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Jan 28, 2008

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Big Daddy Weave

Mix the Captain with Coke!

That's a great quote from Steve McCoy.

The first truly conservative Catholic church that I had ever attended had a delicious BBQ picnic afterwards. The Priest and I enjoyed a mixed beverage, half Rolling Rock and half freshly squeezed Lemonade. Afterwards, we had a delightful conversation about being Baptist and being Catholic.

peter lumpkins

BDW,

I once did a joint memorial service with a Catholic Priest. A dear member's husband had died who was Catholic. When I went to the back to get my 'instructions', there 'father' was lapping it up.

He could barely walk, or talk for that matter. He insisted I read from Maccabees. I insisted I read from Mark and did.

Unfortunately, we had no such delight in an afterward chat. With that, I am...

Peter

EA IMB M

Dear Bro. Peter,

Your blogging series on alcohol is excellent. Even if it goes unread or even ridiculed by those who have already made up their mind, it is, imo, a serious and worthy effort to present a truly culturally-neutral, biblically sound interpretation and application of the social drinking issue. (Please excuse that run-on sentence!)

I must confess that I am personally somewhere in the middle on this issue although I am myself a tee-totaler. This issue is, for me, one that is very difficult to take an absolute theological stand on because there are compelling arguments on both sides. My spirit tells me that alcoholic beverages are not for the Christian who wants to be Spirit-filled, but my theological and apologetic abilities are not such as I feel that I can say absolutely, unequivocally, "thus saith the Lord" concerning strong drink consumed in "moderation," whatever that is.

However, I must say that I believe that love constrains me to avoid the appearance of evil. In my work as an IMB M (thus my anonymity) I have had opportunity to work briefly on four continents and for extended times on three of those continents. I must say that Satan has, in my estimation, no greater tool to pervert the home, weaken morality, impoverish society, and undermine the Gospel than strong drink. Of course, alcoholic beverages are definitely not the only tools that the devil uses and drunkenness is not the "worst" sin, let alone moderation (whatever that is). But, in my experience, wherever there is "moderation" in drinking (whatever that is) there is usually abusive drinking present as well.

I have seen men “tapping trees” in Africa to make alcohol while their children languor with extended bellies and suffer malnutrition. Later, the men, having crossed the “moderation” line (wherever that was), verbally and physically abuse their families as they gamble away whatever worldly goods they may have. I have seen the same in Asia as men ferment wheat or rice and drink (and smoke) themselves into oblivion while ignoring the plight of children, wives, and society at large. In South America, men routinely spend large portions of their meager incomes on wine, beer and hard liquor having received no example or instruction from their recognized religious leadership that doing otherwise might be a good thing to do. They consider women sex objects and drinking their absolute privilege. To most of them, “moderation” is just a word, roughly defined as “one drink less that I have already consumed.” Then, of course, we have the daily news to tell us how effective the “moderation” (whatever that is) mantra has been in North America. How many accidents, murders, rapes, robberies, or political scandals happen in these United States without the presence of alcoholic beverages? I would guess the % would be rather low.

I would like to respectfully suggest to your readers that they obtain a copy of Adrian Roger’s sermon “The Social Drinker and the Bible” (cassette #1500) based on Proverbs 20:23 which he preached many years ago and which I think is available still. I have listened to this sermon and it is very similar to your effort on this blog.

I have many brothers and sisters who are wonderful Christians who disagree with my tee-totalling conviction. Some are on the mission field. To my knowledge, and their credit, they forgo their “liberty” and fulfill the pledge they made not to consume alcohol as a beverage while in the employ of the IMB. I don’t think less of them for their opinion. In fact I greatly respect their character. But, after all I have seen, I will need pretty solid biblical evidence that there is some supposed good to be had from drinking intoxicating beverage that cannot be had some other way before I can recommend it to myself, my family, my friends, or my fellow believers. Were I a pastor, I would have to be thoroughly and completely convinced that I was rightly exegeting and applying the Bible before I could counsel the sheepfold in my care to drink, even in moderation. I have just seen too much heartache associated with this. Adrian Rogers says in the sermon I referenced above, “Moderation is not the solution, moderation is the problem.” I must say, I agree.

Please allow me to add to this overly-lengthy post that, if you disagree with me, I still consider you my friend, brother or sister, and fellow-servant. There, imo, is room on both sides of this issue for discussion. Whatever we do, let us NOT practice love in moderation (whatever that is)! Thank you, Peter, for your efforts here.

Malcolm Yarnell

Thank you, Peter, for not following the latest trends of the world, but for discerning and following the Word. You are a man to be prized and appreciated.

volfan007

peter,

thanks again. the evidence is mounting. it's becoming stronger and stronger with each post that you write. it almost makes one think that the moderation crowd just wants the bible to not speak against drinking "spirits," does it not?

i've seen no good come from alcohol consumption...none.


david

jasonk

As I have stated on some of your previous posts on alcohol, we disagree on this issue. However, I think that the real issue here is that I respect you for what you believe, and acknowledge your stand as legitimate. I'm sure that there are those who ridicule you for it, but I am not among them.
At the same time, it seems that those I have read who advocate total abstention ridicule those of us on the side of moderation. Is it really that big of an issue that there should be a great divide between us? Can we not still cooperate in an effort to reach the world for Christ, even though we disagree on such a minor issue?

Byroniac

With all due respect, I remain unconvinced. On my blog, I have posted the link to an interesting article, "The Bible and Alcohol" if anyone is interested. At the very least, even if you are not convinced by the opposing viewpoint, do not casually dismiss it.

As for the comments from our missionary friend, EA IMB M, I want to note that while I agree with his horror over the abuse of alcohol, I disagree that this is a necessary consequence of moderation. It is perfectly natural for lost, sinful men and women to abuse all kinds of substances and commit all kinds of errors (though not all lost people do in this regard), but it should be perfectly natural for those truly saved by the Lord from their unbelief and other sins to also forsake anything that would prove a hindrance to obedience and service to Christ. This would of course include drunkenness. In fact, my friend was saved from drunkenness, and has become one who very carefully moderates his consumption, though I would say, and I believe he would agree, that not all believers are given liberty by the Spirit in this regard.

peter lumpkins

Dear EAIMBM,

Many thanks for your statement here. I am glad that what is happening is a positive contribution. I've said elsewhere that heretofore, I've not been that vocal on this particular issue. When it surfaced in the Churches I pastored, I dealt with it as best as I could. And, I hope, under God, I lived an honorable life toward my children by abstaining myself.

Of late, as you can see from the other bloggers, there's almost a smugness--or, perhaps a better term is cockiness--in shouting from the mountain tops that abstentionism is Biblically bankrupt, following tradition while their own moderation view is snugly wed to the Sufficiency of Scripture alone. For me, it's time to get in the kitchen and peel a few tators.

Grace and Peace, M. I am humbled in tears you'd take the time to offer such an encouraging contribution.

With that, I am...

Peter

peter lumpkins

Dr. Yarnell,

It is I who offers thanks to the Southern Baptist Convention for supporting seminary education in general, of which I have happily been a child; but more specifically, for Professors like yourself who continually call us back to Scriptural faithfulness.

Grace. With that, I am...

peter lumpkins

David,

The evidence continues. It shows, as yet, no sign of wane. My guess is, readers will tire before I do.

With that, I am...

Peter

peter lumpkins

JasonK,

Thanks for your participation. And, while we've disagreed before, as now we do, it is good we can possess mutual respect.

As for the ridicule of the moderation position, I'd like to read a post by a Baptist blogger who has done such. I doubt not posts like that exist. I just have not read them.

To the contrary, what I documented above is not so much ridicule as it is diss. When the description for abstention is "spurious', "personal agenda","manufactured sins", etc. on the one hand and outright assertion that the 'inspired Word of God' teaches against drunkenness, not drinking alcoholic beverages and that Jesus was a moderation drinker on the other, I'd say that pretty much cooks the stew for any other view, do you not think?

It's time to test the views Biblically. If abstention is, Biblically speaking, a legitimate view, then the absolute nonsense that it is based on tradition, personal preference or concocted sins need to come to an absolute halt. Actually, that's all I'm initially saying in this series of posts.

Grace, Jasonk. With that, I am...

Peter

peter lumpkins

Byroniac,

Welcome. As for being unconvinced, I am not sure what you mean. I've posted alot over the last week or so. If you're referring to the extra-biblical quotations above, I'd be open to another interpretation than a straight forward one.

As for Mr. Wallace's essay you have posted, I encourage everyone to read it. Consider the level of scholarship I attempt to present here--please, not mine, mind you; only those I'm recording--and Mr. Wallace's. I trust a marked difference is clear.

The short post Wallace writes fails for the simple reason he assumes there is only one kind of wine--alcoholic. It is the judgment of these scholars here--Biblical, Historical, Linguistic, Oriental, Classics--that he is mistaken. They offer an arsenal of weaponry to demonstrate his mistake.

And, Byron, to simply say "I remain unconvinced" and point to a paper as proof--a paper that does not so much as mention some of the evidences of the 'temperance theologians'--remains, for me, if I can borrow your line, "unconvincing."

The late Professor Robert P. Teachout, did his doctoral dissertation at Dallas Theological Seminary--the same school, I think, Mr Wallace attended--on the subject "The Use of Wine in the Old Testament" (1979). Needless to say, I do not think Wallace read Professor Teachout's exhaustive dissertation of "Wine in the OT". To make the mistake he makes, that is almost impossible.

Sometime in the future, I will be presenting Dr. Teachout's summary. I trust it to be helpful.

Grace, Byron. With that, I am...

Peter

Steve McCoy

Peter, the problem with your posts is that even if you are right about different sorts of wines it won't matter. The Bible never attempts what you are trying to do, which is to draw the lines of behavior based on the kind of wine.

I'm not saying there aren't different words for wine and alcoholic drinks in the Bible and that they have purposes for being there. Of course. You seem to assume guys like me only see "wine" in English and nothing more. Not true. The Hebrew words are there for a reason, but that reason is NOT to say alcoholic wine is always wrong and non-alcoholic is always fine. They are simply descriptors of the drink.

The clear, biblical truth that doesn't change is that the good and bad of wine/alcohol is always based on the behavior of the one drinking. If a biblical writer wanted to say that drinking anything alcoholic is wrong for all people, it would have been quite easy. We time and again get instructions against drunkenness, not drinking.

So your whole argument in the end will amount to nothing. But by all means, keep reading and quoting obscure prohibitionist writers instead of Scripture. ;)

Chris Johnson

Peter,

I love this subject!

The history of opinion is amazing, and I am glad that the subject continues to be debated, because it is important to understand the effects of the juice.

While I absolutely and with great conviction agree that abstinence from alcohol consumption is obviously a compelling way to drink. That’s my opinion, and I will hold to it. It seems the shot of alcoholic wine I had at communion one time convinced me that I did not like it much at all.

But,…there is no compelling biblical evidence, current or historical so far by any of the writers, to suggest that drinking alcoholic wine without drunkenness is a sin. Is the SBC abstenionist’s resolving that alcoholic wine drinking be considered a sin?

If so, that will be quite distinctive. Yet the biblical distinction without any ambiguity is drunkenness. How will those two different distinctions be resolved? Is the goal of the discussion to move drinking wine as equal to drunkenness or is it to educate the ignorant of the trappings of alcohol.

Blessings,
Chris

peter lumpkins

Steve,

Obscure prohibitionist writers? So because you've never heard of them, they somehow are obscure? That's a pretty neat trick, Steve. I wish I'd thought of that. Last time I checked though, it seemed best to deal with opponents' arguments rather than call them names.

As for "it won't work", I fear it's moderationists like yourself, Steve, that has the uphill battle. You continue to speak about drunkenness which is definitively not what this series is about. All agree drunkenness is condemned in Scripture, thus I see no need to develop that theme--albeit some overlap may be present.

Rather the issue here is about Biblical viticulture and whether the fruit of the grape may, through human-induced, guided processes, develop essential properties God condemns.

What you would like to see--which you did with Proverbs the last time you logged on, as I recall--is pack all the passages that reflect negatively on wine into a neat little wad and filter them through your preconceived moderation lens. The difficulty is, Scripture just has a way of refusing to be squeezed into a preconceived mold.

For example Psalm 104.14-15 says:

"You cause the grass to grow... plants for man to cultivate...wine to gladden the heart of man,
oil to make his face shine
and bread to strengthen man's heart."
Here wine is given to us without the least mention that we are to 'moderately' consume it. Unless, of course, you'd like to throw in "moderately" consuming oil and bread as well.

On the other hand,in Proverbs 20.1, wine is both "mocker" and "brawler"and in 23.31, wine is such that it pulls from Solomon the demand: "look not upon it..." How one is supposed to "moderately" consume that which one cannot "look upon" remains a mystery.

The fact is, there are dozens of such passages that speak to the grape product itself, without the least hint of instruction pertaining to "moderate" consumption.

For me, it seems obvious that those who insist on "moderation" do so--at least in many passages--by a bit of old fashioned eisegesis.

Grace, Steve. With that, I am...

Peter

Chris Johnson

Peter,

I think you answered my question...
"Rather the issue here is about Biblical viticulture and whether the fruit of the grape may, through human-induced, guided processes, develop essential properties God condemns."

I'll noodle on it from that perspective.

Blessings,
Chris

Chris Johnson

Peter,

This is more on target with the post....Has 'yayin' been vindicated as non-alcoholic by anyone yet? The Lord commands in the Numbers 15 passage that ‘yayin’ be made as a sacrifice, resulting in an aroma pleasing to the Lord.

I believe most Hebrew language and history scholars have deduced that ‘yayin’ is due to further fermentation processes beyond the initial processes of ‘tiros’ and final process of ‘sekar’ which is used by some to drink, and others to run their automobiles.

This certainly does not mean there is any value in drinking ‘yayin’, but the Israelites were obedient to the command of the Lord to make the substance ‘yayin’ as an offering to their Lord.


-Chris

Steve McCoy

Peter,

1. Calling a writer "obscure" is not name calling. The definition of obscure is "relatively unknown." They are.

2. Yeah, I get it. The series isn't about drunkenness, which is exactly the problem! My point was that the Bible draws lines on the abuse of alcohol, not the use. You are trying to draw lines on the use of alcohol, namely never using it as a beverage, and that does injustice to the Scriptural ethic of liberty and moderation. Why not let Scripture dictate your approach to the issue?

3. So I have a "preconceived moderation lens" but you don't have a preconceived abstention lens? Please Peter. You keep trying to throw these little jabs rather than deal with what I said. Why don't you practice what you preached in the first paragraph of your comment and "deal with opponents' arguments?"

4. Ahh. Scripture. What an obscure place to find it! Now that's funny, c'mon!

Psalm 104. You said, "Here wine is given to us without the least mention that we are to 'moderately' consume it. Unless, of course, you'd like to throw in "moderately" consuming oil and bread as well."

What the heck are you talking about? The point of the passage is that God provides for creation out of His kindness. One of his provisions for us is wine (yayin), the same word used for fermented and possibly intoxicating drink in the OT. Obviously when enjoyed as God intends, wine is a heart-gladdener.

By the way, if we don't ever consume wine, what use is it for God to say it gladdens the heart?

5. On Proverbs 20 & 23, you said, "How one is supposed to 'moderately' consume that which one cannot 'look upon' remains a mystery."

Peter, how can you read my comment on these Proverbs and make this statement. I'll say it again. It doesn't say to not look upon wine. It says...

"Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly."

Don't look "when." The times when it's "red...sparkles...goes down smoothly" are descriptors of someone wanting the effect of intoxication to deaden their senses, not of someone wanting a glad heart. Again, it's about abuse not use.

By the way, notice that the wine that gladdens the hearts of men also is a mocker and brawler. Both are yayin. The only way both of those are true is that there is a way that it can gladden (without intoxication) and a way that it can mock (intoxication).

6. You said, "For me, it seems obvious that those who insist on "moderation" do so--at least in many passages--by a bit of old fashioned eisegesis."

You do realize that every passage about wine/alcohol doesn't mention moderation, and doesn't need to. And you realize I haven't ever said otherwise, nor has anyone in the history of man. Right?

7. You said, "the issue here is about Biblical viticulture." Again, the whole point of my comment was to say that making "Biblical viticulture" the issue will get you nowhere since the Bible never points us away from the proper enjoyment of alcohol, and even points to it!

selahV

Peter: I totally agree with you. I'm not sure what it is I'm agreeing to mind you. But I ain't drinking any of that red stuff that sparkles in a glass. It's plain and simply sinful to do so. I don't even want those folks to put that bottle in front of me at Olive Garden. Gosh, I love their salad. They are the tempters from hell, I'm telling you. selahV

peter lumpkins

Chris,

Thanks, Chris for your participation. I assure you, I am not ignoring you.

First, I with you am an abstentionist. Second, I've come to view as inconsistent the view that alcoholic wine is a good gift from God but that we ought to 'moderately' use such because of the risk of becoming drunk.

While we both agree on drunkenness as I noted elsewhere, to make drunkenness the issue when Scripture at many place makes the issue alcoholic wine is fatally flawed. Unless you can demonstrate how we are suppose to "moderately" consume what Scripture deems "poison", "cup of condemnation", "mocker" "brawler" and a host of images revealing the wrath of God, when not a shed of 'moderate' quantity is mentioned, I will continue holding my view.

As for what the SBC does, is, of course, up to the SBC. Historically, we have been tight in our understanding of social drink. I think our history of resolutions over the last century proves such. Contrarily, it is moderation advocates who are pressing these buttons.

Grace, Chris. With that, I am...

Peter

Joe Stewart

Here's the heart of the matter: many accuse those that abstain of making an argument from personal preference. It seems to me that the preponderance of the evidence is for the other side: social drinking has increased by leaps and bounds and so to mix the Captain with Coke becomes cool biblically speaking. I've seen the extreme damage done by those who teach moderation. One (whose dad is an alcoholic) begin to drink because of the liberty advocated. Guess where he ended up?

Another question I wonder about as well - do those who advocate moderation also teach strongly against the evil of drunkenness?

Chris Johnson

Brother Joe,

That is an excellent point... "do those who advocate moderation also teach strongly against the evil of drunkenness?" ....since they may not respond, ....they should.

That is the biblical approach to this subject.

Of the 200 times in scripture that wine is mentioned, there is one that directly cautions against the consumption of wine. Leviticus 10:9-10.

The bible does teach over and over again concerning the evils of drunkeness. This should be the words of all Pastors and teachers as well!

Blessings,
Chris


Tim B

Peter,

I am loathe to comment at all on this subject because there are strong feelings on this issue and the discussion usually degenerates into mud slinging and name calling. But it is easy for that to happen when folks suggest that God created a drug (alcohol) specifically for the purpose of our pleasure. I guess coca leaves were created for the pleasure of the Columbian, Marijuana for the Mexican and alcohol for the European. The comment that I read most often by Baptist moderationists that says it all for me is “I don’t drink myself, but I believe the Bible allows it…..but I don’t touch the stuff.” It is pretty plain to me the yayin that is given to children to drink (Lam 2:12) and which makes the heart glad isn’t the same yayin that isn’t to be looked upon when it makes itself “red”. A lot of folks debate what the “red” of that verse refers to. If I understand the Hebrew right, the words “ki yith’addam” (usually translated ‘when it is red’) in its conjugation is hithpael meaning that it is reflexive. If it is reflexive it should be translated "when it makes itself red." The only thing that I know of that yayin turns itself into is from the unfermented kind to the fermented kind. Perhaps the Hebrew words used there were an idiom in that day to describe alcohol since they had no word word for alcohol. With that in mind we discover that the prohibitions of Proverbs 23:31 and Proverbs 31:4 are binding on the believer’s conscience.

Part of the problem is that the two words yayin, and oinos are not technical words and no amount of forcing on the text can make them technical. They all are used to describe beverages from the grape that may or may not contain alcohol. (This is the same way we use the word “cider” which can either be fermented or unfermented.) This is easily demonstrated as translators freely used the word oinos to translate both tirosh and yayin in the LXX. But then we wouldn’t want to bother anyone with the facts. But folks in that day and in that culture knew that and they knew the difference between the two.

Tim B

peter lumpkins

Steve,

What I am trying to do is look at Scripture comprehensively, my brother. By the way, if you do not like the 'jabs', simply ignore them. You have my permission.

I mentioned 3 passages--one cited wine, given by God to be enjoyed by his creation without one word of cautionary language to "moderately" consume it. Wine is in the same context as both oil and bread. That's 'what the heck I'm talking about'.

And, I'm perfectly aware, Steve, concerning the word there. I am confused in your described usage, though:

"One of his provisions for us is wine (yayin), the same word used for fermented and possibly intoxicating drink in the OT."
I'm unsure the distinction you're making between 'fermented' and 'intoxicating drink'. Also, Yayin is used in the OT for freshly extracted grape-juice in the vat and presses. And, contextually, it is this second usage--that is, of the fruit of the grape itself--that fits the context well in the Psalm quoted above.

Nor does 'gladden the heart' mean 'tipsy' as it would if alcoholic yayin were in consideration. That is an assumption brought to the text.

In passing, you query "if we don't ever consume wine, what use is it for God to say it gladdens the heart?" The assumption appears to be, I asserted we should not consume the wine in Psalm 104.15. I asserted no such thing. We most certainly should enjoy it, be thankful for it and drink our heart's desire. I hold no moderation facade upon this text. Why should I? There is none.

Secondly, Steve, you're simply shackled to the presupposition that yayin is apparently always alcoholic and this question seems to demonstrate it. (ditto#7)

The other two I mentioned: "In Proverbs 20.1, wine is both "mocker" and "brawler"and in 23.31, wine is such that it pulls from Solomon the demand: "look not upon it..."

Your response?

"It doesn't say to not look upon wine. It says..."Do not look at wine when..."
The 'when', at least as I understand your words, Steve, is supposed to somehow transform Solomon's words about the grape product into "descriptors of someone wanting the effect of intoxication..."

Could you please, Steve, give me any kind of grammatical reasoning to switch the focus from the wine itself to the "someone wanting"? Further, if "when" describes the "someone wanting", does also "biting like a snake" and "stinging like an adder" refer to this "someone wanting"?

The problem here, it seems, is squeezing Scripture into saying something it doesn't. Clearly in this passage, wine is that which Solomon says "don't look upon it" when wine is red,wine sparkles, wine is smooth, for wine bites and stings like snakes and adders.

Moderationists have for too long offered simplistic proof-texting as a viable way to understand this issue. Imposing a preconceived moderation gauge upon the texts of Scripture when no such gauge is itself there is a mistake, at least in my view. And until moderationists can deal with the Words of Scripture as Scripture, apart from a decided imposition of a vague idea of moderation, we will continue holding onto abstentionism.

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

peter lumpkins

Steve,

What I am trying to do is look at Scripture comprehensively, my brother. By the way, if you do not like the 'jabs', simply ignore them. You have my permission.

I mentioned 3 passages--one cited wine, given by God to be enjoyed by his creation without one word of cautionary language to "moderately" consume it. Wine is in the same context as both oil and bread. That's 'what the heck I'm talking about'.

And, I'm perfectly aware, Steve, concerning the word there. I am confused in your described usage, though:

"One of his provisions for us is wine (yayin), the same word used for fermented and possibly intoxicating drink in the OT."
I'm unsure the distinction you're making between 'fermented' and 'intoxicating drink'. Also, Yayin is used in the OT for freshly extracted grape-juice in the vat and presses. And, contextually, it is this second usage--that is, of the fruit of the grape itself--that fits the context well in the Psalm quoted above.

Nor does 'gladden the heart' mean 'tipsy' as it would if alcoholic yayin were in consideration. That is an assumption brought to the text.

In passing, you query "if we don't ever consume wine, what use is it for God to say it gladdens the heart?" The assumption appears to be, I asserted we should not consume the wine in Psalm 104.15. I asserted no such thing. We most certainly should enjoy it, be thankful for it and drink our heart's desire. I hold no moderation facade upon this text. Why should I? There is none.

Secondly, Steve, you're simply shackled to the presupposition that yayin is apparently always alcoholic and this question seems to demonstrate it. (ditto#7)

The other two I mentioned: "In Proverbs 20.1, wine is both "mocker" and "brawler"and in 23.31, wine is such that it pulls from Solomon the demand: "look not upon it..."

Your response?

"It doesn't say to not look upon wine. It says..."Do not look at wine when..."
The 'when', at least as I understand your words, Steve, is supposed to somehow transform Solomon's words about the grape product into "descriptors of someone wanting the effect of intoxication..."

Could you please, Steve, give me any kind of grammatical reasoning to switch the focus from the wine itself to the "someone wanting"? Further, if "when" describes the "someone wanting", does also "biting like a snake" and "stinging like an adder" refer to this "someone wanting"?

The problem here, it seems, is squeezing Scripture into saying something it doesn't. Clearly in this passage, wine is that which Solomon says "don't look upon it" when wine is red,wine sparkles, wine is smooth, for wine bites and stings like snakes and adders.

Moderationists have for too long offered simplistic proof-texting as a viable way to understand this issue. Imposing a preconceived moderation gauge upon the texts of Scripture when no such gauge is itself there is a mistake, at least in my view. And until moderationists can deal with the Words of Scripture as Scripture, apart from a decided imposition of a vague idea of moderation, we will continue holding onto abstentionism.

Grace. With that, I am...

Peter

William Marshall

Bro. Pete,

I think someone else may have asked this, but I am not sure whether or not you answered it (if so just point me to it). According to the sources you quote, it seems that the language was there to distinguish between alcoholic wine and non-alcoholic wine. Yet, the NT writers never make this distinction. They simply use the word 'oinos' to describe what you can get drunk off of (Ephesians 5:18) and what Jesus made in John 2. So if the language was available to make the distinction that you are talking about(alcoholic wine and non-alcoholic wine), then why didn't the biblical writers use it? Could it be that you (along with the guys you quoted) are bringing that distinction into the text?

Thanks again,

william

Byroniac

Again, Peter, I respectfully remind you that Proverbs 23:29-30 is omitted from the discussion, and it helps to determine the context of the following verses. That's precisely where Steve's "someone wanting" comes from. Scripture itself does not make the comparison you attempt with your reference to snakes. In the ESV, verse 32 begins with, "in the end..." which clearly, to me at least, refers not to an exact equality but to the effect due to excess, so again, it concerns abuse and not use.

peter lumpkins

Joe,

I think your point is well taken and perhaps could even be stated more strongly: the proverbial monkey is entirely upon the back of those who insist that somehow drinking alcoholic beverages for pleasure is morally acceptable to our Lord--especially in light of the preponderance of drunkenness.

As for moderationists' strongly teaching against drunkenness per se, I haven't the faintest idea. I assume they do since they often tell us the moral distinction Scripture is fixed at drunkenness, not drinking. For me, that sounds like the moveable 'line of scrimmage' in football. When I was a drinking man, even when I was butt-busting drunk, I'd never say I was drunk. Heck, I was 'always sober' ;^)

With that, I am...

Peter

Byroniac

Joe, I have a hard understanding why you would pose that question. As Peter himself admits, drunkenness is not the issue. Both of the defined sides in this debate are agreed upon its sinfulness, so at best your question is irrelevant at least until the teaching methods of moderationists come under discussion.

peter lumpkins

Byron,

Go back and read Steve's statement. If you show me where I misquoted him, do so. If not, what is your point?

As for verses 29, 32-35, while they do describe the effect of wine, they do nothing to negate the description of wine in vss. 31-32. Rather, they establish it. Nor does verse 30 affect what the text says about wine itself, Byron.

It's the wine that is red, sparkling, smooth and bites and stings like snakes and adders. No amount of side-stepping will negate these verses.

Indeed the description of wine in Proverbs 23.31-32 is perfectly consistent with 20.1 which describes the same type of wine, but as a 'mocker" and a "brawler." To apparently have it both your and Steve's way, perhaps 20.1 should refer to changing "someone wanting" wine into a "mocker" and a "brawler." Wine may do such. But that is not what the text is saying.

As for omitting from discussion, Byron, I assure you, there are many verses we've not tackled. But I am not interested in skimming them, allowing a bit of gymnastics in the process.

With that, I am...

Peter

Byroniac

Joe, it is also unfair to suggest that the moral failure of one necessitates or predisposes the moral failure of many.

peter lumpkins

William,

To what sources are you referring which "seems that the language was there to distinguish between alcoholic wine and non-alcoholic wine"?

And, if there is language outside Scripture which establishes nontoxic from toxic wines, why would you assume "oinos" in the New Testament, for example, necessarily means toxic wines?

Indeed, if "oinos" is used interchangeably between toxic and nontoxic wines in Classical Greek, and the context is what assists in properly understanding that distinction, how is it that the same working assumption cannot be made when looking at "oinos" in the NT?

Thanks William. With that, I am...

Peter

Byroniac

Peter, I do not accuse you of misquoting Steve. However, I do believe you are misinterpreting Scripture into a universal prohibition where context itself does not demand it. Limiting the scenario to the context given in verses 29-30 is hardly sidestepping. And weaving the entire passage into a cohesive whole hardly constitutes gymnastics, or so I thought. But I pause to wonder if reading additional relevant verses and attempting to incorporate them into the overall context may indeed qualify as such. :)

Ron P.

Peter,

I have been thoroughly enjoying your posts on wine and the Bible. Thank you!

Blessings,

Ron P.

peter lumpkins

Byron,

This is what you wrote: "That's precisely where Steve's "someone wanting" comes from."

But this is what Steve wrote:

"The times when it's "red...sparkles...goes down smoothly" are descriptors of someone wanting the effect of intoxication to deaden their senses..."

Byron, it's best if you're going to make statements about what someone says to be clear. I quoted Steve accurately. You appear to pull a rabbit out of the hat by attempting to make him say something else.

You also state: "Scripture itself does not make the comparison you attempt with your reference to snakes" Toward what is the snake and adder alluding, Byron? It seems clearly to point to the wine.

With that, I am...

Peter

peter lumpkins

Ron,

Thanks, brother. Hope you're having a great evening. With that, I am...

Peter

Byroniac

Peter:

The word "when" in verse 31 is very important, especially concerning the "wine itself" that you referred me to:

BDB H3588

כּי

kîy
BDB Definition:
1) that, for, because, when, as though, as, because that, but, then, certainly, except, surely, since
1a) that
1a1) yea, indeed
1b) when (of time)
1b1) when, if, though (with a concessive force)
1c) because, since (causal connection)
1d) but (after negative)
1e) that if, for if, indeed if, for though, but if
1f) but rather, but
1g) except that
1h) only, nevertheless
1i) surely
1j) that is
1k) but if
1l) for though
1m) forasmuch as, for therefore
Part of Speech: conjunction
A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: a primitive particle
Same Word by TWOT Number: 976

And it is also Strong's 3588:

כּי
kîy
kee
A primitive particle (the full form of the prepositional prefix) indicating causal relations of all kinds, antecedent or consequent; (by implication) very widely used as a relative conjugation or adverb; often largely modified by other particles annexed: - and, + (forasmuch, inasmuch, where-) as, assured [-ly], + but, certainly, doubtless, + else, even, + except, for, how, (because, in, so, than) that, + nevertheless, now, rightly, seeing, since, surely, then, therefore, + (al-) though, + till, truly, + until, when, whether, while, who, yea, yet,

Personally, this is relevant to the context as far as I am concerned.

Byroniac

Perhaps I am mistaken, but I don't think I'm making Steve's words say anything other than what he says. I merely stated, or attempted to state, that the concept of the "someone wanting" comes from the context, which is given in the preceding verses, 29 and 30. I simply stated that the "someone wanting" that Steve refers to, comes from that preceding context. That's all. I believe context does determine the focus of the passage.

peter lumpkins

Byron,

I haven't the faintest idea what you are saying with the copy/paste. The text says, Byron:

do not look at WINE when IT is red...IT sparkles...[IT] goes down smoothly. In the end, IT bites like a snake...[IT] stings like an adder.

This is not a hard verse. The counsel Solomon gives is to not do something. What? "Do not look". And what is it that we are not to look at? WINE. Wine anytime? Wine of any kind? No. There are particulars here. When WINE is red, sparkling, smooth, etc.

Any reasons? Lots. IT bites and stings in the end.

As for making this a universal, Byron, that's nonsense. I am taking the verse as it is. Now it's the moderationists who want to side-step it, amke it say "Well, it means that a person wanting..." some other such gobbledegook. The description is about wine, not the wineo.

With that, I am...

Peter

Steve McCoy

Peter,

I should just "ignore" your jabs, eh? I guess you just gave yourself permission to keep accusing me of things I haven't done or said, so long as I ignore them.

Yayin is alcoholic in the OT. The first mention in Genesis 9 leads the way. The burden of proof is clearly on you to show where yayin isn't alcoholic. I have seen no such argument or proof.

By the way, there are passages like Numbers 6:3 where yayin (wine) is used early in the verse and grape juice is listed toward the end. They are different. According to your view the biblical writers (and the Holy Spirit!) could have been so much more clear than to use yayin as they did.

You said, "Yayin is used in the OT for freshly extracted grape-juice in the vat and presses."

Where is yayin used that way?

As for Proverbs 23, wouldn't juice also be red, sparkle, and be smooth? If it's only describing the physical properties of the wine then you have just made the argument against juice as well! If you say the context isn't juice then you have to say it must not be the physical properties spoken of. But if you see the context as one who, verse 30, lingers long, or verse 20, is a heavy drinker, etc, then it makes sense.

The point is, if you want wine like an escape it will result in bad things in your life, which is where "bites like a snake" comes in.

And what is the purpose of verse 30 that says don't linger long? That only makes sense is lingering short is acceptable. Clearly there is liberty to drink but not to drink a lot to the point of intoxication.

You said, "you're simply shackled to the presupposition that yayin is apparently always alcoholic..."

So how is it a presupposition for me and not for you? You continue to make these sorts of grandstanding statements that do nothing. Drop them. Let's find out who has the unfounded "presuppositions" and who is doing the "proof-texting" and who is using a preconceived guage and who is dealing with the "words of Scripture as Scripture" through our arguments rather than just making statements like this over and over. This is the second time I had to bring this up since you can't follow your own desires to focus on arguments.

peter lumpkins

Byron,

I am going to say this once, and I'm thru with this one with you. I cannot keep repeating the same thing.

The context had absolutely nothing to do with what Steve and I were speaking about. I quoted verses 31-32 which states the particulars of the wine Solomon said that is not to be looked upon--'red', sparkling' 'smooth".

When Steve replied, he said "The times when it's "red...sparkles...goes down smoothly" are descriptors of someone wanting the effect of intoxication..."

Our exchange had absolutely nothing to do with any other verses. If you desire to defend such be my guest. I won't. Unless Steve brings it up.

Again, Byron, the assumption is, I am taking the verses out of context. Yet, all I have done is basically speak the verse as it stands. On the other hand, what you insist on doing makes one think you're exploiting the "context" to negate at worst or tone down at best the clear meaning of the verse. What a hoot.

For the final try, toward what, Byron, does the snake and adder refer in verse 32 since I've misinterpreted the text?

With that, I am...

Peter

Chris Johnson

Peter,

I really do appreciate all of this information in one area. This is great stuff to have at your fingertips.

It has caused me to dig into some of the dusty copies of my references, …so all in all a good thing for a guy like me.

One thing I did find interesting that you covered some in the beginning is the transition of tiros/yayin/sekar.(the simplistic speller) As I have gone back to reference these words and how their meaning was derived, I found that tiros is repeatedly mentioned as subject to the laws of tithe and of the first fruit in Deuteronomy 12:17,14:23,18:4; Nehemiah 10:7. The later Jewish code is found to express the precise moment when the expressed grape-juice becomes subject to the law of the tithe. ‘Must’ is tithable from the time it throws up scum. Even the inferior wine made from the refuse of the winepress had to ferment before becoming subject to the tithe.

It certainly is possible that the later Jewish code is not reflective of the biblical text, even though it does support the idea that yayin was certain to have alcoholic property, and possibly even tiros would have very low levels of alcoholic content from the simple process. On thing that does seem clear….is that the juice expressed from grapes has been referred to as tiros/wine, and at the very early stages may have had little or no alcohol content.

Again, this exercise and the blog is very informative. Thanks Peter.

Blessings,
Chris

peter lumpkins

Steve,

I'm uninterested in just typing words to be typing. I asked some questions in the response to your post. I think you ignored every one.

I have no time to just tit/tat back and forth.

Hope you have a great evening. With that, I am...

Peter

Byroniac

Peter:

I realize at least part of my error. I only saw one of the "someone wanting" phrases in Steve's text, and it is to that one I responded, tying it to the context given in verses 29-30. But he actually said:

The times when it's "red...sparkles...goes down smoothly" are descriptors of someone wanting the effect of intoxication to deaden their senses, not of someone wanting a glad heart.

So the error is mine.

Also, I should not have posted that about BDB and Strong's. I did nothing towards advancing my side of the argument. If I intended to use any of that material as a defense, I should have interacted with it, not simply posted it for everyone to view.

You ask me what the snake and adder refer to in verse 32, and the answer is that the phrase "in the end" in the ESV in verse 32 is both relevant and required as part of the context. I fail to see how it is not, and how I must read intoxicating wine to have the same immediate negative effect that the language itself and the sense of the passage imply is one of duration and an end result after time. How is this not the abuse of such a substance, as opposed to its mere use?

peter lumpkins

Chris,

Thanks, my Brother. If it sparks anyone's interest it will have served a good purpose.

My chief concern is the increased rhetoric over the last year, especially aimed at abstentionists. They are 'tradition-driven', 'Biblically bankrupt', 'moral legalists' who have no commitment to the sufficiency of scripture.

For me, I desired to offer some resources that are available and could assist them in formulating their views.

I honestly do not want to fuss and fight about this. It's just a perspective, I feel, has gotten far too little respect.

Grace for the evening, Chris. With that, I am...

Peter

peter lumpkins

Byron,

Thanks for the clarification on the error. As for the snake and the adder, I still do not see an answer. I fail to understand how 'in the end' affect your answer one way or another. I ask again: Toward what does the snake and the adder allude?

With that, I am...

Peter

Steve McCoy

Peter, what questions did I fail to answer? I reread your previous comment and didn't see any.

Steve McCoy

"Toward what does the snake and the adder allude?"

Wine, when abused, causes problems.

selahV

Peter: WARNING...this is one of my off the wall questions. Is a "moderate" a moderationist?

Can one of those moderationists succinctly explain to me what moderation is with alcohol? When do we cut off drinking that sparkling red stuff? When we get the first buzz? Is that when we say, opps, I'm heading for drunkenness? Oh my, I think I just sinned! Or maybe not, I could swear my heart is glad right now. What IS moderation? selahV

William Marshall

Bro. Pete,

I was referring to the sources at the end of your post. My struggle is seeing that there is any use of 'oinos' in the NT that does not refer to alcoholic wine. You may say that I bring that to the text, but I have no reason not to understand the word as referring to alcoholic wine when it is clearly used in that way (Ephesians 5:18). Again, the writers that you have quoted seemingly base their entire understanding of wine in the Scriptures on this distinction of 'alcoholic wine' and 'non-alcoholic wine' which has yet to be demonstrated in the actual text (particularly in the NT).

I know the discussion has gone in different directions, but I am still struggling to see this distinction in the Scriptures. Maybe you are going to attempt to deal with this in future posts? Anyway, thanks again.

william

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