To Throw the Stone
8 1-2 Jesus went across to Mount Olives, but he was soon back in the Temple again. Swarms of people came to him. He sat down and taught them.
3-6 The religion scholars and Pharisees led in a woman who had been caught in an act of adultery. They stood her in plain sight of everyone and said, “Teacher, this woman was caught red-handed in the act of adultery. Moses, in the Law, gives orders to stone such persons. What do you say?” They were trying to trap him into saying something incriminating so they could bring charges against him.
6-8 Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger in the dirt. They kept at him, badgering him. He straightened up and said, “The sinless one among you, go first: Throw the stone.” Bending down again, he wrote some more in the dirt.
9-10 Hearing that, they walked away, one after another, beginning with the oldest. The woman was left alone. Jesus stood up and spoke to her. “Woman, where are they? Does no one condemn you?”
11 “No one, Master.”
“Neither do I,” said Jesus. “Go on your way. From now on, don’t sin.”]
Note: John 7:53–8:11 [the portion in brackets] is not found in the earliest handwritten copies.
You’re Missing God in All This
12 Jesus once again addressed them: “I am the world’s Light. No one who follows me stumbles around in the darkness. I provide plenty of light to live in.”
13 The Pharisees objected, “All we have is your word on this. We need more than this to go on.”
14-18 Jesus replied, “You’re right that you only have my word. But you can depend on it being true. I know where I’ve come from and where I go next. You don’t know where I’m from or where I’m headed. You decide according to what you can see and touch. I don’t make judgments like that. But even if I did, my judgment would be true because I wouldn’t make it out of the narrowness of my experience but in the largeness of the One who sent me, the Father. That fulfills the conditions set down in God’s Law: that you can count on the testimony of two witnesses. And that is what you have: You have my word and you have the word of the Father who sent me.”
19 They said, “Where is this so-called Father of yours?”
Jesus said, “You’re looking right at me and you don’t see me. How do you expect to see the Father? If you knew me, you would at the same time know the Father.”
20 He gave this speech in the Treasury while teaching in the Temple. No one arrested him because his time wasn’t yet up.
21 Then he went over the same ground again. “I’m leaving and you are going to look for me, but you’re missing God in this and are headed for a dead end. There is no way you can come with me.”
22 The Jews said, “So, is he going to kill himself? Is that what he means by ‘You can’t come with me’?”
23-24 Jesus said, “You’re tied down to the mundane; I’m in touch with what is beyond your horizons. You live in terms of what you see and touch. I’m living on other terms. I told you that you were missing God in all this. You’re at a dead end. If you won’t believe I am who I say I am, you’re at the dead end of sins. You’re missing God in your lives.”
25-26 They said to him, “Just who are you anyway?”
Jesus said, “What I’ve said from the start. I have so many things to say that concern you, judgments to make that affect you, but if you don’t accept the trustworthiness of the One who commanded my words and acts, none of it matters. That is who you are questioning—not me but the One who sent me.”
27-29 They still didn’t get it, didn’t realize that he was referring to the Father. So Jesus tried again. “When you raise up the Son of Man, then you will know who I am—that I’m not making this up, but speaking only what the Father taught me. The One who sent me stays with me. He doesn’t abandon me. He sees how much joy I take in pleasing him.”
30 When he put it in these terms, many people decided to believe.
If the Son Sets You Free
31-32 Then Jesus turned to the Jews who had claimed to believe in him. “If you stick with this, living out what I tell you, you are my disciples for sure. Then you will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will free you.”
33 Surprised, they said, “But we’re descendants of Abraham. We’ve never been slaves to anyone. How can you say, ‘The truth will free you’?”
34-38 Jesus said, “I tell you most solemnly that anyone who chooses a life of sin is trapped in a dead-end life and is, in fact, a slave. A slave can’t come and go at will. The Son, though, has an established position, the run of the house. So if the Son sets you free, you are free through and through. I know you are Abraham’s descendants. But I also know that you are trying to kill me because my message hasn’t yet penetrated your thick skulls. I’m talking about things I have seen while keeping company with the Father, and you just go on doing what you have heard from your father.”
39-41 They were indignant. “Our father is Abraham!”
Jesus said, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would have been doing the things Abraham did. And yet here you are trying to kill me, a man who has spoken to you the truth he got straight from God! Abraham never did that sort of thing. You persist in repeating the works of your father.”
They said, “We’re not bastards. We have a legitimate father: the one and only God.”
42-47 “If God were your father,” said Jesus, “you would love me, for I came from God and arrived here. I didn’t come on my own. He sent me. Why can’t you understand one word I say? Here’s why: You can’t handle it. You’re from your father, the Devil, and all you want to do is please him. He was a killer from the very start. He couldn’t stand the truth because there wasn’t a shred of truth in him. When the Liar speaks, he makes it up out of his lying nature and fills the world with lies. I arrive on the scene, tell you the plain truth, and you refuse to have a thing to do with me. Can any one of you convict me of a single misleading word, a single sinful act? But if I’m telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? Anyone on God’s side listens to God’s words. This is why you’re not listening—because you’re not on God’s side.”
I Am Who I Am
48 The Jews then said, “That settles it. We were right all along when we called you a Samaritan and said you were crazy—demon-possessed!”
49-51 Jesus said, “I’m not crazy. I simply honor my Father, while you dishonor me. I am not trying to get anything for myself. God intends something gloriously grand here and is making the decisions that will bring it about. I say this with absolute confidence. If you practice what I’m telling you, you’ll never have to look death in the face.”
52-53 At this point the Jews said, “Now we know you’re crazy. Abraham died. The prophets died. And you show up saying, ‘If you practice what I’m telling you, you’ll never have to face death, not even a taste.’ Are you greater than Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you think you are!”
54-56 Jesus said, “If I were striving to get all the attention, it wouldn’t amount to anything. But my Father, the same One you say is your Father, put me here at this time and place of splendor. You haven’t recognized him in this. But I have. If I, in false modesty, said I didn’t know what was going on, I would be as much of a liar as you are. But I do know, and I am doing what he says. Abraham—your ‘father’—with elated faith looked down the corridors of history and saw my day coming. He saw it and cheered.”
57 The Jews said, “You’re not even fifty years old—and Abraham saw you?”
58 “Believe me,” said Jesus, “I am who I am long before Abraham was anything.”
59 That did it—pushed them over the edge. They picked up rocks to throw at him. But Jesus slipped away, getting out of the Temple.
New International Version
8 1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.(A)
2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them.(B) 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women.(C) Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap,(D) in order to have a basis for accusing him.(E)
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone(F) at her.”(G) 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 “No one, sir,” she said.
Dispute Over Jesus’ Testimony
13 The Pharisees challenged him, “Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid.”(M)
14 Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going.(N) But you have no idea where I come from(O) or where I am going. 15 You judge by human standards;(P) I pass judgment on no one.(Q) 16 But if I do judge, my decisions are true, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me.(R) 17 In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is true.(S) 18 I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me.”(T)
19 Then they asked him, “Where is your father?”
“You do not know me or my Father,”(U) Jesus replied. “If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”(V) 20 He spoke these words while teaching(W) in the temple courts near the place where the offerings were put.(X) Yet no one seized him, because his hour had not yet come.(Y)
Dispute Over Who Jesus Is
22 This made the Jews ask, “Will he kill himself? Is that why he says, ‘Where I go, you cannot come’?”
23 But he continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.(AB) 24 I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he,(AC) you will indeed die in your sins.”
25 “Who are you?” they asked.
“Just what I have been telling you from the beginning,” Jesus replied. 26 “I have much to say in judgment of you. But he who sent me is trustworthy,(AD) and what I have heard from him I tell the world.”(AE)
27 They did not understand that he was telling them about his Father. 28 So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up[a] the Son of Man,(AF) then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.(AG) 29 The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone,(AH) for I always do what pleases him.”(AI) 30 Even as he spoke, many believed in him.(AJ)
Dispute Over Whose Children Jesus’ Opponents Are
33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants(AM) and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”
34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.(AN) 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.(AO) 36 So if the Son sets you free,(AP) you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me,(AQ) because you have no room for my word. 38 I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence,(AR) and you are doing what you have heard from your father.[b]”(AS)
39 “Abraham is our father,” they answered.
“If you were Abraham’s children,”(AT) said Jesus, “then you would[c] do what Abraham did. 40 As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me,(AU) a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God.(AV) Abraham did not do such things. 41 You are doing the works of your own father.”(AW)
“We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.”(AX)
42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me,(AY) for I have come here from God.(AZ) I have not come on my own;(BA) God sent me.(BB) 43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 You belong to your father, the devil,(BC) and you want to carry out your father’s desires.(BD) He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.(BE) 45 Yet because I tell the truth,(BF) you do not believe me! 46 Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 Whoever belongs to God hears what God says.(BG) The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”
Jesus’ Claims About Himself
49 “I am not possessed by a demon,” said Jesus, “but I honor my Father and you dishonor me. 50 I am not seeking glory for myself;(BJ) but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51 Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys my word will never see death.”(BK)
52 At this they exclaimed, “Now we know that you are demon-possessed!(BL) Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that whoever obeys your word will never taste death. 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham?(BM) He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?”
54 Jesus replied, “If I glorify myself,(BN) my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me.(BO) 55 Though you do not know him,(BP) I know him.(BQ) If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and obey his word.(BR) 56 Your father Abraham(BS) rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it(BT) and was glad.”
57 “You are not yet fifty years old,” they said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!”
58 “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born,(BU) I am!”(BV) 59 At this, they picked up stones to stone him,(BW) but Jesus hid himself,(BX) slipping away from the temple grounds.