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Is John 7-53 to 8-11 part of the Bible?

This passage of the Bible is probably better known as the woman caught in adultery. It may sometimes be called pericope adulterae.

Whatever we call it, it’s a pretty well known biblical story. Or is it? Biblical that is, not well known.

There are many people who say that this famous story does not belong in the Bible and was a later addition.

Dr James White claimed that he would not preach on this passage of the Bible.

He has claimed this did not exist in the manuscripts until the 5th century.

Let’s just remind ourselves of the story.

John 7-53 And every man went unto his own house.

John 8- 1Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. 2And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. 3And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 4They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? 6This 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. 7So 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. 8And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 9And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10When 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? 11She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.


So is this well known bible story really an addition to the Gospel of John as Dr White would assert. .

Look at this quote from a very well known and dare I say it, respected, it certainly gets lots of hits and citations anyway, “Christian” website.  

“more modern translations, such as the NIV and the ESV, include the section but bracket it as not original. This is because the earliest (and many would say the most reliable) Greek manuscripts do not include the story of the woman taken in adultery.

The Greek manuscripts show fairly clear evidence that John 7:53—8:11 was not originally part of John’s Gospel.”


Well if you have followed any of my previous writings you will know EXACTLY which manuscripts this is referring to…..yes of course it’s the modern Bible version proponents favorite go to manuscripts Codices Vaticanus and Sinaiticus. There are no prizes here if you guessed right.


According to Westcott, yes Wescott from the Westcott and Hort Greek text, again if you have followed my writings you will be well aware of these 2 men, the passage does NOT belong as part of the Gospel of John

“This account of a most characteristic incident in the Lord’s life is certainly not a part of John’s narrative.”


The Westcott and Hort text is primarily based on….drum roll for those not aware……Vaticanus and to a much lesser extent Sinaiticus. (sarcastic cheer).

However Gotquestions DID correctly state that the KJV includes the verse and that THE MAJORITY of Greek texts do.


“The Textus Receptus includes John 7:53—8:11, and the majority of Greek texts do. That is the reason the King James Version of the New Testament (based on the Textus Receptus) includes the section as an original part of the Gospel of John.

Some of the manuscripts that the verses are found are in Unicals  D, E, G, H, K, M, S, T, U, Gamma, Lambda, Pi and Omega

They are found in the old Latin aur, b, c, d, e, ff2, j, g1, r1

It is included in the Latin vulgate (late 4th century)


Jerome who translated the vulgate believed it to be authentic as he included it. He stated

“in the Gospel according to John IN MANY MANUSCRIPTS, BOTH GREEK AND LATIN, IS FOUND THE STORY OF THE ADULTEROUS WOMAN who was accused before the Lord.”

The verses can also be found in the Syriac Palestinian version, Ethiopic ancient versions and the Armenian.

They are included in orthodox Greek bibles throughout the world.

Augustine claimed the verses had been REMOVED by some of little faith


Augustine (354-430 A.D.) “Some of little faith, I suppose from a fear lest their wives should gain impunity in sin, removed from their Manuscripts the Lord’s Act of indulgence to the adultress.”“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.”

Augustine, De Adulterinis Conjugiis, 2:6–7.

We have PRE Vaticanus and Sinaiticus attestation of the existence and authority of the story.

Tatian quotes the verse in his Diatesseran (the harmony of the gospels). This dates to the 2ND CENTURY.

Schaff in his translation did not include this because it was not included in one single Arabic manuscript. However nearly every Diatesseran manuscript that has been found does include the verses.

The Didaskalia (3rd century) quotes verses 10 and 11

“….asked her and said to her:
‘…Have the elders 2 condemned you, my daughter?’

She says to him: ‘No, Lord.’

And he said to her: ‘Go your way: neither do I condemn you.’ “

Didymus the blind (4th century) quotes the passage.

“We find then in certain gospels 1 a woman, it says, 2 was condemned by the Jews for a sin 3 and was being sent to be stoned 4in the place where that was customary to be done. The saviour, it says, when he saw her and observed that they were prepared to stone her, 5 to those intending to cast the stones upon her he said, 6

“Whoever has not sinned,

let him lift up a stone and cast it.” 7

…[that is, ] ‘If anyone thinks himself not to have sinned,

let him take a stone and smite her.’ 8

And no one dared, since they understood among themselves and knew that they themselves were also guilty in some things: so they did not dare to strike her.” 9

– Didymus the Blind,

Commentary on Ecclesiastes,

It is almost certain that Papias quoted the story. The writings of Papias are recorded by Eusebius.

28 And he relates another story of a woman, who was accused of many sins before the Lord, which is contained in the Gospel according to the Hebrews. 29

Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History  Chapter XXXIX.

The Writings of Papias.


Other quotes



“…very famous has been this acquittal of that woman who in the Gospel according to John was brought to Christ accused of adultery. …”

Ambrose Epistle 26



“…The incident of the Samaritan woman who, drawing water from the well, gave Christ to drink, suggests that He is the true Fountain of the Waters of Life. The case of the Woman taken in Adultery is told in the simple language of the evangelist.

The sightless eyes of one who was born blind, his Redeemer anointed with the native clay and bade him wash in the pool of Siloam, and he beholds the day. …”

The Easter Song by Sedulius


Although these verses are not in the “oldest and best” manuscripts, they most certainly are in the majority and were as shown,  known of BEFORE the “oldest and best” manuscripts had even seen the light of day.


It is very clear that the only way that anyone can deny these verses is if they like Westcott and Hort put almost sole authority onto codex Vaticanus.

Yet again the KJV stands vindicated over the modern rivals. If your Bible says these verses do not’s time to get yourself a new Bible, a REAL Bible get yourself a KJV.

Categories: Why KJV only?

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