What does the Bible say about alcohol?

The Bible does not approve of alcohol

  • 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 about Proverbs 31:6, 7?

“Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more”.

Proverbs 31:6, 7

Well, for those who are “ready to perish,” there was an exception made for alcohol. Without the knowledge of narcotics possessed by medical men today, the ancients had often only various mixtures of intoxicating drinks and preparations of narcotic herbs with which to dull the pains of fatal illness.

Those who were crucified in the time of Christ were offered a mixture of vinegar and gall. Our Lord refused to drink the mixture. He desired to have a clear mind to resist the temptation of Satan and to keep strong His faith in God. We read that “they gave Him sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted it, He would not drink” (Matthew 27:34)

Thus, although strong drink or alcohol is forbidden for the healthy, it was permitted only as a pain killer for medical reasons to relief the misery of those that have terminal sicknesses and nearing death.

What about Paul’s counsel to timothy?

“No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities”.

1 Timothy 5:23

In Paul’s time, as now, the water in many areas of the world was often contaminated. Physical ailments such as dysentery, often due to contaminated water, were common to people. Consequently, other drinks to satisfy the thirst were often advised.

What about the wine Jesus offered in the marriage of Cana?

This was the pure juice of the grape. Jesus would act consistently with principles revealed to earlier Bible writers (Proverbs 20:1; 23:29–32; 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17; 6:19).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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