September 16, 2001 / Volume 1, Issue 28
THE ATHEIST'S COMPLAINT:
Acts 1:18 tells us, "Now this man (Judas) purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out." However, Matthew 27:5-7 reads, "And he (Judas) cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests...bought with them a potter's field."
Is there a contradiction?
Luke indicates that Judas purchased it, while Matthew reveals that the chief priests bought the field. This is not a contradiction, but a difference of perspective. Indeed, the chief priests conducted the transaction for the field, hoever, it was not with their money. Nor would they have claimed the money. In verse 6, the abominable nature of this money is spoken of. They would not permit it to be included in the treasury, and certainly did not take possession of it for themselves. It had to be disposed of in some fashion. Thus, they purchased the field with it. Was it their field? No, for it was not their money that purchased the field (nor did they want the money or the field). The field was purchased by means of Judas, thus it was his field.
There is no contradiction.
This article is a response to Skeptic's Annotated Bible