THE FATE OF JUDAS

In the Desire of Ages Mrs. White describes the death of Judas:

"Later that same day, on the road from Pilate's hall to Calvary , there came an interruption to the shouts and jeers of the wicked throng who were leading Jesus to the place of crucifixion. As they passed a retired spot, they saw at the foot of a lifeless tree, the body of Judas. It was a most revolting sight. His weight had broken the cord by which he had hanged himself to the tree. In falling his body had been horribly mangled, and dogs were now devouring it. His remains were immediately buried out of sight ; but there was less mockery among the throng, and many a pale face revealed the thoughts within." (Desire of Ages, p.772).

NOTE: The Bible says nothing about Judas dying, being eaten by dogs, or being buried : "And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself." (Matthew 27:5).

"Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out." (Acts 1:18 ).

Did Judas really die the day Jesus died?

Outside of the Bible, the most reliable source of information about the fate of Judas is found in the writings of Papias. Papias lived in the period of 70 to 155 AD. He was a bishop in Asia Minor and a disciple of the apostle John . Some scholars believe that John dictated his gospel to Papias who wrote it in what we know today as the gospel of John. Papias later wrote five volumes on Christianity , of which we have fragments today. One of those fragments tells of the fate of Judas:

"Judas was a terrible, walking example of ungodliness in this world, his flesh was bloated. For his eyelids:were so swollen that he could not see the light at all, and his eyes could not be seen:so far had they sunk below the outer surface. When he relieved himself there passed through it pus and worms from every part of his body, much to his shame. After much agony and punishment:he finally died in his own place. And because of the stench the area is deserted and uninhabitable even now; in fact, to this day no one can pass that place unless they hold their nose, so great was the discharge from his body and so far did it spread over the ground." (Exposition of the Sayings of the Lord as quoted in Apollinaris of Laodicaea, The Apostolic Fathers, p.323-324, 1989, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan).

Notice from the above quotation:

Judas survived the horrible injury suffered in his fall.
Judas' body became infected, swollen, and worm-infested.
Judas died in his own home.

Papias' description of the stench which made Judas' home uninhabitable correlates with the Biblical account of the fate of Judas' home:

"For it is written in the book of Psalms,
Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein:
and his bishopric let another take."

(Acts 1:20 )

Mrs. White's description of Judas' death and burial provides no explanation as to why Judas' home would be left desolate and uninhabited. When someone died, their home was taken over by others. If Judas had been eaten by dogs and quickly buried in a field, why would his home have been uninhabitable? Papias' explanation of the disease and death of Judas, with its resulting stench, is far more plausible than Mrs. White's explanation.



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