Alcohol is everywhere

What does history say about alcohol?

  • Grapes were crushed. Natural yeast on the skin of the grape and sugar in the juice fermented to a maximum of 3%. Adding more yeast can bring the alcohol content up to 11%.
  • Wine was sometimes boiled to increase sugar content and boil off the alcohol.
  • It was common practice to dilute water with wine to make the water taste better and make the water safe to drink.
  • Wine in ancient times was in any range of alcohol state.

What does the Bible say about alcohol?

  • Greek word oinos literally means wine.

  • Oinos refers to wine with any level of alcohol up to 10%.

  • It is difficult from the context to determine what concentration of alcohol is under consideration.

  • New Testament passages concerned with drinking:

    • John 2:1-4 – Jesus turned water to oinos. The context does not indicate what alcohol content, if any, was in the wine.

    • I Timothy 5:23-25 – Timothy was told to drink oinos for his stomach.This passage indicates that oinos mixed with water is not sinful to drink, at least in small doses.

    • Matthew 27:48 – Jesus drank sour wine on the cross. In sour wine, the alcohol has partly or completely turned to vinegar.

    • I Timothy 3:3, 8 – Elders and deacons are not to be addicted to wine.

  • The Bible expressly condemns getting drunk.

    • Proverbs 20:1

    • Proverbs 23:29-35

    • Romans 13:11-14

    • I Corinthians 6:9-10

    • Galatians 5:19-21

    • I Peter 4:1-3

  • Why does the Bible condemn drunkenness?

    • Loss of control

    • Loss of inhibitions

What is drunkenness?

  • Blood alcohol concentration

    • 0.02% - loss of judgment, feeling warm and relaxed

    • 0.05% - exaggerated behavior, loss of control of small muscles

    • 0.08% - legal limit for intoxication in US (not Utah)


  • Drinks today contain higher alcohol content than they did in ancient times.
  • Impairment occurs after only one standard drink.
  • Impairment is drunkenness, which is condemned in the Bible.


  • I Peter 5:8; 3:14-15