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#1
Old 09-16-2011, 05:34 AM
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Did Jesus ever get drunk?

Watching this video of Holy Rollers chastising college students at Vanderbilt with comments like "no drunkard will enter the kingdom of heaven" made me wonder...With all that wine drinking in the bible, did Jesus ever get drunk? Was there something in his 'son-of-godness' that made him immune from the effects of alcohol?
#2
Old 09-16-2011, 05:51 AM
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Well, he certainly liked to party. In the gospels he is constantly shown attending social gatherings, going to people’s houses for dinner, etc. And in parables he often uses a party or feast as an image of the kingdom of God, so he clearly though partying was a good thing. Plus, the gospels record that he was attacked as (among other things) “a drunkard” by opponents. Since people will usually attack you where they think you are vulnerable, and since some of the other attacks (“a friend of tax collectors”) certainly had some basis in fact, it seems reasonable to think that perhaps he had a reputation as a man who liked a drink, and perhaps the reputation was not entirely without foundation.

But I don’t think the gospels ever present him as being drunk.

In Christian theology, there is nothing in his “son-of-Godness” which made him immune to alcohol. On the contrary, he was “a man like us in all things but sin”. Presumably “all things” includes the ability to metabolize alcohol and the physiological consequences of doing so.
#3
Old 09-16-2011, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Pashnish Ewing View Post
Watching this video of Holy Rollers chastising college students at Vanderbilt with comments like "no drunkard will enter the kingdom of heaven" made me wonder...With all that wine drinking in the bible, did Jesus ever get drunk? Was there something in his 'son-of-godness' that made him immune from the effects of alcohol?
Undocumented in the source material, therefore unable to determine a factually correct answer. Baseless speculation and general knowledge of human nature says that yes, Jesus probably overindulged at some point in His life, but given the "without sin" part of His job description, I doubt He would have gone out to deliberately tie one on.
#4
Old 09-16-2011, 08:07 AM
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Don't you think that someone who could change water into wine might be able to do the opposite? Anytime he felt a little tipsy, *ZAP*-instant sobriety!
#5
Old 09-16-2011, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
Don't you think that someone who could change water into wine might be able to do the opposite? Anytime he felt a little tipsy, *ZAP*-instant sobriety!
But that seems rather a waste of a good miracle. Now, making it into better wine...
#6
Old 09-16-2011, 08:19 AM
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I can't see how He could not. Scriptures say He suffered everything man has suffered, so dealing with alcohol would seem to be included.

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Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
Don't you think that someone who could change water into wine might be able to do the opposite? Anytime he felt a little tipsy, *ZAP*-instant sobriety!
If that was needed for His work. Like if he was driving a chariot from Jerusalem to the see of Galilee after getting loaded at a party and got pulled over and had to take a sobriety test. If Jesus was on His way to cast out a few demons there, then Yes the Father could have zapped his system clear of alcohol. But besides that He would have to deal with the effects as we all do. His potential release of the effects from drinking is the same as given to us, namely just do the work of God wherever God has you and if that work requires the release then you will be released.

The water into wine seems to be a hijack of His powers by His earthly parent.
#7
Old 09-16-2011, 08:27 AM
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The statement "no drunkard will enter the kingdom of heaven", I believe represents someone controlled by alcohol that takes this person away from doing God's work.

Getting drunk with other drunkards to share the Love of God with others = good
Getting drunk that causes God to send others to you to share the good news = bad

In the first example you put God first, trust that He has put you among people to help, and if you don't drink with them you can't connect to the level you need to. So you are giving God the fear of the consequences of drinking and trusting Him to deal with those.
#8
Old 09-16-2011, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by kanicbird View Post
I can't see how He could not. Scriptures say He suffered everything man has suffered, so dealing with alcohol would seem to be included.
I'm picturing a rather haggard looking Jesus and an angel with a checklist now.

Angel: "Drunkenness...check. Tapeworms...check. Plague...check. Toothache...check. Blow to the head...THWACK...check."
#9
Old 09-16-2011, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Der Trihs View Post
I'm picturing a rather haggard looking Jesus and an angel with a checklist now.

Angel: "Drunkenness...check. Tapeworms...check. Plague...check. Toothache...check. Blow to the head...THWACK...check."
Actual yes, very insightful Der Trihs
#10
Old 09-16-2011, 10:06 AM
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Wait... kanicbird, Der Trihs, and I all agree on something in Great Debates?

To quote a great legal scholar, "Whoa."
#11
Old 09-16-2011, 10:52 AM
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The ancient Jews drank wine that was very watered-down. The figure that I've seen is one part wine to seven parts water, though I have no idea how we supposedly know that. When the Bible refers to "strong drink", that means wine without water.
#12
Old 09-16-2011, 10:58 AM
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If you believe in transubstantiation, then he must have had a pretty mean blood/alcohol level.
#13
Old 09-16-2011, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by ITR champion View Post
The ancient Jews drank wine that was very watered-down. The figure that I've seen is one part wine to seven parts water, though I have no idea how we supposedly know that. When the Bible refers to "strong drink", that means wine without water.
"Fact" based of unsupported statements from unknown sources, followed by another "fact" without cite.

I'm convinced.
#14
Old 09-16-2011, 11:35 AM
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Here's an interesting article on the topic: http://prohibitionhangover.com/israelwine.html

Quote:
Ancient Israel was an agrarian society. Most people farmed. They grew wheat, olives, tended orchards, herded goats, sheep and cattle, and grew grapes. References to winemaking abound in the Hebrew Scriptures. Grape growing, festivals, drunkenness, and thanksgiving for wine – they’re all there. It really shows that wine was part of everyday Jewish culture. Only the Book of Jonah has no reference to either wine or the vine.


The ancients didn’t understand microbes and gastrointestinal disease, but they knew that drinking water led to sickness and sometimes death. The water supply was often contaminated, particularly around settlements that had no sanitation, or even in short supply during droughts. So they drank wine but diluted it with water, both to quench the thirst and to dilute the effects of such strong drink. This kept them healthy. In fact, the phrase “strong drink” in the Bible may refer to undiluted wine.
The use of diluted alcoholic drinks rather than water is something I've read about in other places. But it is absolutely clear that the ancient Israelites did not use wine for this purpose alone - they drank diluted wine because it was safer than water and they drank wine, diluted or not, for its inebriating effects.

Quote:
He makes grass grow for the cattle,
and plants for man to cultivate –
bringing forth food from the earth:
Wine that gladdens the heart of man,
oil to make his face shine,
and bread that sustains his heart.
(Psalm 104:14-15)
#15
Old 09-16-2011, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by ITR champion View Post
The ancient Jews drank wine that was very watered-down. The figure that I've seen is one part wine to seven parts water, though I have no idea how we supposedly know that. When the Bible refers to "strong drink", that means wine without water.
This has been bantered around by those who claim that drinking is a no-no, though I have heard that while it may have happened the ancients did drink wine comparable and surpassing the strength of modern day wine (along with much regular strength beer). One of the primary duties of the Egyptian government was to ensure enough supply of beer to keep the population happy.
#16
Old 09-16-2011, 11:49 AM
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It's a fact that people in the ancient mediterranean drank wine constantly, it's also a fact that they routinely mixed wine and water, this is shown going back to the Iliad and the Oddessey.

There is no record in the Bible of Jesus ever getting drunk, and since all we know about Jesus comes from the Bible, there's no way to answer the question. The question reminds me a bit about a friend who had super-religious parents. He asked them what would happen if he served wine at his wedding, and they said they wouldn't come if he did. Because alcohol is evil, you know. So yeah.
#17
Old 09-16-2011, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by kanicbird View Post
This has been bantered around by those who claim that drinking is a no-no, though I have heard that while it may have happened the ancients did drink wine comparable and surpassing the strength of modern day wine (along with much regular strength beer). One of the primary duties of the Egyptian government was to ensure enough supply of beer to keep the population happy.
I would say to those people that it isn't an either-or proposition. Clearly, the redactors of the OT lived in a world in which drinking for pleasure was routine and expected. Otherwise, why would the Psalm say "Wine that gladdens the heart of man"?
#18
Old 09-16-2011, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Malthus View Post
But it is absolutely clear that the ancient Israelites did not use wine for this purpose alone - they drank diluted wine because it was safer than water and they drank wine, diluted or not, for its inebriating effects.
This sounds suspisciously like a conflation with the reason why people drank beer in Europe. Beer was indeed safer to drink, sometimes, than water from a polluted source.

If you water down wine, guess what? You add water, ergo not safer.

There was also stuff known (to the Romans) as defructum.
This was boiled down wine, a sort of wine syrup, which you were supposed to water down. Of course the less water you added, the headier the drink.

Last edited by Latro; 09-16-2011 at 01:14 PM.
#19
Old 09-16-2011, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Malthus View Post
Otherwise, why would the Psalm say "Wine that gladdens the heart of man"?
Also Ecclesiastes 9:7 Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do.
#20
Old 09-16-2011, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Latro View Post
This sounds suspisciously like a conflation with the reason why people drank beer in Europe. Beer was indeed safer to drink, sometimes, than water from a polluted source.

If you water down wine, guess what? You add water, ergo not safer.

There was also stuff known (to the Romans) as defructum.
This was boiled down wine, a sort of wine syrup, which you were supposed to water down. Of course the less water you added, the headier the drink.
defructum was boiled down grape juice, sometimes added to wine, but not boiled down wine, which the process would have removed the alcohol. And it was for mainly for cooking purposes as we might use grape jelly.

Last edited by kanicbird; 09-16-2011 at 01:18 PM.
#21
Old 09-16-2011, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
Don't you think that someone who could change water into wine might be able to do the opposite? Anytime he felt a little tipsy, *ZAP*-instant sobriety!
I think he would judge that to be cheating somehow, as turning stones to bread would have been.
#22
Old 09-16-2011, 01:39 PM
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He also helped get others drunk. Remember the wedding at Canae? He turned water into wine, and the steward was very clear that it was good wine, the kind that makes people unable to tell good win from bad in later servings. Regardless whether he got drunk himself or not, he certainly didn't object to drunkenness per se, at least in an appropriate context.

Of course, there was also a recognition that too much drunkenness is a bad thing: Quite a few Old Testament figures got shitfaced drunk, with bad results (Noah and Lot both come to mind). But that doesn't really say anything about drinking in moderation.
#23
Old 09-16-2011, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
He also helped get others drunk. Remember the wedding at Canae? He turned water into wine, and the steward was very clear that it was good wine, the kind that makes people unable to tell good win from bad in later servings. Regardless whether he got drunk himself or not, he certainly didn't object to drunkenness per se, at least in an appropriate context.

Of course, there was also a recognition that too much drunkenness is a bad thing: Quite a few Old Testament figures got shitfaced drunk, with bad results (Noah and Lot both come to mind). But that doesn't really say anything about drinking in moderation.
It's off topic, of course, but I could never buy the whole Lot-drunkenly-impregnates-his-daughters bit. Even for a myth it's an obvious lie.
#24
Old 09-16-2011, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
Don't you think that someone who could change water into wine might be able to do the opposite? Anytime he felt a little tipsy, *ZAP*-instant sobriety!
Sure, but what's the point ? If you want to be sober, it might be there's a simpler course of action than divine intervention. To whit: drinking water. The whole point of drinking alcohol is to get smashed. It's certainly not the taste...
#25
Old 09-16-2011, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Kobal2 View Post
Sure, but what's the point ? If you want to be sober, it might be there's a simpler course of action than divine intervention. To whit: drinking water. The whole point of drinking alcohol is to get smashed. It's certainly not the taste...
Is that a whoosh? Or a deliberate joke? Because beer and wine are very tasty, and most hard liquors have interesting flavours (even if you don't happen to like the taste).
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Old 09-16-2011, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Kobal2 View Post
Sure, but what's the point ? If you want to be sober, it might be there's a simpler course of action than divine intervention. To whit: drinking water. The whole point of drinking alcohol is to get smashed. It's certainly not the taste...
Yeah, I was a Bud Light chugging punk freshman too once.
#27
Old 09-16-2011, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Latro View Post
This sounds suspisciously like a conflation with the reason why people drank beer in Europe. Beer was indeed safer to drink, sometimes, than water from a polluted source.

If you water down wine, guess what? You add water, ergo not safer.

There was also stuff known (to the Romans) as defructum.
This was boiled down wine, a sort of wine syrup, which you were supposed to water down. Of course the less water you added, the headier the drink.
I'm just repeating what I've heard.

For example, this article allegedly appeared in Scientific American:

http://beekmanwine.com/prevtopx.htm

Quote:
In the context of contaminated water supply, ethyl alcohol may indeed have been mother’s milk to a nascent Western civilization. Beer and wine were free of pathogens. And the antiseptic power of alcohol, as well as the natural acidity of wine and beer, killed many pathogens when the alcoholic drinks were diluted with the sullied water supply.
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Old 09-16-2011, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by DrFidelius View Post
Is that a whoosh? Or a deliberate joke? Because beer and wine are very tasty, and most hard liquors have interesting flavours (even if you don't happen to like the taste).
I'm just saying there's probably a reason non-alcoholic whiskeys, wines or beers are not a huge hit even when they exist
#29
Old 09-16-2011, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Kobal2 View Post
I'm just saying there's probably a reason non-alcoholic whiskeys, wines or beers are not a huge hit even when they exist
I've never even heard of a non-alcoholic whiskey. The stuff is 40% alcohol, so taking that out would leave...what? Non-alcoholic beer is crap because there just isn't enough demand for it to cause brewers to compete with each other to make it better.
#30
Old 09-16-2011, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
I've never even heard of a non-alcoholic whiskey. The stuff is 40% alcohol, so taking that out would leave...what? Non-alcoholic beer is crap because there just isn't enough demand for it to cause brewers to compete with each other to make it better.
edited to add: Whiskey gets it flavor from being aged in barrels-no alcohol, no aging.
#31
Old 09-16-2011, 09:00 PM
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On the other hand, non-alcoholic wine is a huge industry. Except it's usually just called "juice".
#32
Old 09-16-2011, 09:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke 7:33-34
For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil.

The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!
Sounds a little defensive, no? Like a first reaction to an intervention?
#33
Old 09-16-2011, 09:39 PM
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RE: Non-alcoholic beer.

For myself, alcohol in and of itself has a very specific flavor. Removing that element from beer, while it tastes somewhat similar -- it's just not beer. Nor nearly as good as the real McCoy the few times I've had it.

It takes at least 3 or 4 beers before I really feel anything anyway, and that's on an empty stomach. When I drink beer, it's usually only one or two and with a meal -- and delicious.

So, the market for "bread juice" is somewhat small, I imagine. [khack]
#34
Old 09-16-2011, 10:15 PM
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but this whole "alcohol is sinful" things seems to be an entirely puritan (protestant?) movement, that stuck around for a while, and only now seems to be giving way to whatever counts as reason, among the uber-religious.

I get that over-indulging in any mind-altering substance isn't a good idea. But a "sin", forbidding entrance into heaven from the perspective of the bible (OT and NT), just doesn't jive. I can't imagine Jesus himself not ever experiencing some sort of intoxication. It's clear He drank wine a'plenty from the bible, and despite His divinity (or not), it only seems inevitable that He'd had one too many. And probably often.

Last edited by cmyk; 09-16-2011 at 10:17 PM.
#35
Old 09-16-2011, 11:02 PM
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All good Jews get drunk on Purim.
#36
Old 09-17-2011, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by cmyk View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong, but this whole "alcohol is sinful" things seems to be an entirely puritan (protestant?) movement, that stuck around for a while, and only now seems to be giving way to whatever counts as reason, among the uber-religious.

I get that over-indulging in any mind-altering substance isn't a good idea. But a "sin", forbidding entrance into heaven from the perspective of the bible (OT and NT), just doesn't jive. I can't imagine Jesus himself not ever experiencing some sort of intoxication. It's clear He drank wine a'plenty from the bible, and despite His divinity (or not), it only seems inevitable that He'd had one too many. And probably often.
Not Puritan. They imbibed also. More like a Wesleyan thing in reaction to the alcohol problems of those Wesley ministered to.

As to the frequency of JC's having one too many, I could see it happening once as a learning experience. But when He learned His limits, He stayed within them.
#37
Old 09-17-2011, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by cmyk View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong, but this whole "alcohol is sinful" things seems to be an entirely puritan (protestant?) movement, that stuck around for a while, and only now seems to be giving way to whatever counts as reason, among the uber-religious.
My understanding is that it was largely a womens movement, in the hope of reducing the number of cases of husbands beating their wives, and so on. I'm sure that it was lead by churches, but that's because it was a grass-roots movement, which probably formed in the one location where women could meet socially and organize events -- the church.
#38
Old 09-18-2011, 01:14 AM
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Fair enough. But wine, being wine -- if that was the drink of the day -- when in Rome...
#39
Old 09-18-2011, 03:55 AM
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The Temperence movement in America began very specifically as an anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant political platform in the early 19th Century. Prior to that, literary and musical refences to the evil of John Barleycorn and demon rum are pretty rare. British moralists of the Georgian period might comment that the poor craved gin and the strongest ales, but didn't begrudge anybody a good cheap beer now and then.
#40
Old 09-18-2011, 04:44 AM
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So many interesting subjects to consider. Did Gaia have a yeast infection? Did Muhammed fuck Aisha in the ass? Did Abraham jack off in the woods? Did Hara Krishna drink his own piss?
#41
Old 09-18-2011, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by kanicbird View Post
I can't see how He could not. Scriptures say He suffered everything man has suffered, so dealing with alcohol would seem to be included.



If that was needed for His work. Like if he was driving a chariot from Jerusalem to the see of Galilee after getting loaded at a party and got pulled over and had to take a sobriety test. If Jesus was on His way to cast out a few demons there, then Yes the Father could have zapped his system clear of alcohol. But besides that He would have to deal with the effects as we all do. His potential release of the effects from drinking is the same as given to us, namely just do the work of God wherever God has you and if that work requires the release then you will be released.

The water into wine seems to be a hijack of His powers by His earthly parent.
There were many things that Jesus did not suffer as a human being, he had parents who loved him(many do not) so he didn't suffer child abuse, he didn't have children, so he didn't suffer the loss of a child nor watch it die from a decease, he didn't suffer any of the handicaps that many suffer, he didn't have a wife or spouse, so didn't suffer the hurt a spouse can cause another, When he needed money for taxes he just had Peter catch a fish and used that money, no human father can do that. He didn't suffer from blindness or lack of hearing. In reality he only suffered what he chose to suffer, so if the writers are correct he was not much like any human being. He had perfect parents so he didn't suffer the fear many have when their parents quarrel.
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Old 09-18-2011, 09:03 AM
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No Jesus and Alcohol thread would be complete without this line from family guy
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Originally Posted by Peter Griffin, after drinking "the blood of christ"
Holy crap, that guy must've been wasted 24 hours a day
#43
Old 09-18-2011, 12:36 PM
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Did Gaia have a yeast infection?
Yes. It's called "yeast."

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Did Abraham jack off in the woods?
"Woods"?
#44
Old 09-18-2011, 12:37 PM
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"Bleshed [hic] are . . . bleshed are the poor . . . the poor in spirits, for I shall [hic] buy the next round!"
#45
Old 09-18-2011, 12:40 PM
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Then there was that time the Disciples swiped the party-amphora from the Dalet House . . .

Last edited by BrainGlutton; 09-18-2011 at 12:42 PM.
#46
Old 09-18-2011, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by monavis View Post
There were many things that Jesus did not suffer as a human being, he had parents who loved him(many do not) so he didn't suffer child abuse, he didn't have children, so he didn't suffer the loss of a child nor watch it die from a decease, he didn't suffer any of the handicaps that many suffer, he didn't have a wife or spouse, so didn't suffer the hurt a spouse can cause another, When he needed money for taxes he just had Peter catch a fish and used that money, no human father can do that. He didn't suffer from blindness or lack of hearing. In reality he only suffered what he chose to suffer, so if the writers are correct he was not much like any human being. He had perfect parents so he didn't suffer the fear many have when their parents quarrel.
There are some details which are debatable- yes, I'm sure Mary & Joseph were good parents, but perfect & non-quarrelling? He may not have had a wife & children (tho that's not a certainty) but He still may have suffered unrequited love or a bad romance, & been distressed by the illness, loss, etc. of other children in His family. His fish-coin trick was not a common occurrence. And it's a matter of Christian theology, based on the "He learned by suffering as a human" Scriptures, that everything He didn't suffer in His daily life still got piled on Him at the Crucifixion, provoking the "My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?" freak-out.
#47
Old 09-18-2011, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by FriarTed View Post
There are some details which are debatable- yes, I'm sure Mary & Joseph were good parents, but perfect & non-quarrelling?
Well, Joseph kept Mary around after she came home one night and said "Honey, I just got knocked up. By an angel from the Lord, I swear !". He must have been a pretty damn Zen husband.
That or he was drunk enough to believe it
#48
Old 09-18-2011, 06:10 PM
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Originally Posted by cmyk View Post
RE: Non-alcoholic beer.

For myself, alcohol in and of itself has a very specific flavor. Removing that element from beer, while it tastes somewhat similar -- it's just not beer. Nor nearly as good as the real McCoy the few times I've had it.

It takes at least 3 or 4 beers before I really feel anything anyway, and that's on an empty stomach. When I drink beer, it's usually only one or two and with a meal -- and delicious.

So, the market for "bread juice" is somewhat small, I imagine. [khack]
The Simpsons had the right take on this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa the Vegetarian
[Apu reveals the entrance to his secret garden]
Lisa: Wow, a hidden staircase. But what do you do if someone wants a non-alcoholic beer?
Apu: You know, it's never come up...
Quote:
Originally Posted by monavis View Post
There were many things that Jesus did not suffer as a human being, he had parents who loved him(many do not) so he didn't suffer child abuse, he didn't have children, so he didn't suffer the loss of a child nor watch it die from a decease, he didn't suffer any of the handicaps that many suffer, he didn't have a wife or spouse, so didn't suffer the hurt a spouse can cause another, When he needed money for taxes he just had Peter catch a fish and used that money, no human father can do that. He didn't suffer from blindness or lack of hearing. In reality he only suffered what he chose to suffer, so if the writers are correct he was not much like any human being. He had perfect parents so he didn't suffer the fear many have when their parents quarrel.
I like to think the miracle at Cana (His first miracle, where He turned water into wine) happened like this: Jesus and his friends were kicking a ball around or something (remember, he was just a kid at the time), and his mother tells him to go to town and get more wine. He was all "Awww, Mom! Do I have to?" (think of Luke whining about power converters to get the right tone.) His mother tells Him not to argue, but go and get the wine. He asks where he should get it, and she says, "I don't care where it comes from, just so long as we have it!" So he says, "OK, done." and goes back to playing ball.
#49
Old 09-18-2011, 11:08 PM
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Personally, I've always heard the interpretation that the reason they ran out of wine was that Jesus and his teenage buddies all crashed the party.
#50
Old 09-19-2011, 03:29 AM
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I think the idea that Jesus himself never drank came from one source, applied two ways. The source is the Nazirite requirements, which say that, in order to be closer to God, you can't drink. One of the ways is a mixup between Nazirite and Nazarene. The other way is the idea that Jesus was perfect, and thus would follow the commands God gave to the Nazirites who were supposed to be more perfect.

But to believe this, you also have to believe that Jesus didn't drink the wine at the Last Supper. It doesn't matter if it was alcoholic or not: Nazirites can't even drink grape juice because it might have accidentally have fermented a bit.
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