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The following was written by false teacher Andy Pietrylo.

Wine and Alcohol
by Dr. Andy Pietrylo - Pastor

4211 Julington Creek Road
Jacksonville, Florida 32223-2001

Drinking alcohol is a very controversial issue today. Some contend that drinking is not a sin because Jesus drank wine. Others say that drinking is definitely a sin. Still some say that drinking is acceptable if did in moderation.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimates there are 10 million alcoholics in America. This is a major problem facing our nation. Television and the media have shown drinking as glamorous. Yet Proverbs 20:1 reminds us, "Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise."


The problem we now face is our mentality that wine is always intoxicating and fermented. This stems from our culture today in which this seems to be the rule. Yet we must consider and examine the biblical culture to be honest with our assumption.

When the word "wine" appears in Scripture is it the same wine we think of today? Let us examine the various words in Scripture for wine.

Hebrew Words

YAYIN "Intoxicating, fermented wine (Genesis 9:21)."

TIROSH "Fresh grape juice (Proverbs 3:10)."

SHAKAR "Intoxicating, intensely alcoholic, strong drink (eventually referred to other intoxicants than wine) (Numbers 28:7)."

Greek Words

OINOS "Wine (generic) - Matthew 9:17 -- unfermented, Ephesians 5:18 -- fermented."

GLEUKOS "Sweet wine, fresh juice (Acts 2:13)."

The determination of whether the wine spoken of is intoxicating or nonalcoholic must be made by the particular word as well as the context of the passage.

Wine was drunk frequently in biblical times. In many places fresh water was often scarce. The climate of Palestine is very hot (more than 75 degrees often 100 to 110 degrees) and because of lack of refrigeration things would spoil quickly, especially juice or wine. The wine was stored by boiling the juice until the water was evaporated. What was left was a thick, nonintoxicating syrup or paste.

Aristotle, a Greek philosopher, spoke of wine so thick it was necessary to scrape it from the skins it was stored in and mix the scrapings with water.

The Donovan Bible Commentary states - "In order to preserve their wines . . . the Romans concentrated the must or grape juice, of which they were made by evaporation, either spontaneous in the air or over a fire, as to render them thick and syrupy."

Smith's Bible Dictionary tells us - "It is likely that new wine was preserved in a state of must by placing it in jars or bottles . . . "

Unfermented wine was the most common wine in biblical times. It was not what we know today. You cannot defend wine drinking today on the basis of biblical times because the two are totally different.

There was also fermented wine. This would be kept as a liquid in large jugs. When served it would be poured into a larger bowl and mixed with water. The mixture was anywhere from a 20:1 ratio to a 1:1 ratio. Drinking unmixed wine was looked upon by Greek culture as barbaric.


In our society wine is associated with being always alcoholic. Notice the alcoholic content of popular beverages:

Beer = 4%

Wine = 9-11%

Brandy = 15-20%

Hard Liquor = 40=50% (80-100 proof)

A drink must exceed 3.2% to be considered an alcoholic beverage. Unmixed wine in biblical days had a 9 - 11% content. Mixed wine at a 3:1 ratio would equal 2.25 - 2.75%.

Considering these facts, is drinking wine today the same as in biblical times? NO!

There are many warnings and commands by God that instruct us not to drink wine. In Proverbs 23:29-35 we are told not even to look at alcohol.

Proverbs 20:1 describe wine's deceptive effects. "Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise."

Isaiah 5:11 says, "Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them!"

God had forbidden people holding certain positions such as priests (Leviticus 10:9), Nazarites (Numbers 6:3) and kings (Proverbs 31:4) from drinking alcoholic wine. The Christian is commanded to be sober (1 Peter 1:13). Any point to which you yield yourself to the influence of alcohol you are lacking sobriety.

There are also many references which God permitted the use of wine

Wine was used as an offering to God (Nehemiah 10:39; Numbers 18:12).

Wine is spoken of as a blessing from God (Genesis 27:28).

Wine was used in the Lord's Supper (John 13:36).

It was also used for medical purposes (1 Timothy 5:23, Luke 10:34 & Proverbs 31:6-7).


We have seen that God strictly condemns and forbids social drinking of alcoholic wine which leads to drunkenness. God has always called His people to the highest moral standards.

Priests, kings and Nazarites all abstained from alcohol. They were called to the highest standard because of their position. Pastors and deacons are called to this same standard (1 Timothy 3). God also elevates all Christians to live by a high standard in Christ Jesus (1 Peter 2:9).


Alcohol is potentially destructive and addictive. It is a depressant drug that actually attacks the brain cells and destroys them. Twenty percent of all patients admitted into mental hospitals have a problem with alcohol. Alcohol has caused numerous health and social problems. In addition to this a majority of traffic fatalities and accidents can be directly attributive to alcohol. Drunkenness destroys lives and relationships. It is not just a disease. It is a sin.

Notice the damage alcohol did in the lives of these Bible characters:

Noah - It brought shame (Genesis. 9:21).

Lot - His daughters committed incest (Genesis 19:30-36).

Nabal - God killed him (1 Samuel 25:36-37).

Elah - Was murdered by Zimri (1 Kings 16:9-10).

Belshazzar - The Assyrians take his kingdom (Daniel 5)

The Corinthians - During the Lord's Super God kills some (1 Corinthians 11).

Some people seek their happiness, comfort and peace in a bottle. The Lord will always be the Christian's source of joy. Jesus said in John 15:11, "These things have I spoken unto you that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full." 1 John 1:4 reminds us, "And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full."

God has given us His Word to provide comfort and to maintain joy in our lives. The Christian's happiness does not come in a bottle. It comes in a book -- the Bible! Consider that others are watching our example. What example are we setting? 1 Thessalonians 5:22 warns us, "Abstain from all appearance of evil."

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