In this post I continue with the New Testament accounts of the death of Judas Iscariot.  In my previous post I talked about the first account, found in Matthew. Now I look at the second (and only other) one, found in the early part of the book of Acts, written by the same author as the Gospel of Luke.   This post comes in two parts, both taken from my book The Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot.   In the first part I discuss the speech allegedly given by the apostle Peter to the other disciples in Acts 1, where he describes Judas’s death – in terms very different indeed from those found in Matthew.  Are these reconcilable?  In the second part I ask whether we can say anything *historically* about how Judas actually died.


In his speech, Peter describes Judas’s death in graphic terms:

Now this one [Judas] purchased a field with the wages of his unrighteous act [the betrayal] and falling headlong he burst forth in the middle and all his intestines spilled out.  And this became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that this field is called “Akeldamach” in their own dialect, which means “Field of Blood” (Acts 1:18-19).

Interpreters of the New Testament have long been intrigued by this description of Judas’s death, both because of its similarities to the account in Matthew and because of its differences.  In both accounts Judas’s death is …

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