Quote# 52108

How did Judas die? Did he hang himself (Matthew 27:5) or did he fall, his midsection bursting open (Acts 1:18)?

Is there a contradiction?

The questioner assumes that there is a contradiction because Matthew and Luke record different facts about Judas' death. He hanged himself (as Matthew reveals), but it seems that either the limb upon which he hung, or the rope with which he hung himself broke, causing Judas to fall forward, resulting in a deep laceration in his stomach, so deep that his intestines gushed out.

Whether this indeed is exactly what happened, I am unsure. However, it is a possible and probable explanation.

There is no contradiction.

(unknown), Looking Unto Jesus 52 Comments [11/12/2008 5:30:55 PM]
Fundie Index: 4
Submitted By: Tom S. Fox

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Your 'explanation' stems from several very odd premises for a biblical literalist:
1. You are assuming that NEITHER story actually in the bible is completely accurate. The somehow both authors forgot VERY IMPORTANT details.

2. You are ASSUMING that what actually happened is actually quite different than what the bible says.

Keep thinking like that and you won't be a fundy much longer...

11/12/2008 5:38:13 PM


Or, "There is a contradiction but I'm going to mash the two versions together and claim it doesn't exists so nyeah!"

11/12/2008 5:39:01 PM


Wouldn't it have to be a really high tree? Or did he land on a sharp rock? I've fallen on the ground from a height several times, and not once have my intestines spilled out. I'm sure I'd remember if they had.

11/12/2008 5:42:10 PM

Malkavian Jeff

Recite the verses that says the rope snapped, then I'll believe ya.

11/12/2008 5:43:12 PM


Fundies seem to think that if there is any possible way in which two conflicting Bible passages may be reconciled, then it must have happened that way.

Funny that they don't apply this standard to oh, say, the theory of evolution.

11/12/2008 5:43:18 PM


I see. So Biblical contradictions are thwarted just by making shit up! That's awesome. That means you can pretty much define Xian doctrine any way you want with "facts" pulled out of your ass. No wonder these people lie so much and pretend that they're not.

11/12/2008 5:44:21 PM


I like how he says he is unsure if this is what really happened, and then absolutely states "There is no contradiction."

Don't you mean "It is possible and probable that there is no contradiction."?

If you assume something is true from the start, you will be able to twist it and fill in the blanks to make it true. I could do the same thing with that Green Eggs and Ham book.

11/12/2008 5:48:30 PM


I'm thinking that you have no idea what the word "contradiction" means.

11/12/2008 5:48:47 PM

a mind far far away

I thought he was being polite, until he said "there is no contradiction". He's right though, this is a distinct possibility, and one of the easier explainable contradictions in the bible. However, Luke, according to the bible, was a doctor, and also an avid historian. Here's the problem. Reading Acts, we learn that Luke was VERY detailed in his discriptions of people, places, and events. So for Luke to say that Judas "fell headlong and burst open" would be difficult to explain away as simply a more vivid picture of someone who hung himself falling to the ground. I could pick it apart with the Greek, but I won't bore everyone here with the details, other than the seemingly easy answer to a supposed contradiction isn't really that easy when one takes a good look at it.

11/12/2008 5:51:59 PM

Bored One-time Poster

Eh, it's an explanation, but a pretty unsatisfactory one.

Even if Judas had been hanging there dead for quite a long time, I'm not sure he'd be able to drop with enough force to make his intestines gush out. Considering the corpse would probably land on its feet, then topple.

11/12/2008 5:52:23 PM


He admitted that he's unsure it's exactly what happened. Not fundie.

11/12/2008 5:54:03 PM


There would never be a contradiction if you can just invent stuff out of thin air. That's how seven year olds try to get out of being punished for breaking the window (e.g., "maybe an alien zapped it with his death ray"). How about:

"he was walking along carrying a rope, he tripped and burst open and strangled himself at the same time"? Or

"he hanged himself, but he didn't know how to do it right and tied the rope around his belly instead of his neck, and when he fell headlong off the barrel he was standing on, it made him burst open"? Or

"He hanged himself by standing on a horse and then smacking the horse to bolt out from under him. But his foot caught in the saddle and he was thrown under the horse and burst open"? or

"the Greek word translated as 'hanging' really meant 'committing suicide', and the most popular way to do that was to fall on the sword" or

"he hanged himself, then the corpse rotted and eventually fell and split open".

(the latter two are actual fundie proposals - none of these address the question of whether he kept the money and bought a field with it (Acts) or threw it on the ground and the Pharisees bought a field with it(Matthew)).

11/12/2008 5:55:23 PM

Mister Spak

Another explanation is that the bible is a myth.

11/12/2008 5:56:35 PM


The Bible is God's word, OK? But God's getting on a bit, and you know how it is with old folks, their memories play tricks on them. So here's what really happened. God dictated one account to Matthew and another one to Luke, with both writers transcribing infallibly what had been said to them. But in one case, can't be sure which but it doesn't matter, God wasn't thinking of Judas, but of some other guy who hanged himself. Or whose intestines spilled out.

He should have checked his notes, yeah yeah. But God is God, so both accounts are true. Don't ask me how. His ways are not our ways.

Non-ironic footnote to this: sone Jewish scholars claim that Judas is an invention of the Christian community, generated by the aplogetic need to deflect blame for the crucifixion from the Romans to the Jews. Nasty if true; it means that here are the seeds of the anti-Semitism which eventually led to the holocaust. I think that Jesus existed, probably, but did Judas? If he didn't then neither Matthew nor Acts can be trusted in their desriptions of his death!

11/12/2008 6:03:12 PM

Carbonated Margarine

I gotta admit, that would be cool to see in a movie. You know what would look even more awesome? [*Starts munching popcorn.*] A combination of Halston's demise in Tales From the Darkside: The Movie and Tim Messenger's in Hot Fuzz. [*Spits out burnt kernel.*] Best... (potentially... biblical...) movie... deaths... EVER.

11/12/2008 6:09:10 PM

Quantum Mechanic

" There is no contradiction. "


Both are bullshit.

11/12/2008 6:13:10 PM


I like the part where he just makes shit up.

11/12/2008 6:17:43 PM


My dad "explained" this same contradiction by saying someone used "poetic license", that Judas really hung himself but the midsection bursting open bit was a metaphor.


Senator: So, you liked the entire post?

11/12/2008 6:19:25 PM

Actually, allow me to offer a better explanation for this guy.

First of all, desert area means hot air. Hot air + corpse means a buildup of corpse gasses over time. Touching a corpse was considered ritually unclean, so people left it alone.

The rope breaks, either from the amount of time that passed or the weight of the gasses, the corpse falls, and basically literally explodes from the corpse gasses that had filled its stomach. Such an explosion would most certainly gush his intestines out.

11/12/2008 6:30:14 PM


If that were true, each gospel would give only a partial account of that story - the authors couldn't do better if they were deliberately trying not to corroborate each other. And you can hardly pull that same defence when we point out that one gospel that describes a goddamn army of the dead rising from their graves and shambling on into town, and none of the others (or any other historical text) even mentioning this astounding and somewhat disgusting miracle.

11/12/2008 6:30:26 PM

Tom S. Fox

Just as a note, the two accounts are also different in as much that in one he throws away the money he got for betraying Jesus and goes on to hang himself while in the other he keeps the money and buys himself a field where he stumbles and his intestines gush out.

More on this here and here.

11/12/2008 6:40:53 PM


Except they are both rather clear about completely different causes of death.

11/12/2008 6:41:33 PM


That sort of dodging is almost art.

11/12/2008 6:58:18 PM

Tomby Stone

@ Tom S. Fox.

Clearly Judas was so disgusted with himself that he threw away the money but by chance the money landed in the lap of a man who was selling a field.

In other news, Evolution is just a theory.

11/12/2008 7:00:38 PM

Actually all you did was create a third contadictory version.

11/12/2008 7:23:43 PM

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