ENDTIME ISSUES NEWSLETTER No. 179

“The Christian and Alcoholic Beverages”

Samuele Bacchiocchi, Ph. D.,

Retired Professor of Theology and Church History,

Andrews University

 

INDEX OF TOPICS OF THIS NEWSLETTER

          * How to Subscribe and Unsubscribe

          * A New Outreach Book entitled Popular Unbiblical Beliefs

          * A New DVD Album: Abundant Life Seminar

       

"The Christian and Alcoholic Beverages"

          (The Essay of this Newsletter)

 

ANNOUNCEMENT OF SERVICES & PRODUCTS

 

          * First Time Special offer on the Package of 10 DVD/

          CD albums, containing all the recordings of Prof. Jon

          Paulien, Prof, Graeme Bradford, and Prof. Bacchiocchi.

          The package includes also the newly released Abundant Life

          DVD album.

 

          * Introductory offer on Prof. Jon Paulien’s DVD album

               on Simply Revelation

 

          * Special offer on the new edition of Prof.  Bradford

            More than a Prophet, together with a free DVD album.

 

          * Upcoming seminars for August, and September

 

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A PROPOSED NEW OUTREACH BOOK ENTITLED POPULAR UNBIBLICAL BELIEFS

 

          In the last newsletter no. 178, I mentioned the encouragement I received from several subscribers to publish a book that exposes the unbiblical teachings of Catholic and Protestant churches, while affirming the biblical beliefs of the Adventist church. I suggested as a possible title POPULAR HERESIES.

 

        The responses I received show an overwhelming support for this project. The major complaint regards the title POPULAR HERESIES which is perceived to be too confrontations. After further reflection, I have come to the conclusion that the observation is valid. What do you think of the title: POPULAR UNBIBLICAL BELIEFS?   Your suggestions for a suitable title are greatly appreciated as I am struggling to find an attractive title.

 

        The sponsors of this project are willing to cover most of the expenses for researching and printing 100,000 copies of Popular Unbiblical Beliefs. The idea is to offer the book to churches at a minimum cost of only $2.00 or 3.00, primarily to cover the mailing expenses. The regular price for this 320 pages book would be $25.00. On August 17, 2007, when I fly to Los Angeles to speak at the White Memorial Church, I am scheduled to have breakfast with the coordinator of this project to discuss some of the details.

 

        What do you think of this project? Do you feel that we badly need for our witnessing outreach a book exposing the unbiblical beliefs of our times?  Are you willing to pass out this book to your friends? Would you consider contributing financially to the realization of this project? Your input is greatly appreciated.  Let me know what you think.

 

        Personally I feel that we urgently need a book to help our Catholic and Protestant friends understand why some of their cherished beliefs are unbiblical. The ultimate goat of the book is not merely to expose the flaws of some popular beliefs, but to help people appreciate the biblical validity and timeliness of our Adventist beliefs.  To my knowledge our Adventist church has never published a substantive book that helps people to understand the difference between our Adventist beliefs and those Catholic/Protestant churches. We can hardly expect people to accept our Adventist beliefs, if we do not show them first why their beliefs are unbiblical.

 

        Popular Unbiblical Beliefs will examine the historical origin and the biblical flaws of a dozen popular beliefs such as Papal Primacy, Immortality of the Soul, Sunday Sacredness, the Eucharist, Intercession of Mary and the Saints, Indulgences,  Eternal Torment in Hell, Once Saved Always Saved, the Rapture, Speaking in Tongues, Infant Baptism, the Sacraments, Mary's Immaculate Conception and Ascension to Heaven, the Use of Icons as an Aid to Worship, the Use of Alcoholic Beverages, etc. Feel free to suggest any additional belief that should be included.

 

        My intent is to write the book in a confessional, rather than confrontational way. The style will be popular but profound. I plan to share the findings of my research, not subjective feelings against other churches.  Its ultimate goal is to help people of all faiths to understand and accept fundamental Bible truths God has called us to proclaim. We believe that the time has come to sound God's final call to mankind:  "Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins" (Rev 18:4).

 

NEWLY RELEASED DVD ALBUM CALLED ABUNDANT LIFE SEMINAR

 

        At the request of the World's Woman's Christian Temperance Union, a special video taping was professionally done at Andrews University last August 8, 2007, of my powerpoint lecture on The Christian and Alcoholic Beverages.  The lecture summarizes the highlights of my book Wine in the Bible. With the help of 125 powerpoint slides, I share the findings of my research which shows that the Bible clearly teaches total abstinence, and not moderation.

 

        This lecture will be delivered live at the International Convention of the World Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WWCTU)an organization to which Ellen White actively supported. The President, Sarah Ward, has already invited me on two previous occasions.  This year the International WWCTU is held in Indianapolis from September 14-16, 2007, and brings together Temperance Leaders from different parts of the world. 

 

        The delegates are eager to obtain the live video recording of my lecture on The Christian and Alcoholic Beverages, in order for them to show it to their congregations back home. For the benefit of our subscribers who will not be able to attend the convention, I decided to post in this newsletter a transcript of the lecture. As you will soon discover, the lecture covers a lot of material.

 

         If you live in Indianapolis, you are welcomed to attend the convention. I am scheduled to deliver my lecture The Christian and Alcoholic Beverages on Sabbath morning, September 15, at 10:00 a. m. The convention is held at the Adam’s Mark Hotel, 2544 Executive Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46241. The hotel phone number is: (317) 248-2481.  For directions and further detailed information, contact Sarah R. Ward, WWCTU President, at (765) 345-2306

 

        In order to make full use of the DVD disk, we video taped on the same evening a second powerpoint lecture entitled How to Build a Happy and Lasting Marriage. This is one of my favorite sermon that I have presented in many parts of the world. In this sermon I share the highlights of my book The Marriage Covenant, by presenting 10 biblical principles for building a happy and lasting marriage. I use 100 powerpoint slides to deliver this practical lecture, which has been warmly received by congregations in different parts of the world.

 

        The DVD album with both of these lectures, is entitled ABUNDANT LIFE SEMINAR and is ready for distribution.  At this time we offer this ABUNDANT LIFE  DVD album at the special introductory offer of only $50.00, instead of the regular price of $100.00. The price includes the AIRMAILING to any foreign country.

 

        You can order this timely DVD album online by clicking at this link: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/cart/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=23&products_id=102 

 

        If you have a problem ordering online, feel free to call us at (269) 471-2915 and we will take your order by phone. Thank you for sharing these timely messages with your friends and congregation.

 

SPECIAL FIRST TIME OFFER OF 10 DVD/CD ALBUMS FOR ONLY $150.00, INSTEAD OF THE REGULAR PRICE OF $950.00

 

        For the first time I am offering together as a package all the DVD/CD recordings of Prof. Jon Paulien, Prof. Graeme Bradford, and my own. Note that the package includes also the newly recorded ABUNDANT LIFE SEMINAR  DVD album. If you were to purchase online all these recordings separately it would cost you $950.00. But to make it possible for many to benefit from all these timely messages, I have decided to offer them together as a package for only $150.00, instead of the regular price of $950.00.

 

        The package consists of 10 DVD/CD albums, containing a total of 22 live DVD lectures and 6 CD disks with publications and articles. For a detailed description and picture of each album click at this link: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/albumoffer.htm

Further information is provided at the end of this newsletter in the Announcements of Services and Products.

 

“The Christian and Alcoholic Beverages”

Samuele Bacchiocchi, Ph. D.,

Retired Professor of Theology and Church History,

Andrews University

 

Editorial Note

 

      Every Endtime Issues Newsletter has a story behind.  This one is no exception.  The story began with a letter (dated January 22, 2007) I received from Sarah Ward, the President of the World’s Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WWCTU). She invited me to deliver the keynote address at their international convention to be held in Indianapolis on September 14-16, 2007.  The WWCTU is an international organization committed to promote total abstinence as a biblical, moral imperative.

 

         Ellen White was very active in this temperance society which she promoted through her speeches and writings. Eventually this led to the establishment of Temperance Societies in our Adventist Churches which have survived until the  early 1980s. At that time the Temperance Societies ceased to exist, partly because the Temperance Department was replaced with the Health Ministry Department of the GC. The latter promotes abstinence primarily as a health benefit, rather than as a biblical, moral imperative.

 

         On two previous occasions, I have been invited to share the highlights of my book Wine in the Bible at  national conventions of the WWCTU. The forthcoming convention is international, bringing together temperance leaders from about 30 countries. I have been asked to produce a video taping of the lecture to make available to the participants at the convention. This will make it possible for them to share this research in their respective countries.

 

         During the past few weeks I have spent countless hours preparing this powerpoint lecture entitled The Christian and Alcoholic Beverages. I deliver this lecture with the help of 125 powerpoint slides, which illustrate the highlights of my book Wine in the Bible. The video taping was professional done on Wednesday evening, August 8, 2007.  In order to make full use of the DVD disk, we taped also my lecture entitled How to Build a Happy and Lasting Marriage. The DVD album with the two lectures is called ABUNDANT LIFE SEMINAR and is now available for distribution. Below you will find the order information.

 

         This newsletter is largely the expanded transcript of the powerpoint lecture on The Christian and Alcoholic Beverages. You will soon discover that this is a lengthy essay because it addresses many vital aspects of this subject. If you find this study informative and inspiring, feel free to print it and give it, especially to people who have a drinking problem. Even better, you may wish to share the live video lecture, which people can watch on their TV.

 

         It is my fervent hope that this study, the fruit of dedicated research, may help many Christians of all denominations to better understand and accept the fact that drinking alcoholic beverages is not only physically harmful, but also Biblically and morally wrong. It represents the violation of a principle God has given us to  ensure our physical, mental and spiritual well-being.

 

THE CHRISTIAN AND ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES

 

A Look at the Drinking Problem   

 

      The use of alcoholic beverages is a most critical area of Christian living in the world today. In America, according to a recent Gallup Poll (July 6-8, 2006), 64 per cent of Americans (about 200 million) drink alcoholic beverages.  Many of the drinkers are Christians who believe that the Bible sanctions the moderate use of alcoholic beverages.

 

      In American Colleges drinking has reached alarming proportions.  The US National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, reports the following sobering alcohol-related incidents for the year 2002 among college students:

 

Deaths: 1,400

Injuries: 5,000

Assaults: 600,000 students assaulted by students who had been drinking

Sexual Assaults: 70,000 victims of alcohol related sexual assaults or date rape

Sex: 100,000 said they were too drunk to know if the consented to having sex

Driving: 2.1 million drove under the influence of alcohol.

 

      The consumption of alcohol affects not only the social behavior of students, but also their academic performance. A study sponsored by the Florida Atlantic University Center for Alcohol and Drug Prevention, shows the relationship that exists between the average number of drinks consumed per week and the grade point average. These are the figures shown in the colorful chart used in the powerpoint lecture.

 

3.6 Drinks = A

5.5 Drinks = B

7.6 Drinks = C

10.6 Drinks = D/F

 

      The reason alcohol consumption affects academic performance, is simply because alcohol impairs the functioning of the brain. Today, with the help of  sophisticated brain scanner, called Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (FMRI), scientists can see that the brain of drinkers is less active and responsive to memory tasks than the brain of non-drinkers (Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, Feb. 14, 2001).  In the powerpoint presentation you can see in bright colors the impressive image of the brain response of drinkers and non-drinkers. (http://health.ucsd.edu/news/2001/02_09_fMRI.html).

 

      The harmful effects of alcoholic beverages extend beyond the brain, to all the major organs of the human body. They can cause blurred vision, blurred speech, bleeding throat, breathing problems, irregular heart beat, stomach ulcers, liver diseases, intestinal cancer, impotence in men, infertility in women, and osteoporosis. These harmful effects are graphically illustrated in a most colorful image  found at www.thelivercentre.com.au/development/alcohol/default.htm and included in the powerpoint presentation.

 

      A Gallup Poll indicates that 1 out of every 4 American families (about 70 million) is affected by alcohol-related problems such as divorce, retarded children, violence in the home, crime, sickness and death. These problems are even more intense in Eastern European countries and Russia, where vodka is cheap and readily available.

 

      Social analysts informs us that the use of alcoholic beverages has become America’s number-one public enemy, costing over $117 billion a year and claiming at least 100,000 American lives per year, 25 times as many as all illegal drugs combined.

 

      The consumption of alcoholic beverages is not a unique American problem. It is present in most developed and developing countries. For example, France has the highest consumption of wine in the world as well as the highest mortality rate of cirrhosis of the liver: about 30,000 every year. The real human cost of alcohol transcends any statistical estimate of deaths, disabilities or dollar figures. 

 

A Christian Responsibility

 

      Christian churches bear considerable responsibility for the alcohol epidemic raging in America today, because through their beliefs, teachings and preaching they are able to influence the moral values and practices of society more than any other institution.  What pastors preach from their pulpits on the subject of drinking determines to a large extent the stand Christians take toward alcoholic beverages.  A majority of the 200 million drinkers in America today are churchgoers who have been taught that the Bible sanctions a moderate use of alcoholic beverages.  Moderate drinking has led  million of Americans to become immoderate drinkers, because alcohol is a habit-forming narcotic that weakens one’s capacity for self-control.

 

Temperance Societies

 

       A century ago most churches actively promoted total abstinence through Temperance Societies. Several temperance societies were established such as the American Temperance Society in 1826, the American Temperance Union in 1836, the National Prohibition Party in 1869, the Women’s Christian Temperance Union in 1874, and the politically oriented Anti-Saloon League in 1893.

 

      The history of the temperance movement in America indicates that the cause of total abstinence was most enthusiastically embraced and promoted by those evangelical churches which stood for total abstinence such as the Baptist, Methodist, Congregationalist, New School Presbyterian, Salvation Army, some holiness movements and the Seventh-day Adventist Church.  Their fervor was inspired by the conviction that Scripture teaches abstinence from intoxicating beverages rather than moderation in their use.

 

      These movements eventually achieved Prohibition by the passing of the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States on January 16, 1919.  This Amendment outlawed the “manufacture, sale or transportation” of alcoholic beverages.

 

      Prohibition came to an end on December 5, 1933 with the adoption of the Twenty-first Amendment to the Constitution, which legalized the production and consumption of alcoholic beverages. Since then most churches have abandoned their stand for total abstinence, promoting instead moderation.  As a result, the drinking levels of Americans have risen again, bringing with them a trail of sickness, poverty,  crime and death. 

 

From Abstinence to Moderation

 

       The increased consumption of alcoholic beverages, is partly due to the failure of church leaders to uphold biblical moral principles. The concern of evangelical preachers is to teach people how to be saved, rather than to explain how to live the new life in Christ. For most preachers drinking is not a moral issue because they believe the Bible teaches moderation, not abstinence.

 

      The situation was much different in the 18th and 19th centuries when most churches, and influential preachers like John Wesley, boldly taught total abstinence as a biblical, moral imperative. The same was true also in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, where Ellen White served as a powerful champion of total abstinence.  She wrote: “The Lord has given special directions in His Word in reference to the use of wine and strong drink. He has forbidden their use and enforced His prohibition with strong warnings and threatenings” (Temperance 42, Emphasis supplied).

 

      The strong stand for total abstinence, promoted by Ellen White and by popular preachers of her time, has gradually been abandoned by Evangelical Churches, which have adopted  instead a moderationist position toward alcohol use.   A major factor which has contributed to this trend has been a weakening of the conviction that total abstinence is a clear biblical and moral principle to be respected like other God-given principles.

 

      Billy Graham expressed this view when he said:  “I do not believe that the Bible teaches teetotalism . . . Jesus drank wine.  Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding feast.  That wasn’t grape juice as some of them try to claim” (Miami Herald, December 26, 1976, section A, p. 18). This popular belief has affected also the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Contrary to Ellen White’s bold stand for  total abstinence as a biblical imperative, the Adventist Church today  believes that “Total abstinence is but one of a  number of areas where the Bible gives no explicit directives” (Adventist Review, Feb 22, 1982).

 

      No longer having a compelling Biblical and moral conviction to remain or become abstinent, more and more Christian are giving in to the social pressure of drinking alcohol.   This is happening also in our Seventh-day Adventist church, long known as a champion of temperance and abstinence.  I have been made forcibly aware of this trend by such things as:  frequent pleas for help from pastors and members facing drinking problems in their own congregations; published surveys in our church paper, Adventist  Review,  indicating that 58 percent of  Adventist youth are experimenting with alcohol and 17 percent of Adventist College students are habitual drinkers (Adventist Review, October 29, 1987, pp. 6-7);  lectures given on our college campuses on alcohol recovery by visiting non-SDA experts;  classes on substance abuse taught on our campuses; counseling centers set up on our campuses specifically to help students with drinking problems.

 

My Decision to Write Wine in the Bible

 

       When I became aware of the gradual change in the Evangelical and  Adventist positions on the biblical teachings on drinking and of the alarming drinking problems in our society, I decided to devote a leave-of-absence from my teaching at Andrews University to conduct an in-depth study of what the Bible has to say on the use of alcoholic beverages. The results of this research has been published in  Wine in the Bible: A Biblical Study on the Use of Alcoholic Beverages (300 pages, 1989). 

 

      The book has been favorably reviewed by over one hundred scholars and church leaders of different denominations.  You can read a sampling of their comments by clicking at this link: www.biblicalperspectives.com/comments/  This essay represents a nutshell summary of the highlights of this research, which I presented with 125 slides in the newly recorded DVD album entitled ABUNDANT LIFE SEMINAR.

 

An Apparent Contradiction

 

      When I began reading all the biblical reference to wine, it soon became evident that the Bible speaks about wine in an apparent contradictory way.   

 

      As I began reading what Scripture teaches about the use of wine, it soon became evident that the Bible speaks on this subject in an apparent contradictory way.  On the one hand, the Bible unreservedly disapproves of use of wine (Lev 10:8-11;  Judg 13:3, 4;  Prov 31:4, 5;  23:31;  20:1;  Hab 2:5; Eph 5:18; 1 Tim 3:2, 3). “Do not look at wine” (Prov 23:31); “Wine is treacherous” (Hab 2:5);  “Drink no wine nor strong drink” (Lev 10:9). But, on the other hand the Bible wholeheartedly approves the use of wine as a divine blessing for people to enjoy (Gen 27:28;  49:10-12;  Ps 104:14, 15;  Is 55:1;  Amos 9:13;  John 2:10, 11). “God gives wine to gladden the heart” (Ps 104:15).

 

      Three major explanations are generally given to resolve the apparent contradiction between the biblical approval and disapproval of the use of wine:

 

• The Moderationist View

• The Concessionist View

• The Prohibitionist View

 

The Moderationist View

 

      Advocates of moderation attempt to resolve this apparent contradiction by arguing that Scripture condemns the immoderate use of alcoholic beverages and commends their moderate use. This belief is based on the assumption that the Bible knows only of fermented wine (“one wine theory”) which it considers as a divine blessing when used with moderation.  Consequently any condemnation of wine in the Bible refers not to the kind of wine (alcoholic), but to the amount  consumed. In his book, God Gave Wine, Kenneth Gentry defends the moderationist  view, saying: “Scripture allows wine to be consumed both for health and pleasure—but in moderation”

 

      A major weakness of this view is that Scripture both condemns and commends wine per se, irrespective of the quantity used.  Wine is denounced as “treacherous” (Hab 2:5) and as “a mocker” (Prov 20:1) that “bites like a serpent and stings like an adder” (Prov 23:32).  To avoid the shame and suffering caused by drinking fermented wine, Scripture admonishes not moderation but total abstinence: “Do not look at wine” (Prov 23:31).  The reason for this absolute prohibition is no doubt the fact that gazing at something attractive is the first step toward partaking it.

 

The Concessionist View

 

      Others try to resolve the apparent contradiction between the Biblical approval and disapproval of wine, by arguing that the positive references represent a divine concession to human failings, similar to divorce. This view has been adopted in recent years by our Seventh-day Adventist Church. For example the book Seventh-day Adventist Believe . . . states: “Scriptural stories involving the use of alcoholic beverages may give the impression that God approved their use.  However, Scripture also indicates that God’s people participated in social practices . . . that God certainly did not condone.  In interpreting such Scriptural passages, it is helpful to keep in mind that God does not necessarily endorse all that He permits” (p. 282).

 

      A major problem with this interpretation is that some passages speak of “wine,” not as a divine concession to human failings but as a divine blessing for the people to enjoy.  For example, the Psalmist says that God gives “wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine, and bread to strengthen man’s heart” (Ps104:14,15).  Here “wine” is joined together with food and oil as a basic divine blessing which enjoys God’s approval.

 

      Similarly, in Isaiah 55:1 God’s free offer of His mercy is likened to the free reception of water, wine and milk: “Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat!  Come, buy wine [yayin] and milk without money and without price.”  The fact that “wine and milk” are here paired together as symbols of good and satisfying spiritual benefits suggests again that “wine” (yayin) was not merely permitted but also approved.  Other examples indicating divine approval for wine can be found in those passages which describe wine as the symbol of prosperity and gladness of the messianic age. 

 

The Prohibitionist View

 

      The prohibitionist view maintains that the apparent contradiction between the Biblical approval and disapproval of the use of wine can best be resolved by recognizing that the same Hebrew and Greek words for wine (yayin and oinos) can refer both to unfermented grape juice and to fermented wine.  Consequently the “wine” God approves of is uniformly unfermented grape juice and the “wine” He disapproves is fermented and intoxicating. 

 

      According to this view, alcoholic beverages are prohibited in Scripture as unfit for human consumption.  To partake of them is not only unhealthy but also immoral, because it represents the violation of a Biblical principle designed to ensure our health and holiness.  This is the view that I have come to accept, after a careful examination of all the Biblical references to drinking “wine.”  I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Ellen White, who greatly influenced the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the adoption of the Biblical principle of abstinence, clearly espouses the prohibitionist view.

 

Three Reasons for the Confusion

 

      There are three major reasons for the confusion on the biblical teachings on the use of alcoholic beverages. The first reason is that most Christians mistakenly believe that the Bible knows only the fermented wine. The Hebrew (yayin) and Greek (oinos) words for “wine,” supposedly refer only to alcoholic wine.  Shortly we will show that this belief is discredited by the historical use of these two terms to describe the juice of the grapes whether fermented or unfermented.

 

      The second reason is the popular assumption that in Bible times it was impossible to preserve grape juice unfermented. We shall see that this assumption is discredited by ancient documents which mentions the various methods used to preserve grape juice unfermented.

 

      The third reason for the confusion is the fact that the apostolic admonitions to total abstinence, expressed through nepho/nephalios, have been mistranslated as “Be sober” instead of “Be abstinent.” These admonitions will be discussed in the latter part of this Bible Study.

 

The Outline of this Bible Study

 

      For the sake of clarity, this Bible Study is divided in the following five parts:

 

The Meaning of “Wine”

The Preservation of Grape Juice

Jesus and Wine

Wine in the Apostolic Church

Biblical Reasons for Abstinence

 

THE MEANING OF “WINE”

 

       The prevailing assumption is that the Hebrew and Greek words for wine (yayin and oinos) always mean “fermented wine.”  Is this assumption correct? To find an answer to this question  I investigated the Biblical and historical usage of the term “wine,” beginning  from  the English wine, and then proceeding backward to the Latin vinum, the Greek oinos and finally the Hebrew yayin.  The result of the survey is abundantly clear: these four related words have been used historically to refer to the juice of the grape, whether fermented or unfermented.

 

         Most modern English dictionaries define the word “wine” as the fermented juice of grapes.  This restrictive meaning of “wine” represents, however, a departure from the more classical dual meaning of the word as a designation for both fermented and unfermented grape juice.   To verify this fact one needs only to consult some older dictionaries.  For example, the 1955 Funk & Wagnalls New “Standard” Dictionary of the English Language defines “wine” as follows:  “1.  The fermented juice of the grape: in  loose language the juice of the grape whether fermented or not.”  This definition shows that fifty years ago the loose usage of “wine” referred to “the juice of the grape whether fermented or not.”

 

The Meaning of the Greek Oinos

 

      Examples of the dual usage oinos  abound in secular Greek.  In his book Metereologica,  Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) speaks of unfermented grape juice (glukus), saying:  “though called wine [oinos], it has not the effect of wine, for it does not taste like wine and does not intoxicate like ordinary wine.”  In this text Aristotle explicitly informs us that unfermented grape juice was called “oinos—wine,” though it did not have the taste or the intoxicating effect of ordinary wine.

 

      In the Septuagint, an intertestamental Greek translation of the Old Testament,  “the Hebrew word for grape-juice, tirosh,” as Ernest Gordon points out, “ is translated at least 33 times by the Greek word oinos, wine, and the adjective ‘new’ is not present. Oinos without qualification, then, can easily mean unfermented wine in the New Testament.”

 

The Meaning of the Hebrew Yayin.

 

      Like in Greek so in Hebrew the term for “wine” (yayin) was used to refer to either fermented or unfermented wine. The Jewish Encyclopedia explains that “Fresh wine before fermenting was called ‘yayin mi-gat  (wine of the vat; Sanh 70a).”  The Halakot Gedalot, which is the earliest Jewish compendium of the Talmud, says:  “One may press out a cluster of grapes and pronounce the Kiddush over the juice, since the juice of the grape is considered wine [yayin] in connection with the laws of the Nazirite.

 

         The use of yayin in the Old Testament to denote unfermented grape juice is not always self-evident, because it  does not come under condemnation like the fermented yayin.  In several passages, however, the context clearly indicates that the word designates unfermented grape juice (Jer 40:10, 12; Neh 13:15; Lam 2:12; Gen 49:11; Songs 1:2, 4; 4:10).  For example, Isaiah 16:10 speaks God’s judgment upon Moab,  manifested through the removal of the divine blessing from the vineyard and the grape juice:  “And joy and gladness are taken away from the fruitful field; and in the vineyard no songs are sung, no shouts are raised; no treader treads out wine [yayin] in the presses; the vintage shout is hushed” (Is 16:10).  The “wine” (yayin) the treaders tread out in the pressing vat,  is obviously unfermented grape juice since fermentation is a time-controlled process.

 

      The above sampling of Biblical and historical testimonies suffice to show that the Bible knows of both fermented wine, which it disapproves, and unfermented grape juice, which it approves. This conclusion becomes clearer when we examine the reasons for the Biblical disapproval of fermented wine and approval of unfermented grape juice.

 

Two Wines: Two Different Symbolic Meanings

     

      The difference between fermented and unfermented wine can be seen in the two different symbolic meanings given to the beverages. The study of the Biblical approval of “wine” shows a consistent pattern: all the positive references to “wine” have to do with unfermented and unintoxicating grape juice. 

 

       Because of its natural and nourishing properties, grape juice was fittingly used to represent the divine blessing of material prosperity (Gen 27:28;  49:10-11;  Deut 33:28), the blessing of the messianic age (Joel 2:18-19;  Jer 31:10-12; Amos 9:13, 14), the free offer of God’s saving grace (Is 55:1), the wholesome joy God offers to His people (Ps 104:14-15;  4:7), and the acknowledgment of God through the use of grape juice as tithe, offerings and libations (Num 18:12;  Deut 14:23;  Ex 29:40;  Lev 23:13).     The reason is grape juice is used as a positive symbol is because it is a  healthy beverage that nourishes the body, without harming vital organs like the liver and the brain.

 

      Contrary to unfermented wine, fermented wine is used in the Bible to represent apostasy, immorality, corruption, and divine wrath (Is 19:14; Rev 14:10; 16:19; 17:2; 18:3). The reason for this negative symbology is that alcoholic beverages distort the perception of reality (Is 28:7;  Prov 23:33); they impair the capacity to make 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). We shall discuss shortly some of these reasons.

     

      The foregoing considerations indicate that the Biblical approval or disapproval of “wine” is determined not by the amount of wine consumed but by the nature of the “wine” itself.  The positive references to “wine” have to do with unfermented, unintoxicating grape juice. In contrast, all the indictments of “wine” have to do with alcoholic, intoxicating wine.  The latter is condemned irrespective of the quantity used.

 

 THE PRESERVATION OF GRAPE JUICE

 

      A major objection against the view that Scripture approves the use of unfermented grape juice is the alleged impossibility in Bible times of preserving grape juice unfermented.  To test the validity of this popular assumption I investigated the testimonies of ancient writers regarding the art of preserving fruits and wines in general and grape juice in particular.  To my surprise I discovered that the ancients were far more knowledgeable in the art of preserving fruits and wines than is generally believed.

 

The Preservation of Fermented Wine

 

      Contrary to popular opinion, the problems the ancients encountered in preserving fermented wine were as great as, if not greater than those faced in preserving unfermented grape juice.  To prevent fermented wine from becoming acid, moldy, or foul-smelling, vintners used a host of preservatives such as salt, sea-water, liquid or solid pitch, boiled-down must, marble dust, lime, sulphur fumes or crushed iris.

 

       In his Natural History, Pliny acknowledges the problem, saying: “It is a peculiarity of wine to go moldy or else to turn into vinegar; and whole volumes of instructions on how to remedy this have been published” (Natural History 14, 26). In some places the risk of preserving fermented wine was so great that all the vintage was boiled-down and preserved as sweet, unfermented grape juice. Columella, a renowed agriculturalist who lived in the first century A. D., recommends for “any estate where wine often turns acid” to boil down all the must until a tenth part of it has evaporated and thus preserve the whole vintage as unfermented, boiled down wine (On Agriculture 12, 26, 1).

 

The Preservation of Unfermented Grape Juice

 

      In comparison to fermented wine, the preservation of grape juice unfermented was a relatively simpler process.  Ancient sources inform us that it was accomplished in four main ways: (1)  by boiling down the juice to a syrup, (2) by separating the fermentable pulp from the juice of the grape by means of filtration,  (3) by placing the freshly pressed grape juice in sealed jars which were immersed in a pool of cold water, and (4) by fumigating the wine jars with sulphur before sealing them. These methods are discussed at length in chapter 4 of Wine in the Bible.

 

      For the sake of brevity, we will mention here the boiling method. Columella  discusses at great length the different methods used to preserve grape juice unfermented.  In speaking of its preservation by boiling, he writes: “Some people put the must in leaden vessels and by boiling reduce it by a quarter, others by a third.”  He goes on explaining that  “afterwards, when it has cooled, you should pour it into vessels, cover it and seal it up; in this way it will keep longer and no harm will befall it” (On Agriculture 12, 26, 1).  The custom of preserving grape juice by boiling it down into a syrup has survived through the centuries in the Near East and Mediterranean countries. This beverage is known as vino cotto (boiled wine) in Italian, vin cuit in French, nardenk in Syriac and dibs in Arabic.

 

      There are indications that the ancient Jews preserved wine by boiling it.  John Kitto’s Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature  says:  “The Mishna states that the Jews were in the habit of using boiled wine.  ‘They do not boil the wine of the heave-offering, because it diminishes it,’ and consequently thickens it, thus rendering the mingling of water with it when drunk necessary; but it is immediately added, ‘Rabbi Yehudah permits this because it improves it’ (Teroomoth Perek 100, 11)” (Vol. 2, p. 477).

 

      The fact that the Old and New Testaments do not discuss the art of preserving grape juice, does not mean that it was unknown in Bible times. The reason for the silence of Scripture  is to be found in the nature of the Bible itself, a book which deals primarily with those aspects of life which are related to salvation history. 

 

JESUS AND WINE

     

      The example and teachings of Christ are normative for Christian belief and practice.  If, as many well-meaning Christians believe,  Christ made fermented wine at the wedding of Cana, commended it in the parables of the new wine skins and the old wine, admitted to have used  it in His description of His lifestyle (“eating and drinking”) and commanded  it to be used until the end of time at the institution of the Lord's Supper, then there can hardly be anything intrinsically wrong with a moderate drinking of alcoholic beverages.  Simply stated, “If wine was good enough for Jesus, it is good enough for me!”

 

      In view of the fundamental importance and far-reaching consequences of the  example and teachings of Christ, I have examined in chapter 5 of Wine in the Bible, the five wine stories and sayings related to Jesus. For the sake of brevity, we will consider in this Bible Study only two of them: The Wedding of Cana and The Communion Wine.

 

The Wedding at Cana

   

      Many well-meaning Christians believe that the “good wine” Jesus made at Cana (John 2:10) was “good” because of its high alcoholic content. The prevailing assumption is that the wine that Jesus made was good, because it was high in alcoholic content. The text, however, cannot be interpreted with the modern drinking mentality, but with the mentality of Bible times.  The question is:  What constituted “good wine” in Jesus’ time? Furthermore, Was fermented wine used at wedding celebrations? Could Jesus have produced over 100 gallons of intoxicating wine for the use of men, women, and children? To answer this question, we will consider three major lines of evidences:

 

• Witness of Ancient Authors

• Jewish Wedding Customs

• The Moral Implications of Christ’s Alleged Use of Fermented Wine

 

The Witness of Ancient Authors

 

      The prevailing assumption is that the wine Jesus made at the Wedding of Cana, was pronounced “the good wine” (John 2:10) by the master of the banquet, because it was high in alcoholic content. This assumption is based on the taste of  twenty-first century drinkers who define the goodness of wine in proportion to its alcoholic strength. But this was not necessarily true in the Roman world of New Testament times where the best wines were those whose alcoholic potency had been removed by boiling or filtration. 

     

      Pliny, for example, says that “wines are most beneficial (utilissimum) when all their potency has been removed by the strainer” (Natural History 23, 24).  Similarly, Plutarch points out that wine is “much more pleasant to drink” when it “neither inflames the brain nor infests the mind or passions”  because its strength has been removed through frequent filtering (Symposiac 8, 7).

 

      The wine that Christ made at Cana was of high quality, not because of its alcoholic content, but because it was a pleasant new wine, freshly created.  There was no time for the fermentation process to break down the natural sugar into alcohol.

 

Jewish Custom

 

      A second discrediting evidence is the Jewish custom of not offering fermented drinks at sacred festivals.  The reason given is the presence of women and children who were not allowed to drink alcoholic beverages. The Talmud indicates that drinking to the accompaniment of musical instruments in festive occasions such as a wedding was forbidden (See Sotah 48a; also Mishna Sotah 9, 11). 

 

      The latter is confirmed by later testimonies of rabbis.  For example, Rabbi 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 vine—that is, fresh grapes—unfermented grape-juice, and raisins, as the symbol of benediction.  Fermentation is to them always a symbol of corruption.”

 

  The Moral Implications

 

      A third discrediting evidence is the moral implications of the miracle. Those who wish to insist that the wine used at the Wedding of Cana was alcoholic and that Jesus also provided alcoholic wine, though of a better quality, are driven to the conclusion that Jesus provided a large additional quantity of intoxicating wine so that the wedding party could continue its reckless indulgence. Such a conclusion destroys the moral integrity of Christ's character.  

 

      Moral consistency demands that Christ could not have miraculously produced between 120 to 180 gallons of intoxicating wine for the use of men, women and children gathered at the Cana’s wedding feast, without becoming morally responsible for their intoxication.  Scriptural and moral consistency requires that “the good wine” produced by Christ was fresh, unfermented grape juice.  This is supported by the very adjective used to describe it, namely kalos,  which denotes that which is morally excellent, instead of agathos, which means simply good.

 

The Communion Wine

 

      Fundamental importance is attached to the “wine” of the Last Supper because Christ not only used it, but even commanded it to be used until the end of time as a memorial of His redeeming blood (Matt 26:28-29;  Mark 14:24-25).  It is widely believed that the wine of the Last Supper was alcoholic for two main reasons: (1) the phrase "“fruit of the vine” was allegedly used as the functional equivalent of fermented wine, and (2) the Jews supposedly used only fermented wine at the Passover.  This belief is discredited by the following four major evidences:

 

• The Meaning of “Fruit of the Vine”

• The Nature of the Passover Wine

• The Consistency of the Symbol

• The Survival of the Practice of Using Grape Juice

 

The Meaning of “Fruit of the Vine”

 

      A first reason for believing that Jesus used unfermented wine at the Last Supper, is suggested by the use of the phrase “fruit of the vine.”  In all the synoptic gospels Jesus calls the contents of the cup “the fruit of the vine” (Matt 26:29; Mark 14:25; Luke 22:18). The noun “fruit” (gennema) denotes that which is produced in a natural state, just as it is gathered.  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 Pharaoph’s cupbearer as  “the fruit of the vine” (Antiquities of the Jews 2, 5, 2).  This establishes unequivocally that the phrase was used to designate the sweet, unfermented juice of the grape.

 

      In His divine wisdom Christ chose to designate the content of the cup, the memorial of His redeeming blood, “the fruit of the vine,” so that future generations of Christians would find no sanction in His words, for using alcoholic wine at the Lord’s Supper.

 

The Passover Wine

 

      A second reason for believing that Jesus used unfermented grape juice at the Last Supper, is suggested by the fact He understood and observed the Mosaic law requiring the absence of all fermented articles during the Passover feast.  The law forbade the use and presence in the house of seor (Ex 12:15), which means leaven, yeast or whatever can produce fermentation.  

 

      Whatever had been subject to the action of seor—that is fermentation, was also forbidden.  This was called hametz and is translated “leavened bread” in the KJV (Ex 12:15; 13:7).  The word “bread,” however, is not in the text; thus a more accurate translation is “fermented thing.”  For seven days the Jews were to partake of matzoth, usually translated “unleavened bread” (Ex 13:6-7).  As in the case of hametz, the word “bread” is not in the text, thus, a more accurate translation is “unfermented things.” 

 

      Jesus understood the meaning of the letter and spirit of the Mosaic law regarding “unfermented things,” as indicated by His warning against  “the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees” (Matt 16:6).  “Leaven” for Christ represented corrupt nature and teachings, as the disciples later understood (Matt 16:12).  The consistency and beauty of the blood symbolism  cannot be fittingly represented by fermented wine, which stands in the Scripture for human depravity and divine indignation.

 

The Consistency of the Symbol

 

             A third reason for believing that Jesus used unfermented wine at the Last Supper, is the consistency and beauty of the blood symbolism which cannot be fittingly represented by fermented wine.  Leaven was used by Christ to represent the corrupt teachings of the Pharisees and is viewed in Scripture as an emblem of sin and corruption.  Could Christ have offered His disciples a cup of fermented wine to symbolize His untainted blood shed for the remission of our sins?  Could the redeeming and cleansing blood of Christ have been represented aptly by an intoxicating cup which stands in the Scripture for human depravity and divine indignation?

 

      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.

 

      The value of a symbol is determined by its capacity to help us conceptualize and experience the spiritual reality it represents.  Grape juice untouched by fermentation supplies life-sustaining nutrients to our bodies, thus it has the capacity for helping us to conceptualize and to experience the assurance of salvation represented by Christ’s blood.

 

The Survival of the Practice of Using Grape Juice

 

       A fourth reason for believing that Jesus used unfermented wine at the Last Supper, is found in the survival of the practice of using grape juice.   For example, in the apocryphal Acts and Martyrdom of St. Matthew the Apostle, which circulated in the third century, a heavenly voice instructs the local Bishop Plato, saying:  “Read the Gospel and bring as an offering the holy bread; and having pressed three clusters from the vine into a cup, communicate with me, as the Lord Jesus showed us how to offer up when He rose from the dead on the third day.”  This is a clear testimony of the use of freshly pressed grape juice in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper.

 

      The practice of pressing grapes directly into the communion cup is attested by councils, popes and theologians, including Thomas Aquinas (A. D.1225-1274). The use of unfermented wine is well-dcumented  especially among such Eastern Churches as the Abyssinian Church, the Nestorian Church of Western Asia, the Christians of St. Thomas in India, the Coptic monasteries in Egypt, and the Christians of St. John in Persia, all of which celebrated the Lord’s Supper with unfermented wine made either with fresh or dried grapes.  (For documentation and references see chapter 5 of Wine in the Bible).

 

      In the light of the foregoing considerations we conclude that the “the fruit of the vine” that Jesus commanded to be used as a memorial of His redeeming blood was not fermented, which in the Scripture represents human corruption and divine indignation, but unfermented and pure grape juice, a fitting emblem of Christ's untainted blood shed for the remission of our sins. 

 

       The study of the language of the Last Supper, the Passover law of fermentation, the consistency of the symbol and the survival of the use of unfermented grape juice at the Lord’s Supper, all indicate that Jesus abstained from all intoxicating substances and gave no sanction to His followers to use them.

    

      WINE IN THE APOSTOLIC CHURCH

 

      The importance of the Apostolic Church  as a model for Christian beliefs and practices extends to her teachings on the use of alcoholic beverages.   The way the apostles understood, preached and practiced the teachings of Jesus and of the Old Testament regarding alcoholic beverages, is fundamental to determine whether we as Christians today should take our stand on the side of moderation or on the side of abstinence. We shall briefly examine first three wine-texts and then the apostolic admonitions to abstinence.

 

Acts 2:13: “Filled with New Wine”

 

      The apostles had scarcely begun their Messianic proclamation when they were accused of drunkenness.  On the day of Pentecost the first company of believers received the gift of tongues enabling them to preach the Gospel in the languages of the people gathered for the feast at Jerusalem.  While thousands believed in Christ as a result of the miracle, others began mocking the disciples, saying:  “They are filled with new wine (gleukos)” (Acts 2:13).

  

       Since gleukos is the term used to describe unfermented grape juice, the irony of the charge is self-evident.  What the mockers meant is “These men, too abstemious to touch anything fermented, have made themselves drunk on grape juice.”  One can hardly fail to see in the irony of the charge that the apostles were drunk on grape juice (their usual beverage), an indirect but very important proof of their abstinent life-style and inferentially of the abstemious life-style of their Teacher. For historical confirmation of the abstinent life-style of the apostles, see Wine in the Bible, p. 181

 

Ephesians 5:18: “Do not Get Drunk with Wine”

 

      A  powerful Biblical indictment against intoxicating wine is found in Ephesians 5:18, where Paul admonishes the Ephesians, saying:  “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit” (Eph 5:18, RSV). A literal translation of the Greek text would read:  “And do not get drunk with wine, in which [en ho] is perdition [asotia—literally, ‘perdition’].”  The RSV rendering of “en ho—in which” with “for that” makes the condition of being drunk with wine, rather than wine itself, the subject of “debauchery/perdition.”  This construction of the sentence is based not on any exegetical necessity of the text, but on the translators’ assumption that the moderate use of fermented wine was allowed in New Testament times.

 

      Historically, numerous translators and commentators have seen “wine” rather than the state of drunkenness as the cause of debauchery.  For example, the famous Latin  Vulgate (about A. D. 400), reads: “et nolite inebriari vino, in quo est luxuria” (“And be not inebriated with wine, in which is voluptouosness”).  The connection between vino “wine” and quo “which” is unmistakable in this Latin translation, because the relative quo has the same neuter gender of vino, upon which it depends.

 

      Numerous modern translations follow the Vulgate in its faithful literalness.  For example, the French Synodal Version reads:  “Ne vous enivrez pas de vin: car le vin porte ą la dissolution” (“Do not inebriate yourselves with wine, for wine leads to dissoluteness”).  To remove any possibility for misunderstanding, the translators have repeated the word “wine” in the relative clause.  The same clear connection is found in the French translation of David Martin, in the French Version d’Ostervald,  in the margin of the New American Standard Bible, in the Robert Young’s translation, in the Good News German Bible (“Die Gute Nachricht”), in the Italian Protestant version Riveduta by Giovanni Luzzi, as well as in the Italian Catholic Version produced by the Pontifical Biblical Institute. 

 

      In the light of the numerous ancient and modern translations which have rendered the relative clause of Ephesians 5:18 as a condemnation, not of drunkenness but of wine itself as the cause of perdition, it would appear that on account of their predilection for wine some English translators have chosen to save the face of wine by condemning drunkenness instead.

 

1 Timothy 5:23: “Use a Little Wine for the Sake of Your Stomach”

 

      When the subject of wine in the Bible is brought up, the first text which seems to come to most people’s mind  is 1 Timothy 5:23, where Paul counsels Timothy saying:  “No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.” This text has been used during the past twentieth centuries by countless people to justify their drinking alcoholic beverages.  This popular view is discredited by three major considerations:

 

• The Implication of Paul’s Advice

• The Form of Paul’s Advice

 The Kind of Wine Used for Stomach Disorders

 

The Implication of Paul’s Advice

 

      Paul’s advice “No longer drink only water” implies that Timothy, like the priests and Nazirites, had abstained until that time from both fermented and unfermented wines, presumably in accordance with the instructions and example of Paul.  Earlier in the same epistle Paul tells him to require that a Christian bishop  be not only abstinent (nephalion), but also a non-participant at drinking places and parties (me paroinon—1 Tim 3:2-3). (For an analysis of this text, see Wine in the Bible, pp. 206-210).  It is reasonable to assume that the apostle would not have instructed Timothy to require abstinence of church leaders without first teaching him such a principle.  The fact that Timothy had been drinking only water implies then that he had been following his master’s counsel very scrupulously.

 

      The abstinence of a Christian minister was presumably based on the Old Testament legislation prohibiting priests to use intoxicating drinks (Lev 10:9-10).  The natural feeling would be that a Christian minister  should be no less holy than a Jewish priest, especially since the reason for the Mosaic law remained the same:  “You are to distinguish between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean; and you are to teach the people of Israel all the statutes which the Lord has spoken to them by Moses”  (Lev 10:10-11). The principle of abstinence was not violated by Paul’s recommendation, because the use of a little wine was recommended not for the pleasure of the belly but for the medical need of the stomach.

 

The Form of Paul’s Advice

 

       The form of Paul’s advice “take a little wine for your stomach sake” sounds more like a medical prescription for stomach disorder, than a concession to the pleasures of the belly. The apostle is not ordering his beloved son in the Gospel to drink wine freely; rather he advises him to use a little wine “for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.” 

 

      The prudent caution of the apostle’s language is most significant.  He does not say, “No longer drink water,” but rather, “No longer drink only water.”  He does not say, “Drink wine,” but rather “use a little wine with water.”  He does not say, “for the physical pleasure of your belly,” but rather, “for the medical need of your stomach.”  Even if the “wine” were fermented, this text  does not support its regular use in any way. He did not say to Timothy, “Drink . . .” but  “Take . . . .”   The verb “take–kraomai” is  used by a doctor when prescribing the dosage of a medication to a patient.  Similarly the adjective “little–oligos” implies a very moderate use of wine.  This sounds more like a doctor’s prescription to a patient than a general principle for all people.

 

The Kind of Wine Used for Stomach Disorders

 

      It is generally assumed that the wine Paul recommended to Timothy was alcoholic.  But this is by no means certain, for two reasons.  First, because the term oinos (“wine”), as we have shown,  was used in a generic way to denote either fermented or unfermented wine.  Second, because there are historical testimonies attesting the use of unfermented wine for medical purposes.

 

      Athenaeus, the Grammarian (A.D. 280), specifically counsels the use of unfermented “sweet wine” (glukon oinon)  for stomach disorders.  He writes:  “Let him take sweet wine, either mixed with water or warmed, especially that kind called protropos, the sweet Lesbian glukus, as being good for the stomach; for sweet wine [oinos] does not make the head heavy” (Banquet 2, 24).   Here we have an advice which sounds strikingly similar to that of Paul, with the difference that Athenaeus qualifies the kind of wine recommended, namely, the sweet wine, called “lesbian—effoeminatum,” because its alcoholic potency had been removed.

 

      A similar advice regarding the medical use of wine  is given by Pliny (A. D. 79), a contemporary of Paul and author of the celebrated Natural History.   He recommends using  a boiled, unfermented wine called adynamon for sick persons “for whom it is feared that wine may be harmful” (Natural History 14,18).  He also recommends using wines whose alcohol content had been removed through filtration:  “Wines are most beneficial when all their potency has been overcome by the strainer” (Natural History  23-24).

 

       In light of these testimonies, it is reasonable to assume that the wine recommended by Paul to Timothy may well have been unfermented.  Ellen White supports this conclusion, saying: “Paul advised Timothy to take a little wine for his stomach’s sake and oft infirmities, but he meant the unfermented juice of the grape.  He did not advise Timothy to take what the Lord had prohibited” (The Signs of the Times, September 6, 1899: 6).

 

      APOSTOLIC ADMONITIONS TO ABSTINENCE

     

            The Apostolic admonitions to total abstinence constitute one of the most telling indication of the biblical teaching on total abstinence. Several times Peter (1 Pet 1:13; 4:7; 5:8) and Paul (1 Thes 5:6-8; 2 Tim 4:5) urge believers to be abstinent in preparation for Christ’s coming.       Unfortunately, these admonitions are largely unknown  because the translators’ bias render the verb nepho, which means “ne = do not,  pino = drink,” as  “be sober.” There is noteworthy unanimity among Greek lexicons on the primary meaning of the verb nepho as “to abstain from wine” and of the adjective nephalios as “abstinent, without wine.” For the sake of brevity, we will look only at the two of Apostolic admonitions found in 1 Peter 1:13, and 1 Peter 4:7.

     

1 Peter 1:13: “Fully Abstinent”

 

      The admonition to physical abstinence, expressed through the verb nepho,  occurs three times in the first epistle of Peter (1:13; 4:7; 5:8).   It is noteworthy that in all the three texts, Peter’s exhortation to abstinence is given  in the context of readiness for the imminent return of Christ.  This implies that Peter, like Paul, grounds his call to a life of abstinence and holiness in the certainty and imminence of Christ’s return.

 

      The first usage of nepho by Peter occurs in 1 Peter 1:13:  “Therefore gird up your minds, be sober [nephontes], set your hope fully upon  the grace that is coming to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”  Here Peter, like Paul, correlates mental vigilance (“gird up your minds”) with physical abstinence (“be sober”).

 

      The admonition to “be abstinent” assumes a radical form in 1 Peter 1:13 because it is followed immediately by the adverb “teleios,” which means “perfectly” or “completely.”  Thus, the correct translation is, “be completely or perfectly abstinent.”  Unfortunately, most translators, presumably because of their predilection for drinking, have chosen to make teleios  a modifier of the following verb elpisate  (“set your hope”), thus, rendering it “set your hope fully” (RSV).

 

      It is noteworthy that  the Vulgate, Jerome’s famous Latin translation which has served as the official Catholic Bible throughout the centuries, translates teleios  as a modifier of nephontes, thus, “sobrii perfecte” (“perfectly sober”).  In my view Jerome’s translation reflects accurately the intent of Peter, who repeats his call to abstinence twice again in his epistle. Thus, the correct translation should be:  “Therefore gird up your minds, being wholly abstinent, set your hope upon the grace that is coming to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

 

1 Peter 4:7: “Be Abstinent”

 

      The second usage of nepho occurs  in 1 Peter 4:7:  “The end of all  things is at hand; therefore keep sane [sophronesate] and sober [nepsate] for your prayers.”  Here again Peter exhorts Christians to be  mentally vigilant and physically abstinent.  The meaning of nepho as abstinence from wine is suggested also by the context, where Peter contrasts the past life-style of “licentiousness, passions, drunkenness, revels, carousing and lawless idolatry” (1 Pet 4:3) with the new lifestyle of temperance and abstinence. The passage may be paraphrased as follows:  “The end of all things is at hand; therefore be sober in mind and abstemious in life in order that you might be able to maintain a healthy devotional life at this critical time.”

 

      The hope of a soon-coming Savior calls for Christians to be “mentally vigilant” (sophronesate) and physically abstinent (nepsate). The connection between mental vigilance and physically abstinence is self evident, because alcohol impairs the mental judgment, that is, the capacity to be mentally vigilant. It is important to note that healthful and holy living is commended in the Scripture not merely for the sake of personal health and goodness, but primarily for the sake of God’s desire to dwell within us in this present life (1 Cor 3:16-17; 6:13) and to fellowship with us in the life to come. 

 

BIBLICAL REASONS FOR ABSTINENCE

 

      The Bible suggests four major reasons for abstaining from alcoholic beverages:

 

• Mental Effects

• Moral Effects

• Physical Effects

• Spiritual Effects       

 

Mental Effects

 

      Mentally, alcoholic beverages impairs the capacity of the brain to make moral, responsible decisions. An important reason the Bible disapproves  drinking alcoholic beverages,  is because they impair the capacity to think, to distinguish between right and wrong and consequently to make responsible moral decisions.  This truth expressed in Isaiah 28:7 where priests and prophets are rebuked for having become “confused with wine,” erring in vision and stumbling in judgment.  The Talmud brings out this truth most graphically when it says:  “When the wine enters the system of a person, out goes sense, wherever there is wine there is no understanding.”

 

      It was because of this concern that God gave this specific instruction to Aaron concerning the priests:  “Drink no wine [yayin] nor strong drink, you nor your sons with you, when you go into the tent of meeting, lest you die; it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations.  You are to distinguish between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean; and you are to teach the people of Israel all the statutes which the Lord has spoken to them by Moses” (Lev 10:9-11).

 

      The specific reason given for the prohibition to drink alcoholic beverages is that these would impair the priests’ ability to distinguish between the holy and the profane and to teach the people God’s commandments.  The same reason is repeated in Ezekiel’s vision of the new Temple, where priests are enjoined to abstain from intoxicating wine in order that they may be able to “teach my people the difference between the holy and the common, and [to] show them how to distinguish between the unclean and the clean”  (Ezek 44:23).

 

      The same injunction is given to civil servants. The wise Solomon clearly states that kings and rulers must not drink wine:  “It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine [yayin], or for rulers to desire strong drink” (Prov 31:4).  The reason for this explicit injunction is immediately given,  “lest they drink and forget what has been decreed, and pervert the rights of all the afflicted” (Prov 31:5).

 

      As in the case of the priests, kings and rulers are enjoined to abstain from alcoholic wine, because this would impair their remembrance of the laws and consequently their capacity to be just in the judicial duties which, in ancient times, kings frequently discharged in person.

 

      This text offers another example where Scripture makes a value judgment on alcoholic wine itself, rather than on the quantity drunk.  The text does not say, “it is not for kings to drink much wine.”  Rather it says, “It is not for kings to drink wine.”  What is here prohibited, is not, as many claim, the abuse but the actual use of alcoholic beverages, because they impair the capacity of the brain to make moral, responsible decisions.

 

Moral Effects

 

      A second reason the Bible disapproves the use of alcoholic beverages, is because they weakens moral inhibitions.  This truth is expressed through stories and admonitions. The classic example of this phenomenon is, of course, the case of Noah:  “And he drank of the wine [yayin], and became drunk, and lay uncovered in his tent” (Gen 9:21).

 

      Another illustration is the case of Lot’s daughters who used wine successfully to weaken the moral restraints of their father:  “Come, let us make our father drink wine [yayin] and we will lie with him, that we may preserve offspring through our father” (Gen 19:32).

 

      The example of Lot’s daughters in their use of wine to weaken sexual inhibitions, has been followed by countless people throughout the centuries.  This trend is so well accepted today that in most TV soap operas drinking precedes and predisposes people to illicit sexual relationships.  In ancient Israel this happened without any inducement from soap operas.  Habakkuk, for example, condemns such social evil, saying:  “Woe to him who makes his neighbors drink of the cup of his wrath, and makes them drunk, to gaze on their shame!” (Hab 2:15;  cf. Lam 4:21).

 

      The potential of alcoholic beverages to weaken moral sensitivity and to awaken evil inclinations, is an important reason for their biblical prohibition.

 

Physical Effects

 

      A third reason the Bible disapproves the use of alcoholic beverages, is because of their physical effects.  These are described not in medical terms, but in a colorful language that people could understand. It compares the intoxicating effects of wine to the bite of a serpent and the sting of a viper (Prov 23:32).

 

      Hosea mentions how wine made the princes sick on the occasion of what may have been the king’s coronation or birthday:  “On the day of our king the princes became sick with the heat of wine [yayin]” (Hos 7:5).  The term “heat” translates the Hebrew hemah which is often used to describe the inflaming, poisonous influence of wine (Deut 32:33; Jer 51:39).  In Deuteronomy 32:33; for example, the term hemah is translated “poison”:  “Their wine is the poison (hemah) of serpents.”  Thus, in Hosea the cause of the sickness of the princes is attributed to “the poison of wine.”

     

      This description of wine as a sickening poison shows that Scripture does not hesitate to expose in frightening terms the danger of intoxicating wine. Today medical science confirms the harmful effects of  alcoholic beverages to the liver, the brain, the stomach, and the heart. The most serious liver disease caused by alcohol consumption is cirrhosis.  This is a disease in which liver cells are destroyed and thus the organ is no longer able to process the nutrients in the food.   Approximately 30,000 Americans die of cirrhosis every year.

 

Spiritual Effects

 

      A fourth reason the Bible disapproves the use of alcoholic beverages, is because they inhibit spiritual growth by impairing the capacity of the mind to be renewed in the image of God. It is important to remember that spiritual growth takes place through the renewing of the mind (Eph 4:23-24; Col 3:10). “Be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new nature,  created after the likeness of God” (Eph 4:23-24). Through our minds our body becomes the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19).

 

      The image of God in humans is found in the rational capacity of the brain. By impairing the brain, alcohol and drugs destroy God’s image in people and pollute their body temple  (1 Cor 6:19). The ultimate result is perdition, that is, the loss of eternal life. “Do not get drunk with wine, for wine leads to perdition–asotia; but be filled with the Spirit” (Eph 5:18).

 

      The Biblical warnings against the mental, moral, physical, and spiritual dangers inherent in intoxicating wine have special significance for us as Christians who believe that our bodies are the handiwork of God (Gen 2:7; Ps 139:13-15) and the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 3:16-17; 6:19-20).  To destroy our health by means of intoxicating substances means to destroy God’s temple within us, “for God’s temple is holy, and that temple you are” (1 Cor 3:17).

 

      For Christians who believe in the certainty and imminence of Christ’s Return, the apostolic admonitions to abstain from intoxicating beverages, assumes added significance: it represents a tangible response to God's invitation to make concrete preparation for the second coming of Christ.

 

      Conclusion. The Biblical teachings regarding the use of alcoholic beverages can be summarized in one sentence: the Scripture is consistent in teaching moderation in the use of wholesome, unfermented beverages and abstinence from the use of intoxicating fermented beverages.  The practical implication of this conclusion can also be stated in one sentence: when we accept the Biblical teaching that drinking alcoholic beverages is not only physically harmful but also morally wrong, we will feel compelled not only to abstain ourselves from intoxicating substances, but also to help others to do likewise.

 

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS OF SERVICES AND PRODUCTS

 

SPECIAL FIRST TIME OFFER OF 10 DVD/CD ALBUMS FOR ONLY $150.00, INSTEAD OF THE REGULAR PRICE OF $950.00

 

        This offer may sound too good to be true. For the first time I am offering together as a package all the 10 DVD/CD albums, containing the recordings of Prof. Jon Paulien, Prof. Graeme Bradford, and my own. Until now I have offered all these recordings separately, costing considerably more.  To make it possible for many to benefit from all these timely messages, I have decided to offer them together as a package for only $150.00, instead of the regular price of $950.00.

 

THE PACKAGE INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING 10ALBUMS:

 

1) Prof. Jon Paulien's newly released DVD ALBUM video seminar on Simply Revelation.

 

2) Prof. Jon Paulien's CD ALBUM with a dozen of his books, and all his articles.

 

3) Prof. Graeme Bradford's DVD ALBUM with a two hours video lecture on Ellen White. He shares the highlights of his book More than a Prophet. The album contains also Prof. Bradford's the publications and articles.

 

4) Prof. Bacchiocchi's newly recorded DVD ALBUM called ABUNDANT LIFE SEMINAR.  The album contains 2 video powerpoint lectures: The Christian and Alcoholic Beverages and How to Build a Happy and Lasting Marriage. These two lectures summarize the highlights of Bacchiocchi’s two books Wine in the Bible and The Marriage Covenant. Two separate files with 225 powerpoint slides are included.

 

5) Prof. Bacchiocchi's DVD ALBUM containing 10 video powerpoint lectures on the Sabbath and Second Advent.  Some of the lectures show the documents Prof. Bacchiocchi found in Vatican libraries on the role of the papacy in changing the Sabbath to Sunday. This album contains the popular powerpoint SABBATH/ADVENT seminars Prof. Bacchiocchi presents in many countries.

 

6) Prof. Bacchiocchi's DVD ALBUM on Cracking the Da Vinci Code. The album contains a two hours video lecture, professionally taped with a vitual studio as a background. A separate file with 200 powerpoint slides is included.

 

7) Prof. Bacchiocchi's DVD ALBUM on The Mark and the Number of the Beast. The album contains the two hours video lecture and a separate powerpoint file with the 200 slides used for the lecture.

 

8) Prof. Bacchiocchi's  CD ALBUM with all his books and powerpoint lectures. The album consists of two disks. The first disk has all his 18 books and over 200 articles. The second disk has the slides and script of 25 of Prof. Bacchiocci's popular PowerPoint presentations.

 

9) Prof. Bacchiocchi's  DVD ALBUM on The Passion of Christ.  The album contains the 2 hours live interview conducted by 3ABN on Prof. Bacchiocchi's book The Passion of Christ in Scripture and History.

 

10) Prof. Bacchiocchi's MP3 AUDIO ALBUM which contains 2 disks with 22 AUDIO lectures on vital biblical beliefs and practices. Ideal for listening in your car while driving.

 

HOW TO ORDER THE PACKAGE OF THE 10 ALBUMS

 

        You can see the picture of all the 10 ALBUMS and read a detailed description of them, just by clicking at this URL address:

http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/albumoffer.htm

 

        You can order the complete package of 10 DVD/CD Albums for only $150.00,  instead of the regular price of $950.00, in four different ways:

       

        (1)  Online: By clicking here: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/albumoffer.htm

 

        (2)  Phone:  By calling us at (269) 471-2915 to give us your credit card number and postal address.

 

        (3)  Email:  By emailing your order to <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com>.  Be sure to provide your  postal address, credit card number, and expiration date.     

 

        (4) Regular Mail: By mailing a check for $150.00 to  BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVES, 4990 Appian Way, Berrien Springs, Michigan 49103, USA. We guarantee to process your order immediately.

 

NEWLY RELEASED DVD OF PROF. JON PAULIEN’S LIVE SEMINAR ON SIMPLY REVELATION

 

      Prof. Jon Paulien’s DVD album on SIMPLY REVELATION was released few weeks ago.  We have been airmailing the DVD album to church leaders, pastors, and lay Adventists in different part of the world. Several pastors have already shown the lectures to their congregations.  They wrote to me saying that viewing the lectures was an enlightening experience for their members.

 

      My wife and I viewed Simply Revelation on our TV on a Sabbath afternoon. Though I had already watched Prof. Paulien’s lectures during the taping session, I was spellbound to hear him again offering so many refreshing insights into the most difficult book of the Bible. For me it is a thrilling experience listening to a scholar like Prof. Paulien, who knows what he is talking about.

 

      Prof. Paulien is one of the most respected Adventist scholars. Besides serving as the chairman of the New Testament at Andrews University Theological Seminary, he writes and lectures extensively in many parts of the world. He is rightly regarded as a leading Adventist authority on the book of Revelation which he has taught at the Seminary for the past 20 years. His doctoral dissertation as well as several of his books deal specifically with the Book of Revelation.

 

      The constant demand for Prof. Paulien’s CD album with his publications and articles, led me to discuss with him the possibility of producing a live video recording of a mini Revelation Seminar, which he chose to call Simply Revelation. As suggested by its title,  Simply Revelation aims to simply present the message of Revelation—not to read into Revelation sensational, but senseless views.

 

      The preparation of this video recording took several months. The Simply Revelation seminar consists of four one-hour live video lectures, which have just been recorded in the studio of Andrews University. An impressive virtual studio provides the background of the lectures. Each lecture is delivered with about 50 powerpoint slides.  I have spent long hours looking for suitable pictures to illustrate the text of each slide in order to enhance the visual effect of each lecture. This mini Revelation seminar will offer you and your congregation fresh insights into the Book of Revelation. Be sure to inform your pastor about the newly released Simply Revelation, if he is not aware of it.

 

      You will be pleased to know that we have placed on a separate file all the powerpoint slides and text used for the live video presentations. Each slide has the script of the live lecture.  This means that if you are a pastor or a lay member who want to use Prof. Paulien’s Simply Revelation Seminar, you can pick and choose the powerpoint slides that you like.

 

      The file with the powerpoint slides is placed on Prof. Paulien’s CD album containing all his publications and articles.  The reason is that there was no memory left on the DVD disks.  In spite of my pleas, Prof. Paulien was so full of the subject that he used the full 60 minutes of his four lecture, leaving no space for the slides’ file.

 

      This has been a very expensive project, both in time and money.  The regular price of the DVD album is $100.00, but you can order it now until July 30, at the introductory price of  only $50.00.  The price includes the airmailing expenses to any overseas destination.

 

      If you have not ordered before the CD Album with Prof. Paulien’s publications, we will be glad to add it to your DVD order for only $20.00, instead of the regular price of $60.00. This means that you can order both the DVD album with Prof. Paulien’s four live video lectures on Revelation and his CD album with all his publications and powerpoint slides of Simply Revelation, for only $70.00, instead of the regular price of $160.00.

 

        As an additional incentive, I am offering you together with Prof. Paulien’s DVD/CD albums, also my own popular DVD album on The Mark and Number of the Beast, for an additional $10.00, instead of the regular price of $100.00. This means that you can order the DVD and CD albums by Prof, Paulien, together with my DVD album on The Mark and Number of the Beast, for only $80.00, instead of the regular price of $260.00.

 

        This research on The Mark and Number of the Beast, was commissioned by Prof. Paulien himself. He asked me to trace historically the origin and use of the Pope’s title Vicarius Filii Dei and of the number 666. I spent six months conducting this investigation which was professionally taped at the Andrews University Towers Auditorium. I use 200 powerpoint slides to deliver this informative two hours lecture which is warmly received by Adventist church leaders and pastors in many parts of the world. For a detailed description of this DVD album click: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/Beast/BeastPromo

 

SPECIAL OFFER ON PAULIEN/BACCHIOCCHI’S ALBUMS

 

* ONE DVD Album of Prof. Paulien’s four video lectures on Simply Revelation at the introductory price of $50.00, instead of $100.00. The price includes the airmailing  expenses to any overseas destination.

 

* ONE DVD Album of Simply Revelation and ONE CD Album with Prof. Paulien’s publications for only $70.00, instead of the regular price of $160.00. The price includes the airmailing  expenses to any overseas destination.

 

* ONE DVD Album of Simply Revelation,  ONE CD Album with Prof. Paulien’s publications, and ONE DVD Album with Bacchiocchi’s two hours video lecture on The Mark and Number of the Beast for only $80.00, instead of the regular price of $260.00. The price includes the airmailing  expenses to any overseas destination.

 

FOUR WAYS TO ORDER

 

      (1)  Online: By clicking here: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/revelation/

            

      (2)  Phone:  By calling us at (269) 471-2915 to give us your credit card number and postal address.

 

      (3)  Email:  By emailing your order to <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com>.  Be sure to provide your  postal address, credit card number, and expiration date.   

 

      (4) Regular Mail: By mailing a check to  BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVES, 4990 Appian Way, Berrien Springs, Michigan 49103, USA. We guarantee to process your order immediately.

 

NEW EDITION OF BRADFORD’S MORE THAN A PROPHET

 

        The new edition Prof. Graeme Bradford’s book More than a Prophet with an additional 20 pages, was released few weeks ago. Many churches have ordered the book by the case of 30 copies for only $150.00, that is, $5.00 per copy, instead of the regular price of $25.00. This book is urgently needed to restore confidence in the prophetic ministry of Ellen White by telling the truth about her divine revelations and her human limitations.

 

        The most gratifying responses have come from former Adventist. One lady wrote: “After reading More than a Prophet, I am seriously reconsidering returning to the Adventist church.” It is unfortunate that many Adventists have left the church, because they felt that they had been deceived about Ellen White. They could not reconcile in their mind that prophets do make mistakes. But Prof. Bradford compellingly shows that the mistakes found in the Bible or in the writings of Ellen White, do not negate the divine inspiration of their messages.

 

        For a detailed description of More than a Prophet,  together with the reviews and a picture of the book, click at this link: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/BradfordOffer/offer.htm

 

        To facilitate the distribution of this timely book among your church members, we are offering you two things:

 

1) Special discount on quantity orders of the book. Only $5.00 per copy, instead of $25.00 for a case of 30 copies.

 

2) A FREE ALBUM of Prof. Bradford’s DVD with a live two hours lecture on Ellen White.  The DVD contains also a PDF file with all of Prof. Bardford’s books and articles. The regular price of the DVD album is $100.00, but you will receive it FREE with an order of 2 or more copies of More than a Prophet.

 

        The reason for offering a Free Album of Prof. Bradford’s DVD live lecture on Ellen White, is to give your members the opportunity to enjoy the highlights of the More than a Prophet.  After viewing the DVD, most members are eager to order the book.

 

SPECIAL OFFER ON MORE THAN A PROPHET

 

        ONE COPY of More than a Prophet for $20.00 (instead of $25.00), plus $5.00 for mailing in the USA, or $10.00 for airmailing overseas.

 

        TWO COPIES of More than a Prophet plus the DVD album with Prof. Bradford’s live two hours lecture on Ellen White, for $50.00 (instead of the regular price of $150.00). Add $10.00 for airmailing overseas.

 

        THIRTY COPIES of More than a Prophet plus the DVD album with Prof. Bradford’s live two hours lecture on Ellen White, for only $150.00, instead of the regular price of $850.00. The price includes the mailing in the USA.  Unfortunately as of May 14, 2007, the USA Post office no longer offers surface mail service for overseas. Everything must be sent AIRMAIL. The cost for airmailing a case of 30 books, is $95.00. Thus, the total cost for a case of 30 copies AIRMAILED overseas is $245.00. The advantage is that you will receive the case within a week.

 

FOUR WAYS TO ORDER

 

        (1) Online: By clicking here: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/BradfordOffer/offer.htm

 

        (2)  Phone:  By calling us at (269) 471-2915 to give us your credit card number and postal address.

 

        (3)  Email:  By emailing your order to <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com>.  Be sure to provide your  postal address, credit card number, and expiration date.

 

        (4) Regular Mail: By mailing a check to  BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVES, 4990  Appian Way, Berrien Springs, Michigan 49103, USA. We guarantee to process your order immediately.

 

UPCOMING SEMINARS FOR THE MONTHS OF  AUGUST,AND SEPTEMBER

 

            Gradually I am rescheduling some of the invitations I had to cancel because of the colon cancer surgery and liver treatments. Here is a list of the upcoming weekend seminars for the months of August,and September.

 

AUGUST 17-18: WHITE MEMORIAL SDA CHURCH

Location: 401 North State Street, Los Angeles, CA 90033. This is one of the most beautiful Adventist churches that was ever built.  It can seat over 2000 people. When in 1962 Loma Linda University decided to relocate its students and faculty to a consolidated campus in Loma Linda, the membership gradually declined from over 2000 to the current 350. 

           

        I have reasons to believe that the new senior Pastor Benjamin Del Pozo, D. Min., will build up the attendance. He is a creative thinker and a good communicator.  He speaks with his hands like an Italian. (Please laugh!)  He invited me twice at the Temple City SDA Church where he has served for several years, doubling the attendance.  For directions amd information call Pastor Benjamin Del Pozo at (626) 292-1305 or 323-440-1200.

 

AUGUST 31 - SEPTEMBER 1:  DAYTONA BEACH SDA CHURCH

Location: 401 North Williamson Blvd, Daytona Beach, FL 32114.

For directions and information call Pastor William Barrett at (386) 258-1073.

 

SEPTEMBER 7-8: FRIENDS OF THE SABBATH CONFERENCE

Location: The Lecture Hall, Knoxville Convention Center, 701 Henley Street, Knoxville, TN 37920.  This Sabbath Conference is organized by English Prof. Bruce Horne, Ph. D., a leader of the Seventh-day Christian Assembly in Knoxville with about 120 members. Several non-SDA sabbatarian churches and groups from neighboring states are participating at this Sabbath Conference. 

 

        Adventists living in the Knoxville area are encouraged to attend this Sabbath Conference.  I will be the keynote speaker on Friday evening and Saturday. We are planning also for a panel discussion conducted by church leaders of various sabbatarian churches.  This will be a unique opportunity to become acquainted with other sabbatarians.  For directions and information call Prof. Bruce Horne at (865) 671-4342 or (423) 914-5475.

 

SEPTEMBER 15: WORLD’S WOMAN’S CHRISTIAN TEMPERANCE UNION CONFERENCE

Location: Adam’s Mark Hotel, 2544 Executive Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46241. The hotel phone number is: (317) 248-2481.  This is the international World’s Woman’s Christian Temperance Union that brings together WWCTU delegates of different denominations from all over the world.

 

        Ellen White was very active in this organization and was often featured as the keynote speaker. Our Adventist church had an active Temperance  program in the past. Today we hear little from our pulpit about Temperance, partly because alcohol and drugs are seen more as a medical than a moral issue.

 

        I have been invited to deliver the keynote address on Saturday, September 15, 2007 at 10: 30 a. m. Prior to my lecture, there will be a church service from 9:00 to 10:00 a. m. My powerpoint lecture is entitled “The Christian and Alcoholic Beverages.” I will be sharing the highlights of my book Wine in the Bible, dealing with the biblical imperative of total abstinence. If you live in the Indianapolis area, I would urge you to attend the meetings, especially on Saturday. For directions and more detail information, contact Sarah R. Ward, WWCTU President, at (765) 345-2306

 

SEPTEMBER 21-22: HAWAII SAMOA-TOKELAU CHURCH

Location: 1128 Banyan Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96817.

For directions and information call Pastor Michael Asuega at (808) 261-7321 or (808) 206 5892.

 

SEPTEMBER 28-29: HONOLULU CENTRAL SDA CHURCH

Location: 2313 Nuuanu Avenue, Honolulu, Hawaii 96817. This will be the Hawaii Conference Convocation for all the churches in Oahu.

For directions and information, call the Hawaii Conference Office at (808) 595-7591.

       

INCREDIBLE NEW OFFERS ON HITACHI PROJECTORS

 

        HITACHI has just released the new CP-X400 3000 lumens projector, which replaces the CP-X444.  The new projector has an impressive high resolution, low fan noise, and a wealth of connectivity options. The most impressive feature of this projector is the incredible price of only $1395.00 to help especially our churches and schools in developing countries.

 

This is the special offer on the following three models:

 

CP-X260 HIGH RESOLUTION 2500 LUMENS - Only $1095.00

          Previous SDA price for the 2500 lumens was $2395.00.

 

CP-X400 HIGH RESOLUTION 3000 LUMENS - Only $1395.00

          This is the lowest price for an HITACHI 3000 lumens projector.

 

CP-X1250 HIGH RESOLUTION 4500 LUMENS Only $3795.00

          Previous SDA price for the 4500 lumens was $4900.00.

 

WARRANTY: The above prices include a 3 years 24/7 replacement warranty worth about $285.00.

 

You can order the HITACHI projectors online by clicking at this link: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/cart/catalog/index.php?cPath=24

 

If you have a problem ordering online, call us at (269) 471-2915.  We will take your order by phone. Your order will be processed immediately.

 

THE SMALLEST, MOST POWERFUL REMOTE PRESENTER

 

            If you are looking for an outstanding REMOTE for your PowerPoint presentations, you will be pleased to know HONEYWELL has just come out with the smallest and most powerful remote in the market.

 

            The size of the transmitter is smaller than a credit card. You can stick it inside the palm of your hand and nobody can see it. I tested the remote in an open environment, and the radio signal can go up to 400 feet of distance. IT IS INCREDIBLE! The transmitter has three button: forward, backward, and laser.

 

            You can order online the new POWERPOINT  PRESENTER simply by clicking here: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/cart/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=27&products_id=67

 

            If you have a problem ordering online, simply call us at (269) 471-2915.  We will take your order by phone. You can also email us your order at <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com>, giving us your address, credit card number, and expiration date.

 

DOES YOUR CHURCH OR SCHOOL NEED A SCREEN?

 

            If your church/school is looking for a screen, the DA-LITE SCREEN COMPANY, the largest manufacture of screens in the world, has agreed to offer their line of screens to our Adventist churches and schools at about 30% discount.

 

            The procedure is very simple. Visit the DA-LITE SCREEN COMPANY website at http://www.da-lite.com. You will see hundreds of models of screens with their respective prices. Once you find the screen that you need, give us the model number by phone (269) 471-2915 or email your request <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com> We will forward your order immediately to DA-LITE that will ship the screen directly to your address. You will receive the screen at about 30% discount.

 

BED & BREAKFAST FACILITIES IN LONDON, ENGLAND

 

            If your travel plans call for a stop in London, you will be pleased to learn about a most gracious Adventist couple that offer the best accommodation and breakfast I have ever enjoyed. It has become my home away from home when in London.  See details at: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/Promotions/BED&BREAKFAST.htm

 

TAGNET SPECIAL NEW WEB HOSTING OFFER FOR ADVENTIST CHURCHES AND MEMBERS

 

            TAGnet provides an incredible number of webhosting services to our churches and members. This newsletter comes to you through their gracious and efficient service. For detail information, visit their website at http://www.netadventist.org or   http://home.tagnet.org/ You may also call their office 800 - 9TAGNET. They are ready and eager to help you.