Saturday, December 31, 2005

Idiots Screw Up A Key Gospel Message

The Books of Matthew and Mark have Jesus being offered wine both before being nailed to the cross, and again while hanging from the cross.

"They wanted Jesus to drink wine mixed with something bitter. Jesus tasted it but he would not drink it." Matthew 27:34

(Luke and John record a single offering of wine to Jesus, while he was nailed to the cross.)

Prohibitionists -- you know, Carrie Nation and those loons -- have always wanted to suppress any reference to Jesus drinking wine. How can they call wine evil, if Jesus tasted it? Or turned water into wine? Some go so far as to claim that "wine" meant simply grape juice. You know, the kind that goes rancid in a few days. Loons.

Such silly thinking results in 1984-style translations that scrub out the word "wine." The New King James, for example, tries to convince us that it was vinegar that Jesus tasted, not wine:

"they gave Him vinegar to drink mingled with gall. And when He had tasted thereof, He would not drink." Matthew 27:34

Yep, just what I'd like. After a hot afternoon of dragging the crucifix to the cemetery ... give me a tall glass of vinegar, will ya? What a load of bull. Amazing how zealots have corrupted the scriptures over the years, to the detriment of theology.

Do you think that maybe ... just maybe ... the supporters of a condemned man - like Jesus at Golgotha - endeavored to get him drunk? As in, really drunk...passed-out drunk...drugged-up? Big hint: Ethanol -- aka alcohol -- acts as an anesthetic.

Best if you blow a .35 or better on the Breathalyzer. Ever see a Western, or a war movie, where a triage doctor gets the injured man drunk before sawing off soem body part?

Seems like reasonable behavior for friends of a condemned man to do, 2000 years ago: Try to lessen his coming suffering by loading him up with the only anesthesia available: Wine.

So why would two of the Gospels have Jesus being offered wine just before getting nailed to the cross, and why would he refuse?

1. To show that Jesus had the opportunity to lessen his own suffering.
2. To show the he rejected the anesthesia, and accepted the full suffering.

And as a matter of theology, isn't is reasonable to assume that Jesus would refuse? If he were to accept anesthesia, wouldn't it be inconsistent with the theological doctine that Jesus "suffered, died and was buried?"

By doctine, his horrible suffering was a necessary part of his crucifixion. Right? Not a bad theory, anyway. It certainly makes far more logical and theological sense, than his being offered vinegar.

So the Prohibitionists who endeavor to remove "wine" from the Bible, masking an important Gospel fact that supports an important theological point.

The Awful Truth about Awful Altar Wine

There's nothing quite like a mouthful of terrible altar wine on Sunday morning. I thought it was just me. But apparently not:

"There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it." Matthew 27:34

Why is communion wine so terrible? Maybe to be true to Matthew?

You'd think they'd break out the good stuff for the occasion? "Bring out the choice wine!..." John 2:10.