News Flash: Jesus of Nazareth Tolerant of Adulterers

October 2, 2013 | 10 comments

(Roman News Network)—Six months into his public ministry, Jesus of Nazareth sent shock waves through the Jewish community with the publication of his recent remarks about the morality of adultery. In a wide-ranging article published in a local Judean newspaper last week, Jesus described how he chose not to endorse the traditional punishment for adultery but instead told the adulteress, “I do not condemn you.”

The interview also revealed how some of the Messiah’s conservative followers are concerned by his break with time-honored traditions such as the ceremonial washing of hands before meals and the prohibition of picking grain on the Sabbath.

While it was originally published in Aramaic, the article has been recently translated into Greek and Latin and, as a result, has made headlines around the empire. The Alexandrian Daily News proclaimed, “Blunt messiah tells flock to quit yammering about tradition and adultery,” while the Gaul Gazette simply said, “Jesus of Nazareth: Leave Adulterers Alone.”

The Messiah’s startling comments are just the latest in a string of incidents that have left his conservative followers nervous about the direction of his public ministry. Chief among these were his comments about the controversial issue of the Roman occupation of Judea. Unlike some of his predecessors, whose strident anti-Roman rhetoric earned them a place on an imperial crossbeam, the new Messiah has expressed a remarkably open attitude towards the Roman occupation of Judea.

As reported in the Tiberian Times, Jesus of Nazareth said that in regard to the Roman tax policy for the region, Jews should “Give to Caesar that which is Caesar’s.” Along with his support for the imperial tax in Judea, Jesus of Nazareth has confounded his conservative critics by befriending tax collectors and has even elevated one of them to the level of an apostle.

While his Jewish followers have been made uneasy by his recent press coverage, several Roman commenters have been quick to embrace this unconventional Messiah. The poet Saletanus at stoneslate.com boldly announced that “Jesus of Nazareth is a Roman” and the senate went so far as to send the Messiah a greeting by courier that read simply, “Dear Jesus of Nazareth: Thank you. Signed, Roman citizens everywhere.”

Unfortunately for his would-be Roman supporters, Jesus of Nazareth has also made public statements (such as his reference to the Roman authorized monarch King Herod as “that fox”) that seem to contradict their hopes that Jesus will radically change Jewish attitudes toward the Empire.

Indeed, his chief spokesperson, Peter, recently said in an interview that the Messiah has been badly misquoted by the media and that he is still a faithful Jew who is fulfilling God’s covenant with his so-called “chosen people.” But before finishing the interview, the apostle, upon seeing an advancing Roman cohort, broke into a cold sweat, claimed to not know who Jesus of Nazareth was, and then fled into the hill country.

So how will Jesus of Nazareth’s unexpected statements and bold actions affect the Jewish population in Judea? One Jewish commenter in a Roman forum simply said, “He may not be the Messiah we thought we should have, but I think he is the Messiah God thought we should have, and that’s probably what should matter most to us.”


After his conversion to the Catholic faith, Trent Horn pursued an undergraduate degree in history from Arizona State University.  He then earned a graduate degree in theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville and is currently pursuing a graduate degree in philosophy from Holy Apostles College....

Comments by Catholic.com Members

#1  Reuben Herrle - Oxford, Ohio

You sly fox, you!

October 2, 2013 at 8:05 am PST
#2  John Baysson - Missisauga, California

Dear Mr. Trent Horn,

This comparison does not make sense. Jesus did not accept adulterers. He accepted those who had repented. No one in the Church has been against accepting repentant adulterers.

On the issue of ceremonial law, Jesus did not come to abolish the law but fulfill it.

The new Pope (who I think you are comparing against) is not a new Jesus. He can only guide the Church according to what Jesus established. He cannot suddenly come up with doctrine or teaching that turns the past understanding of the Church on its head.

The current Pope has simply said there is no need for conversion. One just needs to follow conscience. He made the Doctrine, Dogma and Discipline of the Church to look like enemies with God and his mercy. That is not the same thing that Jesus did according to countless Popes and Saints in the past.

October 2, 2013 at 8:37 am PST
#3  Trent Horn - San Diego, California - Catholic Answers Blogger

Hi John,

My post today was a satire aimed at showing that if worldwide media existed in the time of Jesus he would be misquoted in the same way Pope Francis has been misquoted so we shouldn't be worried about what the Pope has recently said that has been hyped by the media. I'm curious, where did Pope Francis say we don't need conversion?

October 2, 2013 at 10:07 am PST
#4  Bill Monteith - Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

I am hearing a lot of comparisons to Pope Francis' interview style and Jesus' preaching of the Gospel. Thus, those who have concerns about the content of said interviews are looked on by some Papal defenders as positively "pharisaical" in their attitudes. While I truly love this Pope, I do have concerns with his "off-the-cuff" interview style and the multiple ways that he is being interpreted. It's almost a "you pagans are ok but we Christians have some work to do" type humility that the Pope is purveying to the general public. I have also been told that this Pontiff is attracting non-Catholics like no Pontiff before. Jesus too attracted big crowds during His ministry right up until that pesky Gospel of John 6 moment. The earth quaked with the number of people jumping off the bandwagon that day. I wonder if Pope Francis will have that John 6 moment and I wonder how the adoring masses will feel then. I don't know about you all but I'm ready for a good old fashioned encyclical or Papal Bull. I'm scared that at next year's MTV VMA's, we'll see the Pope up on stage with Puff Diddy giving a lifetime achievement award. Sorry I'm not usually this cynical:)

October 2, 2013 at 12:20 pm PST
#5  ted bogucki - Hallsville, Missouri

Trent,
Great satire on how current secular media would report on Jesus' comments as they do Pope Francis' today. Thank God we did not have media coverage then as we do now. Think how different things may be. Would Christianity have had much of a chance if the media was always one step ahead? It didn't have much of a chance anyway, but think of what the Apostles would have faced if this type of media preceded them! Excellent job Trent, excellent job!

October 2, 2013 at 2:27 pm PST
#6  David LaPointe - Brentwood, New Hampshire

Trent,

Loved it!! Thank you!

October 2, 2013 at 7:07 pm PST
#7  Conrado Medequiso - Redbank Plains, Queensland

Thank you Trent for an excellent post. I love it.

October 2, 2013 at 8:36 pm PST
#8  kenneth winsmann - katy, Texas

Hi Trent,

Very nice! Really helped ease some of my concerns about Pope Francis. I just wish the man would stop with all the intentionally vague comments. The spin will have to come to an end at some point. (btw, he may not have SAID that atheists need not covert... But it was very much implied.... Although of course we can interpret his words in a more conservative light.... Very Vatican 2ish)

October 2, 2013 at 10:58 pm PST
#9  jose thomas - Pala, Indiana

What I have felt of the Catholic church is that in modern times, the church is a strict upholder of moral values, in a world which respect public opinion and nothing else. Since there is an inherent inclination to evil there is every likelihood to pamper it for political gains. Church stood otherwise, as a last resort to persons of good will, not necessarily catholics. Now things are getting changed it seems. Even if for argument sake it is admitted that Jesus did not condemn adulteror, it cannot be taken as Jesus view of today , ( Jesus very categorically condemned the sin of adultery ) Modern world is obsessed with sex illicit illegal and inherently disordered, and has no thinking of life everlasting. In todays world to compare Pope Francis's words to Jesus word is just absurd. Today if Church stops its adherence to purity, chastity, naturally ordered human relationships including sex, virtues of celibacy and virginity, there will be no one else to uphold these values, which were considered important by the church fathers and saints. And in effect our attempt of new evangelisation will be counter productive if church forgoes its well cherished values and virtues, and loses its relevance as a witness.

October 3, 2013 at 3:06 am PST
#10  Matthew Bodnarek - Edmonton, Tennessee

Very funny. Laughed out loud at the St. Peter joke.

October 3, 2013 at 5:23 am PST

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