74. The Woman Caught in Adultery
2Early in the morning he came again to the temple; all the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them.
3The Jews brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst
4they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery.
5Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such a woman. What do you say about her?”
6This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him.a
Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 8And once more he bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 9But when they read it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the eldest, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. 10Jesus looked up and said to her, “Woman, where are your accusers? Has no one condemned you?”
11She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you, go your way.”
(Jn. 8:2–6, 8–11)
a “This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him.”—The Jewish leaders may have reasoned thus: If Jesus opposed stoning her, he could be accused of setting himself above Moses and the Jewish law; if he approved the stoning, he could be brought before the Roman authorities, who denied the Jews the right to execute the death sentence without their approval; and if he refused to answer, they could accuse him of cowardice.
Jn. 8:3 The Jews brought / The scribes and Pharisees brought (RSV)
Jn. 8:5 such a woman. / such. (RSV)
Jn. 8:9 they read it, / they heard it, (RSV)
Jn. 8:10 are your accusers? (Ber) / are they? (RSV)
Jn. 8:11 go your way.” (ASV) / go, and do not sin again.” (RSV) (162:3/1792–3)