During many years of Sunday school, I often watched women squirm in discontent at the biblical passage that spoke of the woman caught in adultery, a capital offense, and brought before Jesus. John 8:3 - And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, John 8:4 - They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. John 8:7 - Jesus answered saying, “He that is without sin, let him cast the first stone.” The women and many of the men in the Bible classes likely wondered, “Where’s the man that she was caught in adultery with?” However throughout biblical scripture and most of world history, in regards to sex laws, adultery was unlawful for both parties. Nevertheless, from ancient times to present day, the punishment for adultery has always been more harshly administered upon women. Today, in some countries, adultery means death for the woman.
Adultery is sexual intercourse between a married person and someone who is not his/her spouse. In modern times, if a married person has sex with an unmarried person, it is often the case that only the married party is considered to have committed adultery, although this may vary by legal jurisdiction. In some legal systems, adultery is defined by the wife's behavior, not the husband's. For instance, the state of Minnesota specifically defines adultery as the wife having sex outside her marriage.
In ancient times, prior to DNA testing, men were the sole breadwinners, property owners, and possessed the great majority of the wealth throughout the land. It is a right of every child and privilege of every father to pass his worldly worth on to his son or children; however, especially his sons. There is also the legal protection of a child that is born to a married woman that her husband is the legal, not necessarily the biological, father of that child. Therefore, if a married woman became pregnant through adultery, the illegitimate child would have the rights of a legitimate child thus becoming the heir of a man’s estate who was not his/her father. Such an adulterous act could likely rob any subsequent legitimate children to the marriage of their birthright because the underhandedly obtained inheritance. Of course, men were apprehensive, paranoid, and perhaps suffered nightmares at the thought of such a bogus thing happening and therefore set in place harsh punishments for adulterous women that put the purity of his paternal bloodline in jeopardy.
There is no way of knowing how many millions of men throughout history have innocently gone to jail and/or had their wages garnished for child support, paid for the college education and/or even were financially ruined because of female infidelity resulting in pregnancy and the misplaced burden of accountability. Due to embarrassment, wickedness, or unawareness many women have falsely accused men of being their children’s father.
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