Why did the soldiers offer Jesus 'vinegar'? Was vinegar used as a medicine then? It has many uses today, maybe it did then too?


Vinegar, or soured wine, is cheap wine that has gone bad. It appears from the other accounts that it was mixed with gall and myrrh (Matthew 27:34; Mark 15:23). The soured wine would bring the chemicals in these ingredients out and most believe that it was a primitive pain killer. The Romans likely used it to prolong the deaths on the cross. This explains why Matthew and Mark mention that upon tasting it, Jesus refused to drink it. He experienced the pain of the cross in full without any painkillers.