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The Mysterious Origins of a Bible Story: Casting the First Stone

Season 2: Episode 35
The Mysterious Origins of a Bible Story: Casting the First Stone
Date Aired: 10/02/2023

For the first four centuries of Christianity, the famous story of the “woman taken in adultery” was nowhere to be found in the New Testament. In this moving tale, Jesus forgives a woman condemned for committing adultery and admonishes her accusers: “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” But why wasn’t the story included in the earliest manuscripts of the New Testament? Was it a late addition to the gospels? Or was it an ancient story suppressed by church fathers? Was “death by stoning” really a punishment in first-century Judaea? 

Listen to the episode on the Biblical Time Machine website or wherever you get your podcasts.

Disclaimer: The Society of Biblical Literature is not responsible for the content of this podcast. The opinions expressed in this podcast do not necessarily reflect those of the Society of Biblical Literature, its members, or its staff.

  • The Biblical Time Machine Podcast is hosted by Helen Bond and Dave Roos. Helen Bond is professor of Christian origins at Edinburgh University. She is the author of Women Remembered: Jesus’s Female Disciples, The First Biography of Jesus: Genre and Meaning in Mark’s Gospel, and The Historical Jesus: A Guide for the Perplexed. Her research focuses on the social and political history of first century Judaea, the historical Jesus and the canonical gospels. Dave Roos is a journalist and writer who contributes to, HowStuffWorks and the popular podcast Stuff You Should Know. Dave has a degree in religious studies from Duke University.