Original Research - Special Collection: Old Testament and New Testament Studies

Changing things around: Dramatic aspect in the Pericope Adulterae (Jn 7:53–8:11)

Piet van Staden
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 71, No 3 | a3071 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v71i3.3071 | © 2015 Piet van Staden | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 June 2015 | Published: 29 September 2015

About the author(s)

Piet van Staden, Reformed Theological College, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa


In this article the transactional model of narrative as expounded by Louise Rosenblatt, supported by an analysis in terms of dramatic aspect, is employed to show how the interpolated scene in John 7:53–8:11 (known as the Pericope Adulterae and hereafter referred to as PA) functions as a pivot of power in the gospel. The content of the scene, as well as its placement within the gospel, serves to promote an aesthetic reading that focusses attention on the experience during the reading event. Awareness of sensations, images, feelings and ideas from past experiences, as well as the sounds and rhythms of the words become important. The reader responds to the aesthetic transaction, the various elements of total experience, rather than simply to the text, during and after the reading event.


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