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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Would you like a little cheese with that “Grape Juice?”

I must admit that sometimes I get a little irritated by these guys who insist that Jesus never turned the water of John chapter 2 into wine, but actually turned the water into grape juice.

Here is a short reply I posted over on SBC-Voices a little while ago addressing this issue. I share it here only because, until someone (anyone) addresses the issue I raise here concerning the trustworthiness of our Bible Translators then I really am not at all interested in discussing this issue with them.

---

David,

Please look up the word “Wine” in any/every English Dictionary… What does it/they say?

Now look it up in any/every English Translation of the Bible… What does it/they say?

If you are correct then every English Bible Translator that has ever lived has gotten it massively wrong… and we need a new Bible.

For me, I think I will trust that all those English Bible Translators are not wrong… Just saying!

Grace for the Journey,

11 comments:

Brent Hobbs said...

I just can't get past the fact that it's called the best wine. They were excited to have it for the wedding celebration.

Can you actually imagine the party where everyone's excited because a guy shows up with grape juice?

We all know what's happening in John 2.

If we believe in the sufficiency of Scripture, it should be enough to know we don't have a command not to drink alcohol. If God had wanted us not to drink at all he could have made it easily clear.

It's amazing how far some will go to twist the Bible to fit their cultural preferences. We all need to be aware of that ability in our own hearts in other areas too.

Greg Alford said...

Brent,

Yes it is amazing how far some will go... They claim they believe in the sufficiency of Scripture, yet when it comes down to it they deny the sufficiency of Scripture by their extra-biblical doctrines.

Dr Ramn warns about the temptation to form our doctrine from outside influences then come to the Bible to justify these doctrines. The SBC's policy on alcohol is a classic example of this.

Tom Parker said...

Brent:

You said:"It's amazing how far some will go to twist the Bible to fit their cultural preferences. We all need to be aware of that ability in our own hearts in other areas too."

And some of those that twist these scriptures are leaders in our SB churches.

I personally believe the scriptures are very plain--Jesus turned water into wine and yes it was alcoholic.

Anonymous said...

Because of this post, you might end up in a Lumpkins or Brumbelow book!!

Greg Alford said...

Anonymous,

We are not called to a life of ease and comfort, but to be willing to suffer for the cause of Christ... :-)

David R. Brumbelow said...

Brother Greg,
Since you bring up our exchange, and invite anyone to reply - I will do so. Below is part of my reply given at the other site:

“The point is that the English translators did not get the word “wine” wrong. They translated it just as it was used in the original languages. You have to figure out the proper definition by the context; just like other words. Words like God / god; Spirit / spirit; faith; angel. These words can mean different things depending on the context.

The words “cider, punch, liquor, eggnog, drink” can refer to either an alcoholic or nonalcoholic beverage. Just like the biblical and ancient uses of the word “wine”…

You say, “Translator to this very day has agreed that the original text of John chapter 2 says that Jesus turned the water into Alcohol.”

That is false, and the English translations do not say that. The Bible never says Jesus made alcohol; it says He made wine. You can “interpret” that either way.”

Further, they had all kinds of drinks then, just as we have today, both alcoholic and nonalcoholic. I’ve been to many parties, including a number of non-Christian parties that had no alcohol. But as today, they had both available in Bible times.

“There is a kind of wine, for instance, which both solidifies and thickens by boiling - I mean, must.” -Aristotle; Meteorology; c. 350 BC. Vol. I.

“It is also interesting that the Akkadian word for ‘wine,’ though not related to yayin, was used in a similar manner: both for fermented wine and for ‘must’ (grape juice).” -Dr. Robert P. Teachout, The Use of Wine in the Old Testament: Doctoral Dissertation, Dallas Theological Seminary; 1979.

Anyway, hope you have a great Father’s Day tomorrow.
David R. Brumbelow

Greg Alford said...

David,

Brother, I love you, but on this issue you are simply wrong.

Before I say another word, let me say that this is not a core doctrine of the Christian Faith. And it is not something that should separate us as believers one from another. The only reason I even engage in discussion this issue is that some in the SBC continue to make this a doctrine over which to divide... and I believe that to continue to do so is simply wrong!

David, you say: The point is that the English translators did not get the word “wine” wrong. They translated it just as it was used in the original languages. You have to figure out the proper definition by the context; just like other words. Words like God / god; Spirit / spirit; faith; angel. These words can mean different things depending on the context.

I agree that they most assuredly did not get the word for "wine" wrong in our English translations.

However if what you claim is true (and I believe you have been mislead on your facts) and the modern English bible translators translated into the English word "Wine" the Hebrew & Greek words used to express both fermented (alcoholic) wine and un-fermented grape juice, then they clearly got it wrong because the word "Wine" in the English language ALWAYS caries the meaning of a fermented (alcoholic) drink made from grape juice.

This point is so clear... that I do not know how you, or anyone else, can argue otherwise?

As Always... Grace for the Journey,

Greg Alford said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Greg Alford said...

Origin of the "Two Wine Theory"

Hans-Georg Lundahl said...

Greg, your link in previous comment is no longer a page.

May I guess teetotalism arose among north European Protestants (English, Scottish, Scandinavian, Dutch ...) as a reaction to some practical consequences of Luther's "faith not works" theory of justification, and was, for instance, a tendency in Wesleyism even in early days?

As for argument of David Brumbelow, the Akkadian word is so not the word yayin (earlier wayin through a wayod transfer and yes it is exactly the word wine), Aristotle calls must "a kind of wine" as he might have called monkeys "a kind of man" or donkeys "a kind of horses", i e not in the real sense as meaning "a variety of" but in a demoted sense. Beer and must could both be called "a kind of wine" as in sharing parts of definition: must is defective in definition by not being fermented, beer (oinos krithinos - barley wine in Anabasis of Xenophon) by not being from grapes.

Cider without alcohol does not exist. You can have cidre doux with much residual sugar and low rate of fermentation, you can have cidre brut with high rate of fermentation and low rate of residual sugar. If there is no carbon dioxide, it is apple juice, not cider. And if there is carbon dioxide, it is a product of the fermentation:

sugar+water
=
carbon dioxide+alcohol

an equation also used in baking, but once through the oven, bread looses the alcohol of the dough.

You can see the words "bière sans alcohol", but that means alcohol is at most 0.5 percent - it is a thin beer. How much water you use on the wort will determine anything between 4 and 8 percent for first three drainings down to "beer without alcohol" for something drained even later off the wort.

You can also have wines ranging between 7 and 14 percent naturally (and above if you add wine destillate to stop fermenation while sweet, but that is not considered valid mass wine in Catholic Church). But there is no such a thing as wine "properly speaking" (opposite of Aristotle's "kind of") without any alcohol.

Hans-Georg again said...

I may add that wine without alcohol does now exist - due to this debate.

You ferment wine, you take away the alcohol. Like freezing, alcohol stays liquid below 0°C (freezing point of water - 32°F?). Separates a hock from a dealcoholised wine.

But that is modern reinterpretation of meaning, just like marriage without intent of fertility would be (including, but not limited to gay marriage).