Author Topic: What was Christ writing on the ground?  (Read 2887 times)

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Offline Jetavan

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What was Christ writing on the ground?
« on: May 19, 2009, 05:53:20 PM »
Very interesting. What part of Tradition did this come from?

Quote
Then the legislator of morality and human conduct stooped down to the ground, smoothed out the dust with the palm of His hand, and began to write (John 8:6). What did the Lord write in the dust? The Evangelist maintains silence concerning this and does not write of it. It was too repulsive and vile to be written in the Book of Joy. However, this has been present in tradition, and it is horrible. The Lord wrote something unexpected and startling for the elders, the accusers of the sinful woman. With His finger He disclosed their secret iniquities. For these pointers-out of the sins of others were experts in concealing their own sins. But it is pointless to try to hide anything from the eyes of One Who sees all.

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Offline Cosmos

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Re: What was Christ writing on the ground?
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2009, 06:49:57 PM »
The Oral Tradition of the Antiochian Church from the Apostolic Era relates that Jesus wrote the names of the woman's accusers, most of whom did not know Jesus personally, and their most secret sin, in the dust with His finger.  :o

This astounding feat both shocked and publicly embarrassed them, since they didn't understand how Christ could possess such knowledge of their secret wrongdoings.  :-\

As a result, the crowd quickly dispersed in shame, and the woman was spared.  8)   

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Offline Riddikulus

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Re: What was Christ writing on the ground?
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2009, 07:35:02 PM »
I remember learning an interesting thing about this incident. Under the law the woman alone could not have been accused as it was required that both parties involved in the act of adultery were brought for judgement. Then both would be judged and punished according to the law.

If by the time of Christ, the adherrence to the law had been so corrupted that in such cases only the woman should be brought forward for judgement, it's another instance of the Pharisees getting a shock that Christ wouldn't go along with their twisted and prejudiced concept of the law. Christ was constantly at odds with the religious leaders about their corruption of the law; their additions to it that made it a burden, especially for those lacking social influence and the poor. This case is as blatantly unjust as the other times when Christ clashes with the religious leaders and almost has a hint of conspiracy about it.

If Christ had agreed that the woman should be punished without the male also being punished, He would have been guilty of breaking the true Law and then the religious leaders would at last have had something solid to accuse Him of. On the other hand, as He refused to comply with the Pharisaic and corrupted interpretation of that law, He again publically put them in their place and made even more bitter enemies of them. 

As the woman was actually caught in the act of adultery, where was the male she committed the act with? Why wasn't he brought for judgement? Would the religious leaders have gone so far as to contrive this situation? Did they hate Christ that much and long to be rid of Him? Obviously, we can't know, but I wonder if Jesus, knowing this was a set-up, wrote the very requirements of the law? Seeing that their plan to ensnare Him had failed, they simply melted away.
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Re: What was Christ writing on the ground?
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2009, 08:55:15 PM »
Reminds me of the many other places where the finger of God has written, such as the Ten Commandments, the law written on the hearts of everyone and then we might also recall the writing on the wall.

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Offline _Seraphim_

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Re: What was Christ writing on the ground?
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2009, 09:02:51 PM »
The Oral Tradition of the Antiochian Church from the Apostolic Era relates that Jesus wrote the names of the woman's accusers, most of whom did not know Jesus personally, and their most secret sin, in the dust with His finger.  :o

This astounding feat both shocked and publicly embarrassed them, since they didn't understand how Christ could possess such knowledge of their secret wrongdoings.  :-\

As a result, the crowd quickly dispersed in shame, and the woman was spared.  8)   

+Cosmos


That pretty much sums up every homily I've ever heard on the subject.
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Offline Hiwot

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Re: What was Christ writing on the ground?
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2011, 02:28:49 AM »
Selam  :)
I realise this is an old thread, but i saw it when it came as a tag when i was reading orthodox writting thread and i just want to add what i have learnt on this matter in the Ethio Tradition. it is that not only the Lord wrote each one of their most hidden sins to each one by their name but the Lord the lover of mankind was merciful on them and He hid each one's sin from the other and revealed it only to the man, so they each saw different things, but they all saw their sins that only they knew about and terrified and shamed they left. He hid their sins from others for them you see how generous and kind He is?  its the same when we tell the priests our sins , it will not be repeated to anyone, as the Lord dealt with each one separately to abate their madness, in the same manner priests do not disclose the sin of another told in the mystery of confession, to correct someone else's. well there is a lot more we can learn from this but I just wanted to add that bit of info for those who might get to read this thread like I did.

selam to all  :)
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Offline Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Re: What was Christ writing on the ground?
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2011, 02:38:02 AM »
Selam  :)
I realise this is an old thread, but i saw it when it came as a tag when i was reading orthodox writting thread and i just want to add what i have learnt on this matter in the Ethio Tradition. it is that not only the Lord wrote each one of their most hidden sins to each one by their name but the Lord the lover of mankind was merciful on them and He hid each one's sin from the other and revealed it only to the man, so they each saw different things, but they all saw their sins that only they knew about and terrified and shamed they left. He hid their sins from others for them you see how generous and kind He is?  its the same when we tell the priests our sins , it will not be repeated to anyone, as the Lord dealt with each one separately to abate their madness, in the same manner priests do not disclose the sin of another told in the mystery of confession, to correct someone else's. well there is a lot more we can learn from this but I just wanted to add that bit of info for those who might get to read this thread like I did.

selam to all  :)


Thank you Hiwot! That is wonderful and true!


Selam
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Offline HabteSelassie

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Re: What was Christ writing on the ground?
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2011, 01:23:56 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

On a mural painting on the west wall of the Altar of the Narga Selassie monastery on Lake Tana in Ethiopia is depicted this scene of Christ, the woman and her accusers.  He is portrayed stooped down and there are four small sentences written in Amharic, however the photo-copy I have is not clear enough to make out the smaller print of what He is writing.  I will look into it, I only posted this out of coincidence because I have for a long time wondered what exactly was written on this painting/icon and I saw this thread.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
« Last Edit: September 15, 2011, 01:25:11 PM by HabteSelassie »
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Offline Seraphim98

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Re: What was Christ writing on the ground?
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2011, 10:22:31 PM »
It strikes me as interesting and instructive, that the Judge of all wrote their names and sins in dust…not stone, or on paper.

Offline Shiny

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Re: What was Christ writing on the ground?
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2011, 10:35:07 PM »
It strikes me as interesting and instructive, that the Judge of all wrote their names and sins in dust…not stone, or on paper.
Very interesting, I love reading stuff like this.
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Offline Hiwot

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Re: What was Christ writing on the ground?
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2011, 12:41:59 AM »
selam  :)
Habte I too would like to know what those words say on the icons, I have never been to Lake Tana monasteries, if you ever could find out what those say let us know.
Seraphim, indeed my brother, once more beautifully said  though we transgress against Him, the doors of repentance He holds open for us and when we go into those doors,He forgives and remembers our sins no more. we are made new before His eyes, our sins blown away as if dust by the strong Wind of His Love.
Blessed day to you all :)
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: What was Christ writing on the ground?
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2011, 02:05:53 AM »
I might add for our Protestant friends, that this is the sole instance of Christ writing anything down and we are not told (if you are a sola scripturists) what he wrote.
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Offline Gebre Menfes Kidus

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Re: What was Christ writing on the ground?
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2011, 05:26:06 AM »
I might add for our Protestant friends, that this is the sole instance of Christ writing anything down and we are not told (if you are a sola scripturists) what he wrote.


To be fair, the Protestant will argue that Christ Himself is the Author of all Scripture.


Selam
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Offline Shiny

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Re: What was Christ writing on the ground?
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2011, 05:49:37 AM »
I might add for our Protestant friends, that this is the sole instance of Christ writing anything down and we are not told (if you are a sola scripturists) what he wrote.


To be fair, the Protestant will argue that Christ Himself is the Author of all Scripture.


Selam

How can that be if there are multiple authors?
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Re: What was Christ writing on the ground?
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2011, 07:18:28 AM »
I might add for our Protestant friends, that this is the sole instance of Christ writing anything down and we are not told (if you are a sola scripturists) what he wrote.


To be fair, the Protestant will argue that Christ Himself is the Author of all Scripture.


Selam

How can that be if there are multiple authors?



Because the Sola Scripturists have almost the same view of the Bible that Muslims have of the Qur'an. They think that God literally wrote the Bible through the hands of its authors. So although they will acknowledge that various biblical books are influenced by the personality of the author, they still maintain that God inerrantly wrote the Scriptures through these individuals. So to them, Christ is the infallible Author of the entire Bible.



Selam
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Offline Cosmos

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Re: What was Christ writing on the ground?
« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2012, 06:57:47 PM »
Selam  :)
I realize this is an old thread, but i saw it when it came as a tag when i was reading orthodox writing thread and i just want to add what i have learnt on this matter in the Ethio Tradition. it is that not only the Lord wrote each one of their most hidden sins to each one by their name but the Lord the lover of mankind was merciful on them and He hid each one's sin from the other and revealed it only to the man, so they each saw different things, but they all saw their sins that only they knew about and terrified and shamed they left. He hid their sins from others for them you see how generous and kind He is?  its the same when we tell the priests our sins , it will not be repeated to anyone, as the Lord dealt with each one separately to abate their madness, in the same manner priests do not disclose the sin of another told in the mystery of confession, to correct someone else's. well there is a lot more we can learn from this but I just wanted to add that bit of info for those who might get to read this thread like I did.

selam to all  :)
Greetings Hiwot:

Yes....I also now remember that beautiful additional detail to this story. Thank you for the reminder.  :)

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Offline вєликаго

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Re: What was Christ writing on the ground?
« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2012, 03:12:54 PM »
It strikes me as interesting and instructive, that the Judge of all wrote their names and sins in dust…not stone, or on paper.

I, in what appears to me the same spirit, also find it instructive that HE did not rebuke the practices of the "Old" Testament, but rather tempered their act by appealing to them from the same Scripture.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2012, 03:21:09 PM by вєликаго »
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: What was Christ writing on the ground?
« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2012, 04:10:14 PM »
I might add for our Protestant friends, that this is the sole instance of Christ writing anything down and we are not told (if you are a sola scripturists) what he wrote.


To be fair, the Protestant will argue that Christ Himself is the Author of all Scripture.


Selam

How can that be if there are multiple authors?



Because the Sola Scripturists have almost the same view of the Bible that Muslims have of the Qur'an. They think that God literally wrote the Bible through the hands of its authors. So although they will acknowledge that various biblical books are influenced by the personality of the author, they still maintain that God inerrantly wrote the Scriptures through these individuals. So to them, Christ is the infallible Author of the entire Bible.



Selam


I think you are conflating Sola Scriptura with the popular notion of Christian Fundamentalism. The former were never accused of being Mohamedans, the latter and more recent group absolutely.

You might want to read the hermeneutics of even a young Luther and compare his notion of Scriptural understanding with that of St. Augustine.

They ain't far apart.
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Re: What was Christ writing on the ground?
« Reply #18 on: June 20, 2012, 04:11:59 PM »
If I remember correctly, St. John Chrysostom suggested that he was writing the names of the accusers who themselves had committed adultery in the past.
...Or it's just possible he's a mouthy young man on an internet forum.
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Offline yeshuaisiam

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Re: What was Christ writing on the ground?
« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2012, 10:55:22 PM »
I've heard many variations on this, including one priest that found it interesting that he wrote in the dust, the very thing that Adam was formed of.

That said, I would not understand the Oral tradition of the sins of the accusers being written in the dust and shown.  The scriptures read that the oldest ones left first, suggesting that in their longer sinful lives, they understood the point quicker.
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