The Good Stuff

To start with, Milady sends her appreciation of your research, chrissy. ♥ As ever.

And I say, those grapes in the picture look delicious (although at first I thought they were blueberries - mmm I'm not a fruity wine drinker, but I do wonder what blueberry wine might be like).

Sorry. Meandering mind. Back to my intended comment.

cth: Jesus drank grape juice, not wine…

As Doc Brown might say, these people just aren't thinking fourth-dimensionally. You nailed it, of course, chrissy, but I'll add my 2&cents; anyway.

[Idiot dusts off soapbox, climbs up, clears throat pretentiously as if he knew beans from butter]

'Twas a different age.

First of all, "don't drink the water" was the rule. Unsafe at any source. So, people drank fermented beverages. Potable, portable. Alcoholic content surely varied, but it didn't have to be 100-proof to just be safe, right?

To my reading, Jesus was (at least) twice offered "vinegar" on the cross. The gospel accounts of these instances are scant and perhaps a bit confusing - um - anyway, to a poor student of scripture like m'self. Today, if someone said "Got anything to drink?" and you gave them what we call vinegar, you'd think it was a cruel joke. That's what Luke 23:36 reads like. But folks - especially Roman soldiers - drank a common sour wine - sometimes called vinegar. They may have been mocking him (part of the job requirement for Roman executioners), but what the soldiers offered when Jesus needed to un-parch to say his final words (e.g.. Matt 27:48, John 19:29) was presumably genuine thirst-relief, not a mean trick.

Which should not be confused with that sop Jesus refused because it was poisoned (Matt 27:34). Some folks took it upon themselves to sneak poison to the condemned to dull their pain or even hasten their death. I'm sure many a suffering crucifixee was glad for the mercy-relief of suicide, but Jesus, of course, refused the narcotic.

Huh. I thought I was just making all this stuff up, but then I read about Gall in the Christian Answers dictionary. (Heh.)

And I've never thought it trivial that when Jesus, at his mommy's urging, let slip a bit of divine authority at the Cana shindig, he didn't just make "vinegar." The Best Man, host of the feast, had no clue that the wine was of miraculous origin. We have the eternal testimony of his mistakenly saluting the Father of the Bride on saving the best stuff for last! That weren't no grape juice! That was six (wasn't it? pardon me not running to BibleGateway again) big water-jugs of the finest wine.

Of course, they didn't have water for the purification ceremonies, but nobody noticed because then the party really got into full swing, and late the next day, everyone was amazed they had no hangovers. Um… that part may be apocryphal.

Be of good cheer!