Carson, D. A. The Gospel According to John. Leicester, England: Inter-Varsity Press, 1991.
“Jesus’ Self-Disclosure in Word and Deed (1:19-10:42) Excursus: The Woman Caught in Adultery (7:53-8:11)” pp. 333-337.
John 7:53-8:11 is normally considered to be an insertion in the text. Carson agrees with that decision. It is omitted in nearly all the early evidence. In many later manuscripts it is marked as questionable. Some manuscripts place it in different locations, including in Luke’s Gospel (Carson 1991, 333). However, Carson thinks it quite likely that the event occurred. There are other similar events recorded in extrabiblical sources (Carson 1991, 334). The idea of Jesus and other teachers in the court of the temple is entirely normal. Officials could easily bring up difficult cases, as they do in 8:3-4. Carson observes the odd situation of only the woman being brought. He also notes the authorities seem mainly to be pursuing Jesus rather than the woman (Carson 1991, 334). The punishment of stoning may well have passed from use i n Jesus’ day. Yet the heart of the question was whether Jesus would uphold Moses (Carson 1991, 335). His doing so, further, could usurp authority of Rome. Carson lists several speculations authors have made about what he wrote on the ground in verse 8. He is ceratin it is a delaying tactic to make the accusers uncomfortable (Carson 1991, 336). This worked. Jesus addressed the woman’s guilt, forgave her, urged her to purity, and sent her away. The passage ends clearly and does not seem tied to any other texts.