What kind of wine did Paul mention in the first Timothy 5:23?

In 1 Timothy 5:23, the apostle Paul writes to Timothy, “No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.” This passage has led to much speculation and debate about what kind of wine Paul was referring to. Was it fermented or unfermented? Was it grape juice or a stronger alcoholic beverage?

The Greek word that Paul uses for wine in this passage is “oinos,” which can refer to any kind of wine, whether it is fermented or unfermented. Some scholars believe that the wine that Paul is referring to in this passage was likely a fermented wine, given the context of the passage and the fact that fermented wine was a common beverage in the ancient world.

However, others argue that the wine that Paul is referring to was likely a weaker, less alcoholic wine, such as diluted wine or wine that had been watered down. This interpretation is supported by the fact that Paul is encouraging Timothy to use a little wine for medicinal purposes, rather than to drink it for pleasure or in excess.

It is also worth noting that the wine that was available in the ancient world was likely very different from the wine that we are familiar with today. Wine in the ancient world was often mixed with water to dilute its alcoholic content, and it was also often stored in containers that were not completely airtight, which could lead to oxidation and spoilage.

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Jamie Larson