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The Death of Judas in Matthew

My recent post on Judas Iscariot has raised a number of questions among readers of the blog.  Here is one of them, about Judas’s death.

 

QUESTION:

Do you have any sense of how Judas met his end after the betrayal? Matthew’s version seems at least somewhat plausible, but Act’s doesn’t.  Or maybe he just took the money and moved elsewhere.

 

RESPONSE

              This is an interesting question for a number of reasons.  For one thing, the only writers who thought that Judas’s demise was important enough to deal with were Matthew and Luke – Mark, John, Paul, and all the others are silent on the matter.  As far as we would know from the Gospels of Mark and John, Judas would have lived to be an old man.  They just don’t say.   And Luke doesn’t give an account in his Gospel, but only later in the book of Acts.  Moreover, the account in Acts certainly seems to stand at odds with what Matthew says in his Gospel.

To make sense of it all we need to look at each passage – the one in Matthew and the other in Acts.  This post will deal with the former, the next with the latter, and then I’ll attempt to figure out if we can say anything historically about what actually happened.

The following comes from my study The Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot.

 

**************************************************************************

 

Unlike Mark, Matthew tells us what Judas did after the betrayal.  When he saw “that [Jesus] was condemned,” he repented of his deed and brought the thirty pieces of silver back to the chief priests, telling them “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood” (27:3-4).  When they refused to take the money, he threw it down in the temple and “went out and hanged himself.”

The story doesn’t quite end there, however.  The chief priests decide they can’t return the money to the Temple treasury, since “it is blood money” – that is, since it has been connected with the execution of a convicted criminal.  And so they use it to purchase “the potter’s field” as a place to bury strangers.  Because it was a field purchased with blood money, we’re told that the place came to be “called the Field of Blood.”  Matthew indicates that all of this was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price set of the one on whom the some of the children of Israel had set a price, and they gave these for the potters’ field, just as the Lord commanded me” (Matt 27:9-10).

Scholars have long puzzled over why …

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Can We Know Anything Historically About How Judas Iscariot Died?
Why Did Judas Iscariot Betray Jesus?

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Comments

  1. jhague  June 5, 2018

    why didn’t he try to secure Jesus’ release, by standing up for him at his trial?

    A likely reason is there probably was not a trial, right?




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    • Bart
      Bart  June 7, 2018

      Yup, good point.




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    • Altosackbuteer
      Altosackbuteer  June 8, 2018

      According to John, there was no trial at all, just a private, unofficial meeting between Jesus, Caiphas, and Ananas.. FAR MORE plausible than the Synoptic gospels portrayal of an impossible night-time trial.




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  2. Tricia  June 5, 2018

    If my premise is true, if Judas’ turning Jesus in (at the precise time that Jesus was ready for the end game, so to speak) was part of Jesus’ choreography–then Judas would indeed have been “innocent.” That doesn’t preclude his self-sacrifice, however. What did he have left to live for? He could not walk with the disciples again. The Jews wouldn’t ever have trusted him.




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  3. WillBallard  June 5, 2018

    How could a Gospel writer pretend to know what Judas did with his 30 pieces? What Jesus said to the devil in the wilderness. [Matt 4:3-11] What Jesus prayed in the garden? [Matt 26:9] What Jesus said when his parents found him preaching in the temple? [Luke 2:48-49]




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    • Bart
      Bart  June 7, 2018

      Exactly. And lots of other things!




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    • ardeare  June 7, 2018

      The same way you and I receive information; word of mouth. Unless Judas ate the silver and died of metal poisoning, there needs to be a trail of the money spent and the trail doesn’t seem to be complicated. Jesus was a teacher and as a teacher, he would have told his apostles about his conversation with the devil; not the type of thing he would keep to himself. Crowds would have told his parents what they heard him preach in the temple and his prayer in the garden would have been easily heard by the apostles who were near. Yes, they fell asleep but I don’t think that means they were comatose vegetables from start to finish. Reliable word of mouth can account for these stories.




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    • prestonp  June 8, 2018

      The great man and scholar, Bruce Metzger, believed that God actually spoke to him personally through the bible; He, God, communicates with human beings*. That is remarkable. It is uncanny. If a biblical scholar, translator and textual critic of his stature believed God really would and did speak to him individually, and he did, it isn’t all that difficult to expect that God also can communicate supernaturally with others and in different ways.
      If God exists and he made the vast universe and all the raw materials in it, He quite likely could perform a variety of astonishing wonders.

      *According to Metzger




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  4. mannix  June 5, 2018

    Like many other NT passages, this one raises an obvious question: how does “Matthew” know what Judas thought or said? How does he know what the chief priests said or did? Was there a witness to all this who passed what was said and done by word of mouth for 50 years until Mt was written? Even if that were so, why didn’t Paul or Mark, who certainly would have heard about them, mention anything about those events?




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    • prestonp  June 13, 2018

      I can tell you what Jimmy Carter said and what burned in his heart as he brought bitter, vicious enemies together at Camp David. Jimmy still teaches Sunday School.

      And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

      Tough to narrow down what to include, I suppose. That they bothered to write down anything is pretty impressive. Nobody put a gun to their heads and they were paid with torture, beatings and executions.




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      • mannix  June 14, 2018

        You remember what Carter said because you were either present at the time or read it/heard it on radio/saw it on TV. My point is: who was there to pass it along? Who wrote it down at the time (no one wrote it for 50 years!) and no audio or video existed. If there was an individual present who passed the conversations along accurately, I could see your point. How would you know what Carter said at Sunday School his very first time unless you a) were there, b) talked to someone who was there, or c) had access to some kind of recording? In the case of the NT, who is (b)?




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        • prestonp  June 17, 2018

          “no one wrote it for 50 years!”
          How do you know that?




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          • mannix  June 17, 2018

            I suppose someone could have written it down prior to Mt. Without evidence, can’t say. It is thought most of the gospels ,as you know, depended on oral tradition. If you want to infer someone soon heard what was said at that time, wrote it down somewhere, was copied over and over for 5 decades or simply found in its original form 50 years later…I guess that’s possible. But history sometime has to deal with probability.




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  5. Wilusa  June 5, 2018

    Frankly, I like to think of Judas having no regrets about what he’d done, and living to a happy old age. What makes the most sense to me is that he thought he had a very good reason – whatever it was – for putting an end to what Jesus was doing. That it was *Jesus* who’d somehow “betrayed” the original purpose of their movement – possibly, by making it all about *him*.




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    • Altosackbuteer
      Altosackbuteer  June 8, 2018

      I believe that Judas acted on commission from Jesus to bring the Temple police to the Mount of Olives, where Jesus WANTED to confront them, in order to bring about the Age of the Messiah.

      In John, Jesus even says to Judas, “Go, do quickly what thou must!”

      Jesus WANTED the confrontation on the Mount of Olives. That’s very clear! And the Temple authorities had NO idea he would be there, could not have had any idea unless someone told them.

      That is why Jesus sent Judas to tip them off. THAT was Judas’ “GOOD” reason — he was doing what his Beloved Master TOLD him to do.




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  6. fishician  June 5, 2018

    The story of Judas’ death is a good example of non-inerrancy (i.e., errancy?). There are at least 4 problems: 1. The wrong scripture reference. 2. What did Judas do with the money? (give it back or buy a field?) 3. Why was it called the “Field of Blood?” (bought with blood money vs. stained with the blood of Judas?) 4. How did Judas die? (hung, or fell from a height and burst open?) Maybe 5: What scripture is Acts 1:16 referring to that predicts the story of Judas? But it’s fun to hear people try to reconcile all these problems.




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  7. anthonygale  June 5, 2018

    Perhaps you will touch on this in the next post, but I find it curious that both Matthew and Acts refer to the field of blood. They are believed (by the majority at least) to have not known each other yet there are similarities that are hard to attribute to coincidence. Do you attribute this to an older lost tradition? Or perhaps something else?




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  8. ask21771  June 5, 2018

    in revelations 17 verse 2 it says “the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries”

    what does that mean?




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    • Bart
      Bart  June 7, 2018

      They were happy to participate with her in her shameful dealings with others.




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  9. godspell  June 5, 2018

    The notion that Judas could have gotten Jesus off by recanting his testimony (if there was any) is bizarre. Do people think modern rules of evidence applied under Roman law? Once Jesus was taken into custody, the chances of his escaping crucifixion were slight, particularly since he seems to have made no effort to defend himself.

    I think Judas’ guilt is there for one reason–‘Matthew’ thinks it makes for a better story. Jesus picked Judas as a disciple. Would he have done that if there was no good in the man? Never mind if he always knew (from the beginning of time, even) that Judas would betray him. There had to be the possibility of Judas doing the right thing. A free choice. So Judas has to have a conscience, must have joined Jesus out of sincere faith, and it’s hard to see why anyone who didn’t have some sincere faith would have joined such a ragtag band in the first place.

    It’s not done to exculpate Judas, but to show that he wasn’t evil, just misguided. There’s a reason this version of Judas has been the most influential on later tellings of the story.

    But to be sure, the St. Matthew Passion, when performed live, can be a horrifying thing.




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    • Altosackbuteer
      Altosackbuteer  June 9, 2018

      How do you like that fortissimo 9th chord in the St. Matthew Passion when the chorus shrieks the name “BARABBAM!!”




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      • godspell  June 10, 2018

        I wasn’t thinking about Bach’s version. That’s a masterpiece.

        Sadly, atheism’s contribution to music remains pretty much entirely limited to Frank Zappa’s “Some Take The Bible.”

        A cool song, which somehow fails to recognize that it’s relaying Judeo Christian values to its listeners. 😉




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        • Altosackbuteer
          Altosackbuteer  June 11, 2018

          What version of the St. Matthew Passion were you thinking of, in that case? Bach’s is easily the most famous of the all the St. Matthew Passions. I believe Telemann also wrote a St. Matthew Passion.




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  10. leobillings@cox.net  June 5, 2018

    As I read the interpretations of the gospel writers it seems that for the most part, the gospel writers are simply writing to give credence to what the ‘prophets’ wrote in the old testament. In other words, it was not necessarily ‘new’ what was written in the “new’ testament. Help?




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    • Bart
      Bart  June 7, 2018

      The idea is that what they understood the old prophets as saying was “new” (since no one had read them that way before)




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  11. darren  June 5, 2018

    Did the destruction of the temple in 70 provide a sort of boost to the early Christians, who may have been starting to doubt when Jesus was going to return? Did it play a role in the transition from apocalyptic expectation to long-term Christianity? I don’t mean in terms of forcing Judaism to evolve, but in providing (through the destruction of the temple) a divine proof that God wasn’t happy with Jesus being crucified?




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    • Bart
      Bart  June 7, 2018

      That’s a common line of thought among scholars, but I’ve never been fully persuaded of it. My sense is that when the temple was destroyed, many Christians (most?) were living in gentile lands far from Palestine. Those who *were* Jews in Palestine of course would probably have been shocked, dismayed, and, possibly, hopeful that the end had now come.




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    • talmoore
      talmoore  June 7, 2018

      If you ask me, the Jewish rebellion made the Jewish people famous (or infamous) overnight. Before the war, a humble farmer in Gaul had no idea what a Jew was. After the war, every Gaul knew who the Jews were. Just like today, before 2003, 99% of Americans could not have told you what the capital of Iraq is. After 2003, 99% of Americans could tell you the capital of Iraq is Baghdad. Before 66 AD, most residents of the Roman Empire couldn’t tell you where Jerusalem was. After 70 AD, most residents of the Roman Empire could tell you that Jerusalem was in Judea.




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    • Altosackbuteer
      Altosackbuteer  June 8, 2018

      I argue (in my book) that the Christian Jews of Jerusalem had caught wind of the fact that Paul was teaching a version of Christianity that they had NOT authorized him to teach.

      In Acts 15, the Jerusalem Church gave Paul permission that GENTILE followers of Jesus could come into the movement without first converting to the full Law of Moses.

      But this permission had NOT been extended to the followers of Jesus who were ALREADY Jewish before they decided to follow Jesus.

      Nevertheless, the Jerusalem Church found out that this is EXACTLY what Paul was preaching. But they weren’t sure — Paul must have denied it (which makes him a LIAR) — so they had Paul submit to a 7-day Purification Test (Acts 21), and Paul ALMOST bluffed his way through it, but on the final day some Jews from Asia Minor (who themselves might have been believers) spotted Paul, recognized him, and OUTTED Paul as the teach of the FORBIDDEN doctrine that henceforth, even the JEWISH followers of Jesus should now forsake the Law.

      Paul’s missionary journeys CEASED PERMANENTLY. The Jerusalem Church had WON. And belief in Jesus based on observance of Mosaic law was still the prevailing norm.

      But time was almost up for the Jerusalem Church. This happened in 55 AD (according to Finegan), and 11 years later came the Jewish War which wiped out the Jerusalem Church and left the Pauline version of Christianity as the only version left standing.

      Your theory that God wasn’t happy with “the Jews” for crucifying Jesus and therefore allowed the destruction of the Temple and the mass expulsions is the centuries-old Replacement Theory. God’s promises to the Jewish people in the Old Testament (Abraham and Moses) have been rendered null and void, and therefore God allowed the Jews to be expelled.

      But the problem with this chickenbleep theory is that in 1948, THE JEWS RE-ESTABLISHED a legal presence in the Holy Land! Replacement Theology was now in the garbage can. How to account for THAT?

      Many evangelical Christians today have performed the transsubstantiation of turning the chickenbleep Replacement Theory into chicken salad, where they SUPPORT Israel because, by doing that, they hasten the 2nd Coming. In doing this, they’ve turned necessity into a virtue.




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  12. prestonp  June 5, 2018

    “Was he really sorry for what he had done? If so, why didn’t he try to secure Jesus’ release, by standing up for him at his trial?”

    I believe he was too ashamed. But even this sin against Jesus was forgivable, if indeed there can be no sin which Jesus cannot forgive, a foundational doctrine of Christianity. For Christ Himself stated that His purpose in coming to this world was to save sinners. Was Paul exaggerating when he confessed to being the chief of all sinners?




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    • Bart
      Bart  June 7, 2018

      He may well have had a real sense of guilt (for persecuting Christians originally)




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      • prestonp  June 7, 2018

        Tough to kick against the pricks




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      • prestonp  June 10, 2018

        We have a sense of what may have been going on in his mind and heart




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  13. forthfading  June 5, 2018

    Dr. Herman,

    How significant is it that Judas carried the money box? I’ve heard Craig Evans argue that this was an exalted position within Judaism. Just wondering if you have an opinion on this.

    Thanks




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    • Bart
      Bart  June 7, 2018

      I’m not sure Craig has any specific informatoin on that within Judaism at the time, but if it’s true that Judas was entrusted with the group’s money, he would have been seen as especially reliable. But I’m not sure that he *was*; that may have simply been a comment designed to show how focused he was on money, which would set up the reason for why he betrayed Jesus.




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      • Altosackbuteer
        Altosackbuteer  June 8, 2018

        Also, by saying the Judas held the money, that is a highest position of trust, and it makes Judas’s fall from grace even worse. It may simply be a literary device.




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    • Monarch  June 11, 2018

      I see Judas, the only non-Galelean disciple, as probably the most sophisticated disciple, and as Jesus’ trusted right-hand-man. As is evidenced by both his control of the money bag and the last supper command to go out and do something, he is likely the one Jesus could rely on the most. Several of the other disciples, including the power-hungry James (witness his mother’s request to seat her sons to Jesus’ right and left,) took offence at Judas’s control of the money, calling him a “thief” and resentful that they were not having plenty of lamb and wine every night. I think John was likely love-smitten, as is evidenced by his portraying himself as the one resting on Jesus’ chest, and as “the disciple Jesus loved.” Thus, Judas was vilified by all four gospels as the “”betrayer,” or actually and more accurately, the one who “handed Jesus over.” And yet, Jesus trusted Judas with his money! “Kings take pleasure in honest lips; they value the one who speaks what is right.” –Proverbs 16:13, and again, Jesus “did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.” — John 2:25




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  14. mikezamjara  June 5, 2018

    Dr Ehrman I just finished reading the Triumph of Christianity and it rose questions for me. How did the disputes of the chirstians factions (ebionites,docetists etc) fit in the story of the spread of christianity. I mean, In the second century they were prosecuted by the roman empire and In that time the christian groups were also in dispute to impose their views about doctrine. Did that dispute took place at the same time for the prosecutions? Did the prosecutions influenced in the victory of any group? greetings.




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    • Bart
      Bart  June 7, 2018

      I deal with that question, but only in an endnote. My sense is that all the Xn groups who were trying to acquire members were, like the proto-orthodox, both evangelistic and exclusivistic. The internal debates were absolutely happening during the early years of persecution. But there is nothing to suggest that hte persecutions helped determine which group would emerge as victorious.




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  15. Telling
    Telling  June 6, 2018

    In your opinion, might such narratives have been written as fiction to later be mistaken as the truth?

    Assuming “yes”, I suppose the historian’s only job is sort out the non-fiction from the fiction. Wouldn’t this make the non-canonical documents as potentially of equal worth to the blessed ones?




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    • Bart
      Bart  June 7, 2018

      Yes. And yes — BUT, these documents can be shown to be later and more legendary.




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      • Telling
        Telling  June 7, 2018

        I’m sure that’s certainly generally true. But there is disagreement regarding specifically the Gospel of Thomas. Some historians believe it could be among our oldest gospels regarding dating and style. And if I correctly understood your view, you do not disagree with these historians, instead believing Gnostic passages were later added to what otherwise may be a very ancient document.

        I wrote an article on this that was published in the Nov. 2011 online AMORC Rosicrucian Digest.
        http://www.arthurtelling.com/Articles/04_telling_112311%5B1%5D.pdf
        Audio version:
        http://www.arthurtelling.com/Audio/04_telling%5B1%5D.mp3

        It seems to me that the winners of the Jesus message did not understand real metaphysical knowledge, so they condemned it, embraced a ridiculous message of salvation through the execution of God’s only son, and destroyed and failed to reproduce contrary information that certainly must have been circulating in that important first century. More astonishing is (in my opinion) an unwillingness of mainstream academia, theologians and historians, to let go of this dubious longstanding doctrine even when they differ with it..




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        • Bart
          Bart  June 8, 2018

          My view is that some of the sayings of Thomas go back to the historical Jesus, others were put on his lips later by Christians with very different perspectives (which I’m reluctant now to call “Gnostic”; but they do emphasize some of the themes that later became important to the Gnostics). The Gospel itself, however, I think contained all these sayings, composed in the early second century.




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          • Telling
            Telling  June 8, 2018

            That certainly is a plausible theory.

            In the end, however, it is the message — not the narrative — that is important to us. Jesus wasn’t the only “Master” having a message of eternal life, there are many in our history, a few of whom having recognition as great as Jesus. and it doesn’t really even matter if these stories actually happened or are fiction.

            The Bhagavad Gita, India’s most holy book, is believed to be a work of fiction by some historians. Yet its message is so elevated that people from Einstein to Emerson have commented on its wisdom. If an unknown author wrote the message then it is he who is above the world’s knowledge.

            I think we should judge the Jesus teachings in this way. Do they convey that higher element present in the words of all Masters?

            The Crucifixion story would be devastating to Christians if proved untrue — it is because it is not such elevated message.




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  16. clongbine  June 6, 2018

    Could there be any connection between the Judas story and circulating stories about the (fallen) angels that betrayed God?




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    • Bart
      Bart  June 7, 2018

      Interesting idea. I hadn’t thought of that.




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      • Altosackbuteer
        Altosackbuteer  June 8, 2018

        That could be the subject of a future blog of yours. In Catholic cosmology, before the Creation of the World, there was a great war in Heaven which resulted in the bad angels being expelled.

        Where did this myth come from? From Zoroastrianism?




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        • Bart
          Bart  June 10, 2018

          It’s probably related to battle of the gods mythologies that you get in a number of disparate cultures, famously, for example, in both Greek and Canaanite contexts.




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      • Altosackbuteer
        Altosackbuteer  June 9, 2018

        In traditional Christianity, there are “nine choirs of angels.” I can’t remember the names of all of them now, but there are Seraphim (fiery angels), Cherubim, Chayyot, Ophanim, etc.

        These by the way are mentioned in the Jewish siddur (prayer book), so belief in these isn’t restricted to Christians.

        There are also “Thrones, Dominions,” etc.

        Where did the idea of divisions among the angels come from?




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    • talmoore
      talmoore  June 7, 2018

      You mean as told in the Book of Enoch?




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  17. Wilusa  June 6, 2018

    What I posted before: Frankly, I like to think of Judas having no regrets about what he’d done, and living to a happy old age. What makes the most sense to me is that he thought he had a very good reason – whatever it was – for putting an end to what Jesus was doing. That it was *Jesus* who’d somehow “betrayed” the original purpose of their movement – possibly, by making it all about *him*.

    Further thoughts: Judas would probably still have been living in Judea. Let’s say he lived on for about forty years. He surely would have heard about the claimed “resurrection,” and the new – sect? – it appeared to have spawned. My guess is that he *certainly* wouldn’t have believed in the “resurrection,” because he was convinced that Jesus had been unworthy of the role he’d tried to claim for himself. He might have found some gallows humor in the thought that the real Jesus wasn’t getting any benefit from all this new adulation; he was dead and gone!

    Judas probably wouldn’t have lived long enough to realize the Christian movement was more than a “flash in the pan.”




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  18. talmoore
    talmoore  June 6, 2018

    There’s no way in heck anyone other than Judas knew what happened to Judas after he betrayed Jesus. In all likelihood, Judas fled the scene never to be see or heard from again. In the Judas book of my Jesus novel, for now, I have Judas flee to Gaza — a non-Jewish city where he could simply disappear.




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    • Altosackbuteer
      Altosackbuteer  June 9, 2018

      At that time, Gaza was not non-Jewish. At the outset of the Jewish War, Titus had to overcome a lot of Jewish armed resistance to take Askelon.




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      • talmoore
        talmoore  June 11, 2018

        I mean Jewish controlled. There were Jews living in Gaza, but one wouldn’t call it a Jewish city like Jerusalem was a Jewish city.




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        • Altosackbuteer
          Altosackbuteer  June 12, 2018

          I disagree. Gaza was as Jewish as Jerusalem — arguably, maybe even MORE Jewish than Jerusalem. for numbers of foreigners converged on Jerusalem — Romans, Arabs, Greeks, etc. — but not Gaza. The 1st century is after the expulsion of the Canaanites and Philistines, and well before the Muslim invasions of the 7th century.

          Jerusalem of course was the center of Jewish religious ans social culture. But that doesn’t mean that Gaza was less Jewish as a result.




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  19. flyboydh1  June 6, 2018

    Dr. Ehrman,
    The reason Mathew quotes Jeremiah using a few verses from Zechariah is simple: Mathew screwed up! If read in context of what Zechariah is saying, Mathew’s use of these verses makes no sense. Don’t think for a second there is any other reason for this. Mathew had no idea what the Hebrew Bible said in it’s original language. Don’t give Mathew so much credit. He does this over and over again in his Gospel. It’s so sad that Bible scholars and Christians don’t see this. More more and more lies in the New Testament that got many innocent Jews over the last 2000 killed.




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    • Altosackbuteer
      Altosackbuteer  June 9, 2018

      Correct. And in addition, Matthew wasn’t above taking quotes from the Greek translation and twisting them for his own polemical and theological arguments.

      And neither was the Apostle Paul. In Galatians 3:13, Paul writes, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:”

      It is a horrific mangling of Deuteronomy 21:23. Paul is saying, anyone who hangs from a tree is cursed, but since Jesus was hanged on a (figurative) tree, he took this curse of the Law upon himself.

      That is NOT what Deuteronomy says!

      Deuteronomy is saying, anyone left to hang overnight from a tree brings a curse, NOT upon himself, but upon the still-living who left him hanging, because doing that desecrates a human body, which was made in the Image and Likeness of God.




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  20. prestonp  June 6, 2018

    “When Strobel interviewed eighty-four year-old scholar, Dr. Bruce Metzger of Princeton Seminary, he was talking to one of the world’s foremost authorities in the matter of textual evidence for the authenticity of the New Testament. Metzger overwhelmed the inquiring lawyer with devastating evidence. He pointed out that there is a mountain of manuscript data for the authenticity of the New Testament documents, while the writings of Tacitus and Josephus, for instance, are anthills by way of comparison.”

    “If Matthew is alluding to this passage in Jeremiah, his message is dire: he is predicting that Jerusalem will be destroyed in retribution for the killing of the innocent Jesus. This interpretation is not at all far-fetched: Matthew intimates a similar claim earlier in his book, for example in 22:7 and 41. For Matthew, living years after the Romans had sacked Jerusalem and destroyed its Temple, this was God’s punishment on Jews for the rejection of the messiah. Small wonder later readers would charge Matthew with fueling the fires of anti-semitism.

    “This interpretation is not at all far-fetched: Matthew intimates a similar claim earlier in his book, for example in 22:7 and 41…”

    Metzger would not say that Matthew intimates a similar claim in these verses, would he? Wouldn’t Metzger acknowledge that Matthew simply includes these verses because Jesus spoke what they contain? Should Christ be the One responsible for fueling the flames of antisemitism, or did people use these words because they were hoping to find reasons to hate?




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    • Bart
      Bart  June 7, 2018

      Yes, Metzger would maintain that the words of Jesus in Matthew are actually the words of Jesus.




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    • prestonp  June 7, 2018

      Small wonder later readers would charge Matthew with fueling the fires of antisemitism. Bart

      I agree with journalist Malcolm Muggeridge: “The depravity of man is at once the most empirically verifiable reality but at the same time the most intellectually resisted fact.” Malcolm Muggeridge

      Murdering a cheering fan of an opposing professional ball club when they win the game is one such example.




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