Question on Wineskins


#1

Hi,

I have a question about the wine and wineskins story. In various Gospels Jesus uses the metaphor of pouring new wine into old wineskins. He points out that the old wineskins will burst under such conditions.

My question is, why does it matter that the old wineskins burst? I can see why someone would not want to lose the wine, but from the sounds of it, these old wineskins aren’t good for anything any more. So why point out that the wineskins will be ruined? It sounds like they already are ruined.

Thanks,
B


#2

B,

In these passages, Jesus is talking about the relationship between His teachings and the teachings of the Mosaic covenant. It is neither the case that Jesus’ teachings ‘fit’ within the Mosaic covenant nor that His teachings simply ‘patch’ the Mosaic law.

But, does that mean that the Mosaic law should just be ‘spilled out’ and left as waste in the wake of Jesus’ teachings? Of course not – as Jesus Himself said, not the smallest part of the Law will fade away: Jesus’ teachings fulfill the Law, not just patch it or replace it.

The old wineskins are important – they were given by God! – and so, they are retained. We, as Christians, drink the new wine… but we aren’t supposed to presume that the old wine is trash… :wink:

Hope this helps!

Blessings,
G.


#3

Its about the new covenant and baptism.

The “new wine” is the new covenant. The “new wine skin” is the man reborn through baptism.

Tatian the Assyrian, in the 2nd century, The Diatessaron of Tatian, said:

And no man putteth fresh wine into old skins, lest the wine burst the skins, and the skins be destroyed, and the wine spilled; but they put the fresh wine in the new skins, and both are preserved.

So, without baptism (which creates the new skins), the weakness of the old skins (the sinful man) would burst under the strain of the new wine and the man would perish and the would be wasted.

Peace and all good!


#4

Hmm… so, before Christ commanded baptism for Christians – or even indicated what that baptism was or what it did – He was telling his followers that they would perish and be wasted? Umm… :nope: :wink:


#5

When the wine would ferment, it would expand. New wine skins could stretch, so this wouldn’t be a problem. Old wineskins didn’t have stretch in them any more. They are still useful for containers (ie still water-tight), they just cant deal with fermenting wine.


#6

I don’t find it that difficult to believe or understand…was he telling they “they would perish and be wasted” before commanding baptism later in his ministry?

Sure. At that time it was already believed that the dead (the righteous and unrighteous, alike went to Sheol, and indeed Christ would free them after his visit to those souls following his death, prior to the resurrection.

Man was doomed to “perish and be wasted” from the time of the fall. God knew the details of the salvation plan from the beginning, and, the full revelation of the salvation plan is a mystery that took played out over centuries. and we will not fully comprehend until the last day,

Peace and all good!


#7

Yes, of course humanity was ‘doomed’ in the sin of Adam (and redeemed by the sacrifice of Christ). But that’s not what Jesus was talking about here. The old and new wineskins don’t represent a person or a group of people or even all of humanity; they represent old and new teachings (the Mosaic Law and the Gospel of Christ, respectively.)

So, I guess I’m saying two things: first, I disagree with your interpretation of the passage. And second, I still find your interpretation to be internally inconsistent: humanity was already doomed to “perish and be wasted”, so, Jesus comes along to tell the Jews that as a result of His teachings… they’ll still “perish and be wasted”? You can see, can’t you, that this is a message that does absolutely nothing for His listeners, right? (That is, of course, until after His ascension, at which time He commands His apostles to baptize.) By your interpretation, the timeline just doesn’t work. Imagine if I preached to you about all these wonderful things that you will inherit, except… oops! You’re destined to perish and be wasted, so, tough luck for you! :rolleyes:


#8

Understood…your disagreement isn’t with me, I was merely passing on 2nd century writings (which I happen to agree with), it’s not my interpretation.

Your time line is skewed also. Christ first reference for the need of baptism for salvation is made in John’s gospel (chapter 2 or 3) when he tells Nicodemus we must be reborn by water and the spirit, which clearly is alluding to baptism…the reason you don’t see it until late in the synoptics, is the difference between the Low Chistology of the synoptic as opposed to High Chistology of Johns gospel

And, of course Christ did not (and surely would not) preached a destiny of “perish and be wasted”…those were your words I was quoting, not christ’s.


#9

I think Jesus is simply trying to point out that for his disciples to fast, instead of rejoice that he is with them, would be as unwise as patching an old garment with a patch of new cloth or putting new wine into old wineskins.

I don’t think too much should be made of the use of the words “old” and “new” in this instance, as if they referred to the Old and New Covenants, since in the same teaching on fasting in Luke 5:39 Jesus says, "And no one after drinking old wine desires new; for he says, ‘The old is good [or better],’” as this would imply the Old Covenant is better than the New Covenant, which is certainly not what he meant to imply.


#10

I think it’s all about fasting… In the Old Testament, fasting was for mourning, so Jesus’ disciples could not fast while He was with them.

I think that Jesus was referring to old wineskins as the Jewish ways and new wineskins in the new Christian ways. In order to be new wineskins, they must accept the teachings of Jesus… otherwise they are old wineskins. If they remain in the old Jewish way, they could not refrain from fasting… their wineskin would break as they would be breaking the Law.

Of course, I don’t really know… this is all surmising. Your guess is as good as mine.


#11

Actually, it appears to be precisely your interpretation. The Diatessaron is a harmonization of the Gospels, not a commentary on them, isn’t it? In other words, your quote is simply a quote of the Gospels … but your interpretation is your own, isn’t it? :wink:

Your time line is skewed also. Christ first reference for the need of baptism for salvation is made in John’s gospel (chapter 2 or 3) when he tells Nicodemus we must be reborn by water and the spirit, which clearly is alluding to baptism…the reason you don’t see it until late in the synoptics, is the difference between the Low Chistology of the synoptic as opposed to High Chistology of Johns gospel

Yet, your claim wasn’t about what Jesus told Nicodemus… but what He told the crowds. :wink:

And, of course Christ did not (and surely would not) preached a destiny of “perish and be wasted”…those were your words I was quoting, not christ’s.

Check the thread, Neo. The assertion (and words) “perish and be wasted” are yours, not mine.

But hey… when you can’t defend your arguments, deny that they’re yours, eh? :shrug:


#12

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