Wine vs. Grape Juice in the Lord's Supper Edited by C. Matthew McMahonArticles on Puritan Worship and the Regulative Principle
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The temperance movement advocated (and still does advocate) a change to the words of Christ, and the meaning of bread and wine in the Lord’s Supper. They suppose that wine is not really wine, and is instead, grape juice, unfermented juice. Aside from the impossibility of the juice lasting for any time in the hot climate of Israel, the Greek and Hebrew texts do not warrant any juice in this way as unfermented. They attempt to dance around “new” wine and “old” wine, and a host of other unattainable points to say that Jesus never made, nor drank, any fermented drink. As a result, they think that the Lord’s Supper ought not to have wine, but juice.
Here is a small list of places to look on the issue of wine vs. grape juice in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.
All of the Reformers and Puritans advocated bread and wine. I don’t know of any Reformer or puritan who wasn’t.
They will all say that the sacramental elements are “bread and wine”.
Some will go deeper and explain why bread was used and wine was used.
It would not be beneficial to list out every advocate, for that would take far too many pages to list.
Turretin is quite helpful on the issue:
“Common “wine” is instituted, of indifferent color, undiluted with water, because it is called simple, “the fruit of the vine.” (Matthew 26:29; Mark 14:25). Thus the Romanists hear without reason, urge the mixture of water with the wine, which although according to them is not of the integrity of the sacrament, still is of its incongruity, nor can it be omitted without mortal sin, (as Bellarmine holds). For although it may seem to be indifferent (which may be equally omitted or retained, provided the order of the church is not disturbed; and it is clear by the ancients water was mixed with the wine because the use of pure wine is rare among the orientals); still they are deservedly to be censured because (without authority from the word) they invent mortal sins, and condemn the liberty of others.” [Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Volume 3, pp. 431ff.]
Calvin, Institutes, 4:17:14.
Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, Volume 3, pp. 431ff.
Martin Luther, “Table Talk” (Luther’s Works 54:438).
Westminster Puritan John Lightfoot, A Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica, Matthew-1 Corinthians, Matthew-Mark, vol. 2, 345–346.
Edward Reynolds, Meditations on the Holy Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, p 24ff.
Edmund Calamy, The Lord’s Super is a Federal Ordinance, The Puritans on the Lord’s Supper, p 23ff.
Thomas Wadsworth, It is Every Christian’s Indispensable Duty to Partake of the Lord’s Supper, The Puritans on the Lord’s Supper, p 60
Thomas Watson, The Mystery of the Lord’s Supper.
Henry Smith, A Treatise on the Lord’s Supper
William Perkins, A Golden Chain: The Order of the Causes of Salvation and Damnation, chapter 34 of the Lord’s Supper.
Nicholas Byfield, The Rules of a Holy Life, chapter 12.
Lewis Bayly, The Practice of Piety , chapter 22.
Richard Byfield, The Light of Faith and Way of Holiness, §6.
Richard Vines, A Treatise of the Right Administration and Receiving of the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, p. 119.
Samuel Bolton, The Guard of the Tree of Life, a Discourse on the Sacraments.
Francis Roberts, True Communion with Christ in the Lord’s Supper.
John Brinsley, The Saint’s Joint Membership as One Body in Jesus Christ, chapter 1.
Belgic Confession, Article 35.
The Second Helvetic Confession
First National Reformation in Scotland, Confession of Faith 1560
Question 78 of the Heidelberg Catechism
WCF – Chapter 29, LC question 168, SC question 96,
Luther’s Smalcald Articles, VI.
The Scottish Confession of Faith
The Thirty-Nine Articles (1572)
The Irish Articles of Religion, 93.
The Savoy Declaration chapter 30
The Catechism of the Church of Geneva, 341.
GI Williamson, Wine in the Bible and the Church
Charles Spurgeon’s book review of The Wines of the Bible: an Examination and Refutation of the Unfermented Wine Theory by the Rev. A. M. Wilson. (reviewed 1877, The Sword and the Trowel, p. 437)
William Sprague, The Danger of Being Overwise
Philip Schaff, ed. A Religious Encyclopedia of Biblical, Historical, Doctrinal and Practical Theology, 1887: 2537-2538.
Keith A. Mathison, “Given For You”, pp. 301-304.
Gerhard Kittel, ed. Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, 1967: Vol. V, p. 164.
William Lane. The Gospel According to Mark, (New International Commentary on the New Testament), 1974: pp 508-509.
Joachim Jeremias. The Eucharistic Words of Jesus 1966: pp. 50-51, 183.
The Talmud shows that wine was used:
Compare wine and grape juice to the festival of Purim: