The Sins of Our Culture
One of the greatest difficulties which we face in this world is the poison we encounter through our own minds, thoughts, and assumptions. The cultures in which we are raised have two effects on us. The first effect of our culture is the inform us the best method for our survival. This is a good thing, assuming that we don’t want to leave the comfort of that one particular point of view. The second is to limit our thoughts by making us only see things our own way, thus creating barriers to understanding the greater world, other people, other points of view. If we want to understand and appreciate people who are different from us, come from different cultures, or have ideas which are different from our own, we must first break the hold that our own culture has on us.
This becomes a big problem when representing more ancient cultures to people today. The culture in which Yeshue lived is widely misrepresented to modern people. Wine is just one of the examples of things modern people have trouble understanding. Saul (Saint Paul in the west) told Timothy to have a little wine for the sake of his health, but not to get drunk.
But the bizarre puritanical idea that wine in the time of Yeshue didn’t have as much alcohol as wine does today is simply ridiculous. Actually, if anything I’d say that the 90% alcohol wine paste that they had probably ended up having more alcohol once dissolved in a glass of warm water than any wine you’re likely to get in any beverage you’re likely to encounter today. Thus the wine that Yeshue made for the Wedding at Kana, would likely have had around 40% alcohol, versus the 14% alcohol allowed in French wine today. But Puritans just couldn’t imagine “party Jesus” and so instead they imposed their own cultural assumptions and then passed them onto western Christianity, without ever verifying whether or not that assumption was true. Truly sad.