Does The Woman Who Committed Adultery Belong in the Bible?

Waterfall

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Today I went to church and listened to a sermon about how we can know who Jesus was/is by what is recorded in the Bible. The sermon was directed towards "filtering" through the stories we've heard about Jesus as opposed to what is actually written about Jesus to tell us who he was/is.
So irony of ironies (possibly?), the pastor chose the story of the woman who committed adultery in John 7:53-8:11 to demonstrate how this scripture is showing us one of the many aspects of Jesus that would be a reliable source in order to know how to follow Jesus. The whole rest of the sermon went on to extol the virtues of Jesus, using this story as an example.

Now I have read this story was added and inserted into the Book of John centuries after Jesus' ministry by scribes around 400 CE and was not originally there.

So on the way out I questioned the pastor as to why it was referred to as a truth that really happened and I was told that he doesn't "go there" with this particular story.....I'm still not sure if he believes it was later inserted or not because time in the line at the end of the service did not permit a more in depth answer.

So I'm curious to ask the ministers on this site in particular but would like to also hear from everyone.......

1.) Is this story about Jesus true IYO?
2.) If not should it still be used in church as a "Jesus" story? Why or why not?
3.) If it's not true and we continue to relate this story as true because it teaches us something.....shouldn't it be stated it is a fictional story to demonstrate how we picture Jesus' grace to be?
 

Mendalla

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1.) Is this story about Jesus true IYO?
2.) If not should it still be used in church as a "Jesus" story? Why or why not?
3.) If it's not true and we continue to relate this story as true because it teaches us something.....shouldn't it be stated it is a fictional story to demonstrate how we picture Jesus' grace to be?
1. May or may not be literally/historically true, but it exists as a story about Jesus. As such, it is part of what defines how we understand Jesus and we need to engage with it. Stories can be important, literal or not.

2. It is there in the canon and has helped shape how people understand Jesus and his place in the faith. So, sure, still use it in church. Literal truth isn't the point. It is how we use the story to understand the faith that is the point.

3. I would say "mythological" rather than "fictional" but that's really just a way of saying "fiction that contains non-literal truth". I would love it if more Christians would accept the idea that much of their canon is mythology and be open about it. It is how I have engaged with it for a long time.
 

Ritafee

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1.) Is this story about Jesus true IYO?
The operative word for me is 'STORY'

I'll go with this 'part of the story' for guidance ...

As the story goes Paul tells the Romans ...

So then, each of us will give an account of himself to 'God'.

Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another.

Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way ...

So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and 'God'.

Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves.

I am partial to the character of Paul (I know I know ... Paul is not Jesus) but he seems to 'enjoy freedom in Christ' a whole lot.

I subscribe to the theory that freedom comes with the responsibility to protect those around us who have doubts about that freedom.

So bottom line for me ... casting the first stone adultry story in the Bible ... it's a good one. Keep it.
 

Waterfall

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@ Mendalla and @Ritafee, we should keep the "story" even if the "story" isn't true? What if this has led us to believe something about Jesus that isn't accurate?
To me the full nature of Christ would have included a response to the men she had committed adultery with.....among other things.
What is to keep us from creating stories that contradict God's nature but line up with our own?

I suppose part of the problem is that this is such a beloved story about Jesus, but at the same time the minister at the church I attend has a real gift for bringing in the younger crowd....we're up to 3 services a Sunday.....he teaches and preaches more or less a familiar gospel we've all heard, but why start these young people with an untruth when it will eventually have to be undone and explained in their later years, much like "a woman shall remain silent in church", or misinterpreted scriptures on homosexuality, etc......
 

Mendalla

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We have no idea which stories are "true" for much of what is written about Jesus. I tend to think that most of the Gospels are, at minimum, embellished. They are certainly not literal biographies. More like hagiography. So, again, the literal truth isn't what matters. There is likely bloody little of it in the Gospels. What matters is how they fit into the overall mythology that has been created around Jesus. Ideally, that would be a given at this point in history but even ministers who know it and believe it don't seem to bother calling attention to it.
 

Ritafee

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What if this has led us to believe something about Jesus that isn't accurate?
Not sure how you could ever measure whether any belief about Jesus is accurate or not.

Which story are you 'led to believe' about 'Nero' 'Hitler?' 'Trump?' 'Trudeau?' or 'Pope Francis'?

Do you have a personal relationship with any of them?

Here's another tricky question ... Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus?

We have no idea which stories are "true" for much of what is written about Jesus.
Or any other 'historical character' as recorded in 'Hi-stories' ... IMO.
 

Ritafee

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Darwinian theory was accepted by academia way before it entered the public relations world of 'media'.

Such an advantageous acquisition to become the 'rival center of power of knowledge' in the cultural war against religious 'bible thumpers'.

Subsequently we were 'led to believe' the mythological Darwinian framework to account for a scientific theory around the 'origin of life'.

Darwin provided a substitute theology? for the biblical accounts that 'all had been led to believe' prior.

So which myth/story/theory is true? I don't know and I hold no frozen beliefs around either. I am not easily 'led to believe'.

Either of these stories can be used to support a conspiracy to power over the 'masses' ... true?
 

Waterfall

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I'll wager he is talking about the mother Mary.
Hopefully he will tell us, although the Catholic church once (or still does???) thought it was Mary Magdalene because she never said to have married or a widow and she financially helped support Jesus....so they assumed she was a prostitute....or something like that....Any Catholics out there that know the reasoning for sure?
 

dreamerman

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If you question the story about the woman caught committing adultery as not being "true", then how do you handle the story about the virgin birth, the feeding of the five thousand, raising Lazarus from the dead, healing the blind man, etc? The story of the woman caught in adultery seems more plausible than those other stories.
 

Luce NDs

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Or was it Marah the Cei ... a large pool of corrupted beings ... living in their own fish bowl!

Are thoughts virgin ... coming out of a deep dark unknown depth? Then the children are corrupted with the command: "its not to know!"

Thus we don't or the negative side of the myth ... as dark and abstract ... and goes round in a stir! Coriolis?
 

Waterfall

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If you question the story about the woman caught committing adultery as not being "true", then how do you handle the story about the virgin birth, the feeding of the five thousand, raising Lazarus from the dead, healing the blind man, etc? The story of the woman caught in adultery seems more plausible than those other stories.
I guess it might be because it doesn't involve a miracle for the above story to happen. I am quite open for any argument that this story was part of the eatly churches common knowledge about Jesus.
 

unsafe

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Here is an article to refute the theory of it not being included ----so we can go back and forth on what is and what isn't included in God's word but the real truth of the matter is ----We will believe who and what we want to believe we have free will to do just that -----

I am only posting the pertinent part of this article which refutes the notion that this was left out -----

read all here ----
https://www.compellingtruth.org/John-7-53-8-11.html

Now, those who do believe this story is part of inspired Scripture make the argument that so many Greek manuscripts included it that it cannot be ignored. As for why it doesn't appear earlier, some say it was removed by those who feared women would feel freedom to commit adultery since Jesus forgave the adulteress in this story. Later, scribes who knew the story essentially overruled that decision and reinserted it.

All this leads to some people questioning the inerrancy of the Bible. If this passage is under question, maybe others are, too. We believe the original autographs, the first writings biblical authors made under the inspiration of God, are without error. We have none of those original autographs, but have recreated them from literally thousands of ancient documents and citations. Theologians acknowledge that some phrasing or words may come under scrutiny, but no important doctrine is in doubt. Scholastic review may be one method God uses to ensure His Word stays pure.


I say -----Scripture gives Grave warnings for anyone who removes or adds to God's word ------so wouldn't want to be one of the ones who removed it or added it back in ------tampering with God's word is a big NO NO ----just saying

The words Some Say in the article ---some say it was removed -------says it all for me -----People wanting to cast doubt and fear as to the truth of God's word ----a bunch of hoop la


Satan still rules in this world and his main concern is to make people doubt God's word -----some say this and some say that -----what it really boils down to is what each person wants to believe about what Some Say ------

Some Say --- Jesus was gay ----Some Say ----Jesus was married and had children ----Some Say ---- Mary Magdalene is the woman caught in adultery -----Many Say ---- there were 3 wise men that went to see Jesus ---

We have a choice to believe what Some Say ---or what God Says -----


God will always win in my choice
 
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