Answers to Questions by Yair Davidiy (20 October 2017, 30 Tishrei, 5778)
What Jewish people think about 'stone the adulterous woman'?
The picture shows Jews meeting with Pope Gregory-7 i.e. Hildebrand, ca. 1073. The Jews are probably complaining.
The usual pattern is that Christians would believe bad things about the Jews and consequently do worse things to them.
The story in the NT of the merciless Jews about to kill the poor innocent figure of feminine vulnerability represented by the adulterous woman unfortunate enough to be caught in the deed is one of those things. The image given in the NT of an adulterous woman about to be stoned by the crowd probably did not exist. It may have been invented by someone who had read the Bible in Greek translation and supposed that it was like that.
According to the Law adultery is sexual intercourse between a male and woman who is legally married to someone else. Both participants would be brought before a court. Then followed a whole complicated rigmarole. If found guilty and there were no problems they would be taken to the top of a building and thrown off it. If they were still alive heavy rocks would be dropped on them. Then stones might be thrown at the bodies.
It is said that now even though the courts no longer carry out the death penalty Heaven takes over. Someone who is guilty of a capital crime is liable to meet with a parallel punishment. For example one who has committed a sin for which stoning is the penalty may be in great danger of being killed through a car accident, etc.
One of the reasons for punishment is to prevent offences to the Law.
It could be that obviating negative social effects resulting from adultery with married women is worth a little effort?
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