Jesus and the woman taken in adultery

7:53 Then each went to his own home.

8:1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

11 “No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”


This story does not seem to be 100% canonical (see the Wikipedia article, Jesus and the woman taken in adultery), although everyone seems to agree that it is “authentic history”.

Anyway, it’s a good story, so here it is. What’s especially interesting to me is that Jesus himself does not throw a stone or condemn the woman.


  1. You are right Ivan. Many do not think this was in the original mss. However, I go beyond that to the meaning of the event. Jesus confronted religious hypocrites who were quick to condemn a :woman caught in adultery” while overlooking their own blatant sins. some think that what jesus wrote in the sand was different sins as He named them one by one. As He did, the leaders left, knowing that had been caught in their own web.

  2. Ivan said

    I like the idea that He just waited, leaving them to work it out for themselves.

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