Tuesday, January 12, 2016

John 8 - "the woman caught in adultery" is a myth!

Here's an interesting tidbit: Did you all know that the story of John 8 about the "woman caught in adultery" was never in the original manuscripts? The story is nonexistent in the Peshitta and does not appear in the four earliest Greek manuscripts of John....Here is what most Bibles say:

John 8: 1 Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, 2 but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. 3 As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd. 4 “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” 6 They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger.

7 They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” 8 Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. 9 When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. 10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” 11 “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” (AENT)

So, who inserted the story?  Here is an explanation from an appendix in Andrew Gabriel Roth’s the Aramaic English New testament (AENT):

Who inserted the story of the woman caught in adultery into the text? Considering the revisions, additions, adulterations and conflicts in the thousands of Greek manuscripts which surfaced since the Fourth Century, we know one thing: The story crept into the text a couple hundred years after Yochanan/John. Therefore, it’s shameful to suggest that one of “John’s disciples” did it. Many assume that it is reasonable to insert cunningly devised fables into their Bibles that support their religious traditions, yet they continue to refer to their books as “holy.”

Here's more from the pertinent appendix:

Why would someone insert this story into the book of John? Firstly, this narrative is a fundamental proof text for Christians to prove that Jesus forgives adultery with no consequences to the offender. For Christians, Jesus says “go and sin no more.” Therefore, the woman was, in fact, guilty as charged but her sin was without consequence. If she had been falsely accused Y’shua would not have said “go and ‘sin’ no more.” Bringing an accused person publicly before Mashiyach for judgment is extremely perverse and shameful.

There is no co-accused, no husband, no credible witnesses, and we have no idea whether or not those making the charges were even the ones who caught her in the act! It is written in such a way that the reader automatically feels sorry for the victimized woman. It’s impossible that the woman be judged, because the basic criteria are entirely nonexistent. In reality, Torah requires that both parties involved in adultery be brought up on charges together and in the presence of their accusers, as well as with any witnesses and the elders of the community, none of which was done here (Leviticus 20:10-21).

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