“He That Is Without Sin”

There are few passages in the Bible abused more than John 8:7, where Jesus said to the Pharisees who had brought the adulterous woman to Him, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”  These words are often quoted as an excuse for sin, as if our Lord was saying that only the sinlessly perfect can participate in rebuking sin or in civil condemnation.  In reality, what our Lord is condemning is the hypocrisy of the scribes and Pharisees, who were “a generation of adulterers,” and were as guilty as the woman they accused.  It is hypocritical judgment which our Lord condemns; we need to understand this less we permit this passage to be abused by those who would use it as an excuse for their antinomianism.