John 8:3 - 7
ESV - 3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4 They said to him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery.
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The short answer is "no," Deuteronomy 22:22 is no longer applicable under the New Covenant in Christ. Jesus' blood covers all of our sins. Here is a great passage in Galatians 3: "23Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian. "26So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ." That being said, the sin of adultery brings "death" of another kind, spiritual death. At the very least, it brings with it terrible consequences. I can't think of any better passage to explain this than Romans 6: "11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. 15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. 19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." The wonderful blood of Christ, while it frees us from eternal punishment and death, is by no means a free pass to sin, as the above scriptures indicate. Therefore, while an adulterer will not face the death penalty in most countries today, those of us who desire to please God with our lives must avoid the sin of adultery--and all known sin, for that matter--like it's a deadly plague.
Deuteronomy is by no means still effective. The Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament contains scripture that is informative for us, but is not directed to us in the form of rules and regulations which we must follow. Look to the Apostle Paul for scripture that is applicable to the church today, starting in Acts 9, through the Book of Philemon. Be blessed as you study God's Word for we Christians!
The adulterer woman and the subsequent asking of Jesus what they should do was a trick. Either to get Jesus to not follow the "law" by saying "no, do not stone her" or to say "stone yer" which would violate Jesus teaching of love and forgiveness. Jesus was just a little too smart of them when he said "Let he who has no sin throw the first stone". Jesus is really smart.
Deuteronomy 22:22 would still be in effect. Here are a few other things I gathered from my studying the John 8:3-7 incident. According to the law, if a couple was caught in the act of adultery, both the man and the woman were supposed to be stoned. In the John 8 "trial," where was the man? In order to execute justice, both of the adulterers were supposed to be stoned. That was strike one in the trial. Where was the man? Strike two: Who caught them in the act? No one confessed to finding the couple in the act. Strike three: The one who brought the charges would cast the first stone. (Typically, it was the husband who would do this). That's why Jesus asked the woman, "Where is your accuser?" Here is something else to note. Jesus accused the religious leaders of not following the law of Moses. They wanted to condemn Jesus of teaching others to disobey the law. However, Jesus used the Written Law (God's law written down by Moses) to defeat the law of the religious leaders (the Oral Law - a law that added to the Scriptures). The religious leaders exalted the Oral Law above the Written Law and used the Oral Law to add "burdens and a weightier yoke" upon God's people. (cf. Matt. 11:30). Jesus reminded the leaders what was written in God's law: there had to be at least 2 or 3 witnesses to condemn a person. “Whoever is deserving of death shall be put to death on the testimony of two or three witnesses; he shall not be put to death on the testimony of one witness." (Deuteronomy 17:6) “One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established." (Deuteronomy 19:15) The woman could not be stoned unless her act of adultery had at least 2-3 witnesses. She could not even be stoned with 1 witness. No one would step forward as a witness of catching the woman in the act. The man wasn't present to receive his death penalty. The husband typically cast the first stone. Neither would the husband or any of the religious leaders cast the first stone. My suspicion is that the reason no one could cast the first stone was that some of them may have been guilty of adultery. Who knows? Maybe they just had an orgy the night before.
My answer would sound a bit different. The OT Law, as quoted above, applied to the secular state of Israel. The Law, as given, was not to define an ideal state for followers of God, but the minimum standard for the State of Israel to maintain God's blessings. Did this Law apply to the woman caught in adultery? Yes, it did. Though John doesn't tell us, the fact that only the woman was brought was a major problem with this situation. In fact, it might be the basis for Christ's answer--"he who is without sin..." This question did not imply someone who was completely innocent of any sin, but applied to this particular case--who, in this case is innocent in this case to cast the first stone of accusation at her? All the men realized their complicity, and hid to their, and in their shame. To me, this begs the question, like with you, who was caught with her??? The Bible doesn't answer directly, but judging by these mens' reactions, they knew who he was, and weren't willing to implicate either him or them.
I think we have to appreciate that there are two aspects to the law: there is the forbidden act, then there is enforcement. From this perspective, the Law is still in force (1John 3:4. John 14:15). But the enforcement of the law has been taken away from believers (Colossians 2:16, James 4:12). Thus adultery remains a sin, but God will judge. The John 8:3-7 scenario was a trap to "catch" Jesus. (see verse 6). But notice His final words, "Go now and leave your life of sin". Bless.
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