Iver Larsen iver_larsen at
Sat Jan 18 14:11:49 EST 2003

Since the attitude to wine drinking is like a doctrine in some churches, I
will only comment on some of the logical flaws in the claims put forward:
> Taking things in reverse order:
> SUGKERANNUMI in 2 Macc 15.39 signifies a commingling, not an
> alternation as has been suggested.

And why such a claim? I am looking at context and other usages of the word,
while you present no arguments or reason.

 Although this forum is not one dealing with
> history, a
> proper understanding of some statements requires an understanding of the
> historical practice.  It was the practice to mix the wine with
> water.  This is found in Homer.
(lines 460-470)

This was a very special incident where a drink offering was made, and
therefore cannot be construed to mean that ordinary people customarily drank
a mixture of wine and water.
One cannot make a statement about a general custom from one special
incident. I need to see more and better data for such a general claim.

> It was also the practice of the early church which has been carried
> in the Eucharist as anyone who has partaken of the Eucharist in the
> Anglican Communion (and presumably the Roman Catholic) is aware for the
> wine is mixed with water.

That sections of the church in Anglophone countries have this tradition does
not mean that such was the tradition of the early church. This is a fairly
recent cultural tradition, I believe. In the Lutheran church in Denmark
which I am most familiar with, they have always used wine, but I expect the
Lutheran churches in the US would normally use fruit juice rather than wine.
I would expect the same to be the case for the Catholic church, that is, in
the US and UK many would probably use fruit juice, but you can be sure that
the Catholic churches in Continental Europe use wine. I was shocked the
first time I attended a communion service in the UK, and they did not use
wine. It was neither Anglican nor Catholic, just British.

Iver Larsen

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