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Essay:Adulteress Story

2,964 bytes added, 20:03, 20 July 2010
Amid this scholarship, why is the emphasis on this passage increasing? The answer lies in its liberal message: do not criticize or punish immoral conduct unless you are perfect yourself. [[Liberals]] cite this passage to oppose the death penalty, a misuse that has been criticized.<ref></ref> But one need not be perfect before he can recognize wrongdoing in himself. The Mosaic laws clearly state death as a punishment for sin. So the argument that ''an individual'' must be perfect is not relevant. The God-ordained government has the responsibility for punishment. Civilized society may not depend on stoning to deter immoral crimes, but it does depend on retribution enforced by people who are themselves sinners.
== Jesus Acts Out of Character ==
Jesus forgives the adulteress, who is not explicitly repentant. John 8:11 states: ''"Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."'' This passage tells us that Jesus forgives the adulteress, since he does not "condemn" her. However, forgiveness without repentance is not taught elsewhere in the Bible. In fact, it is by repentance only that we are saved and forgiven; in Luke 13:3, Jesus states, "I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish." Thus, Jesus acts out of character in the adulteress story by forgiving a sinner who is not repentant.
Jesus seems to be following the actions of the teachers and Pharisees. John 8:9-11 states: ''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. Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" "No one, sir," she said. "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared.'' In these passages, Jesus does not condemn her because the teachers and Pharisees have not condemned her. This is illogical and out of character for Jesus, since He is the Son of God and should not be acting by following the actions of sinners.
The statement in John 8:7, ''"If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."'', is not in keeping with the rest of the Bible. First, the phrase "without sin" only appears two other times in the New Testament: in Hebrews 4:15: ''"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin."'', and in 1 John 1:8: ''"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us."'' These instances of the phrase "without sin" are quite different from the adulteress story. First, neither of these quotations are from Jesus, making the adulteress story the only instance in which Jesus uses the phrase. Second, the phrase has very different meanings from that of the adulteress story; in Hebrews, it is describing Jesus's glory, and in 1 John, it is a warning to how we view ourselves. Neither instance uses the "without sin" as a phrase to persuade people against judging or condemning others.
There are two incongruities pertaining to the concluding sentence of the story. John 8:12 states, ''When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."'' First, this sentence in no way relates to the scene with the adulteress; Jesus did not tell the adulteress to follow him, or that he was the light of the world. Second, according to the adulteress story, all the people left because they were sinners; yet this sentence states that Jesus is speaking to people.
== Contributors to this Original Work ==
--[[User:StevenM|Steve]] 19:47, 8 April 2008 (EDT)
--[[User:PhyllisS|Phy]] 16:03, 20 April 2010 (EDT)
== References ==