John A. Broadus on Total Abstinence
Dr. John A. Broadus, in letter to a friend, [Novembr 28, 1894] said concerning the elements of the Lord's Supper,"The idea that the word wine in the Bible sometimes means an unintoxicating beverage is without any sufficient foundation. Some men have written to that effect, but no man who is a thorough Hebrew or Greek scholar, as far as I know, at all takes any such position. It seems to me a great pity that advocates of the great cause of total abstinence should take up so untenable a position. The pure wine of Palestine, in our Lord's time, taken as was the custom with a double quantity of water (a man who "drinks unmixed," among the Greeks, meant a hard drinker), and used in moderation, was about as stimulating as our tea or coffee, and was used by the Saviour and by others just as we use them. The case is altered now, for such pure and mild wines would be very hard to get, and would tend to encourage the use of distilled liquors, which are so much more powerful and dangerous. Therefore it is better to abstain from the use of wine for our own sake and as examples to others."
[From A. T. Robertson, The Life and Letters of John A. Broadus, Philadelphia: American Baptist Publication Society, 1901; reprint, 1987, pp.426-7.]
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