Biblical Archaeology Review 34:4, July/August 2008

Biblical Views: A Text Without a Home

By Ben Witherington III

If you have been paying attention to more recent translations of the Gospel of John, you will have noticed that John 7:53–8:11—the story of the woman caught in adultery of whom Jesus says, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her”—has been getting some interesting treatment by the scholars. The TNIV (Today’s New International Version), for example, tells us very forthrightly that our earliest and best manuscripts of the Gospel of John do not include these much beloved and belabored verses. If text determines canon, by which I mean the original inspired text of that gospel is what should be in the canon, then John 7:53–8:11 ought not to be in our Bibles.

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