How would stoning of an adulterer actually be carried out under the Law of Moses?
In John Chapter 8 there is the familiar story of how Jesus prevented a stoning of a woman who had committed adultery. I know that many think this was not in the original scriptures; even the NIV notifies the reader on this. My question is not whether this is ‘scripture’. My question is how would stoning for adultery have ever been carried out before Christ? I am specifically looking for rabbinic historical accounts. The image in my mind, usually portrayed in movies, is that the crowd ‘drops their stones’ after Jesus speaks. It is all very heart moving, but I am not sure if that is realistic, or maybe it is?
I have noticed that for ‘blasphemy’ people would literally pick up stones and kill someone, for they started to do that with Christ himself on two occasions. (John 8:59, 10:31)
I also have noticed that the punishments of the Law were often not carried out when people in the Bible sinned. At the very giving of the law, when Moses threw the tablets away (Exodus 21:19), the whole camp should have probably been stoned at the strict letter of the law he just received! That’s seems to be why we find this thing about God revealing his nature to Moses and declaring his ‘mercy’, to reconcile this extreme contradiction of law compared to Israel’s behaviour. (Exodus 34:7) King David, the pride of Israel’s moral history, was worthy of death by stoning, but God was merciful to him as he really was a model believer. I assume, therefore, that the mercy by God, or the person offended in any crime, was allowed to spare a person under the penalty of the law, somehow? But when the penalties are declared in Exodus, they do not imply any leeway? This will lead me to posting a different question, if not actually answered by the entitled question: ‘How would stoning of an adulterer actually be carried out under the Law of Moses?’