The Instigator
dairygirl4u2c
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
doomswatter
Con (against)
Winning
9 Points

Jesus contradicted the old testament, and his own standards, about stoning and/or putting to death

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
doomswatter
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/27/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 607 times Debate No: 58242
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)

 

dairygirl4u2c

Pro

Jesus contradicted the old testament, and his own standards, about stoning and/or putting to death

First we have well established information that stoning was commanded by God. We even have Jesus himself seemingly stating that it was in fact God who ordained it.

'Matthew 15
Then some Pharisees and
teachers
of the law came to Jesus from Jerusalem and asked, 2 "Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don"t wash their hands before they eat!"

3 Jesus replied, "And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God said, "Honor your father and mother"[a] and "Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death."'

'Then the LORD said to Moses, "The man must die. The whole assembly must stone him outside the camp." So the assembly took him outside the camp and stoned him to death, as the LORD commanded Moses. (Numbers 15:32-36)'

-----

But later, we have Jesus saying not to necessarily stone someone who the Law of Moses says should be stoned.

John 8:6"76 This they said fto test him, gthat they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7 And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, h"Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

it could be argued, that Jesus only clarifying the teaching.... that it is the Law to stone people, but only those who are without sin must cast the first stone. The problem, though, is that this is stretching what is actually occurring in the texts. the texts clearly say the woman should be put to death. both the old testament and Jesus himself at one point seemed to say that was the rule, the Law. But Jesus is not going along with that, any more.

it could be argued that it would no longer be necessary to put someone to death, after Jesus was put to death himself, by virtue of his work being applied to those sinners put to death. but Jesus was not yet crucified when he said those things. so shouldn't the Law of Moses been applicable?

Jesus did say he came to fulfill the law, not to detract from it. but here, we see what seems to be him detracting from it.
doomswatter

Con

Thank you, Pro, for the chance to debate this interesting subject.

I will be arguing that Jesus did not contradict Old Testament law nor his own standards in the story told in John 8:3-11.[1]

Arguments

1. Jesus Was Not a Jewish Authority

Jesus did not hold a position of authority in the Jewish community. He was not a judge, nor was he a priest. So why did the Pharisees bring a lawbreaker to him, when he was not in a position to pass judgement? Verse 6 reveals that they did so in order to test him, hoping that he would say something they could use against him. Therefore, no matter what Jesus ended up saying in this situation, it wasn't necessarily how he would have ruled had he been in a position of authority and judgement. His opinion really didn't matter to the fate of the adulteress. The Pharisees just wanted to trip him up.

2. The Law Was Already Being Broken by the Pharisees

Leviticus 20:10 says, "The man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, he who commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress, shall surely be put to death."[2]

Likewise, Deuteronomy 22:22 says, "If a man is found lying with a woman married to a husband, then both of them shall die—the man that lay with the woman, and the woman; so you shall put away the evil from Israel."[3]

Both of the above verses, in which punishment for adultery is established, clearly say that both the woman and the man are to be executed. When the Pharisees bring the adulteress to Jesus, where is the adulterer? In John 8:4, the Pharisees claim that the woman was "caught in adultery, in the very act." This obviously means that the man was caught as well, since the woman could not have been alone in the "very act" of adultery. Why, then, did the Pharisees not bring the man to Jesus as well? It is possible that the man had run away and escaped, but the Pharisees do not even mention him. It is also possible that this is a case of misogyny, which was a common theme in Jewish tradition and law. In either case, the law is impossible to fulfill because the law requires that both the man and the woman be executed.

3. Jesus Knew That the Pharisees Were Not Sincere

Not only did Jesus most likely recognize that the Pharisees had violated the law by not bringing the adulterer, he also knew that the Pharisees were not sincere in their zeal for the law. In Matthew 23, he calls them hypocrites and describes their hypocrisy at length.[4] He also calls them vipers and whitewashed tombs. In the John 8 story, Jesus knows that the Pharisees are not coming to him for actual judgement, but are merely attempting to entrap him. Knowing their hypocrisy, he brings their own sins to mind. Notice that after he does this, the Pharisees silently leave both Jesus and the adulteress behind, revealing that they indeed were hypocrites who were shamed by Jesus' words.

4. Jesus Did Not Contradict the Law

Jesus did not say, "Don't stone the woman." He did not even say that she shouldn't be stoned. He simply suggested that the first person to throw a stone be someone without sin of their own. Note that this is not at all a contradiction of the law. Jesus even encouraged the throwing of stones. He merely pointed out to the accusers that they were all hypocrites who had their own hidden sins that, by law, should also be punished. He knew their insincerity and their reasons for questioning him, so he delivered a blow to their guilty consciences without giving them anything to use against him. He showed support for the law while simultaneously showing that none of the Pharisees were worthy of passing judgement.

When Jesus let the woman go at the end of the story, he was not contradicting the law. Note that he did not say, "Neither do I condemn you" until after he had asked, "Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?" Remember that Jesus was not in a place of Jewish authority. So, when the Pharisees (the Jewish religious authorities) left the woman behind and didn't condemn her, Jesus basically said, "If the authorities don't condemn you, who am I to question their judgement?"


In conclusion, Jesus did not contradict the law, nor did he show disregard for it. On the contrary, he showed regard for it by being disgusted at the hypocrisy of those who were passing judgement.

Back to you, Pro.

-------------------------

[1]https://www.biblegateway.com...
[2]https://www.biblegateway.com...
[3]https://www.biblegateway.com...
[4]https://www.biblegateway.com...
Debate Round No. 1
dairygirl4u2c

Pro

that Jesus was or was not in a position of authority doesn't matter, if Jesus did contradict the law. we are examining his stance in and of itself, so there's motives arent really relevant to that exact question.

if they should have included the male as well, Jesus could have pointed out that there was no male involved too, as there should have been. this again is beside the point of whether jesus contradicted himself or not.

if they were not sincere has no bearing on whether Jesus contradicted himself or not.

but, you do provide a decent on argument on whether he contradicted himself. it could be interpreted that Jesus was restricting who could stone based on their sins. that would be a contradiction. then again, it could be said that Jesus was emrely offering a suggestion, that they don't necessarily ahve to stone, but if they do, it should be someone without sin. the problem might be whether they indeed had to stone them. if they did, there's no restriction that they be sinless. Jesus's suggestion then would have been an extra layer of requirement, or it would in any case hinder what should be enforced.

with all that said, i've basically conceded this debate elsewhere. id argue the better argument, is that Jesus was wanting to forgive the sinner. there's no reason he couldn't, acting through God. such as a presidential pardon or a govenor pardon. in order to fend off the would be stoners, he wanted to ask them if they were at his level or not. without coming and and saying so. when they couldn't admit to being sinless, Jesus was able to state that he didn't condemn her despite breaking the Law.essentially forgiving her.
doomswatter

Con

Rebuttals

My first three points were given in an attempt to help with the context of the fourth.

"It could be interpreted that Jesus was restricting who could stone based on their sins."

This is why it's important to see that Jesus was not in a position of authority. The Pharisees were not asking him for judgement or instruction. They only wanted his opinion on the due punishment in the hopes that they could lampoon him. He was not giving instruction on how stoning should be carried out, nor was he modifying the law. He was simply giving an answer that simultaneously showed his support for the law while calling out the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. The law already required that those in active sin be punished, so none of the accusers at the scene should have had any sin. Jesus was shedding light on the fact that the accusers were just as guilty as the accused, but their sins were hidden. Their own consciences convicted them of their hypocrisy, and they left the woman alone, not because she did not deserve stoning, but because all of the accusers deserved harsh punishment as well, and they knew it.

I'm sure that this was an instance of Jesus being merciful, as Pro suggests, but it was also, and perhaps more so, an instance of Jesus calling out the religious leaders on their hidden sin. He did not contradict the law by pointing out that none of the Pharisees were obeying the law either.
Debate Round No. 2
dairygirl4u2c

Pro

"The law already required that those in active sin be punished, so none of the accusers at the scene should have had any sin.

"Their own consciences convicted them of their hypocrisy, and they left the woman alone, not because she did not deserve stoning, but because all of the accusers deserved harsh punishment as well, and they knew it.

there was no requirement that those stoning be sinless. Jesus seemed to be limiting who should stone. maybe con's best argument is not that Jesus was limiting who 'could' stone, but who 'should' stone.

but even still, if they took that approach, there would be no one who would ever be worthy to stone someone, and it was clealy established that it was somehting that should be done.

i guess con might be able to argue that bottomline, though, jesus didn't necessaily contradict the law, he he just suggested that it 'should' be someone with no sin.
he keeps his words ambiguous, so he may have contradicted the law, but we can also give him benefit of hte doubt.

i would still posit, though, that what he was doing is better said to eb establishing mercy, through God acting through Jesus. without Jesus there to forgive her, she would be guilty and the law says to stone her, so she 'should' be stoned, even if it is better that the stoners 'should' be sinless.
doomswatter

Con

Rebuttals

"there was no requirement that those stoning be sinless."

All Old Testament sins required either punishment or sacrifice. All of the woman's accusers should either have been punished for sins they committed, or forgiven of their sins by offering the appropriate sacrifices. The apparently guilty consciences of everyone present shows that they must have had unconfessed, unforgiven sin. Not even one of the accusers could say that they were caught up on their punishments and sacrifices, and therefore "sinless" in the eyes of the law.

"Jesus seemed to be limiting who should stone."

This statement misses the point. Jesus was not delivering a sermon to the general population on how stonings ought to be performed. He was speaking to a specific crowd of people that he knew, or at least guessed, were living in unconfessed, unpardoned sin. His purpose in suggesting who should throw the first stone was not a commentary on the law, but a condemnation of the hypocricy of the Pharisees.

Notice that he did not say, "Let he who is without sin cast stones." He specifically used the adjective, "first": "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." This would imply that he had no problem with sinful people casting any number of stones after the first, disproving the notion that he was saying that only sinless people should perform stonings. Obviously he had another purpose here, the most obvious of which seems to be shaming the Pharisees, whom he had a history of shaming. His secondary purpose may have been rescuing the woman, but it most certainly was secondary, as the Pharisees could have either ignored Jesus and stoned her anyway, or heeded his suggestion, claimed to be up-to-date on their sacrifices, and stoned her.

"...he may have contradicted the law, but we can also give him benefit of the doubt."

I believe such benefit is the most plausible response, considering my points given here.


Conclusion

Jesus was not contradicting the law, nor suggesting that it should not be followed. He was merely pointing out the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, who felt so guilty that they abandoned their mission to stone the adulteress.

Thank you for an interesting debate. I wish everyone a happy July 4th.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by doomswatter 2 years ago
doomswatter
dsjpk5, please explain why the arguments were bad, rather than making blanket statements that imply you did not even read the debate.
Posted by wbirchall 2 years ago
wbirchall
I have not read much of your argument, or much of the bible, but the New Testament is a refined (or more modernised) version of the Old Testament. So, ideas change from book to book. There is a long gap between when Moses lived and when Jesus lived. Imagine a New New Testament written for today's world!
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by ShadowKingStudios 2 years ago
ShadowKingStudios
dairygirl4u2cdoomswatterTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Good debate. The first voter made an allegation not supported by the arguments. Both were tightly woven to a clear focus, more so with Con than Pro. Con presented his case in a point by point format as Pro seemed to be replying on the whim (except R1). Con had better grammar presentation, convincing info, and solid sources. Pro seemed to enter this as a discussion of opinions, not a debate of textual facts.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 2 years ago
dsjpk5
dairygirl4u2cdoomswatterTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I thought both sides made horrible arguments, so it's a tie. Pro doesn't capitalize, so s and g to con. Pro offered no sources. Con did.