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It is argued by some that because Jesus made wine in Cana, people are “authorized” by the Lord to drink alcohol beverages today. Most often, what is in view would be social drinking or having alcoholic beverages at home. Those who think along this line will concur that drunkenness is sinful, but social drinking is not.

Yet, as one looks at the text of John 2 there is hardly any justification for such a position. The wedding in Cana was a joyous occasion and one where food and drink was provided. The drink in John 2 is wine. The word wine is from a Greek word (oinos) that simply means a beverage that comes from the vine. There is nothing within the word that suggests alcoholic content.

The beverage of the occasion was gone (or nearly so) when Jesus was asked to get involved; He did so, turning water into wine. In 2:10, the “master of the feast” was impressed with the flavor of the wine now to be served, and he said as much. It is from this verse that some think the wine was of alcoholic content when we read “when the guests have well drunk” (NKJV). The NIV reads “after the guests have had too much to drink.” The NIV gives an inebriated sense to the passage, while the NKJV does not.

It can be sustained that the NKJV is more accurate than the NIV in its rendering. What the ruler of the feast was pleased with was the flavor, the quality of the drink in comparison with the beverage initially served. There is nothing in the verse that speaks to the alcoholic content of the beverage and, besides, if the people were “already drunk,” then what contribution did Jesus make to their “sobering” up with this first miracle at Cana?