THE WOMAN CAUGHT IN ADULTERY?
I did speak on it-----found in The New Testament Bible Story - Gospels chapter 22------
Jesus was back in the Temple to teach on this LAST GREAT FEAST DAY!
As He was teaching the crowd that had gathered about Him, the teachers of the religious law and Pharisees brought a woman they had literally caught in the act of adultery (sleeping with another man other than her husband). They put her in front of the crowd that was listening to Jesus.
"Teacher," they said to Him, "this woman was caught in the very act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her to death for such a sin and violation of God's law. What do you say about the matter?"
They were once more trying to trap Him into saying something they could use against Him, and hence make Him look foolish and inept on the matter of religious law, in front of the general populace of the people gathered around Him. Jesus said not a word. He stooped down and wrote in the dust with His finger. The religious leaders still demanded an answer from Him. He stood up and said to them, "All right, stone her, but let those who have never sinned throw the first stone at her!" He then stooped down again and wrote in the dust more words.
When the accusers heard this and saw what Jesus had written, they started to slip silently away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left of the religious teachers, and the woman. Jesus then stood up once more and said to her, "Where are your accusers? Wasn't there a group of them here? Didn't even one of them condemn you?"
"No, Lord," she answered.
"Very well, then neither do I condemn you. Go your way, but remember, sin no more" Jesus told her, and she departed with thanksgiving in her heart for God's mercy.
One thing we see immediately from this account. To commit the physical act of adultery takes TWO people, a MAN as well as a woman. These religious leaders said they caught the woman in the very act of adultery. They brought the woman to Jesus, but they did not bring the man. We must ask, why did they not? Even if we assume the man was too powerful and strong and broke away from them and ran for his life, Jesus did not ask where the man was. He did not fall into the trap of getting into all that question. He knew their hearts and what their mind was trying to accomplish by bringing the woman before Him. It was not for any kind of mercy, if the woman was repentant, but just to see what Jesus would do about the letter of the law of Moses. As well as to try and have Him break the law of the Romans who, though allowing just about all freedom to the Jews to practice and teach their religion, DID NOT allow the Jews to put anyone to death without authority from the Roman Government via its representative in Palestine.
The words of Jesus that anyone among them who had never sinned should throw the first stone, and whatever words He wrote in the dust, it got to the heart of each of those religious teachers, and they clearly knew they had sinned, and did not want to go any further with the matter. It was a bad enough embarrassment to each of them as it was, without having Jesus do any more public declaring of "their sins" that no doubt also carried the death penalty with them under the letter of the law of Moses.
Although a number of the laws of Moses carried the death penalty if violated, that did not mean the death penalty was automatically inflicted upon people, without the matter being righteously judged by the court and judges of the land of Israel.
Mercy could be allocated to the offender if deep repentance could be shown by the guilty party. God has always been a God of mercy when mercy was deserved. The classic and outstanding example of that under the Old Testament was God's mercy upon the great King David. He also was guilty of adultery and more. When it was brought to his attention he repented DEEPLY, Psalm 51 is attributed to David as his repentance poem and prayer to God for MERCY. He was punished (by loosing his son in death when sickness befell him, which was covered in the Bible Story of the Old Testament) but God did have mercy upon him by not demanding the death penalty be applied to him.
Jesus was also having mercy upon the woman caught in the act of adultery. But we also need to notice Jesus told her to "go, but sin no more." Mercy is not a license to sin at ones pleasure (John 7: 53 - 8: 1-11).
I WILL BRING YOU HOW THE OLD TEACHER ALBERT BARNES EXPLAINS IT.
THEN.....THE CONTROVERSY, SHOULD IT EVEN BE IN THE BIBLE, FROM A COMMENTARY , CRITICAL, EXPERIMENTAL, AND PRACTICAL ---- BY JAMIESON, FAUSET AND BROWN
I WILL ADD WHAT THEY SAY BELOW-----
GOSPEL OF JOHN
WOMAN CAUGHT IN ADULTERY
1. Mount of Olives. The mountain about a mile directly east of Jerusalem. See Notes on Mat. xxi. 1. This was the place in which he probably often passed the night when attending the feasts at Jerusalem. The Garden of Gethsemane, to which he was accustomed to resort (ch. xviii. 2), was on the western side of that mountain, and Bethany, the abode of Martha and Mary, on its east side, ch. xi. 1.
5. Moses in the law, &c. The punishment of adultery commanded by Moses was death, Le. xx. 10; De. xxii. 22.
And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
Now Moses in the law commanded us that such should be stoned; but what sayest thou?
This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him.
The particular manner of the death was not specified in the law. The Jews had themselves, in the time of Christ, determined that it should be by stoning. See this described in the Notes on Mat. xxi. 35, 44. The punishment for adultery varied. In some cases it was strangling. In the time of Ezekiel (ch. xvi. 38-40) it was stoning and being thrust through with a sword. If the adulteress was the daughter of a priest, the punishment was being burned to death. 6. Tempting him. Trying him, or laying a plan that they might have occasion to accuse him. If he decided the case, they expected to be able to bring an accusation against him; for if he decided that she ought to die, they might accuse him of claiming power which belonged to the Romans—the power of life and death. They might allege that it was not the giving an opinion about an abstract case, but that she was formally before him, that he decided her case judicially, and that without authority or form of trial. If he decided otherwise, they would have alleged that he denied the authority of the law, and that it was his intention to abrogate it. They had had a controversy with him about the authority of the Sabbath, and they perhaps supposed that he would decide this case as he did that—against them. It may be farther added that they knew that Jesus admitted publicans and sinners to eat with him; that one of their charges was that he was friendly to sinners (see Lu. xv. 2); and they wished, doubtless, to make it appear that he was gluttonous, and a wine-bibber, and a friend of sinners, and disposed to relax all the laws of morality, even in the case of adultery. Seldom was there a plan more artfully laid, and never was more wisdom and knowledge of human nature displayed than in the manner in which it was met. Wrote on the, ground. This took place in the temple. The "ground," here, means the pavement, or the dust on the pavement. By this Jesus showed them clearly that he was not solicitous to pronounce an opinion in the case, and that it was not his wish or intention to intermeddle with the civil affairs of the nation. As though he heard them not. This is added by the translators. It is not in the original, and should not have been added. There is no intimation in the original, as it seems to be implied by this addition, that the object was to convey the impression that he did not hear them. What was his object is unknown, and conjecture is useless. The most probable reason seems to be that he did not wish to intermeddle; that he designed to show no solicitude to decide the case; and that he did not mean to decide it unless he was constrained to.
7. They continued asking him. They pressed the question upon him. They were determined to extort an answer from him, and showed a perseverance in evil which has been unhappily often imitated. He is without sin. That is, without this particular sin; he who has not himself been guilty of this very crime—for in this place the connection evidently demands this meaning. Let him first cast a stone at her. In the punishment by death, one of the witnesses threw the culprit from the scaffold, and the other threw the first stone, or rolled down a stone to crush him. See De. xvii. 6, 7. This was in order that the witness might feel his responsibility in giving evidence, as he was also to be the executioner. Jesus therefore put them to the test. Without pronouncing on her case, he directed them, if any of them were innocent, to perform the office of executioner. This was said, evidently, well knowing their guilt, and well knowing that no one would dare to do it.
9. Beginning at the eldest. As being conscious of more sins, and, therefore, being desirous to leave the Lord Jesus. The word eldest here probably refers not to age, but to honour—from those who were in highest reputation to the lowest in rank. This consciousness of crime showed that the state of the public morals was exceedingly corrupt, and justified the declaration of Jesus that it was an adulterous and wicked generation, Mat. xvi. 4. Alone. Jesus only was left with the woman, &c. 11 In the midst. Her accusers had gone out, and left Jesus and the woman; but it is by no means probable that the people had left them; and, as this was in the temple on a public occasion, they were doubtless surrounded still by many.
This is evident from the fact that Jesus immediately (ver. 12) addressed a discourse to the people present.
Hath no man condemned thee? Jesus had directed them, if innocent, to cast a stone, thus to condemn her, or to use the power which he gave them to condemn her. No one of them had done that. They had accused her, but they had not proceeded to the act expressive of judicial condemnation.
Neither do I condemn thee. This is evidently to be taken in the sense of judicial condemnation, or of passing sentence as a magistrate, for this was what they had arraigned her for. It was not to obtain his opinion about adultery, but to obtain the condemnation of the woman. As he claimed no civil authority, he said that he did not exercise it, and should not condemn her to die. In this sense the word is used in the previous verse, and this is the only Jesus said unto her, “Neither do I condemn thee; go, and sin no more.”
[AS WITH THE EXAMPLE OF KING DAVID, WHO ALSO COMMITTED ADULTERY, UPON DEEP DEEP REPENTANCE, HE WAS SHOWN MERCY——THE DEATH PENALTY WAS WITH-HELD, YET HE DID HAVE PUNISHMENT IN DIFFERENT WAYS - Keith Hunt]
OVERALL ABERT BARNES GIVES A GOOD COMMENTARY EXPOUNDING IT.
NOW WE TURN TO THE CONTROVERSY ON WHETHER THIS ACCOUNT WAS IN THE BIBLE FROM THE START——
BIBLE COMMENTARY— JAMIESON, FAUSSET, BROWN
The genuineness of this whole Section, including the last verse of ch. vii—twelve verses—is by far the most perplexing question of textual criticism pertaining to the Gospels. The external evidence against it is immensely strong. It is wanting in the four oldest MSS.—the newly discovered Codex Sinaiticus (K), the Alexandrian (A), the Vatican (B), and the Ephraem (C)—and in four other valuable Uncial MSS.,
[OLD DOES NOT MEAN CORRECT! THE SINAITICUS WAS FOUND BY A Teschendorf LOOKING FOR OLD MSS. HE FOUND IT A GARBAGE BASKET AT THE MONASTERY BY MOUNT SINAI. THE SCHOLASTIC MONKS THOUGHT IT ONLY GOOD ENOUGH TO BE CAST OUT INTO THE GARBAGE.
THE VATICANUS MSS HAD BEEN ON A BACK SHELF FOR CENTURIES IN THE VATICAN LIBRARY, UNWORTHY OF ATTENTION.
MOST MODERN NEW TESTAMENT TRANSLATIONS ARE BASED ON THESE TWO MSS. THEY ARE FULL OF ERRORS. SEE ALL THIS FULLY EXPLAINED UNDER MY SECTION “HOW WE GOT THE BIBLE” - Keith Hunt]
although two of these have a blank space, as if something had been left out; it is wanting also in upwards of fifty Cursive mss. of ancient versions, it is wanting in the venerable Peshito Syriac and its Philoxenian revision, in one and probably both the Egyptian versions—the Thebaic and Memphitic—the Gothic, probably the Armenian, and two or three copies of the Old Latin: several of the fathers take no notice of it—as Origen, Tertullian, Cyprian, Cyril, Chrysostom: it is wanting in the most ancient tables of the Sectional contents of the Gospels, though afterwards inserted as an, additional Section: the variations in the MSS. which insert it exceed in number and extent those in any other part of the New Testament: and of those MSS which insert it, four Uncials and upwards of fifty Cursives have an asterisk or other critical mark attached to it, as subject to doubt or requiring investigation.
The internal evidence urged against it is, that it unnaturally interrupts the flow of the narrative, whereas it ch. viii, 12 come immediately after ch. vii. 52, all is natural; that the language of this Section is strikingly dissimilar, especially in the particle to that of John; and that the statement in ch. viii. 1, as to Jesus having gone to the mount of Olives, is one of the strongest grounds of suspicion, since nowhere else in this Gospel is "the mount of Olives" mentioned at all, nor does our Lord's passing the night there agree with this or any stage of His public life except the last.
That we have here very strong evidence against the genuineness of this section, no intelligent and impartial judge will deny. Moved by this evidence, Lachmann and Teschendorf exclude it from their text; Tregelles prints it in small type below the approved text, which Alford also does; and hardly any recent critics acknowlage it as John's, except Stier and Ebrard, to whom may he added Lange and Webster and Wilkinson (though the latter do not, like the former, grapple with the difficulties).
But let us look at the other side of the question.
Of the four most ancient MSS which want this Section, the leaves of two at this place have been lost—of A, from ch. vi. 50 to viii. 52; and of C, from ch. vii. 3 to viii. 33. We have, therefore, no certainty whether those MSS contained it or not. As to the two (L and A) whose spaces are not long enough to make it possible that they contained this Section, the inference is precarious, since no more may have been intended by those spaces than simply to indicate that there a portion of text was wanting.
But it is found in seven Uncial MSS., though the letters in that most remarkable one, the Codex Betas (D), are said to be very different from the others, while in one of the others but a small number of the verses is given, and in another one verse is wanting; it is found in above three hundred of the Cursive Mss. without any note of question, and above fifty more with an asterisk or other mark of doubt. Of versions, it is found in the Old Latin—which may be held to neutralize the fact of its absence in the Peshito Syriac, as the one appears to have been executed for the Western churches about as early as the other for the Eastern; and it is found in the Vulgate; while Jerome, to whom we owe that revision of the venerable Old Latin, states that in his time—the fourth century, and we have no MSS of older date than that— this Section was found in many MSS both Greek and Latin.
Turning now from external to internal evidence in favour of this Section, it appears to us to be almost overpowering. Requesting the reader to recall the exposition of it, we confidently ask if historical authenticity is not stamped upon the face of it, and—admitting that some such incident as this might not be beyond invention—whether the very peculiar and singularly delicate details of it could be other than real. And if the question be, whether, supposing it genuine, there were stronger motives for its exclusion, or, if spurious, for its insertion, one who knows anything of the peculiarities of the early Church can well hesitate. The notions of the early Church on such subjects were of the most ascetic description, and to them the whole narrative must have been most confounding. Augustin accordingly says, 'Some of slender faith, or rather enemies of the true faith, have removed it from their MSS., fearing, I believe, that an immunity to sin might be thought to be given by it.'
Nor was he alone in ascribing the omission of it to this cause. Such a feeling in regard to this section is sufficient to account for the remarkable fact that it was never publicly read along with the preceding and following context in the early churches, but reserved for some unimportant festivals, and in some of the service-books appears to have been left out altogether. In short, to account for its omission, if genuine, seems easy enough; but for its insertion, if spurious, next to impossible. Moved by these considerations, a middle course is taken by some Meyer and Ellicott, while convinced that it is no part of the Gospel of John, are equally convinced of its historical truth and canonical authority; and observing how closely ch. viii. agrees with Luke xxi. 37, think that to be its proper place. Indeed, it is a singular fact that four of the Cursive mss. actually place it at the end of Luke xxi. Something very like this is Alford's view. This, of course, would quite explain the mention (in ch. viii. 1) of "the mount of Olives," and our Lord's spending the night there being His last week. But this theory—of a fragment of authentic canonical Gospel History never known to have existed in its proper place (with the exception of four pretty good mss.), and known only as part of a Gospel to which it did not belong, and with which it was out of keeping—can never, in our judgment, be admitted. Scrivener, while impressed with its internal excellence, thinks the evidence against it too strong to be resisted, except on the singular theory that the beloved disciple himself added it in a later edition of his Gospel, and that thus copies having it and copies wanting it ran parallel with each other from the very first —a theory, however, for which there is not the slightest external evidence, and attended, it seems to us, with greater difficulty than that which it is designed to remove. On the whole, though we admit the difficulties with which this question is encompassed, as the narrative itself bears that stamp of originality, truth, purity, and grandeur which accord so well with its place in the Gospel History, so the fact that wherever it is found it is as part of the Fourth Gospel, and among the transactions of the Feast of Tabernacles, is to us the best proof that this is, after all, its true place in the Gospel History; nor does it appear to us to interrupt the flow of the narrative, but entirely to harmonize with it—if we except ch. viii. 1, which must be allowed to remain among the difficulties that we, at least, find it not easy to solve.] But see P.S. p. 486.
Remark.—While a sanctimonious hypocrisy is not un-frequently found among unprincipled professors of religion, a compassionate purity which wins the fallen is one of the most beautiful characteristics of real religion. But till Christ appeared, this feature of religion was but dimly realized, and in the Old Testament but faintly held forth. It was reserved for the Lord Jesus to exhibit it in all its loveliness. In this incident, of the Woman Taken in Adultery, we have it in its perfection while the spirit of the men that brought to Jesus, appearing in such vivid contrast to it, acts but as a foil to set it oft. See on Luke xv. 1. 2.
THE GREEK AND HEBREW SCHOLAR J. P. GREEN SAYS HE USED “THE MAJORITY TEXT” FOR HIS TRANSLATION OF THE NEW TESTAMENT. THE “MAJORITY TEXT” DIFFERS VERY LITTLE FROM THE “TEXUS RECEPTUS” - “THE RECEIVED TEXT” THAT THE SCHOLARS OF KING JAMES USED IN THE KJV. IT DIFFERS ONLY IN A FEW WORDS FROM THE “MAJORITY TEXT.” WE HAVE THOUSANDS OF GREEK MSS FOR THE NEW TESTAMENT. THE MAJORITY CONTAIN THIS SECTION UNDER STUDY, HENCE THE GREEK SCHOLAR GREEN RETAINED IT IN HIS GREEK/ENGLISH INTERLINEAR - Keith Hunt