Should fermented wine be used in the Lord's Supper?


Are not Christians who believe that unfermented or nonalcoholic wine is nearer that used by Christians in the early days justified in using such at the Lord’s table?

It is well not only to have beliefs, but also to be able to justify them from the Word of God or from real facts, admitted as such. Otherwise our “beliefs” may degenerate into personal opinions or even fads. I have never heard any proof that the wine used in the Scriptures was not ordinary fermented wine, as is produced in all wine-producing countries today. Fermentation is an ordinary process of nature and cannot but occur when wine is made. The wine used in the Bible made persons intoxicated, if taken in excess, and that used by the Corinthians, when they came together ostensibly to keep the Lord’s supper, was of the same character, as 1Corinthians 11:21 (“another is drunken”) shows. It was indeed a sad state of things, but the apostle did not solve the difficulty by changing the liquid used, but by changing their ideas of the Lord’s supper from a meal to an act of remembrance.

Really “unfermented wine” is a contradiction in terms. If it is not fermented, it may be a red liquid, it may be even a concoction of raisins, but it cannot be wine. The late W. Hunter of Manchester, used, I believe, to say that “unfermented wine,” was on a par with “unfrozen ice.” This being said, the wine need only be of such a strength as will preserve it sufficiently, so as not to necessitate the opening of a new bottle every week.