Bible Pathways in Picture and Word

“Wine” as used in the Bible

There are many people today who, as they are reading through their Bible, read references to the word “wine”, 
and because they don’t correctly understand what the Bible is saying, some of them stumble over 
the Bible’s use of that word.

They read verses such as 1 Timothy 5:23 which says, 

“Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities.”

Based on this verse, it appears that the Bible endorses the drinking of wine and alcohol.

 But then they read verses such as Proverbs 20:1 which says, 

“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.”

Based on this verse, it appears that the Bible condemns the drinking of wine and alcohol.

This often lends to people getting confused, they mistakenly believe that the Bible is contradicting itself, and so they begin to try to rationalize away anything that disagrees with what they decide they want to believe.
However, when properly understood, the Bible is in perfect agreement with itself.
The Bible is the Word of God, and therefore, as long as you have a Bible that does not originate from corrupted manuscripts, you will not find contradictions. If something appears on the surface to contradict something else, 
it is not the Bible that is mistaken, it is the reader’s interpretation of one or more of the verses 
that makes it contradictory.

A good rule to follow is that if you want to understand correct doctrine, you must bring all the scriptures together 
on the subject you wish to know; then let every word have its proper influence; and if you can form your theory without a contradiction, you cannot be in error. 
Some good texts for proving this rule are: 
Isaiah 28:7-29; Isaiah 35:8; Proverbs 29:27; Luke 24:27,44,45; Romans 16:26; James 5:19; and 2 Peter 1:19,20.

If the subject of “Wine” is studied throughout the Bible, it becomes very clear that the Bible uses the word “Wine” to refer to two very different types of drink.
  
 
Pure, Fresh, 
Unspoiled, New 
Grape Juice
Fermented, Spoiled, 
Aged & Rotten Grape Juice 
(Alcohol)

Both of these substances are referred to in the Bible with simply the English word “Wine”.

In Bible times, with no real refrigeration system like what we have today with modern refrigerators and freezers, juice that was squeezed from grapes, if not preserved through special processes, would normally have had to be drunk fairly soon afterwards, or it would gradually begin to spoil and ferment.

That is why the fresh squeezed grape juice was called “Good Wine” or “New Wine” while the older, spoiled and fermented type was called “Old Wine”.

 Because of this “lack of refrigeration” concept, some people mistakenly claim that the wine mentioned in the Bible would have had to be fermented, because the “ancients” would not have had any way to preserve fresh unfermented grape juice.

This is an erroneous assumption.

Archaeology has now proven that in reality, the “ancients” in Bible times, had much more knowledge than we now seem to realize on how to preserve grape juice in an unfermented state.

Grape juice contains two leading ingredients, glucose (grape sugar) and albumen.

The albumen is found in the lining of the skin of the grape and also in the envelope of the seed.

Albumen favors the formation of microscopic organisms which are the fermenting agents.

As the albumen decays, these organisms mix with those already present in the surrounding air and release a chemical enzyme that breaks down the grape sugar into two components,

Ethyl Alcohol  and  Carbon Dioxide Gas.

The ethyl alcohol is a colorless liquid that remains in the wine solution and the carbon dioxide gas forms tiny bubbles.

It takes certain conditions for this process of fermentation to occur, such as moderate temperature, moisture, and air in the grape juice. 

The people of Bible times understood this and practiced four different methods of preservation that altered or eliminated those conditions so that they could preserve grape juice in an unfermented state.


Four Methods of Preservation

#1. The first method of preservation was boiling the grape juice. The fermentation process is completely destroyed when the moisture content of grape juice is boiled. Boiling evaporates the water, kills the yeast and molds, and increases the sugar content (which inhibits yeast growth). They would boil the grape juice down into a syrup which was called “Must” and as it boiled down, they would skim the froth off of the top to remove all the killed yeast and molds, then the remaining Must could be cooled and easily stored in an unfermented state for long periods of time. If they boiled the syrup down even more, it was called “defructum” or “sweet wine”When they wanted to drink it, it could be consumed by itself as a syrup, or it could be diluted (thinned) with water and consumed. 
This syrup was also called “strong drink” - because of 
its “concentration”.
    

In other words, the term “strong drink” in the Bible can refer to two different things, depending on the context of the verse. “Strong drink” can be either “fermented alcoholic wine” or unfermented “grape juice concentrate”
 - it all depends on the context of its use!
   
  
#2. The second method of preservation was by filtering. Since it is the albumen that contributes to the fermentation process, the “ancients” learned that they could filter, through careful procedures, the pulp from the juice and thus prevent fermentation. This product was also called a “sweet wine”They filtered it by two different ways.
The first of which was to collect the juice that flowed from the grapes when they were placed in the press - before the grapes were actually “pressed”. This was called “Gentle Pressing”. In other words, the juice that got squeezed out of the grapes by just the weight of the grapes on top of them. This juice was high in sugar content and did not have the albumen in it, (since the grapes had not be crushed yet,) and it could easily be stored in an airtight container without fermentation. The second way was to place the juice and pulp in a sacco (a bag) and set a container underneath it to catch the filtered/strained juice, which could then be stored in an airtight container.


#3. The third method of preservation was through cold storage

Almost all fermentation processes cease at about 40°F (4°C). 
By lowering the temperature below 40°, the albumen settles to the bottom and the juice does not ferment. 

They would then place the grape juice in a container, seal it closed and make it waterproof with pitch, and then submerge it in a pool or cistern of cool water and let it remain undisturbed for six to eight weeks. 

After this process, the grape juice would remain unfermented. 

This product was called 
semper mustum” (permanent Must).
   
#4. The fourth method of preservation was through sulphur fumigation. Sulphur dioxide fumes prevent fermentation. They would burn sulphur in jars and then while the jars were full of sulphur fumes, they would fill the jar and quickly close it airtight, or sometimes they would fill the jar almost full, and then burn sulphur in the remaining gap at the top and while the fumes were still present, they would cap it closed. The sulphur displaces the oxygen and inhibits the growth of yeast. 
This would allow the jars to be stored for long periods of time, without the grape juice fermenting.

Fermented wine is subject to various infections which turns them acid and gives them a bad odor, they have to be specially treated with preservatives or other processes in order to not grow mold and show other signs of decay. Because of this fact, the “ancients” actually found it much easier to preserve grape juice in an unfermented state than in a fermented state.

In fact, by following a careful procedure at harvest time, they could actually store fresh grapes.
They would cut the grapes off the vine, leaving a long length of branch still connected to the grapes. Once cut, they would immediately seal the cut end of the branch with pitch. Then they would place the grapes in a container filled with dry chaff and close the container and seal it airtight with clay. Then they would bury this container in a loft filled with dry chaff. By storing the grapes with this method, they could keep the grapes for up to a year, in a state of perfect unspoiled freshness.

Now as pointed out earlier, the Bible does not use the term “grape juice” to signify the unfermented beverage and “wine” to signify the fermented variety. The Bible simply refers to both as “wine”.
Therefore, in order to determine which variety is talked about, the reader has to pay attention to the context 
of the surrounding verses.

Many people like to drink the fermented alcoholic variety of grape juice, and they seem to take pleasure in taking 
the references in the Bible to “wine” and claiming that they are always referring to the alcoholic type. 
It would almost seem that they are trying to find a way to make the Bible endorse fermented drink. 

One of those references is the story of Jesus’ first miracle, where He turned the water into wine 
at the wedding in Cana.

John 2:1-10  
“And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. 
And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. 
His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto 
you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. 
Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. 
And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. 
And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, 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.” 

Here in this story, when those in charge of the wedding celebrations realize that they have run out of “wine”, Jesus tells them to fill six pots with water, and as they do so, the power of God changes the water into “wine”.

Now the issue with those who claim that this “wine” that Christ made was “alcoholic,” seems to always be focused on trying to condemn the use of alcohol on a regular basis, but excuse and endorse its use when it comes to “communion” in church, or just a little glass of it now and then. 
Since it is easily proven by science that alcohol in large doses is very detrimental to the human body, they feel like they can’t actually get away with endorsing its use in abundance; yet they don’t want to let go of their habitual use of it at church and parties, so they have to try to figure out a way to endorse it in small quantities.
But the principle of that reasoning is seriously flawed.

There are actually two concepts that have to be considered. 
The first concept is from the Bible/Religious aspect and the second concept is from the physiological aspect, the side of science. First we will look at the Religious aspect of this issue.

As one website’s argument goes:
“But the original Greek word used here is oinos, which is “the general word for wine” and it “implies fermentation” (Vine’s Expository Dictionary of the New Testament).”

Now I just pulled this reference from one website, but there are many web pages that offer the exact same argument, or ones very similar to it, in order to excuse the use of alcohol in moderate amounts.
However, it should be understood that when you resort to Bible dictionaries, Bible commentaries, and various other “works of man” - what you have is just that - the “words of man”.
Sometimes these may indeed help explain something, but many times, they are nothing more than guesswork which is biased by the writer’s own opinions and practices, or twisted to mean something they don’t really mean in order to support their preconceived opinions. In other words, whatever comes from man’s words, we should always test by the Bible testimony itself, in order to determine whether that ‘man’ is correct or not!

When this website article which I pulled that reference from, refers to the word “wine” used in the story of Jesus turning the water to wine, it tries to make the case that it was “alcoholic wine” that Jesus made.To do so, it resorts to using Vine’s dictionary to prove its point.


But like I pointed out, this is the words of a “man.”

The Greek word used is indeed “oinos” and it is the word used throughout the New Testament for the general word for “wine” both fermented and unfermented - on this fact, that dictionary is correct. 

However, nowhere in the New Testament does that word itself “imply” anything.

Just referencing that word, does not define whether it is talking about the fermented variety or the pure unfermented variety! Whether it is referring to “fermented” or “unfermented” juice has to be determined from the context in which it is used.

By stating that it “implies fermentation” - these “words of man” tend to sway people to their way of thinking - when in reality, the word by itself “implies” nothing! It simply means “wine”.

In other words, if we choose to believe the reasoning in Vine’s dictionary (no matter whether it is good counsel or not), over the Bible testimony, then we are taking “man’s words” instead of “God’s Words.”

As already pointed out, the type of beverage talked about in any text, has to be determined by the context in which it is used! The word “oinos” is used throughout the New Testament, to refer to both “fresh grape juice” and “fermented, alcoholic wine.” 
Even if you look at the Greek translation of the Old Testament, you will find that “oinos” is used in both senses - proving that you cannot determine the type of beverage by just looking at the Greek word - you have to go by the context in which it is used.
 
For example:
 it is very easy to see that Proverbs 3:10 uses the phrase “new wine” to refer to fresh grape juice as coming straight from the grape press.
“So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.”
Yet, this very text, in the Greek translation, uses the word “oinos” for “new wine”.

Here are a few Biblical reasons why Jesus could not have turned the water into “alcoholic” wine 
at the wedding at Cana.  

1. There is abundant and direct Biblical testimony that the use of alcoholic drinks is unwise while unfermented grape juice is considered a blessing.    
Proverbs 20:1 “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” 
Isaiah 65:8 “Thus saith the LORD, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it: so will I do for my servants' sakes, that I may not destroy them all.”

Notice that the Bible is clear - "New wine” is found in the cluster - that is fresh unfermented grape juice
It also specifically says that it is a blessing! And the Bible also makes it clear that the alcoholic wine & alcoholic strong drink have the ability to “Deceive” people.

2. Many persons state that a small amount of alcohol is not harmful, but should we play with baby snakes—since their venom is just as poisonous? Should we drink something we are counseled not to look at?  
Proverbs 23:29-32 “Who hath woe? who hath sorrow? who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine. 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.”

The Bible describes the wine that is “bad” by the phrase “when it moveth itself aright.” 
Now if you place a glass of grape juice on the table - does the juice “move itself”? No! 
But if you place a glass of fermented grape juice on the table, it sits there and releases bubbles - it “moves itself”.

  
These verses plainly state that the kind that “moves itself” will at last “bite like a serpent”. In other words, the final result of using that substance, will be just like the final result of being bitten by a poisonous snake.

If alcohol is OK if used in small amounts, “Is it OK, to just play with a baby viper?” 
I mean, after all, it isn’t a full grown adult snake - it isn’t several glasses of wine - it is just a 
little baby snake - just a small sip of wine!
If it is poisonous in any form, we shouldn’t be “playing with it!” Many times it is the “baby vipers” that are 
the most dangerous - they are smaller, easier to be hidden, and their bites are more concentrated - but in the end, it is all the same poison. 

3. The Biblical record shows that Jesus refused alcohol. Jesus could not have turned the water into alcoholic wine. He is not a bartender. It would be hypocritical to make something that you yourself would not use.   
Mark 15:23 “And they gave him [Jesus] to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.”
Luke 23:36-37  And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar, And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself. 

Jesus Christ, our Example, showed He was not a hypocrite when he refused the vinegar on the cross. 
Vinegar is many times made from spoiled fermented apples. It is alcoholic just like the wine from grapes and 
though it was used for crucifixions in order to dull the pain of the sufferer, it kills the senses by compromising 
the frontal lobe of the brain. Christ knew this, and He knew that He must have total control of His brain as 
He was in the process of facing Satan upon that cross, so when they offered the vinegar to him, as soon as 
He tasted it and realized what it was, He refused it!

4. All drunkards became so by taking the first little sip. No teetotaler has ever become an alcoholic.  
Luke 16:10 “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust 
in the least is unjust also in much.”  

There have been people who have become lifelong drunks - simply by taking a single drink of fermented wine. 
There is even a story about a guy who became an alcoholic after once eating salad dressing made with vinegar 
(vinegar is also alcoholic). 
Likewise, when Eve took one bite from the tree of knowledge of good and evil (a substance God had 
forbidden even though it had some potential “good” effects) she plunged the world into six thousand years of sin. Today at the first sip of alcohol the serpent is still saying, “Ye shall not surely die:” Genesis 3:4

5. Alcoholic Drinks are often called “spirits.” What spirit is this, the spirit of God or the spirit of devils? In the Bible, alcoholic drinks are contrasted and used opposite of the spirit of God.  
Ephesians 5:18 “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;”
Galatians 5:16-17, 19-23 “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.   But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

6. In the Bible, wine is used to represent the blood of Christ. 
1 Corinthians 11:25 “After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.”  

Does the consumption of alcoholic beverages pattern after the characteristics of Christ?   
“Excessive alcohol use led to approximately 88,000 deaths and 2.5 million years of potential life lost (YPLL) each year in the United States from 2006 – 2010, shortening the lives of those who died by an average of 30 years. 1,2 Further, excessive drinking was responsible for 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults aged 20-64 years.” - The Center for Disease Control    http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm

Does excessive consumption of the characteristics of the blood of Christ lead to the death of millions who get too much?  Would following Christ lead Lot to be undiscerning of sin like alcohol did? (Genesis 19:30-36) 
Can you get “too much” of following Christ?

“Jesus came to the rescue. He provided wine, but there is not a hint that the wine He made was intoxicating. It was fresh-made wine. New-made wine is never intoxicating. It is not intoxicating until some time after the process of fermentation has set in. Fermentation is a process of decay. There is not a hint that our Lord produced alcohol, which is a product of decay or death. He produced a living wine uncontaminated by fermentation. It is true it was better wine than they had been drinking, but that does not show for a moment that it was more fermented than that which they had before been drinking.”  Difficulties in the Bible by R.A. Torrey, PDF pg. 56

Spoilage, fermentation, and all other forms of degradation - would all be a spiritual representation of “sin”. 
Christ never had “sin” - He was “without sin” - therefore, use of a fermented product of any kind to represent His pure body and holy blood is basically a form of blasphemy. It is claiming “in symbolism,” that Christ was sinful.

“The broken bread and pure juice of the grape are to represent the broken body and spilled blood of the Son of God. Bread that is leavened must not come on the communion table; unleavened bread is the only correct representation of the Lord's Supper. Nothing fermented is to be used. Only the pure fruit of the vine and the unleavened bread are to be used.” 
Review and Herald, June 7, 1898

“The wine which Christ provided for the feast, and that which He gave to the disciples as a symbol of His own blood, was the pure juice of the grape. To this the prophet Isaiah refers when he speaks of the new wine "in the cluster," and says, "Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it."” Isaiah 65:8. 
Desire of Ages p.149

7. Alcohol causes lack of discernment of sin, so God did NOT allow his leaders in his church to drink it. 
The Priests
Leviticus 10:8-11 “And the LORD spake unto Aaron, saying, Do not drink wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations: And that ye may put difference between holy and unholy, and between unclean and cleanAnd that ye may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD hath spoken unto them 
by the hand of Moses.” 

Kings and Princes
Proverbs 31:4,5 “It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink: 
Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.”

Bishop’s/Elders/Deacons
Titus 1:7-9 “For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.”

1 Timothy 3:2,3 “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;”

1 Timothy 3:8 “Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, 
not greedy of filthy lucre;”

All believers in God are called to be “Kings” & “Priests”
Revelation 1:6  And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion 
for ever and ever. Amen.

Which is also why we should not be doing anything that would damage our body temple.

8. No one would argue that there are no drunkards in the world, so obviously alcohol causes many to stumble and fall and ultimately be lost according to these verses. 
Is it then Christian to advocate something (especially for church use) that may cause someone to ultimately be lost?
Romans 14:21 “It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, 
or is offended or is made weak.”    

Stumbleth or offended—enticed to sin, Weak—bad for health 
“offended” is translated “falleth” in 
the 1534 Tyndale Bible,  
1535 Coverdale Bible, 
the 1568 Bishop’s Bible, 
1549 Matthews Bible

Romans 14:22 “Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself 
in that thing which he alloweth.”

1 Corinthians 5:11 “But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother 
be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with 
such an one no not to eat.”
 
9. In the Bible, those who drink alcohol and encourage others to drink alcohol are condemned as evil and hypocritical.  
Matthew 24:48-51 “But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And 
shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant 
shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him 
asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Habakkuk 2:15 “Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him, and 
makest him drunken also, that thou mayest look on their nakedness!”

10. It is the harlot and Babylon that are prophetically pictured in the Bible dealing out alcoholic beverages which cause fornication, not God’s true church.  
  
Jeremiah 51:7 “Babylon hath been a golden cup in the LORD'S hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.”
Revelation 14:8 “And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” 
Revelation 17:2 “With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.” 
Revelation 18:3 “For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.”

11. God’s Spirit resided abundantly with those who refused wine even at times when it could have been considered “rude” to do so.  
Samson
Judges 13:4,5 “Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing: For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.”

Daniel and his 3 friends (who typify God’s last day people)
Daniel 1:8 “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's 
meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs 
that he might not defile himself.” 
Daniel 1:12 “Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.”

John the Baptist (who typifies God’s last day people)
Luke 1:13-17 “But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb. And many of the 
children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before him in the spirit and 
power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the 
wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

As you can see, when we use the Bible to interpret itself, instead of just assuming whatever answer we want to make, then the Bible makes it clear by the context - exactly what is being talked about. The Bible condemns the use of the spoiled, fermented, alcoholic wine, but it endorses the use of the fresh, unspoiled, unfermented variety, as being good for the body and filled with blessing.


“Chrysostom, born a.d. 344, says: ‘Now, indeed, making plain that it is he who changes into wine the water in the vines and the rain drawn up by the roots. He produced instantly at the wedding-feast that which is formed in the plant during a long course of time.’" 
Laws of Fermentation and The Wines of the Ancients, 
William Patton, p.87

But from past experience, I know that there are still some skeptics out there, that are still trying to find a way for the Bible to endorse the moderate use of fermented and alcoholic drink. 
I once read a quote that perfectly fits that situation.

“It is very surprising how small an amount of Scripture proof will suffice to convince a person 
of something he wants to believe; and what a large amount is required to convince him 
of a plain truth which he does not relish.” 
A.T. Jones

So now the second concept to examine is from the physiological aspect, the side of science. In other words, how the body reacts to it, or what does grape juice or alcohol do to the human body “temple”!
1 Corinthians 6:19, 20  What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. 

If indeed articles that promote the moderate use of alcoholic beverages are correct and alcohol is something that would “glorify” God in our “body temple” - then we should be able to examine what its effects are on the human body and see that it is harmless and beneficial to our “body temple.”
In other words, “we are what we eat” - the body builds itself or breaks down itself, all depending on what is taken into the body or what the body is exposed to. 
So the question then is, “When a person consumes some alcohol, does it go into the body and get utilized by the body to build cells, boost immune function, increase the positive effects on the body, and other beneficial things - or does the body consider it a poison to be dealt with like any other dangerous poison?

The following information was gleaned, by much study, 
from numerous books and webpages on health 
and is not intended as medical advice; 
reader assumes sole responsibility for any use or misuse 
of this information.


In the human body, alcohol is metabolized by 
the liver, the brain, the pancreas, and the stomach. 
The liver does most of the metabolizing, but 
the others also do some.

Alcohol is metabolized by several different processes. The most common of these processes involves two enzymes. One of these is called 
alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH
and the other is called 
aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). 

It is these enzymes that help to “break apart” 
the alcohol molecule in order to “eliminate it” 
from the body.

This raises the immediate question, “Why does the body feel the need to “eliminate” the alcohol molecule from 
the body? If it is so beneficial, why does the body feel endangered by it?
Just something to think about!

When a person consumes alcohol, about 20% of the alcohol is absorbed by the stomach. The remaining 80% continues on into the small intestine and gets absorbed there. 
The alcohol’s rate of absorption (how fast it absorbs into the body) depends on a couple of factors. One factor is the concentration of the alcohol - in other words, a higher concentration of alcohol in a beverage will make the person’s blood alcohol level increase much faster.
The other factor is whether there is anything in the stomach (such as food) which will slow down the movement of the alcohol and therefore slow down the absorption factor.

After the alcohol has been absorbed, it moves into the bloodstream and this enables it to get transported throughout the body. The amount of alcohol in the blood increases when the person is taking in alcohol faster than the body can process it. This is where the term “blood alcohol level” comes from. At the same time that it is being absorbed and circulated through the body, the body is also trying to metabolize and remove the alcohol from the system.

When alcohol, in even the smallest amount, reaches the stomach, it increases the production of acid in the stomach beyond normal levels, and at the same time also causes irritation and inflammation in the stomach lining. 
Over time, this can result in stomach ulcers and bleeding
In the short term results, it increases the risk of gut permeability. Gut permeability is when toxins leak from the digestive system into the bloodstream and wreak havoc on the body. 
All of this eventually leads to disease and cancer.
Alcohol has also been proven to cause free-radicals, which contribute to cancer and 
numerous other health problems.

When alcohol, in even the smallest amount, reaches the liver, the ADH enzyme metabolizes the alcohol to acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is a highly toxic substance that has also been proven to be 
a known carcinogen (In other words, it causes cancer). 
Acetaldehyde damages liver cells and is capable of causing permanent scarring. 
Over time, the more alcohol that is consumed, the more damage and scarring takes place, impairing 
the liver’s ability to breakdown fat. This leads to fatty liver disease.Fatty liver disease in turn, leads to 
an inflamed and diseased state of the liver known as alcoholic hepatitis. This condition then can lead to cirrhosis of the liver where it is so damaged it can no longer repair itself. Cirrhosis then gives way to liver failure and liver cancer.

Acetaldehyde is also a diuretic and it is very efficient at dehydrating the body while it is in the bloodstream. 
That dehydration then leads to multiple other diseases, such as Alzheimer's, arthritis, heart disease and 
other problems, etc.

After the liver breaks down the alcohol into acetaldehyde, you then have acetaldehyde circulating through the bloodstream. Then the ALDH enzyme takes over and further metabolizes it down to another byproduct called acetate. The acetate is then broken down into water and carbon dioxide so that the body can eliminate it 
from the system.

It was once thought by scientists that the acetaldehyde in the bloodstream would not pass the blood-brain barrier - yet there was always effects from acetaldehyde in the brain - which is why alcohol always produces brain effects (temporary happy moods, hallucinations, impaired cognitive function, etc.). 

They are now beginning to discover, that even though the majority of the acetaldehyde in the bloodstream, does not pass the blood-brain barrier, it’s presence does cause the hormones in the brain to produce their own acetaldehyde - which explains how drinking the alcohol can damage the brain.
Couple those findings with other science studies that show that wireless radiation from cell phones, WIFI, and other numerous sources actually opens the blood-brain barrier to allow poisons and toxins from the bloodstream to cross - and we see the makings of a very dangerous situation - where not only is the toxic acetaldehyde from the body able to cross into the brain, but the brain will then begin producing its own toxic acetaldehyde.

In other words, alcohol alters your neurotransmitters. When alcohol is consumed, it releases two neurotransmitters that occur naturally in the brain. These neurotransmitters are gaba aminobutryric acid (GABA) and dopamine. But the alcohol releases these neurotransmitters in excess of what the brain usually uses. The GABA neurotransmitter calms you down and gives you a relaxed feeling. The dopamine neurotransmitter stimulates the feeling of pleasure. 
This is why people get addicted to that “good feeling” they experience with alcohol.
But, as pointed out, alcohol causes too much of these neurotransmitters to be released and this leads to a host of health problems including night terrors, hallucinations, shortness of breath, high blood pressure and an increase in both aggression and depression.
The effects of the alcohol gradually lead to temporary amnesia and over the long term use of alcohol, will result in permanent brain damage and the development of Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome, a condition that impairs memory, vision and speech.

In much the same way that alcohol confuses the brain by forcing it into releasing neurotransmitters and endorphins that it doesn’t need to, alcohol tricks the pancreas as well. It makes it secret enzymes into itself instead of into the bloodstream. When this happens, the accumulation of excess enzymes results in inflammation of the pancreas. Over time, this inflammation increases the risk of cancer and reduces the organ’s ability to produce insulin which then results in the development of diabetes.

It doesn’t matter how much alcohol a person consumes - the human body can only metabolize a certain amount of alcohol every hour. How much it can deal with in a given period of time is dependent upon several factors, among which is the size of the liver and the body’s mass.
It has also been proven that different people have variations in the same gene and therefore, they carry different variations of the alcohol dehydrogenase and aldehyde dehydrogenase enzymes - and these enzyme variants work more or less efficiently than others.

In other words, some people’s bodies can break down alcohol faster than other people.
If the person’s body has a variation of the ADH enzyme that works rapidly and a variation of ALDH that works slowly - then when they consume alcohol, it is quickly broken down into acetaldehyde, but then that toxic substance circulates through the body for a long time, waiting for the ALDH to take over and finish the breaking down process.
This creates high levels of toxic acetaldehyde in the body which creates effects such as nausea, flushing in the face, and/or a rapid heart beat. This unpleasant experience of course, tends to make people who carry that variation of the gene to not consume alcohol very often.
On the other hand, a person who carries the variation of gene that breaks down the alcohol to acetaldehyde slowly and the acetaldehyde to acetate very quickly, will not experience all those unpleasant things by drinking alcohol, and this in turn makes them drink more often and in larger quantities.
This is the science behind why one person can drink lots of alcohol and not show any outwardly visible signs of addiction or health damage, while another person can take a single sip from a bottle of alcohol and 
become an alcoholic!
But no matter which gene the person has, the acetaldehyde is still doing the same damage inside their body - it is just slower with some and faster with others.

In other words, from a physiological perspective, no matter whether you are drinking a single small glass of alcohol, or several gallons of alcohol - the toxic effects on the human body are identical. The only difference is that with larger amounts, the damage builds up faster. Sort of like the difference between wrecking your car in a head on collision which totals it rapidly, or driving for years on heavily salted roads, which eats up the metal slowly and over time, totals the car. The end result is the same!

So the question again is, “Would God endorse the use of such poison in His body temple - in any amount?” 
“Does God talk through both sides of His mouth?” 
“Does He tell us on one hand, to stay away from the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and in the next breath tell us that it is OK to taste from that same tree as long as we only do it a little bit?”

Here are several reasons from a “health” perspective, why drinking only small amounts of alcohol is not wise.

The very nature of alcohol defiles/destroys our bodies the temple of God.
1 Corinthians 3:16,17  “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 
If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”

Even limited alcohol consumption is known to cause birth defects.
“In the study, maternal intake of alcohol less than 1 day per week was associated with about twice the risk of neural tube defects (NTDs), heart artery abnormalities, and cleft lip, with or without cleft palate (CLP), as compared with nondrinkers.”
https://www.nichd.nih.gov/news/resources/spotlight/Pages/062712-alcohol-drug-related-birth-defects.aspx
Many studies focus on the effects of heavy drinking, but the question is what constitutes heavy drinking—Consider this study. This is actually not much-- “Study participants included a cohort of 29 women who heavily consumed alcohol during pregnancy, e.g., two or more ounces of alcohol per day.”

Regular heavy drinking may cause at least one of the following problems:  
Memory Loss, Liver diseases (esp. hepatitis and cirrhosis), Gastritis or pancreas damage, Hypertension, 
Heart problems, Diabetes, Nervous System Problems (including dementia and confused disordered thinking), Cancer, Suicide and Mental Illness.  https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/157163.php

“Alcohol affects virtually every organ system in the body, even in small amounts.  As little as 1 ½ ounces a day can lead to cirrhosis of the liver. Small amounts of alcohol over time can compromise the immune system, create vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and increase hypertension…” (Guilt-free Gourmet pg. 335)

“Drinking too much can weaken your immune system, making your body a much easier target for disease.  Chronic drinkers are more liable to contract diseases like pneumonia and tuberculosis than people who do not drink too much.  Drinking a lot on a single occasion slows your body’s ability to ward off infections – even 
up to 24 hours after getting drunk.” https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/alcohols-effects-body

The very nature of alcohol eliminates  the idea  of temperance,  since large portions of those who drink a little cannot stop.  
“A single glass of wine may open the door of temptation which will lead to habits of drunkenness.” 
Healthful Living p.  113  

“40% of teens who began drinking at 13 years of age or younger developed an alcohol addiction later in life. 
This can be compared with the following:10% of teens who started drinking alcohol after 17 years of age 
developed alcohol dependence…  The younger you are when you start drinking, the greater your chance 
of becoming addicted to alcohol at some point in your life. More than 4 in 10 people who begin drinking 
before age 15 eventually become alcoholics.” http://inbalancecontinuum.com/outpatient/about/statistics

“According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), in 2015, 15.1 million American adults (6.2 percent of the population) had an alcohol use problem.”  https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/157163.php

Almost 1/3 of those who drink alcohol have some sort of an alcohol problem--“SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) – 2014 (PDF | 3.4 MB) reports that in 2014 there were 139.7 million current alcohol users aged 12 or older, with 23% classified as binge drinkers and 6.2% as heavy drinkers. About 17 million of these, or 6.4%, met criteria for an alcohol use disorder in the past year.” https://www.samhsa.gov/atod/alcohol

“Alcohol is America’s drug of choice. No other substance is abused more often in this country than alcohol. One in every 12 adults suffers from alcohol dependence. This is a startling figure. Over 17.5 million Americans are alcoholics.” https://www.quitalcohol.com/information/why-is-alcohol-addictive.html

The very nature of alcohol makes one weak minded
 “Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, and can affect the way the brain looks and works. These disruptions can change mood and behavior, and make it harder to think clearly and move with coordination.”  https://www.niaaa.nih.gov/alcohol-health/alcohols-effects-body

(“The frontal-lobe impairing effects are not confined to heavy alcohol users. Researchers found a measurable decrease in abstract thinking among 1,300 men and women who were social drinkers. These individuals drank as little as 1 alcoholic beverage per week…. Even with these low levels of use, assessments of mental function showed impairment. In fact, as alcohol intake increased their ability to think abstractly decreased even more.  These changes could not be explained by intoxication because all assessments were done at least 24 hours after the last consumption of alcohol…Individuals with a blood alcohol level of 0.05 to 0.09 percent , less than the legal limit in most states, have at least nine times the risk of a fatal traffic accident than at zero. This is largely due to the fact that alcohol impairs the frontal lobe long before it impairs other parts of the brain such as the coordination center.” Proof Positive, Nedley, M.D. pg. 268

Alcohol destroys brain cells and blunts the ability of the frontal lobe of the brain to function correctly.

The World Health Organization (WHO) even tells us that drinking alcohol, even in small amounts, is not a good idea.
Speaking about all the publicity that is given to the use of moderate amounts of alcohol for heart disease prevention, they specifically say that publicity is “not the result of rigorous scientific research, but is to a large extent inspired by commercial purposes.” Moderate Drinking: serious warning by WHO specialists, by H. Emblad, WHO press release November 1, 1994

Here are some of their other statements on alcohol consumption.
“The less you drink, the better.”
“Alcohol consumption causes some of the world’s most serious health problems.”
“Drinking adversely affects a significant proportion of the population, not just a minority 
of alcoholics or heavy drinkers.”
Moderate Drinking: serious warning by WHO specialists, by H. Emblad, WHO press release November 1, 1994

That is just a tiny little bit of the science evidence of the dangers of alcohol.

Now a lot of those who promote alcohol for communion and in small doses, like to trumpet the claims as mentioned above, that there are some health benefits gained from drinking red wine.
The concept that red wine can provide protective benefits to the cardiovascular system and decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease is based on the fact that there are high levels of antioxidants called flavonoids 
that are present in red wine.

However, what these individuals fail to acknowledge is that all those exact same antioxidants and health benefits 
are actually found in the fresh grape juice, long before it was fermented into alcohol. 

This has been proven by studies where alcoholic wine and grape juice have been tested, with the same results having been achieved. Since the results are the same for the unfermented grape juice that doesn’t have alcohol in it as they are for the alcoholic wine - that proves that the beneficial components are in the grape juice itself, not in the alcohol.

In other words, 
a person can get the EXACT same health benefits from drinking fresh grape juice and they won’t have the negative effects of the alcohol!


So exactly what does fresh, unfermented, grape juice do for the body?

White grape juice has been shown to have some health benefits as well, but the dark grape juice especially has the most nutrients.

Dark grape juice is an excellent source of copper, iron and manganese, and is therefore very beneficial in the formation and strengthening of bones, as well as providing good health for our digestive system and colon.
Grape juice also has some natural laxative properties which helps with regular bowel movements. 
It is also a good source of vitamin B-6, vitamin C and thiamin, as well as the mineral potassium.

The antioxidant flavonoids in grape juice, especially Quercetin, have been proven to prevent the oxidation of 
low-density lipoproteins (LDL) cholesterol (bad cholesterol)0 which is the cholesterol that leads to the buildup of plaque in artery walls which then leads to atherosclerosis. Besides dark grape juice being effective at lowering bad cholesterol, it has also been proven to lower the risk for heart disease, because dark grape juice is “alkalinizing to the blood”1 and an excellent blood builder. It also stimulates the production of sodium oxide which ensures that our blood vessels stay flexible.
Dark grape juice is also a natural blood thinner. It decreases the clumping of platelets2 that form clots in arteries (that lead to heart attacks) thereby lowering your risk of heart disease. It also cleans out the arteries and helps the blood have better circulation throughout the body. I have even heard stories about some people using grape juice to replace blood-thinning medication.

The anti-oxidants and the anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties of grape juice boosts the immune system. 
Grape juice fights viruses by “changing the surface of the virus so it can’t hook onto a cell and begin to multiply,”3 meaning that grape juice acts as a shield against viruses, colds and flu, as well as helping our body and brain 
to stay young and healthy and slowing down the aging process.
Dark grape juice causes an increase in gamma delta-T immune cells4, a type of cell that detects toxins and 
puts your immune system on red alert, thereby increasing the body’s immunity levels.
Dark grape juice has also been shown to have great effect “against the Polio virus and the Herpes Simplex virus.”5

The antioxidants found in dark grape juice, and the Resveratrol found in white grapes,are known anti-tumor agents, which have been proven to prevent tumors in the body. Grapes can actually be crushed and “used as a pack on a tumor or growth”6 with very beneficial effects. Dark grape juice has been shown to protect against breast cancer, skin cancer, liver cancer, stomach cancer, as well as lymphoma & leukemia.7

The polyphenol flavonoids in dark grape juice, fight harmful free radicals in the body that can 
damage cells and cause disease.
Dark grape juice has also been shown to increase the body’s metabolism, as well as create a significant 
improvement in brain cognition, its list learning and recall abilities, and in spatial memory.

These are just some of the many benefits obtained by drinking pure, unfermented, grape juice.

So we have now looked at the physiological aspects of the dangers of alcoholic wine as opposed to the beneficial aspects of pure unfermented grape juice. We have also looked at the Bible’s use of the word “wine” and seen how the Bible endorses the pure unfermented juice, but condemns the fermented alcoholic type. 
 
To me, the Bible is very clear - God does not endorse alcoholic beverages in any amount or in any form.


References
0. Proof Positive, Neil Nedley, M.D., p.445
1. Foods that Heal, Dr. Bernard Jensen, p.152
2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10613766
3. The Divine Prescription, Gunther B. Paulien, Ph.D., p,175
4. http://jn.nutrition.org/content/138/1/1.full
5. The Divine Prescription, Gunther B. Paulien, Ph.D., p,175
6. The Divine Prescription, Gunther B. Paulien, Ph.D., p,175
  Foods that Heal, Dr. Bernard Jensen, p.152
7.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21366047
  https://www.webmd.com/cancer/news/20050331/grapes-may-stop-cancer-cells
http://www.aicr.org/foods-that-fight-cancer/foodsthatfightcancer_grapes_and_grape_juice.html?referrer=http://preventcancer.aicr.org/site/PageServer?pagename=foodsthatfightcancer_grapes_and_grape_juice