Bible Study Discussions with Gary Panell
Question: I have been reading in Acts 1:15-20, and was confused, as I had always believed that Judas hung himself, that he tried to give the 30 pieces of silver back and they would not accept it, as it was then considered blood money.
In Acts 1:18, Peter is talking, saying that "he (meaning Judas), obtained a field with the reward for his wickedness, and falling headlong, his body burst open…." and then continues to describe how this was prophecy and how the field was named, but nothing mentioned about hanging as well as indicating that he himself had purchased the land.
When I read this, to me it seemed like a completely different end to the one who betrayed Jesus. So that is where I am stuck, can you help me out with that?
I was reading in Corinthians and now I am confused. Were there two disciples named Judas? They say he bought a field named blood field. I thought he hung himself and the money was at his feet? Please help me.
Answer: Hopefully this will help, yes, there were two disciples called Judas, it was a common name. Judas the son of James (this Judas is called Thaddaeus in the other two Gospels), and the other one is Judas Iscariot Luke 6:16. As far as Judas hanging himself, it says this in Matthew 27:5, then in Acts 1:18 it gives the 'rest of the story.' You have to be kind of like a CSI person looking for the details. As far as Judas actually buying the land before he died, he didn't do this. It is saying they took his money and bought the land for him because it was his money. Therefore they are saying he bought it not them, because it was blood money. I hope this helps, write again if you need more on this.
The name comes from the word Judah which is one of the twelve sons of Jacob. In the twelve disciples there was Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot who was the traitor. The second to last book in the Bible, Jude, is also named after Judah which could also be called Judas, a form of Judah.
Then I have some information on how Judas died. It seems he hung himself on a tree branch over a cliff, the branch broke or the rope broke (may have been cut even), he fell over the cliff, and his intestines came out as he died. Not a pretty picture, but there are no contradictions here or anywhere else in the Bible, the facts are given as they happened. This information was taken from the Four in One Gospel Study and our new Acts of the Holy Spirit Commentary:
And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease. Now the names of the twelve apostles are these:
First (Matthew 10:1-2a) Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother; James (the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (Matthew 10:2b), to whom He gave the name Boanerges, that is, "Sons of Thunder" (Mark 3:17); Philip and Bartholomew; Matthew (the tax collector Matthew 10:3) and Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon (the Canaanite Mark 3:18b) called the Zealot; Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot who also became a traitor. (Luke 5:12-6:16)
Peter points out the Scripture prophecy about Judas (Psalm 69:25; 109:8), showing that the actions of Judas were known by Christ all along and did not take Him by surprise. Everything that happened was in the plan of God the Father from before the world began.
I might mention, it was of Judas' free will that he chose to do what he did in betraying Christ, but God knew he would do this, and it had been prophesied beforehand in Psalms.
Some people think that this verse about Judas death is in contradiction to Matthew 27:5 "Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself," but there are no contradictions in the Word of God. It seems that Judas hung himself from a tree branch on the side of a cliff, when the branch broke, he fell to the bottom of the cliff, his intestines burst out, and he died.
"There is no discrepancy with Matthew 27:5-10. The priests, considering the bribe money paid to Judas to be his legal property, purchased the field in his name. After Judas hanged himself, his body fell when the rope broke or was cut by someone. Luke describes the gruesome results of the suicide." (New Spirit Filled Bible)
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Gary Tomás Panell
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Keywords: Judas, blood money, disciple