Difficult Texts
"Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities."

The Greek word "oinos," which is translated "wine," may be either fermented or unfermented, depending on the context. But since alcoholic drink is categorically condemned in Proverbs 20:1 and 23:29-32, it is inconceivable that the New Testament church leaders would condone it.

There is nothing in Paul' s counsel to Timothy to indicate that this "little wine" was fermented. Since Timothy had an apparent problem of digestion and also other infirmities, the recommended use of grape juice might well have been an effective dietary supplement.

The Bible writers also recommend the unfermented grape juice as a blessing to the body. "Thus saith the Lord, As the new wine is found in the cluster, and one saith, Destroy it not; for a blessing is in it." Isaiah 65:8. The kind of wine that is "in the cluster" is non-alcoholic. Some authorities today urge the drinking of grape juice based on its rapid therapeutic ingestion into the system.