Thou shalt not start the morning off without a great cup of coffee! One of God’s missing commandments, well, in my mind anyway. The Ten Commandments and Bill Clinton were on my mind this morning. What the… I know what you’re thinking. Remember back in 1998 when our President did not have “sexual relations” with Monica Lewinski? Ha! Adultery comes to mind – so I have a quizzical question for you. What number on the Ten Commandments scale is Adultery listed? Here’s a clue. The answer varies depending on whether you’re a Protestant or a Catholic. Protestant’s answer is number 7 and Catholic’s answer is number 6. Trick question for most of you!
In the Gospel of John there is a very popular verse, “He who is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone.” Remember? [Read John 8:1-11 for compete details.] This story was about an adulterous woman who the Pharisees brought to Jesus. For some reason they forgot to bring the man (Deuteronomy 22:22). In any case, after the Pharisees cower away with their tails between their legs, Jesus lets her off the hook and tells her, “Go, and sin no more.”
What is Jesus trying to say here? He chose not to condemn her. I’m thinking that maybe we should take the planks out of our eyes first before judging others. This is a great story but according to most scholars, this story isn’t in the “earliest and most reliable manuscripts.” Yep, it’s one of those dang footnotes again. Oh well. Someone thought it was a great story to add it to John’s Gospel.
Let’s have another cup, shall we?
Oh, one last thought. What do the following people have in common?
John Edwards, Arnold Schwargenegger, Prince Charles, Newt Gingrich, Martin Luther King, Jr., Jim Bakker, John F. Kennedy, Franklin D. Rooselvelt, Ted Haggard, Jimmy Swaggart, Mark Sanford and Robert Tilton. You guessed it! They violated the 6th or 7th Commandment of God!
2 thoughts on “The Adulterous Woman”
As with all Abrahamic religions, women historically (until arguably recent times) are prized more as possessions such as cattle, rather than persons equal to men. Even unto our own enlightened history as a Democratic Republic, we failed to legally recognize women as equal until about 150 years ago, and in the minds of many still treat them as less than equal to men.
As far as the biblical crime of adultery, it seemed to apply only to women, witnessed by biblical allowances for having relations with maid-servants for the purpose of providing a male heir (witness Abraham himself). Never was the wife allowed the same privilege with the male servants for even the same purpose.
The utilization of such Old Testament laws and allowances IMHO negate the value of Biblical literal interpretations for the purpose of legitimizing or condemning certain behaviors. NO books of the Bible can be traced directly to the exact words of GOD or even 1st person authorship, which gives rise to speculation on the literal validity of any translation especially modern ones.
The “Law” says death to both adulterers…Levi. 20:10) “The adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.” But what about if a married man has sex with his slave? 19:20 “And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that is a bondmaid, betrothed to an husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; she shall be scourged; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free.” So, this is an exception? If a man has sex with an engaged slave woman, scourge the woman, but don’t punish the man. Which brings up the question, Is slavery accepted?