What Does the Bible Say About Alcohol? Is Drinking It a Sin?

What Does the Bible Say About Alcohol? Is Drinking It a Sin?

The Bible’s answer

 It is not a sin to drink alcohol in moderation. The Bible describes wine as a gift from God that can make life more enjoyable. (Psalm 104:14, 15; Ecclesiastes 3:​13; 9:7) The Bible also acknowledges the medicinal value of wine.​—1 Timothy 5:​23.

 Jesus drank wine during his time on earth. (Matthew 26:29; Luke 7:​34) In one of his well-known miracles, Jesus turned water into wine as a generous gift at a marriage feast.​—John 2:​1-​10.

Dangers of overdrinking

 While the Bible mentions the positive aspects of wine, it condemns overdrinking and drunkenness. Thus, a Christian who chooses to drink alcohol would do so only in moderation. (1 Timothy 3:8; Titus 2:​2, 3) The Bible gives several reasons to avoid overdrinking.

How much is too much?

 A person has had too much alcohol when his drinking puts him or others at risk of harm. According to the Bible, drunkenness is identified, not by a person’s passing out, but by such behavior as being disoriented, walking unsteadily, becoming contentious, or having slurred speech. (Job 12:25; Psalm 107:27; Proverbs 23:29, 30, 33) Even those who avoid getting drunk can still become “weighed down with . . . heavy drinking” and experience its serious consequences.​—Luke 21:34, 35.

Complete abstinence

 The Bible also identifies times when Christians should avoid drinking alcohol altogether:

  •   If others would be stumbled by it.​—Romans 14:21.

  •   If drinking alcohol violates the law of the land.​—Romans 13:1.

  •   If a person cannot control his drinking. Those who suffer from alcoholism and other forms of alcohol abuse must be willing to take drastic action.​—Matthew 5:​29, 30.