“How did the Pharisees know that the woman was adulterous?”


Throughout history and even in our current culture we deal with truths, values, and identity. As any country, we tend to have accusers, many who are vicious,  high minded individuals who judge the lives of others but never looking into their own. These individuals portray themselves as “Good Ol common folk” or those I am particularly interested in identifying from our past that have set the stage for such accusers and their accusations . In john 7 and 8 there is a story of the Pharisees and interesting as the word sounds an “adulterous” woman. In hearing this word “adulterous,” it sounds as if she is of filth. Adultery as Merriam Webster puts it isvoluntary sexual intercourse between a married man and someone other than his wife or between a married woman and someone other than her husband” (Merriam-Webster.com). I have noticed in my lifetime how this behavior has always had this dogma that weighs heavily on the roles for women. In John eight, the scribes and Pharisees bring a woman to Jesus plainly telling him, “ they have caught her committing the act of adultery”… “Now Moses , in the law says this… but what do you say?” My first thought is how they split the law and Moses up distinguishing that Moses a particular person says this but the Law commanded them to “do.” So this was interesting and something I never notice. However, if they caught her in the act they should punish her and not come to someone they had already deemed unworthy to tell them anything. Secondly, why were the Pharisees near her while she was committing the act and where was her partner who she committed the act with her. As I was looking for help to answer the question I read a blog that made great observations while  reading the story. In Jerry Jacques , blog he answered a similar question using previous text in the law of moses. He stated, “The question was not about her guilt, it was about punishment.” He believes that they set the question in a manner so that Jesus had no choice but to agree with Moses or not. By saying, “in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women” (8:5), they put Moses, perhaps the most respected and revered Old Testament figure of the time, as the authority. Asking Jesus, “now what do you say?” is a public call to see if Jesus would challenge Moses (Clearer Perspective). After this he also explains that the Pharisees did not bring the man with her to accuse him also. Pharisee’s which had not honored the full law because they neglected to bring in her partner in crime. Jacques reference Leviticus 20:10, which says, “If  a man commits adultery with another man’s wife — with the wife of his neighbor — both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death.” This can also be found in Deuteronomy 22:22 which says, “if a man is found sleeping with another man’s wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die. You must purge the evil from Israel.” Using the previous evidence, or assuming that Jesus meant they were the sinners when he said “the ones who have not sin or have no sin should cast the first stone” (8:10-11). I believe that John chapter 8 verses 10 and 11  maybe the answer to one of the posed questions. Jesus always knew the heart of people so maybe that is what he saw. Let’s do more digging. It is believable that the Pharisees were the men she commited the act with. Looking into the words of Jesus they were testing him to see if he was not just a man but could understand their craftiness. The humor is trying to discover exactly where these scribes and Pharisees had been, or even understanding the writer’s purpose in describing these events leading to Jesus explaining, “those who are guiltless casting the first stone” (New Jerusalem Bible, John. 8.1-10). Jesus knew more than he let on, he could have been thinking yea you caught her but foolish people seeking to condemn a women and embarrass her in public. Lets not forget he was in front of people teaching which I neglected to pay attention to until I read Jacques  blog.  How they caught her is pretty much a mystery.  There were multiple witnesses because it states both scribes and Pharisees. The fact that after he said these words they had walked away seem so effortless and they didn’t put up much fight because there case lacked sufficient evidence.  Now regarding the importance of the Pharisees and the principles surrounding the judgment or trial were absorbing finds. Searching the Adulterer Women, I came across a couple of blogs both the first one which I mention;  www.clearerperspective.wordpress.com/2011/07/29/the-woman-caught-in-adultery-the-pharisees-mistake/, and this next one  evidenceforchristianity  by Dr. John Oakes. Oakes explains in his blog  the authenticity of the “adulterer message.” He writes, “all the later manuscripts included the passage in John 8. There are only three of all the thousands of Greek manuscripts, which do not include John 8. The problem is that it is the three which are of the earliest and most reliable.  The text, meaning John 8 may not be a reliable source but it has so many interpretations by scholars. But to explain Oakes text, it talks  about the Torah and the Codex Siniaiticus which goes into detail in his  article, “The story of the woman caught in adultery (John 8) is not in the Codex Sinaiticus. How does this relate to biblical infallibility?” The most important part of this article is that he does explain that even if it is not true the inspiration like most of these biblical words are thoughts inspired by God anyway. In summing up points, we find that the Pharisees could be just as guilty of the crime because they failed to commit and follow the full law by bringing in both the man and the woman. This could also allude to their guilt.  In jimmy Akins “9 things you should know about the woman caught in adultery” he really has some interesting thoughts.However, I wanted to mention only one Akin’s thoughts on how Jesus sits back and has this demeanor of who can judge. “While this authoritative reply reminds us that it is only the Lord who can judge, it reveals the true meaning of divine mercy, which leaves open the possibility for repentance and emphasizes the great respect for the dignity of the person, which not even sin can take away.”(http://www.ncregister.com/blog/jimmy-akin/9-things-you-should-know-about-the-woman-caught-in-adultery#ixzz2yXtfa0bf).


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