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  The Law of Moses has been superseded by the new covenant, therefore this prohibition no longer applies.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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