|Gospel of John|
John 8 is the eighth chapter in the Gospel of John in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It continues the account of Jesus' debate with the Pharisees at the Feast of Tabernacles, which began in the previous chapter.
Verse 32 contains the well known teaching "ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free".
In verses 56-58 Jesus claims to have pre-existed (or, according to non-Trinitarian interpretations, been foreordained before) Abraham. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM".
There is dispute over the authenticity of the passage between John 7:53 and 8:11. It appears in the King James Version but modern English translations note that it is not present in the most reliable early manuscripts of John, and therefore suggest that it is unlikely to be part of the original text. Until recently, it was not thought that any Greek Church Father had taken note of the passage before the 12th Century; but in 1941 a large collection of the writings of Didymus the Blind (ca. 313- 398) was discovered in Egypt, including a reference to the pericope adulterae as being found in "several copies"; and it is now considered established that this passage was present in its usual place in some Greek manuscripts known in Alexandria and elsewhere from the 4th Century onwards. In support of this it is noted that the 4th century Codex Vaticanus, which was written in Egypt, marks the end of John chapter 7 with an "umlaut", indicating that an alternative reading was known at this point.
Jerome reports that the pericope adulterae was to be found in its usual place in "many Greek and Latin manuscripts" in Rome and the Latin West in the late 4th Century. This is confirmed by some Latin Fathers of the 4th and 5th Centuries CE; including Ambrose, and Augustine. The latter claimed that the passage may have been improperly excluded from some manuscripts in order to avoid the impression that Christ had sanctioned adultery:
"Certain persons of little faith, or rather enemies of the true faith, fearing, I suppose, lest their wives should be given impunity in sinning, removed from their manuscripts the Lord's act of forgiveness toward the adulteress, as if he who had said, Sin no more, had granted permission to sin."
Papias (circa AD 125) refers to a story of Jesus and a woman "accused of many sins" as being found in the Gospel of the Hebrews, which may well refer to this passage; there is a very certain quotation of the pericope adulterae in the 3rd Century Syriac Didascalia Apostolorum; though without indicating John's Gospel. The Constitutions of the Holy Apostles Book II.24 refers to the passage “And when the elders had set another woman who had sinned before Him, and had left the sentence to Him, and were gone out, our Lord, the Searcher of the hearts, inquiring of her whether the elders had condemned her, and being answered No, He said unto her: “Go thy way therefore, for neither do I condemn thee.” Book II is generally dated to the late third century (Von Drey, Krabbe, Bunsen, Funk). Codex Fuldensis, which is positively dated to AD 546 contains the adulterae pericope. The Second Epistle of Pope Callistus section 6 contains a quote that may be from John 8:11 - "Let him see to it that he sin no more, that the sentence of the Gospel may abide in him: “Go, and sin no more.”" However the epistle quotes from eighth century writings and is not thought to be genuine.
Almost all modern translations now include the Pericope de Adultera at John 7:53-8:11; but some enclose it in brackets, and/or add a note concerning the oldest and most reliable witnesses.
- "Sed hoc videlicet infidelium sensus exhorret, ita ut nonnulli modicae fidei vel potius inimici verae fidei, credo, metuentes peccandi impunitatem dari mulieribus suis, illud, quod de adulterae indulgentia Dominus fecit, auferrent de codicibus suis, quasi permissionem peccandi tribuerit qui dixit: Iam deinceps noli peccare, aut ideo non debuerit mulier a medico Deo illius peccati remissione sanari, ne offenderentur insani." Augustine, De Adulterinis Conjugiis 2:6–7. Cited in Wieland Willker, A Textual Commentary on the Greek Gospels, Vol. 4b, p. 10.
- The Early church Fathers Volume 7 by Philip Schaff (public domain) pp. 388-390, 408
- Clontz, T.E. and J., "The Comprehensive New Testament", Cornerstone Publications (2008), p. 571, ISBN 978-0-9778737-1-5
- The Early church Fathers Volume 8: The Twelve Patriarchs, Excerpts and Epistles, The Clementia, Apocrypha, Decretals, Memoirs of Edessa and Syriac Documents, Remains of the First - by Philip Schaff (public domain) pp. 607, 618
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|Chapters of the Bible
Gospel of John