Article: Is "bottles" an inaccurate word in the King James Bible? by Will Kinney

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Is the word “Bottles” incorrect in the King James Bible?


A Christian wrote me the other day asking if the word “bottles” wasn’t wrong in the King James Bible and that the correct word should be wineskins.


As is usually the case with words like this, all we need to do to see that the word is not incorrect, is simply to learn a bit more about our own English language and compare how other English translations throughout history have used this word.


The Definitions of the word Bottle


Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary - 1. A hollow vessel of glass, wood, LEATHER or other material, with a narrow mouth, for holding and carrying liquors. The oriental nations use skins or leather for the conveyance of liquors; and of this kind are the bottles mentioned in scripture. "Put new wine into bottles."


Oh, you say, that was way back in 1828 that a bottle could refer to a leather container. So, what about more recently?


The New Webster Encyclopedic Dictionary of the English Language 1971 - bottle - A hollow vessel of glass, LEATHER, or other material, with a narrow mouth, for holding and carrying liquors.”


Merriam Webster Dictionary - 1 a : a rigid or semirigid container typically of glass or plastic having a comparatively narrow neck or mouth and usually no handle b : a usually bottle-shaped CONTAINER MADE OF SKIN for storing a liquid.


Encyclopedia Britannica - bottle - “BOTTLE a vessel for containing liquids, generally as opposed to one for drinking from, and with a narrow neck to facilitate closing and pouring. The first bottles were probably made of the skins of animals. In the Iliad (iii. 247) the attendants are represented as bearing wine for use in a bottle made of goat's skin. The ancient Egyptians used skins for this purpose, and from the language employed by Herodotus (ii. 1 2 1), it appears that a bottle was formed by sewing up the skin and leaving the projection of the leg and foot to serve as a vent. Skin bottles of various forms occur on Egyptian monuments. The Greeks and Romans also were accustomed to use bottles made of skins; and in the southern parts Europe they are still used for the transport of wine. The first of explicit reference to bottles of skin in Scripture occurs in Joshua (ix. 4), where it is said that the Gibeonites took "old sacks upon their asses, and wine-bottles old and rent and bound up." The objection to putting "new wine into old bottles" (Matt. ix. 17) is that the skin, already stretched and weakened by use, is liable to burst under the pressure of the gas from new wine.”


BIBLE VERSION COMPARISON


Let’s take a look at both the older and the more modern English bible translations and see how many of them still use the word BOTTLE to refer to a leather vessel used to carry liquids.


Matthew 9:17 King James Bible - “Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.“


Not only does the King James Bible use the word “bottles” to describe a wineskin but so too do the following Bible translations. I am not by any means listing ALL the verses that use the word “bottles” but am just giving an example or two from each.


Wycliffe 1395 - “Nethir men putten newe wyne in to elde botelis, ellis the botels ben to-broke, and distried, and the wyn sched out. But men putten newe wyne in to newe botels, and bothe ben kept.”


Coverdale 1535 - Genesis 21:14 - “Then Abraham rose vp early in the mornynge, and toke bred and a botell with water, and put it vpon Agars shulders...”


The Bishops’ Bible 1568 - Judges 4:19 “And he sayd vnto her: Geue me I pray thee a litle water to drincke, for I am thirstie. And she opened a bottle of milke, and gaue him drincke, & couered him.”; 1 Samuel 1:24 - “And when she had weaned hym, she toke hym with her, with three bullockes, and an Epha of floure, and a bottle of wine, and brought hym vnto the house of the Lorde in Silo, and the child was young.”


The Geneva Bible 1599 - Genesis 21:14 - “So Abraham arose vp early in ye morning, and tooke bread, and a bottell of water, and gaue it vnto Hagar, putting it on her shoulder”


The Revised Version 1885 has bottle 13 times - Genesis 21:14 - “And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread and a bottle of water, and gave it unto Hagar...”


American Standard Version 1901 has “bottle” 12 times - Judges 4:19 - “ And he said unto her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water to drink; for I am thirsty. And she opened a bottle of milk, and gave him drink, and covered him.”


Douay Rheims - 14 times - 1 Samuel 1:24 “And after she had weaned him, she carried him with her, with three calves, and three bushels of flour, and a bottle of wine, and she brought him to the house of the Lord in Silo. Now the child was as yet very young”


Darby - Psalm 119:83 “For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; I do not forget thy statutes.”


Youngs - Genesis 21:14 “And Abraham riseth early in the morning, and taketh bread, and a bottle of water, and giveth unto Hagar...”


Jewish Publication Society 1917 - 1Samuel 16:20 - “And Jesse took an ass laden with bread, and a bottle of wine, and a kid, and sent them by David his son unto Saul.”


The RSV 1954 has “bottle” 3 times Psalm 33:7 “He gathered the waters of the sea as in a bottle; he put the deeps in storehouses.”


The NRSV 1989 has bottle twice - Psalm 56:8 “You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your record?”


The 2001 ESV - Psalm 56:8 “You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? “


NASB 1995 - Judges 4:19 “He said to her, "Please give me a little water to drink, for I am thirsty." So she opened a bottle of milk and gave him a drink; then she covered him. “ Psalm 56:8 “You have taken account of my wanderings; Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book?”


NKJV 1982 - bottl 4 times - Jeremiah 13:12 -"Therefore you shall speak to them this word: "Thus says the LORD God of Israel: "Every bottle shall be filled with wine."' "And they will say to you, "Do we not certainly know that every bottle will be filled with wine?'”


Habakkuk 2:15 - "Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbor, Pressing him to your bottle, Even to make him drunk, That you may look on his nakedness! “


The Message 2002 - Judges 4:19 - “He said to her, "Please, a little water. I'm thirsty." She opened a bottle of milk, gave him a drink, and then covered him up again.”


The Cranmer (Great) Bible 1540 - “Mat 9:17 Nether do men put new wyne into olde: bottels: els the bottels breake, and the wyne runneth out, and the bottels peryshe. But they putt new wyne into new bottels, and both are saued together.”


Luke 5:37 - John Wesley translation 1755 - “And no man putteth new wine into old leathern-bottles: else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles will perish.”


Whiston’s Primitive New Testament 1745 - “Mat 9:17 Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the new wine breaketh the bottles, and the wine perisheth: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.


Luke 5:37 - Websters 1833 - “And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles will perish.”


Emphatic Diaglott 1865 - “Mat 9:17 Nor do they put wine new into bottles old; if but not, burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles are destroyed; but they put wine new into bottles new, and both are preserved together.”


Translation of the N.T. from Original Greek 1902 William Godbey - “Mat 9:17 Neither do they put new wine in old bottles: lest the bottles are broken, and the wine poured out, and the bottles shall perish: but they put the new wine into the new bottles, and both are preserved.”


The New Testament Translated from the Sinaitic Manuscript, Henry Anderson 1918 - “Mat 9:17 Neither do they put new wine into old bottles; otherwise, the bottles break, and the wine runs out, and the bottles perish; but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved together.”


The New Testament in the Language of the People, Charles B. Williams 1937 - Matthew 9:17 - “Nobody pours new wine into old wine BOTTLES; or, if they do, THE BOTTLES burst, the wine runs out, and THE BOTTLES are ruined.”


Urim-Thummim Version 2001, by Dallas James Matthew 9:17 - “Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: otherwise the bottles break, and the wine runs out, and the bottles are ruined: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.”


Wycliffe New Testament (updated) 2001 Matthew 9:17 “Neither men put new wine into old bottles, else the bottles be broken, and destroyed, and the wine shed out. But men put new wine into new bottles, and both be kept.”


The Message 2002 - “Matthew 9:16-17 - “He went on, "No one cuts up a fine silk scarf to patch old work clothes; you want fabrics that match. And you don't put your wine in cracked BOTTLES."


There is nothing wrong with the King James Bible’s use of the word “bottle” to describe a vessel or container made of either pottery or leather. This IS one of the meanings of the word.

Will Kinney

See Also

Other Artilces by Will Kinney in the Textus Receptus database ~

Old Testament

Genesis Genesis 1:28 Replenish or Fill? - Genesis 6:6 Can God repent? - Genesis 22:1 Did God "Tempt" Abraham? Exodus Exodus 20:13 Thou Shalt Not KILL - Exodus - the Israelites "borrowed" of the Egyptians Numbers Numbers 22 Why was God Angry with Balaam? Job Bible Babel in Job - a comparative study 1 Samuel 1 Samuel 13:21 "a file" a "pim" or "two-thirds of a shekel"? 2 Samuel 2 Samuel 21:8 Michal or Merab? - 2 Samuel 21:19 Who Killed Goliath? 1 Kings 1 Kings 20:38 ashes upon his face - 1 Kings 22:38 "washed his armour" or "while the harlots bathed" NKJV Nonsense Psalms Psalm 8:5 Lower than the Angels, or a little lower than God? - Answering Doug Kutilek's anti-Preservation in Psalm 12 - Psalm 74:8 the synagogues of God; Psalm 77:2 my sore ran in the night - Psalms 1 How Different the Versions! - Psalms 2 How Different the Versions! - Psalms 3 How Different the Versions! - Psalms 4 How Different the Versions! - Psalms 5 How Different the Versions! Proverbs NKJV Bible Babel in Proverbs - Bible Babel in Proverbs Isaiah Isaiah - a Comparative Study - Does God Create Evil? Isaiah 45:7 Jeremiah Jeremiah 8:8 the pen of the scribes is in vain - Jeremiah 27:1 Jehoiakim or Zedekiah? - Ezekiel Ezekiel 29:7 Hebrew, Greek or Syriac? Hosea Hosea - a Comparative Study

New Testament

Did Jesus Tell Them to Take a Staff or Not? Matthew Is Matthew 23:14 Scripture or not? - Matthew 27:44 cast in teeth Mark Gospel of Mark - a Modern Version Mix-up Luke Is "cousin" wrong in Luke 1:36 - Luke 17:36 Is it inspired Scripture or not? John John 1:18 the only begotten Son Acts Act 3:19 times of refreshing; 7:20 Moses was exceeding fair - Acts 9:5-7 hear the voice; 7:20 exceeding fair - Acts 5:30 slew and hanged; 19:20 word of GOD - Acts 13:33 this day have I begotten thee - Acts 19:9 DIVERS were hardened, and believed not - Acts 19:35 Diana or Artemis? Jupiter, Zeus or Heaven? - The So-called "Science" of Textual Criticism. Science or Hocus-Pocus? Gospels through Acts Romans James White discussing Romans 6:17 Philippians Textual Studies in Philippians 2 Timothy 2 Timothy 3:16 Inspiration of God or God Breathed? Hebrews The Book of Hebrews - a Comparative Study 1 Peter 1 Peter - Shifting Sands of Scholarship 1 John And These Three Are One Article defending the inclusion of 1 John 5:7. - 1 John 5:7 These three are one Jude The Book of Jude - James White's "inferior" texts Revelations Revelation 13 Confusion - Vials or Bowls in the book of Revelation - Rev.16:5 and SHALT BE; 5:8-10 redeemed US - Revelation 17:8 "the beast that was, and is not, and YET IS" - Acts 28:13 We Fetched a Compass; 1 Tim5:4 Nephews - Matthew 24:3; Hebrews 9:26 End of World or Age?

Modern Versions

Bible Babel 1 - Bible Babel 2 - Bible Babel 3 - Bible Babel 4 - The Oldest and Best Manuscripts? - Every Man for Himself Bible Versions - the HCSB, NET, ESV, TNIV, NKJV - The Inerrancy of Scripture - are you a Bible believer or a Bible agnostic? - True Bible? - Modern Versions Teach Racism - Modern Versions Teach Pride as a Virtue - Do Ghosts Exist? Modern Versions say Yes ESV The English Standard Version 2001 NASB The Ever Changing NASB's NKJV NKJV Word Changes - When the NKJV departs from the TR - The New KJV is a Hack Job Translation - NKJV vs KJB Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah - Is the NKJV the same as the KJB? - Don't go on Safari with a New KJV Translator - The NKJV is a Poor Substitute for the True Bible - NKJV vs KJB Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah - NKJV Bible Babel in Proverbs

King James Word Definitions

Lucifer - Jehovah - Unicorns - Is the word "Easter" an error in the King James Bible? - Are the words "CHURCH" and 'BISHOP' wrong? - Hell and Damnation in the King James Bible - "By and by" versus "the-by-and-by" - Servants or Slaves? - Is "charity" an error in the KJB? - The Grace of God Destroyed - "Would to God" - Another alleged 'error' bites the dustIs "bottles" an inaccurate word in the King James Bible?

King James Bible

Is King James onlyism Scriptural? - Does the KJB only position "blow up"? - What About Those Printing Errors in 1611? - Does the King James Bible depart from the Hebrew Texts? - Why do you King James Bible onlyies Attack the word of God? - The Historic Confessions support the KJB position - Can a Translation be Inspired? - The Old Latin versions and the KJB

Septuagint

NO LXX Part 1 - NO LXX - the Fictitious Use of Septuagint

Dead Sea Scrolls

The Dead Sea Scrolls Fiasco

Hebrew Text

The NIV, NASB reject the Hebrew Texts - NIV, NASB reject Hebrew texts Part 2 - How to Destroy Messianic Prophecies

Greek Text

"The Greek" and Hebrew Games

Gender Inclusive Versions

Gender Inclusive Versions Dealing with the TNIV

Answering Critics

E mail exchange with Bible Agnostic Doug Kutilek - John MacArthur - Pastor with NO Infallible Bible - A Bible Believer's Response to James Price's book King James Onlyism - a New Sect - A King James Bible Believer's Response to Rick Norris' book 'The Unbound Scriptures' - 17 Parts

Part 1 - The "logical" Premise of Mr. Norris

Part 2 - Those Dreadful Archaic Words

Part 3 - Imperfect men, Perfect Bible

Part 4 - Revision

Part 5 - Printing Errors and Spelling

Part 6 - Inspiration and Inerrancy

Part 7 - Alleged Errors in the King James Bible

Part 8 - Let Me Count The Ways

Part 9 - Beasts or Living Creatures?

Part 10 - Mules or Hot Springs?

Part 11 - "Digged down a wall" or "hamstrung an ox"?

Part 12 - Steel, brass, copper, bronze - Paper or Plastic?

Part 13 - The Usual Suspects

Part 14 - The Preservation of the words of God

Part 15 - KJB Only versus Latin Vulgate Only Argument

Part 16 - Where Was the Word of God Before 1611?

Part 17 - Final Thoughts


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