Matthew 9:17

Neither do men put new wine into old wineskins: else the wineskins break, and the wine runs out, and the wineskins perish: but they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
Through Matthew mentions only the disciples of John as having made this enquiry, the words of Mark rather seem to imply that some other persons spoke of others, that is, the guests spoke concerning the disciples of John and the Pharisees - this is still more evident from Luke ; why then does Matthew here say, “Then came unto him the disciples of John,” unless that they were there among other guests, all of whom with one consent put this objection to Him?. Serm., 210, 3: Otherwise; Everyone who rightly fasts, either humbles his soul in the groaning of prayer, and bodily chastisement, or suspends the motion of carnal desire by the joys of spiritual meditation. And the Lord here makes answer respecting both kinds of fasting; concerning the first, which is in humiliation of soul, He says, “The children of the bridegroom cannot mourn.”. De Cons. Evan., ii, 27: That Matthew writes here “mourn,” where Mark and Luke write “fast,” shows that the Lord spake of that kind of fasting which pertains...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
New wine into old bottles. These vessels were made of skins, or were leather bottles, in which wine used to be carried and kept. (Witham) They were made of goat-skins prepared and sewed together, as is common in Spain and other southern countries to this day. (Haydock) They were to wait till they were renewed by the Holy Spirit, before they could enter with advantage on the hard ways of penance. (Bible de Vence)
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Glossa Ordinaria

AD 1480
Ap. Anselm: As much as to say, An undressed patch, that is, a new one, ought not to be put into an old garment, because it often takes away from the garment its wholeness, that is, its perfection, and then the rent is made worse. For aheavy burden laid on one that is untrained often destroys that good which was in him before. non occ.: This shows that the Apostles being hereafter to be replenished with newness of grace, ought not now to be bound to the old observances.
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Hilary of Poitiers

AD 368
Figuratively, this His answer, that while the Bridegroom was present with them, His disciples needed not to fast, teaches us the joy of His presence, and the sacrament of the holy food, which none shall lack, while He is present, that is, while one keeps Christ in the eye of the mind. He says, they shall fast when He is taken away from them, because all who do not believe that Christ is risen, shall not have the food of life. For in the faith of the resurrection the sacrament of the heavenly bread is received. By these examples He shows that neither our souls nor bodies, being so weakened by inveteracy of sin, are capable of the sacraments of the new grace.


AD 420
O boastful enquiry and ostentation of fasting much to be blamed, nor can John's disciples be excused for their taking part with the Pharisees who they knew had been condemned by John, and for bringing a false accusation against Him whom they knew their master had preached. Christ is the Bridegroom and the Church the Bride. Of this spiritual union the Apostles were born; they cannot mourn so long as they see the Bridegroom in the chamber with the Bride. But when the nuptials are past, and the time of passion and resurrection is come, then shall the children of the Bridegroom fast. "The days shall come when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.”. Hence some think that a fast ought to follow the forty days of Passion, although the day of Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit immediately bring back our joy and festival. From this text accordingly, Montanus, Prisca, and Maximilla enjoin a forty days abstinence after Pentecost, but it is the use of the Chur...


AD 420
What he is saying is this: Until a person has been reborn and, having put aside the old person, puts on the new person because of my passion, he cannot observe right fasting and the precepts of temperance. Otherwise, through undue austerity one may lose even the faith one seems to possess. Christ gave two examples: the garment and the old and new wineskins. The old ones denote the scribes and Pharisees. The patch of shrunk cloth and the new wine signify the gospel precepts, which the Jews cannot observe, else a worse tear is made. .
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John Chrysostom

AD 407
What they say come to this, Be it that you do this as Physician of souls, but why do your disciples neglect fasting and approach such tables? And to augment the weight of their charge by comparison, they put themselves first, and then the Pharisees. They fasted as they learnt out of the Law, as the Pharisee spoke, “I fast twice in the week;” the others learnt it of John. He means thus; The present is a time of joy and rejoicing; sorrow is therefore not to be now brought forward; and fasting is naturally grievous, and to all those that are yet weak; for to those that seek to contemplate wisdom, it is pleasant; He therefore speaks here according to the former opinion. He also hews that this they did was not of gluttony, but of a certain dispensation. Here again He confirms what He has said by examples of common things; “No manputteth a patch of undressed cloth into an old garment; for it taketh away its wholeness from the garment, and the rent is made worse;” which is to say, My disciple...

John Chrysostom

AD 407
Do you see His illustrations, how like the Old Testament? The garment? The wine skins? For Jeremiah too calls the people a girdle, and makes mention again of bottles and of wine. Jeremiah 13:10-12 Thus, the discourse being about gluttony and a table, He takes His illustrations from the same. But Luke the same words, a second and a third time and often; not however in a wearisome kind of way, but sport ively, and do thou now turn from her, now flatter and court her. Do you see not the painters, how much they rub out, how much they insert, when they are making a beautiful portrait? Well then, do not thou prove inferior to these. For if these, in drawing the likeness of a body, used such great diligence, how much more were it meet for us, in fashioning a soul, to use every contrivance. For if you should fashion well the form of this soul, you will not see the countenance of the body looking unseemly, nor lips stained, nor a mouth like a bear's mouth dyed with blood, nor eyebrows bla...

Rabanus Maurus

AD 856
For John drank neither wine, nor strong drink, increasing his merit by abstinence, because he had no power over nature. But the Lord who has power to forgive sins, why should He shun sinners that eat, since He has power to make them more righteous than those that cannot? Yet doth Christ fast, that you should not avoid the command; but He eats with sinners that you may know His grace and power.
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Remigius of Rheims

AD 533
After two comparisons made, that of the wedding, and that of the undressed cloth, He adds a third concerning wine skins; “Neither do men put new wine into old skins.” By the old skins He means His disciples, who were not yet perfectly renewed. The new wine is the fulness of the Holy Spirit, and the depths of the heavenly mysteries, which His disciples could not then bear; but after the resurrection they became as new skins, and were filled with new wine when they received the Holy Spirit into their hearts. Whence also some said, “These menare full of new wine.”

Theophylact of Ochrid

AD 1107
The disciples, He says, have not yet become strong, and therefore require forbearance. The heavy burden of commandments ought not to be laid upon them. Jesus also said these things to teach the disciples that later, when they would go out into all the world to make disciples, they too should use forbearance. The "piece of unshrunk cloth" means fasting, as does the "new wine." The "old garment" and the "old wineskins" mean the weakness of the disciples.
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Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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