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Why is John 8:2-11 not found in earlier manuscripts? Does this mean it is a fabricated story?


John 8:2 - 11

ESV - 2 Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. 3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst

Clarify (3) Share Report Asked December 31 2014 Mini larry price

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Data Pastor Shafer
Notes For Verse 11
a [Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more] 
This statement caused early Christians to avoid reading this story in public when lessons were read from the gospels.

It was not in any list of scriptures to be read in churches, and as it was probably marked in the MSS as a portion not to be read in public, it came, after some time, to be left out of some copies of Scriptures, though in the greater number it still remains as an original part of this gospel.

Early Christians thought Jesus was not condemning adultery here, but the idea is that He was not a magistrate and since no man of her accusers stayed to condemn, He was not going to pass sentence on the woman, taking it upon Himself to execute the law of Moses. 

He had to avoid the Jews accusing Him of taking magisterial authority in His own hands. Then, too, Christ came to save men, not to destroy them, so forgiveness of her sin was as much His obligation then as it still is when anyone repents and turns from sin (Mt. 12:31-32; 1Jn. 1:9). 

Jesus did not say He did not condemn adultery as a sin. He simply forgave the woman, as He had done others who were sinful (Mt. 9:1-8; Lk. 7:37-50). He frankly told her to sin no more, proving He did condemn adultery as sin. He did so elsewhere (Mt. 5:27-32; 19:9,18-19).

December 31 2014 1 response Vote Up Share Report

Image Thomas K M A retired Defence Scientist from Indian Defence R&D Orgn.
Some information that I gathered from various sources on the subject is reproduced below:

Although in line with many stories in the Gospels and probably primitive, certain critics argue that it was "certainly not part of the original text of John's Gospel.” On the other hand, the Council of Trent, held between 1545 and 1563, declared that the Latin Vulgate (which contains the passage) was authentic and authoritative, despite the fact that the Vulgate is mainly a translation produced by the end of 4th century A.D. (Wikipedia).

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.]. If you would read John 8:2-11 in one of the translations of the Bible other than the King James, you would discover that this passage is included in brackets or parenthesis with a note on the bottom that this passage does not really belong in the Holy Scriptures because it is not found in the oldest and best manuscripts. 

I am not going to get into that question this morning. The fact is that it belongs in Scripture, and it is wrong to take it out. This is the only place in the entire gospel of John where one of the great truths, emphasized so strongly in the other gospels, is set forth. That truth is put in different ways in the other gospel narratives. Sometimes it is put like this: "I came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance." Or, as the Lord explains in connection with the incident of Zacchaeus, the publican, "The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." 

When Moses descended from the Mountain at Sinai with the tablets of stone containing the Ten Commandments, he read to the people the seventh commandment which simply says, "You shall not commit adultery" (Exodus 20:14). Was Jesus playing loose with the Law? Not at all. Are we permitted, by His example, to play loose with the law under which we serve God? In no way. 

The Mosaic Law was very specific in how the execution of a sinner was to take place, especially in the case of adultery. Jesus is showing the utmost of respect for the law of God in doing what He did. The accusers of the adulteress had failed to prove their case. Their motives were wrong. They neither followed the letter nor the spirit of the law. They were sinners in this regard. How could a sinner condemn a sinner in the sin in which they were both a party? By this, I certainly do not mean that the accusers were involved in the sexual sin, though some have surmised that, given the absence of the adulterer. The issue here is respect for the Law of God. How do we handle it (2 Timothy 2:15)? (Larry Fain).

The Pharisees wanted everyone to see how zealous they were in maintaining God's law. You and I never talk about the sin of anyone else, except we do so in order to imply, "But I would never do anything like this. Shame is on such a person. I'm not guilty of that sin." That is why our tongues wag. And that is self-righteousness. Self-righteousness is a terrible sin and is rooted in the idea that we can earn heaven by our own works. That is what the Pharisees literally taught. It was their theology you see that there was a reserved seat in heaven for them and that they Jesus wanted to solve the case differently.

December 31 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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