John 08

The earliest manuscripts and many other ancient witnesses do not have John 7:53–8:11 . A few manuscripts include these verses, wholly or in part, after John 7:36 , John 21:25 , Luke 21:38 or Luke 24:53 .

i. As a matter of the original text, this is a section (John 7:53-8:11) of some debate and controversy. From manuscript current evidence, it seems unlikely that this portion was part of the original text of John’s gospel, or at least in this place.

  • Most of the earliest ancient Greek manuscripts omit this section.
  • Many later manuscripts mark this section with asterisks.
  • One group of manuscripts inserts this section after Luke 21:38.
  • A few manuscripts have this section after John 21:24, and one has it after John 7:36.
  • “All this evidence suggests that scribes were often ignorant of its exact position, though anxious to retain it as part of the four Gospels.” (Tasker) They knew it belonged, but they didn’t exactly know where.

ii. Some ancient Christians (such as Augustine and Ambrose) omitted this story, not so much because of the textual evidence but because they thought it made Jesus appear to approve of sexual immorality, or at least not regard it as serious.

iii. At the same time, the character of the story makes it seem obvious that it is genuine, and many scholars note that it is historical and factual. Early Christian writers mention this account as soon as the early second century (A.D. 100). We have good reason to believe that this actually happened, and that John really wrote this. There is some debate as to where it belongs in the Gospel accounts, but there is good reason to believe it belongs.

iv. “If not John’s it was a very early interpolation: it may possibly have had the sanction of Simeon or Jude (early 2nd century), the second and third bishops of Jerusalem, ‘brethren’ of our Lord, the last survivors of the Apostolic age. These two seem to have been connected with the editing of this gospel, for they are probably the ‘we’ of John 21:24 and the two unnamed disciples of John 21:2.” (Trench)

v. “If we cannot feel that this is part of John’s Gospel we can feel that the story is true to the character of Jesus.” (Morris)

John 8:1-11

A. A woman caught in adultery is brought to Jesus for judgment.

Everyone went to his own house: Why? Because they were divided, confused. Exhausted?

Jesus went to the Mount of Olives Why? To pray? to sleep?

Did the religious authorities want to silence and arrest Him? What did he do? Had he upset the crowds?

2. (3-5) The woman is brought to Jesus, caught in the act of adultery.

  1. How do you catch a woman in the very act of adultery? Who would be witnesses to this? 
  2. Why did they make her stand before the group - where was this group? How would she have felt?

The verb caught is in the perfect tense. “The perfect indicates a meaning like ‘taken with her shame upon her’. It points to her continuing character as an adulteress.” (Morris) Morris points out that legally speaking, the standard of evidence was very high for this crime. There had to be two witnesses and they had to agree perfectly. They had to see the sexual act take place; it wasn’t enough to see the pair leaving the same room together or even lying on the same bed together. “The actual physical movements of the couple must have been capable of no other explanation…. conditions were so stringent that they could have been met only on rare occasions.” “Under these conditions the obtaining of evidence in adultery would be almost impossible were the situation not a setup.” (Boice)

Adultery is voluntary sexual intercourse between a married woman, or one engaged by payment of the brideprice, and a man other than her husband. Exodus20:13. Leviticus 20:10.

Any sign of the man who was also caught in the act of adultery? Should he have been there?

What did they ask Jesus this? Why?  To How could it have gone wrong? 

How was this was a similar dilemma as posed by the question to Jesus about paying taxes to Caesar (Matthew 22:15-22). What was the trap?

What are the options for Jesus to reply? Let her go? Execute her - what would the Romans say to that? What was his initial reply? What message would they get by him stooping and drawing in the dirt? How might the woman feel about this?

What Jesus wrote has been an endless source of speculation for teachers, preachers, and commentators.

  • Some think that Jesus simply doodled in the dirt. The verb translated wrote could also mean, “to draw.” (Morris)
  • Some think Jesus simply stalled for time.
  • Some think that Jesus wrote the passage in the law that condemned the adulterous woman.
  • Some think Jesus wrote out a passage like Exodus 23:1: Do not put your hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.
  • Some think that Jesus followed Roman judicial practice and wrote out His sentence before He said it.
  • Some think that Jesus wrote the names of the accusers.
  • Some think that Jesus wrote the sins of the accusers.iv. “The normal Greek word for to write is graphein; but here the word used is katagrapheini, which can mean to write down a record against someone.” (Barclay)

By straitening up how does this confront the accusers even more?

How did Jesus indicate that he would act in accordance with the sentence the law required?

Was this accepted by the accusers? How did he turn the trap back on them? What was the result?

See Matthew 7:3-5, Romans 3:23.

Why did the crowd disperse and no one threw any stones?

Did Jesus fail to condemn the adultery and pass judgement in verse 10? Did he show he was aware of her sin in Verse 11?

How do Jesus words in verse 11 apply to us?

Who does he think he is? John 8:12-20

Light and dark.  See John 8:12. 2 Corinthians 4:4. John 1:4-5. Matthew 5:14a,16. Acts 26:17b-18a. Ephesians 6:12. 1 Peter 2:9. Psalm 119:105.

What’s the difference between being in the light or the dark?

Note the Feast of Tabernacles was associated with lighting up the Temple.

Note Jesus use of “I am” is in the very style of deity.  How would this appeal to the Jewish authority?

Was the objection in Verse 13 valid? Jewish law required at least two male witnesses. See Verse 17. Ruth 4. What do we think of a person giving testimony for themself?

What is Jesus claiming in Verse 14-15?

Does he care what the Jews think of him? But what is the warning? See Verse 16. Revelations 1:17-18.

Who is his second witness? What evidence has this witness provided? See also John 1:32. Hebrews 2:4.

What relationship does Jesus claim to this witness?

How is the question in verse 19 a put-down? Who does Jesus say he is? What are these Jews missing? What good news is there here for Christians?

Was Jesus avoiding public preaching? Why was he not seized?

Who is he? Wo are they? Who are we? John 8:21-30.

Is the question in verse 22 reasonable? Judaism disapproves suicide - would he do it? See Psalm 51:5.

How far was Jesus going (verse 21)?

What coming and going options does Jesus present in Verse 21? And in verse23? (Note sin in V21, sins in V24)

What’s the test in verse 24? What is the sin?

How did he answer the question in verse 25-26? See John 14:6.

Why did verse 27 happen? See 2 Corinthians 4:3-4. Romans 11:7-10.

When did verse 28 happen? (Lifted up => exalted) See John 12:32-34.

In verse 28 what was Jesus claiming about his godliness, about his perfection? About his authority?

Did Jesus act on his own? Verse 29.

Was the interaction pointless? See Verse 30.

Bastards.  John 8:31-47

If we believe in Jesus how much of his teaching should we follow? Follow or abide? What do you get if you follow his teaching? See 2 John 1:9

If you claim to be a Christian but don’t follow ALL his teaching what do you lose? See 1 Peter 2:16.

Describe your freedom. 

Was the claim in Verse 33 true? Do people in our community make a similar claim to that in Verse 33?

Verse 34 has blunt teaching. How well is it understood/accepted/responded to? What position does it leave us in? How does this show the need for the gospel? See Romans 6:14-18. Romans 8:2. Matthew 3:9.

What is your status in the family of God? See verse 35. What is the only way to become a child of God, to obtain freedom? See Verse 36.

Jesus acknowledged a positive in Verse 37 but what was missing? See 1 Corinthians 2:14.

What does Verse 39 tell us? Did they do as Abraham did? See Galatians 3:7. James 2:22-24. Romans 4:12.

Jesus told them the truth. Why does the truth get people upset? (Verse 40) How was Abraham’s behaviour so different?

Is the response in Verse 41 another aspersion on Jesus legitimacy?

If you claim God is your Father then what is the test of your legitimacy? See Verse 42. 1 John 5:1-2.

What was the source of Jesus legitimacy? Verse 42.

Who did Jesus say their father is? How is he described? Who else is he father to? See Verse 44, 41. 

What is the contrast between their father and Jesus Father? See 1 Corinthians 11:3. 1 John 3:8-10. Revelation 12:9.

Why do they not believe and understand? Acts 7:51. John 14:15-17. 2 Timothy 4:3-4.

Did Jesus sin? See Verse 46. Hebrews 4:15. 1 Peter 2:22. John 19:4.

Son and Heir. John 8:48-59

See the two accusations in Verse 48.  See John 4:9. Matthew 12:22-28.

Why is it that if you dishonour Jesus you dishonour God? See verses 49-50.

How can verse 51 be true? See John 11:25-26.

How is the response in Verses 52-52 reasonable?

How do Verses 54-55 emphasise what Jesus has been saying? Why could he do no other than be so emphatic?

Why is Verse 56-57 another extraordinary claim? Is it true? See Genesis  22:8. Hebrews 11:13. Galatians 3:7-9.

How does Verse 58 illustrate Verse 56? See Exodus 3:13-14. How does this claim still offend people?

1633 Modified: 23-05-2024
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