The Christian & Alcohol supports that some references of wine meant unfermented wine or grape juice.
Two Types of Wine-Biblically Speaking
The word "wine" in the Bible sometimes refers to the new, or fresh,
juice of the grape; other times it is used to describe the aged or
fermented product containing the drug alcohol. The translators never
used the term "grape juice." In the Hebrew text, the writers use
different words to distinguish between the two. The word tîyrôsh is
used for new unfermented wine, and yayin is generally used for
fermented wine, but there are some exceptions (Isaiah 16:10). However,
in the New Testament, only one Greek word is used to describe both
fermented and fresh grape juice: oinis. But this shouldn't be a
problem. By simply understanding the context of the word in a passage,
the appropriate meaning will usually surface. So unless the passage
says old or new wine (as in Luke 5:37-39), the context will often tell
us what kind of grape juice is being described.
One simple example occurs in Mark 2:22: "And no one puts new wine into
old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is
spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine must be put into
new wineskins." Obviously, the new wine would be the fresh unfermented
Additionally, from the Old Testament, in Isaiah 65:8, we read, "As the
new wine is found in the cluster ... one says, 'Do not destroy it, For
a blessing is in it' " It is clear in both these passages that the new
wine is simply grape juice.
The article comments on common verses that people interpret as fermented wine.
- Paul telling Timothy to drink wine.
- Paul saying not to be drunk with wine.
- Wedding miracle of turning water to wine.
- and more!
Here's a quote.
Wine and the Spirit
On Pentecost, when the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit,
onlookers said, "They are [drunk] with new wine" (Acts 2:13). The
Greek word here is gleukos, which was either new unfermented wine or
"must," a sweet, boiled non-alcoholic grape juice. These onlookers
were mocking the devoted disciples by saying, "They are drunk on grape
juice." This indicates that the disciples were known for their
abstinence of alcohol! How is it that we should not follow their
Paul also tells Timothy, "Drink no longer water, but use a little wine
for thy stomach's sake" (1 Timothy 5:23). Timothy must have been
living as a Nazarite, drinking only water. Paul was telling him to use
a little grape juice, which has a very soothing effect on the body,
indicating that Timothy abstained and needed to be urged to take even
a little new wine. Drinking fermented wine can contribute to stomach
ulcers. Paul would never recommend old wine for stomach therapy.
When Paul says "Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be
filled with the Spirit," some have thought this verse says just don't
drink too much (Ephesians 5:18). But the word "excess" in Greek is
asotia, which is translated as riot and riotous living (Luke 15:13; 1
Peter 4:4). Darby's version translates it this way: "And be not drunk
with wine, in which is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit"
(Ephesians 5:18). We are called to be sacred vessels filled with God's
The article's response to the Pharisees accusing the Son of Man being a drunkard.
Was Jesus a Drunkard?
Pharisees frequently accused Jesus of being a winebibber, drunkard,
and a glutton. They also said He had a devil and blasphemed God, among
other things. We know He wasn't a glutton or demon-possessed
blasphemer! So if these things are not true, why should we assume that
our Lord was a drinker as indicated by the Pharisees, a group of
Jesus' most-outward adversaries well known for their suspect