This week we will look at a passage that is not found in any of the earliest manuscripts of John’s Gospel. In fact, it does not appear in any manuscript until at least the fifth century CE. Still, the story is clearly much older than that. We have good evidence that it was known as early as the mid third century.
This story has played a significant role in shaping Christian understanding of God’s mercy. Is it to be rejected because it is not original to John’s Gospel? If so, what does that mean about the message it teaches?
What role should a story such as this play in our theology?