On Wine

Referenced from The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs. Reviewed by BWIII here.

Daniel Whitfield has made an astoundingly exhaustive study of every alcohol reference in Scripture– all 247 of them. I quote here his findings:
On the negative side:

  • there are 17 warnings against abusing alcohol,
  • 19 examples of people abusing alcohol,
  • 3 references to selecting leaders,
  • and one verse advocating abstinence if drinking will cause a brother to stumble.
  • Total negative references 40, or 16%.

On the positive side:

  • there are 59 references to the commonly accepted practice of drinking wine (and strong drink) with meals,
  • 27 references to the abundance of wine as an example of God’s blessing,
  • 20 references to the loss of wine and strong drink as an example of God’s curse,
  • 25 references to the use of wine in offerings and sacrifices,
  • 9 references to wine being used as a gift, and
  • 5 metaphorical references to wine as a basis for a favorable comparison.
  • Total positive references: 145, or 59%.

“Neutral references make up the other 25%. If I could add only one observation to Whitfield’s study: There is also one reference to medicinal alcohol: ‘No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of yopur stomach and your frequent ailments (1 Timothy 5.23).

My long and deeply thought-out conclusions: Wine is yummy! Drink it with meals and by itself! Enjoy it, just not too much. It makes for a nice gift too. Apparently God has cursed the baptists. So sad.

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