ANCIENT WINE AND THE BIBLE: The Case for Abstinence by David R. Brumbelow; Free Church Press, Carrollton, GA; 10 Chapters, 306 Pages; $21.00, Paper
The author obviously hates booze, and for good reason. He never knew his grandmother, who died when his dad was only six. She had been stricken with a severe case of appendicitis and her husband rushed her to the nearby Sugar Land (TX) hospital. The doctor could not be found and after failed attempts to locate him, his grandfather went looking for him. He eventually found him hopelessly intoxicated at an area beer joint. By the time the husband got back to the hospital, his wife was dead. If that wouldn’t make you hate booze, I don’t know what would. And that story is only one in millions that could be told.
As Brumbelow said in his Introduction: “Some claim those who are educated cannot and do not oppose alcohol.” He explodes that myth by giving quotes from many highly educated individuals, both dead and living, who fought it.
We fear the average Christian – and even some of the church leaders who speak and write on the subject – simply conclude that every reference of ‘wine’ in the Bible is alcoholic and intended by God for our pleasure (in moderation, of course). They do so at their peril and the welfare of their hearers/readers. These supports for alcohol are grossly unfair and patently untrue, as the author documents (there are well over 400 notes). Brumbelow proves the ancient words for wine in the Bible referred to “grapes still on the vine, fresh expressed grape juice, fermented wine, preserved unfermented wine, wine greatly watered down, and vinegar.” Yes, all of the above!
This book has everything you always wanted to know about wine (and grape juice) – and some you probably didn’t! There are ten hard-hitting chapters and five helpful Appendices. At least two sections deal with problem passages. He quotes a wide range of authors.
In short, Brumbelow’s research is amazing – and thorough! If someone today tells you all wine is intoxicating, or that the ancients didn’t know how to preserve fresh grape juice to keep it from becoming alcoholic, just smile and hand him this book! When referring to nonalcoholic wine the ancients often called it ‘wine that doesn’t hurt the head.’ In short, no hangover!
Ancient Wine is also the kind of book preachers and teachers need to have handy on a shelf for quick reference in time of debate or discussion – and in counseling! As Brumbelow notes, “Many pastors, youth ministers, and parents who see the danger of beverage alcohol do not have the information and resources to speak up about the issue.” This book solves that problem. It will especially convince honest people that neither Jesus nor the Bible promoted the use of anything alcoholic.
As Billy Sunday would sum it up, “Get on the water wagon!”
In addition to the hundreds of notes (documentation) there are five Appendices. A small portion of this book was previously printed in our magazine, The Biblical Evangelist. Dr. Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary wrote the Foreword.
We urge you to get Ancient Wine & the Bible, the Case for Abstinence. It is worth every penny it will cost you – and then some!
-Dr. R. L. Sumner, Editor, The Biblical Evangelist
The above article can be found at Book Reviews, Biblical Evangelist. Reprinted here by permission.
-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, March 5, AD 2012.
For ways to purchase "Ancient Wine and the Bible: The Case for Abstinence," click the book cover in the right margin.
Ancient Wine and the Bible - the book
Preserving Unfermented Wine in Bible Times
2006 SBC Resolution on Alcohol Use in America
Book Review of "Alcohol Today" by R. L. Sumner
Other articles in lower right margin.