New American Bible (Revised Edition)
A Woman Caught in Adultery.[a] [53 Then each went to his own house, 1 while Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.[b](A) 2 But early in the morning he arrived again in the temple area, and all the people started coming to him, and he sat down and taught them. 3 Then the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery and made her stand in the middle. 4 They said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. 5 Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women.[c] So what do you say?”(B) 6 They said this to test him, so that they could have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground with his finger.[d] 7 [e]But when they continued asking him, he straightened up and said to them,(C) “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9 And in response, they went away one by one, beginning with the elders. So he was left alone with the woman before him. 10 Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”(D) 11 She replied, “No one, sir.” Then Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go, [and] from now on do not sin any more.”](E)
The Light of the World.[f]Read full chapter
- 7:53–8:11 The story of the woman caught in adultery is a later insertion here, missing from all early Greek manuscripts. A Western text-type insertion, attested mainly in Old Latin translations, it is found in different places in different manuscripts: here, or after Jn 7:36 or at the end of this gospel, or after Lk 21:38, or at the end of that gospel. There are many non-Johannine features in the language, and there are also many doubtful readings within the passage. The style and motifs are similar to those of Luke, and it fits better with the general situation at the end of Lk 21, but it was probably inserted here because of the allusion to Jer 17:13 (cf. note on Jn 8:6) and the statement, “I do not judge anyone,” in Jn 8:15. The Catholic Church accepts this passage as canonical scripture.
- 8:1 Mount of Olives: not mentioned elsewhere in the gospel tradition outside of passion week.
- 8:5 Lv 20:10 and Dt 22:22 mention only death, but Dt 22:23–24 prescribes stoning for a betrothed virgin.
- 8:6 Cf. Jer 17:13 (RSV): “Those who turn away from thee shall be written in the earth, for they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living water”; cf. Jn 7:38.
- 8:7 The first stones were to be thrown by the witnesses (Dt 17:7).
- 8:12–20 Jesus the light of the world. Jesus replaces the four torches of the illumination of the temple as the light of joy.