Is drinking alcohol a sin according to the Bible?

Author: BibleAsk Team

Alcoholic Drinks

Let’s look at what the Bible has to say about drinking alcohol or alcoholic drinks:

“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise” (Proverbs 20:1).

“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 23:31, 32).

“Neither fornicators … nor drunkards … shall inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9, 10).

What Kind of Wine Did Jesus Make?

In the Bible both fermented and fresh grape juice are called “wine.” The wine used at the Passover feast that Jesus shared with the disciples at the Last Supper was unfermented grape juice, thus it did not have alcohol. We know this from the Passover requirements:

“Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven…of the feast of the Passover” (Exodus34:25).

When Jesus turned the water into wine at the wedding feast, the master of the feast said to the bridegroom, “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” (John 2:10). So, what kind of wine did Jesus make?

Grapes ripen in summer and fall, so the wine used at the Passover was all preserved grape juice. A papyri letter by a Jewish rabbi has been found in Egypt, telling how they preserved fresh wine for the feast. Ancient Jews preserved grape juice by boiling it to a pasty concentrate and sealed it in urns. This was good unferrmented wine. On the other hand, fermented wine, with alcohol, dulls the taste buds, so that the taste of grape juice is not fully relished, hence it was inferior.

So, we can conclude that Jesus miraculously produced the superior fresh grape juice at the wedding and the master of the feast recognized that. Fresh wine from the grape was used by kings because it was of superior value. We have a reference to that in the story of Joseph. “Then Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand; and I took the grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup, and placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand” (Genesis 40:11).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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