Sunday, November 27, 2011

Death of Judas

improvisation around a theme of the death of Judas.
Judas Iscariot (Hebrew: יהודה איש־קריות‎, Yehuda, Yəhûḏāh ʾΚ-qrayyôṯ) was, according to theNew Testament, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus. He is best known for his betrayal of Jesus to the hands of the chief priests for 30 pieces of silver.[1]


There are a few descriptions of the death of Judas, two of which are included in the modernBiblical canon:

  • Matthew 27:3-10 says that Judas returned the money to the priests and committed suicideby hanging himself. They used it to buy the potter's field. The Gospel account presents this as a fulfillment of prophecy.[13]
  • The Acts of the Apostles says that Judas used the money to buy a field, but fell headfirst, and burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. This field is called Akeldamaor Field of Blood.[14]
  • The non-canonical Gospel of Judas says Judas had a vision of the disciples stoning and persecuting him.[15]
  • Another account was preserved by the early Christian leader, Papias: "Judas walked about in this world a sad example of impiety; for his body having swollen to such an extent that he could not pass where a chariot could pass easily, he was crushed by the chariot, so that his bowels gushed out."[16]

The existence of conflicting accounts of the death of Judas caused problems for scholars who saw them as threatening the reliability of Scripture.[17] This problem was one of the points causing C. S. Lewis, for example, to reject the view "that every statement in Scripture must be historical truth".[18] Various attempts at harmonization have been suggested, such as that of Augustine that Judas hanged himself in the field and the fall burst his body open,[17][19] or that the accounts of Acts and Matthew refer to two different transactions.[20]

Modern scholars tend to reject these approaches[21][22][23] stating that the Matthew account is a midrashic exposition that allows the author to present the event as a fulfillment of prophetic passages from the Old Testament. They argue that the author adds imaginative details such as the thirty pieces of silver, and the fact that Judas hangs himself, to an earlier tradition about Judas's death.[24]

Matthew's reference to the death as fulfilment of a prophecy "spoken through Jeremiah the prophet" caused controversy, since it paraphrases a story from the Book of Zechariah [25] which refers to the return of a payment of thirty pieces of silver.[26] Some writers, such as Augustine,Jerome, and John Calvin concluded that this was an obvious error.[27] Some modern writers suggest that the Gospel writer may have had a passage from Jeremiah in mind,[28] such as chapters 18 [29] and 19,[30] which refers to a potter's jar and a burial place, and chapter 32 [31]which refers to a burial place and an earthenware jar.[32]

first cut

A first cut of an adlib for the death of Judas. The choice made being that Judas was part of the faction who wanted Jesus to come in military power and rule. His betrayal may have been at Jesus' instigation to fulfil prophecy. If Judas died before the resurrection then this makes more sense. If Judas died about a month after then this makes sense if he isolated himself from the disciples and was unaware of the resurrection.
Final cut ..
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