I was born out of wedlock and my mother was formerly married to
a man, of which wasn’t my father (I was born after their divorce). They had an
unscriptual divorce (of which she said was his idea), and now he has remarried.
In her repentance in becoming a Christian, do I have to seperate in one
instance or another from my mother, since I am one born out of wedlock? Also,
does I Corinthians 7:11 allow her to stay single if their is no reconciliation?
Sorry. Since learning more about marriage, divorce, and remarriage, I have been
desperate in getting the complete truth for myself and others. [Name &
Location withheld at the discretion of the Editor]
For your part, being “born out of wedlock” attaches no
spiritual fault or sin to you. Babies, irrespective of the circumstances of
their births, arrive on planet earth sinlessly perfect. “The soul that sinneth,
it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall
the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous
shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him” (Ezek.
18:20). Guilt for sin comes later in life; “Thou wast perfect in thy ways from
the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee” (Ezek 28:15).
The fact that you were conceived in sin (Psalm 51:5) was sin shared by your
biological parents. If your mother had never repented of that sin, she still
would have been your mother, just as despite the sin of one spouse (perhaps
even to being withdrawn from by the church) spouses still have marital
responsibilities that are not diminished. Yet, even family are obligated to
convey disapproval rather than approval toward delinquent Christian family
members. However, if your mother’s repentance upon becoming a Christian
(expressed or not expressed publicly) included all previous sins, including
fornication that led to your birth, God has chosen to forget the sin (Hebrews
8:12; 10:17), and so should you as best you can.
Under the New Testament, divorce and remarriage is
forbidden except in the case of fornication or death of a spouse (Romans 7:1-3;
Matthew 19:9). At least one
spouse in every divorce is guilty of the sin of divorce; divorce is forbidden
under Christianity (1 Corinthians 7:10). If, though, a divorce occurs not
because of fornication or adultery, the spouses are required to reconcile or
remain separate (1 Corinthians 7:11). If reconciliation is not possible, the
parties to the interrupted marriage are required by inspired, apostolic command
to “remain unmarried.” If your mother included in her repentance when becoming
a Christian, or at some other time, any responsibility she may have for the
divorce, she is forgiven by God. In the case of an “unscriptural divorce,” she
must remain unmarried to continue to be pleasing to God.
Can you please explain the wine or the strong wine in Deuteronomy 14: 22-28. I’m not drinking wine or
strong wine, I’m teaching bible class every sunday and my topic is about giving
(offering, tithe and giving in the new testament) but the second tithe is
mention in the book deuteronomy 14.
Yours in Christ, Omar Agustin
reads, “And thou shalt bestow that money for whatsoever thy soul lusteth after,
for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink [“similar drink” NKJV], or for whatsoever thy soul desireth:
and thou shalt eat there before the LORD thy God, and thou shalt rejoice, thou,
and thine household” (KJV).
Whatever Deuteronomy 14:26
means, respecting “wine” and “strong drink,” it must harmonize with other portions
of divinely inspired Scripture about the same subject. Someone once said that
Scripture is its own best commentary (i.e., other passages that are more easily
understood pertaining to the same subject contribute to the proper
understanding of more difficult passages). “…Scripture must serve as a guide to
understand Scripture. Any problem text must be interpreted not in isolation but
in the light of the overall teaching of Scripture. An interpretation of a
passage contradicting the whole trend of Scripture must be rejected as wrong”
(Bacchiocchi 224). One passage “doctrines” are suspiciously under substantiated
by divine inspiration and scare me; proponents of social drinking (of alcohol)
pin their hope for the defense of alcoholic beverages on Deuteronomy 14:26, forasmuch as more feeble
strategies of the same sort fall flat upon inspection. The argument that Deuteronomy 14:26 demonstrates divine approval of
social drinking is the lone biblical specimen of supposed divine sanction of
“strong drink” (KJV)
or “similar drink” (NKJV)
in Deuteronomy 14:26 cannot
refer to and sanction the use of an alcoholic beverage is obvious when one
acknowledges that God specifically condemned consuming alcoholic beverages
respecting acceptable worship under Judaism; “Do not drink wine nor strong
drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, when ye go into the tabernacle of the
congregation, lest ye die: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your
generations” (Leviticus 10:9 KJV).
The Bible cannot both disallow (Leviticus 10:9) and allow (Deuteronomy 14:26)
the consumption of alcohol under the same Law (Judaism) respecting the same
purpose (worship) without making the Bible contradictory. Jewish worship being
the same in both passages, the references to “wine” and “strong drink” must
refer to different substances (i.e., alcoholic in Leviticus
10:9 and non-alcoholic in Deuteronomy
words “wine and strong drink” constitute an expression that uses two
independent words to express a single idea; this figure of speech is called
This is similar to the grammatical use of the apposition in language where two
adjacent nouns are equivalent to each other in meaning. In other words, the
affect is saying it twice. Therefore, whatever the word “wine” means in the
context in which the expression appears is what the words “strong drink” or
“similar drink” mean. The context of Deuteronomy
14:26, then, neither refers to alcoholic wine nor other
alcoholic drinks since the Law prohibited the use of alcoholic beverages by
Jewish worshippers (Leviticus 10:9). “Strong drink” or “similar drink” in Deuteronomy 14:26 cannot refer to an alcoholic
Third, in Deuteronomy
14:23, the “wine” associated with the
harvest offering was fresh grape juice, coming from a word, tirosh, that
means just squeezed out (Biblesoft’s). The reference to “wine” and
“strong drink” or “similar drink” in Deuteronomy
14:26 is a reference to the same beverage for the same
purpose at the same occasion and place. The only difference in circumstances
between verse 23 and verse 26 is that the participants relative to the latter
verse lived far from place of worship, and they had to convert their offers to
money so they could travel more easily, but upon arrival at the place of
worship, they spent the money to avail themselves of the same offerings. Hence,
just as the beverage of Deuteronomy 14:23
was non-alcoholic, the reference to the same thing in Deuteronomy 14:26 refers to
the same, non-alcoholic beverage. This means that the word, shekar,
translated “strong drink” or “similar drink” does not always refer to an
alcoholic beverage, but rather the context determines whether the reference is
to alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages. Further, the verb form of shekar
refers to drinking deeply, but he context must be examined to determine what
beverage is being drunk deeply, and whether that beverage is alcoholic or
non-alcoholic (Haggai 1:5-6; Song of Solomon 5:1. Context is everything in
Bible study, especially when generic words are involved. Robert Young’s Analytical
Concordance of the Bible concurs that shekar may
be fermented (alcoholic) or unfermented (non-alcoholic), depending upon the
context in which it is found (qtd. in Bacchiocchi 231).
Fourth, sometimes shekar referred to a sweet beverage, which was
obviously not alcoholic since fermented beverages are naturally bitter rather
than sweet. In Isaiah 24:9, shekar
would become bitter and be ruined, along with other ruinations of the Jewish
homeland as punishment of God toward his rebellious people. “Isaiah 24:9
suggests that shekar in the Old Testament was a beverage valued because
of its sweetness, a quality which disappears as the sugar is converted to
alcohol” (Bacchiocchi 229).
Fifth, the words “strong drink” have a contemporary meaning that did not
correspond to the times existing when Deuteronomy
14:26 was penned.
The adjective “strong,” though consistently used in conjunction
with shekar, is not part of the word itself, but an added word. This gives the
false impression to a modern reader that people drank distilled liquor in Old
Testament times. This is obviously wrong because the process of distilling alcohol
did not develop until around A.D. 500. (Bacchiocchi 229)
Today, Bible students must always be vigilant not to overlay
a contemporary template on the ancient past, by which one’s interpretation of
biblical passages will be flawed.
word shekar, which in Deuteronomy 14:26 is translated as “strong drink”
“similar drink” (NKJV),
provide us our English words “sugar” and “cider,” according to numerous
dictionaries (Bacchiocchi 232-233). This alone indicates the true nature of the
word shekar, at least in some of the
biblical contexts in which it is found. This bit of information corresponds
with the non-alcoholic characteristic of the beverage in Deuteronomy 14:23 and its relationship to the
beverage in Deuteronomy 14:26.
The context definitively pronounces the “strong drink” or “similar drink” of Deuteronomy 14:26 as non-alcoholic.
Each of the preceding points interacts and concurs with
each other respecting the true nature of shekar
or the “strong” or “similar drink” in Deuteronomy
14:26. The supposed last ditch effort for imbibers to find
biblical sanction for social drinking falls flat upon careful inspection.
Bacchiocchi, Samuele. Wine
in the Bible. Berrien Springs: Biblical Perspectives, 1989.
Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance
with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary.
Biblesoft and International Bible Translators, 1994.
Merriam-Webster's collegiate dictionary. 10th ed. Springfield:
Merriam-Webster, 1993. CD-ROM. Seattle: