
writers should say that "Christianity has given a sacred character to wine
and its use."
2. References in Mark's Gospel:
And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst
the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but
new wine must be put into new bottles. Mark 2:22.
To this passage comments gone before will apply; but the following passage
will demand a special word of consideration from the way it has been
perverted and distorted by so called commentators. It is:
And when they mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own
clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him. And they compel one Simon a
Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander
and Rufus, to bear his cross. And they bring him unto the place Golgotha,
which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull. And they gave him to
drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not. And when they had
crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every
man should take. Mark 15:20-24.
The questions suggested in the above, to which no one seems to have found an
answer is: Why did Jesus refuse to drink the wine, medicated with a narcotic
by the Centurion, out of a feeling of mercy to Jesus, whom he knew had been
unjustly condemned to death by false accusation, and that Pilate had been
driven to condemn Him by terror for his own personal safety, after the
Sadducean priests had threatened to accuse him to the Roman Emperor as a
confederate of the Jews against the Empire, unless he did hand Jesus over to
their will to be crucified? This liquor was not offered to the two robbers
who had been convicted of some real crime. This was an act of mercy on the
part of the Centurion, who commanded the detachment of soldiers, specially
to Jesus. Sometimes the wine would be mixed with myrrh and given to dying
men to hurry up death. Sometimes "Wormwood" was used to cause paralysis so
as to bring about a speedy death. Why did not Jesus drink it? Why did he not
accept this act of mercy? I read that, "Our Saviour refused the narcotic
wine because he did not wish to diminish in the slightest degree the cruel
tortures of death he was about to suffer for mankind!"
As to the bodily torments, he was to suffer the same as the two miserable
robbers, his companions, in the method of death. There must have been far
more reason for his refusal than is usually given. What was it?
Upon that day Jesus the Messiah had entered upon his office of the "Eternal
High Priest of Mankind," and was about to sacrifice the "Paschal Lamb," his
earthly body upon a cross. Paul commenting upon the fact wrote:
Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the
whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump,
as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the
leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity
and truth. I Corinthians 5:6-8.
By this we perceive that the crucifixion not only occurred during the
passover week, but was done by Christ "offering himself" (Genesis 22:8),
that is his body upon a cross at the Passover to free mankind from sin; but
he also was spiritually the High Priest fulfilling the duties of his office
of sacrifice (Hebrews 10:19-28).
The officiating High Priest was, by the Law given through Moses, prohibited
from "drinking intoxicating wine" during the period of his ministration,
before entering the sanctuary, or while he was engaged in its duties. (See
Leviticus 10:8-11). The first reason for these ceremonial laws and rules
(this is the way God dealt with the nation of Israel) was that "throughout
your generation" you may put "difference between holy and unholy, unclean
and clean." Alcoholic liquor is unholy and those who drink it are not holy,
not set apart for God. It is also unclean, morally depraving and those who
drink it or sell it are being depraved and defiled. The second reason is
that "ye may teach the
children of Israel all the statutes." We are to teach our children the Word
of God, but how can you teach the Word of God if you or I are not separated
unto Him? How can one preach or teach righteousness and drink himself? How
can someone warn about sin when he is deceived and led into sin by strong
These Divine Laws, and the statements of the Apostle, show why Jesus refused
to drink of the drugged wine offered to Him by the pagan but merciful
Centurion, or by his order; the wine was a liquor served out to the Roman
soldiers as part of their diet, and was fermented as well as drugged, and so
was an intoxicant, and forbidden to Christ as our High Priest, and also as
an Israelite humanly; the whole nation was also prohibited during the seven
days' preparation for the Passover from having any fermented thing in their
dwellings or to drink fermented liquors, and Jesus came to "fulfill the
whole law." He obeyed it completely, and as both a High Priest and as an
Israelite refused to drink the intoxicant offered to Him.
3. References in Luke's Gospel:
And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side
of the altar of incense. And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and
fear fell upon him. But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for
thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth
shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt
have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be
great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong
drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's
womb. And many of the children of Israel shall He turn to the Lord their
God. Luke 1:11-16.
And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst
the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. Luke 5:37.
For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and ye
say, He hath a devil. The Son of Man is come eating and drinking; and ye
say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber,
a friend of publicans and sinners! But wisdom is justified of all her
children. Luke 7:33-35.
In this striking passage from the gospel there is not the slightest
encouragement for the habitual use of liquor or intoxicants of any kind, by
whatever name they may be called. The whole force of the reproof of our Lord
to the men of his day lay in the falsehood of the statements of His and
John's critics. That is, the charge against John, the Nazarite, was a lie,
and against Jesus also, both invented by adversaries, because the two
denounced the hypocrisy and vices of that age and of all that should follow,
our own included. Only those who seek to justify themselves in drunkenness
could ever pervert this passage to command Christians to drink alcoholic
liquors as a sacred duty. Even in Luke 10:29-37 where wine is "poured in,"
this is a beautiful illustration of true joy and what constitutes neighborly
kindness, but there is not in it any command to drink intoxicants, or that
the "wine" used with the oil to prevent inflammation of those wounds was a
fermented alcoholic liquor. In Numbers 6:1-8, we have the lesson of the
Nazarite. The Nazarite could not drink wine, not even grape juice, "neither
shall he drink any liquor of grapes, nor eat moist grapes, or dried." That
is, no grape juice, not even fermented,no grapes, no raisins. Maybe the
reason for this is a spiritual lesson to be learned, "to avoid the
appearance of evil," and all the things that might lead to evil.
4. References in John's Gospel:
And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of
Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the
marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him,
They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee?
mine hour is not yet come. His mother said unto the servants, Whatsoever he
saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone,
after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three
firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And
they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and
bear unto the governor of the feast. And
they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made
wine, and knew not whence it was:[but the servants which drew the water
knew;] the governor of the feast called the bridegroom. And saith unto him,
Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well
drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.
Probably the above passage is one of the most misunderstood and
misrepresented one in the New Testament. The misunderstanding has come from
imposing upon the Greek text, and the knowledge of Jewish habits of food and
drink, that the word "wine" always means intoxicating liquor. Among the
Romans, such an idea was attached to "wine" as a universal conception. On
the contrary, the "best wine" was not fermented at all. The word is "Oinos"
or fruit of the vine, and this is not intoxicating drink. The drink of the
Romans was juice of the grape, which they mixed with water, both hot and
cold. Fermented wine was rare in early Roman times; it was only used as an
act of worship in the heathen temples; and men under thirty, and women all
their lives, were forbidden to use it.
Fresh grape juice was called mustum, and to make it keep without
fermentation it was boiled until it became thick, like molasses, and
in that state was named defrutum, that is, made from fruit, and stored away
in jars for future use. Aristotle says that by keeping for a time in skins
and jars it became as thick as butter, and had to be cut out by spoons.
Pliny, the Roman writer, records that when the grape juice was boiled down
to one-third of its bulk, to secure the finest flavor, that is, to be made
into the "best wine," it was called sapa. Our word "savory" comes from this
word. Then it is certain that the "wine" created by Christ at Cana was a
non-intoxicating kind, but was the "ordinary drink of the people" in
everyday life. Some commentators have said that "all the guests were well
drunk" when Jesus performed this miracle, and Jesus decided to make them
more so, in order to show people the sacred nature of liquor. Would Jesus
ever put the bottle to his neighbor's mouth? Jesus kept the law completely.
5. References by Paul:
It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby
thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. Hast thou faith?
Have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in
that thing which he alloweth. And he that doubteth is damned if he eat,
because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
"You have faith? Have it by yourself before God – he is happy who does not
convict himself by what he approves! And all not originating from faith is
sin. And we, the strong, ought to support the weakness of the feeble, and
not to indulge ourselves. Let each make himself pleasant to his neighbor to
promote loving kindness. For Christ did not indulge himself."
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the
Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always
for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Ephesians 5:18-21.
The Apostle here is referring to intoxicating drink, which he condemned, not
to the unfermented grape juice he referred to in Romans 14:21.
This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a
good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife,
vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach,; Not
given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a
brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his
children in subjection with all gravity; [For if a man know not how to rule
his own house,how shall he take care of the church of God?] Not a novice,
lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall
into reproach and the snare of the devil. Likewise must the deacons be
grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy
lucre; I Timothy 3:1-8.
In this rule for the ministers of the church, there is no indication whether
the Apostle speaks of the ordinary domestic unfermented wine of his day
commonly used in domestic life, or of the same juices fermented so as to be
intoxicating. I think he meant the latter, which he clearly forbids.
Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and
thine often infirmities. I Timothy 5:23.
This advice of the Apostle to his friend Timothy is a favorite field of
battle of those who claim the habit of using strong drink is suitable for
God's people. Paul did not contradict himself in his prohibition of the use
of intoxicating wine to preachers or bishops (I Timothy 3:3) and then
ordered Timothy, who held an apostolic position to drink liquor regularly.
"Stomach wine" or "wine for the stomach," the old writers upon Greek
medicine tell us, was grape-juice, prepared as a thick unfermented syrup,
for the use as a medicine for weak or sick people. The word used is a Greek
word "Tipos." The correct rendering of this verse in the Greek New Testament
reads as follows: "No longer drink water alone, but use with a little wine
for the stomach, because of your frequent infirmities." The Apostle's use of
the dative case, which must be rendered in the English by the adverb "with"
indicates that "a little stomach wine" should be mixed, or mingled, as in
other parts it is translated, with water as the syrup prepared from grapes
and other fruits was done for the use as a tonic to the stomach.
6. The Lord's Supper and Wine:
A bishop in the Anglican church declared "that the example of our Lord
necessitates the use of fermented wine in the administration of the Lord's
supper." I say that this is a God-dishonoring statement. There is not a
trace of evidence to show that his "fruit of the vine" was intoxicating.
There is no divine authority for the use of wine at all, fermented or
unfermented, at the Passover (Lord's Supper). All students of the inspired
word will agree that Almighty God forbade even the presence of bharm (yeast,
leaven, ferment) at the Passover, because it is the cause of putrefaction.
It rots corn, vegetables, etc., and is the emblem of corruption,
disease, and death, and not life.
Now, Jesus Christ described the wine that was being used at his Passover as
the "fruit of the vine," e.g., the offspring of the vine, or that which is
borne of the vine. Now, the vine does not bear intoxicating drink. The fruit
of the vine is not intoxicating. There is no alcohol in the fruit of the
vine. It is pure, good, wholesome, and health-giving, a beautiful emblem of
the life and strength-giving grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Intoxicating wine is the emblem of disease, sin, and death. Moreover, just
think of the condition the party keeping the Passover must have been in; for
the Jewish Mishna says: "A person shall not have less than four cups of
wine, even if they be given to him from the fund devoted to the charitable
support of the very poor. Each cup must contain the quarter of a quarter of
a hin – that is three gills English measure – so that the four cups would
contain twelve gills, or a bottle and a-half (three pints)." If the wine
used was fermented grape-juice, the four cups would contain about six ounces
of pure alcohol, equal to twelve ounces of proof spirit; and when we
remember that each member of the family of twelve years of age and upwards
had to drink four cups, twelve gills, it is certain that, if the wine was
intoxicating, they must have been drunk at the end of the feast, especially
the women and the boys and girls who were not accustomed to the use of
intoxicating wine. How terrible to think of the mass of drunkenness in the
Jewish families on the Passover night!
It is perfectly revolting to think that our Lord and Saviour could
countenance or sanction such a man-injuring and God-dishonoring system.
Jesus Christ was God's High Priest, and Almighty God had strictly forbidden
the priests to use intoxicating wine when ministering before him. In Lev.
10:8-10 it is written:
And the Lord spake unto Aaron, saying, do not drink wine nor strong drink,
thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the
congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your
generations: and that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and
between the unclean and the clean.
God had also forbidden the presence of all fermented things at the Passover
Service. It was therefore impossible for his Incarnate Son to act contrary
to the Father's will, for he said...l am not come to destroy, but to
fulfill. Matthew 5:17.
Although the customs of the Jews are no certain guide to Christians in this
matter, yet it is an undeniable fact that vast numbers of pious Jewish
families have used unfermented wine at the Passover all down the ages, and
are using such wine now year by year. It is simply "the fruit of the vine."
They cut up a quantity of raisins and place them in an earthen vessel, and
add water to them, and allow them to simmer in the oven for a time, then
separate the juice from the skins and pips, then put it in the Passover
vessel, and they use the wine (juice) for the Passover Service.
In our Lord's time there was always an ample supply of the pure "fruit of
the vine," which was preserved in an unfermented state.
The theologians have taught, and alas, still teach, that the contents of the
cup which our Lord said was His blood was of the same nature as the thing
which the Scriptures had said was as the poison of serpents – as the adder's
poison. How can such a death-producing thing be a fit emblem of the
life-giving power of the blood of Jesus Christ?
It is painful to realize how the Churches have erred, and misrepresented
Christ, and misled the nations by forcing the use of intoxicating wine on
the Lord's table and upon mankind.
The general word for wine, oinos, is never used in Holy Scripture to
describe the wine used at the Lord's Supper. Is this by chance, or is it of
design? Surely it is of design, because oinos might be intoxicating, but the
fruit of the vine never is.
According to God's command (Lev. 10:9) and the teaching of the Jewish Mishna,
they were not allowed to drink intoxicating wine when serving before the
Lord. How terrible it is to be taught by Christian theologians that Christ
broke the divine law, and taught
His infant Church to break the law He Himself had made, for He was the
Lawgiver with the Father and the Holy Ghost.
If the wine which was used at the first institution was intoxicating, then
the great body of Nazarites, Rechabites, the followers of John the Baptist,
and especially the Essenes (a vast multitude of the best of the people),
would be prevented partaking, because they never used intoxicating wine of
any kind. Jeremiah's description of the Nazarites might fairly be used to
describe these holy people. They "were purer than snow, whiter than milk,
more ruddy in body than rubies" (Lam. 4:7). These people were all abstainers
from intoxicating drink, and were in much favor with the Lord. Surely it is
not possible that the Lord of life would cause all these people, who were
the cream of society in that day in Jerusalem, to violate their consciences
by forcing upon them the intoxicating cup.
It is most trying to many communicants who are abstainers to be forced
either to partake of the intoxicating wine or to pass the cup. It is
especially trying for them to have to take their children to the holy table,
where they will taste intoxicating drink for the first time And some of it
is most intoxicating, having not less than from 10 to 30 per cent alcohol in
There are four passages in the New Testament in which is given the account
of the institution of the Lord's Supper (KJV).
And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and
gave it to the disciples, and said, Take eat, this is my body. And he took
the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them saying, Drink ye all of it;
For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the
remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this
fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my
Father's kingdom. Matthew 26:26-29.
And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave
to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. And he took the cup, and when
he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. And he
said unto them, This is my blood
of the new testament, which is shed for many.
Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until
that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God. Mark 14:22-25.
And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with
you before I suffer: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof,
until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. And he took the cup, and gave
thanks, and said. Take this, and divide it among yourselves: For I say unto
you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God
shall come. And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto
them saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance
of me. Likewise also the cup after supper saying, This cup is the new
testament in my blood which is shed for you. Luke 22:15-20.
For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that
the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread; And when
he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take eat: this is my body, which
is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also
he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament
in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as
often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death
till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup
of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
But let a man examine himself and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of
that cup. I Corinthians 11:23-26.
NOTE: Not one New Testament passage uses the word "wine."
1. Did Jesus Drink Wine?
The theologians have taught all down the ages that our blessed
Lord and Savior did drink intoxicating drink, as His ordinary everyday
drink, because they say there was no such thing as unintoxicating wine in
His day. But the eyes of some of the most learned of our day appear to be
opening wide enough to see that the theologians were wrong.
Dr. Kynaston, Professor of Greek at Durham University, says:
"We cannot prove from the words in the Bible that our Lord did or did not
drink intoxicating wine." This is a step in the right direction. The
theologians have also taught equally definitely that oinos always meant
intoxicating wine; but Sir Richard Jebb, Professor of Greek at Cambridge
University said that "oinos is a general term, and might include all kinds
Anacreon, who wrote some five hundred years, B.C., Ode
"Only males tread the grapes, Setting free the Oinos (wine)."
Here at this early period, we see that the juice in the grapes was called
(wine) oinos. And all sane persons know that the juice in the grapes is not
intoxicating. Nothing is clearer to those who have studied this question
than the Hebrew word "yain" and the Greek word "oinos" were, as Professor
Sir R. Jebbs says of "oinos," general words in those early days, and were
used to describe sometimes the fruit on the vines, the juice in the grapes,
the juice when it was being pressed out, when it was preserved in an
unfermented state and therefore unintoxicating, and when it was fermented
There is overwhelming proof that there has been in use all down the
centuries, in all grape-growing countries, grape-juice fermented and
intoxicating, and also an abundance of grape-juice preserved in an
unfermented state, and therefore not intoxicating; and both have been called
But the unintoxicating, in addition to being called wine, has been called by
various other names, such as glukus, vinum, mustum, sapa, careum, siraeum,
hepsema, pekmez, new wine. A great
many more names might be added, but a full description may be seen in Dr.
Norman Kerr's book on Wines, Scriptural and Eccleiastical, and also in the
Temperance Bible Commentary by Dr. F. R. Lees and Dr. Dawson Burns. These
words mainly describe a wine made from grape juice by reducing the juice to
a sweet liquid by boiling. It was too thick and too sweet to drink pure. And
this is a main reason why the Greeks and Romans added so much water to it
before drinking, and also why water was added to it before it was used at
the Lord's Supper. Water was also added to the intoxicating wine to reduce
its intoxicating power.
There is therefore clearly no justification whatever for the misleading
statements of the theologians, that there was no such thing as
unintoxicating wine in the days of our Lord. It is equally clear that there
is no proof, either in holy scripture or out of it, that our Lord ever drank
It is no more true to say that the word "wine" always meant intoxicating
wine than it is to say that the word "bread" always meant fermented bread
just as the word "bread" sometimes meant fermented bread and sometimes
unfermented. So the word "oinos" (wine) sometimes was used to describe the
grape-juice when it was fermented and sometimes when it was unfermented. St.
Matthew 26:26 reads:
Jesus took bread and blessed it.
Here it is not stated whether the bread was fermented or not, but we know it
was unfermented (unleavened), because it was the Passover bread. Haggai 1:11
I called for a drought...upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the
It is clear that the new wine in this verse means the growing grapes, for if
the wine was in the casks or skin bottles the drought could have no effect
upon it. There isn't a trace of evidence to prove that our Savior Jesus
Christ ever drank or sanctioned the use of intoxicating drink. Habit-forming
wine is alcoholic wine, and
any preacher or layman who drinks "much wine" is drinking alcoholic wine,
and this is forbidden in the Word of God.
II. Alcoholic Wine is Not the "Fruit of the Vine."
There are thirteen different words or vocables used (in the Bible); nine in
the Hebrew and Chaldee, and four in the Greek, all of which are rendered by
the European translators indiscriminately as "wine or strong drink,"
although all intrinsically are solid substances, but which may be turned
into intoxicants by human ingenuity. When, however, we examine the passages
where these words are used, we find the sacred writers speak, in the most
numerous cases, of them, not as intoxicants, but as foods, which was their
ordinary form of consumption. Where distinct reference is made to them as
means after human manipulation of intoxication, drunkenness, and debauchery,
their use in that form is invariably condemned and vehemently denounced by
the Prophets and Moralists of the Bible as the causes of personal sin and
national ruin. Their use in these forms of alcoholic liquors, or fermented
wine, was absolutely forbidden in the religious ordinances of the Temple or
Altars, and especially from the sacred rites of the Passover, and to all
priests during the period of their ministrations.
1. Curse In the Children's Cup:
The following article appeared in the Temperance Crusade, founded by my
friend Shelton Jones. I cannot imagine after reading this article how any
child of God or sane person could be in favor of wine, liquor or strong
drink of any kind. I quote:
“There is a harm in alcoholic drinking and indulgence more terrible and yet
less spoken of than in the way of economic loss, domestic strife, social
ruin, moral debauchery, physical harm or spiritual loss. It is the blight to
future generations. Don't take my word for it. I am not an authority in this
field, and do not pretend to be. But there is plenty of evidence in the
annals of Medical science, social investigation and hospital records.”
Dr. Watts Eden, an eminent medical authority declares: "On no conceivable
theory can you imagine anything but harm to the growing tissue of an unborn
child in even moderate doses of alcohol. Within ten minutes the alcohol
begins to pass into the mother's blood and into the blood of her child.
Indeed, the mother who drinks when carrying a child is veritably, and indeed
giving her child alcohol."
Dr. A. C. Kirkley, for many years a leading physician in Toledo, Ohio, in
speaking of the effects of beer drinking on the off-spring declared: "He who
sins through physical excess does not do half the harm to himself that he
does to the inheritors of his blood. It is your stout old hero, who goes to
bed every night with liquor enough under his belt to befuddle the brains of
half-a-dozen ordinary men, and yet lives out his three score years and ten,
that will be found at the head of the stock that pours into the world,
generation after generation, such a crop of lunatics, epileptics,
eccentrics, and inebriates as we often see."
Dr. A. McFarland, a leading physician of the same city declared, "There is
not a doubt but that drinking not only makes more destructive whatever taint
may exist, but impairs the health and natural vigor for remote generations."
Dr. W. D. Partlow of the Partlow schools and the Alabama Insane Hospitals,
corroborates these testimonials in these words: "Children of habitual
drunkards may be epileptic or mentally deficient or both; or persons on
debauch or with alcohol in their blood stream, at the time of conception,
either father or mother, may produce a child who is epileptic or mentally
deficient or both."
An investigation of the off-spring of twenty-one drinking mothers in
Liverpool prison with those of twenty-eight women relatives who were sober
and had sober husbands revealed that the drinking mothers lost 55.2 per cent
of their babies before they were two
years old, but the sober relatives lost only 23.9 per cent before the second
Among Bavarians, the greatest beer drinking people on earth, with the
exception of the Americans, 300 of every 1,000 babies were born dead, and
69,000 die each year before they are one year old. Norway mothers had as
many dead-born babies as Bavarian mothers until they were taught not to
drink alcoholic liquor. Now they lose eighty to ninety out of every one
The report of a commission to investigate the extent of feeblemindedness,
epilepsy, and insanity in the state of Michigan reported: "No thorough study
of its (alcohol's) influence could warrant any other conclusion than that it
is the most active influence present in our social life for the production
of poverty, criminality and physical and nervous degeneracy."
Other equally, emphatic and reliable quotations might be cited bearing
testimony on this subject but these are ample to convince any fair-minded
person that the matter of drink is more than a mere personal and individual
matter. It affects children yet unborn. When we see the widespread drinking
debauch indulged in by the youth and young married people today; with 82 per
cent of married couples between ages 22 and 33 years now drinking regularly,
it makes thinking people shudder to think of what America may reap in the
way of a harvest of epileptics, feeble-minded, inebriates, and lunatics in
the next generation.
We are sowing the seeds of racial degeneration, social degeneration, and
physical degeneration and the harvest will be reaped in the bodies, minds,
and souls of those that are yet unborn. Thousands of children who have no
choice as to who their parents will be, who cannot say when or where or to
whom they will be born, will come into this world with the blight and curse
of booze upon them before they are born. That is the price future
generations will have to pay for the stupid, costly folly of repealing the
eighteenth amendment and turning this rotten traffic in drink loose to
curse, not only in this generation, but those yet to come.
It is somebody else's business. It is the business of every citizen in this
country. It is the business of every tax payer who must provide public
institutions, insane asylums, schools for the feeble minded, epileptic
colonies and hospitals to care for the drunks.
You say, "it is none of your business, if the other fellow wishes to drink"
.... then I say you are stupid and foolish. You take that attitude, let him
drink, and his children will be born idiots, imbecile and feeble-minded and
you will provide tax money and construct institutions of charity to care for
them. That money will come out of your pocket and the pocket of your
children. You had as well say, "you don't care if your neighbor has small
pox." You had as well say, "you don't care if your neighbor has TB and comes
in and spits around on the floor of your home." You had as well say, "you
don't care if your next door neighbor across the yard fence raises pole cats
and rattle snakes."
And don't forget, legal liquor sold in a legal front street ABC store, or in
a fancy cafe served by a pretty girl with a plate of bacon and beans with
the government getting its rake-off in revenue and using it to bribe old
people into voting for liquor with the promise of a pension check, will ruin
the body, scatter social disease, and degenerate unborn children just as
will bootleg hooch sold in a fruit jar through a knot hole in the back alley
fence after dark.
You say, "it will never cause a baby in your home to be such an object of
degeneracy!" That's what they all say, but the hospital records reveal it
happens every day.
By Dr. Bill Kanoy
Site created by Tom Walker