Monday, March 30, 2020

During Passover - Grape Juice or Wine?

Friends, last year before Passover I had touched on whether our Lord Jesus Christ was observing Passover with grape juice or wine. And, Mr. Garrett had also touched on this in the article "End-Time Prophets - a seven-part series (Part 3)" in which he wrote, "Now, there are a lot of church traditions that just coil in unbelief at the suggestion that Jesus Christ and His disciples - the future apostles - were drinking wine. And a lot of these church denominations claim, 'Oh, it wasn't wine! It was grape juice.' Don't fool yourself! In Greek, the word is oinos. And if you were to get on a plane this afternoon and travel to Athens, Greece and go yo a restaurant - and if you ordered oinos - they would bring you a glass of about 12 percent alcohol-induced wine. Indeed, it was wine! It wasn't grape juice!"

We, in the Church of God, use a small amount of wine for Passover.

Now, again, the Greek word commonly translated as "wine" in the New Testament (οἶνος) indeed means "wine made from grapes." 1

In Genesis 9:21 - "Then he [Noah] drank of the wine and was drunk, ..." The word here in Hebrew is yayin, and in Greek it's oinos. 2

Our Master and Elder Brother recorded for us His first recorded miracle in John 2:3-11. And He also introduced the use of the wine cup - the Greek word potērion.
"Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, 'This cup is the New Covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.'" - Luke 22:20; NKJV unless otherwise noted.
This cup of wine symbolizes His shed blood for us all. Now, there is considerable evidence that the common Passover beverage used by the Jews in the first century was wine, as noted by Dr. Jack Lewis:
"Wine was ordinarily used at the Passover and is called 'fruit of the vine' in Berakoth 6:1." 3.
The Bible teaches that wine is the 'blood of the grapes" - Deuteronomy 32:14.

Now, in part 4 of End-Time Prophets - a seven-part series Minister Garrett wrote concerning drinking alcohol:

So, it's not reasonable to conclude that they were drinking grape juice at Passover in our Lord Jesus' time as grapes are NOT in season then.

I had driven a tractor-trailer over the road many years and hauled loads of grapes from California to Florida many times. "Grape country" in California is very similar to the land of Judea - modern Israel - in terms of climate. Grapes ripen in the late Summer or early Fall.

Passover is usually in the Gregorian Calendar month called April (and to note: Since some of the Roman months were named in honor of their gods and goddesses, and as April was sacred to their goddess Venus, her Veneralia being held on the first day, it has been suggested that Aprilis was originally her month Aphrilis, from her equivalent Aphrodite). Now, raw grape juice indeed spoils very quickly unless refrigerated. And to note also - there were a few classical writers which wrote of certain methods used by the ancient people to preserve grains, fruits, vegetables and wines - such as Columella who lived in the first century A.D. in his treatise On Agriculture.
"In order that the grapes may remain green for as much as a year, you will keep them in the following manner. When you have cut from the vine grapes ... immediately treat their pedicles with hard pitch; then fill a new earthenware pan with the driest possible chaff, which has been sifted that it may be free from dust, and put the grapes upon it. Then cover it with another pan and daub it around with clay mixed with chaff, and ten, after arranging the pans in a very dry loft, cover them with dry chaff." 4.
Indeed, the Jews themselves use wine at Passover (Hisrch E.G., Eisenstein JD. Wine. Jewish Encyclopedia. 1907, pp. 532-535).

There have many who has argued that yayin, and Greek oinos could not always have been alcoholic. And to a point, this is true:
"This is begging the question, and that in defiance of the facts. Although invariably fermented, it was not always inebriating, and in most instances, doubtless, was but slightly alcoholic, like the vin ordinaire of France." 5.
Christians are NOT to be 'drunk with wine, wherein is excess' as the apostle Paul wrote - Ephesians 5:18; KJV.

Only a small amount of wine is normally consumed at Passover.

So, it is not logical to conclude that grape juice was used by our Lord Jesus Christ at His final Passover. He drank fermented wine.

We, in the Church of God, use wine for Passover, too. □


2. Harris, Laird, R., Archer L., Gleason, and Waltke K., Bruce. Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, The Moody Bible Institute, © 1980, p. 375.
3. Lightfoot, John. A Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica. Vol. 2. Baker: Grand Rapids, MI. 1979, 346ff.
4. Columella, On Agriculture 12, 10, 3, trans. E.S. Forster and Edward H. Heffner, The Loeb Classical Libray (Cambridge, Mass., 1955).
5. Unger F., Merrill. Wine. Unger's Bible Dictionary, Moody Press, © 1966, p. 1168.

Additional Items of Interest:
Passover Service - 2019 "VIDEO"A step by step Passover Service for baptized members of the Church of God [...]
Passover Service - 2017Greeting’s friends wherever you might be. We’re here tonight to keep and to observe the Passover [...]
Passover Message - 2013Greetings everyone. If you would, please turn in your Bible’s to 1st Peter. [...]

No comments:

Post a Comment

Be sure to leave a comment and tell us what you think.