Neither Do I Condemn You

There’s a topic I’ve been intending to write about, but I wanted to wait until I finished an illustration relating to it. It’s been camped out in my head for several years, along with a few other artistic images I’d love to get out; I’m still holding out hope that I’ll put it to paper some day. But writing about it – I just can’t put if off any longer. The topic in question is the story of The Adulterous Woman, from Chapter 8 in the Gospel of John. Not about the controversy regarding the textual history of the story itself, but rather the actual content of the story.

For reference, here is the story (John 8:2-11 English Standard Version):

Any excuse to display the art of Gustave Doré.

Any excuse to display the art of Gustave Doré.

Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?”  This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”  And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” Continue reading