Communion, Lord’s Supper, Was It Wine?

The word for WINE in the O.T. is usually the Heb. word, YAYIN, which is a generic word as is OINOS in the N.T.


Here, consideration could be given to “cups”, “wafers” and other questions, but let us now consider the main thrust of this study.  “WAS IT WINE?”

                  Thus, to continue to so contact the blood of Christ in the Lord’s Supper is a necessary experience.

                  the word ‘cleanses’ is from KATHARIZO, v.=to free from the guilt of sin, to purify.”              

The “cup” or “fruit of the vine.”
                1.      The BLOOD is represented by this pure “fruit of the vine”, Mt. 26:27-29.  And, this has a cleansing effect on a continuing basis, cf. Mt. 26:27, Vine says on I Jn. 1:7, “Here

The “bread”.
1. Christ’s body is represented by UNLEAVENED BREAD, Mt. 26:26.  This bread was always UNLEAVENED BREAD.  It was a “PASSOVER MEAL” (Ex. 12:1-20), read also I Cor. 10:16  “…the bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?”
2.      Lk. 22:19 again, “…which is given for you…”  A discussion on “breaking of bread” is interesting. 
     Thayer says:  “The Greek word is KLASIS, n.=breaking.  And KLAO, v.=to break, to break off  pieces; 2nd  def., of breaking of bread in the Lord’s Supper, Mt. 26:26; Mk. 14:22; Lk. 22:19; Acts 2:42, 20:7; I Cor. 10:16, 11:24.  3rd. def., Ordinary meal, Acts 2:46; 20:11; 27:35.”


     The command given concerning the Lord’s Supper.  Lk. 22:19
                 1.      The “Memorial” was established by our Lord.  “This do…”
                 2.      The Lord’s Supper was a vital part of the N.T. Church.  Acts 2:42
                 3.      In Heb. 10:24-31 we can see that it was carried forward within the
                       Body of Christ most seriously.  (consider vv.26-31)

The setting of the Last Supper.
1. Mt. 26:26-28 where the PASSOVER MEAL was being enjoyed.
2.      A most serious time just prior to Jesus’ death.  vv.29-35


            After a brief review of the basic details, I would like to give some thoughts concerning the word “WINE” as is so often used in reference to “the fruit of the vine” and “this cup” (as Jesus so said).

            We are all aware of the necessity of observing the Lord’s Supper each Lord’s Day, and we are all aware of the passages concerning this subject.  We know that the Lord’s Supper is a “memorial” (Lk. 22:19 “…this do in remembrance of me.”)

YAYIN is usually seen in a negative reference, e.g., Prov. 20:1; 23:31-35.

TIROSH (Heb.) is usually used denoting the newly squeezed juice from the grape(s).  One commentator in ref. To Isa. 5:2, refers to the case of Pharaoh’s butler, saying, “By which it would seem that the Egyptians drank only the fresh juice pressed from the grapes…known as wine of the vineyards.”

There are other words for “wine” which could be listed.
a. Heb. word “khamah” is rendered “poison” in Dt. 32:24; Ps. 58:4 & Job 6:4.
b.      Heb. word “ahsis” is applied to the juice of newly trodden grapes or other fruit.
c.       Heb. soveii, sobe, denotes a luscious and probably boiled wine, Isa. 1:22;

             Hosea 4:18; Nahum 1:14.

 On the word “WINE”, it usually referred to the “product of the VINE”.  Now, in our age, “wine” in most all  cases refers to an alcoholic beverage.

The word “wine” derives from the word “vine” which produces fruit which when pressed, gives its “fruit” or sweet juice.  It was also known as “must”.

Professor Charles Anthon, LLD, in his Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, article VINUM, says, “The sweet unfermented juice of the grape was termed GLEUKOS.”  (Vinum is in reference to the “vine”.)

Dr. Adam Clarke, on Gen. 40:11, says, “…The saky, or cup bearer, took the bunch, pressed the juice into the cup, and instantly delivered it into the hands of his master.”


Mt. 26:26,27.  Having finished the Passover, Jesus “took bread,” unleavened, (equal to unfermented), and  blessed it.  This was done always at the Passover, and was there  transferred to The Lord’s Supper as a SYMBOL of His body.  Then He took the CUP and gave thanks.  (Believed to have been the third cup of the Passover meal.)

This CUP, which contained UNFERMENTED juice of the grape, He gave to His disciples as the SYMBOL of His own blood, “shed for the remission of sins.”

It was PASSOVER bread and wine from the Passover meal that Jesus used.  Jesus used the words, “cup” and “fruit of the vine”.  He did not use the word OINOS, the usual word for wine, but adopts the phrase, “genneematos tees ampelou,” “this fruit of the vine.”  Could it have been that the word “oinos” was a generic word, including the juice of the grape in all its stages, that He chose a more specific phrase?  Or could it be that He had previously selected THE VINE as the illustration of Himself as THE TRUE VINE, and His disciples as the fruit-bearing branches, and the juice as “the pure blood of the grape”?
    a. Notice the phrase in Dt. 32:14 “…and thou didst drink the pure blood of the grape.”  (“You drank the foaming blood of the grape.” (NIV)).

But, how did they have “fresh” grape juice some six months later than the grape harvest?
1. It is known among the writings of Josephus, and others that grapes are preserved fresh through the year, and that the “juice” may be fresh pressed out when needed.
2.      Clement, of Alexandria, A.D. 180, designates the liquid used by Christ as “the blood of the vine.”
3.      How did Jesus feel about “fermented grape juice”?
      a.      Mk. 2:22, “New wine in old bottles.”  (Mt. 9:17)
      b.      Lk. 22:34, “surfeiting and drunkenness,” literally, in drunkenness, intoxication.  Christ here warns equally against being “overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness, and cares of this life.”  He warns against drinks that would intoxicate a person.


One final support that Jesus used the “fruit of the vine” not WINE.  Consider The Wedding Feast at Cana, Jn. 2:1-11.

It is outstanding here that Jesus TURNED WATER INTO WINE.  The Greek word “oinos” is used, and therefore many claim that Jesus made real intoxicating wine!  But we know that “oinos” is a generic word, and as such, includes all stages of the juice of the grape.

The occasion was a wedding feast.  The material was WATER.  The operator was JESUS CHRIST, the same One who, in the beginning, fixed the law by which the vine takes up water and converts it into pure, unfermented juice.

The character of the wine will determine the moral influence of the miracle.
a. They had run out of wine.  Jesus’ mother tells Jesus of the problem.
b.      He directs that six water jugs be filled with WATER.
c.       He then directs to draw and give to the Master of the feast.
d.      The Master of the feast pronounced it wine – GOOD WINE.

Is it not incredible that any Christian person would suggest that Jesus on that occasion would “MIRACULOUSLY” produce an “intoxicating wine”?  To me, it is blasphemy!

CONCLUSIONChrysostom, born A.D. 344, says, “Now, indeed, making plain that it is he who changes into wine the water in the vines and the rain drawn up by the roots.  He produced instantly at the wedding-feast that which is formed in the plant during a long course of time.”  Bible Comm., P.305


Plainly, don’t get short changed. Let’s be ready to meet our Maker. The Bible teaches that to avoid hell and gain heaven - one must:

1) Believe In Jesus As Savior (Acts 16:31)

2) Repent Of Sins (Acts 17:30)

3) Confess Christ Audibly (Acts 8:37)

4) Be Baptized In Water (Acts 2:38)

5) Live A Christian Life (Acts 14:22)

6) Be Active In the Church (Acts 2:47)

Posted in Articles By Brother Hoyt.