John 8:10 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 8:10, NIV: "Jesus straightened up and asked her, 'Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?'"

John 8:10, ESV: "Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”"

John 8:10, KJV: "When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?"

John 8:10, NASB: "And straightening up, Jesus said to her, 'Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?'"

John 8:10, NLT: "Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, 'Where are your accusers? Didn't even one of them condemn you?'"

John 8:10, CSB: "When Jesus stood up, he said to her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you? ""

What does John 8:10 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jesus' response to the adulterous woman is valuable for our understanding of judgment, mercy, and God's perspective on sin. At no point does Jesus shrink from the fact of her sin—earlier verses said she was caught "in the act," so there is no doubt about her moral guilt. Old Testament law called for the death penalty for adulterers (Leviticus 20:10; Deuteronomy 22:22), so there is no doubt about her legal guilt. And, as the only perfectly sinless man, there is no doubt about Jesus' moral authority to deliver harsh justice to this sinner (Hebrews 4:15). All the same, Jesus proves that simply because we can do something does not make it the best option.

Christ's question here sets up His response in the next verse. This is an instance of forgiveness, not ignorance. Jesus is not going to claim that the woman is innocent or that her sin is trivial. On the contrary, Jesus will explicitly refer to her behavior as sinful, even as He demonstrates how mercy is meant to take precedence over retribution, even under the Old Testament law (Proverbs 21:10; Zechariah 7:8–9; Matthew 23:23).