The account of the woman captured while committing adultery has a sketchy place in the accepted Gospels, appearing in no manuscript before the 6th century. Imagine my surprise at discovering a version of the story in the Melvinic Codex!
One day, while Jesus was sitting in the temple courts, teaching the people, some teachers of the law and Pharisees showed up, dragging a woman along with them. “Teacher,” they said, “we caught this woman in the act of adultery!”
“Very well,” he replied, “but I still have to mark you tardy for class! Now, as I was saying, the best wood for making a crate for cantaloupes is –”
“We’re not here for your carpentry class! This woman – wait! Where’d she go?” for verily she had given them the slip. When they had captured her again, they brought her to Jesus.
“My father is always working,” he was saying. “Tables, chairs, shelves –”
“We found this woman in the midst of committing adultery, Teacher! Moses said we should stone women like her to death. What do you say?”
The carpenter sighed. “Alright, fine! Class dismissed. When you come back tomorrow, bring in your list of five items that you would make with gopher wood.” Then he stooped down and began tracing swirling patterns in the dust around the stones that lay in the temple courts. At first, it was with one finger, then with all of his fingers at once.
“Well?” asked the Pharisees, “What do you say?”
“I say that if you want to pass this class, you should be here on time.” And again, he stooped down to continue making his calm, meditative patterns in the dirt.
This infuriated them. “Do you think we ought to stone her?” they asked, snatching up spare stones from Herod’s ongoing temple renovation project, and utterly ruining the sea of calm Jesus had raked into the dust with his fingers.
He said to them, “Let he that is without zen cast the first stone.” But they did not understand him, thinking that he said to them, “Let he that is without sin cast the first stone.” And they all began to go away, until no one was left.
And Jesus was writing in the dust, “1 honeydew melon, cubed. 5 loaves barley bread, blessed and well-broken. 2 pickled sardines, crumbled. 120 gallons water. Preheat charcoal fire to 350 degrees.”
When they were all gone, Jesus said to the woman, “Again?! Didn’t you quit this sort of thing back in Sychar? Did you forget all about that living water thing?”
But she said to him, “This is really all your fault, you know. ‘Salvation is from the Jews,’ you said, so I converted to Judaism, and married Mister Number Six. Had I not married him, this wouldn’t have been adultery!”
Jesus ignored her, looking at one of the cast-off stones and snorting. “How typical! This stone that the builders rejected is the most important stone of the whole structure!”
The woman continued, “It’s good to see you again. Nice job with that ‘He that is without sin’ comment, by the way.”
“Yes. ‘Without sin.’” Then he picked up a stone and said to the woman, “I’ll give you a five second head start. Go!” As she fled, he called out, “And sin no more!”