Thursday, November 14, 2013

Stoners and Swingers: What did Jesus write on the ground, and what did it have to do with Feast of Tabernacles?

 "Stoners and Swingers": What is the Bible" part 8

We’ve been looking at a number of stories from the Hebrew scriptures so far, stories I wanted you to see in a new light. Now, let’s look at a story from the gospels about Jesus and then, after that, we’ll gradually begin to identify the thread that connects them all.

So. Stoners and Swingers.(A good title is half the battle, isn’t it?) A woman gets caught mid-shag, the religious police bring her-but not the fella-in to the temple area and they make her stand before the group, trying to trap Jesus into saying that she should be stoned ACCORDING TO THE LAW (I have no idea why I CAPS LOCKED that). Jesus, however, bends down and writes on the ground. (A classic example of what is Jesus doing? Right up there with rubbing mud on the eyes and his first post-resurrection line You guys got some food?) He then says 

Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her,

he writes some more on the ground, the men start to leave until it’s just Jesus and the woman, he asks her if any one condemns her, she says no, he tells her that he doesn’t either and she should should leave her life of sin. 

End of story.

So, what was he writing on the ground?

Ready? Because this will take some time. This story about the woman and the crowd that want to stone her is found at the beginning of The Gospel of John, chapter 8 (But not in the earliest manuscripts. Hmmmm.). If you back up to the previous chapter, chapter 7, you read that it was the time of the Festival of Tabernacles.

The Feast of Tabernacles was one of the seven major feasts on the Hebrew calendar. (See Leviticus 23 for a somewhat concise overview.) There..cont., full article
From Rob Bell's ongoing series
 First posts here.
Second set of posts here:

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