The full question:

I would like to know whether I could drink wine.  I heard over a television site (Christian) that we should not drink anything that is fermented.  Also, regarding eating crab, prawns (shell fish), and any fish without scales.

The short answer is yes, it is permissible for a Christian to drink wine and eat crab, shell fish and fish without scales.  Support for this can be found in the following verses:

1 Timothy 5:23:

No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.

Mark 7:19

since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.)

The longer answer:  with a few exceptions, wine has never been forbidden in Scripture, just drinking wine to excess.  Exceptions were:

  • Under the Law of Moses, the priests were not to drink wine when they went into the tent of meeting. Leviticus 10:9
  • When a man or woman entered into a Nazarite vow, they were not to drink or eat any grape product at all. Numbers 6:2-4
  • In Proverbs, the mother of Lemuel (probably a symbolic name for King Solomon) advises abstinence from wine for kings. Proverbs 31:4-5
  • John the Baptist was commanded not to drink strong drink.  Luke 1:15

Under the Law given through Moses, eating of crab, prawns and fish without scales was forbidden.  The Law of Moses has been superseded by the new covenant, therefore this prohibition no longer applies.   Paul reasons in Colossians (and other places) about the passing away of the Law.  Colossians 2:13-17

And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,  (14)  by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.  (15)  He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.  (16)  Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath.  (17)  These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.

Galatians also makes that point that we are no longer under the law – referred to as a guardian.  Gal  3:23-26:

Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed.  (24)  So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith.  (25)  But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian,  (26)  for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.

Some people choose not to eat these foods forbidden under the Law of Moses, as there are often health issues involved.  This is a personal choice and not a religious requirement.

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26 Responses to Is it OK for a Christian to drink wine?

  1. BikeFun says:

    My answer is No. Why? In 1 Timothy 5:24, Timothy as the scripture describes was suffering from acute stomach ulcer and a little bit of wine (fermented drink) was his pain reliever at the time of pain.Thus,he referred to this saying ” a little bit of wine” to his disease and anyone else who had similar stomach problem
    ( We also learn here, that being a follower of Christ does not mean we should never face temptation,once our tempter is still on earth, But He will always be with us, Amen.)
    Therefore do not take this as an opportunity, else you become prone to alcoholism without even noticing.
    Mark 7:19 answers all about clean and unclean foods. Also Matthew 15:18 Jesus said it is rather what comes out of the mouth that will be judged against us, but not what we put in the mouth.
    concerning tv, radio preachers, SOME of them are totally fake! false prophets! they will mislead you to believe anything…Matthew 7:15,16 and Titus 1:12, ‘their belly is their god’. Some of these pastors, indirectly are luring you to believe in the practices of their lesser gods which they worship in secret.
    Do not be shaken or live under any law which was never instituted by our maker.Reading and researching your bible daily is the key.Amen.

    • Jonathan Morgan says:

      So it’s not fine to be an alcoholic. We agree.
      That doesn’t mean that we have to drink no wine.
      Just for some more examples, Jesus turned water into wine: Why would he do that if he expected his followers never to drink wine? He also made wine one of the symbols for his disciples to remember him. Why would he make his followers get wine in remembrance if they were not actually meant to drink it ever?

      • BikeFun says:

        Well, the wine that Jesus made, we do not have any evidence that it contained same alcohol content as the factory processed one of today. Jesus was a Heavenly King, son of our creator who transformed into human so as to feel the weaknesses of the human body in order to save us.
        All His miracles from water to wine, bread breaking and wine symbols, little fish to feed hundreds, healing,etc. were all by Heavenly powers.There’s NO wine on this earth today,that can be compared to the one Jesus made. In john 2:1-11, there is no proof that the wedding guest got any dizzy or drunk.
        Compare that to those who wanted to imitate Jesus with magical powers to perform His same miracles, very pathetic. Same is today’s wine.
        If we as humans/Christians are careful not to offer any alcoholic drink to our children to set a good example, how then can the Supreme Master of Intelligence feed that toxin to His children?
        The unleavened bread is also a good example to compare Jesus wine to store bought wine.Jesus knew that leaven (yeast) in bread will make us fat.
        For example,I will campaign everywhere Jesus drank wine if I own a wine factory, else I will not make any money and my factory will shut down, haa! Do not be deceived.

        • Jonathan Morgan says:

          Again your objection is to “dizziness and drunkenness”: That is
          strongly dependent on the amount drunk, so it is hard to say that any
          amount is wrong. We may have a higher alcohol content in wine now than
          was present then. That doesn’t mean that one sip or even one glass will
          make you drunk.

          As far as leaven goes, Jesus did not prescribe
          eating of unleavened bread. In fact, in Matthew 13 he used a picture of
          leaven in growth that I think shows the growth of the kingdom of heaven
          in groups of believers (others disagree solely because they assume
          leaven must always be bad in scripture).

          To look at another
          example, gluttony and greed are things that are forbidden in scripture.
          I don’t find people saying “We shouldn’t eat any food just to make sure
          we don’t fall into the habit of gluttony” (or even “We shouldn’t eat
          food that we like in case we fall into gluttony”). Instead, people say
          “We have to control ourselves and make sure we don’t eat too much.”
          Drunkenness is the same: One way to avoid it is to never drink alcohol
          (this is in fact what I do). But that doesn’t make this the only right
          way to deal with drunkenness (or even necessarily the best – you
          mentioned children, and setting seemingly arbitrary rules just
          encourages some children to break them to rebel).

          • BikeFun says:

            I mentioned dizziness or drunk on that wedding chapter b’cos they drank quite much, at least a glass full each,why not, it was a celebration, unlike the remembrance of Jesus, in little sips.I still stand by NO ordinary wine, as to Jesus’. The store bought ones are made for business purpose-,jobs and profit making.
            Sorry if I contradicted about leavening. We are all learning.I mentioned about food in my first comment, when Paul had a dream about unclean animals. We are not under the law, but under grace.
            The leaven as to whether it is bad in food I cannot judge, but we all are a little educated as adults on food and nutrition as well as portions we eat. No wine or significant other drink on the market today is ever good to drink, its the truth.
            No one will be judged by God according to their weight or looks. but by our good morals.He loves us all.
            The children I mentioned is a metaphor as to us, being God’s children.There is no way Jesus will bombard us with alcoholic toxins. I never taste wine because apart from the fact that its not the the same as Jesus’, healthwise is also a concern.Life is too precious to lose the body to unwholesome things.
            As the saying goes;”little drops of water make a mighty ocean” wine is not to be tolerated in a Christians life.
            There are many churches and beliefs these days, but the only way to the father is by understanding and following Jesus’ ways.
            As to whether the kingdom of God will be in groups we cannot tell yet, doing what is right in our own conscience falls back on us, the parents who allows kids to drink are not and are not serious about becoming a true Christian.

          • Jonathan Morgan says:

            Just remember once again that this is your personal opinion unsupported by scripture.

          • BikeFun says:

            I like most of your comments and will give you thumbs up,but this wine topic I don’t really get your point at all. I don’t know why it beats you ? especially as you mentioned you don’t drink it? Anyway Philippian’s 4:6 is a great verse in matters as these.
            Jesus’s wine was heavenly, did not distract anybody’s state of mind or mood ( into some different realm ) which is what store bought wine does, little or a gallon full. Jesus’s wine was Holy wine, accept it.
            My opinions are biblically supported.I’m the only one in a family of 45people who broke away from wine drinking so I know what I’m talking about, anything is possible with Christ and these are my supporting quotes:
            Genesis 9:20-21
            Leviticus 10:8-11
            Deuteronomy 21:6
            Judges 13:14 (unclean foods are reformed by the Lord, but never about wine)
            Isaiah 5:11. Isaiah 5:22-23. Isaiah 28:7-8. Isaiah 29:9
            Hosea 4:11
            Habakkuk 2:15
            Daniel 1:8
            Proverbs 20:1 Proverbs 21:17. Proverbs 23:29-35.
            Matthew 11:18-19
            Luke 1:15. Luke 21:34 ( this verse shortens my long opinion )
            1 Corinthians 5:11
            Galatians 5:19-31
            Romans 13:13
            Ephesians 5:18
            John 2:1-11
            Well, there are other verses like Amos 2:8, Joel 2:24, etc are argued among some, aster all these advice about wine, well, the fruit called grape can be used for a lot of purposes other than wine brewing,if obedience takes place, Mark 4:7-9 is the answer. Thanks.

          • Jonathan Morgan says:

            A very extensive list of verses. But again, the majority of them are talking about drunkenness or at least over-consumption of alcohol. That is wrong, but totally avoiding it is not the only response (and might not even be the best response). Your verses would tend to suggest that Jesus being involved with wine was not just a Cana incident, but he was accused of it at other times when reaching out to the tax collectors and sinners. The verses about Nazirites involve a particular custom of a person showing he is separate and dedicated to God, and it was often for a particular time period. It doesn’t suggest that we should follow that all the time, or that it was normal in that society to avoid wine.

            So why do I care? For exactly the reason I brought up with gluttony: I’m not sure that avoiding all food is the best way to beat gluttony, and I’m not sure avoiding all alcohol is the best way to beat drunkenness. It can be helpful to some people, but for other people it just presents a constant temptation to “break the rules” which will have a worse effect than just choosing to drink a moderate amount of alcohol. I find Col 2:20 – 22 very accurate: making up rules to control what you do really seems like a good idea, and make you look spiritual. But I’m not sure they actually help self-control or spirituality.

            I’m actually perfectly happy with people putting unscriptural rules on themselves if they think it will help them serve God (so long as they’re careful). I’m not happy with them putting such rules on other people.

          • BikeFun says:

            Hmmm! You do have some interesting opinions indeed. Everyone who wants to follow their ‘Maker’s’ footsteps is not going to have it easy, I mean in all aspects. As to this wine topic, my good advice is not be on the ‘other side’ of Mark 4:7-9, but rather fall within.
            It will be a shame if the giver and taker of life finally calls a person to His presence and has had wine, no lawyer will represent you even if there’s one, its obvious theres no power of God in store bought wine, nobody ever sips that will not need more.Its a possessed drink! Both soul and financial mocker.
            The scriptures said but not I, however it is understood, prayer is the key, some answers take a while to understand. Wine is not good, run from it!

          • Thomas Dickensheets says:

            People here have explain Gen 9:21 to me!

    • Sheryl says:

      If one has a weakness with wine, it is a good idea for this person to abstain from wine. But there is no commandment in Scripture for people to not drink wine. There are several places where drunkenness is slammed. For example:
      Eph 5:18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit
      1Pe 4:3 For the time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry.

    • Thomas Dickensheets says:

      Can you explain Gen 9:21 to me!

  2. Barbara says:

    Wine, ? just say No

  3. Barbara says:

    that wine is spiritual. Holy Spirit

  4. Thomas Dickensheets says:

    So is ok that Noah drink some of the wine & became drunk! (Gen 9:21)

  5. Thomas Dickensheets says:

    1 Tim 5:29 Do not drink water only, but take a little wine to help your digestion, since, you are sick so often.
    We see here that Timothy get sick.

    • BikeFun says:

      Gen 9:21 is a great example as to why wine has to be avoided.Noah did curse his son Ham, so he should suffer or toil more for his living.There is no historical proof so far that it has something to do with human race, which is a different topic here, though. God is a great designer.Noah’s flood rainbow has many beautiful colors.
      Noah could’ve done better if he had not got himself intoxicated.
      Timothy’s wine, we can compare to ‘medical marijuana’ .Every plant God made was for a good purpose.
      If a person choses not to eat grapes but rather in its fermented way, must have a cause, like that of Timothy’s for ex.If not, its an abuse and a lie about sickness, which is a sin.
      Also, a man’s heart, thoughts and motives must be pure before God.
      Every Godly person can judge for themselves why they took that ”Timothy’s little wine”.

      • Thomas Dickensheets says:

        Did Noah sinned drinking wine & got drunk?

        • BikeFun says:

          Certainly.Noah did sin and it was a sin that followed another sin, pronouncing curses on his son.
          Many of the bible heroes sinned;Moses, David, and the rest. Some of them we know about their punishment to serve as a deterrence to the rest of us.
          Noah, we have no proof was punished by God for his drunkenness, but it is known that he never drank wine again

          • Thomas Dickensheets says:

            Are they in heaven?

          • BikeFun says:

            That is not written in the bible, but as far as biblical studies teaches about heaven and hell, I believe 99.9% obviously they are in heaven.
            Why? 1.Because they were chosen,devoted men of God who feared God in truth and righteousness, every detailed instruction they followed,except for the sin that caused them fall.
            2.They repented and never had nothing to do with the thing that caused them to fall no more..
            3.They kept their faith and served the one and only true God till the day they died.
            Except for some who drifted to lesser gods and never repented till death, those are doubtful.

          • Sheryl says:

            Chosen, devoted men of God who feared God in truth and righteousness, will receive their reward at the return of Jesus Christ. 2Ti 4:8 “Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.”
            When does Paul refer to when he says “on that Day”? The same day Peter refers to in 1Pe 5:4 “And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.”
            This “Day”, is when Jesus return to judge the living and the dead.

        • Sheryl says:

          Noah didn’t sin by drinking wine. He sinned by drinking too much wine.

  6. Sothie says:


    1 Tim 5:23. “Be no longer a drinker of water only, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.”

    More like an advise….that you could take some if need be

    1 Tim 3:8. “Servants, in the same way, must be reverent, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for money”

    Notice “greed for money”…the extent has been bothered to be defined….its as worse as it can get…..but “wine”….dont take too much….you may bring shame to the church.

    Ephesians 5:18. “Don’t be drunken with wine, in which is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit”

    Paul here is making the assumption that wine would ruin…which is possible…but what if it doesnt…then what?Paul is more like advising or making a preference against things that improve your spiritual growth……if it ruins you don’t do it………this point is more clear on the next verse,which is my favourite and maybe the best…….Romans 14

    Romans 14:21. “It is good to not eat meat, drink wine, nor do anything by which your brother stumbles, is offended, or is made weak.”

    I have hardly heard of a Christian who says wine is sinful….and still say the same for meat. And here Paul says “it is not good”…that doesn’t define sin straight up…..could lead to…but not yet…so its not a sin.The things wine may do to you may make someone stumble or sin……but doesn’t necessarily mean you sinned first. Women wearing short skirts and showing legs may make someone stumble, but that doesn’t make sinful to wear that…..”its just not a good thing”

    Paul’s story doesn’t end there…..”22. Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who doesn’t judge himself in that which he approves. 23. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because it isn’t of faith; and whatever is not of faith is sin.”

    Paul recognises that God doesn’t speak in scripture alone.but can also speak to your heart through His Spirit.Marraige is not sinful in scripture,but God can speak to your heart not to marry….and if you married,you will have sinned even thought it was otherwise in scripture.God knows what is best for you…..He will know what wine would do to you…….thus if you have faith, you will take it up to Him and hear what He tells your heart…..if He approves, you wont feel guilty…the Holy Spirit wont whisper to you not to do it.But if He says nah…then dont…because it will be sinful from then on.If you have the faith….the Spirit will convict you……and you will know it.

    But the fact you don’t feel guilt doesn’t mean God has said yes……its possible God used to convict you about it and you told Him to shut up….which He eventually did.If you ain’t sure…take your prayers again….or you better off stopping……

    So is taking wine sinful?……NO…….but it could be……..most churches are just failing to explain how the Holy Spirit works… wonder they call it sinful from outright….Take your time with God and ask Him on that……think of the Holy Spirit as your “mum”….always there with you,talk to Him about everything…..before you take it to your Dad…..

  7. Kenny Kelechi says:

    BIKEFUN is correct. The answer is NO.

    Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whoever is deceived thereby is not wise.

    Proverbs 31:6 Give strong drink to him that is ready to perish, and wine to those that be of heavy hearts.



  8. Kenny Kelechi says:

    BIKEFUN is correct. The answer is NO.

    Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whoever is deceived thereby is not wise.

    Proverbs 31:6 Give strong drink to him that is ready to perish, and wine to those that be of heavy hearts.




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