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Jesus and adultery

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posted on Apr, 30 2021 @ 05:05 PM
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“The scribes and Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him; ‘Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such. What do you say about her?’” (John ch8 vv3-5)

Of course they were not making this enquiry in good faith, simply proposing to follow his advice. The scribes and the Pharisees were prone to ask challenging questions, following a regular strategy. They would know already that something in his teaching or in the conduct of bis disciples was at odds with their own views. They assumed it would be offensive to other conservative believers, so they did what they could to bring it out into the open.

On this occasion, they were at least faithfully reporting the law. Leviticus and Deuteronomy demand the death penalty, Deuteronomy specifies the stoning. That part of the argument may be conceded.

But did this law come from God? The God of the Old Testament values human life (as his own property) to the extent that he insists on the death penalty as the punishment for murder. Life for life. Nothing else would be an equal recompense. By the same token, I cannot believe that he really expects the death penalty to apply to any lesser offence found in the laws. I’m convinced that the prolific use of the death penalty is one of those areas, like the toleration of divorce and polygamy and slavery, where the laws of Moses have incorporated human customs and preferences. The legal code of Moses overlaps with God’s law, but they are not the same thing.

It is customary to say about Jesus that he respected the law and criticised only human tradition. But this must be qualified by the recognition that Jesus perceived and criticised “human tradition” even in portions of the law handed down from Moses. The written law incorporates the human tradition that men may divorce their wives, and the human tradition that property may be set aside for God, and Jesus criticised both of them. When Jesus was arguing in the Temple at the age of twelve, I think he may have been trying to explain which parts of the law really do come from God. The scribes and Pharisees would have known very well, by this time, that his respect for the law was not legalistic.

So it’s very probable that Jesus had already expressed his disapproval of the custom of stoning adulterers. They knew exactly where he stood, and that’s why they were eager to challenge him now.

Jesus responded by stooping down and making marks upon the ground. What was he doing? He was making them wait, that’s what he was doing. He was giving them time to think, and perhaps giving himself time to think.

In this case, it would not be helpful to launch into a direct argument on the merits of the custom. The argument would be too complicated, and it would play into the hands of his critics, who wanted to scandalise the traditionalists among the spectators. Not for the first time, he avoided the direct conflict by answering obliquely; “Let him who is without sin among you…” Knowing what was in men’s hearts, he could afford to ignore the theoretical possibility that somebody might be brash enough to step forward.

“Has no one condemned you? … Neither do I condemn you.”
We must not be too generous in our understanding of “I do not condemn you”. The meaning of “condemn” is defined by the question. Nobody else is ready to enforce the legal penalty, and he’s not going to enforce it either. He ‘s not going to make a final condemnation of her as a person.

In modern popular usage, the word can have a looser meaning. We describe people as being “condemned” by the critical thoughts or words of others. But any idea that Jesus is not going to “condemn” the woman even in that looser sense is ruled out by the following “Go, and do not sin again”. He does allow himself to think and say that sin has been taking place. The point is that God himself, in the long term, will apply his own solution if she does not take this opportunity to mend her ways. But if she truly repents, she may consider herself to be forgiven by God, like the woman of Luke ch7.

(This does not affect the husband’s right to divorce her for adultery, which Jesus affirmed in Matthew ch19 v9)



posted on Apr, 30 2021 @ 05:05 PM
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This story has an uncertain status in modern Bibles. Modern translations tend to separate it slightly from the rest of the text. I have a Greek New Testament which relegates the whole passage to a long footnote.

This is mainly because it doesn’t have a settled location in the manuscripts. Many old manuscripts leave it out altogether. Some have it in the traditional place, in the middle of a Jerusalem visit, interrupting the discourses of “the last great day of the feast”. Some have it in the previous chapter, just before the “last great day” begins. Some have it at the very end of John’s gospel. And others place it in Luke- in Jerusalem again, just before the Passover story.

It looks as though the early traditions were preserving it separately. New Testament scribes thought it ought to be included in the main gospels, but did not agree on where it should be located.

Yet this is clearly the Jesus we know from the rest of the gospels. He has the same character, speaks in the same way. There is no reason at all why we should not accept the story as an authentic episode in his life.



posted on Apr, 30 2021 @ 06:36 PM
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Do you ever use E-sword, with Strong's concordance?



posted on Apr, 30 2021 @ 06:44 PM
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a reply to: visitedbythem
I don't know E-sword. I have three Greek lexicons, including one mammoth one from the Victorian era, but Strong's is not one of them.

I use Biblehub if |I want any help with the Hebrew.

edit on 30-4-2021 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 30 2021 @ 06:49 PM
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You are in for a treat. It gives all words definitions in Greek and the old Hebrew. It is amazing. Go download it and check out your favorite verse word by word



posted on Apr, 30 2021 @ 07:38 PM
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originally posted by: visitedbythem
Do you ever use E-sword, with Strong's concordance?


Thank you for posting this. It is awesome.

www.e-sword.net...



posted on Apr, 30 2021 @ 08:14 PM
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I always thought the pharisees were trying to set a trap for Jesus, but everyone there from the woman herself through the pharisees and up to Jesus knew she had committed adultery. That part was never in question. The only question was how Jesus was going to handle it all and whether or not he would do so in such a way as to allow the pharisees to entrap him under the law.

And the bit about her adultery and the knowledge of it is revealed when Jesus tells her to "Go and sin no more."
edit on 30-4-2021 by ketsuko because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 30 2021 @ 08:45 PM
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Is it adultery if you conceive a child from someone who isn't your husband?



posted on Apr, 30 2021 @ 11:10 PM
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I think that rule about stoning adulterers was created by man. If it was created by god, guys who did adultery would be stoned too. We have it backwards now, Adultery happens when you get stoned a lot.



posted on Apr, 30 2021 @ 11:28 PM
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originally posted by: TzarChasm
Is it adultery if you conceive a child from someone who isn't your husband?


Like if you are raped?



posted on Apr, 30 2021 @ 11:37 PM
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originally posted by: visitedbythem

originally posted by: TzarChasm
Is it adultery if you conceive a child from someone who isn't your husband?


Like if you are raped?


I wasn't going to use that word, but yes.



posted on Apr, 30 2021 @ 11:40 PM
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originally posted by: TzarChasm

originally posted by: visitedbythem

originally posted by: TzarChasm
Is it adultery if you conceive a child from someone who isn't your husband?


Like if you are raped?


I wasn't going to use that word, but yes.


You need to improve your skills. You wouldnt make a very good Pharisee



posted on May, 1 2021 @ 12:54 AM
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a reply to: TzarChasm
No, it has to be a willing act.
The distinction is even specified in the laws (Deuteronomy ch22 vv23-27).
When rape occurs "in the woman there is no offence punishable by death, for this case is like that of a man attacking and murdering his neighbour."




edit on 1-5-2021 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 1 2021 @ 02:25 AM
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a reply to: rickymouse

No it was created by God.
It was a law to protect husbands from wayward women and women from husbands who didn’t look after their wives.
These laws had a reason

As for Jesus writing on the ground, probably sins the Pharisees had committed that justified stoning or other punishments



posted on May, 1 2021 @ 02:36 AM
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a reply to: rickymouse
Leviticus

If any of you men have sex with another man's wife, both you and the woman will be put to death. Douay-Rheims Bible If any man commit adultery with the wife of another, and defile his neighbour's wife, let then: be put to death, both the adulterer and the adulteress. English Revised Version And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his ...

Men were stoned as well as women, just nobody cares when it happens to a man



posted on May, 1 2021 @ 02:45 AM
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a reply to: Raggedyman
Rickymouse does have a point, in that men in these laws are not specifically punished for being unfaithful to their own wives. Though it is difficult to be unfaithful, even with a prostitute, without breaking a law of some kind.



posted on May, 1 2021 @ 08:05 AM
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Greetings brother,

While reading your thread I thought I was listening to Joel Osteen.

Painting sin anything another than what it is might give just one person the idea that some sins are OK today.

We should be careful not to cause a young Christian (one new to the faith) to stumble and fall.

God bless you



a reply to: DISRAELI



posted on May, 1 2021 @ 08:39 AM
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The story of the woman caught in adultery doesn't exist in the earliest manuscripts. There were many copies and it appears in one of the later ones.

There are all sorts of stories cropping up in later copies that weren't there earlier. It's obviously some scribe's personal refinement. Did it really happen as described? Probably not, it's all baloney.

It's like saying Wikipedia is the word of God oh, by the way, anyone can jump in and add their own twopenn'orth. Bleh.



posted on May, 1 2021 @ 10:01 AM
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originally posted by: visitedbythem

originally posted by: TzarChasm

originally posted by: visitedbythem

originally posted by: TzarChasm
Is it adultery if you conceive a child from someone who isn't your husband?


Like if you are raped?


I wasn't going to use that word, but yes.


You need to improve your skills. You wouldnt make a very good Pharisee


I wasn't touching it with a 10' pole because I thought we were referring to artificial insemination by sperm donor myself. Is that technically adultery?



posted on May, 1 2021 @ 10:33 AM
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a reply to: CJCrawley
I stand by my opinion expressed in the second post, that the speech and character of the Jesus in this story match the Jesus we find in the rest of the gospels, which supports the authenticity of the episode. It rings true.
The exact human authorship of the story does not matter; the New Testament offers at least four different people recording incidents from the life of Jesus, so there is no reason why another one should not have been preserved by a fifth person.




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