The Adulterous Woman (Pericope Adulterae)

The Adulterous Woman (Pericope Adulterae)

To construct the Adulterous Woman narrative, the author of the Gospel of John refers to the narrative of the enlightenment of Gautama Buddha.

Similarities in both narratives.
The Adulterous Woman
Enlightenment of the Buddha
1. The two events take place in the morning:
Early in the morning Jesus came again into the temple. – John 8:2
As the night ended and the morning star rose, the Buddha awakened.
2. Jesus is sitting in the temple. The temple represents his body (See John 2:19-21). The Buddha’s enlightenment experience took place in his body.:
Early in the morning Jesus came again into the temple. – John 8:2
The Buddha’s enlightenment was experienced within his own body.
3. Both Jesus and Buddha are sitting:
Jesus sat down and began to teach them. – John 8:2
The Buddha reached enlightenment while sitting under the Bodhi tree.
4. Both Jesus and Buddha are tempted:
The scribes and the Pharisees were saying this, tempting Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. – John 8:6
Before his enlightenment, while sitting in meditation under the bodhi tree, the Buddha was tempted by the demon Mara.
5. Both Jesus and Buddha touch the ground with their hand while sitting.
But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground.John 8:6
In response to Mara’s temptation the Buddha leaned forward and touched the ground with his hand.
6. Both Jesus and Buddha initially remain silent in response to the temptation:
They were saying this, tempting Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. – John 8:6
Mara challenged the Budda saying: “who will speak for you?” Then the Buddha leaned forward and touched the ground with his hand.
7. For both Jesus and the Buddha, the one who tempted them disappear after they had touched the ground with their hand:
When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones. – John 8:9
After the Buddha had touched the ground with his hand, Mara and his armies disappeared into the darkness.
8. Both Jesus and Buddha, after being tempted and touching the ground with their hand, become associated with the light:
Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world”; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life. – John 8:12
The enlightenment of the Buddha represents a victory of the light over darkness, a victory of knowledge over ignorance. The Teachings of the Buddha (the Dharma) are often referred to as the light that pierces through, and drives away, the darkness of ignorance.
9. In both narratives, the Adulterous Woman and the Enlightenment of the Buddha, we have the notion of the victory of life over death:
Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world”; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.John 8:12

Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.John 8:51

The Enlightenment of the Buddha is referred to as the “deathless state”. It is a victory over the demon Mara, a victory of life over death.
10. The notion of “witness” is mentioned in both the Adulterous Woman narrative and the Buddha’s enlightenment narrative:
The Pharisees therefore said to Him, “You bear witness of Yourself; Your witness is not true.” – John 8:13
Jesus answered, “Even if I do bear witness about myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. – John 8:14
I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.” – John 8:18
During the night of the Buddha’s enlightenment, Mara the demon tempting the Buddha asked , “Who will be your witness?” In reply, the Buddha gently lowered his right hand and touched the earth. In that moment, the earth shook and a loud voice was heard, saying, “I am his witness.”