The woman caught in adultery was an unnamed woman whom Jesus saved from being stoned to death by the Jewish religious leaders. When the Jewish religious leaders dragged the adulterous woman before Jesus, He did not question her guilt.
However, the entire situation reeked of injustice—which Jesus masterfully exposed in His response. The adulterous woman provided the bait in the Pharisees’ trap. Aside from this, nothing is known about her—or how the religious leaders managed to catch her “in the act” of committing adultery. They pretended to be concerned with fidelity to the Law of Moses, yet nothing could have been further from the truth. Otherwise, they would have apprehended the guilty man as well, since the Law held both parties accountable in cases of adultery
“If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife–the wife, say, of his neighbor–both the man and the woman, the adulterer and adulteress, must be put to death. (Leviticus 20:10).
The religious leaders intended to use the woman’s plight in order to trap Jesus in a no-win situation. If He disagreed with the suggestion that she be stoned, He would be accused of going against the Torah—the very Law He had come to “fulfill”
“Don’t suppose for a minute that I have come to demolish the Scriptures–either God’s Law or the Prophets. I’m not here to demolish but to complete. I am going to put it all together, pull it all together in a vast panorama ( Matthew 5:17).
But if Jesus agreed with their sentence, He would be challenging the power of Rome, which had the exclusive authority to mete out capital punishment.
Perhaps the woman held her breath as Jesus invited the religious leaders to stone her—provided they were without sin themselves, that is.
According to Jesus, only a righteous judge would do—and the only truly righteous judge in their midst (the Lord Himself) chose not to throw any stones. Instead, having silenced His opponents, Jesus sent the woman on her way, with the loving admonition to leave behind the destructive life that had gotten her into this mess in the first place.
The earliest manuscripts of John do not contain this story of the woman caught in adultery. As further evidence that it was not original to John’s Gospel, some experts note that the first verse (John 7:53) does not fit the preceding context. However, the story is consistent with the overall life and teachings of Jesus, leading a number of scholars to conclude that it is nonetheless authentic—just misplaced somehow. (There’s even one family of manuscripts that puts the story at the end of Luke 21.)