Do you have sources showing that oinos and yayin can mean both fermented and unfermented drinks?


Our Baptist church is considering the elimination of the statement in the church covenant that states, “do not use or sell any alcoholic beverage”. Obviously, this is to condone moderate drinking.  The basis for this is Romans 14:21.  The pastor has a lexicon that shows all wine as written in the Bible means fermented.  Would you have Greek and Hebrew lexicons that state there is more than one meaning for oinos and yayin.

What you have presented on the Internet has been very informative.


The best book on the subject is Bible Wines by William Patton. Though written in 1871, it is probably the clearest and most detailed treatment on this subject. It is still being published.

My arguments in "Old Testament Beverages" and "New Testament Beverages" are based on the actual usage of the words in the context of the passages as well as in other ancient writings. These are more accurate than relying on biased writings of people wanting to prove that recreational use of alcohol is or is not approved of in the Bible.

In The Complete Biblical Library, under oinos, it states:

"It is important to note that the Hebrew word tirosh, "grape juice, unfermented wine," appearing 38 times in the Old Testament (Harris, "tirosh," Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, 2:969), is almost exclusively translated by oinos (36 times). In other words, oinos can and does refer to unfermented and fermented wine in the Septuagint. ... From the Septuagint usage noted above, the oinos could be fermented or unfermented. Suffice it to say, the "better" wine of course does not in any way imply or demand a more alcoholic, or even an alcoholic, wine at all ..."

In the Encyclopaedia Judiaca, 1971, vol. 16, p. 538:

"The word “yayin” (O.T. wine) can refer to newly pressed (unfermented) wine."

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