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Alcohol Is Prohibited For Jews And Christians
Alcohol Is Prohibited For Jews And Christians
Alcohol Is Prohibited For Jews And Christians
Alcohol Is Prohibited For Jews And Christians
Alcohol Is Prohibited For Jews And Christians
Alcohol Is Prohibited For Jews And Christians
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Alcohol Is Prohibited For Jews And Christians

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  • 1. Alcohol is Prohibited for Jews and Christians The Muslim Law (Shari'ah) prohibiting consumption of alcohol is based on the following Qur’anic verses: "0 you who believe Approach not prayers With a mind befogged (intoxicated) Until you can understand All that you say… Surah, Nisaa 4: 43 "They ask thee Concerning wine and gambling Say, “In them is great sin And some profit, for man; But sin is greater Than the profit.” Surah Al-Baqara 2:219 "0 you who believe Wine and gambling (Dedication of) stones, And (divination by) arrows Are an abomination, The handiwork of Satan (Satan desires Only to create enmity and hatred among you
  • 2. By means of intoxicants), so Eschew such (abomination) That you may prosper ………………Surah Ma'ida, 5:93 As one can see, initially Muslim were prohibited from praying while drunk, later the merits and demerits of alcohol are described discouraging its consumption and finally the consumption of alcohol is completely prohibited. Medically speaking alcohol has deleterious effects on brain, face, heart, pancreas, joints, liver, stomach, legs, hands, and male virility. When women consume alcohol they suffer equally as much as the men and in addition they pass on the deleterious effects to the unborn babies. The babies suffer from what is called "the fetal alcohol syndrome." Even after knowing the dangers and disadvantages of drinking, few Muslims and almost all of the Jews and Christians indulge in drinking alcohol. A Muslim may wonder if Allah (SWT= The Mighty, The Exalted) prohibited wine and other intoxicating drinks to Muslims why did He not prohibit the same to the Christians and Jews through the Bible and Torah respectively. We are told in the Qur’an that the Jews and the Christians altered or misinterpreted their Scriptures to suit their needs and cravings. This article is intended to analyze their Scriptures to arrive at the truth. CHRISTIANS Christians drink because they believe that there is nothing wrong when one drinks moderately alcoholic beverages. They even support their claim through medical research, that moderate drinking is good for the heart. They support their claim by stating that Jesus Christ (PBUH= peace be upon him) made fermented wine at the wedding in Cana; That he approved of intoxicant drinks in the parable of new wine skins and old wine; That he admitted to drinking wine in describing his lifestyle (”eating and drinking”). And by instituting the cup of the Lord’s Supper he commanded its use until eternity. In otherwords for the Christians, Jesus's (PBUH) example and teachings form the belief and practice. Logically and rationally if wine was good for Jesus (PBUH) it is also good for his followers.
  • 3. "The Biblical terms for wine (yayin in Hebrew and oinos in Greek) are used in Scripture to refer to the juice of the grape, whether fermented or unfermented. This significant finding discredits the popular claim that the Bible knows only fermented wine, which it approves when used moderately. The truth of the matter is that the Bible knows both fermented wine, which it disapproves, and unfermented grape juice, which it approves. Some of the reasons Scripture condemns the use of alcoholic beverages are that they distort the perception of reality (Is 28:7; Prov 23:33); they impair the capacity to make moral, responsible decisions (Lev 10:9-11); they weaken moral sensitivities and inhibitions (Gen 9:21; 19:32; Hab 2:15; Is 5:11-12); they cause physical sickness (Prov 23:20-21; Hos 7:5; Is 19:14; Ps 60:3); and they disqualify for both civil and religious service (Prov 31:4-5; Lev 10:9-11; Ezek 44:23; 1 Tim 3:2-3; Titus 1:7-8)." (REF: S. Bacchiocchi. The Sobering Facts About New Testament Wine, Signs of the Times, January 1990) "Contrary to popular opinion, in the ancient world the preservation of grape juice unfermented was a relatively simple process. It was accomplished by boiling down the juice to a syrup, or by separating the fermentable pulp from the juice of the grape by means of filtration, or by placing the grape juice in sealed jars which were immersed in a pool of cold water, or by fumigating the wine jars with sulphur before sealing them. The use of such techniques clearly indicates that the means of preserving grape juice without fermentation were known and used in the ancient world." (REF. Bacchiocchi, Ibid) The Wedding at Cana In the Bible (Revised Standard Version or RSV) in the book of John, Chapter 2 and verses 1-11, describe that Jesus (PBUH) his mother and his disciples were invited to a wedding at Cana in Galilee. Here Jesus (PBUH) shows a miracle by converting water into wine. " When the steward of the feast tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from: the steward of the feast called the bridegroom, and said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first; and when men have drunk freely, then the poor wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.” John 2: 10, 11. Samuele Bacchiocchi (REF: S. Bacchiocchi. The Sobering Facts About New Testament Wine, Signs of the Times, January 1990, pp. 3-5 ) argues that "good wine" does not mean that it has a high alcoholic content. He says Christians believe that the wine was fermented from grape juice and that the word “the best” (John 2: 10 NIV) is interpreted as “a high quality alcoholic wine.” He further states that the words “have drunk freely” does not mean that they were intoxicated from an overuse of fermented wine. According to Bacchiocchi the wine”
  • 4. used in the wedding at Cana was unfermented grape juice and that the Jews at that time knew how to preserve unfermented grape juice through the year. The expression “have drunk freely”, he says, “is used in the sense of satiation. It refers simply to the large quantity of wine generally consumed at a feast, without any reference to its intoxicating effects.” One can read “In Cana, the disciples did not enjoy the new supply of wine but ‘believed in him’ who had made it (John 2: 11).” (The Broadman Bible commentary Vol. 9, 1970, p. 229). “ And no one puts new wine into old “wineskins”; if he does, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but new wine is for fresh skins.” Mark 2: 22 Christians interpret this verse to mean that Jesus (PBUH) is advising not to put “new wine into old wineskins.” This is rebuffed by Bacchiocchi by quoting Alexander B. Bruce (”The Synoptic Gospels” in The Expositor’s Greek Testament, Grand Rapids, 1956, p.500) “ Jesus was not thinking at all of fermented, intoxicating wine, but of must, a non-intoxicating beverage, which could be kept safely in new leather bottles, but not in old skins which had previously contained ordinary wine, because particles of albuminoid matter adhering to the kin would set up fermentation and develop gas with an enormous pressure.” “ For John the Baptist (Yahya (AS)) has come eating no bread and drinking NO wine; and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of man has come eating and drinking; and you say, ‘Behold, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!.' Luke 7: 33,34 (RSV) Again Christians believe that Jesus (PBUH), is admitting his ‘eating and drinking’ life style and they conclude that Jesus (PBUH), must be drinking alcoholic wine, otherwise he will not be called a “drunkard.” In counter argument, Bacchiocchi (Ibid) says “Jesus used the phrase “eating no bread and drinking no wine” to describe the life style of John the Baptist (Yahya (AS)) who was socially isolated, whereas Jesus describes his own life style as “ eating and drinking” meaning that Jesus lived a “life style free of social association.” “ The important point is in the words “Son of man has come eating and drinking” the word wine is missing. Hence if Jesus (PBUH) was
  • 5. a wine-drinker he could have repeated the word wine which he used in describing John the Baptist. The word “drunkard” used against Jesus (PBUH) is a false accusation. Because on two occasions his adversaries said of him “you have a demon” (John 7:20., 8:118). Does it mean that Jesus (PBUH) had an evil spirit within him simply because his adversaries say so. Jesus (PBUH) was a Prophet and his life style of self-denial is the proof. The following verses refer to the Last Supper of Christ (PBUH): “Drink of it, all of you for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I shall not drink again of this fruit of’ the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom.” Matthew 26: 28-29 (RSV). “ And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, Which poured out for many. Truly, I say to you, I shall not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the Kingdom of’ God.” Mark 14: 24-25 (RSV) Christians believe that the wine used during the Last Supper was alcoholic because words “fruit of the vine” are interpreted as fermented wine. Secondly they assume that during Passover time Jews drink only fermented wine. Bacchiocchi (Ibid) says “Fermented wine is not the natural fruit of the vine but the unnatural fruit of fermentation and decay. The Jewish historian Josephus, who was a contemporary of the apostles, explicitly calls the three clusters of grapes freshly squeezed in a cup by Pharaoh’s cupbearer “the fruit of the vine.” Thus the phrase was used to designate the sweet unfermented juice of the grape…. Christ could hardly have commanded “all” of his followers through the ages to drink the cup if it contained alcoholic wine. There are some to whom alcohol in any form is very harmful. We cannot conceive of Christ bending over to bless in grateful prayer a cup containing alcoholic wine which the Scripture warns us not to look at (Prov 23:31). A cup that intoxicates is a cup of cursing and not "the cup of blessing" (1 Cor 10:16); it is "the cup of demons" and not "the cup of the Lord" (1 Cor 10:21); it is a cup that cannot fittingly symbolize the incorruptible and "precious blood of Christ" (1 Peter 1:18-19). This gives us reason to believe that the cup He "blessed" and gave to His disciples did not contain any "fermented thing" prohibited by Scripture."
  • 6. JEWS Jews are no exception and consumption of alcohol is prohibited for them also. According to Mosaic Law no fermented beverages are allowed during the Passover feast. “Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread; On the first day you shall put away leaven out of your houses, for if any one eats what is leavened, from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel.” Exodus 12: 15 (RSV) “Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a feast to the Lord. Unleavened bread shall be eaten for seven days; no leavened bread shall be seen with you, and no leaven shall be seen with you in all territory.” Exodus 13: 6-7 (RSV) As we can see there is no mention of wine or any fermented drinks in the Mosaic Law cited above. Bacchiocchi (Ibid) supports the view that Jews are prohibited from drinking alcohol and he says “The Talmud prohibits drinking alcohol to the accompaniment of musical instruments at festive occasions such as weddings. This prohibition is confirmed by later testimony of the rabbis. For example S.M. Isaac, an eminent nineteenth-century rabbi and editor of The Jewish Messenger says, “ The Jews do not, in their feasts for sacred purposes, including the marriage feast, ever use any kind of fermented drinks. In their oblations and libations, both private and public they employ the fruit of the is, fresh grapes-unfermented grape juice, and raisins, as the symbol of benediction. Fermentation is to them always a symbol of corruption." Though Rabbi Isaac's statement is not quite accurate, since Jewish sources are not unanimous on the kind of wine to be used at sacred festivals, it still does indicate that some Jews used unfermented wine at wedding feasts.

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