Over the years, Christendom has been divided on the Bible’s position about alcoholic beverages. A careful study of the subject has shown that the Holy Bible is very clear on this matter.

In some verses of the Bible, alcoholic drink is referred to as strong drink. Remember, people who lived in Bible days had no means of preserving the freshness of grape juice. So after fermentation, grape juice becomes alcoholic and can intoxicate when consumed in excess.

In the Bible, it was normal for people to drink wine. No one was ever condemned for drinking wine except for folks who abused it by becoming drunk.

The Nazirites (Num. 6:3), the Rechabites (Jer. 35:1–3), the Levitical priests who served in the temple (Lev. 10:8, 9) abstained from wine in the Old Testament.

The Jews enjoyed wine with their meals and also with friends. Wine was also an important part of their worship service to God. They regularly brought wine when offering sacrifices (1 Sam. 1:24) and also used wine for ‘drink offering’ (Exodus 29:40; Lev. 23:13).

God gave them liberty to buy strong drink with their money if they so desired.

“And if the way is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry the tithe, when the LORD your God blesses you, because the place is too far from you, which the LORD your God chooses, to set his name there, then you shall turn it into money and bind up the money in your hand and go to the place that the LORD your God chooses and spend the money for whatever you desire—oxen or sheep or wine or strong drink, whatever your appetite craves.” –  Deuteronomy 14:24-26

Many would be shocked to find out that Jesus regularly drank wine (Luke 22:18). The people who accused him in the Bible called him a ‘wine bibber’.

A bibber according to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary is a person who regularly drinks alcoholic beverages.


“For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.” – Matthew 11:18–19


Wine had many beautiful uses in the New Testament too. It was used in the celebration of the The Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:17-32) and also during Passover celebrations (Lk. 22:7-23). Apostle Paul attested to the medicinal value of wine when he admonished Timothy to take some for his stomach sake (1 Tim. 5:23).

John the Baptist abstained from drinking wine due to spiritual instructions to his parents before his birth (Luke 1:15).

Now to the big question of whether it’s right to drink alcohol as a Christian, the answer is very simple and right there in our copies of the Holy Bible.

“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.” – Proverbs 20:1 KJV

The first point is this; alcohol can be abused. Food can be abused too when one becomes a glutton.

“And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. – Deuteronomy 21:20 KJV


“When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what is before thee: And put a knife to thy throat, if thou be a man given to appetite.” – Proverbs 23:1-2 KJV


“Hear thou, my son, and be wise, and guide thine heart in the way. Be not among winebibbers; among riotous eaters of flesh: For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.” – Proverbs 23:19-21 KJV


The second point is; you are wise if you refuse to be decieved by alcohol according to Proverbs 20:1. In simple terms, it means you have not sinned until you are drunk.

The third point is; eating food does not become a sin until gluttony is in play. Therefore, drinking alcohol does not become a sin until one becomes drunk.

In the Bible, the only condemnable activity of alcohol consumption is drunkenness.


“Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.” – Romans 13:13 KJV


“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.” – 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 KJV


“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” – Galatians 5:19-21 KJV.


In conclusion, Ephesians 5:17-18 spells it out that “Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;” KJV

A Christian can drink alcohol in moderation but not in excess. The ability to drink without getting drunk is where self-control comes to play in the life of a Christian. It’s also alright if total abstinence from alcohol is what works for you as a Christian.

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