Mark 2:21 No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse.
No one a patch of rags unmilled sews onto a cloak, old: if however not, it takes that which fills up from of it, the new kind of the old and worse division becomes.
Interesting and Hidden Aspects:
Lots of double meanings in the Greek and references to related concepts. There is a clear sense in the Greek words used that Christ is referring to his role regarding the law. One key word here is translated "new,," but it is a word that applies to cloth meaning "not filled out." The word translated as "piece that filled it up" is the a noun form of the verb that Jesus uses in describing his "filling out" the law. The word trans lated as "rent" means a split between groups. It is the source of our word "schism." While this verse seems unrelated to the previous two (Mark 2:19, Mark 2:20) about the groom being taken away, there are clear connections in Jewish tradition about the clothing worn at weddings and the wine of the following verse.
No man: The Greek word translated as "no man" also means "no one", "nothing," and other negatives nouns.
also: In today's source, there is no Greek word that can be translated as "also".
seweth: The word translated as "seweth" means "to sew" it is different than the word in the other verses which means "throws on".
a piece: The Greek word translated as "piece" means "that which is thrown over". It is from the same root word as the verb that means "something thrown over" or "tossed on" used in the other versions of this verse. It has a number of meanings including "covering," "tapestry", and " bandage". This is an uncommon word for Christ to use.
of: Comes from the genetive case of the next two words.
new: "New" is a Greek word "not fulled" referring to the process of abrading cloth so that it becomes fuller, softer, and warmer. This process is used specifically for wool. Abrasion pulls the hairs in the woven cloth ("felting" is a similar process for unwoven wool) and tangles them. As the fibers are pulled together, the cloth gets smaller. When you wear, use, and wash a wool garment, it is naturally "fulled," which also makes it shrink. Fulling is usually part of preparing the wool before it is sewn into garments because wear alone will full the wool, shrinking it. However, in the simpler clothing of Christ's era, which required much less cutting, sewing, and fitting, clothes could be made with raw cloth and fulled by wear. This word is related to the word Christ uses to describe himself "filling up" or "fulfilling" the OT. This is different than the "new" used later in the verse (and in Luke 5:36). It is also not the Greek word commonly translated as "new" in the NT.
cloth: The word translated as "cloth" really means a "rag" or "tatter." this is a negative description of the patch. This is an uncommon word for Christ to use.
on: The word translated as "on" means "against", "before", "by" or "on."
an: The "an" comes from the fact there are no definite article ("the") before the noun. Greek has not indefinite article, so when the definite article isn't use, we would often use our indefinate one, "an."
old: 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.
garment: The word translated as "garment" means an outer garment ("a cloak") like we would use a coat or jacket today. This quality of this garment was how people judge social status. This specific garment signaled religious affiliation. Relating this verse to the previous ones ( Mark 2:19, Mark 2:20) about the bridegroom, guests at
else: The "else" here is from thre Greek words meaning "but if not." The standard conjunction "if" indicating a possibility clause. The Greek word translated as "but" means "but", "however", and "on the other hand". Since it always falls in the second position, translating it as "however" often captures its feeling better. 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: From the Greek definite article.
new: The word translated as "new" here is different than the Greek word translated earlier as "new". This word means "new" and "novel" but also "of a new kind." It is used as a noun, introduced by an article, "the new kind". this is the word used for "new" in Luke 5:36. It is also not the Greek word commonly translated as "new" in the NT. Though it appears in the proper form for the subject, it appears in the wrong place, after the preposition, "from" right before "the old."
piece that filled it up: "Piece that filleth up" is a single Greek word, a noun that captures various ideas of filling and completing, but here, we might simply say "the filler." this is an uncommon word for Christ to use.
taketh away: The word translated as "taketh" means "lift up" but it also means "to remove" and "to exalt" this is a reference to an unfinished piece of material, one without a hem, coming apart. The word translated here as "taketh," referring to the patch being torn away from the cloth, is similar but not the same as the word Jesus uses in the previous verse ( Mark 2:20 ) to describe the bridegroom being taken away.
from: The word translated as "from" means "from" in both location and when referring to a source.
NOTE: A untranslated word appears here that is the Greek word commonly translated as pronouns in English, but it has a few shades of meaning our pronouns do not have. The sense is "from it" refers the old, garment.
the: This is from the Greek definite article.
old: The word translated as "old" is the same as above. It is in a positive form and follows the word "new", the sense ois, "the new of the old". 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.
and: 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.
the: There is no definite article here in the Greek.
rent: The word translated as "rent" means an "opening", "division," or a "tear" but it is also a metaphor about a division of opinion. This word is the source of our word "schism". This is an uncommon word for Christ to use. This noun 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.
is made: The word translated as "is made" means "to become," that is, to enter into a new state. In Greek, especially as used by Christ, it is the opposite of "being," which is existence in the current state.
worse: The terms translated as "worse" means various forms of inferiority and degradation. This is an uncommon word for Christ to use.
ἐπίβλημα [uncommon](noun sg neut nom/acc) "A piece" is from epiblema, which means "that which is thrown over", "covering", " tapestry ", "hangings", "that which is put on", "piece of embroidery," and "outer bandage."
ῥάκους [uncommon](noun sg neut gen) "Cloth" is rhakos, which means ragged, tattered garment", "rags", "tatters", "strip of cloth", "strip of flesh", "rents in the face", "wrinkles," and is a metaphor for "rag," and "remnant."
ἀγνάφου [uncommon](adj sg neut gen) "New" is from agnaphos, which means "uncarded", "unmilled", "unfulled", "undressed," and "unprocessed."
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) "Else" is ei, (with de me below), 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) "Else" is de (with ei...me ) 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").
μή, "Else" is me (with ei de above) which is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." As οὐ (ou) negates fact and statement; μή rejects, οὐ denies; μή is relative, οὐ absolute; μή subjective, οὐ objective. -
ἀπ᾽ (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.
αὐτοῦ (adj sg neut gen) "From" is autos, which means "the same," and the reflexive pronouns, "myself", "yourself", "himself", "herself", "itself," or the oblique case of the pronouns, "him", "her," and "it." It also means "one's true self," that is, "the soul" as opposed to the body and "of one's own accord."
τοῦ παλαιοῦ, (adj sg masc/neut gen ) "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."
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."
χεῖρον (adj sg neut nom/acc comp) "Worse" is from cheiron, which means (of persons) "meaner", "inferior," (in moral sense) "worse than others", "worse (in quality)", "inferior," and, as a noun, "inferiority."
γίνεται. (3rd sg pres ind mp) "Is made" is from ginomai, which means "to become", "to come into being", "to be produced," and "to be." It means changing into a new state of being. It is the complementary opposite of the verb "to be" (eimi)which indicates existence in the same state.
The Spoken Version:
"How can you call yourself a wedding party? Dressed as you are?" the Pharisee challenged. "Some of your cloaks need patching."
"No one a patch of rags unmilled sews onto a cloak, old," Jesus responded. "if however not, it takes that which fills up from of it, the new kind of the old and worse division becomes.