This Side Of Eden

This Side Of Eden

…Finding our way home

God’s Word

For seminary I am writing a small paper on the inclusion of John 7:53-8:11 (The woman caught in adultery) in the Gospels. It is an interesting discussion, and in reality, the text was probably NOT a part of the actual document. The earliest manuscripts do not have it included. Some older manuscripts do include the text, however, the verses are included in different spots, not necessarily at this point in the text. Because of this evidence, it is a safe bet that the verses were not a part of the gospel of John.

However, I do still think the text has something of importance to say about how Christ would have us live…I certainly would not venture to say that the story is not in congruence with the Gospel. I think it matches the life of Jesus very well. While it may not have been included in earlier manuscripts, it was certainly a story of Jesus’ life that was getting spread around. Just because it wasn’t included, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, and there isn’t something to learn.

The issue that I have come across in my studying about this passage is that many people believe that since John himself did not include it in his gospel, than it shouldn’t be included in the bible. They make the claim that it is the author of the text who is inspired by the Spirit, and that scribes or other people have no right to change or adapt what was inspired by the original author.

My questions that I pose are this: Did the Holy Spirit limit itself to the author of the text, or could the Spirit possibly have moved in the scribes as well, so that this text was included? What are your thoughts? How do you think the Spirit moves today?

3 Responses to God’s Word

  1. Enjoyed reading

  2. A friend, Gregg, saw this on facebook and commented on my feed there. With his permission, I’m sharing it here:

    “What did Jesus mean when he said the Holy Scripture cannot be annulled…? My thought would be that the Bible and its formation and development was guided by the Spirit Of Truth, to become the inspired word of God.. Much discussion and development occurred in the process and so perhaps the fascination with the earliest drafts and excluded gospels is perhaps “barking up the wrong tree”… and the question must be addressed from a different point of view. The Spirit lives within, God is spirit, and the living word speaks to help interpret the written word, which is a hallow and imperfect vehicle for at the end of the day, words are symbols where we try to communicate certain truths. I have no doubt the story is real.”

  3. I love your thoughts here Gregg. Thanks for this. I will always argue for the role of the academy in scriptural study, but I’m with you here. The Spirit is alive…and it is that Spirit that guides and directs us. It is that same Spirit which guided and directed whoever it was that included this passage in the Gospel for the first time.

    I, too, have no doubt.


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