Thursday, June 10, 2010

John 8 -- witness to truth

I learned something interesting the other day. Love is an important word in John's writings, occurring more than 90 times. However, so too is the word witness. It shows up more than 80 times. In this chapter, Jesus begins by refusing to participate in a kangaroo court[1] that's none of his business. He did not see the transgression, and had nothing to say about it. So, he called for the witness for the prosecution to step up to the plate,[2] and perform his legal obligation:
Joh 8:7 Durmadan aynı soruyu sormaları üzerine doğruldu ve, "İçinizde kim günahsızsa, ilk taşı o atsın!" dedi.
And, let's unpack some of these words:
  • İçinizde -- among you (iç -- inside. iniz -- your. de -- locative indicator)
  • kim -- who
  • günahsızsa -- sinless
  • ilk -- first
  • taşı -- stone
  • o -- he
  • atsın! -- show throw!
The legal problem here is, of course, that it's pretty hard to commit adultery by yourself. Those who had arranged to entrap the accused were parties to her crime. This is, by the way, the only time in the gospels when Jesus is shown to be writing something. An old story suggests that he wrote down, one by one, the sins of the crowd, looking at each sinner in turn. The final word -- "Adulterer" -- ended the event.


[1] Source of this metaphor unknown. Informal court, outside the bounds of the legitimate legal system.

[2] Baseball metaphor. The batter steps up to home plate to fulfill his duties.

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