“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse.” - Mark 2:21
A few years back, we attempted to build a product for legal professionals. It was to store the electronic copies of court judgments in India and its digital summaries, for easy reference and citation. Where the law is not explicit or clear, these judgments can be used as precedences to argue the case. These “case laws” guide and conserve the line of interpretation of statutory laws.
As a human society we need such systems. The codification of laws and interpretations. Every interpretation takes us one step away from the original code. But without it, we risk having loose interpretations. And when it comes to applying the laws, we need rituals. These are acceptable behaviors which do not need constant verification against the law. That’s how we institutionalize law and knowledge.
And that’s how it builds. The slow buildup of legalisms and ritualism that masks the original code. And slowly, it ages.
Garment and wineskin – reiterate the relation of Good News to the institutional interpretations. The legalistic and ritualistic versions of the God’s revelations.
That parables are still relevant in our present context too. We do fall in the trap of rituals and case laws, and forget the spirit behind the original code. It is very important to continually renew our understanding and renew our spirit against the written word, else we become part of an old garment.