Bad patching (Mk 2:21-2:21)

“No one sews

A piece of unshrunk cloth

On an old cloak.


The patch pulls away

From it,

The new piece

From the old piece.

A worse tear

Is made.”


Οὐδεὶς ἐπίβλημα ῥάκους ἀγνάφου ἐπιράπτει ἐπὶ ἱμάτιον παλαιόν· εἰ δὲ μή, αἴρει τὸ πλήρωμα ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ τὸ καινὸν τοῦ παλαιοῦ, καὶ χεῖρον σχίσμα γίνεται.


Luke, chapter 5:36, and Matthew, chapter 9:16, are similar to Mark, so that Mark might be the source of this mending of the cloth saying.  Luke called his saying a parable.  Mark remarked that Jesus said that no one would sow a new piece of unshrunk cloth (Οὐδεὶς ἐπίβλημα ῥάκους ἀγνάφου ἐπιράπτει) on an old cloak or coat (ἐπὶ ἱμάτιον παλαιόν).  This new patch would pull away or tear away (εἰ δὲ μή, αἴρει τὸ πλήρωμα ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ τὸ καινὸν τοῦ παλαιοῦ).  Then there would be a worse tear there than before (καὶ χεῖρον σχίσμα γίνεται).  In other words, do not mend coats with new pieces of cloth.  The new with the old will not work and match correctly.  Let the old garment wear out, because there is nothing that you can do to it.