"Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?"
Galatians 4:16
Bible Contradictions: How Did Judas Die?
Author:
Christopher J. E. Johnson
Published: May, 2012
Updated: May 9, 2017

Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts... For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old,
-2 Peter 3:3-5

Skeptic's Argument:
One who scoffs at God's Word.

Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.
-Matthew 27:4-6

...concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus. For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.
-Acts 1:16-18

"I think it [the Bible] does have some contradictions... for example, in Matthew 27:5, Judas threw down the pieces of silver in the temple. He departed and then he went and hanged himself. But in Acts of the Apostles 1:18, Judas kept the silver and purchased a field with it. He went into it and falling headlong he burst open and all his bowels gushed out. Either he didn't keep the silver or he kept the silver; either he hanged himself or he didn't hang himself and died in a field being disemboweled. If you take it literally, then you have to believe both accounts, but obviously both accounts can't be correct..."
-Evolutionist Dr. Mark Hartman, anthropology professor, stated publically during creation/evolution debate, retrieved Nov 14, 2014, [youtube.com/watch?v=ugxQ4XJb5cQ]



Bible Student's Answer:
One who takes God's Word seriously.
There are two parts of this that are claimed to be contradictory, the purchasing of the field and the way Judas died, and we will start with the money. In Matthew, Judas threw money down in the temple and, if we keep reading, the priests of the temple bought a field with the money, but they never accepted the money because it was unlawful for them to take blood money.

So did the priests purchase the field? No, they made the transaction.

If I were a wealthy man and gave a realter $10,000 to buy a plot of land, the realter makes the transaction for me, but I am the one purchasing the land because the purchasing power is given to the owner of the wealth. Even with thieves who steal credit card information and make purchases, the responsibility for the purchase is given to the person who owns the credit card, not to the thief who made the transaction, which is why you have to lock down your bank account if you have your card information stolen. The priests processed the transaction, but it was Judas's money, so the field belonged to Judas.

If it was a sin to take blood money as a donation, it would be a sin to give that blood money to someone else to commit sin, so it made sense to use the money to purchase a cemetery plot for public use, but the ownership of the field went to Judas because it was his money.
Some may argue that Judas relinquished ownership of that money by throwing it down in the temple, but just because Judas was not holding the money in his hand, doesn't automatically mean it doesn't belong to him. If we had to hold all of our property in our hands for it to be considered our property, then no thief could ever be prosecuted if they took something that someone was not holding. That's obviously absurd, and none of us live that way. To give an example, people throw bean-bags in a game of cornhole, but that doesn't mean they're relinquishing ownership of the bean bag; they have to want to relinquish ownership of it, AND have someone else want to receive it.
That brings us to the another point: lacking the desire to have/keep an object does not relinquish ownership of it either. Ever heard on the news of a crazy mother who doesn't want her baby, so she goes to a public place and asks a complete stranger to hold the child for a moment while they run an errand, but she never comes back? Even under that circumstance, the child is still labeled as "her child" in courts of law, despite the fact that she didn't want the baby. Just because the unwanted child was left by the parent, doesn't automatically make the stranger the new owner and caregiver.

To give up ownership of an object like money, either it must be destroyed, or there must be someone else to claim it. If I left five dollars on a table at a restaurant, but no one is willing to pick it up or destroy it, it still belongs to me, and I can come back and claim it any time. Ownership is only transfered when first, someone gives up ownership, and second, someone else claims ownership of the object, and in the case of Matthew 27, no one accepted the money, so it still belonged to Judas, and thus when the property was purchased in the transaction, it was Judas's purchase.

Moving on to Judas's death, Matthew 27 tells us how Judas died, but Acts 1 does not say that his falling headlong is how he died. Acts 1 is a description of what happened AFTER Judas hanged himself. So we know for certain that he hanged himself, but he would not have remained there very long due to the law given by God in Deuteronomy:

And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.
-Deuteronomy 21:22-23

So we know they had to get Judas's body by sundown, but the Bible is not clear on who took him down. It is possible, based on the level of detail in Acts 1, that the disciples took him down themselves. (Even though Judas sold out Christ for money, he was still their friend.) Nonetheless, Judas eventually had to be taken down from where he was hanging, and that leaves a few possible options: The bottom line is that we don't know because the Bible does not give us enough details to know all the specific actions that led up to those events, however, that doesn't make it wrong or contradictory. However, the Bible-hating scoffers who claim a contradiction here do so based solely on ASSUMPTION because they have a presupposition of atheism/evolutionism that desperately needs the Bible to have contradictions, and they will make up any excuse to say the Bible is wrong.

And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.
-Luke 16:15

There is no contradiction to be found for Judas. Matthew 27 tells us what Judas did, and Acts 1 goes back and gives us more details. It is two accounts of the same event, both giving different details.


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