New wine into fresh wineskins

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
Ken Olson
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Re: New wine into fresh wineskins

Post by Ken Olson »

mlinssen wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 10:22 pm But it is evident that none of this can have anything to do with baptism, if course
When you say ‘it is evident’ do you mean that there is evidence for your claim? Can you tell us what it is, or must we content ourselves with your claim that it exists? Or do you mean that it’s self-evident, as in:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

It is, of course, very possible that I am mistaken. But you will have to do a little (and when I say a little, I mean a great deal) more work to demonstrate that I am. You did not at any point in your five posts ever examine the possibility that the old and new clothing and wine were metaphors for the old and new selves in baptism, nor have you explained in any detail what those figures represent in the synoptics on your theory. You haven’t answered the arguments I was making; you’ve simply emphatically expressed your personal disagreement and asserted a contrary conclusion.
Mark is going for a completely "Gentile" movement.
Do you mean Mark thought Jews could not become Christians? If not, what do you mean? If so, how do you know that?

Also, why have you placed the word Gentile in scare quotes, which are normally used to distance oneself from a term others use? If you don’t mean precisely Gentile, what precisely do you mean?
yet he [Luke] also adds the explicit show stopper of verse 39
Does he? Luke 5.39 is indeed congenial to the reading that Jews, or at least many of them, are content with their religion and not amenable to becoming Christians (in fact, I’ve heard modern Jews say that when confronted with Christians attempting to convert them).

But you don’t discuss that it’s one of the Western Non-Interpolations missing from many manuscripts and many scholars don’t think it came from the author of Luke, but is a non-Lukan addition.

And how exactly does it contradict the thesis that the Markan parable was using the cloak and the wineskins as metaphors for the old and new selves in baptism? The fact Luke 5.39 is congenial to your reading does not make it uncongenial to mine.

Is your Luke also the author of the Acts of the Apostles? Because that Luke certainly believed in the Gentile mission, but he by no means thought in terms of the church as an exclusively Gentile movement. He reports that the church, led by apostles who had received the holy spirit, attracted thousands of Jews (Acts 2.41, 47; 4.4, 21.20) and, indeed, seems to take that as proof of the truth of Jesus’ claims (5.38-39 with 6.1).
Matthew is very moderate and sticks to Mark.
So is your Matthew also going for a completely ‘Gentile’ movement?

This is decidedly not what the vast majority interpreters of Matthew think. Like all the canonical evangelists, Matthew is open to a gentile mission (Matt 28.19-20), but his main audience seems to be Jews who have accepted Jesus as the Christ. The text seems to presuppose that they have only recently separated (left or been expelled, depending on whom you ask) from the synagogue, are familiar with synagogue practices, and even that Pharasaic interpretation of Mosaic law are normative for them (Matt 23, especially vv 1-3):

Matt 20.1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; 3 therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it;

When Matthew sticks to Mark, does this mean he radically reinterprets what Mark wrote, or does he mean what Mark meant? Or is your “completely ‘Gentile’ movement” somehow broad enough to accept large numbers of Jews and continuing observance of the Mosaic Law?

Best,

Ken
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mlinssen
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Re: New wine into fresh wineskins

Post by mlinssen »

Ken Olson wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 11:26 am
mlinssen wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 10:22 pm But it is evident that none of this can have anything to do with baptism, if course
When you say ‘it is evident’ do you mean that there is evidence for your claim? Can you tell us what it is, or must we content ourselves with your claim that it exists? Or do you mean that it’s self-evident, as in:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

It is, of course, very possible that I am mistaken. But you will have to do a little (and when I say a little, I mean a great deal) more work to demonstrate that I am. You did not at any point in your five posts ever examine the possibility that the old and new clothing and wine were metaphors for the old and new selves in baptism, nor have you explained in any detail what those figures represent in the synoptics on your theory. You haven’t answered the arguments I was making; you’ve simply emphatically expressed your personal disagreement and asserted a contrary conclusion.
Mark is going for a completely "Gentile" movement.
Do you mean Mark thought Jews could not become Christians? If not, what do you mean? If so, how do you know that?

Also, why have you placed the word Gentile in scare quotes, which are normally used to distance oneself from a term others use? If you don’t mean precisely Gentile, what precisely do you mean?
yet he [Luke] also adds the explicit show stopper of verse 39
Does he? Luke 5.39 is indeed congenial to the reading that Jews, or at least many of them, are content with their religion and not amenable to becoming Christians (in fact, I’ve heard modern Jews say that when confronted with Christians attempting to convert them).

But you don’t discuss that it’s one of the Western Non-Interpolations missing from many manuscripts and many scholars don’t think it came from the author of Luke, but is a non-Lukan addition.

And how exactly does it contradict the thesis that the Markan parable was using the cloak and the wineskins as metaphors for the old and new selves in baptism. The fact Luke 5.39 is congenial to your reading does not make it uncongenial to mine.

Is your Luke also the author of the Acts of the Apostles? Because that Luke certainly believed in the Gentile mission, but he by no means thought in terms of the church as an exclusively gentile movement. He reports that the church, led by apostles who had received the holy spirit, attracted thousands of Jews (Acts 2.41, 47; 4.4, 21.20) and, indeed, seems to take that as proof of the truth of Jesus’ claims (5.38-39 with 6.1).
Matthew is very moderate and sticks to Mark.
So is your Matthew also going for a completely ‘Gentile’ movement?

This is decidedly not what the vast majority interpreters of Matthew think. Like all the canonical evangelists, Matthew is open to a gentile mission (Matt 28.19-20), but his main audience seems to be Jews who have accepted Jesus as the Christ. The text seems to presuppose that they have only recently separated (left or been expelled, depending on whom you ask) from the synagogue, are familiar with synagogue practices, and even that Pharasaic interpretation of Mosaic law are normative for them (Matt 23, especially vv 1-3):

Matt 20.1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; 3 therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it;

When Matthew sticks to Mark, does this mean he radically reinterprets what Mark wrote, or does he mean what Mark meant? Or is your “completely ‘Gentile’ movement” somehow broad enough to accept large numbers of Jews and continuing observation of the Mosaic Law?

Best,

Ken
Dear Ken, where should I start? You can call some silly idea obvious yet I can't say that it evidently is nonsense?

Let me quote your OP:
Ken Olson wrote: Tue Apr 20, 2021 7:23 am I have been looking at the metaphor (or parable) about the cloak and the wineskins in Mark 2.21-22. It seems to me it would most plausibly be interpreted as a reference to the Christian becoming a new person in baptism through reception of the holy spirit. That interpretation seems fairly obvious to me (i.e., it’s an obvious possibility that should be considered), but I could not find it discussed in the dozen or so commentaries on Mark that I checked, and that puzzles me.

Mark 2.21-22 reads:

21 “No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak; otherwise, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. 22 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.” (Mark 2.21-22).

There are several passages in the New Testament that are generally accepted to refer to the belief that a Christian becomes a new person through baptism
"a Christian becomes a new person through baptism", you say.
Wouldn't that mean that an old person becomes new by applying something new to him or her?
Like, say, hmm lemme guess, for instance apply a new patch to an old garment?
Or errr, well, dunno, but perhaps also by putting new wine into old wineskins?

A fresh wineskin would be a blank slate, I think. Not a Judean, but likely a "Gentile", which I put in between double quotes because it is an interpretation, not a translation.
It says etnos in the Greek: people, as in population of a country.
Someone from Judaism would be an old wineskin, having been filled with the wine of Judaism. A new wineskin would have had no prior filing

You keep ging on about wine equating to the holy spirit, but you fail to make a case for the new and old wineskins resembling whatever you think they do. Perhaps you have overlooked that the entire parable, in all canonical versions, is solely about new wine - being applied not to old wineskins, but new ones. The focus is not on the wine itself, but there is where your focus lies, trying to make a case for it equating to the Holy Spirit.
The focus is entirely on the skins - and you haven't said a single word about them

You see what you want to see Ken. But you surely are very capable of sabotaging your own ideas even before they have launched. You certainly don't need any help from me there!

Cheers,

Martijn
Paul the Uncertain
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Re: New wine into fresh wineskins

Post by Paul the Uncertain »

mlinssen wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 6:30 am Just giving you a hard time Paul! LOL
All is good.
Tell me: why would Thomas copy that the wrong way?
If we project the hypothesis set down to Mark-copied-Thomas or else Thomas-copied-Mark? Because the main concrete idea (the patch and workpiece must have compatible dimensional stability) is commutative: The patch matches the workpiece just when the workpiece matches the patch. Similarly, the container matches the contents just when the contents match the container.

For Mark, there is a "right way" ("better" anyway) determined by the constraint that Mark's character would do well to answer responsively the other characters' question-criticism about pedagogy. Thomas has no such constraint. There is no "wrong way" for Thomas in the projected hypothesis space. (For Thomas, the relationship is both commutative and isotropic - as some people need or want to hear such things phrased.)

However, I think the actual hypothesis space is richer than who copied whom. For example:
Purpose - their purpose makes them change the old patch into a new one.
Purpose would lead Mark to the same result whether he was "changing" somebody else's saying, or adapting an idea, from whatever source including not-read-but-lived experience, to fit the situation on the page.

I think the idea of a Luke-Thomas dialog might get you some respectable traction, and "half a loaf" (evidence favoring Thomas existing sometime during the "gospel era," for Luke to comment upon). Earlier still? Could be, but a good heuristic is to pick the low hanging fruit first.
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mlinssen
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Re: New wine into fresh wineskins

Post by mlinssen »

Oh my, many words there that are out of everyday use - to me, at least

Thomas most certainly does have constraints, just as every text does - but the text in itself is far less accessible than the average canonical. Yet the themes in his text are also shared with the canonicals: becoming like a child is one of them, as is making the two one - the former being much more noticeable than the latter in the canonicals, yet both are there

The focus on Thomas is on not tainting the new with the old, to leave the new untainted, unlearned, unsplit, undivided, unseparated...

Respectable traction is only to be gotten within the echo chambers of academics, Paul. Anything new, no matter how elaborately substantiated, is bound to be ignored at best - which only strengthens the case really, but it will keep getting ignored unless someone "within" takes the lead

Thomas is the passive source to all of Christianity, yet Luke (Marcion, likely) has the most verbatim copies of him indeed - and this parable is one of the fine examples

If you're interested, I have a few papers on it LOL
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Re: New wine into fresh wineskins

Post by mlinssen »

Paul the Uncertain wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 2:39 am I think the idea of a Luke-Thomas dialog might get you some respectable traction, and "half a loaf" (evidence favoring Thomas existing sometime during the "gospel era," for Luke to comment upon). Earlier still? Could be, but a good heuristic is to pick the low hanging fruit first.
https://www.academia.edu/40951733/Two_t ... ht_and_day

There are 13 parables in the NT that also exist in Thomas. And 15 that don't. A dozen of those are in Luke, and they are of a quite different style, contain starkly different literary devices, deploy multiple protagonists in stead on one, and basically consist of moralistic stories juxtaposing good next to bad visa humans having longwinded dialogues with other humans

Instead of the concise parables in Thomas that make use of (in) animate objects that play an active role and fulfil a function, always have only one protagonist, and never moralise - not explain anything, for that matter

https://www.academia.edu/41668680/The_7 ... al_cousins

35 logia are shared between Mark and Thomas, Luke and Matthew double that number - and again, the vast majority comes from Luke

500 combined views next to 150 downloads, no "respectable traction" so far I think. Perhaps you will be the first?
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Re: New wine into fresh wineskins

Post by mlinssen »

Now, to address the content in its context, let me have a try at it.
Here is the context, with the content at the end:

Mark 2:15And it came to pass in His reclining in his house, that many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and His disciples; for there were many, and they were following Him. 16And the scribes of the Pharisees, having seen Him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, were saying to His disciples, “Why does He eata with the tax collectors and sinners?”

17And Jesus having heard, says to them, “Those being strong have no need of a physician, but those being sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Questions about Fasting
(Matthew 9:14-15; Luke 5:33-35)

18And the disciples of John and the Pharisees were fasting. And they come and say to Him, “Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but Your disciples do not fast?”

19And Jesus said to them, “Are the sons of the bridechamber able to fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long a time as they have the bridegroom with them, they are not able to fast. 20But the days will come when the bridegroom will have been taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.

The Patches and the Wineskins
(Matthew 9:16-17; Luke 5:36-39)

21 No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on old clothing. Otherwise the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear takes place.
22 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wine will burst the wineskins, and the wine will be destroyed—and the wineskins. Instead, new wine is poured into new wineskins.”b

b 22 Tischendorf and some other texts do not include Instead, new wine is poured into new wineskins

Ample context, just to show that highly likely a narrative starts and ends with 2:15-17.
Then the next starts, 2:18, and its reposte is in 2:19-20 - that is a clear A-B there just like 2:15-16 is the A and 2:17 its B

Then we have an issue: it would seem that we have a B without an A, correct?

Let's analyse its underlying concept as neutral as possible, in order to see what can be done about it

X
1. New patch applied to old clothing
2. Patch tears away, clothing gets torn even worse

Y
1. New wine applied to old wineskins
2. Wine gets destroyed, skins will burst and get also destroyed

Z
New wine applied to new wineskins - and I'll leave it to those in the know to decide how widely attested and accepted this one single phrase is

These are not A-B's, it is more like a B-C. Or it is an A-B in disguise where Jesus or his friends don't serve as the example / scene sketched, but others - and most surprisingly these are inanimate objects!
And even more surprisingly, they require some special knowledge, as they aren't familiar applications or knowledge.
We could argue about the wine and we'd likely agree, in good spirits, that a minority of the audience could have knowledge of that: I am inclined to think that wine was not an everyday drink for the everyday Jesus spectator but haven't done any research on that.
The patch, however? Most certainly a woman's job I would think, and only a small minority of the audience would know. Again, no research done there either

But at least they are more familiar scenes than the immediately preceding one(s)

Could these belong there? Is there anything old-new in 2:17-19?
Or in the very first scene?

A prophet brings new(s), of course. And a physician treats something new - albeit to restore an old situation.
A bridegroom? It is certain that his departure will change things, but how does it relate to new and old? I think it is opportune to settle for the generally accepted idea that Jesus is representing the bridegroom, just as he is representing the prophet or physician, and of course Jesus is something very new

Jesus comes into old, such is for sure: the country, the economical and political situation, its customs, religion - and so forth. But can his audience be split in new and old?

I think that is very well possible, and for instance foreigners among his audience would be considered "new". Then who would be considered "old"? Its native inhabitants, arguably - Judeans, those who have been there for generations.
In that light, I would think it very well possible that Jesus wants to apply the "new" of himself to the "new" of his audience, or rather, not to the "old".
Given his rejection of Pharisees and their customs, and given the rejection of the food laws, that so very elaborate lashing out in Mark 7:1-23, I think that that interpretation sounds rather plausible: Jesus comes for and to the "Gentiles", not the Judeans. I am not aware of any rejection of any "Gentile" by Jesus in Mark either - but I'm not an expert there either
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Re: New wine into fresh wineskins

Post by Paul the Uncertain »

500 combined views next to 150 downloads, no "respectable traction" so far I think. Perhaps you will be the first?
That wouldn't do you much good. I'm not guild.

FWIW, at least in Mark, I think Jesus is answering a compound question which can be broken out:

- Why are your disciples acting differently from John's?
- Why are your disciples acting differently from the Pharisees''?

The bridegroom imagery addresses the John matter separately because it has an easy surface answer - John's disciples don't have John anymore, Jesus's disciples still have him. Of course the two groups behave differently. (With a nice forward that Jesus's disciples' turn will come someday.) Also, Jesus has a dispute with the Pharisees (soon to become fatal) while he doesn't have much dispute with John, another reason for a separate answers.

Thus, the second question gets a different answer than the first. Jesus chooses another figurative response, a pair of figurative responses.

The association of Pharisees with traditional practices is a theme in Mark, maybe most famously vented in the tirade starting early in chapter 7. "Newness" and lack of seasoning inhere to the notion of student. Team Jesus are few, Team Pharisee are many, the former couldn't possibly surround or contain the latter.

Who's the patch and who's the garment is therefore determined, and therefore which piece is new and which piece is old is also determined. Wine and wineskin follow suit.

Where did the images themselves come from? I don't know. I suspect I'm not the only one who doesn't :scratch: But once Jesus has chosen to speak figuratively, then the trap closes. He answers the remaining question he was asked with a transparent mapping of concrete elements into abstract pedagogy.

Or so it seems to me.
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mlinssen
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Re: New wine into fresh wineskins

Post by mlinssen »

Clear as mud! I'll leave you to it Paul, it was nice meeting you
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