The biblical story found in the Gospel of John where Jesus saves the woman caught in adultery now has a new ending in a Chinese textbook.
Christians in China are protesting against the textbook that describes Jesus killing the woman.
"When the crowd disappeared, Jesus stoned the sinner to death saying, ‘I, too, am a sinner. But if the law could only be executed by men without blemish, the law would be dead,'" the textbook reportedly says.
As reported by Union of Catholic Asian News, the textbook was published by the government-run University of Electronic Science and Technology Press and is used to teach "professional ethics and law" in vocational schools.
The original story found in John 8 reveals that the Pharisees bring a woman caught in adultery to Jesus and ask him if she should be stoned. Jesus says to them, "Let anyone of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." Once the accusers leave, Jesus tells the woman, "Go now, and leave your life of sin."
The Chinese textbook presents the story of the adulterous woman as follows:
"The crowd wanted to stone the woman to death as per their law. But Jesus said, ‘Let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone.' Hearing this, they slipped away one by one. When the crowd disappeared, Jesus stoned the sinner to death saying, ‘I too am a sinner. But if the law could only be executed by men without blemish, the law would be dead.'"
A Catholic priest in Asia said the distorted version "is against morality and the law, so how can we still teach professional ethics with this book?"
"It is a sad social phenomenon in mainland China," he said.