The Adulterous Woman

Early one morning he went back at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. The religious leaders brought a woman they had caught in bed with a man who was not her husband. They forced her to stand in front of the people.  

They said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The Law of Moses states that such women are to be stoned to death. What do you say we should do?”

According to Roman law, which was in force at the time, only the Roman Governor could sentence a person to death. Yet, the Law of Moses, which was Jewish law, states ‘If there is a man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, one who commits adultery with his friend’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. So, where was the adulterous man?’

Why was the man not brought before Jesus to face the charge against him?

The religious leaders were trying to trick Jesus. They wanted to catch him saying something wrong so that they could have a charge made against him either by Roman Law or Jewish Law.

But Jesus knelt down and started writing in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer. So, he stood up and said, “Let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone at her.” Then Jesus knelt down again and wrote in the dust.

When they heard this, they began to leave one by one. The older men left first, and then the others. Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. He stood up again and said to her, “Where did your accusers go? Did no one judge you guilty?” She answered, “No one, Lord.” Then Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and don’t sin again.”

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John 8:1-11, Leviticus 20:10, Deuteronomy 17:2-7

Easy to Read Version© 2006 by Bible League International

The Message © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

All the Women of the Bible. H. Lockyer 1967. Zondervan