What Kind of Wine Did Jesus Drink?

Is this true that Jesus drank alcoholic wine as the lyrics, “Cause I heard Jesus, He drank wine”? Some Christians question this. What kind of wine did Jesus drink? Did Jesus drink intoxicating amounts of wine?

The Definition of Biblical Wine

Many have assumed that the word “wine” in the Bible is always alcoholic or equivalent to modern wine. The Bible affirms that “wine” could mean alcoholic wine of varying amounts or non-alcoholic grape juice (1 Tim 3:8; Titus 2:3).

Remember the Bible was originally written in the languages of Hebrew and Greek, so the meaning and nuances of words are slightly or very different from the corresponding English word. Biblical “wine” is grape juice that may or may not have fermented. Both in Hebrew and Greek, the words translated “wine” can refer to non-alcoholic juice or fermented wine. The Hebrew word is yayin and the Greek is oinos (LXX; MT).

There are a number of examples of unfermented “wine.” Note the passages and references to non-alcoholic wine throughout the Bible:

  • “Wine” is the blood of the grape (Gen 49:11–12, Heb. yayin; Deut 32:14, Heb. chemer).
  • The vineyard is the place of “red wine” (Isa 27:2, Heb. chemer).
  • “Wine” refers to the grape juice from the grapes of the field (Deut 11:14; 2 Chr 31:5, Heb. tirosh; Jer 40:10, 12, Heb. yayin).
  • Scripture describes “wine” that is in the grape (Isa 65:8, Heb. tirosh).
  • The grape juice of the wine-press is “wine” (Prov 3:10, Heb. tirosh; Isa 16:10; Jer 48:33, Heb. yayin).

These references clearly show that the word “wine” can simply refer to grape juice in the Bible.

In reading the Old Testament, many are surprised that the Bible versions represent six different Hebrew words “wine” for which two words exclude alcohol. These are asis means “sweet grape juice” or “new grape juice,” and another word hemer simply means “grape juice.” Both words have no reference to alcohol, and yet translators interpret these words as “wine” to avoid interpreting the contexts with its nuances and ambiguity. Therefore, one must remain careful not to assume that the word “wine” means alcoholic wine.[1] [2]

With an honest heart, may God’s grace encourage all believers to reconsider biblical wine. With the previous knowledge, a study of the Scriptures reveal that there is not one positive statement about intoxicating wine or any such drink throughout the Bible. There are positive words about non-alcoholic “wine” that many people presume to encourage the use of intoxicating wine. However, these positive passages of grape juice do not necessitate a reference to alcohol in any way (Gen 14:18; Num 15:5–10; Deut 14:26; Psa 104:15; Isa 55:1; Amos 9:14; John 2:1–11; 1 Tim 5:23). References to the translations of “strong drink” or “liquor” can also refer to today’s cider according to Danker and Gingrich’s Greek lexison for sikera, σικερα (cf. Deut 14:26; Luke 1:15; Wycliffe’s Bible).

There are many today professing a faith in Jesus who look to Jesus’s drinking of wine to support their excessive drinking. By God’s grace, God has saved Christians from excessive drinking (1 Pet 4:3). Therefore, may every Christian remain very careful. Many are delivering destructive reasons to their brothers and sisters in Christ who struggle with alcohol so that they justify giving into excessive drinking. The consequences may be disastrous and extensive even to death. The Christian approach to alcohol is not to judge or condemn the person who may drink without excess and drunkenness, but the Christian must follow the biblical examples and warn those who do drink, linger, and look at the cup (Prov 23:29–35; Rom 14:17–22).

Bible Wine and Today’s Wine

In the Bible, alcoholic wine is not like wine today. The sugar of grape juice can only ferment to 3 or 4% alcohol with wild yeast. For grape juice to exceed 4% alcohol, then the winemaker must add yeast. The yeast added to ancient wines produced between 4–10% alcohol. Alcohol kills these yeast cells and prevents levels of alcohol from exceeding 10%. Today, wines average 12–18% alcohol due to modern fermentation by adding sulfur dioxide and Saccharomyces (a cultured GMO yeast) to a late harvest of ripened grapes with higher fructose (Winemaker Magazine, UC DavisInternational Biblical Encyclopedia, “Bible Study Guide,” “Alcohol in the Church,” Bible Wine). Today’s wine is not like biblical wine in regards to alcoholic content. Due to the later invention of distilling, strong drinks like liquor exceed 20% alcohol for which today’s wine is coming close to matching.

When reading the word “wine” in the Bible, the word may simply refer to grape juice or intoxicating wine not exceeding 10% alcohol. However, biblical wine is certainly not like wine today. Because of the use of the word “wine” in English Bibles, many presume that Jesus drank alcoholic wine. Again, the Greek word oinos can refer to grape juice that is either alcoholic or nonalcoholic wine throughout the Bible. The context reveals whether wine is alcoholic or not. Jesus did not drink modern wine. The methods for fermenting highly-alcoholic wine had not yet been invented.

Jesus’s opponents accused Him of being a “wine-drinker” from the Greek oinopoteis, because He came freely eating and also drinking grape juice unlike John the Baptist who restricted his eating and drinking (Matt 11:18–19; Luke 7:33–34). These antagonists appear to accuse Jesus of drinking alcohol. However, when the reader considers the wedding that Jesus attended in Cana and Jesus’s institution of the Lord’s Supper, then His drinking of wine is not what many think.

Water to Wine

What about Jesus turning water to wine? Many are mistaken to think that Jesus turned water into intoxicating wine at the wedding in Cana, a small town in Galilee (John 2). One must assume this “wine,” oinos, was alcoholic.

These scriptures infers that the wedding guests “have well drunk” a large amount of oinos, which the Greek word translated “well drunk” is methuo meaning literally to fill or make full. This word is also the word translated “drunk” referring to drunkenness by drinking intoxicating wine or filling oneself with nonalcoholic wine (Gingrich and Danker’s lexicon). Which is more likely: that Jesus created intoxicating wine for those who were drunk or that He made fresh “new wine” for those who had filled themselves with the previous nonalcoholic wine? If one interprets this passage as Jesus made alcoholic wine, then Jesus created more intoxicating wine for those who were already drunk. If one perceives that the wedding guests were simply full of nonalcoholic wine, then Jesus made “new wine” with little or no alcohol. The reference to the guests becoming full also implies that the wedding feast was relatively short.

Furthermore, one may consider that Jesus provided them with “new wine” as though deliver from the pressing of grapes. The making of new wine magnifies Jesus’s sign, because this was just before the Passover and the first harvest of grapes. The reference to Jesus’s wine as “good wine” indicates fresh grape juice before the first harvest. Therefore, Jesus’s producing of fresh grape juice would have been an evident wonder of God, because this was late in the year just before Passover when old wine remained (John 2:13). These facts indicate that Jesus most likely did not make intoxicating wine at the wedding feast in Cana.

This wedding feast would have occurred in a short amount of time if one assumes that the guests drank intoxicating wine and became drunk; although, wedding feasts may last a day and sometimes more (The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah). By supposing intoxicating wine, one must suppose an immediate drinking of the wine that Jesus made. Christians should consider this scenario. Jesus would have made more intoxicating wine amounting to between 120 to 180 gallons of “the good wine.” If there were three hundred people there to drink another 150 gallons, these would have already each had much alcoholic wine considering that “the guests have well drunk.” Jesus would have given each guest an additional 64 ounces of alcoholic wine. The average person would have drunk another 4–6 drinks of alcoholic wine. Jesus would have poisoned a wedding party of three hundred attendants from the toxin of ethyl alcohol, and the guests would had been vomiting and passing out.

Now, consider a wedding party of a thousand guests. If one thousand people drank one hundred and fifty gallons of fermented wine that Jesus supposedly made, then each person would have consumed an average amount of wine consumed at ~19 ounces of wine while already having “well drunk.” Presuming that this wine contained 10% alcohol because the scenario includes fermented wine, Jesus would have aided a thousand people in binge drinking having intoxicated the guests with three additional drinks who were already intoxicated — “have well drunk.” For each guest to have had simply two more drinks, then the wedding would have had at least 2,400 attendees. Despite the number in attendance, Jesus would have presumably contributed a considerable amount alcohol to those who were already drunk. The scenario of Jesus producing alcoholic wine appears improbable.

If Jesus did make a great amount of fermented wine, He would had aided the sin of drunkenness, excessive drinking, and participated in a drinking party, which are all condemned by His Spirit in the apostolic Scriptures (1 Pet 4:3). To assume that Jesus made intoxicating wine is to assume that after everyone had drunk all the other intoxicating wine, then they needed more intoxicating wine and Jesus was the person to do this. For those proposing that Jesus made highly intoxicating wine like today’s wine, 16–24 oz. of today’s wine would intoxicate anyone at an alcoholic level of 12–15% according to the CDC. Today’s intoxicating wine or first century fermented wine would have been an absurdity at this wedding.

Wine and the Lord’s Supper

Did Jesus use alcoholic wine in the Lord’s Supper? Many have justified excessive drinking and drunkenness by how many churches have made alcoholic wine a part of the “Eucharist,” the Lord’s Supper. Did Jesus use highly alcoholic wine when He instituted the Lord’s Supper? No, the Scriptures never use the word “wine” in any of the four accounts of Christ instituting the Lord’s Supper. Jesus mentioned the specific content of the cup containing “the fruit of the grapevine.” Alcoholic wine has no reference in Scripture to the Lord’s Supper. The Greek word for “wine” is never used in Scripture to describe any part of the Lord’s Supper. Many have again presumed that Jesus used alcoholic wine in the Lord’s Supper for their own purposes of justifying their use of wine according to Jesus’s use.

Furthermore, Jesus used unleavened bread because it was the time of the Passover, which is the Feast of Unleavened Bread. They threw out all leaven by God’s command including the leavened bread. Did throwing out the yeast mean that Israel must throw out the yeast, the bread with yeast, and even leave the grape juice yeast? The reader should consider the removing of yeast in Exodus 13:6–7.

When Jesus used “fruit of the grapevine” in the Lord’s Supper, the most probable fermentation would be between 0–4% because of wild yeast after a week of exposure. If one assumed this was alcoholic wine, then the highest level of alcohol could reach 4%. When Jesus used “the fruit of the grapevine,” then the reader may find that this cup would have been nonalcoholic or never exceeded 4% alcohol. The intent of the cup of the Lord was not to intoxicate.

What about those who got drunk over the Lord’s Supper within the Bible? This is another misconception from the use of the Greek word methuo, which can mean drunk or filled. Remember that this is word from the Wedding Feast recorded in John 2. First Corinthians 11:21–22 depicts, “Therefore when you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s Supper. For in eating, each one takes his own supper ahead of others; and one is hungry and another is drunk [methuo]” (ESV). Some ate the Lord’s Supper as a meal so that they were filled and those who drank were also filled. If one still assumes that these Christians became drunk in the assembly using the grape juice for the Lord’s Supper, then they must also presume that those drinking brought enough intoxicating wine to get drunk and yet intended to use such for the Lord’s Supper. This implies that some of these Christians brought alcoholic wine for others, and they decided to simply drink that wine in assembly rather than wait for others. However, what wine was more probable? First Corinthians 11 is not a conclusive source to support the assertion that the Lord’s Supper consisted of intoxicating wine.

Warnings about Wine

As the Scriptures warn against wine, Christians must also warn against the use of such alcohol. Solomon warned by the wisdom of God,

Do not look on the wine when it is red, When it sparkles in the cup, When it swirls around smoothly; At the last it bites like a serpent, And stings like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things, And your heart will utter perverse things. (Prov 23:31–33)

Therefore, “Wine is a mocker, Strong drink is a brawler, And whoever is led astray by it is not wise” (Prov 20:1). There is not one positive statement about alcohol in the Bible. The New Testament teaches that Christians are not to walk in drunkenness filling themselves with alcohol. The misuse of the word “wine” has become the means for many to presume that God is permissive of the excessive drinking of alcohol to some level of intoxication. By the word “wine,” many try to justify the sins of excessive drinking.

The Greek word translated “drunkenness” literally means “filling oneself” in Scripture (Eph 5:18–19; cf. Rom 13:13). Christ’s Spirit in Galatians 5:19–21 teaches that such “drunkenness” is a “work of the flesh” and “those who are doing such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5 also condemned “wild parties” or “revelries” where any of the list of sins like drunkenness would constitute a party as sinful and carnal. Christ also reveals in 1 Corinthians 6:10 that drunkards “will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Drunkenness and filling one’s body with intoxicants is a sin.

Filling oneself with alcohol is evil and compromises the sobriety of the Christian conscience — one’s heart (cf. Rom 2:14–15; 1 John 3:19–21). Christ’s words and those of His Apostles and prophets urge all to reconsider, and so Christians should do likewise. First Peter 4:3 warns, “For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Nations want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness [lit. excessive drinking], orgies, drinking parties [lit. drinkings], and lawless idolatry.” The word for “drunkenness” here is not the usually word for drunkenness in Greek, but this word is oinophlugia made of two words oinos meaning “wine” and phlugia is “to do something in excess.” Excessive drinking is a sin. Do not overlook the reference to drinking parties translated from the Greek word potos, which denotes occasions for drinking.

Followers of Christ must remain sober and make no provision to become drunk on any level (1 Thess 5:8). Christians cannot participate in events that meet and center around drinking (1 Pet 4:3). Christ had no part with drunkenness and drinking parties, so His followers must not. According to Romans 14, Christians should not condemn their brother over a drink; although, every Christian has the scriptural example and the foresight to warn against its use and against looking at the cup (Prov 23:29–35; Rom 14:17–22).

Conclusion

The wine that Jesus drank was not intoxicating any more than grape juice with no more than 4% alcohol. Jesus neither encouraged drunkenness nor is He recorded to have used intoxicating wine. Anyone using alcohol based upon Jesus should reconsider their position. If anyone uses Jesus to justify excessive drinking, drunkenness, and drinking events, then let that person hear this plea to rethink their views according to the words and life of Christ. The reality is that the Bible neither promotes nor supports the drinking of intoxicants. God’s grace compels Christians to no longer continue any excessive drinking of alcohol because they have been forgiven.

Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. (Rom 13:13–14)

Cause I heard Jesus, He drank wine


Of Wine and Wineskins

Wine in the Lord’s Supper?

Is Drinking a Sin in the Bible?

Reconsider Being Biblically Drunk

About Scott J. Shifferd

Minister, church of Christ in Jacksonville, FL. Husband and father of four. Email: ScottJon82[at]yahoo.com
This entry was posted in Christ, Church of Christ and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

773 Responses to What Kind of Wine Did Jesus Drink?

  1. Sveet Vred says:

    it seems to me that there is no right or wrong argument, because quantifiably, there is absolutely NO way to determine individually whether we are ‘drunk’ or not. agreed? drunkenness is indeed a sin, but at what point (assuming it’s your blood alcohol content level being considered) are we stamped ‘DRUNK’? the answer is that it is impossible to make that determination, and as such, two full glasses of 8% wine will do absolutely nothing for me, whereas opposed to you, you are released from your inhibitions and quite frankly are in no position to function because of your obvious impaired judgment. in the end, it is our motivation. god knows our heart, our intentions. if you take that cup to your lips in anticipation of that warm fuzzy buzz you will get, then who’s to determine if you are indeed caught up in sin? no one. no one that is, other than god himself. personally, i am quite sickened by the american culture’s glorification of the necessity of using alcohol to have a good time in social settings. i can not be a good steward of god’s money by filling the pockets of the alcoholic beverage industry. people in our society have really become brainwashed in my opinion. it’s not that most are addicted to alcohol, but it has become a habit to have a brew or a glass of wine while out at the restaurant dinner table. it’s soooooooooooo trendy now to go the craft microbreweries for a taste testing. no thanks, i can leave it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rudy Schellekens says:

      And here we go again! The issue at hand was not an approval/disapproval of drinking a glass of wine/beer/whatever. The issue at hand was/is: How does one approach and use the Scriptures? “We” are very good at showing others how wrong the Scriptures are applied to defend a certain doctrine (like infant baptism, to name but one).
      But to honestly admit that “we,” too, have our issues with the use of Scripture is where the rubber meets the road. Are “we” courageous enough to admit that yes, “we, too” misapply Scripture at times, to prove a specific point?
      Allow me to mention but two (obvious) ones:
      1. “Acts 20:7 teaches that we have to celebrate the Lord’s Supper every Sunday”
      2. “1 Corinthians 16:1, 2 teach that we have to have a collection on every first day of the week.”

      These are but two examples where “we” have severe credibility issues, in making the text say something that is not supported by those passages!

      The Bible does not speak against the use of alcoholic beverages. In fact, God sees it as a blessing to give “oil and wine,” and as a curse to withhold “oil and wine.”
      He’s unhappy when we are careless in our use of that blessing, no one doubts that!

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      • Sveet Vred says:

        to answer your question…quite simply the correct approach to scripture is to have scripture interpret itself, and in cases where there is no definitive interpretation, then personal interpretation is valid. i say in this case, there are enough unknown variables to place doubt on either side, so let’s go with personal interpretation. both sides can be right! i personally believe that the king james bible butchers quite a bit of original text both greek and hebrew. specifically not in transliteration, but translation. this is one of my stumbling blocks in biblical scholarly study. there is still much debate whether jesus and the apostle paul mainly quoted from the septuagint, which itself was a ‘second hand’ translation of the original hebrew text. either way, if you want a truly dynamic bible reading, try ‘THE MESSAGE’ or ‘THE VOICE’. blessings~!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Rudy schellekens says:

          Good start. So when Scripture makes it clear that a) drinking wine is acceptable to God and that b) drunkennes is not, discussion should be over.
          And as far as translations go, really? The Message???
          Having grown up in Western Europe with education in four languages and having studied Greek in school here, I’m flabbergasted you make such a recommendation.
          “Story told in my own words” is what Peterson wrote. And he makes it clear it should not be seen as anything more than that.
          Of course there are some weaknesses in each translation out there. It always will be the work of humans. But we can get as close as possible!

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          • seattlebruce says:

            Rudy said: “So when Scripture makes it clear that a) drinking wine is acceptable to God and that b) drunkennes is not, discussion should be over.”

            Life is so often more complex than that. What about kids, pregnant women, Asians and First Nation people whose genes give them a predilection toward easy drunkenness, addictive personalities, for which alcohol is no end of tempests. 15% of the population cannot handle alcohol well or at all. What about those 1 billion people Rudy? Yet, for you it’s as simple as “discussion should be over.”

            Fortunately, the Scripture instructs us that our support of weaker brothers, sisters, children, addictive persons, and those with genetic predelictions should be a very important consideration, and in fact one that we sacrifice our own freedom for. Clearly, Jesus sacrificed everything for us – we should be willing to sacrifice for others – for the weaker other. Romans 14, 15:1

            And that should be the end, or rather the beginning, of things….

            Liked by 1 person

          • Rudy J Schellekens says:

            Bruce, exaggerating numbers does you case no good. 14% of the world population does not struggle with addiction.

            Back the the original.
            It is exactly the “end,” Bruce. In so many other ways we accept that, “God said it, and that is the end of it.”
            The next question (Romans 14) is how do we put this into practice? Mishandling the Bible is not the way to do that!

            I preach regularly. I teach three Bible classes a week. I write at least one 500 page bulletin article a month. And seldom does the topic of alcohol come up in those discussions. When people ask, I answer from Scripture, and put the responsibility of behavior at the feet of those asking he question.

            Romans 14 is not limited to the use/abuse of alcohol. Some members are convinced we are bound to tithing. What do you do then? In order not to hurt the weaker brother, do you tithe? Fast? Don’t work on Sundays? Your attitude re Romans 14 demands that of you!

            Or do you use common sense, and place these things within their Biblical context, and allow people to make their own decision on how to apply these things in their life?

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          • seattlebruce says:

            Rudy: “Bruce, exaggerating numbers does you case no good. 14% of the world population does not struggle with addiction.”

            Bruce: Not what I said Rudy. I said 15% can’t handle alcohol well, or at all. That is alcoholics and problem drinkers. This is backed up by studies in both North America and Europe.

            Rudy: “The next question (Romans 14) is how do we put this into practice? Mishandling the Bible is not the way to do that!…And seldom does the topic of alcohol come up in those discussions.”

            Bruce: How, pray tell!, am I mishandling the Bible Rudy? As to why the topic of alcohol doesn’t come up, clearly you’re not touching the 15%. I am, every month, weekly, sometimes more often. What good is our preaching and teaching to those struggling if we’re not willing to sacrificially love them?

            Rudy: “Romans 14 is not limited to the use/abuse of alcohol.”
            Bruce: Of course. But it certainly includes that area of behavior. As to your testing me with the Romans 14 Scriptures, yes, we are called to a higher calling, and we are to live our lives out first for the Lord, and as a blessing to others. In all kinds of ways, including being good examples of tithing, loving our spouses and children, etc,, etc, etc. No one ever said being a Christian was easy – it demands all of us! But it is the best way – as Paul said, “I will show you a better way” – Love.

            Common sense – practical? How about not drinking carelessly, and having careless drinking fellowships like a good portion of evangelicals seem want to do these days? Since the studies show 15% struggle with alcohol – that would make perfect, practical common sense – don’t ya think?

            Blessings!
            Bruce

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          • Rudy Schellekens says:

            “Common sense – practical? How about not drinking carelessly, and having careless drinking fellowships like a good portion of evangelicals seem want to do these days? Since the studies show 15% struggle with alcohol – that would make perfect, practical common sense – don’t ya think?”

            I am not an Evangelical, Bruce. I cannot account for what they do, and why they do things.

            I have argued time and again against “careless drinking,” Bruce.

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          • Sveet Vred says:

            thou hast suffer little children….blah blah blah. makes no sense at all in our modern american culture. we owe peterson a HUGE favor for his paraphrase. let’s cut to the chase. who really cares about the alcohol argument anyway? what people really want to is what the bible says, or more importantly doesn’t say about smoking weed? #garyjohnson2016….somebody gonna lay that pharmakia verse on me? If It’s Not Jesus, It’s Skubalon ~

            Like

          • Rudy schellekens says:

            KJV IS ARCHAIC. I know that. Being Dutch, we too, have our own version similar to the KJV. Never said anything about needing the KJV.
            but paraphrases are but a watered down version of the text. Of any document, for that matter.

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      • I think you hit on why you struggle with this matter.

        Acts 20:7 is not as much about command but of the apostolic example and best way. Apostolic precedents define commands. This is how we know that baptism in Jesus’s name is in water by illustrating examples.

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        • Rudy schellekens says:

          No, we know about baptism etc because it is a COMMAND.
          There is no such thing in Acts, and Corinthians cannot be used to construe a command for having a weekly collection to pay salaries, mortgages and such.
          It is to provide help for needy saints – which we also sort of do, and missions – which we do less and less.
          On average, 85% goes into material things…

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          • Show what is baptism in Jesus’s name without a biblical example.

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          • Rudy J Schellekens says:

            You are mixing processes, Scott. There is a direct command to baptize people. The meaning o the word is to “immerse.” Problem solved.

            But the only “frequency statement” about the Lord’s Supper, for example, is “…as often as you do this…” I can make an historical case that early Christians celebrated the Supper weekly – but to say that Acts 20 TEACHES such, is stretching the text. Apart from that, how about 20:11??

            Paul has told believers that he is collecting money for a SPECIFIC purpose: Needy saints in Jerusalem. He gives them a heads up: Start saving, so that you don’t have to scrimp when I get there.

            So, even if you want to make that in to a command, than be consistent, and use the collected funds for needy saints! Again, less than 15 cents of EACH dollar raised goes to “benevolence” in the average congregation of the churches of Christ!

            Personally, I am against paid preachers. All for paid missions (But I can find that as an example!). I am against sinking more and more money into real estate – remember, we are supposed to be a PILGRIM people, and laying down roots so deep by tying ourself to multi million dollar meeting places.

            Having said that, each congregation has their own responsibility with these decisions. For a group who has prided ourselves on not having a clergy/laity concept, we have come a long way in that direction!
            Executive minister
            Administrative minister
            Managing minister
            Preaching minister
            Pulpit minister
            Outreach minister
            Youth minister
            Campus minister
            Worship minister
            Involvement minister
            Jail minister
            Senior minister
            Associate minister

            Salaries ranging from 50-150 thousand dollars! “Without a degree, no need to apply…” “Benefits commensurate with experience…”

            And to think that the explosion in church growth was not because of all of these “ministers with a M.S. preferred…” but by the Master’s men, and they fire burning in those who heard the Word, and preached it wherever they went.

            If we want to follow Biblical examples, let’s start with eliminating all these paid positions, sell all the multi-million dollar plants and worry about what we should be doing and WHO should be doing the doing!

            BTW, another example of where we are headed: “A Muscle and a Shovel” is now used as a “tool” to teach how to teach others – while we have Christians who have little or no knowledge of the Bible, but can quote whole sections of books like that…

            So yes, I believe in the simplicity of the Biblical text, and with increasing sadness I notice how much further and further we seem to drift away from applying those simple truths in our daily lives…

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          • You did not answer the question about baptism. Baptism in Jesus’s name is defined by examples. That is how examples are authoritative. Baptism meaning immersion does not tell you if the immersion is spiritual, Holy Spirit, in water, or some other claim to baptism. You must keep God’s commands in the midst of biblical narratives.

            Congregations paid their evangelists in the Scriptures and they did own buildings (1 Cor 9; Jas 2:2; cf. Acts 18). One hundred percent of our contributions goes to missions and benevolence local and abroad. That does include supporting our evangelists.

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          • Rudy schellekens says:

            I guess Matthew 28 has escaped your attention. We baptize in Jesus name because he commanded us. We see EXAMPLES of people following that command.

            Having read through the references you sent, I did not see any buildings owned by congregations, nor did I see any preachers supported.
            I see missionaries (like Paul etc) receiving support, but not always.
            Located preachers as in vogue today were unknowns in the early church.
            As were the many, many paid positions as we have these days.
            Evangelism was not practiced to believers, inside the meeting places, but outside, among the non-believers. All the “preaching” in the New Testament took place outside.

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          • You are dodging. Matt 28 does not say how. You must rely on examples to that immersion is in water.

            James 2:2 says that these churches met in synagogues. Look who was converted at Corinth (Acts 18). Did they have a synagogue — a building for meeting? They did not meet in houses in Corinth (1 Cor 11:22). The church at Troas met in an upper room and not in the home below (Acts 20:6–8).

            All preaching was not outside. See Luke 4 & Acts 20.

            Paul sought to evangelize to the church in Rome. See Romans 1:14–17. In fact, “evangelizing” in Greek is not just teaching the lost. Paul taught the churches (1 Cor 4:17; 7:17).

            That is all off the top of my head. I do not have time to write you a thesis.

            Rudy, you have been conned and the Bible commands you not to be deceived. See my article on the house-church movement.

            Farewell brother. I mean this all with love.

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          • Rudy schellekens says:

            The synagogues were owned by the Jews, not the Christians. Preaching WAS outside the church, to the unbelievers. I happen to have done THAT thesis.
            I’m not advocating house churches, I’m advocating a consistent approach to scripture.
            I find your response re “water” extremely weak, Scott.
            And you have not even touched Acts 20 and 1 Cor 16.
            I find examples interesting. But have never found a good explanation when they become authority.

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          • Sveet Vred says:

            i am confused about the current baptism discussion ? what’s the heart of the argument? i’ll throw this in the mix. more accurately, the phrase ‘in the name of’ really SHOULD HAVE BEEN correctly interpreted as ‘by the authority of’. go figure?

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          • Rudy schellekens says:

            Interpreted, yes. Translated, no. The five languages which I am familiar with all have a similar expression, and the “interpretation” or “application” is exactly the same. Acting on behalf of…
            The baptism conversation was a red herring tossed in by Scott.

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          • gary meier says:

            Rudy,

            I must admit I admire your tenacity in dialoguing with people who are obviously spouting things in which they are mainly clueless. I would think you would grow weary of those on this thread who don’t understand Scripture, change the focus when they are incapable of discussing the subject at hand (why the discussion of Baptism, for instance?), use one verse in the entire Bible on which to build a doctrine, use Scripture out of context, us paraphrases of the Bible to defend a position, use Scripture verses to explain a point that have no relationship to the subject being addressed (Scott is particularly good at that), mishandling the Bible and in general letting their opinions & biases influence and drive their faulty scholarship.

            Now to some specifics to complement the Biblical scholarship and truths you have been trying to inculcate into their minds, without much success, I might add.

            One contributor blithely proffered this amazing statement: “if you want a truly dynamic Bible reading, try ’THE MESSAGE’ or ‘THE VOICE’”. Those are paraphrases, for crying out loud. Yes, according to the definition of the word “translate”, a paraphrase is a translation. However, as you correctly pointed out, paraphrases more properly fit into the category of “to put it another way”, they are no more than a man’s attempt to make the Bible more clear. John Piper stated it succinctly when he said: If you use a paraphrase for your regular Bible reading and for study, “you’re basically reading a commentary and depending on it and calling it the Word of God”.

            Even dynamic equivalence translations are problematic. The translators of these Bibles have no compunction about changing words. Anyone serious about Biblical scholarship will us an essential literal (also called formal equivalence) Bible. These are word-for-word or sentence-for-sentence translations from the Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek manuscripts. Essentially literal translations are considered to be the most accurate and are less likely to reflect the interpretative opinions of the translator or be influenced by current culture. This type of translation goes out of its way to preserve the literal words found in the inspired texts. By sticking close to what Biblical writers actually wrote they are preserving Scripture’s full interpretive potential, theological precision, literary qualities, dignity and beauty.

            All this to say Rudy, that if anyone wants to be involved in a serious Biblical discussion, paraphrases and dynamic equivalence translations just don’t cut the mustard. The KJV is so inferior that it can’t even be included in this discussion.

            Scott keeps talking about baptism in Jesus’ name. What this has to do with the discussion of drinking alcoholic beverages is beyond me. However, he doesn’t seem to realize that baptism is not only in the name of Jesus but also in the name of the Father and the Holy Spirit (Matt. 28:19) as well.

            Your response to Scott on July 8 at 1:50 was so “right on”. I had to read it over again because I thought it was something I had written. Christians are pathetic in their response to the Great Commission, which is the whole purpose of the Christian Church.
            They give $46.15 a year per person to foreign missions. Individual churches are just as bad. As you said, only 15% of an average churches budget goes to “benevolence”. That means that something less than that amount goes to foreign missions. The rest of a churches budget is squandered on salaries (which are un-Scriptural), building maintenance (also un-Scriptural) and many other superfluous activities designed to entertain the members. How can Christian Churches justify using God’s resources for something other than it’s whole purpose for existence…the Great Commission.

            Concerning buildings. Here’s another of Scott’s tricks. He says that Christians in Biblical times had their own buildings and uses 1 Cor. 9, Jas 2:2, and Acts 18 to support this position. 1 Cor. says zilch about Christians having their own building, James 2:2 is about Christians assembling without mention of any type of building, and Acts. 18 tells how Paul reasoned with the Jews in the synagogue. Even Biblical neophytes know that the Temple and synagogues were Jewish places of worship, not Christian.

            Christians of every stripe build Taj Majals for their own comfort and entertainment without caring about the 4.245 billion non-Christians in the rest of the world. As tens of millions of church members sit in their luxurious pews each Sunday listening to their pastor pontificate about the need for everyone to “love their neighbors as themselves” (Mark 12:31), 40,000 people are dying in India alone that day and every other day, never having heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They are condemning these people to hell because of their insatiable appetite to build buildings. Buildings are not Scriptural and as you said, if we want to follow Biblical examples, of which Scott is so fond of, “lets sell all the multi-million dollar plants”.

            Rudy, you said “personally, I am against paid preachers”. As you have iterated in these posts, personal opinions don’t count. The Bible is quite clear there are two paid positions within the Church, preachers (1 Cor. 9:14, Luke 10:7, Matt. 10: 7,10) ) and teachers ( 1 Tim.5:17,18). Today we find churches paying organists, youth pastors, choir directors, custodians, lawnmowers, secretaries and others, all flagrant misallocations of God’s funds. Again, you said it succinctly, “let’s start by eliminating all these paid positions”.

            Upon reading your memo of July 8, 4:20 pm, you state you “didn’t see any preachers supported“. As I explained above, you are wrong in that assertion. However, you really are not wrong. We need to remember that the Bible treats preaching, proclaiming and teaching in different ways. Preach and proclaim are used interchangeably in the Bible. The Greek root word for preach is Euanggeleezoh which means to evangelize…preach the gospel. As you wrote, and I paraphrase: “preaching in the New Testament and today always is directed to those who were and are not believers”. Yes, there is no such thing as preaching to a gathering of believers. Therefore, preachers (evangelists, missionaries) are to receive support.

            Scott’s response to this is that “all preaching was not outside” and tells us to check Luke 4 and Acts 20. As can be expected, there is nothing in either of these chapters that support his flaccid proclamation. There is absolutely, positively not one word of anyone preaching to a group of Christians in either Luke or Acts.

            It should be understood that teaching is not preaching or proclaiming. Teaching is from the Greek root word didaskalos which has no relationship to the root Greek word for preaching. Preaching is announcing the good news while teaching compliments preaching in that after a person is “saved” teaching imparts the meaning of salvation. Whereas the message preached is the message announced, the message taught is the message explained, clarified and applied. The purpose of preaching is conversion, the purpose of teaching is equipping and building up the saints for service and good works (The Great Commission). Scott does not understand this distinction as evident by this statement: “In fact, “evangelizing” in Greek is not just teaching the lost. Paul taught the churches (1 Cor. 4:17, 7:17)”.

            When all is said in done, Rudy, you have summarized perfectly the state of Christianity today, caused by the kind of people involved in this thread who are guilty of all the misuses of Scripture iterated in the first paragraph of this tome: “With increasing sadness I notice how much further and further we seem to drift away from applying those simple (Biblical) truths in our daily lives…”.

            PS. Have a glass of wine on me this evening.

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          • Rudy Schellekens says:

            ok, just so you know, I did not mean to ignore your post. Spent the weekend with my youngest granddaughter, which, admittedly, was more enjoyable than posting…

            The two preaching words, EUGELIZO and KERUX are used in “outside settings only. In Acts 20 the word DIALOGUE is used, and in othe rplaces within the body gathering we see DIDACHE used. In Mark, the English translations have Jesus “preaching” in the synagogue, where the Green uses LALO, to speak.
            Paul’s extended stay in Corinth, in the school of Tyrannus, was a time where he taught – but one does not know what and who was taught. We do know (Scott) that the believers met at Chloe’s house, for example.

            Proclaimers, heralds, good news bringers are those with the message of the cross to those who have never heard that message. I cannot help it, but those are the contexts of those words.

            The assembly passages (1 Corinthians 14, Hebrews 10, 1 Timothy 2) does not know that “preaching” words, however. Nor do we see a single headliner (i.e. The Preacher), but, especially in 1 Corinthians, when you get together, EACH of you. In the early records (See “Early Christians Speak,” by Ferguson) we still do not see The Preacher.

            In his book “Pagan Christianity,” Frank Viola gives a fairly complete survey of the development of the role of The Preacher as we know it today.

            And before anyone starts casting rocks, I worked with churches in the Netherlands for about 20 years, supported as a missionary, so I am not speaking from an outsider point of view!

            About 20 years ago, I ended up moving to the U.S., due to family circumstances. I have been attending a local congregation for the past years, and about 6 years ago, The Preacher retired. the elders asked me to do some research on what the Biblical model of The Preacher included, and the only conclusion I could come was: There is no Biblical Model of what we, today, practice. There is no Biblical example of The Preacher.

            What we have done mostly since that time, is a “shared pulpit,” elders who are much more involved in the lives of the members, more members involved in the teaching of the different classes, members who are much more comfortable now with the elders as their spiritual leaders,rather than looking at The Preacher.

            Since these is no salary need, we have greatly expanded both our benevolence and mission budgets, the building (a functional structure, rather than an edifice) is completely paid for, ,and we can respond much better to unexpected needs.

            The congregation is growing – the same way it has since I have been here (relates not to my activities, but to my awareness) – through the outreach and teaching of the individual members.

            Now, should a congregation decide to hire The Preacher, there is not much i can say about that. I strongly believe in the autonomy of the local congregation. Some of my best friends fill the role of The Preacher.

            We can argue this as a tradition, no problem there. But to say that there is Biblical support or example, that is incorrect. Both Scripture and history tell us different.

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          • gary meier says:

            Exactly. There is no such thing as a “preacher” in Christian gatherings.
            Thanks, Rudy.

            Like

          • Rudy J Schellekens says:

            I like this one:
            On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine — the best of meats and the finest of wines . . . He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; He will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth. The LORD has spoken.” (Isaiah 25:6,8)

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          • gary meier says:

            I like it also. It’s one of the finest verses showing how highly God values the use of wine by his people…Christians.

            Like

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