The Compelling Story of Drugs and the Bible, from the Perspective of the Authors

Bible and Brew
Drug Histories
The Compelling Story of Drugs and the Bible, from the Perspective of the Authors

In this episode we get an overview the compelling story of drugs and the Bible, from the perspective of the authors. The Bible is a collection of sixty-six books, some, or all of which are regarded as sacred text by followers of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Rastafarianism, Samaritanism, and other faiths. 

Some excerpts from this week’s episode are as follows:

We start off with a continuation of a discussion we began at the end of of our discussion on drugs in Assyria and Babylon. We find the connection between the Bible and Babylon or Assyria in the book of Genesis[1] … in which Abram (later Abraham[2]) is born and comes out of Ur of the Chaldeans. Abraham … lived around the second millennium BC[3]. He is the … forebear of Jews[4], Muslims[5] and Christians[6], whether in a physical or spiritual sense. 

Chaldea was in the Persian Gulf, around the second millennium BC, that overlapped what was to later become Assyria and Babylon[1]. …

The book of Genesis talks about two plants in the garden of Eden with effects that transcend the standard physiological effects of drugs. These are the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil[1]. The first of these … possessed remarkable repair and regenerative powers, to the effect that it would make humans live forever[2]. …

The next plants we come across, used as drugs, are mandrakes. We find them in Genesis 30:14-16 and in Song of Solomon 7:13. They were were aphrodisiacs, fertility drugs as well as used for their fragrance in enhancing the mood of intimacy. 

… it would be remiss of us to not mention another drug that appears several times in the Bible, right through from Genesis to Revelation. This, you might have guessed, is alcohol. In fact, one can argue that this appears more than any other drug in the Bible.

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[1] Genesis 2:9

[2] Genesis 3:22


[1] Genesis 11:27,28,31

[2] Genesis 17:5


[4] John 8:33


[6] Romans 4:12 

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