Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Woman of John 8

Later Greek manuscripts inserted additional verses into John 7:53 to 8:11 that tell a story of a woman caught in adultery. This story does not appear in either the Peshitta or the four earliest Greek manuscripts. Most Christian scholars are honest enough to acknowledge that John did not write this. Many opine that one of John’s “disciples” must have written it and inserted it later.

The KJV records verse 7:53 as: “And every man went unto his own house.” The narrative is as follows:

1. Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. 2. And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and he taught them. 3. And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 4. They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? 6. This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with [his] finger wrote on the ground, [as though he heard them not]. 7. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 9. And they which heard [it], being convicted by [their own] conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, [even] unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 11. She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more” (John 8:1-11 KJV).

Why would someone insert this story into the book of John? Firstly, this narrative is a fundamental proof text for Christians to prove that "Jesus" forgives adultery with no consequences to the offender. For Christians, "Jesus" says “go and sin no more.” Therefore, the woman was, in fact, guilty as charged but her sin was without consequence. If she had been falsely accused Y’hoshua would not have said “go and ‘sin’ no more.” Bringing an accused person publicly before Mashiyach for judgement is extremely perverse and shameful. There is no co-accused, no husband, no credible witnesses, and we have no idea whether or not those making the charges were even the ones who caught her in the act! It is written in such a way that the reader automatically feels sorry for the victimized woman. It’s impossible that the woman be judged, because the basic criteria are entirely nonexistent. In reality, Torah requires that both parties involved in adultery be brought up on charges together and in the presence of their accusers, as well as with any witnesses and the elders of the community, none of which was done here (Leviticus 20: 10-21).

The statement/question that, “Moses commanded us that such should be stoned” is a leading question. It is not supported in Torah or rabbinical halakha under any such circumstances as recorded. Torah is explicit in the matter of casting the first stone: “At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death. The hands of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So you shall put the evil away from among you” (Deut 17:6-7). Most of the civilized world realizes that a person is to be thought of as innocent until proven guilty, and that a hearing of evidence must precede a conviction and penalties. This inserted story is extremely indecent; the author of this lore makes a serious religio-political statement that juxtaposes his "Jesus" hero against those bad Pharisees…

The story ends with Y’hoshua ducking out of a stoning by the Pharisees. Christians know that Y’hoshua is innocent, but the Pharisees are pictured as picking up stones in a fit of rage to kill him for not condemning the poor, adulterous woman. Christians have been taught to view the Pharisees as hard-hearted, legalistic stone throwers; however, a brief look into Christian history shows the Pharisees are a Sunday picnic compared to the pogroms and massacres of Jews at the hands of Christians. Could it be that such an addition to the Christian Bibles contributed to anti-Semitism?

If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shall you put away evil from Israel” (Deut 22:22). The value of both marriage and human life has been greatly reduced by modern Christianity, which has hardly progressed beyond the Greco-Roman legal system that spawned it. Even in matters of adultery and remarriage, most Christians accept the authority of governmental legislation for divorce. As Scripture says: “…and the earth wondered after the beast” (Rev 13:3). In reality, Mashiyach calls his followers to a much higher standard than what earthly governments have to offer.

The story of the woman caught in adultery is a very sharp contrast to the account of “Ananias and Sapphira” (Acts 5:1-10) who bore false witness regarding a property they sold. In Acts 5, this couple lied publicly in the name of Y’hoshua and was struck down for making a mockery of the true Faith. The woman caught in adultery suffered no consequences; therefore, Christians theologize that she is saved, which also makes them feel better about the adultery in their own churches. Because of John 8, Christian leaders can now teach that adulterers are forgiven and need not make any restitution. There are no consequences in many Christian circles for adultery, which is why when Pastors, Priests and “Reverends” commit adultery and other evil sex crimes, they can continue right along with their “ministries” as if hardly nothing had happened.

He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her” is simply theological trickery of Christianity. Every one of us is fallible and has sinned to one degree or another, but Christian theologians spin this to teach that none of us should ever judge sin. This dependency upon church hierarchy to forgive sin popularized Christianity and made the Catholic Church the wealthiest organization on Earth, because everyone knows that it’s tough to go through life without sinning.

This is why it is so important to have Torah written upon the heart. The Word of YHWH offers a deep and beautiful love relationship that is nurtured between the repentant sinner and YHWH, through Mashiyach. The sinner overcomes temptation to sin by recognizing a peer group of equals (Kedoshim) who support righteousness and reject sin. When Torah is written upon the heart the soul becomes servant to Righteousness and recognises dependency upon the spiritual body rather than the institution.

But I fear, or else, as the serpent beguiled Chawwah (Eve) by his craftiness, so your minds should be corrupted from simplicity towards the Mashiyach. For if he that comes to you, had proclaimed to you another Y’hoshua, whom we have not proclaimed; or if you had received another Spirit, which you have not received; or another gospel, which you have not accepted; you might well have given your permission” (2 Cor 11:3-4). Y’hoshua saves in the Name of YHWH. His Name means the SALVATION of YHWH, which means the sinner must turn to YHWH and change from their sinful ways. Unlike the “Jesus” of the false church system who claims to “save” people in their sins, Y’hoshua taught: “How narrow the door and straight the road that leads to life, and few are they, those that find it” (Matthew 7:14).

Who inserted the story of the woman caught in adultery into the text? Considering the revisions, additions, adulterations and conflicts in the thousands of Greek manuscripts which surfaced since the Fourth Century, we know one thing: the story crept into the text a couple hundred years after Yehochanan (John). Therefore, it’s shameful to suggest that one of “John’s disciples” did it. Many assume that it is reasonable to insert cunningly devised fables into their Bibles that support their religious traditions, yet they continue to refer to their books as “holy.” This simply proves that it is often Christian tradition that has become their “holy” standard, certainly not the love of the Truth.