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The Death Of Judas Iscariot – Did Judas Die By Falling Or Hanging Himself?

Judas’ Death: Hanging & Fall

The death of Judas Iscariot has been a subject of controversy and speculation for centuries. The biblical accounts of his death, as mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew and the Book of Acts, seem to present conflicting descriptions. However, a closer examination of these accounts reveals a harmonious narrative that clarifies the circumstances surrounding Judas’ demise.

According to the Gospel of Matthew, after betraying Jesus, Judas was overcome with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders. Overwhelmed by guilt, he hanged himself. Meanwhile, the chief priests found it inappropriate to put the money back into the treasury, as it was considered blood money. They decided to use the funds to purchase a potter’s field to serve as a burial place for foreigners. This field became known as the Field of Blood.

The Book of Acts offers further details about Judas’ death. It states that he purchased a field with the money he received for his treachery. However, it adds a gruesome description, stating that Judas fell headlong, bursting open, and spilling out his intestines.

At first glance, these accounts may seem contradictory. However, a careful analysis reconciles the two descriptions. Judas indeed hanged himself, as mentioned in Matthew. After his death, decomposition set in, causing his body to bloat. Eventually, the bloated corpse detached from the hanging point, leading to a fall. Upon impact, his body burst open, resulting in the graphic scene described in Acts.

The question arises as to how Judas fell headlong if he had hanged himself. The answer lies in the possibilities of what he hanged himself with and from. Although the Bible does not provide explicit details about these aspects, we can speculate on two potential scenarios.

Firstly, it is conceivable that the object Judas used to hang himself could have broken during his descent, causing him to strike an object beneath him and overturn, resulting in a headlong fall. Alternatively, the hanging point itself may have given way, leading to a similar outcome.

Another point of confusion arises regarding the purchase of the potter’s field, commonly known as the Field of Blood. Matthew states that the chief priests bought the field with the thirty pieces of silver, while Acts attributes the purchase to Judas. However, this is not a contradiction but rather a joint purchase.

It is likely that Judas did not immediately hang himself after returning the money. During the period between his remorseful act and his suicide, an agreement was reached between Judas and the chief priests. Together, they used the thirty pieces of silver to acquire the potter’s field. Thus, both Judas and the chief priests are mentioned in connection with the purchase, clarifying any apparent discrepancy.

In conclusion, the death of Judas Iscariot involved both hanging and a subsequent fall that resulted in his body bursting open. The descriptions provided in the biblical accounts may initially seem contradictory, but a careful analysis reveals a consistent and plausible sequence of events. Furthermore, the joint purchase of the Field of Blood by Judas and the chief priests demonstrates that there is no contradiction between the Gospel of Matthew and the Book of Acts. By examining these accounts in context, we can gain a clearer understanding of the circumstances surrounding Judas’ tragic end.


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