A common apparent Bible contradiction put forth by skeptics is how to reconcile Matthew 27:6-9 with Acts 1:18-19. This discrepancy has long been a source of contention and confusion for many skeptics. In this blog, we will dive into the details of both passages to understand why they appear to be in conflict and how we can best reconcile them. So do we know who bought the Potters Field?
How Can We Make Sense Of This?
Matthew 27:6-9 tells the story of Judas Iscariot’s betrayal of Jesus Christ for 30 pieces of silver. It states that Judas had remorse for his actions and then threw the money back at the chief priests. In contrast, Acts 1:18-19 claims that Judas purchased a field with his 30 pieces of silver.
At first glance, these two stories seem to contradict each other. However, upon closer examination, there are several points that can help us reconcile these two passages. For instance, it is possible that after Judas threw the money back at the chief priests, he still had enough left over to purchase a field with it—which would explain why he was able to do so despite throwing back his full reward. We can also look at other sources such as Josephus Antiquities 20 which notes that Judas bought a field with his reward.
It also makes sense that the phrasing is something like what we see currently if someone completes a transaction for us. If I give my daughter $5 to go to the store and buy some soda, she makes the purchase, but I bought the soda. In this case, we both can rightly be said to have purchased the soda. Just as my daughter completed a transaction on my behalf, the priests completed the transaction on Judas’ behalf.
The Most Likely Scenario
The most likely resolution is something completely different, however. It seems clear from the Matthew passage that the chief priests bought the field. The passage in Acts seems to be referring to Judas’ actions. In other words, the priest bought the field with the money from Judas’ betrayal of Jesus. In this way, Judas’ actions purchased the field, although the priests completed the transaction.
All things considered, there is more than enough evidence available to suggest that Matthew 27:6-9 and Acts 1:18-19 are not actually in conflict despite their initial appearance. By l careful examination of each passage separately, we can come up with reasonable explanations as to how the Potters Field was purchased. Ultimately this serves as an example of how Scripture can sometimes be deeper than what meets the eye; if we take time to examine it closely and prayerfully consider all angles rather than jumping quickly to conclusions about apparent discrepancies then we may just find answers beyond what we could ever imagine!
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