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 »

Ben C. Smith wrote: Tue Apr 20, 2021 5:28 pm The image of removing old garments and putting on new ones makes a lot of sense to me as a metaphor for the spiritual transformation which is supposed to happen at baptism. The image of not using a new patch on an old garment does not strike me in quite the same way; a new garment is not even mentioned. How do you think the image is supposed to work?
I think the Parable of the Cloak and Wineskins is dealing with the topic we discussed here:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=6530&start=10#p108549

The three passages from the Pauline corpus (Gal. 2.19-20, Rom. 6.1-10, Col. 3.5-10) I quoted in the OP are about how baptism and reception of the holy spirit are supposed to work. The man undergoes a spiritual (I think the secular equivalent would be ‘moral’) transformation in baptism, becoming a new man and having the holy spirit dwell in him. Paul is, in a way, a bad example, because he doesn’t seem to think there was anything morally wrong with him even before he became a new man, but that is how baptism is supposed to work for Christians in general. The passage from Colossians is hortatory, urging Christians to act in a particular way, but not necessarily implying that they will act that way.

In 1 Corinthians, Paul also urges the baptized Corinthians to behave in a way that is consistent with their new, washed selves, and not with their old selves:

9 Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, 10 thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers—none of these will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And this is what some of you used to be. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. (1 Cor. 6.9-11)

Not everyone, however, behaves as Paul would wish, such as the man or men who are having sex with prostitutes even though they have the holy spirit living inside them:

15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Should I therefore take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! 16 Do you not know that whoever is united to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For it is said, “The two shall be one flesh.” 17 But anyone united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. 18 Shun fornication! Every sin that a person commits is outside the body; but the fornicator sins against the body itself. 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body. (1 Cor. 6.15-20)

The act of fornication is not only sinful in itself, but they are bringing the holy spirit into contact with prostitutes.

Even worse is the man who is having sex with his stepmother. In that case, the man is not just called to repent, but he is un-churched and, I would argue, un-baptized. The Corinthian church is to reclaim the holy spirit that the man received in baptism (‘so that the spirit may be saved’) and expel the man from their community:

5 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not found even among pagans; for a man is living with his father’s wife. 2 And you are arrogant! Should you not rather have mourned, so that he who has done this would have been removed from among you? 3 For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present I have already pronounced judgment 4 in the name of the Lord Jesus on the man who has done such a thing. When you are assembled, and my spirit is present with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5 you are to hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that the [‘his’ in the NRSV] spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. (1 Cor 5.1-5).

If this is not done it will harm the entire community through contagion:

6 Your boasting is not a good thing. Do you not know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? 7 Clean out the old yeast so that you may be a new batch, as you really are unleavened. For our paschal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore, let us celebrate the festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (1 Cor. 5.6-8).

On my reading of the Parable of the Cloak and Wineskins, it is dealing with the issue of the Christian who fails to undergo spiritual transformation and become a new man in baptism. He receives the holy spirit, but continues to act as the ‘old man’ rather than the ‘new man’. He is a poor match for the holy spirit within him, and this means both that he may harm himself by committing an even greater sin and that the spirit (or his portion of it) might be jeopardized or lost:

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).

The parable is saying that baptism is only effective if the person undergoing it undergoes a spiritual transformation and becomes a new man. Putting the spirit in the old man, the same old sinful self, is asking for trouble.

Best,

Ken
Ken Olson
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Re: New wine into fresh wineskins

Post by Ken Olson »

Ben C. Smith wrote: Tue Apr 20, 2021 5:28 pm In the meantime, my own current understanding of this passage is that the author knew the Pauline epistles:

1 Corinthians 13.1: 1 Though I speak with the tongues of humans and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

1 Corinthians 14.23-25: 23 Therefore if the whole church gathers together and all the people speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are maniacal [μαίνεσθε]? 24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all; 25 the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so he will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you.

An entire church speaking in (incoherent) tongues (as opposed to individual practice, which is what Paul seems to recommend) comes across as madness, and madness ("mania") can be interpreted as the natural result of being drunk:

Jeremiah, 25.15-16: 15 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to me, “Take this cup of the wine of wrath [λαβὲ τὸ ποτήριον τοῦ οἴνου τοῦ ἀκράτου τούτου] from My hand and give it to all the nations to whom I send you, to drink from it. 16 Then they will drink and loudly vomit and act maniacally [μανήσονται] because of the sword that I am going to send among them.”

So the author seems to me to be saying that the Pentecost event was not actually what Paul condemned but was rather the fulfillment of Joel's prophecy: not drunkenness/madness but order.

Does this interpretation of mine mesh with yours, or do they conflict, do you think?
I would say 1 Cor. 14.23-25 meshes pretty well with my interpretation of the Acts 2 passage, the Joel passage less so. I think the hypothetical outsider in 1 Cor. 14.23-25 stands for a type of criticism that outsiders made of Christians who claimed to have the holy spirit living inside them, especially those who claimed to exercise gifts from the holy spirit. They were said to be crazy or even possessed. I suspect Jesus in the Beelzebul pericope is meant to be representative of a common Christian experience.

21 When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, “He has gone out of his mind.” 22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons.”

28 “Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— 30 for they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”(Mark 3.21-22, 28-29).

So I think Luke knows all that, but has substituted "new wine" for mania for the dramatic irony it creates - Luke's audience is supposed to understand the metaphor and get that the others in the story are are speaking the truth, even though they do not know it themselves, because the 'new wine' is the holy spirit.

I also think there may be another similarity between the outsider in 1 Cor. 15-25 and the audience in Acts 2. The outsider might hear the Christains speaking in tongues and think they were maniacal, but if he hears prophecy he will bow down and worship God. In Act 2.41, following Peter's speech in which he reveals how Jesus was the subject of biblical prophecy, three thousand welcomed Peter's message and were baptized

Best,

Ken
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mlinssen
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Re: New wine into fresh wineskins

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47 said IS : there-is-not strength of a human set-on to horse two
and he stretch the(PL) bow two
and there-is-not strength of a slave serve slaveowner two Or he will make-be Honor the one and the other one he will make-be "Hubrize" him
not-usually human drink wine old and within the(F) hour he Desire drink wine new
and not-usually they cast wine young to Wine-skin old in-order-that Shan't! they split
and not-usually they cast wine old to Wine-skin new So-that : Shan't! he destroy him
not-usually they cut rag of old to garment new Since there-be a split will come-to-be

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Re: New wine into fresh wineskins

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mlinssen wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 5:07 am
47 said IS : there-is-not strength of a human set-on to horse two
and he stretch the(PL) bow two
and there-is-not strength of a slave serve slaveowner two Or he will make-be Honor the one and the other one he will make-be "Hubrize" him
not-usually human drink wine old and within the(F) hour he Desire drink wine new
and not-usually they cast wine young to Wine-skin old in-order-that Shan't! they split
and not-usually they cast wine old to Wine-skin new So-that : Shan't! he destroy him
not-usually they cut rag of old to garment new Since there-be a split will come-to-be

The OP states:

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).

Thomas has an old rag onto new, Mark has that reversed.
Mark also has only a part of the wine narrative, and of course it matches his theme, that of new into old: their new religion can't be applied to the old, i.e. Judaism and its followers

Mark is going for a completely "Gentile" movement.
The others are next
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Re: New wine into fresh wineskins

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mlinssen wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 5:07 am
47 said IS : there-is-not strength of a human set-on to horse two
and he stretch the(PL) bow two
and there-is-not strength of a slave serve slaveowner two Or he will make-be Honor the one and the other one he will make-be "Hubrize" him
not-usually human drink wine old and within the(F) hour he Desire drink wine new
and not-usually they cast wine young to Wine-skin old in-order-that Shan't! they split
and not-usually they cast wine old to Wine-skin new So-that : Shan't! he destroy him
not-usually they cut rag of old to garment new Since there-be a split will come-to-be


Luke 5:36 And He was speaking also a parable to them: “No one having torn a piece of new a garment, puts it on an old garment; but if otherwise, he will tear the new also, and the old will not match the piece which is of the new.
37 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; if now otherwise, the new wine will burst the wineskins, and it will be spilled out, and the wineskins will be destroyed.
38 But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins.
39 And no one having drunk old wine desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.’”

Luke also engages in over explaining, and again it is evidence of trying to put something new to use.
He adds that the new patch will get torn itself as well, yet he also adds the explicit show stopper of verse 39.

Ὁ παλαιὸς χρηστός ἐστιν.

Note that word there, which indeed means good and nothing but that. It gets deviously changed in the ABP to χρηστότερός, and they also insert ευθέως, 'immediately'.
That, on a side note

Is Luke leaving any room for old wanting any to do with new? Most certainly not, the door that Mark perhaps left ajar is now shut tight
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Re: New wine into fresh wineskins

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mlinssen wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 5:07 am
47 said IS : there-is-not strength of a human set-on to horse two
and he stretch the(PL) bow two
and there-is-not strength of a slave serve slaveowner two Or he will make-be Honor the one and the other one he will make-be "Hubrize" him
not-usually human drink wine old and within the(F) hour he Desire drink wine new
and not-usually they cast wine young to Wine-skin old in-order-that Shan't! they split
and not-usually they cast wine old to Wine-skin new So-that : Shan't! he destroy him
not-usually they cut rag of old to garment new Since there-be a split will come-to-be


Matthew 9:16 But no one puts a patch of unshrunk cloth on old clothing, for the filling up of it tears away from the garment, and a worse tear emerges.
17 Nor do they pour new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise the wineskins are burst, and the wine is poured out, and the wineskins are destroyed. But they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”

Matthew is very moderate and sticks to Mark

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.”

And both are preserved, he adds.
All three have a very one sided view of it all, compared to Thomas. They pick only one side of the wine coin and make the patch one match up with it, whereas Thomas deals with both new into old and vice versa before making his case for the old patch onto a new garment; given his preceding phrases he likely suggests that the garment will be destroyed, which is equated to darkness in his text.
Needless to say, splitting is also a theme in Thomas "and that ain't good either"

Now, these are the primary texts, and they should be compared before continuing to any others. Otherwise you'll go out on a limb, as they say

What should come next is a Greek comparison, Berean Greek Bible of course, to see who read who and copied what
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Re: New wine into fresh wineskins

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Matthew

16 Οὐδεὶς δὲ ἐπιβάλλει ἐπίβλημα ῥάκους ἀγνάφου ἐπὶ ἱματίῳ παλαιῷ· αἴρει γὰρ τὸ πλήρωμα αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ τοῦ ἱματίου, καὶ χεῖρον σχίσμα γίνεται.
17 Οὐδὲ βάλλουσιν οἶνον νέον εἰς ἀσκοὺς παλαιούς· εἰ δὲ μή¦γε, ῥήγνυνται οἱ ἀσκοί, καὶ ὁ οἶνος ἐκχεῖται καὶ οἱ ἀσκοὶ ἀπόλλυνται· ἀλλὰ βάλλουσιν οἶνον νέον εἰς ἀσκοὺς καινούς, καὶ ἀμφότεροι συντηροῦνται.”

Mark

21 Οὐδεὶς ἐπίβλημα ῥάκους ἀγνάφου ἐπιράπτει ἐπὶ ἱμάτιον παλαιόν· εἰ δὲ μή, αἴρει τὸ πλήρωμα ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ τὸ καινὸν τοῦ παλαιοῦ, καὶ χεῖρον σχίσμα γίνεται.
22 Καὶ οὐδεὶς βάλλει οἶνον νέον εἰς ἀσκοὺς παλαιούς· εἰ δὲ μή, ῥήξει ὁ οἶνος τοὺς ἀσκούς, καὶ ὁ οἶνος ἀπόλλυται καὶ οἱ ἀσκοί. ἀλλὰ οἶνον νέον εἰς ἀσκοὺς καινούς.”

Luke

36 Ἔλεγεν δὲ καὶ παραβολὴν πρὸς αὐτοὺς ὅτι “Οὐδεὶς ἐπίβλημα ἀπὸ ἱματίου καινοῦ σχίσας ἐπιβάλλει ἐπὶ ἱμάτιον παλαιόν· εἰ δὲ μή¦γε, καὶ τὸ καινὸν σχίσει καὶ τῷ παλαιῷ οὐ συμφωνήσει τὸ ἐπίβλημα τὸ ἀπὸ τοῦ καινοῦ.
37 Καὶ οὐδεὶς βάλλει οἶνον νέον εἰς ἀσκοὺς παλαιούς· εἰ δὲ μή¦γε, ῥήξει ὁ οἶνος ὁ νέος τοὺς ἀσκούς, καὶ αὐτὸς ἐκχυθήσεται καὶ οἱ ἀσκοὶ ἀπολοῦνται
38 ἀλλὰ οἶνον νέον εἰς ἀσκοὺς καινοὺς βλητέον.
39 καὶ οὐδεὶς πιὼν παλαιὸν θέλει νέον· λέγει γάρ ‘Ὁ παλαιὸς χρηστός ἐστιν.’”

Matthew combines Mark and Luke, or Luke combines Mark and Matthew, or both.
Luke and Matthew agree against Mark in minor points, and share the same source - or editor, of course

But it is evident that none of this can have anything to do with baptism, if course
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Re: New wine into fresh wineskins

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Quoting without implicating mlinssen. Not lecturing, but questionning.
They pick only one side of the wine coin and make the patch one match up with it.
Staying with Mark for the moment, I am not sure what you're saying about his process.

Mark's Jesus is asked a loaded question that criticizes both his students and himself in a single shot. (There's also some spin about John, deflected with the bridegroom business, but which is not the topic of this thread.)

Is it surprising that Mark's Jesus would summon up the imagery of a skilled craftsman (a tailor or wine steward) working with new material (sewing a patch or repackaging wine)? That is, Jesus ~ craftsman ~ teacher, disciples ~ new material? And the responsive message is that because of the unseasoned character of the material, it will predictably soon expand or contract, regardless of and despite attachment or containment.

So, the smart craftsman doesn't attach or contain unseasoned material with inflexible seasoned attachments or containers. The consequences of doing otherwise both loses the new material and also damages the old. Jesus: "I run my school accordingly, thank you for asking."

My question is: would extending Mark's Jesus's "one sided" responsive imagery help Mark's Jesus deal better with the situation in which Mark has placed him? If yes, then how would that work, in your view?

The issue is not whether the "one-sided" imagery couldn't be extended (the same craftsperson shown correctly matching the seasoning of materials being combined to make whatever point), or that Thomas would be "wrong" to do so. The issue is whether Mark has had his Jesus say just what is appropriate to the situation, declining any temptation to digress, and that economy would be the "right" thing for Mark to do.
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Re: New wine into fresh wineskins

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Paul the Uncertain wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 1:25 am Quoting without implicating mlinssen. Not lecturing, but questionning.
They pick only one side of the wine coin and make the patch one match up with it.
Staying with Mark for the moment, I am not sure what you're saying about his process.

Mark's Jesus is asked a loaded question that criticizes both his students and himself in a single shot. (There's also some spin about John, deflected with the bridegroom business, but which is not the topic of this thread.)

Is it surprising that Mark's Jesus would summon up the imagery of a skilled craftsman (a tailor or wine steward) working with new material (sewing a patch or repackaging wine)? That is, Jesus ~ craftsman ~ teacher, disciples ~ new material? And the responsive message is that because of the unseasoned character of the material, it will predictably soon expand or contract, regardless of and despite attachment or containment.

So, the smart craftsman doesn't attach or contain unseasoned material with inflexible seasoned attachments or containers. The consequences of doing otherwise both loses the new material and also damages the old. Jesus: "I run my school accordingly, thank you for asking."

My question is: would extending Mark's Jesus's "one sided" responsive imagery help Mark's Jesus deal better with the situation in which Mark has placed him? If yes, then how would that work, in your view?

The issue is not whether the "one-sided" imagery couldn't be extended (the same craftsperson shown correctly matching the seasoning of materials being combined to make whatever point), or that Thomas would be "wrong" to do so. The issue is whether Mark has had his Jesus say just what is appropriate to the situation, declining any temptation to digress, and that economy would be the "right" thing for Mark to do.
Of course Mark selectively picks from Thomas only what befits him. That's why Luke adds the one line, for the same reason.
And that's why the two masters ends up in Luke 16:13 and Matthew 6:24

The fault with the Synoptic Problem lies with searching for source - yet it is destination that is the driver and Thomas gets selectively quoted in via and pieces starting from Mark, and Luke and Matthew add to that - from Thomas

But answer me this: why the hell would Mark's Jesus come up with some sowing shit, what kind of a man's parable is that? How about repairing a wooden plank with a new piece of wood, wasn't he supposed to be a carpenter (I know that's a translation error, or rather, interpretation one)

Purpose - their purpose makes them change the old patch into a new one. Tell me: why would Thomas copy that the wrong way?

Just giving you a hard time Paul! LOL
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Re: New wine into fresh wineskins

Post by Jax »

But answer me this: why the hell would Mark's Jesus come up with some sowing shit, what kind of a man's parable is that? How about repairing a wooden plank with a new piece of wood, wasn't he supposed to be a carpenter
:lol:
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