Home > Law, Theology > The Adulterous Woman – is it about grace or the law?

The Adulterous Woman – is it about grace or the law?

In Jn. 7:53 – 8:11 we have the story of the adulterous woman. This story is most often misinterpreted to say that Jesus was so gracious with the woman that he didn't condemn her. However, this interpretation is incorrect, and if the reader did a little bit of research, s/he could pick this up no problem, for the correct interpretation can be found in quality evangelical commentaries such as Leon Morris' commentary on the gospel of John.

First of all, we should note that the woman was caught in the very action. So why didn't they bring the man? The Law says, both of them has to be brought to justice. Thus these Jews openly violated the Law.

In order to judge sinners, the witnesses of the crime had to be blameless in every way. Since these Jews violated the law, they were to be blamed, and thus they were disqualified to be witnesses (the one without sin himself shall cast the
first stone). Though Jesus himself was blameless in every way, he wasn't a witness, therefore, he did not qualify to condemn the woman. The only thing he could do was to call her to repentance.

This story is not about "grace", but about Jesus strictly enforcing the Law.
This interpretation is not "another way to look at it", but the only correct
way.

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Categories: Law, Theology
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