Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Why did Jesus say that “no one puts new wine into old wineskins”?
▪ It was common in Bible times to store wine in animal skins. (Joshua 9:13) Skin bottles were made of the complete hides of such domestic animals as kids or goats. To make a skin bottle, the dead animal’s head and feet were cut off and the carcass was carefully skinned to avoid opening its belly. The hide was then tanned and all the openings were sewed up except the neck or a leg of the animal, which would be left unsewed to serve as the bottle’s neck. This opening could be closed with a stopper or tied with a string.
In time, the skin would become hard and lose its elasticity. Old wineskins, therefore, were inappropriate for storing new wine, which continues to ferment. Such fermentation would likely burst the hardened leather of old wineskins. New skins, on the other hand, were more supple and could withstand the pressure caused by continued fermentation of new wine. For this reason, Jesus stated a fact that was common knowledge in his day. He spoke of what would happen if anyone does put new wine in old bottles: “Then the new wine will burst the wineskins, and it will be spilled out and the wineskins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins.”—Luke 5:37, 38.