What was Jesus writing in the dirt when the Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery?


Clarify Share Report Asked July 01 2013 Mini Anonymous (via GotQuestions)

For follow-up discussion and general commentary on the topic. Comments are sorted chronologically.

Mini A Lamb

I think one should take into consideration where Jesus was at the time and when he actually started writing on the ground. First it says he was in the temple so the floor in the temple would have been stone. Next he started writing only after they asked him the question in relation to the law.
I can only speculate that he was trying to show that He gave the law and they were trying to trick the giver of the law. However this is only speculation.
In the end the focus is not on what was being written on the ground but a host of other lessons.

June 19 2014 Report

Mini Glenn Berry

Jesus was teaching when the leaders came to him with the lady. They accused her of adultery and said that the law required that she be stoned to death. Jesus then knelt and began writing in the dirt. What he wrote is not written in any of the gospels. What was written was not important. It may have been that he was writing a list of the sins of the men standing there. The Bible says that the men, from the oldest to the youngest, left. When the last one left, Jesus asked where her accusers were. She said they were gone and Jesus told he that he did not accuse her either and told her to go and sin no more.

The lesson here for all of us is that we see others' sins much easier that we see our own. When we take our time we can see our sins also and know that we are no better that anyone else. Our calling is to love each other and encourage each other just as Jesus did when he did not condemn the lady but loved her and encouraged her by telling her to go and sin no more.

August 09 2015 Report

Stringio Troy Curliss

#Adultery - just letting those around Him know He knew who they really were. OK, so they didn't have Twitter yet, but I'm sure that it was something they all could see and understand that He knew their guilt.

April 22 2016 Report

Img 5726 leslie coutinho

The woman caught in adultery, and being brought to Jesus was a clear indication that they were trying to trap and accuse Him of the law written down by Moses.

Jesus often would stand up to read the scrolls given to him in the synagogue and would teach them (Luke 4:15). The Jewish elders and the scribes were well versed in the books of the law and the prophets and he would often quote “as it is written” for them to know that it was not some new doctrine that he was preaching but something which they all had read and heard in the synagogue.

Being well versed in the scriptures, yet they bring only the woman and not the man, which indicates their motives. For the scripture says in Isaiah 55:6-7 "Seek the Lord and he will pardon your sins." All they cared about was to please God with their outwardly works and sacrifices, and they had no mercy (Mat 9:13).

For the Father's will Jesus was sent (John 6:38) and as it is written of Him "Lo, I come in the volume of the book it is written of me, to do thy will. O God." (Heb 10:7) And Jesus said, "For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind." (John 9:39-41).

The Pharisees brought the woman to be stoned to death, and they didn't hear and repent, for Jesus was speaking to them very clearly that those who have not sinned should be the first to throw a stone, but they walked away without repenting. For as it is written in the book of Jeremiah 17:13 "O Lord, the Hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that 'depart from me shall be WRITTEN in the earth', because they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living waters."

June 09 2019 Report

Img 0218 Cornelius Bruin

there are several valid reasons why Jn.7:53 - 8:1-11 should not be considered as YHWH's Word. The main ones of course are those that violate Torah and Yeshua. And Yeshua being Torah (the Word) make these words and actions impossible to have reflected the true nature of Yeshua.

Furthermore, a detail that came to me one day when I was researching/meditating on this story that I think also makes it unlikely is the fact that it says He was seated in the Temple court, most likely on one of the steps there. Firstly, in bending down to write (most logically requiring to write on stone level next one down from where His feet were) would have been physically quite taxing. And secondly the main part of the detail that came to me was that it's highly unlikely that there would have been enough dust or dirt (that it says) on what would have been tidyly maintained Temple court pavement stones for any finger marked words to be able to be read.
yours in Yeshua - Cornelius Bruin from Christchurch, NZ.

October 14 2019 Report

Img 5726 leslie coutinho

Thanks for your comments, I would love to learn more on the written scriptures from you with a few questions.
1) Explain me the valid reasons not to consider as YHWH’s Word Jn.7.53 / 8-1-11
2) Why does this words and action make it impossible to reflect the true nature of Yeshua? Dint Jesus say that the Sabbath was made for men and not men made for the Sabbath so the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath Matthew 12:1-6
3) Every stone in the temple came from the ground as man was created from the dust, so was man’s bones made of dust.
4) I believe every Word of God written does not need to be tidily maintained for all men, for when the Word of God was written on the wall in the time of Daniel 5:5 Belshazzar the King a finger of men’s hand wrote and only Daniel could read and understand it.
5) The scriptures in Jeremiah 17:13 is very clear those who depart from me shall be written in the earth. To read the Word and understand only the Spirit of the Lord can give us the understanding John 4:14 for which we need to humble our self and come to the Lord and confess our sins which the Pharisees dint do them and they walked away.

October 14 2019 Report

Data Danny Hickman

A Lamb,
When Jesus bent down to write He was writing in the dirt. He was in the temple when the crowd showed up with the woman, but He was outside when He heard the case brought before Him. The men didn't take a "woman caught in adultery" inside the temple. The writer doesn't give a blow by blow accounting, assuming some things to be common knowledge.
Also, there were no stones to be picked up and thrown at her inside the temple. They went to the temple and Jesus came outside to see what the commotion was about. They wouldn't have taken that drama into the temple.

Who went in the temple and got Jesus so He could hear the case against the woman of John 8?

November 11 2019 Report

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