Did Judas Die by Hanging or Falling?

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Some argue that the Bible is contradictory concerning the question, “Did Judas die by hanging or falling?” The argument is that Matthew 27:3-8 says that Jesus died by hanging, but Acts 1:16-19 says that Jesus died by falling. However, the solution to this alleged contradiction in the Bible is simple.

Scriptures – Did Judas Die by Hanging or Falling?

Jesus Died by Hanging – Matthew 27:3-8

3 Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, 4 saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” 5 And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself. 6 But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since it is blood money.” 7 So they took counsel and bought with them the potter’s field as a burial place for strangers. 8 Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day.

Matthew 27:3-8

Jesus Died by Falling – Acts 1:16-19

16 “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. 17 For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.” 18 (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. 19 And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their own language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)

Acts 1:16-19

The Answer – Did Judas Die by Hanging or Falling?

Judas Died by Hanging, and Then Fell

The two passages are not mutually exclusive. The most likely explanation is that Judas died when he hanged himself (Matthew 27:3-8), and then sometime after this, Judas fell into the field that he had acquired (Acts 1:16-19). Most likely, Judas hanged himself in this same field.

Foundational Principles Regarding Bible Difficulties

There are some foundational principles that apply to all alleged and apparent contradictions in the Bible. To read more, see Bible Difficulties: Foundational Principles.

More Answers to “Contradictions” in the Bible

To read more answers to alleged and apparent contradictions in the Bible, see “Contradictions” in the Bible Answered.

These books are also excellent resources:

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