Adulteress - Addendum C to Divorce + Remarriage = Adultery, from John 8:3-11 

Many believe the account of the woman taken in adultery depicts Jesus forgiving adultery and God showing mercy to adulterers.  That is the wrong conclusion.  The priests were those in authority to judge the matter.  So, why were the scribes and Pharisees bringing a woman taken in adultery to Jesus in the first place?  

We know from script it was a ruse to tempt Jesus, so they could accuse Him of violating the law.  They were also covering for the adulterer.  How can you have only one guilty party in adultery? 

They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?” John 8:4-5. 

It is a question of law (not forgiveness or mercy), and they were false witnesses because they only brought the woman. 

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.”  Exodus 20:16.

With the exception of Jesus’ ingenious retort, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her,” the rest is basic law.  His retort (and whatever He wrote on the ground) eliminated the false witnesses.  In order to prosecute under Hebrew law there had to be two or three witnesses. 

“At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.”  Deuteronomy 17:6.

When the witnesses were proven false, the case was dismissed.  Jesus did not need to, nor did He forgive her adultery to overcome their plot:

“When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”  John 8:10-11.

Jesus did not “CONDEMN” her, like none of the other men could, to death (the penalty for adultery). 

“If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.”  Deuteronomy 22:22.

In fact, Jesus tells her, “go, and sin no more.”  We may assume by her statement, “No man, Lord,” that she did go and sin no more and accepted Jesus as Lord.  If the assumption is true, then she did genuinely repent (confess to God and forsake sin), and when that occurs you are forgiven.

No doubt what Jesus did for this woman was miraculous, because it saved her soul.  She would not have been prosecuted by the priests either without the other guilty party. 

“And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.”  Leviticus 20:10.

It is also not an example of God showing mercy to adulterers.  The reason Jesus could not condemn her in the flesh was a matter of law, NO witnesses, not mercy.  So, how is it that people love to use this account as an example of Jesus forgiving and God showing mercy to adulterers?  The text does not show this; therefore, it has to be a false interpretation.  There is no verse in the Bible that abrogates the death penalty for adulterers “lawfully prosecuted,” not even John 8.

David and Bathsheba were not put to death because David was the king, and they covered their sin with murder, so, they actually escaped death twice.  But even in David’s instance, someone had to die, so God took the child as judgment.  I am not promoting the death penalty for adulterers, but the example of David shows you can genuinely repent of adultery as well. 

After the incident with Absalom (when David put away his concubines), and the death of Michal (his legitimate wife), David remained with Bathsheba lawfully and did not practice polygamy anymore.  The point is John 8:3-11, does not forgive or show mercy to adulterers, it is Jesus overcoming those who sought to accuse Him as the writer states:

“This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him.  John 8:6a. 

The only reason it is portrayed as forgiveness and mercy for adultery is because this wicked and adulterous generation is full of Divorced and Remarried Adulterers in violation of God’s word.  The only way to be forgiven for adultery is to “go, and sin no more,” and for Divorced and Remarried Adulterers, that means coming out of the unlawful marriage and being reconciled to their first spouse, or remaining unmarried.   

“And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband: But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.”  1 Corinthians 7:10-11.

And if you remain unmarried, yet you are sexually active, that is still adultery against your lawful spouse.  Sex outside of God’s marriage covenant is one of two things, fornication or adultery, both of which are violations of God’s word and bars you from the Kingdom of God.  

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; ADULTERY, FORNICATION, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”  Galatians 5:19.

You will not be saved if you continue to willfully commit these sins.  When you come to Christ, your soul has a choice of aligning with one of two sides, either the flesh or the Spirit.  If your soul aligns with the flesh, you are going to die spiritually.

“Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Romans 8:12-14.

And…marriage is a flesh covenant:

“And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.”  Luke 20:34-36.

You have a choice to make, but not an excuse.  Jesus’ words are clear that Divorce and Remarriage is Adultery, and John 8:3-11, does not forgive this if you stay in the unlawful marriage.

The children of God know this truth.

See Also:

Adultery – Addendum A, to Divorce + Remarriage = Adultery:

Testimony – Addendum B, to Divorce + Remarriage = Adultery:

Adulteress – Addendum C to Divorce + Remarriage = Adultery:

Polygamy – Addendum D, to Divorce + Remarriage = Adultery:

Rule – Addendum E, to Divorce + Remarriage = Adultery:

Excuses – Addendum F, to Divorce + Remarriage = Adultery:


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