Q: I have heard several different teachings about whether the wine that Scripture speaks about is fermented and alcoholic or not. When the Bible talks about wine, is it alcoholic or not? I enjoy a glass every now and then, but would be willing to give it up if it isn’t biblical.
A: There is every reason to believe that when the Scripture says wine, it is a fermented, alcoholic beverage. Here is my reasoning. The word for wine in Hebrew is יָיִן yayin. Genesis 9:21 says that Noah drank יָיִן and he became drunk. Leviticus 10:9 cautions the priest against drinking יָיִן or strong drink before entering the tabernacle for service. 1 Sam 1:14 connects יָיִן with getting drunk. 1 Chr 27:27 talks about treasuries or cellars for wine. If you keep any grape juice in a cellar for a period of time, it will ferment. I could go on, but I think you get my point.
In the New Testament, the Greek word for wine is οινος oinos. Luke 1:15 connects οινος with liquor. Ephesians 5:18 talks about not getting drunk with οινος. Bottom line, the Scripture doesn’t tell us not do drink fermented or alcoholic beverages. It tells us not to lose control of ourselves or to get drunk. So enjoy your wine. Many of the characters in the Bible did.