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To Cast the First Stone

Jennifer Knust and Tommy Wasserman


The story of the woman taken in adultery features a dramatic confrontation between Jesus and the Pharisees over whether the adulteress should be stoned as the law commands. In response, Jesus famously states, “Let him who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” This book traces the history of this provocative story from its first appearance to its enduring presence today. Likely added to the Gospel of John in the third century, the passage is often held up by modern critics as an example of textual corruption by early Christian scribes and editors, yet a judgment of corruption ob ... More

Keywords: adultery, Jesus, adulteress, sin, Gospel of John, textual corruption, Christian scribes, storytelling, Christians, Jews

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780691169880
Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2019 DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691169880.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jennifer Knust, author
Boston University

Tommy Wasserman, author
Örebro School of Theology

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