How Did Judas Die?
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How Did Judas Die?

How Did Judas Iscariot Die?  Let us consult the Bible.  First in the book of Matthew:

Matt. 27:5 "And he cast down the pieces of silver into the temple and departed, and went out and hanged himself."

So, according to Matthew, Judas hanged himself.  There is one other account of his death, however.  Let us now see what the book of Acts says:

Acts 1:18 "And falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all of his bowels gushed out."

We're left with a discrepancy.   Did Judas hang himself, or did he fall headlong?  This issue as always been a struggle to Christian apologists.  Their solution?  They came up with a few:

#1.

1. First, Judas tried to kill himself by hanging himself. And this is not always a successful way. Maybe he tried, and failed (as have many others who have tried to commit suicide by hanging). Then after some time, he threw himself off a cliff and fell upon some jagged rocks. Keep in mind that it is not uncommon for people who commit suicide to have tried it before.

2. Judas could have tied a rope to a tree branch that extended over a cliff (after all, you have to get some space between your feet and the ground to hang yourself). In this situation, the rope/branch could have broke before or after death, and Judas plummeted to the ground and landed on some jagged rocks.

Let us first take their first attempt at resolving this contradiction.  Where in the Bible do you find anything even remotely close to this?  Matthew said he went and hung himself, Luke said he fell, burst and his bowels gushed out.  It doesn't say anywhere that the attempt failed.  If that were the case, what was the purpose of recording it?  Why would Matthew record the attempt but not the act?  The bible says nothing of a cliff or "jagged rocks." 

As for the second attempt, again, there was never a mention of a cliff or jagged rocks.  There is no mention of a broken rope.  And even if the rope broke, the law of physics make it impossible for Judas to have fallen headlong.  You would land on your feet, and probably shatter your legs, but never on your head.  

Both these attempts at explaining away the problem are weak at best.  They both make it necessary to add to Gods word.  The problem with this is that we know from the Bible that you don't add to Gods word:

"Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar."  Proverbs 30:5-6

"If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book."  Revelation  22:18-19

The explanations above violated God's warning.  It added what was never in either account.  There was no mention of a cliff, jagged rocks, broken ropes, or multiple suicide attempts.

 

#2.

There is no contradiction here at all because both are true.  A contradiction occurs when one statement excludes the possibility of another.  In fact, what happened here is that Judas went and hung himself and then his body later fell down and split open.  In other words, the rope or branch of the tree probably broke due to the weight and his body fell down and his bowels spilled out.
     Also, notice that Matt. 27:3-8 tells us specifically how Judas died, by hanging.  Acts 1:16-19 merely tells us that he fell headlong and his bowels gushed out.  Acts does not tell us that this is the means of his death where Matthew does.

Here, the missionary uses a diversion tactic.  First he starts off with "There is no contradiction here at all because both are true", then he uses words like "In fact" hoping to take attention away from the problem by making it sound like it's an established misconception.  Notice, he uses these expressions before the solution.  His intentions are to cause a preconceived idea before beginning with his weak explanation. 

As for his reasoning.  Again, how can the rope break and Judas fall on his head?  Physically impossible.  Where does the Bible say the rope broke?  Why does he need to add to the Bible to make his very weak theory work?  Then the author goes on to say "Acts 1:16-19 merely tells us that he fell headlong and his bowels gushed out.  Acts does not tell us that this is the means of his death where Matthew does."  So what the author is trying to tell us is that back in the first century C.E., a man managed to survive after being disemboweled.  This argument, again, doesn't hold up.

 

 

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