saying-47; one choice only.



if you want to experience what he meant

saying- 47; one choice only.


(latest update: 25-11-2018)



Jesus says,

It is impossible for a man to mount two horses or to stretch two bows.

And it is impossible for a servant to serve two masters;

otherwise he will honor the one

and treat the other contemptuously.


No man drinks old wine

and immediately desires to drink new wine.

And new wine is not put into old wineskins,

lest they burst;

nor is old wine put into a new wineskin,

lest it might be spoiled.


An old patch is not sewn onto a new garment,

because a tear would result.







The first sentence states a truism and there is no choice whether to mount two horses

at the same time; it just cannot be done. The second, however, expresses a possible choice,

but as a reference to following Jesus' teachings, serving two masters is out of the question.

(The master in the saying refers to the teaching, not to Jesus as a person.)


The wine stands for the teaching and the wineskin for people with their current convictions.

People have to choose between their old faith and the new teaching – one simply cannot

hold on to both. However, the new wine is neither readily drunk nor stored, which may express

Jesus’ awareness that his task was not easy as people were little sensitive to his teachings;

the new teaching is only of value to people ‘made new’,

whereas the old teachings are without value to those who have accepted the new teachings.

Furthermore, for those who also want to hold on to their old faith, it is not appropriate.

The new and the old are completely incompatible; there is no way of somehow mixing the up together;

neither can de new be adapted to the old, nor the other way around.


Thomas' Jesus shows himself to be of an understanding nature when he states

that someone who feels at home with his current understanding of 'things divine'

is not very eager to make a fundamental switch.


In terms and concepts of current religious convictions or faiths, the new teaching cannot be

comprehended and lived by, as Thomas Jesus' teaching is of a different category altogether:

the old patch does not fit the new garment.


Crossan (1983) states that the stress in the saying is not on “novel superiority”,

but on “combinational impossibility”.


Quispel (2004) suspects that the

sentence on horse riding and bow stretching is a later addition.



Seeking the kingdom,

Do not cling to your current faith or religious conviction.

Instead, first empty your mind completely.




Also in:

Matthew 9:16; Mark 2:21; Luke 5:36.