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Expository Thoughts on the Gospels

J. C. Ryle

Notes on John Chapter 8

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Notes on 8:1-11

Notes on 8:12-20

Notes on 8:21-30

Notes on 8:31-36

Notes on 8:37-47

Notes on 8:48-59

Chapter eight records the incident of the Pharisees bringing to Jesus a woman who was caught in the act of adultery. They correctly cite the Law of Moses that she should be stoned (Lev. 20:10; Deut. 22:22) and then ask Jesus' opinion. Would he agree or disagree with the Old Testament law? The Pharisees thought they could get Jesus in trouble no matter which way he answered. Can you explain why?

However, Jesus didn't answer them right away but instead bent down and wrote something in the ground. What was the meaning of this action?

Read Ryle's analysis of these fascinating questions. However, there is an even more fundamental issue related to this passage: should it be in the Bible at all? Modern translations point out that John 7:53-8:11 is not found in "the earliest and most reliable [Greek] manuscripts" (including Sinaiticus and Vaticanus). The manuscripts upon which the King James Version is primarily based (notably the Byzantine manuscripts) include these verses. Ryle develops the argument that this passage is indeed authentic and part of the original manuscript of this Gospel as written by John.

John 8:58 contains one of the most important claims that Jesus ever made: "Before Abraham was, I am." Upon hearing this, the Jews immediately took up stones to stone him, linking his claim to Exodus 3:14 and concluding that Jesus was claiming to be Yahweh. Is this what Jesus meant?

These are the technical notes by J. C. Ryle that accompany his expository comments on John chapter 8.

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