Question 59: There are two versions of the story of Judas Iscariot. According to Matthew 27:3-7 Judas commits suicide and the high priests buy the potters field. According to Acts 1:16-19 Judas himself bought this field and died there but not through suicide. Which story is true?
Answer: The New Testament does indeed contain two different descriptions of Judas death, Matthew 27:3-10 and Acts 1:18-19. According to Acts, Judas dies not by hanging like Ahithophel (2 Samuel 17:23) but after a fall like the evil-doers of Wisdom 4:19 with his body bursting open and all his intestines spilling out, as happened to several villains in the folklore legends of old. The term "Field of Blood” is not linked to the blood of Jesus, but to that of Judas. Through these differences in oral tradition it is possible to sense the actual sudden and shameful death of a traitor. The event was then rather artificially linked with Hageldama, a well known place in Jerusalem of ill-repute.