How did Judas die? Take a look at these two passages from the Bible:
When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.”
“What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.”
So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.
The chief priests picked up the coins and said, “It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money.” So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “They took the thirty silver coins, the price set on him by the people of Israel, and they used them to buy the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.”
(With the reward he got for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)
Which of these is right?
Some people say that he hanged himself and then his body fell down and his guts spilled out in the field, but that seems very strange. Whilst that could be true, another alternative explanation is that there were two alternative myths that grew up amonst the people of Jerusalem about this unimportant detail (the exact nature of the grisly death of Judas), and that the two writers here wrote down the two myths.
Which alternative do you believe, or do you believe something else?
Exactly how Judas died (and who bought the field) will not affect my faith, but my attitude to conflicts like this will profoundly affect it.
Is it wrong to treat the Bible as evidence (rather than instructions)?