Bible Answer

Was wine in the Bible fermented?

In 1 Timothy 5, Paul advised drinking a little wine to soothe Timothy's stomach and other illnesses. Was this wine fermented?

All wine is, by definition, fermented. There is no such thing as unfermented wine, as this would simply be called grape juice. The word in 1 Timothy 5 is oinos, which only means fermented wine. That same word is used by Paul in Ephesians 5:

Eph. 5:18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,

The Greek word translated wine in Ephesians 5:18 is also the word oinos, and Paul warns the church in Ephesus not to get drunk with this wine. Obviously, we cannot get drunk on unfermented grape juice. So the word oinos means fermented drink. The myth that wine in the Bible is unfermented originated with those who (incorrectly) believe that drinking alcohol is sinful. 

In reality, the Bible outlaws getting drunk, not the responsible consumption of alcohol, and in fact, our Lord enjoyed it! Christ says that all His followers will share a cup of wine in the Kingdom with Him upon His return. For a complete understanding of this issue, we encourage you to read the following article: May a Christian drink alcohol?