Luke 5:36 No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old

KJV Verse: 

Luke 5:36 No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old.

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

No man a patch from a cloak new, splitting, affixes on a coat old. If, however not, indeed not only is the new one going to split but also to the old one will not work with the one is affixed to it from the new. 

Hidden Meaning: 

This verse reads very differently in more modern translations, which come closer to the Greek than the KJV. The meaning of this verse seems obscure in translation, but the symbols and double meanings were much more obvious in the time of Christ. Interestingly, the Greek here works very differently than the Greek in the parallel version in Matthew (Matthew 9:16 ), while the version in Mark (Mark 2:21) seems to be a hybrid of the two.  Though these verses sound much the same in the KJV, most other modern translations make the differences a little clearer.  This version is particularly convoluted, reading neither like standard Greek nor like Christ's spoken Greek. 

The Greek word translated as "no man" also means "no one", "nothing," and other negatives nouns.

The word translated as "putteth" means literally to "throw against, before, by or on," but it has a large variety of specific uses. Its use implies that the patch was tossed on in a quick and careless way. The Mark version uses that actual word that means "sew", which in Greek resembles this word. 

The Greek word translated as "piece" means "that which is thrown over". It is from the same root word as the word above and means "something thrown over" or "tossed on." It has a number of meanings including "covering," "tapestry", and " bandage". This is an uncommon word for Christ to use.

"New" is a Greek adjective that means "new", "fresh", "newly made", "newly invented," and "novel." this is different than the word translated as "new" in Matthew 9:16 and  Mark 2:21, which means "unfilled" and has more symbolic meaning in the verse than this word.  Unlike the "new" in Mark and Matthew, which refers to the patch, this "new" refers to the garment from which it is split.

The word translated as "garment" means an outer garment ("a cloak") like we would use a coat or jacket today. The style and quality of this garment were how people judged social affiliation and status.  This specific garment signaled religious affiliation. This new garment is a metaphor for the new form of divine devotion that Christ was teaching. This idea of a garment connects this verse with the previous one (Luke 5:35) about the bridegroom. At a wedding, guests were expected to wear good clothes and even new outfits (Matthew 22:11). 

There is an untranslated Greek verb here that means "to divide" or "to split." The sense is "no one splitting a patch from a new garment". This verb is translated later in the verse as "maketh a rent". The form here is an adjective referring to the "no one" who is the subject here, so "splitting". This verb is important symbolically because it also refers to divided opinions, that is, the split between the "new" and the "old" symbolized by the garments, representing different schools of thought. 

The word translated as "on" means "against", "before", "by" or "on."

The word translated as "old" means old in years both in a good sense and a bad one. In a good sense, it means "venerable" and in a bad sense, "obsolete." Because the point here is that we want to preserve the coat or cloak, it should be translated in the positive sense. "Old" means respected and prized not worn out. This is an uncommon word for Christ to use.

An untranslated word appears here that means an outer garment ("a cloak") like we would use a coat or jacket today. The style and quality of this garment were how people judged social affiliation and status.  This specific garment signaled religious affiliation. 

The "if" here is the standard conjunction indicating a possibility clause. Missing from Matthew version, 

The "otherwise" here is from two words, meaning "however not ". Missing from Matthew version, 

The "then" is a Greek word that means "indeed". This word is missing from Matthew and Mark versions. 

The Greek word translated as "both" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also") and, in a series, is best translated as "not only...but also." It is used in a series here. 

The word translated as "the new" is different than the common Greek word for new. Many of their meanings overlap, but this word also means "of a new kind." Again, the reference here seems to be not to newness in the sense of freshly made, but in the sense of a new kind. Since it refers to the divisions indicated by clothing, the sense is a new kind of class. It is introduced by an article, so it used as a noun "the new one". 

The Greek verb here translated as "maketh a rent" means "to divide" or "to split." This verb is important symbolically because it also refers to divided opinions, that is, the split between the "new" and the "old" symbolized by the garments, representing different schools of thought. This verb is not used in the Mark and Matthew versions, which talk about "lifting up". Symbolically, there are very different ideas. 

The Greek word translated as "and" is used as the conjunction "and", but it also is used to add emphasis ("also") and, in a series, is best translated as "not only...but also." It is used in a series here. 

The Greek word translated as "piece" means "that which is thrown over". It is from the same root word as the word above and means "something thrown over" or "tossed on." It has a number of meanings including "covering," "tapestry", and " bandage". This is an uncommon word for Christ to use.

"That was taken out of" is a preposition that means "from" in both location and when referring to a source. The "taken out" was added to make it sound more like the Mark and Matthew verses that have a word translated as "taketh" in them.

The word translated as "the new" is different than the common Greek word for new. Many of their meanings overlap, but this word also means "of a new kind." Again, the reference here seems to be not to newness in the sense of freshly made, but in the sense of a new kind. Since it refers to the divisions indicated by clothing, the sense is a new kind of class. It is introduced by an article, so it used as a noun "the new one". 

The Greek verb translated as "agreeth" means  "to bring together", "to gather", "collect", "to confer a benefit", "to be useful", "work with", "be with," and "agree with."  The sense of this is word is that we are no longer talking about clothes as much as ideas. The form of the verb is the active future tense, so "is going to agree." 

The Greek word translated as "not" is the Greek negative used to deny objective facts, not opinions. It makes a negative statement of fact. Adding "really" to the sentence to captures the same idea.

The word translated as "old" means old in years both in a good sense and a bad one. In a good sense, it means "venerable" and in a bad sense, "obsolete." Because the point here is that we want to preserve the coat or cloak, it should be translated in the positive sense. "Old" means respected and prized not worn out. This is an uncommon word for Christ to use.

Wordplay: 

"Garment" connects this verse to the previous verse about a wedding. 

"New garment" becomes a metaphor for a new social class, a new kind of garment. 

The "old" here could mean outdated, but it also means "venerated". 
 

 

The Spoken Version: 

No man splitting a patch from a new cloak affixes on an old cloak. Otherwise, indeed not only is the new one going to split but also to the old one will not work with the one is affixed to it from the new.

Vocabulary: 

Οὐδεὶς (adj sg masc nom ) "No man " is from oudeis which means "no one", "not one", "nothing", " naught ", "good for naught," and "no matter."

ἐπίβλημα  [uncommon](noun sg neut nom/acc) "A piece" is from epiblemawhich means "that which is thrown over", "covering", " tapestry ", "hangings", "that which is put on", "piece of embroidery," and "outer bandage."

ἀπὸ (prep) "From" is from apo, a preposition of separation which means "from" or "away from" from when referring to place or motion, "from" or "after" when referring to time, "from" as an origin or cause.

ἱματίου  (noun sg neut gen diminutive) "Garment" is from himation, which was an oblong piece of cloth worn as an outer garment. The term generally means "clothes" and "cloth."

καινοῦ (adj sg masc gen) "New" is kainos, which means "new", "fresh", "newly made", "newly invented," and "novel."

σχίσας [uncommon](part sg aor act masc nom) Untranslated is schizo, which means to "part", "separate", "divide",  and  a metaph. of divided opinions. 

ἐπιβάλλει  (verb 3rd sg pres ind act) "Putteth" is from epiballo, which means to "throw or cast upon", "lay on", " affix (a seal, add),"" contribute", "place next in order", "let grow", "let loose", "throw oneself upon", "go straight towards", "follow", "come next", "belong to", "fall to the share of", "shut to", "close", "to overlap (in logic)," and in the passive to "lie upon", "be put upon," and "be set over." 

ἐπὶ (prep)  "Unto" is from epi which means "on", "upon", "at", "by", "before", "across," and "against."

 ἱμάτιον   (noun sg neut nom/acc diminutive) "Garment" is from himation, which was an oblong piece of cloth worn as an outer garment. The term generally means "clothes" and "cloth."

παλαιόν: [uncommon](adj sg neut dat ) "Old" is from palaios, which means "old in years," "ancient," (in a good sense) "venerable", "held in esteem," (in a bad way) "antiquated", "obsolete," and "in an old way."

εἰ (prep) "If" is ei, which is the particle used to express conditions "if" (implying nothing about its fulfillment) or indirect questions, "whether." It also expresses the interjection, "come now!" It also means "if ever", "in case," and "whenever." It is combined with various conjunctions to create derivative conditions. -- The "if" here expresses a condition but it means nothing regarding whether that condition is met or not. It also means "if ever" and "whenever."

 δὲ  (partic) "Otherwise" is from de which means "but" and "on the other hand." It is the particle that joins sentences in an adversarial way but can also be a weak connective ("and") and explanation of cause ("so") and a condition ("if").

μήγε, "Then" is mege, which is a contraction of me ge. The me is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." The ge is an emphatic particle meaning "at least" and "indeed." It emphasizes the word to which it is associated. 

καὶ "Both" is kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but." After words implying sameness, "as" (the same opinion as you). Used in series, joins positive with negative "Not only...but also." Also used to give emphasis, "even", "also," and "just."

τὸ καινὸν (adj sg neut nom/acc) "New" is kainos, which means "new", "fresh", "newly made", "newly invented," and "novel." 

σχίσει (verb 3rd sg fut ind act  ) "Maketh a rent" is schizo, which means to "part", "separate", "divide",  and  a  metaph . of divided opinions, 

καὶ (conj) "And" is from kai, which is the conjunction joining phrases and clauses, "and," or "but." After words implying sameness, "as" (the same opinion as you). Used in series, joins positive with negative "Not only...but also." Also used to give emphasis, "even", "also," and "just."

τῷ παλαιῷ (adj sg neut dat) "Old" is from palaios, which means "old in years," "ancient," (in a good sense) "venerable", "held in esteem," (in a bad way) "antiquated", "obsolete," and "in an old way."

οὐ (partic) "Not" is ou which is the negative adverb for facts and statements, negating both single words and sentences. The other negative adverb, μή applies to will and thought; οὐ denies, μή rejects; οὐ is absolute, μή relative; οὐ objective, μή subjective. --

συμφωνήσει (verb 3rd sg fut ind act) "Agreeth" is symphero, which means "to bring together", "to gather", "collect", "to confer a benefit", "to be useful", "work with", "be with," and "agree with." In the passive, it means "to come together", "to engage", "to battle," [of events] "to occur", "to happen," and [literally] "to be carried along with."

τὸ ἐπίβλημα (noun sg neut nom/acc) "A piece" is from epiblemawhich means "that which is thrown over", "covering", " tapestry ", "hangings", "that which is put on", "piece of embroidery," and "outer bandage."

τὸ (article sg neut nom/acc) "Unto them that" is the Greek article, "the," which usually proceeds a noun and, without a noun, takes the meaning of "the one" or, in the plural, "the ones." Here it is separated from its noun by a conjunction. -

ἀπὸ (prep) "That was taken out" is from apo, a preposition of separation which means "from" or "away from" from when referring to place or motion, "from" or "after" when referring to time, "from" as an origin or cause.

τοῦ καινοῦ.  (adj sg neut nom/acc) "New" is kainos, which means "new", "fresh", "newly made", "newly invented," and "novel." 

Related Verses: 

Sep 5 2017