Wine in the Bible versus wine today?

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Re: Wine in the Bible versus wine today?

Postby Mark Lipton » Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:46 am

A couple of other thoughts about wine in Biblical times:

The wines were fermented in clay amphorae that were made watertight by sealing with pine pitch, so the wines of the times most likely had a piney character that today can be found only in retsina.

In this era, wine (and beer) was safer to drink than water, so water was made safe to drink by mixing it with wine. This is why diluted wine was the preferred drink for children, as weird as that sounds to a modern reader. Dilution was also necessitated by the coarse and sweet flavors of the wine made from uncontrolled fermentation.

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Re: Wine in the Bible versus wine today?

Postby Jason Hagen » Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:53 am

David M. Bueker wrote:
Jason Hagen wrote:
David M. Bueker wrote:Now getting totally wasted is not a good idea. Just ask Noah.

Yup! :oops:


Remeber Jason - there is always forgiveness.

Oh I remember often.

J
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Re: Wine in the Bible versus wine today?

Postby Robin Garr » Mon Dec 08, 2008 10:38 am

creightond wrote:ok, lets continue with robins thread. the baptist concept of heaven? a place you can drink with your friends.

Hey, David! Off topic, I'm not sure what happened, but somehow your user name got converted into the kind of cryptic "screen name" that we prefer not to use in the forum. Mind if I go back into the system and change it to "David Creighton"? I won't do this until I get your okay, so you won't be surprised when your login changes.
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Re: Wine in the Bible versus wine today?

Postby Mark S » Mon Dec 08, 2008 10:54 am

Daniel Rogov wrote:Vintners in ancient times knew as we do today that locating vineyards at higher altitudes, where there are greater temperature changes between night and day, would cause the fruit to ripen more slowly, adding to the sweetness of the fruit and its ability to produce fine wines.


Daniel - I doubt this is the only reason for the hillside plantings. Grapes, not being as particular as cereal grains and other fruits and vegetables likely were planted on more marginal land...which just happens to produce better grapes from the vines that stuggle so.
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Re: Wine in the Bible versus wine today?

Postby creightond » Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:36 pm

go ahead robin. somehow my settings got changed and i had to log in anew but couldn't remember any of the stuff; so created a new account and just did whatever was easiest. i'll surely do the same thing again sometime. sorry for the trouble.
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Re: Wine in the Bible versus wine today?

Postby Victorwine » Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:42 pm

Sorry David, I thought that was you, but the "just got here" and counter confused me.

Salute
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Re: Wine in the Bible versus wine today?

Postby Robin Garr » Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:54 pm

creightond wrote:go ahead robin. somehow my settings got changed and i had to log in anew but couldn't remember any of the stuff; so created a new account and just did whatever was easiest. i'll surely do the same thing again sometime. sorry for the trouble.

Okay, David, I'll do this after lunch ... in about an hour, if "creightond" won't log you in, try "David Creighton" instead.

And next time you get in a mess, just Email me ... I'll help clean up the spill in Aisle Four in a more elegant fashion ...
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Re: Wine in the Bible versus wine today?

Postby Daniel Rogov » Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:22 pm

Mark S wrote: - I doubt this is the only reason for the hillside plantings.



Mark, Hi.....

It was not so much hillside plantings as higher altitude plantings, those mostly on the plains that are to be found throughout the Judean Hills, the Galilee and the Golan. And indeed not more marginal areas, as the wine industry and grapes were considered among the major agricultural endeavors of the region at that time. (Josephus goes into this in some detail)

Best
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Re: Wine in the Bible versus wine today?

Postby Steve Slatcher » Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:54 pm

Daniel Rogov wrote:It was not so much hillside plantings as higher altitude plantings, those mostly on the plains that are to be found throughout the Judean Hills, the Galilee and the Golan.

And, going a bit further North, the Bekaa Valley, which is also a high altitude plain rather than a what we would typically think of as a valley.
Daniel Rogov wrote:And indeed not more marginal areas, as the wine industry and grapes were considered among the major agricultural endeavors of the region at that time.

I think grapes for wine were considered a high-value crop all over, but in more temperate climes they still tended to be grown in areas that are more marginal when it comes to other argicultural products. Partly because they tend to be the best places for high quality wines. Are you saying that in the Levant vineyards are more likely to be competing with other forms of agriculture? Perhaps because agriculture in general is more difficult...?
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Re: Wine in the Bible versus wine today?

Postby Mark Lipton » Mon Dec 08, 2008 4:12 pm

Steve Slatcher wrote:I think grapes for wine were considered a high-value crop all over, but in more temperate climes they still tended to be grown in areas that are more marginal when it comes to other argicultural products. Partly because they tend to be the best places for high quality wines. Are you saying that in the Levant vineyards are more likely to be competing with other forms of agriculture? Perhaps because agriculture in general is more difficult...?


In Tuscany, I believe it is said that olives were planted where cattle couldn't graze, and grapevines planted where olive trees wouldn't grow.

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Re: Wine in the Bible versus wine today?

Postby RobertBB » Mon Dec 08, 2008 10:09 pm

Jason Hagen wrote:Great thread. Robert, thanks for starting it and welcome to the board. I hope that when you enjoy a glass of wine, you'll post your thoughts and impressions here.

I consider myself a devout Christian and have been around this block a few times. It sounds like you are taking an extremely healthy approach.

Cheers,

Jason


Thank you, Jason. Glad to be here!
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Re: Wine in the Bible versus wine today?

Postby Leanne S » Wed Dec 10, 2008 8:19 pm

"Eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart." --Kohelet
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Re: Wine in the Bible versus wine today?

Postby Covert » Wed Dec 10, 2008 9:08 pm

Robin Garr wrote:The lovely parable of the wedding feast at Cana leaves little doubt of that, with the custom of holding back the cheaper stuff until the revelers were sufficiently lubricated not to notice.


But at Cana you had the opposite thing going on. When guests ran out of wine, Jesus’ mother said, "They have no more wine." Jesus answered, "Dear woman, why do you involve me?

Spoken like a guilty man. So what did he do? He knew that he had saved the good wine, rather than the cheap wine, because he undoubtedly knew the likes of most wedding goers couldn’t appreciate good wine. Why waste it?

But, as we all sometimes do when we are a little tipsy and the wine runs low, he recanted. So he had his servents fetch some jars and fill them with water. When the servents weren’t any longer paying attention, Jesus simply put the good wine jars in the spots where the water jars had been, and told the servants to pour them for the guests. He figured he could have a two-fer: getting around being blamed for selfishness and getting credit for performing a miracle.

It always amazed me that such a stunt could have such legs. Magicians can make elephants disappear in broad daylight; how hard would it be to switch jugs in the dark with a bunch of drunks not even paying attention?

When you are faced with a phenomenon like this, the philosopher David Hume put it this way, in his famous Miracles argument: Which would be the greater miracle, that you could make such a switch under those circumstances, or that a man turned water into wine? The lesser miracle is usually the more intelligent explanation.
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Re: Wine in the Bible versus wine today?

Postby Bob Henrick » Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:15 pm

Robert B wrote:Wow, thank you all for the replies!

I have always believed that wine drinking was something that was "off limits" for the Christian, however, after an in-depth study of scripture, I believe that enjoying wine is a liberty that we have, providing we use it responsibly.

I am likely going to be getting married next year, and I would love to have a glass of wine once in a while for a special dinner together as a couple, starting with our honeymoon!

Thank you!
Robert


Robert first welcome to the forum. Second, I am going to take exception with your characterization of having a glass once in a while with special dinners (only?). I heartily endorse the practice of a glass or three with dinner everyday!
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Re: Wine in the Bible versus wine today?

Postby Graeme Gee » Thu Dec 11, 2008 1:02 am

Bob Henrick wrote:
Robert B wrote:...I am likely going to be getting married next year, and I would love to have a glass of wine once in a while for a special dinner together as a couple, starting with our honeymoon!


Robert first welcome to the forum. Second, I am going to take exception with your characterization of having a glass once in a while with special dinners (only?). I heartily endorse the practice of a glass or three with dinner everyday!

I was going to add - I have dinner once in a while, so I have wine once in a while as well. Pretty much at the same times, now I come to think of it...
cheers,
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Re: Wine in the Bible versus wine today?

Postby JC (NC) » Thu Dec 11, 2008 10:42 am

Welcome to the forum Robert. I agree with wine for the honeymoon but limit yourselves to one or two glasses. If alcohol is not a part of your routine you could suffer from overindulging. Also, you might want to choose a wine that is relatively low in alchohol such as a Riesling Spatlese or Italian Prosecco or a Brachetto d'Acqui which is a sparkling rose' wine. These are also generally fruity wines that are more pleasurable for a newcomer to wine than some wines with more tannin.

In November I attended a wine dinner connected with the exhibit on the Dead Sea Scrolls at a museum in Raleigh, NC. We had two speakers at the dinner and they did emphasize that wine was generally mixed with water in Biblical times. Some of the earlier comments have given reasons for mixing the wine with water.

I'm familiar with a number of Bible passages that talk about tending the vineyards, enjoying wine, etc. and some that talk about the consequences of getting drunk. I definitely agree that the Bible does not condemn drinking wine--only the abuse of drinking alcoholic beverages in excess.
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