Wine - as it did have some alcohol from a light fermentation process. Nothing like the science that goes into producing Mad Dog and others today.
My experience with the drug - and yes it is a drug - is a sad tale, but part of my story. They say if you provide alcohol to 100 people only a small percentage will develop a dependency. For me it was a reliance on God that removed that from me, and I give Him all the praise. Many struggle with this issue, as in today's society drinking has become so accepted. Of course the billions in tv advertisements had something to do with that.
I know many Christians who stick firmly to the teaching not to become drunk with wine. Many do this sucessfully and never have any troubles as a result. I was unable to do that, and choose to no longer take a drink. Remember, it is the first drink that gets you drunk.
Hi Skratch welcome and thanks for that testimony- another reason I don't drink is to " obstain even from the appearance of evil" and I would always like to err on the side of caution rather than " cause my brother to stumble"- have an awesome day in His presence- your brother Larry
I think the only reason they drank wine was because the water in that day was not pure. But they did not drink in excess. Just my two cents.
I have heard that one person in ten is vulnerable to the addiction of drink. Alcoholism really riddled my mothers family in the 40's and 50's.
The denomination of my youth (AOG) went to great effort to try to prove that the people in the New Testament only drank grape juice (Sweet Wine) and not fermented wine. The historical record indicates otherwise. The yeast that caused the fermentation was already active on the grapes before they were even pressed by foot in an ancient winepress. So it was impossible to keep the juice from fermenting. The hot climate of that area also accelerated the process as well. Grape juice as we know it was only possible for probably a day or two. So, they drank real wine so far as I know.
However, there are also extenuating historical circumstances. For example: It was really taboo to be a drunkard in the Jewish culture of that day - there was a lot of social pressure to abstain from excess. Also, the custom of that day was to mix one to two parts water with the wine, which diluted it down significantly. Some say that the water was bad, which precipitated this practice. This diluted wine was traditionally drunk with meals, which further reduces the effect of the alcohol.
For sure you cannot equate first century practices with ours today. Today we have distilleries, which can raise the alcohol concentration to almost pure alcohol. There is excessive abuse of concentrated alcoholic beverages today in this country. This is why I think that the Church almost always chooses to use grape juice in communion out of consideration for children and people who have had drinking problems at some point in their lives. Abstinence is a Church tradition that developed in this country due to the destructive and excessive practices extant in our culture. I think those who abstain for this reason have good motives as long as it doesnâ€™t degrade into legalism. But neither is it wrong to drink in the same manner as Jesus and his disciples had done in their culture.