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How do we explain the conflicting accounts of Judas’ death in Matthew and Acts?

Full Question

Matthew 27:5 says that Judas hanged himself, while Peter says in Acts 1:18 that he fell and was disemboweled. How can we reconcile what appears to be an apparent contradiction?

Answer

There are two possible ways to reconcile the verses:

  1. Luke’s purpose in Acts may have been simply to report what Peter said at a point in time when the apostles’ information on Judas’s death may well have been sketchy. After some of the Temple priests converted (cf. Acts 6:7), they may have given further details on Judas’s death that were later incorporated into the Gospel accounts.
  2. It is also possible that after Judas hanged himself the rope broke and he fell onto rocks that disemboweled him postmortem. Matthew’s emphasis then would have been Judas’s actions in taking his own life, while Peter’s emphasis was on what happened to him after his suicide.










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8 comments

  1. Paul Reply

    Why is church silent about where Judas is? The scripture was explicit as to the reason why Christ came: To redeem humanity. It would have been very difficult for me to believe in Jesus if he took his own life to redeem us. Therefore I see it that Judas, high priests, soldiers and Pilate were used by God to actualize the purpose of Jesus’ coming. It would be injustice for these to be somewhere else apart from heaven.

  2. Joseluis Reply

    Paul the church isn’t silent the focus is on more important things but Jesus said, “Woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born" (Matt. 26:24) I mean that sums everything about where Judas went!

  3. Cornelis Tato Reply

    As we know, Jesus was willing to die in tmyer to redeem humanity. To die, there must be an action of murdering. And this action needs at least one actor. In my own simple reflection, Lord Himself arranged the actors of murdering Jesus. So,the action of Judas was the Lord’s will. The answer of the question, where was Judes going, was he was going to Heaven. …..
    Well, that is my simple reply based on my own reflection.

  4. BOSTINE HADUNKA Reply

    I get what is I’m Mathew cause it tells us all what we have been through even as children, we leant that he hanged himself and died. So this looks to be the truth. Amen.

  5. Joe larocu Reply

    Could it be that Judas had free will and could have lived to repent but Jesus knew he would choose suicide.

  6. Claire Stevenson Reply

    The Catholic teaching is that God gave us free will. We are not his puppets. But God lives outside of time so knows and understands more than we can understand though at the last judgement all will be revealed to us. Judus could have been given Devine Mercy at the time Jesus went to hell before his ressurection. We just don’t know. But we do know in this year of Devine Mercy God wants all of us to come home to him. The desire for repentance is very powerful.

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