Re: Cana and apparent age

Bill Payne (
Thu, 30 Apr 1998 18:23:29 -0600

Bill Hamilton wrote:

> Tom raises a really good point here: are we to apply the strict definition
> of wine when we read "wine" in the Cana account? Or are we allowed some
> license in the interpretation? Some Protestant churches which use grape
> juice instead of wine nevertheless tend to call the contents of the cup
> "wine". Furthermore, what do we know about winemaking practices and
> terminology in Jesus' time? (I'm not saying no one knows, but I don't)
> Perhaps grape juice that had not yet completed the fermentation process was
> loosely referred to as "wine". My point (in other posts on the subject as
> well as this one) is that we don't know enough to be too persnickety in our
> interpretation.

I would allow you to make the definition of "wine" as loose as you
want. It could even have been unfermented grape juice. The point is
not how old did the "wine" appear to be as measured against our
standards of alcohol content, taste, year of manufacture, etc.; the
point is that what was water when poured into the stone jars, was "wine"
whe dipped out a few minutes later. Even grape juice takes a little
effort to make and therefore requires some time that was not available
in this instance.

What should have, by all naturalistic accounts, still been water when
the servants dipped some of the liquid out and carried it to the host,
had aquired characteristics which require some process executed through
time in our common experience. God bypassed the process and the time
normally required to make "wine" from water. Logically, I still fail to
see the difference between the "wine" - created in the absence of
process and time - and the appearance of an aged universe. I don't see
why we should not at least grant God the freedom to create with or
without process/time without accusing Him of being deceitful if He chose
to create the universe/earth through the same miraculous power He
displayed in creating the "wine".

Bill Payne