New Wine in Old Wineskins: Feedback


"I guess I still am having trouble with the idea that Jesus had no particular message in mind when he spoke of not putting new wine into old wine skins. I can see your point that Jesus was merely giving a truism to emphasize what he had said about his disciples not fasting. (Why should they as long as He is still with them?) He was using an obvious illustration to point out the truth of the fasting situation.

"I can't find any other source that amplifies what you are saying. They all want to make some spiritual application to it. They treat it as a parable. Check out this cofc site to see howsome are criticizing the "new wine" ideas of the progressives.


He includes a link which defines the wineskin parable:

"In Jesus' time on earth, animal skins were used as we do beverage bottles to day for storing and carrying. Because used, old wine skins (bottles) had lost their elasticity, being less flexible, every one knew the truism of Jesus' statement. If new wine were put in an old skin, the chemical activity and expansion of the new wine would cause the old skin to swell, crack and rupture, spilling the valuable wine. Not only that, a perfectly good old wine skin, useful for old wine, would be ruined.

"In using this illustration, Jesus had in mind the "modern" innovations of the religious leaders of His day as they attempted to mix their new doctrines and traditions with the old wine skin of God's Word.

Original Article at


I just don't see anything in the context which would indicate that this was what Jesus had in mind.

The question was about fasting.

The answer is about fasting

Three examples illustrate the self-evident answer to the question.

Fasting is treated favorably in the New Testament but as "going without food" for some reason rather than as an "act of worship."

Therefore, there would be nothing fatal if Christians want to fast. That is, Christianity and fasting would not compare to pure juice in a contaminated skin.

Jesus doesn't get nasty but gives some examples which the Jews should understand.

There is not hint that the disciples of John and the others had any trouble understanding his answer and illustrations.

If you have ever made wine or been familiar with it you know the story of the exploding bottles in the basement. That is because the up to 500/1 expansion of carbon dioxide to make a gallon of wine would, if contained, blow up. Guess what would happen in an old Billy goat skin.

No twelve-year-old would put still-fermenting juice in a skin and seal it. You wouldn't even do that with a modern steel-banded cask. So whether new or old, the skin would blow up if not vented. Champaign was not possible until the right cork was discovered along with a bottle strong enough to allow fermentation even after sealing. This allows the Carbon Dioxide to give the "fizz" like a coke without blowing up. If you put champaign in a billy goat skin, seal it, give it a shake it will blow up in your face.

For I am full of words, and the spirit within me compels me; Job 32:18

inside I am like bottled-up wine, like new wineskins ready to burst. Job 32:19

If you seal even a new wineskin then it will burst.

If you don't seal up an old wineskin then it will not burst.

Therefore, the reason not to put new wine into an old skin is to keep it away from the leaven

As a twelve year old I washed the old fruit jars completely and then Mom sterilized them. She put boiled juice in the Jars having killed all of the yeast, put the jars in a pressure cooker, further sterilize and then closed the lid while still too hot for yeast to live. Even then it was not possible to preserve all things.

If you put peaches in an old "peach jar" you know that the jar and the peaches will break and spoil. An old wineskin could not easily be sterilized and therefore you did not put new juice in an old skin. Basic Vinter's 101a.

Juice was a food crop unless deliberately fermented to get drunk on. The juice would be boiled and new skins sterilized by fumigating with sulphur. My mother in law fumigated grapes, apples etc, sealed them with wax and you had fresh fruit much longer.

If you found your clay jars bubbling at the top, the prescription was to remove the juice and boil it, stearilize the jar and try again. When juice ferments it can rapidly degenerate into vinegar. Even today, some wines have the juice sterilized and the "recipe" yeast added to keep the up to 10,000 types of wild yeast from spoiling your juice.

While Jesus spoke a parable it is lacking the usual "a wineskin is like ....." A parable is "a common life situation carrying a moral."

Therefore, I see no secret meaning. We can make anything of it we wish but the passage "as it stands" seems less "expansive" than preachers want to make it:

The question:

Then came to him the disciples of John, saying,

Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft,

but thy disciples fast not? Matt 9:14

And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast. Matt 9:15

The disciples of John and the Pharisees seem to see fasting as a legal act of worship. However, Isaiah has God defining a true fast as a spiritual thing:

Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is.58:6

Therefore, Jesus knew that you don't fast during the wedding festival. You don't take time out and say: "Now, it is time to fast." When the bridegroom leaves then Jesus' disciples will fast (not eat) because they are sad.

Therefore, this may end the discussion because the Bible is not always recorded with "a beginning, a middle and ending" but often just records statements. Therefore, we are not justified in putting words into the mouth of Jesus. We just have to leave it there as a simple statement of fact which should be obvious to an uneducated orphan.

However, as the "fasting" is so self-evident it may mean that Jesus throws in two other examples of self-evident truth IF you are not bent on making all of these natural processes into "acts of worship."

So, Jesus seems to ask, "silly experts" what do we have:

1. You don't fast while the bridegroom is present.

2. No one puts a piece of new cloth unto an old garment; for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse. Matt 9:16

Why? The new "taketh from" the old.

3. And noone do not put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved. Matt 9:17

If the new "taketh from" the old it would take up the old wine residue which would be contaminated, begin to ferment and burst.

In the Gospel of Thomas linked below his "Jesus" says:

Young wine is not poured into old wineskins,
or they might break,
and aged wine is not poured into a new wineskin,
or it might spoil.

Then what I see as a put down ends and Jesus is called on to take care of a dead girl. He doesn't accomodate what may be their implied wish: "Why don't we take out time to fast?"

I think you lose your "punch" if you reject the "new wineskin" urge for a new revelation but then construct your own interpretation of what Jesus did not explain -- unless, He explained it as two things as self-evident as why happy people don't fast as a ritual.

The kingdom is "like leaven" because yeast doesn't build "trees" or institutions but each cell or spore can be blown away and reproduce the kingdom.

However, I don't know of any evidence which equates the Law of Moses to being an old wineskin

Fermented Wine as the Universal Symbol of God's Wrath

These wicked people, who refuse to listen to my words, who follow the stubbornness of their hearts and go after other gods to serve and worship them, will be like this belt--completely useless! Jeremiah 13:10

For as a belt is bound around a man's waist, so I bound the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah to me,' declares the LORD, 'to be my people for my renown and praise and honor. But they have not listened.' Jeremiah 13:11

Say to them: 'This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Every wineskin should be filled with wine.' And if they say to you, 'Don't we know that every wineskin should be filled with wine?' Jeremiah 13:12

Then tell them, 'This is what the LORD says: I am going to fill with drunkenness all who live in this land, including the kings who sit on David's throne, the priests, the prophets and all those living in Jerusalem. Jeremiah 13:13 t

I will smash them one against the other, fathers and sons alike, declares the LORD. I will allow no pity or mercy or compassion to keep me from destroying them.'" Jeremiah 13:14

Hear and pay attention, do not be arrogant, for the LORD has spoken. Jeremiah 13:15

This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, said to me: "Take from my hand this cup filled with the wine of my wrath and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it. Jeremiah 25:15

Awake, awake! Rise up, O Jerusalem, you who have drunk from the hand of the LORD the cup of his wrath, you who have drained to its dregs the goblet that makes men stagger. Is.51:17

The Spiritual Water of the Word

For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD,

as the waters cover the sea. Habakkuk 2:14

Satan's agent who have repudiated the Word:

Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbors, pouring it from the wineskin till they are drunk, so that he can gaze on their naked bodies. Habakkuk 2:15

You will be filled with shame instead of glory. Now it is your turn! Drink and be exposed. The cup from the LORD's right hand is coming around to you, and disgrace will cover your glory. Habakkuk 2:16

It would border on spiritual drunkeness or insanity to claim that the "gospel" and the "kingdom" are God's NEW WINE still fermenting in the wineskin. And our job is to put the bubbling wine into our self-constructed, rubber wineskin to allow it to contain all people.

One has to suspect that such claims represent those who have been MARKED and are experiencing God pouring wine into them:

A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: "If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, Revelation 14:9

he, too, will drink of the wine of God's fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. Revelation 14:10

And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name." Revelation 14:11

This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God's commandments and remain faithful to Jesus. Revelation 14:12

See the Gospel of Thomas on winskins

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