Does the Bible say not to drink wine?

Answered by Jason Smith

The Bible does mention drinking wine in several instances, but it is important to understand the context and the overall teachings of Scripture. In the verse you mentioned from Luke 1:15, it is referring to the life of John the Baptist. It states that he would not drink wine or strong drink and would be filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother’s womb. This was a specific calling for John and does not necessarily apply to all believers.

In other parts of the Bible, wine is mentioned in various contexts. In some instances, it is seen as a blessing and a symbol of abundance and joy. For example, in Psalm 104:14-15, it says, “You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth and wine to gladden the heart of man.” Here, wine is associated with gladness and joy.

However, the Bible also warns against the abuse of alcohol and the dangers of drunkenness. In Ephesians 5:18, it says, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit.” This verse cautions against excessive drinking that leads to sinful behavior and urges believers to be filled with the Holy Spirit instead.

Proverbs 20:1 also advises, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.” This verse warns against the negative consequences of alcohol abuse and the potential for it to lead someone away from wisdom and righteousness.

It’s important to note that the Bible does not explicitly forbid the consumption of alcohol. In fact, Jesus himself drank wine on various occasions, including at the Last Supper. However, the Bible does caution against the misuse of alcohol and encourages believers to exercise self-control and moderation.

Ultimately, whether or not to drink wine is a matter of personal conviction and discernment. Some individuals may choose to abstain from alcohol altogether due to personal or cultural reasons, while others may choose to enjoy it in moderation. The key is to be mindful of the potential risks and to make decisions that align with biblical principles of self-control, love, and honoring God.