As promised in last night’s post, here’s a run down on how to answer the supposed contradiction of Judas Iscariot’s death.
The issue of Judas’ death has long been talked about and people really have a difficult time understanding the differences between the Matthew and Luke (Acts) accounts. This particular contradiction is featured in several online atheist websites as well as several books.
What this actually gives us though is an opportunity to show non-believers why trying to make something out of nothing when it comes to supposed contradictions makes them look foolish. When we look at verses in the Bible that appear to be at odds, we need to practice good habits when it comes to reading them. The biggest issue I think non-believers have with reading the Bible is they are never charitable and they seek to find problems rather than solutions and that leads to them make things up. Or, make the text say what they want it to say.
That is precisely what happens when it comes to Judas’ death. Let’s take a look at the texts…
Matt. 27:5, “And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself.”
Acts 1:18, “(Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out.
There are a few things to note here. In the Matthew account, it details very clearly that Judas died by hanging himself. In the Acts account (written by Dr. Luke), it details what happened to Judas’ body post-hanging. Notice that Luke doesn’t say he died by falling headlong while having his bowels gush out.
What he is describing is someone who has been out in the sun, post-death, was all bloated up due to the heat and then either the rope or branch broke and you can imagine the rest. Even if it didn’t happen exactly like I said with the branch or the rope breaking, there is nothing in the Luke account that says Judas died by falling headlong.
The gospels are from different perspectives; Matthew wrote about how Judas died, while Luke wrote about what happened to Judas’ body after he died. This is the view of nearly every commentary on this text and it is also the most logical, simple answer.
Again, even on their face, side-by-side, there is nothing in contradiction here. No explanation is really needed since the texts are a continuance of one another.
As I mentioned before, it is errors on the atheists’ part, like this, that makes them lose credibility. Not being able to handle one simple text in the Bible leads me to give caution when they bring up other texts. And again, I am not broad-brushing here, rather, I am talking about those who create the Bible contradiction websites and pass them along as if they are an objective fact.
I’ve just demonstrated here that they are not objective, nor are those websites factual. I’ll cover more of these as they arise but my primary goal here is to help readers (of all walks) understand contradictions, how to answer them, and know what to ask.
Grace and Peace