I've often wondered what Judas did with his money he received for betraying Jesus. In Acts 1:18 it says he bought a field (where he died). But in Matthew 27:5-7 it says he threw the money into the temple and left (which was portrayed in the movie The Passion). The chief priests took the money and bought a field. Which was it? Who bought the field? Also, the naming of the field seems to be somewhat of a contradiction. In Matthew and Acts it says it was called the Field of Blood, but Matthew says it is because the field was bought for a burial place for foreigners by the chief priests and in Acts it says it is named that because everyone in Jerusalem heard about Judas' death so they called the field by this name. Is this a contradiction? -- Jeff Arthur (Athens, Georgia)

No, this is not a contradiction. Gibson's Passion got it right. The Jewish leaders did not feel right about taking the "blood money" back, so they bought a field with it. They directly bought it. In a real sense, therefore, since it had been his money, Judas indirectly bought it. As for the naming of Hakeldama -- the name which the place still bears today! -- Matthew does not say it was named as it was because of the foreigners buried there. Matthew 27:8 refers back to 27:6, not 27:7. There is a lot going on in this field: remorse, suicide, land purchase, fulfillment of prophecy, and more.

This article is copyrighted and is for private use and study only. © 2004. Reprints or public distribution is prohibited without the express consent of Douglas Jacoby.