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. Chapter 8.

An incident in the temple*

The Woman Caught in Adultery


1 (7:53) AND THEY WENT each to his home, (8:1) and Jesus to the Mount of Olives. 2 At daybreak he appeared again in the temple, and all the people gathered round him. He had taken his seat and was engaged in teaching them 3 when the doctors of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught committing adultery. 4 Making her stand out in the middle they said to him, 'Master, this woman was caught in the very act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses has laid down that such women are to be stoned. What do you say about it?' 6 They put the question as a test, hoping to frame a charge against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 When they continued to press their question he sat up straight and said, 'That one of you who is faultless shall throw the first stone.' 8 Then once again he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 When they heard what he said, one by one they went away, [Some witness insert: convicted by their conscience.] the eldest first; and Jesus was left alone, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus again sat up and [Some witnesses insert: seeing no one but the woman.] said to the woman, 'Where are they? Has no one condemned you?' 11 'No one, sir', she said. Jesus replied, 'No more do I. You may go; do not sin again.'

[This passage, which in the most widely received editions of the New Testament is printed in the text of John, 7.53-8.1l, has no fixed place in our ancient manuscripts. Some of them do not contain it at all. Some place it after Luke 21.38, others after John 7.36, or 7.52, or 21.24.]


Jesus the Light of the World

12 ONCE AGAIN JESUS addressed the people: 'I am the light of the world. No follower of mine shall wander in the dark; he shall have the light of life.' 13 The Pharisees said to him, 'You are witness in your own cause; your testimony is not valid.' 14 Jesus replied, 'My testimony is valid, even though I do bear witness about myself; because I know where I come from, and where I am going. You do not know either where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge by worldly standards. I pass judgement on no man, 16 but if I do judge, my judgement is valid because it is not I alone who judge, but I and he who sent me. 17 In your own law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is valid. 18 Here am I, a witness in my own cause, and my other witness is the Father who sent me.' They asked, 19 'Where is your father?' Jesus replied, 'You know neither me nor my Father; if you knew me you would know my Father as well.'

20 These words were spoken by Jesus in the treasury as he taught in the temple. Yet no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.

Where I am Going You Cannot Come (Jerusalem)

21 Again he said to them, 'I am going away. You will look for me, but you will die in your sin; where I am going you cannot come.' 22 The Jews then said, 'Perhaps he will kill himself: is that what he means when he says, "Where I am going you cannot come"?' 23 So Jesus continued, 'You belong to this world below, I to the world above. Your home is in this world, mine is not. 24 That is why I told you that you would die in your sins. If you do not believe that I am what I am, you will die in your sins.' 25 They asked him, 'Who are you?' Jesus answered, 'Why should I speak to you at all? [Or: What I have told you all along.] 26 I have much to say about you—and in judgement. But he who sent me speaks the truth, and what I heard from him I report to the world.'

27 They did not understand that he was speaking to them about the Father. 28 So Jesus said to them, 'When you have lifted up the Son of Man you will know that I am what I am. I do nothing on my own authority, but in all that I say, I have been taught by my Father. 29 He who sent me is present with me, and has not left me alone; for I always do what is acceptable to him.' 30 As he said this, many put their faith in him.

The Truth Will Make You Free (Jerusalem)

31 Turning to the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, 'If you dwell within the revelation I have brought, you are indeed my disciples; 32 you shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free.' 33 They replied, 'We are Abraham's descendants; we have never been in slavery to any man. What do you mean by saying, "You will become free men"?' 34 'In very truth I tell you', said Jesus, 'that everyone who commits sin is a slave. 35 The slave has no permanent standing in the household, but the son belongs to it for ever. 36 If then the Son sets you free, you will indeed be free.

37 'I know that you are descended from Abraham, but you are bent on killing me because my teaching makes no headway with you. 38 I am revealing in words what I saw in my Father's presence; and you are revealing in action what you learned from your father.'

Your Father the Devil

39 They ' retorted, 'Abraham is our father.' 'If you were Abraham's children', Jesus replied, 'you would do as Abraham did. [Some witnesses read: 'If you are Abraham's children', Jesus replied, 'do as Abraham did.'] 40 As it is, you are bent on killing me, a man who told you the truth, as I heard it from God. ' 41 That is not how Abraham acted. You are doing your own father's work.'

They said, 'We are not base-born; God is our father, and God alone.' 42 Jesus said, 'If God were your father, you would love me, for God is the source of my being, and from him I come. I have not come of my own accord; he sent me. 43 Why do you not understand my language? It is because my revelation is beyond your grasp.

44 'Your father is the devil and you choose to carry out your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and is not rooted in the truth; there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie he is speaking his own language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But I speak the truth and therefore you do not believe me. 46 Which of you can prove me in the wrong? [Or: Which of you convicts me of sin?] If what I say is true, why do you not believe me? 47 He who has God for his father listens to the words of God. You are not God's children; that is why you do not listen.'

Before Abraham was, I am

48 The Jews answered, 'Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan, and that you are possessed?' 49 'I am not possessed,' said Jesus; 'the truth is that I am honouring my Father, but you dishonour me. 50 I do not so care about my own glory; there is one who does care, and he is judge. 51 In very truth I tell you, if anyone obeys my teaching he shall never know what it is to die.'

52 The Jews said, 'Now we are certain that you are possessed. Abraham is dead; the prophets are dead; and yet you say, "If anyone obeys my teaching he shall not know what it is to die." 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? The prophets are dead too. What do you claim to be?'

54 Jesus replied, 'If I glorify myself, that glory of mine is worthless. It is the Father who glorifies me, he of whom you say, "He is our God", 55 though you do not know him. But I know him; if I said that I did not know him I should be a liar like you. But in truth I know him and obey his word.

56 'Your father Abraham was overjoyed to see my day; he saw it and was glad.' 57 The Jews protested, 'You are not yet fifty years old. How can you have seen Abraham?' [Some witnesses read: How can Abraham have seen you?] 58 Jesus said, 'In very truth I tell you, before Abraham was born, I am.'

59 They picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus was not to be seen; and he left the temple. [Or the division may be made after the words: was not to be seen; the paragraph following would then begin: Then Jesus left the temple, and as he went ...]

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