Parable of the Old and New Wine


Described in Luke 5:36-39, given at the feast prepared by Saint Matthew after his call and conversion. After explaining in the parables of the old wine and new bottles, and of the old garment and new patches, to some bitterly querulous questioners, why He did not impose the practises of the Pharisees and of Saint John the Baptist on His own disciples, Jesus turns to the latter, giving the present parable as an excuse for those who plague Him so persistently. It is not a question of whether the old wine is better than the new, because Christ’s doctrine, the new wine, is certainly better than that of the Pharisees or of the Precursor, but of a matter of taste to which one has grown accustomed. Brought up in the spirit and practises of the Pharisees, of which they approve, these questioners are loath to accept the teaching of Jesus, to them new, untried, and hence of doubtful value. Thus would Our Lord excuse those who so bitterly pursued Him for His new ways and doctrines, and with the same spirit of gentleness must all those be animated who would lead souls from the paths of sin and error to the ways of truth and virtue.


He told them a parable also: “No one tears a piece from a new garment and puts it upon an old garment; if he does, he will tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; if he does, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. And no one after drinking old wine desires new; for he says, ‘The old is good.'” – Luke 5:36-39, RSVCE

MLA Citation

  • “Parable of the Old and New Wine”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 11 November 2019. Web. 3 March 2021. <>