Welcome Valley Bible Studies

Lesson 34: John 8:1-11

John 8:1-11
Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 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? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 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. 

Background Information
It would almost appear that Jesus saved the woman’s life. Actually, the Jews needed permission from the Romans before they executed anyone. (For instance, they had to take Jesus to Pilate before they could crucify Him.) This isn’t to say that Jesus would have responded any differently had the Pharisees actually had authority to kill the woman. It does help us realize that the whole point was to entrap Jesus by causing Him either to advocate killing a person illegally or to reject the Old Testament. The latter option would have cost Him the respect of his deeply religious admirers. As usual, Jesus outsmarted His enemies while remaining true to God and the Bible.

Stoning was an old form of execution in which the whole community gathered together and threw stones at a guilty person until he or she was dead. It was only to be done after a fair trial. In Jesus’ day, it seems to have sometimes been done illegally by angry mobs.

Matthew 5:27-32 in the related Scriptures could easily be misunderstood. While Jesus does indicate that it would be better to seriously injure one’s body than to go to Hell, He was not teaching that we should harm ourselves. The truth is that the motivation to choose sin over salvation happens in the human soul rather than the body. Jesus was teaching that nothing is important enough to go to Hell over.

Related Scriptures
Exodus 20:14
Leviticus 20:10
Matthew 5:27-32 (Jesus’ expanded teaching on adultery)
Matthew 7:1-5 (Jesus is speaking)
Matthew 18:21-35
Mark 10:11-12
1 Corinthians 5:9-13
1 Corinthians 6:9-11


  1. This woman obviously didn’t get caught committing adultery by herself. According to the Law who should have been executed as well? (See Leviticus 20:10, which is part of the Law.)
  2. What does the text say was the real reason the scribes and Pharisees brought this woman to Jesus?
  3. a. Did Jesus tell them not to execute the woman? b. Who did He say was eligible to execute her? c. Were any of those who wanted her killed eligible to carry out the punishment? d. Would Jesus have been eligible?
  4. What did Jesus, the one Person who has a right to kill sinners, do instead of executing the woman?
  5. What does Jesus want to do for us instead of sending us to Hell?
  6. We have all sinned. If we want God’s forgiveness, should we try to exclude others from that forgiveness?
  7. How does God view those who don’t forgive others?
  8.  a. What were Jesus’ last words to the woman? b. Was Jesus brushing sin aside or forgiving it? c. What is the difference?
  9.  Would Jesus have responded differently if the woman had deliberately continued committing adultery after He forgave her?

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