Feb 3, 2009

Hovey - Wine In Communion

What Was the "Fruit of the Vine" Which Jesus Gave
His Disciples at the Institution of the Supper?

by Professor Alvah Hovey

"...which leads me to call in question our right to substitute any other drink for wine in the cup of the Lord, but rather my conviction that what Christ gave to his disciples, saying, this cup (not something else) is the new covenant in my blood, was proper wine, the fermented juice of grapes. For I seem to myself to have shown:

(1) that there is no biblical foundation for the two-wine theory;

(2) that there is no biblical proof of Christ's giving simple grape-juice to his disciples in the cup; and

(3) that there is strong extra-biblical evidence of "this fruit of the vine" being wine mingled with water.

It is then easy for me to honor the intention of those who have put grape-juice, or raisin-juice, or some other liquid into the cup to represent the blood of the Lamb, but it is not easy for me to perceive the soundness of their reasons for so doing. I heartily wish they would re-examine the case, and if they find the evidence against their practice, yield to it promptly and without fear. There is no body of Christians that is under more sacred obligations to ascertain and follow the law of Christ in this matter than the one to which we belong. But the writer's principal object will be accomplished if his brethren are led to act with full intelligence in observing the holy supper, whether they do or do not agree with him."

Newton Theological Seminary

[From: THE BAPTIST QUARTERLY REVIEW, Volume IX, No. 35, July, 1887, pp. 285-303.]

See here

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