These verses are not found in manuscripts before the 500 AD except for one.
Nor are these verses addressed by the ancient commentators when they covered the book of John.
It is clear these verse were added to the text of John after that time.
This means these verses are not part of the authoritative cannon of scripture.
But, that does not mean they are not historical.
The 4th century church historian Eusebius quotes 2nd century Papias, as recounting a similar story. He wrote “expounded another story about a woman who was accused before the Lord of many sins, which the Gospel according to the Hebrews contains.”
These verses appear at different places when they do appear in the gospels:
1) After John 7:36
2) after John 7:44
4) at the end of the gospel of John in a place where it appears to be the appendix
5) after Luke 31:38
Textural Critics say the writing of 7:53-8:11 matches the style of Luke.
it was probably inserted here because of the allusion to Jeremiah 17:13 and the statement, "I do not judge anyone," in John 8:15
Most scholars agree the story is historical, but it was not originally included for some reason. One reason the early church may not have addressed this story is because of their strict opinions against sexual sins.
This would have been a situation set up to trap a women just for the reason of bringing her to Jesus to judge. If he condemns her he will lose the respect of the people. If they stone her on his command he could be charged with murder since he has no authority in the civil courts. If he releases her he will prove in their eyes he is not the Messiah since he violated the law of Moses. The Messiah will be the judge when he comes.
The writing – It is not indicated what Jesus wrote on the ground is probably not knowable.
Some suggestions have been:
1) Exodus 23:1 – “Do not be a malicious witness.”
2) He was just patiently dragging his fingers through the dirt
3) He was writing down their personal sins and convicting each of them
4) The verb “write” can mean also “to draw”, so he may not have wrote letters but pictures, or symbols, or diagrams.
5) He may have wrote “He without sin throw the first stone.” So he would have wrote his answer and then read what was written on the ground.
6) He may have written his verdict of death by stoning in accordance with the Law of Moses, but then stood up and asked who wanted to enforce it.
7) He may have written the ten commandments
8) He may have just been writing to appear to be thinking of an answer and giving his accusers hope that maybe he didn’t know what to say.
His answer gave his judgment for the application of the Law of Moses, but since there was no civil authority in operation in this event it would require that a perfect person apply the judgment.
Jesus condemned the sin by saying in the Greek, “Stop your habitual sin.”
NIV “sin no more” is literally, “leave your life of sin.”
“I am the light of the world”
First day of creation – Genesis 1:3 – the light here was spiritual.
Proverbs 8:22-36 – Here the light is wisdom
In John 8:12 the light is Jesus who is wisdom. He was the foundation upon which the earth was established in Genesis 1:3
Darkness is both evil and ignorance.
Self-authentication is in not valid according to scripture (Dt. 17:6;; 19:15) or the rabbinic traditions.
Jesus is saying there is no other person who can testify for him.
All other people are merely human with human experience.
“In your own law” could refer to the law of Moses but probably refers to the rabbinic traditions.
Jesus is going to go to heaven. They have rejected him and so they will not be able to follow. Jesus says they will die in their sins.
Since Jesus is talking about being from another dimension and returning to that dimension they realize he is talking about the spiritual and figure the only way is if he dies.
“I am the One I claim to be” is “I am”
They are accusing him.
He says he could turn the tables and judge them.