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In January of 2011, archaeologists announced the discovery of the oldest known facility for producing grape wine. Working in a network of caves in Armenia, they found fermentation jars, a 15-gallon basin for treading grapes, and the remains of crushed ...

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Richard Michael

September 20, 2013  6:12am

So, after all getting through the article, the conclusion is that the wine Jesus would have drunk would have been whatever was served.....you could at least have said that at the beginning! Big debate here amongst the commenters. I would suggest Mr. Roy Firus that you refrain from judging someone (calling someone an alcoholic merely from what they write is a big leap and offensive. How about just debating what he writes, instead of judging the person?) Those saying it is wrong to drink because it is addictive - well, so is coffee, tea, coke, etc - in fact, there are plenty of food addicts in the church. Addiction to anything is plainly wrong, as we should depend solely on Christ. Quite simply if your conscience says 'no' for you to drink, do not drink. If you feel at peace to drink, then you can drink. Only do not get drunk - the Bible is clear on that and it is wise. When someone is drunk, they lose control of what they say and what they do, so it simply makes sense.

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roy firus

September 16, 2013  12:17am

To Mr Rick Dalbey: This is absolutely the last comment I have on this matter. I want to apologize to you Mr.Dalbey if I have offended you in any manner whatsoever. It was never my intention. May God bless you and keep you my brother.

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Rick Dalbey

September 15, 2013  11:57pm

You're still saying that I have a Satanic argument! And now you are defending your accusation! And you have never apologized for accusing me of being ungrammatical (strange accusation). My enthusiasm, what you call my borderline fanaticism, is true in most scriptural topic you wish to discuss. Should you wish to discuss a defense of gay behavior, complementary gender theology, abortion, cessastionist theology, decisional conversion, emergent theology or any number of topics, you will find the same level of enthusiasm in me. Perhaps that is my character flaw. I read the Bible through once or twice a year as I have for 40 years and I find the level of scriptural literacy in the church appalling. It's easy for me to take offense when people twist and obscure the plain meaning of scripture. Roy, you should know better. Really. You have called my defense of scripture Satanist. You have flat out called me an Alcoholic, and then accused be of being Ungrammatical. I really find that offensive.

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roy firus

September 15, 2013  11:08pm

To Mr.Rick Dalbey: Please believe me brother when I say that no-one is happier than myself if you are not an alcoholic. But we really need to clarify matters and finish this discussion in atmosphere of clear understanding and of Christian love. 1.Putting forth an "almost satanic argument" does not automatically make one a satanist. Billy Graham told Nixon that he should bomb the dikes and dams of North Vietnam which would result in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent women and children and male farming non-combatants. He has also never apologized for this. 2. I wrote that:" your borderline fanaticism in justifying wine drinking and your extreme defensiveness strongly suggests (not that you are) an alcoholic." 3.All the things that you wrote about that you do in and for the Church is absolutely no proof or guarantee of not being an alcoholic. 4. And :) lastly brother- telling people to "Read your Bible" is at the very least rude and not kind. God Bless you my brother.

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Jason Taylor

September 14, 2013  9:40pm

And is a great word with which to start a sentence. Whenever possible I also like to end sentences with and. Blessings to you, brother! And may you never lose your high view of the Word of God.

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Rick Dalbey

September 14, 2013  9:31pm

Well amen, I'm with you there Jason. I love the word of God. And I love the people of God. And I love starting sentences with and.

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Jason Taylor

September 14, 2013  9:17pm

My apologies, Rick, if I wasn't clear. I know your baptist remark wasn't a shot at me. Nonetheless, it wasn't a loving way to speak of fellow Christians, even those with a legalistic bent. There aren't many things I get truly passionate about, but the way people handle Scripture and the lack of love that is becoming so prevalent in the Church today are right at the top of the list.

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Rick Dalbey

September 14, 2013  8:44pm

Jason, you jumped in to accuse the author of poor scholarship. Then you asserted "whenever Scripture mentions 'new wine' or 'sweet wine' it's talking about plain grape juice, fairly freshly squeezed." Eh? Sorry I took the bait. I pointed to the abundant scriptures citing those getting drunk on new wine and sweet wine defending the author. I DID NOT say you were a baptist psuedo scholar, I urged you "not to depend on them". Difference. Then Roy jumped in and accused me of “satanic argument”, “this almost satanic argument for the justification of drinking alcohol." Then, without knowing if I even drink wine or Kool aid he accused me of being an alcoholic “you are an alcoholic” was his exact words. So because I don’t agree with you and Roy, I am a satanic, alcoholic and an ungrammatical poor scholar? I apologize for being defensive, I love the word of God and can’t stand to see it abused and twisted. God may have told you personally not to drink wine. I respect that. But back off guys.

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Jason Taylor

September 14, 2013  8:02pm

Interpreting Scripture in the light of other Scripture and in the context of the customs and practices of the time is not eisegesis. And while wine is often used as a symbol of blessing, it is also used as a symbol of God's wrath as well as a symbol of the sin of Babylon. I ask about it's importance to you, though, because in response to my original comment you made a slanderous remark about "teatotaler Baptist Pseudo scholars." I found that alarming because it indicates a lack of love for the weaker brothers. "Therefore let us no longer judge one another, but judge this rather, not to put a stumbling block or an offense before our brother... For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit...It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor to do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or becomes weak"(Rom. 14). Which is more important - wine or your brothers in Christ?

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Rick Dalbey

September 14, 2013  7:19pm

Roy, love ya brother. Oops I said ya. I write for a living and own a communications firm. The Oxford Dictionary (http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com) says starting a sentence with AND “is a stylistic preference rather than a grammatical ‘rule’. If your teachers or your organization are inflexible about this issue, then you should respect their opinion, but ultimately, it’s just a point of view and you’re not being ungrammatical. If you want to defend your position, you can say that it’s particularly useful to start a sentence with these conjunctions if you’re aiming to create a dramatic or forceful effect.” Which is exactly what I was aiming to do. And no, I am not an alcoholic. Very funny. I lead prayer ministries at my church, lead people to Christ and pray for healing for people at the close of every service. I lead Bible studies, lead several prayer groups every week. I am glad you are praying for me though, I covet your prayers. Really.

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Rick Dalbey

September 14, 2013  7:04pm

Jason, what you are doing is called Eisegesis, the process of interpreting a text in such a way that introduces one's own presuppositions, agendas, or biases onto the text. I get that you are a tea-totaler. Great. That's your conviction. But don't try to make the Bible say something it does not. Wine is a gift from God. “You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man’s heart.” According to Deuteronomy, Its abundance is a blessing, its lack is a curse. Wine was an offering to God. The first thing planted after the flood was a vineyard. Jesus was called a wine-bibber, one who imbibes wine. His first miracle was to create 180 gallons of very fine wine. Fine aged wine will be served again at the Marriage feast of the Lamb. Wine is a symbol of Jesus very blood! If you don’t think wine is important too, I am puzzled?

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roy firus

September 14, 2013  7:02pm

Note to Mr. Rick Dalbey: 1.The four biblical examples you gave to justify drinking wine merely strengthen my main point. Water was dangerous to drink and even juice can be easily contaminated with mould - both by producing it and/or storing it under non-hygienic and non-refrigerated conditions. Wine was the only truly safe liquid available that could be used for the four examples mentioned. 2.When you wrote:" And yet Roy" three times it merely points out your bad grammar-you can never begin a sentence with "And" in correct English and along with your comment of " Read your Bible" shows your extreme defensiveness as well. 3.I have worked with alcoholics throughout my life and I honestly feel that your borderline fanaticism in justifying wine drinking and extreme defensiveness strongly points out that you are an alcoholic and are desperate to justify your own wine drinking. I am sure that you are aware of this fact and are afraid of it. In all honestly I will pray for you my brother.

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Jason Taylor

September 14, 2013  5:28pm

First of all, I never said the reason for mixing the wine was to purify the water, merely that it would serve to disinfect it. Second, the passages in Matthew and Mark are examples of the inadequacy of English to convey the meaning of the Greek, since the context makes it obvious that Jesus was talking about wine which was not yet fermented when put into the wineskins. Third, Hosea 4:11 uses both 'yayin' and 'tirosh' and the passage paints them both in a poor light. Now, it's obvious to me that we could go back and forth on this for days and get absolutely nowhere. I'll just say that based on everything I read in Scripture, wine, in and of itself, is neutral. I am, however, curious as to why the matter of wine is so important to you. I don't think I've ever heard someone make such an adamant defense of it.

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Rick Dalbey

September 14, 2013  4:15pm

Jason, you contend that wine mentioned in the Bible was a concoction diluted with water so that it was not intoxicating, only added to purify the water. That is such a bizarre claim I hardly know where to begin. The word New Wine has nothing to do with alcohol content. One could get drunk on old wine or new wine. "old wine and new wine take away their understanding." Hosea 4:10. Same word as in Judges 9, Tirosh. “Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine; for it is cut off from your mouth.” Joel 1. Mockers on the day of Pentecost accounted the disciples behavior to drinking New Wine "Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.” Acts 2:13 NIV. The Greek word Oinos is translated New Wine in Matthew 9, Mark 2 etc. It is the same exact word used in Ephesians "Be not drunk with wine (Oinos)". Today, Beaujolais nouveau is a New Wine bottled only 6-8 weeks after harvest. It's alcohol content is 10%. Old Bordeaux 10-12

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Jason Taylor

September 14, 2013  2:48pm

That's an interesting selection of verses you chose considering that none of them are able either to support your argument or refute mine. Judges 9:13 ought to be particularly troubling for you as it's only the new wine which cheers God as well as men. The strangest choice, however, is Isaiah 1:22 because you seem to have missed the whole point of the passage. The prophet isn't even talking about actual wine, he's giving pictures to show the impurity and hypocrisy of the people, especially the leaders. The people appeared pure outwardly, but in reality were not. This is pictured by the dross which looks much like the silver, but has no value and the mixed wine which has the same color as the pure wine, but is diluted and therefore of little value. Also, it's significant to note that the translators of the Septuagint rendered the verse as "your wine merchants mixed the wine with water," which is in keeping with the subject of the deceitfulness of the leaders.

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Rick Dalbey

September 14, 2013  1:33pm

Jason, read your Bible. I can't say it enough. “Wine (Heb. Yayin) maketh glad the heart of man” Psalm 104. “See now, when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine (Yayin)” 2nd Samuel 13:28. Noah “drank of the wine (Yayin) and was drunken.” Gen 9:21 “Melchizidek, brought forth bread and wine (Yayin)” Gen 14:18. “The heart of the king was merry with wine (Yayin)” Esther 1:10. “Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine (Yayin) with a joyful heart.” Ecclesiastes 9:7. “The Ephraimites will become like warriors, and their hearts will be glad as with wine (Yayin).” Zechariah 10:7. ‘Shall I leave my new wine (Tirosh), which cheers God and men.” Judges 9:13. “The Lord of hosts will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples on this mountain; A banquet of aged wine, choice pieces with marrow, And refined, aged wine (shemarim).” Isaiah 25:6. To mix wine with water was a curse no one wanted “Your silver has become dross, your choice wine is diluted with water.” Is. 1:22. Yuck.

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Jason Taylor

September 14, 2013  11:31am

Again, Rick, I must call your hermeneutics into question. You make reference to the Psalms where it is said that wine "gladdens the heart of man." To the Hebrew way of thinking the 'heart' was the seat of the intellect, the center of reasoning. One of the prominent effects of alcohol is to dull the senses and impair judgement. That would hardly qualify as gladdening the heart, beside the fact that inebriation (i.e. drunkeness) is explicitly labeled as sin. Therefore, either Scripture is contradicting itself or the wine it speaks of is something other than the undiluted, high alcohol content drink which you and the authors are talking about.

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Rick Dalbey

September 14, 2013  12:25am

And yet Roy, Jesus first miracle was to create 180 gallons of very good wine. And yet Roy, wine is the symbol of the blood of Jesus. And yet Roy, Jesus is serving wine in heaven at the marriage feast of the Lamb. Wine is a gift from God. "You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man’s heart.” Psalm 104. Here the Psalmist praises God for the gift of wine. And he declares that God gave us wine to gladden our hearts. Roy, read your Bible.

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roy firus

September 13, 2013  9:04pm

I furthermore would like to comment on the " health benefits " of red wine. All of the proven health benefits of red wine are caused solely and only by the phytonutrients that are found in the grape skin. The exact same beneficial phytonutrients are found in dark-red or blue-grape juice, fresh dark grapes or dried dark grapes. Alcohol contributes no medical benefits whatsoever and is scientifically defined as a poison. In fact when you are suffering rapid aggressive and/ or depressive etc.mood changes ,slurring your words, seeing double, and unable to walk straight you are in fact medically defined as being poisoned. If these conditions were caused by some other known or unknown liquid or food that we had eaten or drunk we would immediately rush ourselves or our friends to the emergency ward. However with alcohol it is considered both jovial and humorous.

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roy firus

September 13, 2013  8:41pm

Despite the millions of suicides,murders,rapes.assaults and further millions killed worldwide in car accidents this almost satanic argument for the justification of drinking alcohol goes on-and all with the mind boggling and mentally insulting comment of " as long as you don't get drunk." Driving skills are impaired-as well as depression or aggressive etc. increased-after as little as one glass of wine. This is a fact -not my opinion-borne out in countless studies. The " fact " of the matter is that all beer or wine-was widely drunk up until 150 years ago because of the widespread deadly consequences of drinking contaminated water. It is sickening to see " scholars" using our saviour Jesus to justify an object which has and still is causing such gigantic levels of human death and suffering as well as massive physical and mental health destruction in human societies and in our families. If you want to drink wine or any alcohol do so without using Jesus as a justification or crutch.

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