I have found seemingly two different versions of Judas Iscariot’s death.

Version 1 in Matthew 27:3-6 NIV Judas Hangs Himself When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders. 4 “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.” “What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.” 5 So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.       Version 2 in Acts 1:18-19 NIV 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. 19 Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.

I found that Luke and Matthew say different things about Judas’ death. Is this only a figure of speech? Your thoughts Dr. Oakes?


The two accounts are readily seen to not be in contradiction. Apparently, Judas hanged himself (Matt 27:5). After his dead body hung for an undisclosed amount of time, his body was cut down. When it hit the ground it burst open and all his intestines spilled out (Acts 1:18). There is no contradiction between these two accounts. Matthew 27:5 explains Acts 1:18. Normally, when bodies fall they do not split open, but the body of a person who has hanged himself and hung for a significant amount of time is far more likely to split open, as the body would swell significantly with time. The two Bible accounts simply supply different, but non-contradictory details. Either way, karma certainly had nothing to do with it. If a skeptic tries to point out a contradiction, you should give him this explanation (that he hanged himself and that his body split open when he was cut down).

John Oakes

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