Monday, 11 April 2011

The woman caught in the act of adultery

Who was the woman caught in the act of commiting adultery? The cinema has often identified her as Mary Magdalene, but there is no evidence in Holy Scripture that this is true. In St. John's Gospel, Mary is a very important person; she is the first witness (allowing for the possibility of Our Lady) of the resurrection, and Jesus calls her by name (John 20). It could be argued that in adressing this adulteress as "woman" he was also saying something important about her - and he was, but she is not identified as the Magdalene. If this had been His first meeting with her the evangelist would surely have given her name. Below is short video of the evangelical author Lee Strobel making the point eloquently.

Here is more commentary on this Gospel scene by Fr. Jack Mahoney SJ


  1. How excellent to read a piece with references to a Jesuit AND an American evangelist because both add to our knowledge with their insights!

    I once attended a Billy Graham crusade. When the audience were invited forward I resisted. I was after all a "good Catholic". I was conspicuously surrounded by empty seats in a huge football stadium.
    Even though my heart was " strangely moved" as John Wesley said, my intellect was stubborn.
    Thank goodness those days are over post VAT II. I am still a "traddy" but open to the Spirit in a developing Church.

  2. Thanks for this Joe. I am a great fan of Billy Graham and usually watch the Classic Billy Graham Crusades on the God Channels each Sunday. It's really about the power of the Gospel. I am always moved, and usually go somewhere to pray after watching them. Many Catholics are not aware that Graham was welcomed in Poland by the Catholic hierarchy when JP11 was Archbishop of Cracow. The Archbishop welcomed him warmly and BG preached to a packed Cathedral!

  3. Pedantic but very friendly Methodist12 April 2011 at 10:27


    Wesley's words were "strangely WARMED" and did you know he used a rosary? Wise man.

  4. Friendly social scientist17 April 2011 at 11:00

    Hello Father and friendly Methodist.
    I liked this-

    "An old man was siting on a train in France saying his Rosary. At a certain stop a university student got on to the train and sat near the old man. When the student noticed the Rosary, he began to ridicule the old man. “Put that Rosary away! We don’t need prayer anymore! We’re not dependent on God! We can run the world on our own; today we have science to control our own destiny!” The old man just sat there silently, continuing to pray his Rosary. When he got up to leave, the train, he reached into his pocket, took out a business card and gave it to the student. We can only imagine the surprise and the shock on the face of the young man when he read the card: “Dr. Louis Pasteur — Academy of Science — Paris, France.” (Pasteur died in 1895)". www

    Bye for now.