Jesus Began to Write: Literacy, the Pericope Adulterae, and the Gospel of John
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This thesis will argue that John 8.6, 8—when Jesus twice ‘bent down and began to write on the earth’ in the Pericope Adulterae (John 7.53–8.11; hereafter PA)—is a claim that Jesus was a literate individual. Furthermore, it will argue that the claim that Jesus is capable of writing is an important key to understanding the insertion of PA into the Gospel of John (hereafter GJohn). The following study therefore offers a new interpretation and transmission-history of perhaps the most popular story in gospel tradition.