I was the Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. This was while being a professor of economics and NDSU. Later I became active in the Red River Freethinkers. While I no longer live in Fargo-Moorhead the focus of my blog remains there.


Alcohol in Biblical Times


The church I grew up in treated alcohol consumption as a serious sin. I never looked into where that came from but it was a serious issue. Gossip around the community told us of various people who were seen in taverns around the area. In church, it was said the word "wine" referred to a non alcoholic fruit drink.
No one mentioned references in the Bible to beer. I've read there are several dozen references to beer.
Alcoholic beverages were essential because the alcohol killed the bacteria that was in water. Today scientists are trying to figure out where the strain of yeast used in beer came from. It was different than the one used for other alcoholic beverages.
It appears there was considerable sophistication about yeasts--which ones worked best for this purpose or that. From what evidence there is, it seems the yeasts traveled along the popular trade routes like spices and precious stones and metals. We all know about the Silk Road. It was only one of many routes for commerce.
These trade routes also played a role in the spread of religions. Without commerce and travel no one would have heard of the god over the next hill. Christianity benefited from trade, a dictator and later the printing press. It could be called the lucky religion for the time it came along.
That the same trade routes that gave use yeasts used in beer also gave us Christianity makes it hard to understand why some branches of Christianity were or are today for temperance. It simply cannot be true that the beer and wine referred to in the Bible were non alcoholic.
This only illustrates how a group can bend the Bible to suit whatever they want it to say.

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