What did Judas do with the betrayal money and how did he die?

The atheist’s supposed contradiction:

Matthew 27:5 – “So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.”

Acts 1:18 – “With the reward he got for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out.”

Here is another nugget of “truth” brought to us by the atheist. He claims that he has read the Bible and found many, many “contradictions”. He then lists them on his blog and claims the Bible is not inerrant because there are mistakes in It. With just the slightest bit of intellectual integrity, one quickly finds that our atheist friend really has no clue about the Bible. He is just cutting and pasting what others “claim” that the Bible says. The verses he uses are taken out of context specifically to manipulate the reader into thinking that there is a contradiction. If one will take the time and do the research that the atheist did not take the time to do, the truth becomes very evident; the Bible is correct and the atheist is wrong (again).

So, what did Judas do with the money? How did Judas die? There seem to be two blatant contradictions here, until you do some research and use a little logic.

Matthew never claims that Judas died when he hung himself.

There are many cases of people attempting to hand themselves and failing. The text never says that Judas died from the hanging. It just says that he hanged himself. II Samuel 17 speaks of a man hanging himself but there is more than just the hanging:

23 Now when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his donkey and arose and went to his home, to his city, and set his house in order, and strangled himself; thus he died and was buried in the grave of his father.

Did you notice that he hanged himself like Judas but the difference is, the text adds here that he died? Matthew never claims that Judas died from the hanging. He just states that Judas hanged himself.

5 And he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed ; and he wentaway and hanged himself.

Peter gives the details of how Judas died, which does not contradict what Matthew wrote.

18 (Now this man acquired a field with the price of his wickedness, and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his intestines gushed out. (Acts 1)

Judas could have fallen from the tree (if that is what he used to hang from) and gashed his midsection open causing his intestines to gush out. We do not know all of the gory details but we do know enough to see that Judas fell, his intestines gushed out, and he died. Peter does not claim that Judas did not try and hang himself and just like Matthew does not claim that Judas died from hanging himself. These two accounts do not contradict. In fact, they complete each other. Scripture interprets Scripture. It is a beautiful thing to see.

Judas’ money was used to buy the field (even if he were not the one who actually gave it).

Judas accepted payment for his betrayal. He threw the money back in the temple. The religious leaders did not take the money back because it was blood money. They used it to purchase a field of death, as the Scriptures foretold. So, Judas’ own money was used to buy the field in which he hanged himself. There is no contradiction in the texts. Whether actively or passively, Judas bought the field with his money just as the Bible claims.

Again, we see that the atheist is wrong and the Word of God is right. So, who will you trust, that which has been refined as silver seven times over (the Bible) or the ravings of an atheist who does not know anything about the Bible other than what he has copied from another atheist’s site (who also knows nothing about the Bible)?

For a more detailed explanation and interesting debate see this source.

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8 comments on “What did Judas do with the betrayal money and how did he die?

  1. Hi Erik,

    This is totally off topic but I have a question that has been burning in me for months. I am a newly born again Christian as of this past April and my whole life has changed because of it. I go through spiritual warfares every now and again. It’s like once he is defeated in one area, he comes with something else and I know it has alot to do with the building up of my faith. Anyhow, he has gotten me where it hurts in the past and now I feel he is now targeting my desire to be obedient to my Lord. I cannot let go of the question of what happened to the sabbath day of rest (7th day of rest) and what does the sabbath day mean to Christians today. I get why we worship on Sundays and the bible shows proof that Christians gathered and collected monies on Sundays, however what ever happened to the sabbath day? I know all too well that we find rest in Jesus because I have, however I also know that God is the same always so what was important to him at one time, wouldn’t it be important to Him even now? I know Jesus is Lord even over the sabbath and bible proof is he healed the sick, cast out demons and taught on sabbath days. I struggle to even tears because I cannot find a good answer to the point of understanding about this in His word. I am afraid my thoughts could become legalistic and it makes me wonder if this burden is placed by the enemy because I cannot find peace. I have no interest in following a group of Saturday sabbath believers, I am only interested in the truth and God meeting me just where I am with it. My heart intent is pure in only desiring to be obedient to God and His word. What I have sort of settled with is that the sabbath day still matters but we are too do the Lord’ s work on the sabbath day; doing none of our own work. I came to this conclusion looking at Jesus as the example of what He did on the sabbath days Himself. But I am not completely settled with that. Can you help shed any light on this?

    • Sorry I have taken so long to reply. I have been busy with the holidays. I will answer in stages so keep an eye on the response.

      As to spiritual warfare, I would recommend two things: 1) Do the Bible study “Lord is it warfare? Teach me to stand” by Kay Arthur. That transformed my view of spiritual warfare and gave me practical tips for victory. 2) Read this article as well as this one.

      As to the Sabbath and the Day of rest, I would advise you to read some of these article. After reading them, if your question is not answered then I will try and answer what you do not understand.

  2. I ran across your blog through the wordpress.com reader, and am just curious about one thing:

    If the bible did contradict itself, what would that do to your faith? I know for me, I don’t have a problem with contradictions in the bible, I believe there are places where the facts don’t match up, yet I am still a believing Christian. Does faith depend on everything in the bible lining up in a row? Or could the fact that God inspired humans mean that human hands writing the scriptures are not perfect?

    • Without the Bible there would be no faith. Denying the Bible is the same as denying Jesus Christ. This is clearly defined in the Gospel of John chapter 1 as well as Hebrews chapter 1.

      1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
      10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.
      14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

      That same Word that was in the beginning with God, that is God, became flesh in the person of Jesus Christ. The two are interlinked.

      1 God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, 2 in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.

      You cannot know God without the Word (Jesus Christ). He is the only way to the Father. He is the foundation of true faith.

      I am not convinced of any contradictions in the Bible. I have not seen one yet. Also, the perfect God can use flawed men to transmit the perfect Message without flaw. There may be flaws in the different translations of the Bible but not in the original.

      • The idea that the originals are flawless but translations may contain flaws is a loophole; we do not have access to the originals, only the translations!

        Why do we assume that the Word that was with God (obviously Christ) is the same as what we call the bible, the word? Especially when the entire New Testament was not written until after Christ’s death? How are they interlinked if it did not exist prior to Christ or even during the earthly life of Christ?

      • The idea that the originals are flawless but translations may contain flaws is a loophole; we do not have access to the originals, only the translations!

        When I say “translations” I mean the modern translations. We have over 5,000 manuscripts of the NT alone (written in the Koine Greek).

        Why do we assume that the Word that was with God (obviously Christ) is the same as what we call the bible, the word? Especially when the entire New Testament was not written until after Christ’s death? How are they interlinked if it did not exist prior to Christ or even during the earthly life of Christ?

        The entire OT was written before Christ’s first advent. He quotes from it quite often. Also, the Bible was a progressive revelation. Just because the entire revelation had not been revealed does not mean that it did not exist (ie the actual writing of the NT). The “blue print” (logos) was already there. It had not been “built” yet but the blue print existed long before the actual construction.

      • But I just don’t understand why the idea that the bible is considered “the Word of God” in the same way that Jesus is referred to as “the Word of God.”

        When did people first start referring to the canonical bible as the word of God? The canon itself did not exist in its present form for hundreds of years after Christ.

        Jesus and the bible are not the same thing. Jesus is God. The bible is the collected works of over a millennia of men inspired by God.

        Our discussion might be at a stopping point, because it is becoming obvious that you and I do not share the same view of the canonical text. I am simply not willing to lower my Christology to put Jesus on the same level as the biblical books, although I know that position makes me unpopular with many people.

        Thank you very much for the discussion. It has been enlightening.

      • I got caught up with travel and celebrating and have not had a chance to respond. I have enjoyed the convo as well.

        The evangelist John, used the word “logos” in chapter one of his gospel. The word can be translated as “word” but it has a much deeper meaning than just the symbols on a page. It means blueprint or outline. As you know a blueprint is to be followed step by step. The logos that was in the beginning stepped into time and space in the person of Jesus Christ (the second person of the Holy Trinity). He became a model for people to follow. How do we follow Him now if we cannot physically see Him. He tells us in His Word.

        63 “It is the Spirit who gives life ; the flesh profits nothing ; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.

        68 Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go ? You have words of eternal life.


        1 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine ; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

        7 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you,

        Jesus demonstrates over and over His connection to the Word and His followers connection/dependance upon the Word. The three cannot be separated. It is a packaged deal.

        The Old Testament cannon existed during the time of Jesus Christ. Much of the New Testament is based on direct quotes from the existing OT cannon of the time. The NT was being written but as I said earlier, the blueprint for the NT was already there in the beginning so we cannot say that it did not exist (even though it had not been written down).

        The Bible is the very Word of God (literally breathed out of His mouth). God breathed those Words into the minds of men through the Holy Spirit so that they would write exactly what He wanted (what the blueprint already contained) He was not making it up as He went. The entire outline was already there in the very beginning. Just because the revelation was progressive in nature does not mean that the finished product did not exist at the beginning.

        You do not lower Christ by putting Him on the same level with the Word. (but, you are entitled to your opinion)

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