Answering Humanist's Accusations Against the Bible
HUMANIST SUPPOSED CONTADICTION: Concerning the death of Judas, the disloyal disciple, Matthew 27:5 states he took the money he had received for betraying Jesus, threw it down in the temple, and went and hanged himself. To the contrary, Acts 1:18 claims Judas used the money to purchase a field and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.
Let's look at scripture to see what it actually says. I will quote more than what the humanist reference so that we have the context. We will start with Matthew 27:3-7
Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, I have sinned by betraying innocent blood. But they said, What is that to us? See to that yourself! And he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself. The chief priests took the pieces of silver and said, It is not lawful to put them into the temple treasury, since it is the price of blood. And they conferred together and with the money bought the Potters Field as a burial place for strangers.
Here is Acts 1:15-19
At this time Peter stood up in the midst of the brethren (a gathering of about one hundred and twenty persons was there together), and said, Brethren, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit foretold by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. For he was counted among us and received his share in this ministry. (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. And it became known to all who were living in Jerusalem; so that in their own language that field was called Hakeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)
In asking the question, the humanists leave out important facts, and that makes this a deceptive question. Matthew makes it clear the chief priests did not accept the pieces of silver Judas threw down. While they did physically handle it, the money remained the proper-ty of Judas and they used it to buy the Potter's Field. Thus, the price of Judas' treachery paid for a field, just as Luke reports in Acts 1. The chief priests were the agents in purchasing the field. They could not purchase the field themselves, as that would mean accepting blood money into the temple treasury. Since that was forbidden, they could not legally keep the money. They needed to do something to get rid of the money. They decided to act as representatives of Judas and purchased the potter’s field in his name.
It may seem like a legal technically, but it was important, and it means Judas did purchase the Potter's Field.
So how did Judas die? Did he hang himself or did he "fall headlong and burst open in the middle?" To get the answer the hu-manists could have done a quick Google search for: "How did Judas die?" Multiple web sites with the answer will pop right up.
Remember, Luke is a physician, he tends to provide more medi-cal details.
From what Luke reports it appears Judas died in the field that was purchased with the 30 pieces of silver.
Matthew specifically says that Judas hanged himself. Luke says he fell headlong, burst open in the middle, and all his intestines gushed out.
If Judas had fallen off a cliff, what would happen? His body would have a lot of bruises, gashes, and broken bones. He would be dead, but his body would not have burst open with his intestines spilling out. That is not what happens when a living body falls from a great height.
It appears that Judas hanged himself in the Potters Field, and no one took him down. Nobody wanted to touch Judas' body and be defiled. The body started to decay, fell, and the partially decayed body burst open. That fits both the cultural context and the physical evidence as described in scripture.
What did we find out here? There is no contradiction.
In describing Jesus being led to his execution, John 19:17 recounts that he carried his own cross. But Mark 15:21-23 disagrees by saying a man called Simon carried the cross.
The answer is so simple you surely know the answer before clicking here...
Before you get the good news, you need to know the bad news. It's about you. God says:
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. - Romans 3:23
Sin means disobeying God, aka breaking God's law. God is perfect and perfection is required to enter heaven. It's a standard none of us can achieve. We all fall short. For example, compare yourself with just one of the Ten Commandments. Have you ever told a lie?
All liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. - Revelation 21:8. Or what about:
Have you ever taken something that does not belong to you, no matter how small? Have you ever looked at another person with lust? In Matthew 5 Jesus said:
Everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.' Have you done that?
You have broken God's laws. You have sinned. There must be justice, and that means eternity in hell, the lake of fire, the second death. Unless...
Unless there was someone willing to pay that penalty on your behalf. Someone who will take on themselves the consequences you deserve. And there is. There is one person who can and will do that. That person is Jesus Christ. If you trust this is true (believe), and repent (turn away from disobeying God), Jesus' death is applied to your account and you are freed from the penalty of sin to be with God forever.