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Probe Ministries > Q & A: Probe Answers Our Email > Theology > "Woman Caught in Adultery Story Not Found in Early Manuscripts"

"Woman Caught in Adultery Story Not Found in Early Manuscripts" Print E-mail

I'm interested in John 8:1-11. The notes in my NIV Bible say that these verses are not found in early manuscripts, and I was wondering what your thoughts are on this account of Jesus and the woman caught in adultery.

Yes; you're correct. The earliest and best manuscripts do not contain this story. It was almost certainly not an original part of John's Gospel. Could it still be historical, though? Perhaps. It would be an unusual instance of a story passed down orally (and later included in John's Gospel) that actually goes back to Jesus. Of course, I don't think we can be dogmatic on this point. At most, I think we can say simply that it may be historical.

W. Hall Harris has a good discussion of this passage at

Shalom in Christ,

Michael Gleghorn

© 2007 Probe Ministries

About the Author

Michael GleghornMichael Gleghorn is a research associate with Probe Ministries. He earned a B.A. in psychology from Baylor University and a Th.M. in systematic theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in theology from Dallas Theological Seminary. Before coming on staff with Probe, Michael taught history and theology at Christway Academy in Duncanville, Texas. Michael and his wife Hannah have two children. His personal website is

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Probe Ministries is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to assist the church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian worldview and to equip the church to engage the world for Christ. Probe fulfills this mission through our Mind Games conferences for youth and adults, our 3-minute daily radio program, and our extensive Web site at

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