Some say that the bible allows drinking alcohol, saying that Jesus himself made alcoholic wine at the wedding in Cana. In the Old Testament the demarcation between new wine (tee-roshe [Deuteronomy 7:13]) and old wine (yah yin [Genesis 9:21]) is clear, whereas in the new testament it is vague (oy-nos [Luke 5:37]). But 1 Cor 6:10 is clear that drunkards will not inherit the kingdom.


2 Answers 2


Part of your difficulty is going to come from comparing the Hebrew language of the Old Testament to the Greek language of the New Testament.

Yayin, called Kosher Wine today, is simply translated as "wine" today (Strongs no. 3196). This was the wine used for festivals, particularly Passover, per Jewish tradition. This word is replaced in the Septuagint with "oinos/oynos" which is Greek for the simple translation of "wine" just as yayin. (Strongs no. 3631).

You are correct that drunkards will not inherit the Kingdom of God (1 Cor 6:10), however drinking does not necessarily make one a drunkard. We see it as a bringer of joy in other places:

Psalm 104:14: "[The LORD] makes ... plants for man to cultivate – bringing forth food from the earth: wine that gladdens the heart of man, oil to make his face shine, and bread that sustains his heart."

Ecclesiastes 9:7: "Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favors what you do."

We also know it was used for important festivals as noted above, and for festivals they used the "good stuff". Considering the traditions of the time, the Wedding at Cana would be an example of alcoholic wine, created by Jesus. Notice in John 2:10, the host tells Jesus that He kept "the good wine until now". We can also then draw the conclusion that the Last Supper included "old wine", which was drank by Jesus and His disciples.


Don’t gaze at the wine, seeing how red it is, how it sparkles in the cup, how smoothly it goes down. For in the end it bites like a poisonous snake; it stings like a viper. Proverbs 23:31,32

You can read from verse 26 to the end of the chapter. What I understand from these verses is that here the Bible is not forbidding you from drinking alcohol. But it's advising you to avoid it as well as the other bad habits like pornography.

Paul says that he's free to make everything but not everything is good for himself. God is not forbidding us from doing some stuff just because he hates them. He's telling us to avoid them because they will hurt us at some point of our life though they can give us some moment pleasure.

  • 2
    I liked the answer, but I thought you could use more NT references to substantiate the answer, as the question makes it clear the NT's vagueness is causing the confusion.
    – Jesse
    Jul 24, 2014 at 13:43
  • 1
    The verse you reference is about alcohol addiction and the bible never forbids drinking of alcohol. Jesus drank alcohol. And comparing drinking alcohol to pornography is like comparing taking seconds at dinner to adultery. The former is not definitively sin and the latter assuredly is.
    – LCIII
    Jul 24, 2014 at 13:49
  • Does God hate people drinking wine? Jul 24, 2014 at 16:40

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