What Does The Bible Say About Wine? The question of whether Christians should drink wine or not, as well as whether drinking wine is a sin or not, has been debated upon for several centuries. However, according to the Bible, it is not a sin to drink alcohol in moderation. Note that the Bible clearly describes or portrays wine as a blessing from God that can make life more enjoyable (Psalm 104:14, 15; Ecclesiastes 3:13; 9:7). In addition to this, the Bible acknowledges the medicinal value of wine (1 Timothy 5:23). Behold, Jesus Christ Himself drank wine during His lifetime on Earth (Matthew 26:29; Luke 7:34). One of Jesus’ prominent miracles was the transformation of water into wine as a generous gift at a marriage feast (John 2:1-10).
Although the Bible mentions the positive aspects of wine, it condemns over-drinking and drunkenness. This is highly supported by the different Bible verses on wine. Hence, a Christian who chooses to drink alcohol must do so in moderation (1 Timothy 3:8; Titus 2:2, 3). It is also important to note here that the Bible gives several reasons why we should avoid over-drinking among which are:
- Over-drinking impairs thinking ability and judgment (Proverbs 23:29-35).
- Over-drinking deprives us of inhibitions and the desire to do what is right (Hosea 4:11; Ephesians 5:18).
- An intoxicated person is unable to fulfill the Bible’s command for us to offer ourselves as living sacrifices to God, dedicated to His service and pleasing to Him (Romans 12:1).
- Heavy drinking and drunkenness displease God (Proverbs 23:20; Galatians 5:19-21).
- Over-drinking can lead to poverty and serious health problems (Proverbs 23:21, 31, 32).
What Does The Bible Say About Wine?
What do the Scriptures say about drinking wine/alcohol?
There is much that the scriptures say about drinking alcohol (Leviticus 10:9; Numbers 6:3; Deuteronomy 29:6; Judges 13:4, 7, 14; Proverbs 20:1; 31:4; Isaiah 5:11, 22; 24:9; 28:7; 29:9; 56:12). However, the Scriptures do not forbid any Christian from drinking beer, wine, or any other drink that contains alcohol. There are several Scriptures that discuss alcohol in positive terms. In support of this, Ecclesiastes 9:7 instructs, “Drink your wine with a merry heart.” In the same light, Psalm 104:14-15 tells us that God gives wine “that makes glad the heart of men.” Prophet Amos goes to the extent of pointing to the fact that drinking wine from your own vineyard is a sign of God’s blessing (Amos 9:14). Also, Isaiah 55:1 reads, “Yes, come buy wine and milk…”
The Command of God regarding alcohol consumption by Christians is that they should avoid drunkenness (Ephesians 5:18). The entire Bible which is the authoritative Word of God does condemn drunkenness and all its effects (Proverbs 23:29-35). In the same light, Christians are also commanded not to allow their bodies to be “mastered” by anything (1 Corinthians 6:12; 2 Peter 2:19). It is without a doubt that drinking alcohol in excess is highly addictive. Also, the Scriptures forbid a Christian from doing anything that might offend other Christians or even encourage them in any way to sin against their conscience (1 Corinthians 8:9-13). With this in mind, it is difficult if not impossible for anyone to say that he/she is drinking wine to excess for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Biblical facts about drinking wine
The Bible clearly tells us that Jesus changed water into wine. It is even said that Jesus Christ Himself drank wine on occasion (John 2:1-11; Matthew 26:29). During the New Testament times, water was not very clean. Without the modern sanitation that we have today, the water was often filled with viruses, bacteria, and other kinds of contaminants. Even today, the same is true in many third-world countries. Because of this, people during the New Testament times, people often drank wine (or grape juice) because it was far less likely to be contaminated. We can support this by reading from 1 Timothy 5:23 whereby Apostle instructed Timothy to stop drinking water exclusively (which was likely causing his stomach problems) and instead drink wine.
Back in those days, wine was fermented (containing alcohol), but not necessarily to the degree that it is today. Behold, it will be incorrect to say that it was grape juice, but it also appears to be incorrect to say that it was the same thing as the wine commonly produced these days. Again, we’ll say that Scriptures do not forbid Christians from drinking beer, wine, or any other drink that contains alcohol. We are hereby trying to say that Alcohol, in and of itself, tainted by sin. Behold, it is rather a drunkenness and addiction to alcohol that Christians should refrain themselves from (Ephesians 5:18; 1 Corinthians 6:12). When alcohol is consumed in small quantities, it is neither addictive, harmful, nor sinful. In fact, there are some medical doctors that advocate drinking small amounts of red wine for its health benefits, especially regarding the well-being of the heart.
How much is too much?
In simple terms, a person has had too much alcohol when his drinking makes him or others vulnerable to harm. The Bible points to the fact that drunkenness is identified, not by a person’s passing out, but by such behavior such as walking unsteadily, being disoriented, having slurred speech, or becoming contentious (Job 12:25; Psalm 107:27; Proverbs 23:29, 30, 33). The Bible tells us that even those who avoid getting drunk can still become “weighed down with . . . heavy drinking” and face its consequences (Luke 21:34, 35).
Complete abstinence from drinking alcohol
Consumption of small quantities of alcohol is a matter of Christian freedom. However, drunkenness and addiction are sinful. In regard to the Biblical concerns about alcohol and its effects, due to the temptation to easily over-consume alcohol, and due to the possibility of causing offense and/or stumbling of others, it is best for a Christian to maintain the safe side by avoiding alcohol consumption (Matthew 5:29, 30; Romans 13:1; and Romans 14:21).
Short term effects of over-consuming alcohol
- Distorted vision, hearing, and coordination.
- Altered perceptions and emotions.
- Impaired judgment.
- Bad breath and hangovers.
Long term effects of over-drinking alcohol
- Heart disease.
- Alcohol-related liver disease.
What The Bible Says About Wine
John 19:30 – “When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”
Daniel 10:3 – “I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over.”
Ecclesiastes 9:7 – “Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do.”
Habakkuk 3:17-18 – “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord,I will be joyful in God my Savior.”
Proverbs 20:1 – “Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.”
1 Timothy 5:23 – “(No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.)”
Joel 1:12 – “The vine is dried up and the fig tree is withered; the pomegranate, the palm and the apple tree—all the trees of the field—are dried up. Surely the people’s joy is withered away.”
Luke 22:20 – “In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.”“
John 15:5 – “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
Group 1 – What The Bible Says About Wine
Numbers 6:3 – “He shall separate himself from wine and strong drink. He shall drink no vinegar made from wine or strong drink and shall not drink any juice of grapes or eat grapes, fresh or dried.”
Romans 14:21 – “It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble.”
Psalm 104:15 – “And wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man’s heart.”
Proverbs 31:6 – “Give strong drink to the one who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress;”
Ephesians 5:18 – “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,”
Isaiah 5:22 – “Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine, and valiant men in mixing strong drink,”
Mark 14:23 – “And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it.”
Titus 2:3 – “Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good,”
Isaiah 5:11 – “Woe to those who rise early in the morning, that they may run after strong drink, who tarry late into the evening as wine inflames them!”
Isaiah 25:6 – “On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.”
Group 2 – What The Bible Says About Wine
Proverbs 21:17 – “Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man; he who loves wine and oil will not be rich.”
Isaiah 55:1 – “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.”
Hosea 4:11 – “Whoredom, wine, and new wine, which take away the understanding.”
Proverbs 31:4 – “It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to take strong drink,”
Proverbs 31:7 – “Let them drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more.”
Psalm 104:14-15 – “You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man’s heart.”
John 2:10 – And said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.”
Luke 21:34 – “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap.”
Group 3 – What The Bible Says About Wine
Luke 5:38 – “But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins.”
Genesis 27:28 – “May God give you of the dew of heaven and of the fatness of the earth and plenty of grain and wine.”
Luke 5:39 – “And no one after drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good.’”
Deuteronomy 14:26 – “And spend the money for whatever you desire—oxen or sheep or wine or strong drink, whatever your appetite craves. And you shall eat there before the Lord your God and rejoice, you and your household.”
Genesis 9:21 – “He drank of the wine and became drunk and lay uncovered in his tent.”
Leviticus 10:9 – “Drink no wine or strong drink, you or your sons with you, when you go into the tent of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations.”
Daniel 10:3 – “I ate no delicacies, no meat or wine entered my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, for the full three weeks.”
Proverbs 23:29-32 – “Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who tarry long over wine; those who go to try mixed wine. Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly. In the end it bites like a serpent and stings like an adder.”
Group 4 – What The Bible Says About Wine
Matthew 11:19 – “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.”
Mark 15:23 – “And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it.”
Judges 13:4 – “Therefore be careful and drink no wine or strong drink, and eat nothing unclean,”
Revelation 6:6 – “And I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures, saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius, and do not harm the oil and wine!”“
Joel 2:19 – The Lord answered and said to his people, “Behold, I am sending to you grain, wine, and oil, and you will be satisfied; and I will no more make you a reproach among the nations.”
Ecclesiastes 9:7 – “Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do.”
Habakkuk 2:5 – “Moreover, wine is a traitor, an arrogant man who is never at rest. His greed is as wide as Sheol; like death he has never enough. He gathers for himself all nations and collects as his own all peoples.”
Matthew 26:29 – “I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”
Group 5 – What The Bible Says About Wine
Psalm 60:3 – “You have made your people see hard things; you have given us wine to drink that made us stagger.”
John 2:9 – “When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom.”
Proverbs 23:29-35 – “Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who tarry long over wine; those who go to try mixed wine. Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly. In the end it bites like a serpent and stings like an adder. Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart utter perverse things. …“
Mark 14:24 – “And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.”
Luke 10:34 – “He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him.”
Luke 1:15 – “For he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.”
Luke 22:20 – “And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”
Group 6 – What Does The Bible Say About Wine?
1 Timothy 3:8 – “Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain.”
Matthew 26:27-29 – “And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.””
Proverbs 23:31 – “Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly.“
Luke 5:37 – “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed.”
John 6:53-56 – “So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.”
Romans 12:2 – “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Group 7 – What Does The Bible Say About Wine?
Daniel 1:5 – “The king assigned them a daily portion of the food that the king ate, and of the wine that he drank. They were to be educated for three years, and at the end of that time they were to stand before the king.”
John 2:1-11 – “On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” …”
Isaiah 28:7 – “These also reel with wine and stagger with strong drink; the priest and the prophet reel with strong drink, they are swallowed by wine, they stagger with strong drink, they reel in vision, they stumble in giving judgment.”
Proverbs 4:17 – “For they eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.”
Ezekiel 44:21 – “No priest shall drink wine when he enters the inner court.”
Mark 2:22 – “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins—and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins.”
Group 8 – What Does The Bible Say About Wine?
Exodus 29:40 – “And with the first lamb a tenth seah of fine flour mingled with a fourth of a hin of beaten oil, and a fourth of a hin of wine for a drink offering.”
Job 32:19 – “Behold, my belly is like wine that has no vent; like new wineskins ready to burst.”
Joshua 9:4 – “They on their part acted with cunning and went and made ready provisions and took worn-out sacks for their donkeys, and wineskins, worn-out and torn and mended,”
Psalm 75:8 – “For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup with foaming wine, well mixed, and he pours out from it, and all the wicked of the earth shall drain it down to the dregs.”
Haggai 1:11 – “And I have called for a drought on the land and the hills, on the grain, the new wine, the oil, on what the ground brings forth, on man and beast, and on all their labors.”
Genesis 14:18 – “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.)”
Acts 2:13 – But others mocking said, “They are filled with new wine.”
Daniel 1:8 – “But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself.”
Group 9 – What Does The Bible Say About Wine?
Jeremiah 35:14 – “The command that Jonadab the son of Rechab gave to his sons, to drink no wine, has been kept, and they drink none to this day, for they have obeyed their father’s command. I have spoken to you persistently, but you have not listened to me.”
Jeremiah 48:11 – “Moab has been at ease from his youth and has settled on his dregs; he has not been emptied from vessel to vessel, nor has he gone into exile; so his taste remains in him, and his scent is not changed.”
Habakkuk 2:15 – “Woe to him who makes his neighbors drink— you pour out your wrath and make them drunk, in order to gaze at their nakedness!”
Daniel 1:16 – “So the steward took away their food and the wine they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.”
Esther 1:8 – “And drinking was according to this edict: “There is no compulsion.” For the king had given orders to all the staff of his palace to do as each man desired.”
Jeremiah 13:12 – “You shall speak to them this word: ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, “Every jar shall be filled with wine.”’ And they will say to you, ‘Do we not indeed know that every jar will be filled with wine?’”
Jeremiah 40:12 – “Then all the Judeans returned from all the places to which they had been driven and came to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah at Mizpah. And they gathered wine and summer fruits in great abundance.”
Group 10 – What Does The Bible Say About Wine?
Numbers 15:5 – “And you shall offer with the burnt offering, or for the sacrifice, a quarter of a hin of wine for the drink offering for each lamb.”
Esther 1:8 – “And drinking was according to this edict: “There is no compulsion.” For the king had given orders to all the staff of his palace to do as each man desired.”
1 Samuel 25:36 – “And Abigail came to Nabal, and behold, he was holding a feast in his house, like the feast of a king. And Nabal’s heart was merry within him, for he was very drunk. So she told him nothing at all until the morning light.”
Psalm 4:7 – “You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.”
Galatians 5:19-21 – “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
1 Corinthians 10:31 – “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
Leviticus 23:13 – “And the grain offering with it shall be two tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil, a food offering to the Lord with a pleasing aroma, and the drink offering with it shall be of wine, a fourth of a hin.”
Numbers 28:14 – “Their drink offerings shall be half a hin of wine for a bull, a third of a hin for a ram, and a quarter of a hin for a lamb. This is the burnt offering of each month throughout the months of the year.”
Group 11 – What Does The Bible Say About Wine?
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 – “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”
John 2:1-25 – “On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” …”
1 Corinthians 8:9-13 – “But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.”
Group 12 – What Does The Bible Say About Wine?
Mark 2:1-28 – “And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” …”
Matthew 26:28 – “For this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
Joel 1:5 – “Awake, you drunkards, and weep, and wail, all you drinkers of wine, because of the sweet wine, for it is cut off from your mouth.”
Joel 3:3 – “And have cast lots for my people, and have traded a boy for a prostitute, and have sold a girl for wine and have drunk it.”
Matthew 9:17 – “Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. If it is, the skins burst and the wine is spilled and the skins are destroyed. But new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.”
Zechariah 9:17 – “For how great is his goodness, and how great his beauty! Grain shall make the young men flourish, and new wine the young women.”
Group 13 – What Does The Bible Say About Wine?
Jeremiah 23:9 – “Concerning the prophets: My heart is broken within me; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, like a man overcome by wine, because of the Lord and because of his holy words.”
Isaiah 56:12 – “Come,” they say, “let me get wine; let us fill ourselves with strong drink; and tomorrow will be like this day, great beyond measure.”
Jeremiah 48:12 – “Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I shall send to him pourers who will pour him, and empty his vessels and break his jars in pieces.“
Joel 2:24 – “The threshing floors shall be full of grain; the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.”
Nehemiah 10:39 – “For the people of Israel and the sons of Levi shall bring the contribution of grain, wine, and oil to the chambers, where the vessels of the sanctuary are, as well as the priests who minister, and the gatekeepers and the singers. We will not neglect the house of our God.”
Proverbs 31:4-5 – “It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine, or for rulers to take strong drink, lest they drink and forget what has been decreed and pervert the rights of all the afflicted.”
Proverbs 9:5 – “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed.”
Song of Solomon 1:2 – “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine;”
Group 14 – What Does The Bible Say About Wine?
1 Corinthians 6:12 – ““All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything.”
Numbers 15:10 – “And you shall offer for the drink offering half a hin of wine, as a food offering, a pleasing aroma to the Lord.”
Judges 13:5 – “For behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. No razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb, and he shall begin to save Israel from the hand of the Philistines.”
Numbers 28:7 – “Its drink offering shall be a quarter of a hin for each lamb. In the Holy Place you shall pour out a drink offering of strong drink to the Lord.”
Romans 1:1-4:25 – “Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, …”
Revelation 14:8 – “Another angel, a second, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality.””
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