in Old Skins
PART III: THE NEW AND THE OLD
New Wine in Old Skins is found in all three synopticIntroduction
Gospels: Matthew 9:17; Mark 2:22; and Luke 5:37-38.
"Neither do men pour new wine into oldThe Story
wineskins. If they do, the skins will
burst, the wine will run out and the
wineskins will be ruined, No, they pour
new wine into new wineskins, and both are
preserved." (Matthew 9:17, New
"And no one pours new wine into old
wineskins. If he does, the wine will
burst the skins, and both the wine and
the wineskins will be ruined. No, he
pours new wine into new wineskins." (Mark
2:22, New International Version).
"And no one pours new wine into old
wineskins. If he does, the new wine will
burst the skins, the wine will run out
and the wineskins will be ruined, No,
new wine must be poured into new wine-
skins. (Luke 5:37-38, New International
In Jesus' day, there were no glass bottles as we have
today. New wine (grape juice) was poured into wineskins.
Wine skins were actually the skins of sheep and goats that
were sewn together except at the neck, which served as the
neck of the container. The skins were filled, and the neck
then sewn closed.
Since there was no refrigeration, the grape juice would
ferment, producing alcohol and carbon dioxide, which would
cause the new skins to expand. Old skins would not work,
since they had already been stretched and were no longer
If grape juice were to be put in old wineskins, the expanding carbon dioxide
would rupture the wineskins. The wine would run out and be lost and the
wineskins would be ruined. [CAMBRIDGE GREEK TESTAMENT FOR SCHOOLS
AND COLLEGES (Cambridge: University Press, 1906), MATTHEW, by A. Carr, p.
155]. [William Barclay, DAILY STUDY BIBLE SERIES, Vol. 2: MATTHEW
(Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1958), p. 346 ff.]. [BEACON BIBLE
COMMENTARY (Kansas City, MO: Beacon Hill Press), MATTHEW, By Ralph
Earle, p. 101].
JUDAISM AND CHRISTIANITY ARE INCOMPATIBLE, BUT NOT
CONTRADICTORY. Some truths are CULTURAL--these are limited
to a culture or a period of time. Some truths are
TRANSCULTURAL--these may be carried from one culture to
another or from one time frame to another. Some truths are
SUPERCULTURAL--these are timeless truths that apply to all
time. The supercultural truths of Judaism are still in
effect in Christianity. Some transcultural truths are still
in effect in Christianity. Many of the cultural truths of
Judaism are not in effect in Christianity.
An example of a cultural truth in Judaism that is no
longer in effect for Christianity is the sacrificial system.
Jesus' sacrifice--his death on the cross--is for all time and
does away with the Old Testament sacrificial system. The
sacrifice of animals in the Old Testament was a type of the
real sacrifice of Jesus.
An example of a transcultural truth in Judaism is the
family stucture. The husband is the administrative head of
his wife. This will continue in all cultures until the
Dispensation of the Fullness of the Ages. (Of course it
ceases to be in effect upon the death of the individual). It
is God's plan for all cultures of all time, regardless of
whether people practice it or not.
An example of a supercultural truth is the doctrine of
the Imputed Righteousness of Christ. One of the Names of God
is YAHWEH-TSIDKENU, "The LORD Our Righteousness" (Jeremiah
23:6). The Old Testament saints were made righteous or
Justified by Faith, the same way people are justified today.
(See Chapter 1, "Justification," in my book, HOW TO RAISE
YOUR SELF ESTEEM: PROVEN BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES). God will
continue to be our righteousness throughout eternity.
The old wineskin of Judaism could not contain the new
truth and the new life that God gave us through Christ. The
new wineskin of Christianity was needed to contain the new
truth and new life. Christianity is not a new sect of
Judaism (Carr, CAMBRIDGE GREEK TESTAMENT FOR SCHOOLS AND
COLLEGES, MATTHEW, p. 155). God instituted Christianity as
the latest in the logical progression of his revelation. With
the further revelation of the Lord comes an increasing
quality of life.
THE NEW COVENANT HAS REPLACED THE OLD COVENANT.
We must proclaim the Good News of the New Covenant. We
must be careful to give God the glory due to him alone. We must also be
careful not to take on airs of "spiritual superiority" and to avoid spiritual
pride, since there is no objective basis for it. END.