Is the "woman caught in adultery" story canonical?

ATLacasse's picture

I'm sure some or many have noticed the notation in the ESV version on John 7:53-8:11 which covers the woman caught in adultery. This section is taught on very often in the circles I travel in but I am unsure what to make of the ESV's note. If you do not have that version the note says: "The earliest manuscripts do not include John 7:53–8:11," and "Some manuscripts do not include 7:53–8:11; others add the passage here or after 7:36 or after 21:25 or after Luke 21:38, with variations in the text." Would anyone have any knowledge on this?

Micael's picture

Historical analysis does not begin 2 millinia after the case...

Its quite pompous of our modern generation that seems to believe no one with brains existed us.

Here is an exerpt from that reminds us of the many historical individuals and regional christian churches and how they dealt with these same questions...and knew and discussed this same topic. We've got to stop trying ot reinvent scriptural history and its development...

"John 7:53-8:11

This passage contains the story of the adulteress. The external critical evidence seems in this ease to give still clearer decision against the authenticity of this passage. It is wanting in the four earliest manuscripts (B, A, C, and aleph) and many others, while in many copies it is admitted only with the critical mark, indicative of doubtful authenticity. Nor is it found in the Syrian translation of Cureton, in the Sinaiticus, the Gothic translation, in most codices of the Peshito, or of the Coptic and Armenian translations, or finally in the oldest manuscripts of the Itala. None of the Greek Fathers have treated the incident in their commentaries, and, among Latin writers, Tertullian, Cyprian, and Hilary appear to have no knowledge of this pericope.

Notwithstanding the weight of the external evidence of these important authorities, it is possible to adduce still more important testimony in favour of the authenticity of the passage. As for the manuscripts, we know on the authority of St. Jerome that the incident "was contained in many Greek and Latin codices" (Contra Pelagium, II, xvii), a testimony supported today by the Codex Bez of Canterbury (D) and many others. The authenticity of the passage is also favoured by the Vulgate, by the Ethiopians Arabic, and Slavonic translations, and by many manuscripts of the Itala and of the Armenian and Syrian text. Of the commentaries of the Greek Fathers, the books of Origen dealing with this portion of the Gospel are no longer extant; only a portion of the commentary of St. Cyril of Alexandria has reached us, while the homilies of St. John Chrysostom on the Fourth Gospel must be considered a treatment of selected passages rather than of the whole text. Among the Latin Fathers, Sts. Ambrose and Augustine included the pericope in their text, and seek an explanation of its omission from other manuscripts in the fact that the incident might easily give rise to offense (cf. especially Augustine, "De coniugiis adulteris", II, vii). It is thus much easier to explain the omission of the incident from many copies than the addition of such a passage in so many ancient versions in all parts of the Church. It is furthermore admitted by the critics that the style and mode of presentation have not the slightest trace of apocryphal origin, but reveal throughout the hand of a true master. Too much importance should not be attached to variations of vocabulary, which may be found on comparing this passage with the rest of the Gospel, since the correct reading of the text is in many places doubtful, and any such differences of language may be easily harmonized with the strongly individual style of the Evangelist."

PS: If John 7:53-8:11 was included in the very first canons of scripture (OT and NT) in the the late 4th, 5th and thereafter with complete awareness of what we know today regarding these same verses of scripture by the Christians of that age which new much more intricacies than we know today then we have no say in what is or is not inspired no matter what we can find in the "oldest manuscripts"... Whom is making the presumption that those oldest manuscripts FOUND are more complete than others found afterward...or not yet found at all?

I firmly believe the Holy Spirit inspired the writers of scripture as well as other men to recognized scripture AS scripture. To think we know more or believe we have found a better bible by our own historical "research" borders on a blasphemous denial of the he leaves us "in the dark" with inaccurate WORD for 2 thousand millinia.