No stones

aee

Accessible EasyEnglish

 

An EasyEnglish Drama Unit (Accessible Easy English) on John 7:45-8:11

www.easyenglish.info

Frances Jones

 

About this unit

This unit, ‘No stones’ has five parts.

1. Background

2. English word study

          A teaching unit on compound words and new vocabulary

3. A reading play, ‘No stones’ – including Script in AEE

                   This ‘No Stones’ is meant to be easy to read.

          It is a play to study.

4. A speaking play, ‘No stones’ – including Script in AEE

English speakers do not say each word clearly. They run words together. These words are contractions. This play has contractions in it. That’s so it will sound right when speaking English.

Sometimes English speakers do not use contractions. That is when they are angry, or when they want to be sure that a person understands them.

The unit, CONTRACTIONS, can be studied with this play.

5. Word list

                   A list of the words used in the reading play

 

1. Background

 ‘No Stones’ is based on the Bible passages John 7:45-52 and John 8:1-11. Sometimes this passage is at the end of John. Bible teachers say it is a true story. They are not sure when it happened.

The pharisees were church leaders. They said living by the law that Moses wrote was the way to please God. The pharisees had saved the law time and again when the Jews were captured in war. When the Jews came back to Jerusalem, the pharisees came, too. And they had the law with them.

Over time, the pharisees began to think more of the law than they did of the people. They had power, and they liked power.

The scribes were lawyers. They were teachers of the law. Together, the scribes and pharisees ran the church. They told people how to live.

Jesus did not always follow their rules. He healed a man on the Sabbath. He and his followers picked grain on the Sabbath. The pharisees said it was against the law to do those things.

The pharisees and scribes called Jesus a trouble-maker. The story in John 7 and 8 tells about a time when they tried to trap him. But Jesus showed that his work was helping people repent. He wanted to teach that God’s love was bigger than the law.

The law of Moses the pharisees were talking about is in Deuteronomy 22:22-24 and Leviticus 20:10.

 

References:

New Revised Standard Bible; New English Bible; Today’s English Bible; Contemporary English Bible

Easton’s Bible Dictionary

John Wesley Commentary on John

Geneva Study Bible – Commentary on John

The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia

Jameson-Fausett-Brown Commentary

Smith’s Bible Dictionary

 


2. English word study

 

Compound words

At times, we put two words together to make one word.

The name of these put-together words is compound words.

 

          to+day = today  (this day)            Today is Sunday.

          can+not = cannot  (not able to)               I cannot stand on my hands.

 

Here are some of the compound words in the play ‘No Stones’.

                   any+thing = anything  (a thing)

                   He did not say anything.

                   Anything is better than nothing.

 

                   may+be = maybe  (it may happen)

                   Maybe he will go to the city today.

                   Maybe the rat will get away from the cat.

 

                   over+throw = overthrow  (to turn over; to bring down)

                   They want to overthrow the king.

                   People will overthrow a bad king.

 

                   under+stand = understand  (to know)

                   I understand what you say.

                   Do you understand the law?

 

Sentences to read:

I want to understand the city’s laws. But I cannot find anything about city law in this book. Maybe the teacher can give me another book. I heard that some men want to overthrow the city government.

Today I heard that an army wants to overthrow the government. Maybe it is the People’s Army. I did not hear anything about the army. I cannot understand who wants to overthrow the government.

 

Can I get you anything?

Do you understand English?

Do you want to overthrow the government?

What day is today?

Did you understand anything she said?

I do not want to overthrow the government today.

Compound words are two words together that make one word.


 

What does it mean?

 

temple  (těm pŭl) –     what a church was called in the time of Jesus.

 

pharisee  (fěr ŭ sç) - a head man in the temple. Pharisees ran the temple.
They told the people the right way to live. They tried to be better than anyone. They tried to follow the law to the letter.
Some pharisees were the Temple Police. They took care of the temple. They looked for people that were not living the right way.

 

scribe  (skrîb)     -     a man who studied the law. A teacher of the law. Scribes were the lawyers of that time. They helped the pharisees run the temple.

 

scroll  (skrôl)       -     a roll of paper with a Bible verse. Pharisees had them fastened to their foreheads and arms. The scrolls told people that the Pharisees were men that followed the law of Moses.

 

Moses  (Mô sŭs) –     he was the writer of the first laws.

 

beggar  (běg ger) –    a person with no money. A person asking for money. In the time of Jesus, beggars were often lame or sick.

 

scarf  (skarf)       -     a long piece of material to wear around one’s neck.

 

scarves  (skarvz) –     more than one scarf.

 

 

Who were the lawyers in the time of Jesus?                               

 

Who wanted to be better than anyone?                                                

 

Who did not have money?                                                                  

 

Who was Moses?                                                                               

 

What was a church called in the time of Jesus?                                    


3. A Reading Play

No stones

by Frances Jones

 

John 7:45-52, 8:1-11

 

 

 

CHARACTERS

Jesus

Beggar

The Woman

Josiah, a pharisee

Nicodemus, a pharisee

Lemuel, a scribe

Samuel, Temple Police pharisee

Woman in the crowd

First Man in the crowd

Second Man in the crowd

 

 

 

SCENES

 

On the street

In the temple

 

PROPS

Scarves with fringe for Josiah and Nicodemus

Scarf with blue fringe for Lemuel

Temple Police badge or sign for Samuel

Rags for the beggar

Ring for Lemuel

Little stool for Jesus

Scrolls to fasten to Josiah’s and Nicodemus’s arms and foreheads

 

SCENE ONE

 

Stage directions are on the actor’s right and left.

 

CURTAINS CLOSED

 

  [A beggar goes onto the stage and sits on the floor at stage front, far right.] 

 

Beggar:  Day by day I sit at the temple gate. I see who comes and who goes. I hear what the pharisees say. I see what they do. I hear the scribes teaching the law of Moses. And I hear them teaching the hundreds of other laws.

 

Beggar:  I see who gets gifts, too. I see it all. I hear it all. But no one sees me or hears me. It is like I am not there.

 

CURTAINS OPEN

 

  [Three men, two pharisees¾Nicodemus and Josiah, and a scribe¾Lemuel, walk to centre stage from stage right. They are talking together. Beggar puts out his hand as they go by. They do not see him.] 

 

Beggar:  Those are pharisees Josiah and Nicodemus there. The other man is Lemuel. He is a scribe. Lemuel talks with many men in this city. He knows the laws about taxes and selling things.

 

Josiah:  Good, here is Samuel from the Temple Police. Did you bring Jesus? Where is he?

 

  [Samuel comes slowly from stage left.] 

 

Samuel:  I¾I did not bring him.

 

Nicodemus:  Why?

 

Samuel:  No man has talked the way Jesus does. He says¾

 

Lemuel:  Stop. We have heard what he says. And what he says is not the law!  [Lemuel steps back and puts his hand up. He talks to Samuel.]  I, Lemuel, am a scribe! I know and understand each word of the law! And the law of Moses does not say one word about Jesus. So I, Lemuel, am telling you that the way he talks means nothing. And what he says means nothing.

 

Josiah:  Wait a minute, Lemuel. Nicodemus, Samuel and I are the Pharisees here. We are the ones that stand in the temple and pray all day. We are the ones that pray the right way. We are the men with the scrolls on our heads and arms, not you.  [Josiah puts out his left arm. It has a big scroll fastened to it.]  These very scrolls tell people that we care what the law says.

 

Lemuel:  [Puts his fingers together.]  Yes, and you get money when you talk and pray.

 

Beggar:  He has that right!

 

Samuel:  Are you saying we pharisees steal?  [He gets Lemuel’s hand.]  And where did you get this ring, scribe?

 

Lemuel:  [Lemuel pulls his hand away.]  It is a gift! A rich man asked me to tell him the laws on selling land. This ring is a gift.

 

Samuel:  [Looking up]  Right.

 

Nicodemus:  We came here to talk about Jesus, not rings and money.

 

Samuel:  He said living waters will come from our hearts if we have faith in him. Living waters are words for God’s spirit. Is that right?

Is he a person who speaks God’s words? Can he be the Messiah?

 

Josiah:  No, he is not the Messiah. And he does not speak God’s words. The Messiah will come from the house of David, from Bethlehem. This Jesus is a fake from Galilee.

 

Samuel:  But he said¾

 

Josiah:  I do not care what he said! We are the men of the law and teachers in the temple. We are the ones people must listen to so they can live the right way. But this Jesus tells people not to listen to us.

 

Nicodemus:  No, Josiah, Jesus said to listen to us. But he said not to do what we do.

 

Lemuel:  One time he called you vipers. Then he said nothing good comes from a bad heart.

 

Beggar:  I heard Jesus say that. Wait, Nicodemus is talking.

 

Nicodemus:  Let’s stop this talk about each other. That is not why we are here. We are here to think over what the law says about Jesus. So what does it say? It says to have a hearing to see what he is doing.

 

Josiah:  Are you from Galilee, too? Go to God’s word. You will see that no good man comes from Galilee. We do not have to go to the law. We know the law! Jesus is one of those men that come out of Galilee from time to time, trying to overthrow us and the temple. That is what he is all about.

 

Josiah:  [Walking away]  Come with me back to the temple. We have to think what we can do before Jesus destroys us all.  [The men walk off stage left.] 

 

CURTAINS CLOSE

  [The beggar gets up and walks away.] 

 

 

 

 

SCENE TWO

The people looking at this play are the crowd who came to hear Jesus.

 

CURTAINS OPEN

 

  [Jesus walks on stage from the left. He has a stool. He sits at centre front stage facing the crowd. The beggar comes from stage left and sits on the floor at stage front, left.] 

 

Beggar:  I came into the temple today. I want to hear Jesus. He has talked about going away, and I want to know where.  [He looks at the audience.]  There is a crowd here today.

 

Jesus:  I have some things to tell you. I will be here but a little time more. Then I am going back to the one who sent me. Where I am then, you cannot come.

 

First Person in the crowd:  [Calling to Jesus]  Where are you going, Jesus? What do you mean?

 

  [Lemuel, Josiah and three other men hurry on to the stage from the right. One of the men is old. They are holding a woman by the arm. They push the woman at Jesus.] 

  [Jesus turns to look at the men. He does not look at the woman.] 

 

  [The woman starts to sit with her hands to her face. Josiah makes her stand up. He pulls her hands down roughly. He turns her to the crowd.] 

 

Josiah:  Jesus, you say you are a teacher. Well, this woman was sleeping with a man she is not married to. The law of Moses says she must be stoned to death. What do you say?

 

Beggar:  Oh, oh. I see what is going on. I have heard some of the scribes talk about that old law. Moses did not say death by stoning. The scribes put that in later. It is an old law. No woman is stoned this day and time.

 

  [Jesus slowly leans down. He writes in the dust on the floor with his finger.] 

 

First Man in the crowd:  What is Jesus writing?

 

Second Man in the crowd:  [Sitting up and looking]  I think it is the word ‘steal’. Maybe it is a list of sins.

 

Beggar:  Jesus does not want to say anything. That is why he turns away and writes.

 

Josiah:  [To the crowd]  Silence! Jesus writes nothing. He will uphold the law and say to stone this woman.

 

Lemuel:  Or he will close his eyes to the law.

 

Beggar:  See, there it is. It is the Romans who can OK a person’s death. Suppose Jesus says, ‘Stone her’, and she dies? The Romans will say Jesus does not follow Roman law. They will kill him. But if he says, ‘Do not stone her’, the pharisees will say he does not follow the law of Moses. And they will say that he should die. Either way, they want Jesus to die.

 

Josiah:  [To the crowd]  You people think Jesus is so good. Him and his good words! Will you think he is good when the stones kill this woman?

 

Lemuel:  Or what if he says, ‘Oh, do not stone her’? What if he does not want to follow the law of Moses?

 

Beggar:  Yes, there is the crowd to think about. They will not want the woman to die. But the law has to be followed. People have faith that the pharisees and scribes are right. People do not see the bad things in the temple that I see. They do not hear the bad talk I hear.

 

Second Man in the crowd:  [Stands up to see.]  I think Jesus is writing a list of names.

 

First Man in the crowd:  [To Josiah]  Who said Jesus has the say-so here? It is the Romans that say if a person dies or not. It is not you or Jesus.

 

  [The old man steps back. One of the other men steps back with him.] 

 

Woman in the crowd:  Where is the man this woman was sleeping with? Does not the law say he must die, too?

 

Beggar:  She is right. Those are the words of Moses. I heard Josiah talking about it the other day.

 

Josiah:  [Yells at the crowd.]  Silence! I said silence! Jesus writes nothing and you be silent! Do you think you know anything about the law? You know nothing! Silence!

 

Josiah:  [To Jesus]  Well, what do you say, Jesus? The law says stone her to death. What do you say to this woman who laughs at the law? What do you say?

 

Lemuel:  Yes, Jesus, what do you say?

 

Jesus:  [Sits up. He looks at each man.]  Which man has no sin?

 

  [There is silence.] 

 

Jesus:  Let the man with no sin throw the first stone.

 

  [The old man turns and walks away. One by one, the men walk away.  No one says anything. Josiah and Lemuel go last. Jesus does not look at them. He leans down to write in the dust again.] 

 

Jesus:  [Sits up.]  Where are the men who were going to stone you?  Has no one said you must die?

 

Woman:  No one.

 

Jesus:  Then I do not say you must die. Go and do not sin again.

 

Jesus:  [To the crowd]  I am the light of the world. Who walks with me will not walk in the dark, but will have the light of life.

 

 

CURTAINS CLOSE


4. A Speaking Play

No stones

by Frances Jones

 

John 7:45-52, 8:1-11

 

 

 

CHARACTERS

Jesus

Beggar

The Woman

Josiah, a pharisee

Nicodemus, a pharisee

Lemuel, a scribe

Samuel, Temple Police pharisee

Woman in the crowd

First Man in the crowd

Second Man in the crowd

 

 

 

SCENES

 

On the street

In the temple

 

PROPS

Scarves with fringe for Josiah and Nicodemus

Scarf with blue fringe for Lemuel

Temple Police badge or sign for Samuel

Rags for the beggar

Ring for Lemuel

Little stool for Jesus

Scrolls to fasten to Josiah’s and Nicodemus’s arms and foreheads

 

SCENE ONE

 

Stage directions are on the actor’s right and left.

 

CURTAINS CLOSED

 

  [A beggar goes onto the stage and sits on the floor at stage front, far right.] 

 

Beggar:  Day by day I sit at the temple gate. I see who comes and who goes. I hear what the pharisees say. I see what they do. I hear the scribes teaching the law of Moses. And I hear them teaching the hundreds of other laws.

 

Beggar:  I see who gets gifts, too. I see it all. I hear it all. But no one sees me or hears me. It’s like I’m not there.

 

CURTAINS OPEN

 

  [Three men, two pharisees¾Nicodemus and Josiah, and a scribe¾Lemuel, walk to centre stage from stage right. They are talking together. Beggar puts out his hand as they go by. They do not see him.] 

 

Beggar:  Those are pharisees Josiah and Nicodemus there. The other man is Lemuel. He’s a scribe. Lemuel talks with many men in this city. He knows the laws about taxes and selling things.

 

Josiah:  Good, here is Samuel from the Temple Police. Did you bring Jesus? Where is he?

 

  [Samuel comes slowly from stage left.] 

 

Samuel:  I¾I didn’t bring him.

 

Nicodemus:  Why?

 

Samuel:  No man has talked the way Jesus does. He says¾

 

Lemuel:  Stop. We have heard what he says. And what he says isn’t the law!  [Lemuel steps back and puts his hand up. He talks to Samuel.]  I, Lemuel, am a scribe! I know and understand each word of the law! And the law of Moses doesn’t say one word about Jesus. So I, Lemuel, am telling you that the way he talks means nothing. And what he says means nothing.

 

Josiah:  Wait a minute, Lemuel. Nicodemus, Samuel and I are the Pharisees here. We’re the head men in the temple. We’re the ones that stand in the temple and pray all day. We’re the ones that pray the right way. We’re the men with the scrolls on our heads and arms, not you.  [Josiah puts out his left arm. It has a big scroll fastened to it.]  These very scrolls tell people that we care what the law says.

 

Lemuel:  [Puts his fingers together.]  Yes, and you get money when you talk and pray.

 

Beggar:  He has that right!

 

Samuel:  Are you saying we pharisees steal?  [He gets Lemuel’s hand.]  And where did you get this ring, scribe?

 

Lemuel:  [Lemuel pulls his hand away.]  It is a gift! A rich man asked me to tell him the laws on selling land. This ring is a gift.

 

Samuel:  [Looking up]  Right.

 

Nicodemus:  We came here to talk about Jesus, not rings and money.

 

Samuel:  He said living waters will come from our hearts if we have faith in him. Living waters are words for God’s spirit. Is that right?

Is he a person who speaks God’s words? Can he be the Messiah?

 

Josiah:  No, he’s not the Messiah. And he doesn’t speak God’s words. The Messiah will come from the house of David, from Bethlehem. This Jesus is a fake from Galilee.

 

Samuel:  But he said¾

 

Josiah:  I don’t care what he said! We are the men of the law and teachers in the temple. We’re the ones people must listen to so they can live the right way. But this Jesus tells people not to listen to us.

 

Nicodemus:  No, Josiah, Jesus said to listen to us. But he said not to do what we do.

 

Lemuel:  One time he called you vipers. Then he said nothing good comes from a bad heart.

 

Beggar:  I heard Jesus say that. Wait, Nicodemus is talking.

 

Nicodemus:  Let’s stop this talk about each other. That’s not why we’re here. We’re here to think over what the law says about Jesus. So what does it say? It says to have a hearing to see what he’s doing.

 

Josiah:  Are you from Galilee, too? Go to God’s word. You’ll see that no good man comes from Galilee. We don’t have to go to the law. We know the law! Jesus is one of those men that come out of Galilee from time to time, trying to overthrow us and the temple. That’s what he is all about.

 

Josiah:  [Walking away]  Come with me back into the temple. We have to think what we can do before Jesus destroys us all.  [The men walk off stage left.] 

 

CURTAINS CLOSE

  [The beggar gets up and walks away.] 

 

 

 

 

SCENE TWO

The people looking at this play are the crowd who came to hear Jesus.

 

CURTAINS OPEN

 

  [Jesus walks on stage from the left. He has a little stool. He sits at centre front stage facing the crowd. The beggar comes from stage left and sits on the floor at stage front, left.] 

 

Beggar:  I came into the temple today. I want to hear Jesus. He has talked about going away, and I want to know where.  [He looks at the audience.]  There’s a crowd here today.

 

Jesus:  I have some things to tell you. I’ll be here but a little time more. Then I’m going back to the one who sent me. Where I am then, you cannot come.

 

First Person in the crowd:  [Calling to Jesus]  Where are you going, Jesus? What do you mean?

 

  [Lemuel, Josiah and three other men hurry on to the stage from the right. One of the men is old. They are holding a woman by the arm. They push the woman at Jesus.] 

  [Jesus turns to look at the men. He does not look at the woman.] 

 

  [The woman starts to sit with her hands to her face. Josiah makes her stand up. He pulls her hands down roughly. He turns her to the crowd.] 

 

Josiah:  Jesus, you say you’re a teacher. Well, this woman was sleeping with a man she isn’t married to. The law of Moses says she must be stoned to death. What do you say?

 

Beggar:  Oh, oh. I see what’s going on. I’ve heard some of the scribes talk about that old law. Moses didn’t say death by stoning. The scribes put that in later. It’s an old law. No woman is stoned this day and time.

 

  [Jesus slowly leans down. He writes in the dust on the floor with his finger.] 

 

First Man in the crowd:  What’s Jesus writing?

 

Second Man in the crowd:  [Sitting up and looking]  I think it’s the word ‘steal’. Maybe it’s a list of sins.

 

Beggar:  Jesus doesn’t want to say anything. That’s why he turns away and writes.

 

Josiah:  [To the crowd]  Silence. Jesus writes nothing. He will uphold the law and say to stone this woman.

 

Lemuel:  Or he will close his eyes to the law.

 

Beggar:  See, there it is. It’s the Romans who can say ‘yes’ to a person’s death. Suppose Jesus says, ‘Stone her’, and she dies? The Romans will say Jesus doesn’t follow Roman law. They’ll kill him. But if he says, ‘Don’t stone her’, the pharisees will say he doesn’t follow the law of Moses. And they will say that he should die. Either way, they want Jesus to die.

 

Josiah:  [To the crowd]  You people think Jesus is so good. Him and his good words! Will you think he is good when the stones kill this woman?

 

Lemuel:  Or what if he says, ‘Oh, do not stone her’? What if he doesn’t want to follow the law of Moses?

 

Beggar:  Yes, there is the crowd to think about. They won’t want the woman to die. But the law has to be followed. People have faith that the pharisees and scribes are right. People don’t see the bad things in the temple that I see. They don’t hear the bad talk I hear.

 

Second Man in the crowd:  [Stands up to see.]  I think Jesus is writing a list of names.

 

First Man in the crowd:  [To Josiah]  Who said Jesus has the say-so here? It’s the Romans that say if a person dies or not. It is not you or Jesus.

 

  [The old man steps back. One of the other men steps back with him.] 

 

Woman in the crowd:  Where’s the man this woman was sleeping with? Doesn’t the law say he must die, too?

 

Beggar:  She’s right. Those are the words of Moses. I heard Josiah talking about it the other day.

 

Josiah:  [Yells at the crowd.]  Silence! I said silence! Jesus writes nothing and you be silent! Do you think you know anything about the law? You know nothing! Silence!

 

Josiah:  [To Jesus]  Well, what do you say, Jesus? The law says stone her to death. What do you say to this woman who laughs at the law? What do you say?

 

Lemuel:  Yes, Jesus, what do you say?

 

Jesus:  [Sits up. He looks at each man.]  Which man has no sin?

 

  [There is silence.] 

 

Jesus:  Let the man with no sin throw the first stone.

 

  [The old man turns and walks away. One by one, the men walk away. No one says anything. Josiah and Lemuel go last. Jesus does not look at them He leans down to write in the dust again.] 

 

Jesus:  [Sits up.]  Where are the men who were going to stone you? Has no one said you must die?

 

Woman:  No one.

 

Jesus:  Then I do not say you must die. Go and do not sin again.

 

Jesus:  [To the crowd]  I am the light of the world. Who walks with me will not walk in the dark, but will have the light of life.

 

 

CURTAINS CLOSE

 


5. Word List

 

a

did

house

of

sit

very

about

die

hundred

off

sleep

viper

actor’s

directions

hurry

oh

slowly

 

again

do

 

OK

so

wait

all

does

I

old

spirit

walk

and

down

if

on

stage

want

anything

dust

in

one

stand

water

are

 

is

onto

start

way

arm

each

it

open

steal

we

as

eyes

 

or

step

well

ask

 

kill

other

stone

what

at

face

know

out

stool

when

audience

faith

 

over

street

where

away

fake

land

overthrow

 

which

 

far

last

 

talk

who

back

fasten

later

people

taxes

why

bad

finger

laugh

pharisee

teach

will

badge

first

law

police

tell

with

be

floor

lean

pray

temple

woman

before

for

left

props

that

word

beggar

forehead

let

push

the

world

big

fringe

let’s

put

them

write

blue

from

life

 

there

 

bring

front

light

rag

these

yes

but

 

list

rich

they

you

by

get

listen

right

thing

 

 

gift

little

ring

think

NAMES

call

go

living

 

this

Bethlehem

came

goes

look

said

those

David

can

good

 

say

three

Galilee

cannot

 

make

say-so

throw

God

care

hand

man

scarf

time

Jesus

centre

has

many

scarves

to

John

characters

have

married

scene

today

Josiah

city

he

maybe

scribe

together

Lemuel

close

head

me

scroll

too

Messiah

come

hear

mean

second

try

Moses

crowd

heard

men

see

turn

Nicodemus

curtains

heart

minute

sell

two

Romans

 

her

must

sent

 

Samuel

dark

here

 

sign

understand

day

him

no

silence

up

 

death

his

not

silent

uphold

 

destroy

hold

nothing

sin

us

 

 

© 1997-2004, Wycliffe Associates (UK)

This publication is written in Accessible EasyEnglish.

February 2004

Visit our website: www.easyenglish.info