Question: Is Paul endorsing the consumption of alcoholic beverages when he instructs Timothy to drink wine for his stomach’s sake in I Timothy 5:23?
Answer: Thank you for your question about alcohol in the Bible. If you have not read my articles about “Wine in the Bible” and “Beer and Other Alcoholic Beverages in the Bible” please do this.
We do get a little insight into how the early apostles lived by looking at I Timothy 5:23. Here Paul tells Timothy, “No longer drink only water, but use a little wine (grape juice) for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.” They seem to be so afraid that if they drank any grape juice it might be fermented, that they wouldn’t even try it. At least this is the experience of Timothy. Paul told him, don’t just drink water, grape juice would be good for your stomach.
It seems the disciples of Jesus went on the verses from the Old Testament like Proverbs 23:31-32, “Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it swirls around smoothly; at the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like a viper.”
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