Jude's Death and New Testament Contradiction

Discussion in 'Ελληνικά (Greek)' started by dudujr, Nov 12, 2011.

  1. dudujr New Member

    Portugues, English and Spanish
    Hi, I've got a question that it is centered on Jude’s death. In the Gospel of Matthew, we are told that, after betraying Jesus, Jude hung himself, as it is stated:
    Matthew 27:5 in Greek states:

    First question:
    Although koine Greek differs from modern one in some details, I suppose modern Greek speakers are still able to comprehend the New Testament in its original language. Bearing this in mind, I want to know if, taking Matthew 27:5 in Greek into consideration, I may infer [understand] that the apostle Matthew is stating that Jude REALLY died by hanging himself. In few words, Is Matthew stating that Jude literally killed himself by this means?

    Keep this question in mind. In Acts of the Apostle 1:18-19, Peter, according to the book's writer, i.e Luke, said as it follows:
    This verse, in the original New Testament in Greek, says:

    Second question:
    In this verse, we have the main issue, the main problem to the New Testament text. Matthew 27:5 says Jude died by hanging himself and Acts 1:18 says that Jude died by falling from a high place. Nevertheless, some Christians apologists claim that Acts 1:18 is not talking about how Jude died, but what happened to his body after his death. They say Jude hung himself but after killing himself, the tree's branch broke because of Jude's body weight. Christians say that in Acts, the Greek text says that Jude's body fell, and it does not say Jude threw himself from a high place, although they own up to saying this is just a conjecture. Summing up, reading Acts 1:18 in Greek, especially this part (πρηνης γενομενος) what would you understand? That this "falling headlong" happened while Jude was alive or, as Christians say, this happened while he was already dead, just his dead-body fell?

    Summing everything up, what would you understand [infer] by reading Matthew 27:5 and Acts 1:18 in the original Greek? Do you see any contradiction?

    The answer is very important to me. Please, don't answer based upon personal religious beliefs. I want the text speaks for itself. Looking forward for your answers! Thanks in advance!

  2. rainbow eyes

    rainbow eyes Member

    Just two sentences cannot lead someone to certain conclusions.
    However, if you read the whole passage in both cases, you will see that what you are asking is clearly described....(in the Greek text and in the English translation as well)
  3. dudujr New Member

    Portugues, English and Spanish
    I have put just two sentences because there are just two about the matter. You said that both lead to the same conclusion, and I would like to hear what your conclusion is. Do you think there is a contradiction in this two neotestamentary sentences?
  4. rainbow eyes

    rainbow eyes Member

  5. dudujr New Member

    Portugues, English and Spanish
    Rainbow, I appreciate your disposition to help me out, but I made a whole article and I still was not understood by you. First of all, you said there were not even two sentences to be considered. Well, let us check this out.

    Macmillan Dictionary of English says that a sentence means...

    I posted those two verses of the New Testament [Matthew 27:5 and Acts 1:18] where the case was centered upon. So, your statement was not currate by saying there there were not two setences even to be answered.

    Worst of all, in the end you posted the whole New Testament text in Matthew and Acts. Actually, I have the Bible and I could read it easily. I was not asking someone to give me Matthew chap. 27 and Acts chap. 1 whole text. I just wanted to know what a native Greek speaker would grasp by reading Matthew 27:5 and Acts 1:18... mainly, if they could see any contradiction of terms in this readings.

    Maybe you are not into the New Testament or familiar with... I do not know what the problem was. I will try another forum. This was my first time here but was not a good experience. Even thought, thanks a lot for taking time to answer me back.

    See ya next time!
  6. rainbow eyes

    rainbow eyes Member

    I am sorry you feel that I don't understand you, but just to know, I have also the same feeling, that you don't understand me :)

    You told me that there are only two sentences about the subject and you are trying to figure out what happened by focusing on these 2 sentences.
    I answered you that there are not only two sentences but a whole paragraph!

    In both texts you can read the full story about what happened to Judas. In Greek, in English, in Spanish... it's a whole paragraph in each text and not just 2 phrases.

    I provided you with the two links, so that you could read the whole paragraph and not just the one sentence.
    I still don't understand why you focused on these two phrases, if you read the whole passage.

    Anyway, I am not the owner of the forum or anything like that, so I would feel awful if you left the whole forum just for my sake ;)
  7. dudujr New Member

    Portugues, English and Spanish
    OK. The problem is that I am talking about theology and likely you do not have this information I have been looking for. Matthew chapter 27 is a whole paragraph as you said. Acts chapter 1 is a whole paragraph as you said. But not the whole text talk about Jude's death. Can you understand that? If I want to know something that is mentioned just in one verse of a whole paragraph, why would I read all the paragraph?

    You said:

    True! I am focusing on just 2 sentences of these whole paragraph because if you read Matthew 27 you will notice that just the verses 1-5 talks about Jude and just the verse 5 talks about his death. If you read Acts chapter 1 you will see that just the verse 18 talks about Jude's death. Is that difficult to take in?

    You speak as if Matthew chapter 27 whole paragraph talked about Jude, as if Acts whole chapter 1 talked about Jude. NOOOO! I have mentioned just this two isolated verses because just them talk about Jude's death.

    In theology, when we are interpreting, we take into consideration the context when this same context talks about the matter. If it does not, so it is not of our interest read ALL the chapter or even worse, all the book.

    You said:
    First of all, if you understood anything about theology you would know that, in the New Testament, there is no full story about what happened to Jude. If you take any, I said any Bible reference book you would see that the death of Jude is mysterious because we have just TWO VERSES [Matthew 27:5 and Acts 1:18] that talk about it.

    You said I could read this full story in many languages [English, Spanish, Greek], but I am interested in understading the text in ANCIENT GREEK. Ancient Greek is different from modern one and all modern languages. So I thought that maybe I could get some insights about Jude's mysterious death by talking to a native Greek speaker. What I have asked was so simple that in 5 min. after posting this same question in a theology forum I already got the answer. Since New Testament theology depends upon the understanding of Greek language, I thought that in a language forum like WORDREFERENCE someone could give me an insight.

    I will not leave because of your misunderstanding of theology stuff. But let truth be told, you made me waste lots of time explaining things that I did not need to explain. Instead of getting a answer I kept trying to saying the same things again and all over again.

    Thank you anyway. ;)
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2011
  8. rainbow eyes

    rainbow eyes Member

    Here is the whole paragraph talking about Judas from the first link :

    Acts 1 >>
    King James Version

    16Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus. 17For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. 18Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. 19And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood. 20For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.

    Judas bought a field with the reward and then fell, died etc.... The field is called therefore "the field of blood"

  9. rainbow eyes

    rainbow eyes Member

    Here is the paragraph talking about Judas in the second link:

    << Matthew 27 >>
    King James Version

    1When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: 2And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor.

    Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,
    4Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. 5And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. 6And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. 7And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in. 8Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day.

    Judas hanged himself after Jesus got arrested. He returned the money, he never bought a field.
    The elders bought the field with the money returned to them by Judas and named that field "field of blood".
  10. ireney

    ireney Modistra

    Greek Greece Mod of Greek, CC and CD
    To answer the initial question: Yes, it is very clear in the Greek text that in the first Judas hanged himself and in the second he just feel face down and died.
  11. sotos Senior Member

    Yes, I see a contradiction between Mathew and Acts. The explanation that he was thrown down etc AFTER his death, is an attempt to mend this contradiction, in the view of the dogma that Gospel has to be consistent in every detail.
  12. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    I do not know your christian denomination but for Greeks-the majority of whom are Orthodox Christians-the Gospel is one of Holy Traditions, the written one. As Paul writes, "Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle" (2 Thess. 2:15) (KJV).
    So, according to Holy Tradition, Judas hanged himself but he did not die till the moment Jesus descended to Hades. In fact the rope broke in the hanging and he fell: "and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out" (Acts 1:18) (KJV)
  13. dudujr New Member

    Portugues, English and Spanish
    Sotos and Apmoy70, I want to thank you both for answering me too. It is pretty interesting to see two native-greek-speakers with totally different points of view on the same greek text. One sees a contradiction and the other one sees none. But in the case of the second one, namely apmoy70, you gave me an answer based upon your personal belief. You started your conclusion based upon an already stablished fact that the Bible cannot contradict itself. So, you made up a conjecture [Jude's rope broke] to harmonize the record. That is why, in the beginning, I said:

    In Lexical Greek Commentary on the New Testament I could see that the part "falling headlong" implies a conscious act. There is a translation of the Bible in Português called Tradução do Novo Mundo, and in this verse it reads "throwing himself" instead of "falling". This is important, since a dead body can fall but could not throw itself. This translation I just mentioned is considered a literal one of the Greek text, based on Wescott and Hort Greek New Testament.
  14. sotos Senior Member

    Well, as a Greek Orthodox I never paid attention to the details of the Bible. This is a business for scholastic westerners. But for this thread I searched the Greek commentaries on this contradiction. One says that "πρηνής γενόμενος" does not necessarily imply a voluntary action. It could be an accident. If Judas had fallen from a tree the most appropriate verb would be a form of καταπίπτω. The "falling headlong" and "bowels gushed out" is an attempt of the Evangelist to conform to a similar phrase in Wisdom of Solomon 4, 19 and Wisdom of Sirah 10, 9 respectively.
    On the meaning of απήγξατο, some comment that it is not clear if he died because of this, reminding us the 2 Samuel 17, 23 where after απήγξατο follows the "και απέθανε" (and he (Ahitofel) died). The other part argues that the "he died" is a pleonasm frequently found in the Bible.
    I understand that the important question for the scholastics is if Judas died before or after Jesus. In the first case he was redeemed, in the later not!
    My opinion is that the Evangelists (or those who wrote the Gospel ) had classical Greek education and would not pay attention to such details. For them, Judas simply died a violent death.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2011
  15. mesi-elinida New Member

    Re:Jude's death and the New Testament contradiction: (i am not a Greek nor Biblical Scholar, but i and half Greek and studied modern Greek for many years.) i do know that Greek is connotative and most other languages are denotative, which has a bearing on the descriptions of Judas' death which seem to contradict each other. I have a very good Bible, you can buy just the New Testament or the entire Greek Bible translated and compiled by the same group of scholars. Basically, both Mt 27:3-5 and Acts 1:16-19, are references to an unrepentant suicide, by Judas. My Bible states in the study text that "although the accounts may seem to differ, Luke's report in Acts is merely a more detailed account of Judas' end". Because Greek is connotative, i think you can almost view each account a bit figuratively, but according to my Bible it also states "In a spiritual sense that the heart and soul of the rebellious or faithless person will be spilled out in the final judgment." That is what each is describing, but more or less put in different words yet meaning the same basic thing. Another basic example of connotative language is in just the word, "Straight", which in Greek also means "True" and are both definitions of the Greek word, "Ortho". Sometimes going from connotative to denotative or vice versa, words and statements and paragraphs, may seem to conflict. My Bible is: THE ORTHODOX STUDY BIBLE, Thomas Nelson publisher. (If you need the ISBN number i can try to get it, just let me know. i am new to this format so might have trouble navigating on my iPhone to know if you contact me.) It is available online.

Share This Page