INTRODUCTION TO THE ALCOHOL IN THE BIBLE STUDY BOOKS
Book I: Wine: A Curse or a Blessing?
Book II: Wine in the Old Testament
Book III: Wine in the New Testament
Alcohol's growing acceptance among Christians
Alcohol, America"s number one preferred drug, is listed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a known human carcinogen.
That fact and knowledge that alcohol, in any amount, is a poison—that it is mind altering, addictive, and a narcotic drug—does not stop a growing number of evangelical Christians from defending their beloved beverage of choice.
Argument: "God does not prohibit drinking alcohol.”
A simple brain-washing argument heard repeatedly in the church is that, "Nowhere in the Bible does God prohibit the drinking of alcohol.” The claim is that the Bible does not say the words, “Thou shalt not drink alcohol.” So, we ask, “Where does the Bible say specifically, 'Thou shalt not watch porn, or abort a baby, or embezzle funds'”?
Christians, in general, do not argue to justify such actions. They take Bible principles about “set no wicked thing before your eyes,” or “thou shalt not kill” and “provide things honest in the sight of all men” as their guide. But when it comes to drinking alcohol, Bible principles do not satisfy them. Christians fight for alcohol! Why? To lose the battle means that they would have to call their pleasure sin.
One of many principles governing alcohol is, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatever ye do, do all to the glory of God,” I Corinthians. 10:31. No one drinks alcohol to the glory of God. The first action of alcohol is confusion of the mind. To drink is to disobey His clear command to love Him with all our mind.
Another principle found in James 1:13, says, “God tempts no man.” Everyone knows alcohol is addictive. If God approves man"s alcohol drinking He is leading mankind into temptation—contradicting James 1:13 and the very words of Jesus in the Lord’s prayer, “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil . . . .”
Argument: “If Jesus drank so can I”
Christian drinkers argue that Jesus made and drank wine. But did He really? They also say the word wine in the Bible always means intoxicated drink.
The truth is that God never intended for man to use intoxicating wine. And it is old news. In the 1800’s and early 1900’s, Bible teachers and preachers accurately taught that the word “wine” had more than one meaning. The context in the Bible showed whether the wine was alcoholic or nonalcoholic. When God approved the use of wine, it was sweet juice. When He condemned the wine, it was alcoholic. The Bible position for obedient Christians was abstinence from alcoholic wine.
Today the good scholarship and teaching of the past about alcohol is usually ignored. And even more serious is the fact that the words of the Bible itself have been and are being changed. Many modern versions or paraphrases of the Bible justify wine drinking.
“I don’t drink . . .”
Christians who do not drink often say, “I don’t drink but don’t ask me to show you from the Bible why I don’t.”
It is precisely because careful study of the Bible shows that God is against the drinking of alcoholic beverages that these easy to read books were written. The Hebrew and Greek words for wine and for warnings about use of wine make the Lord’s position clear. We pray the study may be a blessing to whoever takes time to read it.
Muriel Van Loh, author.
B.A. Ed., Bob Jones University, Greenville, SC
M.A. Ed., University of SD, Vermillion, SD
THE ALCOHOL IN THE BIBLE BOOKS
This Bible course cites all Scripture references to wine. Its purpose is to give a sound basis for abstaining from alcohol. Some of the main sources for the Bible teaching and other research in this study are as follows:
Dr. William Patton. More than a130 years ago, Dr. Patton studied and wrote about the Hebrew and Greek words for wine in their context in the Bible. In 1871, he published Bible Wines or Laws of Fermentation and Wines of the Ancients. In his book he made it clear that the word “wine” in the Bible has two meanings: Unfermented juice and fermented drink.
Dr. Robert Teachout. Dr Teachout has a doctorate in Theology (S.T.M., TH.D) From Dallas Theological Seminary. He has been a full-time professor and chairman of the Old Testament Department in two graduate seminaries, San Francisco Baptist Theological Seminary and Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a Semitic scholar who was led of the Lord to write his doctoral dissertation on The Use of Wine in the Old Testament. After researching the customs and writings of ancient civilizations of Old Testament times and thoroughly examining each of the Hebrew words for wine in its context, Dr. Teachout wrote his dissertation with an open mind to whatever truth the Bible would teach him. He took no sides, but when he finished his study the evidence led him to say, “Alcohol is never approved of by God in any amount for the obedient Christian.”
Dr. Teachout is also the author of another book, Wine, The Biblical Imperative: Total Abstinence.
Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi. Dr. Bacchiocchi received his doctorate in church history graduating summa cum laude from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He is a Biblical researcher, historian and professor. He published Wine in the Bible in 1989. He began his research after seeing the devastation caused by alcohol and the lack of Bible based teaching about wine in the church of today. His book is a thoroughly documented study of the wine question, especially in the New Testament. He writes, “Scripture is consistent in teaching moderation in the use of wholesome unfermented beverages and abstinence from the use of intoxicating fermented beverages.”
Dr. Jack Van Impe. In 1980, Dr. Van Impe reviewed history and used Bible truths to warn of the growing alcohol problem in Alcohol, the Beloved Enemy.
The “Union Signal,” the magazine of the WCTU. This magazine has provided important statistics and public comment on alcohol use.
Numerous other sources. In general these sources are noted in endnotes.
Alcohol in the Bible is divided into three study books.
Book One - 6 Lessons
Book Two - 9 Lessons
Book Three - 10 Lessons
Note: Printed copies of the 8 1/2 by 11 books have chapter questions and quizzes. A Final Test for the whole study is found in Book Three. A looseleaf Answer Sheet is included in each book.
An appendix in the back of each book lists the Bible verses quoted or referenced in that book, and the page on which the verse may be found.