Sunday, March 22, 2020

How Did Judas Die: By Hanging or Falling Down?

"Throwing down the pieces of silver in the temple, he departed; and he went and hanged himself."(Matthew 27:5)
"Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out."(Acts 1:18)

The απήγξατο (apeigxato) meaning "hanged himself" came from the Greek word ἀπάγχω (apagchó) used in 2 Samuel 17:23 of the Septuagint.

“καὶ Αχιτοφελ εἶδεν ὅτι οὐκ ἐγενήθη ἡ βουλὴ αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐπέσαξεν τὴν ὄνον αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀνέστη καὶ ἀπῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτοῦ εἰς τὴν πόλιν αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐνετείλατο τῷ οἴκῳ αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀπήγξατο καὶ ἀπέθανεν καὶ ἐτάφη ἐν τῷ τάφῳ τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ” (2 Samuel 17:23, Septuagint).
"When Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his donkey and went off home to his own city. He set his house in order, and hanged himself; he died and was buried in the tomb of his father (2 Samuel 17:23)

According to Spiros Zodhiates, a Bible scholar in his book, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament:

“ Acts 1:18, speaking of Judas hanged himself and the cord perhaps having broken, fell with such violence as to dash out his bowels.”(The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament, Spiros Zodhiates, pp. 200-201)

Here is what a Professor of Biology, Dr. Georgia Purdom said in her article published on May 25, 2009 in Answers in Genesis:

 “Gruesome as it is, Judas’ dead body hung in the hot sun of Jerusalem, and the bacteria inside his body would have been actively breaking down tissues and cells. A byproduct of bacterial metabolism is often gas. The pressure created by the gas forces fluid out of the cells and tissues and into the body cavities. The body becomes bloated as a result. In addition, tissue decomposition occurs compromising the integrity of the skin. Judas’ body was similar to an overinflated balloon: as he hit the ground (due to the branch he hung on or the rope itself breaking), the skin easily broke, and he burst open with his internal organs spilling out.”
Aside from such comments, here is the comment of a Bible scholar, Warren W. Wiersbe in his book:

"Acts 1:18-19 adds to our understanding of the event. Judas went off by himself, brooded over his terrible crime, and finally hanged himself. Apparently his body was not discovered for some days, because it became bloated and his bowels gushed out. Perhaps the tree limb on which he was hanging also broke and helped to cause this"  (The Bible Exposition Commentary, Warren W. Wiersbe, page 100).

There is no contradiction in both verses! 

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