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Episode 146 “To Cast the First Stone” with Tommy Wasserman

Episode 146 To Cast the First Stone with Tommy Wasserman

To cast the first stone is an expression in English and in Swedish.  It comes from a beloved passage in John’s Gospel (7:53—8:11). 

Tommy Wasserman talked recently with David Capes on The Stone Chapel Podcasts about a book he co-authored with Jennifer Knust.  It is entitled To Cast the First Stone: The Transmission of a Gospel Story (Princeton University Press, 2018).

Who Is Tommy Wasserman?

Tommy Wasserman grew up in Sweden and became a follower of Jesus during his teen years. He has distinguished himself as one of the world’s top textual critics of the New Testament. 

His judgment and attention to detail sets him apart in the discipline.  His enthusiasm for textural criticism is infectious.

He is a professor of New Testament at the Örebro School of Theology in Sweden and a professor of biblical studies at the Ansgar Theological School in Norway. 

To Cast the First Stone Stories

One of the well known stories from the Gospel of John has to do with a dramatic confrontation between Jewish leaders and Jesus over a woman “caught” in the act of adultery. 

Even casual Bible readers observe a change in the type or the addition of brackets around the story.  If they read in the margins, they discover that the earliest and best manuscripts do not contain that story. 

So, it is unlikely that it was in the first version of the manuscript.  Only later did this episode enter into the tradition. 

Jennifer and Tommy take great care to trace how this account came into the early manuscripts and has become a mainstay of our own Bible tradition

What Scholars are saying about the book

Here is what Chris Keith has to say about it:

“Knust and Wasserman use the story of the adulteress to illustrate the fascinating transmission history of gospel literature and the various personalities and forces that contributed to the process. To Cast the First Stone will undoubtedly become the standard book on this story.”

Chris Keith, author of The Pericope Adulterae, the Gospel of John, and the Literacy of Jesus

To watch the panel discussion with Tommy Wasserman and Dan Wallace click here.

To watch David Capes’ interview with Tommy Wasserman and Dan Wallace at Biblical Literacy (Champion Forest Baptist Church) click here.  

More resources

Want more Stone Chapel Podcasts on some great topics. Just click here.

What’s more, you can get information on upcoming lectures at Lanier Theological Library. Just click here.

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