Friday, December 29, 2006

David and Solomon (and Judas)

Recently I have read the book, David and Solomon, having had my curiosity aroused by the discussion here with "Honey". It is an interesting book, putting together archeology, history, and the Bible to discuss the story of David and Solomon.

The authors see that David and Solomon may well have been real men who started a dynasty known as the House of David, but the actual events of their lives must have been very different from that recorded in the Bible.

Archeology shows that Jerusalem and the surrounding areas were only sparsely inhabited by a few herders and farmers in the time of David. Archeology has found many remains at Jerusalem from earlier times (before 1550 BCE) and from later times (after 750 BCE), but very little from the reported time of David and Solomon (1010-930 BCE). This indicates that Jerusalem in the time of Solomon was far from being the capital of a mighty empire from Egypt to the Euphrates as indicated in the Bible.

The book portrays the historical David as a bandit leader in the Jerusalem area, with a small group of men. David's bandits would have served partially to protect the people of the area, and would have been a nuisance to rich, established people in surrounding areas. In the meantime, it appears that the area of Benjamin north of the Jerusalem area was fairly prosperous. This may be the source of the story of King Saul, who ruled in the north, and ended up chasing the bandit David. But Saul's kingdom was destroyed by Egypt, perhaps with the aid of the Philistines and even David. The kingdom around Jerusalem survived, and could have come to be ruled by David, thus establishing the House of David.

But all of this happened before writing was established in the area, so the stories were only passed down by word of mouth. Later the stories were recorded, and later events could have then been incorporated into the stories, eventually leading to the record as we know it today.

It is an interesting read, although nobody knows exactly what happened. In any case, actual history appears to be much different from that recorded in the Bible.

-------

(I have renamed this post, since many of the comments below are about Judas, not about David and Solomon.)

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

THIS IS NOT A DAVID AND SOLOMON ISSUE BUT IS IN REPLY TO A COMMENT BY MERLE ON THE ‘WAS DAVID ALONE’ POST. I didn't want to clog up that comments box.


CONTRADICTIONS

Mere brought up the issue in the 'Was David Alone' post regarding his contradictions page specifically noting the matters of Judas death and the Father of Joseph. I will deal with these matters before we move forward with David (I’m looking at David thinking it’s going to be Easter before I get it up on here :-S – I hope not but it’s rather involved)

JUDAS

Please look up the following texts involved for context.

Mt.27:5 And he [Judas] threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself.

Vs.

Acts 1:18 (Now this man [Judas] acquired a field with the price of his wickedness, and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his intestines gushed out.

Now the deception here should be obvious to everyone. Look at these two quotes Merle has provided. Apparently he has read the arguments for and against on this before (he states as much, further down his ‘Is the Bible Perfect’ page), and read the Bible six times (so we know he knows how to read), so a knowing deception on his part is the only conclusion I can come up with, and considering his other treatment of everything I put forward, I understand this to be exactly the case. Read his claim below, from the 'Was David Alone' post.

MERLE SAYS
“In one place the Bible says Judas hanged himself, but another place says he fell headfirst to his death”

Now read again the Acts text, and read again his post comment directly above.

Does anyone notice there is a significant word included in Merle’s post statement, which does not appear in the Act’s text?

That’s right – the word DEATH

Nowhere in the Acts text does it say that this falling is what caused Judas’ death.

This readers, is a perfect example of what Merle would call a “totally unsupported assertion”.

Now we all carelessly (and some with more frequency than others) make totally unsupported assertions off the cuff, but Merle is intensely aware of the error of such (as he demonstrates in the writing of this accusation “totally unsupported assertions” at his “Is the Bible Perfect” page regarding another matter) and professes to have used “careful observation, thoughtful questions, and deductive reason to see what I can learn” but for some UNREVEALED reason, the necessity to support an assertion, he seems to conclude, does not apply to him (which I can repeatedly demonstrate from his site). And clearly the ineptness of others, has through no fault of their own, been no match for Merle’s beguiling.

The simple answer to this alleged contradiction is that Matthew rightfully states that Judas hung himself, and that Acts rightfully states that he fell headlong with his intestines gushing out.

So let’s look at the matter in a little more detail (I do apologise for the detail)

Judas hangs himself. Either no one sees the body or no one wants to remove the body because it would make them unclean for the Sabbath on the following day. Now dead bodies begin a process called putrefaction (or molecular death). Putrefaction is “the gradual disintegration of the body into gases, liquids and salts by both bacterial activity and enzymes from our bodies”(1). The onset of this process is a certain indicator that the person has died. Two of the effects of putrefaction are the production of gasses (which leads to the body bloating), and the liquefaction of tissues (including fat, muscles, and organs which all begin to break down into fluids and mush). It is not my personal experience that live falling bodies break open at the abdomen upon the point of impact. A live body that falls is kept intact by skin and muscles (impact would cause a bone to shatter rather than perforate the skin) It is even less likely that such a body would burst open at the abdomen if the site of impact is at the head (since it is stated that Judas fell headlong). It is however almost a certainty for a body already under the process of putrefaction to burst open under even slight impact due to gas bloat and the deterioration of organs and muscles, with the fluid contents gushing out under pressure of the built up gasses.

And here we have what would appear to be the perfect reason to buy the land, the elimination of two problems (the money and the body) with one solution. Who was going to take responsibility for cleaning up the stinking putrefied body of a traitor?! Certainly much easier to throw a bit of dirt over it and walk away.

So far the two accounts harmonise perfectly.

So how did he fall headlong? It doesn’t say how he fell headlong, whether as Merle must be claiming, he was alive, or whether he was already dead. That the text doesn’t say how he fell, is of no significance once we understand the facts demonstrated above. I will list several possibilities that are quite plausible in the situation. If he had hung himself in a tree, which seems most likely, then a branch may have broken (and I can attest from personal experience that this happens quite readily in real life, especially if it rained anytime after). The process of the branch breaking in itself may have jerked the body to swing the lower part of the body back up towards the branch/rope/tree slightly so that when it fell the head impacted first. (try it with a heavy pen tied under the pocket catch near the top with a piece of string, now jerk a little and time your drops to just after each jerk - within 4 drops I could jerk so that all impacts where at the head end of the pen, so statistically highly possible). Alternately, the body, or the branch many have clipped another branch or shrub on the way down tipping it, or the rope may have been entangled around another part of the body so that as it fell it was spun around. There are so many logical explanations for how the body could fall headlong from a hanging position.. The answer then to how did the body fall headlong is this – it didn’t tell us, so it doesn’t matter.

So far we have the facts supported by both texts that Judas hung himself, his body then falling to the ground after putrefaction has set to work, his abdomen readily bursting open and his intestines gushing out.

I’m sure everyone reading this has watched a CSI episode. We all understand that to sum up a death scene in one sentence leaves a vast amount unstated. Why would the Bible be any different than real life?

The fact is – MANY SEPARATE FACTS DO NOT A CONTRADICTION MAKE.

Brought together, the various facts become what is called a ‘COMPILATION OF FACTS’.

I did have a look at another site regarding this Judas matter (not the one Merle indicates on his page but another random goggled site – to which as you can imagine I left my explanation to their contradiction dilemma, which has since been removed from the site - ie. my explanation- with a great deal more confusion inserted in its place) and while there I noticed the subject of the purchase of the field, and the naming of the field discussed. I will address both issues for everyone’s clarity.


WHO BOUGHT THE FIELD?

Simple answer is the High Priests bought the field in Judas’ name. Of course someone will raise an objection so here is the explanation.

In Judas' case the money wasn't in his possession but it still belonged to him, as the priests had rejected his return of the the blood money (considering the betrayer had himself declared that Jesus was innocent) and nor could the treasury by law take it, so his throwing of the money which had been payment for a service provided (therefore a legal transaction) did not equate to a transfer of ownership.

This Judas case does have legitimacy from a legal perspective since Judas both defiled the land and provided the money for its purchase. There are many legal situations where financial transactions are made on another’s behalf without the owners consent on individual transactions. Our whole trust fund system, power of attorney, and superfund systems etc are based on the legal capability for one person to buy/sell on another’s behalf. Sometimes the court steps in to give the consent in various circumstances. The point that must be emphasised in this situation, is that we are talking about the Chief Priests. They were the law delegates (to a lesser extent at this time than prior to Roman occupation, but clearly still with legal powers). If there was consent to be sought, these were the authorities to be consulted. If they bought the land on behalf of Judas, then it was by Jewish Law a legal transaction. It would fall under the similar jurisdiction of what we have in Australia called the Public Trustee where estate matters are finalised on the deceased’s behalf. The text makes it very clear that they DID NOT MAKE THE TRANSACTION ON BEHALF OF THE TREASURY. It was clearly bought in Judas’ name to both implicate Judas and absolve anyone else of the matter of the betrayal of Jesus.

Actually the word used from Merle’s translation is ‘acquired’ (to gain possession of). This actual translation would easily allow for a purchase by the Priests on Judas’s behalf, since he did acquire the land in name, reputation and occupancy (in death as it was).



THE NAMING OF THE FIELD

It is supported by both texts that this field was acquired with blood money.

Acts 1:18 (Now this man [Judas] acquired a field with the price of his wickedness…

Matthew 27:6-7 …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 (not a very hard decision given the alternative).

This is the reason the sight was known as “the Field of Blood”, and because it was used for a burial ground for foreigners it remained known as such, until at least the day of the Matthew’s writing of the gospel.

I point out that there is no blood to be found mention of anywhere at the death scene, so to suggest this as an explanation for the naming of the field (as some have suggested elsewhere)is in itself a contradiction to the text.

(1)http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A2451683

If you could see on the net just how much hullabaloo is being made over these very simple NON ISSUES! I want you to ASK WHY? Why are people not seeing the simple truth of what these texts say? Why do people want so maliciously to slander this book that they will continuously manipulate what is said, ignoring common sense, ignoring the facts, making false accusation, while being themselves deceptive?

WHY?

Honey

Noogatiger said...

Wow Honey,
Isn't God wonderful. He didn't tell Matthew all the details, about the High priests taking the money and buying a field for him to be hanged in, (they must have been informed by God beforehand that he was going to do this), or that he would be allowed to hang there until his rotting corps fell headfirst, (by some other miracle), into a field thereby bursting his guts out, because God knew he would fill in the minor details to Paul when he came along, so that we could piece the story together.

Also Paul saw no need to mention the previous hanging or the fact that the money was actually given to the priest because Matthew had mentioned that earlier.

Dang, if only God, or Matthew, or Paul could put their stories all together the first time, then us lowly humans could actually understand them without someone like you to create a whole new story to tie it all together.

I must say that your extrapolation abilities are considerable, but not believable, and this is supposed to be the perfect word of a perfect God, and he can’t even tell a good story without leaving out a lot of details. Maybe God suffers from memory loss from time to time, and these things only come back to him in spurts.

Anonymous said...

First of all I think the author of the above comment meant Luke not Paul. The consensus is that Luke was the author of the book of Acts.

I will reply to the above comment for the benefit of other readers who might have difficulty weighing the pros and cons of both my initial comment and the attempted denunciation that followed.

If the author of the above comment understood the word of God he would understand this to be precisely the way of God, and would also understand why.

Isaiah 28:13 NIV
13 So then, the word of the LORD to them will become:
Do and do, do and do,
rule on rule, rule on rule;
a little here, a little there—
so that they will go and fall backward,
be injured and snared and captured.

Isaiah 28:13 KJV
13But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.

It is God’s purpose to show the wisdom of God in comparison with the wisdom of men, demonstrating the wisdom of men to be as foolishness. The author of the comment posted above noted elsewhere that he felt oppressed by what he was taught as a Christian – that is either because his heart was not open to God, or because what he was being taught was by blind guides who did not understand the real message and purpose of Christianity (ie. God’s desire to draw men to Himself through His Love) – as we see, not all who claim to follow God are following with their hearts.

Isaiah 29 13-14 NIV
13 The Lord says:
"These people come near to me with their mouth
and honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship of me
is made up only of rules taught by men. [b] 14 Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish,* the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish." *

*(that is the wonder of God’s demonstration of His power and wisdom, which overshadows that of man’s, making man’s to appear as foolishness)

Jesus demonstrates clearly the intent that not all should be given the understanding of that which he spoke.

Luke 8:10
He said, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that,” 'though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.

And the reason is, that it may be demonstrated by those who have been given understanding, that this understanding and knowledge is by the power of God.

God gives insight through the light of truth to those whom he desires to go forth and share that truth, that the source of that truth might be made known - that is Christ the true light.

Mark 4:21
21He said to them, "Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don't you put it on its stand? 22For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. 23If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear."

14"You are the light of the world *. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

*(Speaking to the disciples)

Without the light of understanding, what is read, is read in darkness with no understanding.

In the same way that Christ was hidden from those without understanding until the time He was sent to Earth, in the same way that the understanding of Him as the Messiah had been hidden from the majority of the Jews until the full number of the gentiles had come in, in the same way that He spoke in parables and disclosed their meaning to the disciples, in the same way that it is written “here a little, and there a little” – in the same way, it is all part of God’s purpose to hide a matter that it may be revealed at the appropriate time to the appropriate people in a way that demonstrates God’s power, and man’s foolishness.

1 Corinthians 1:18-31
Christ the Wisdom and Power of God
18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written:
"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."
20Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.

26Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before him. 30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."
__________________________________

JUDAS

If we make comparison to Matthew’s telling of Judas’ fate (Matthew 27) and that told in Acts (Chapter 1), we understand the first to be part of the ‘events surrounding Jesus’ narration (Matthew), and the second to have spiritual significance to the matter at hand. In Acts the disciples are gathered for the appointment of a new apostle. The spiritual fate of Judas is described through what happened in the physical, as this too is part of the inspired complexity of the way God works ie. physical demonstration of spiritual truth, therefore there is always a physical witness to attest to the spiritual truths. In the physical, Judas’ dead body fell from the tree. In the spiritual we understand Judas was already spiritually dead before his falling from the tree (represented physically by the hanging on the tree). This is why he traded his physical position of disciple (as part of the tree – see Romans 11:1-17), which had been given to him by the grace of God, to be included among the dead (ie. among the spiritually dead - being represented by the field used as a burial ground) by his betrayal of Jesus Christ. So his falling represented his fall from his position of grace as a disciple to that of a betrayer, which in itself had already been preordained because of his position of spiritual death. We can understand the truth of Judas being broken from the tree when we understand the truth of the tree (Romans 11:1-17, Romans 15:12).

Now to do something ‘headlong’ means to do it “in a hasty and foolhardy manner” (headlong @ dictionary.com), which was demonstrated by Judas’ regret of his action by attempting to reject the money he had accepted for the betrayal. As for his insides spilling out, it is yet another perfect illustration of physical representation equating to spiritual truth. The term “spill ones guts’, means they reveal the truth about who they really are or what they have done. The spilling of Judas’ intestines refers to the revealing of his true nature (his position of being spiritually dead) through his betrayal of Jesus Christ. He revealed the putridity that can destroy the spiritually dead from the inside out, as opposed to being a true follower/disciple of Jesus Christ. And Judas’ demonstration of his true nature is what brought them to the point they were at (as described in Acts where this comment about Judas had been made), where they were gathered for the appointment of a new apostle.

As you can see, the significance of making reference to a matter within its appropriate context is far from being a randomized slap together of alleged facts, but rather a Divine composition of symphonic harmony. In the same way that fine music is wasted on those who have never acquired an appreciation for such, so too the untrained mind cannot be expected to understand the complexity of the Bible. Saying the Bible is just a book full of contradictory nonsense is akin to saying a musical symphony is just noise.

Let’s look at the Gospels for example – someone may look at the four separate gospels and say, “well if it was done properly it would have been written in one gospel. Such assumption could not be further from the truth.

Imagine standing at any particular point on the planet. Now we may survey the surroundings in four different directional aspects eg, North, South, East or West.

So too reading of Jesus from a gospel will give us a view of Christ in four different aspects.

Christ as King - Matthew
Christ as Servant - Mark
Christ as Man - Luke
Christ as God - John

As we understand, King is as far removed from Servant as East is to West, and God is as far removed from man as North is from South

Each gospel contains demonstration of other aspects (as a north direction extends northeast – a blending of north and east) yet each gospel has a focus on one of these aspects in particular.

So instead of having one single witness to Jesus Christ, we have the strength of four complementary witnesses each expounding one of the four different aspects of Christ.

I apologise if my writing is difficult to follow. Some things are difficult to understand for the purpose of challenging the most intellectual of minds (eg. Sir Isaac Newton). Yet as I have said before and must emphasize again, God’s message of salvation is very simple and within reach of the smallest child, which is that God Loves us as our spiritual Father and longs to draw us to Him through His demonstration of Love for us through Jesus Christ. All God requires of us is our heart.

Acts 8:30
Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked. “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?”.

Honey

LorMar said...

klHoney said:

"The author of the comment posted above noted elsewhere that he felt oppressed by what he was taught as a Christian – that is either because his heart was not open to God, or because what he was being taught was by blind guides who did not understand the real message and purpose of Christianity (ie. God’s desire to draw men to Himself through His Love) – as we see, not all who claim to follow God are following with their hearts."

I think you hit the nail on the head with this. The whole blind guide issue is a lot more common than we could imagine. It creates more "deconverts" than anything else, IMO. I don't agree with most of what Noogatiger says, but I sure can understand where he is coming from (especially about the prayer/faith issue).

Sorry, I can't tie this into David and Solomon.

Noogatiger said...

You mention that God's plan of salvation is so simple". Then you quote the verse which says that we can't even understand the word, unless some man explain it to me. I suppose the inference is that only a true believer can even explain it. Really?

I know we are way off of topic here, but Honey started it.

If there is one thing which you would think would be consistent from one Church to another, or be totally clear and unmistakable in the Bible, you would think it would be the simple Christian doctrine of Salvation, or getting saved, or being born again, or becoming a Christian. This is the most crucial part of the whole Christian religion is it not? How do I become a Christian, and save myself from burning in hell forever. Yet, even this cannot be explained the same from one true believer to another.


What you find out pretty quickly is that even this, the most basic principle of Christianity is not settled in Christian Churches. In fact it is different from one Christian denomination to another and can be very different even among separate factions within any particular denomination, even person to person. So who is going to explain it?

One church says it is this simple; just believe in Jesus, and ask him to be the lord of your life.

Another church says wait a minute, it isn't that simple, and that you must repent of your sins first, then believe and ask Jesus to be lord of your life.

Yet another says hold on, you must first realize that you are a sinner who deserves hell, confess your sin, believe that Jesus is God, and the Son of God, who was virgin born, lived sinless, died for your sins, rose again, will return, and then ask him to be the lord of your life.

We are not done there however, because yet another church tells me that while you must do all of those things, that just believing is not enough, because there has to be the spirit of God who then moves into your heart and makes you a new creature somehow. It seems there are believers and then there are true believers.

Then, just when you think surely we have heard all the variables, a church comes along which says you have to do all of those things, plus receive what is called the baptism of the holy Spirit of God who comes into your heart, and causes you to start speaking in an unknown language, and if you don’t get all of that you are not going to heaven.

Then just when you think surely there can’t be any other versions of this, along comes a group which says that you must do all of the above, and be baptized in their church, or you will not make it.

Of course there is the denomination which says that yes you must do those things, but then you have to live sinless to the end of your life, or you still will not make it.

Then there is the church which says you must do all these things plus you must attend church on Saturday, the real Sabbath day, or your going to hell.

Lets not forget the group which says that while you must do most of these things, that everybody is not offered this chance, only those whom God has chosen himself are offered or given the capability to believe.

Then there is the church which says: You don’t have to do any of these things, just go to church, confess your sins, and you will be fine.

Maybe it’s just me, but if the Christian Church can’t even come to an agreement on the one single most important tenant of faith, the one which is supposed to be the foundation of it all, why should anyone trust any of it? It just becomes a game of chance to choose the right path, and for me one more reason to know that God could not have written this book.

True believes, like I used to be, have no more insight to this book than the best read agnostic who has studied it. Christians have just decided that they were going to ignore many problems, or connect dots where there were none to connect, and help God fill in the parts he forgot to tell us, so that we could make sense of these stories.

Don't you guys get a little tired of stretching your personal honesty and integrity to believe or accept some of these explanations when the simple reading is usually the most honest?

Honestly, these two stories cannot be describing the same event. See now, wasn't that simple. The two authors simply told two different stories about how Judas died, each trying to match some Old Testament verse so that it looked like fulfilled prophecy, and they messed up. They should have checked each others story first, and then they could have told the same one.

Noogatiger said...

P.S

I have come to the conclusion that anyone wanting to keep their faith in Jesus Christ had better not do an exhaustive and objective study of the Bible.

The best testimony against the truthfulness of the Bible is the Bible itself.

Luckily for preachers and churches most believers don't do this.

Merle said...

No, Honey, of course I was not being deceptive when I said Acts 1:8 refers to Judas plunging to his death. I think anyone who reads it for what it says will come to that conclusion.

See, for instance here where Pastor Al argued that Judas did indeed die from the fall as recorded in Acts 1:8. Ah, but will you tell us that Pastor Al was also deceptive?

In fact, I venture to say that most Christians who read Acts 1:8 think it is refering to Judas's death. Are all these people deceptive?

If everyone who believes that Acts 1:8 is refering to Judas's death is deceptive, oh what a mass of people are out there trying to deceive Honey!

I think most people will see that Honey's attempt to explain away the contradiction is woefully inadequate.

Anonymous said...

This is in no way about what you assume the majority of people believe though is it. I am sure at this moment you wish it was. This is about you being aware of, and deceitful with regards to the facts. And the fact is that most Christians would believe as Galileo rightfully believed - that the Bible is abstruse. So let's move beyond all the side stepping and get back to the written facts - does the text in Acts say anywhere that this is the way Judas died?

Honey

Merle said...

Honey,

No, as I explained to you before, I was not being deceitful when I mentioned Acts 1:8 and Judas's death. It seems to me that Acts 1:8 infers that this is the way Judas died.

Honey, please refrain from personal attacks. You talk about Christian love, and yet you come on here and attack the integrity of people that differ with, even though you have no evidence to support your personal attacks. Why do you insist on personal attacks?

Pastor Al was not being deceitful when he spoke of Acts 1:8 referring to Judas's death. The millions of people that believe that Acts 1:8 implies that this is the way Judas died are not all intentionally deceiving you Honey. Please quit attacking the integrity of all those millions of people, and recognize that some people may honestly differ with your opinion.

The millions of people who believe that Acts 1:8 refers to Judas's death have feelings, Honey. Please respect their feelings. If you differ with them, fine, let's talk about it. But why run roughshod over the feelings of millions of people?

Merle said...

Uh, let's make that Acts 1:18, not 1:8. My mistake.

And no Honey, in case you are drolling at the chance to point out a deliberately lying deception, this was not intentional, it was a mistake.

Noogatiger said...

People will make up anything they want to in order to keep the faith that their Bible is not an error filled contradictory document.

Here is one explanation I found on the internet. Honey, your theory of Judas falling and hitting a tree branch on the way down doesn't look so good now

_________________________________
""
How did Judas Iscariot Die?
This one is pretty simple once all the facts
are understood, but until then, it's a little
confusing.

Judas was the apostle that just before Jesus
was crucified, Judas decided to turn in Jesus for
BLOOD MONEY. He made a deal with the high priests
where he would get paid 30 pieces of silver in
exchange for pointing out where and who Jesus was
so the soldiers could then take and arrest him.
Soon after Jesus was arrested, Jesus was deserted,
beaten, mutilated and then crucified.

Judas knew that they'd do this to Jesus, but he
was thinking of the money rather than what they'd
do to his good friend Jesus. In letting his greed
take him over, Judas ended up losing all his
mercy and kindness concerning him.

After Jesus died, Judas went back to the temple
and told the priests he didn't want the money
any more and tossed it back in the temple. Judas
then went and hanged himself and died. See Mat 27
for the entire account of this.

The high priests didn't want the money since it
was the "price of blood" or BLOOD MONEY. So since
they didn't want to put the money in treasury, they
decided to use it to buy the field that Judas would
be buried at.

What then causes people concern is that later in
Acts, Judas seems to be dying by a different manner,
specifically:

Ac 1:16 Men and brethren, this scripture must
needs have been fulfilled, which the
Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake
before concerning Judas, which was guide
to them that took Jesus.
17 For he was numbered with us, and had
obtained part of this ministry.
18 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.
19 And it was known unto all the dwellers
at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is
called in their proper tongue, Aceldama,
that is to say, The field of blood.

At first glance this verse set seems to be
saying that Judas fell and split open his guts
when he landed, turning the field to blood.

But when the verses were written was that what
they really meant?

No, it was not.

A couple of items concerning what's being said:

1. Falling was a common concept used to denote
"falling from God" or leaving God. Judas in
turning in Jesus, he's then rejected the
ARM OF GOD.

2. The "bowels" were where the Hebrews considered
the MERCY and KINDNESS to reside, similar to
our thinking of the heart as where mercy
kindness and tenderness resides: "broken heart",
"tender hearted", "heartless", etc... For the
Hebrews, those concepts were described with the
"bowels", not the heart.

Essentially, the verse set is saying in their
terms of the day, that Judas fell recklessly from
God, lost all his mercy and kindness and turned
in his good friend Jesus. His having done so, that
purchased the field he was buried at with said
BLOOD MONEY, the "price of blood" giving that
"field of blood".

For those not wanting to read the verse set this
way, they're then left with reconciling THREE physical
impossibilities:

1. Judas in hanging, he would be falling feet first
not head first.

2. If Judas is assumed to be falling head first,
he'd split open his head, not his guts.

3. Judas in falling from a tree he could hang himself
from, he'd not have enough impact to split open
his guts anyway.

In other words, the Acts verse set can't describe
an actual physical falling, but it can describe
Judas's falling from God... his SPIRITUAL falling
from God after losing all his mercy and kindness.

Therefore the two accounts do in fact align:

* Matthew describes how Judas PHYSICALLY died.
* Acts describes how Judas SPIRITUALLY fell from God.""

_________________________________
.
.
Isn't it amazing how words and meanings can be so twisted and perverted in order to obtain the outcome one wants.
A sad example.

Anonymous said...

Merle,

I certainly did not accuse anyone else of the same kind of knowing deception to which you have lowered yourself Merle. In fact my last comment went so far as to exonerate others through their lack of understanding. Your persistent accusation that I did such a thing is in itself another intentional lie, and subsequently an attack on my own integrity. You are making my job at revealing your true nature to the readers a whole lot easier. I will call a spade, a spade Merle, and you can keep right on digging.

Honey

Merle said...

"Honey"

Knowing deception? What in the world are you talking about? Millions of us really truly think Acts 1:18 is referring to Judas's death. We are not knowingly deceiving you when we tell you that this is what we believe.

It simply is not true that I agree with your view of Acts 1:18 and am knowlingly lying about my opinion. I really, truly, honestly think Acts 1:18 refers to Judas's death. Most people agree with me that this verse refers to Judas's death.

Would you like to know why I think this refers to Judas's death?

Merle

Anonymous said...

Merle,

First deception relating to this issue was this quote of yours:
“but another place says he fell headfirst to his death.”

You do not say that people think that he fell headfirst to his death – you say that is what the Bible says. That is a lie. The Bible does not say that – you only purport that the Bible says that because it supports your ‘contradiction’ beliefs. You need more than a ‘contradiction’ belief to support any individual claim - you need facts. In this instance the fact is that the text does not say that he fell to his death. To suggest that millions of people believe what you believe means nothing. Millions of people believed the earth was flat. That belief came from a lack of understanding. You claim more than anyone how important it is to base a belief on facts (or evidence), yet apparently that only applies when it serves your purpose. THE FACT IS this text DOES NOT STATE THIS WAS THE CAUSE OF DEATH.

Second deception relating to this issue was your comment:
“Please quit attacking the integrity of all those millions of people, and recognize that some people may honestly differ with your opinion.

I did not once, in any way or form do as you state here. This too is a lie.

Of course I recognize that people have different opinions – it is absolutely absurd of you to suggest otherwise. Obviously I am here talking to people with different opinions.


MERLE SAYS

“It simply is not true that I agree with your view of Acts 1:18 and am knowlingly lying about my opinion.”

Um...are you saying I said anything like this? And if you are, please show me where I said it? And if I didn’t, then why add to the confusion by implying that I did?

Honey

Anonymous said...

Yes Merle, please surprise me with why you think the Acts text refers to Judas falling to his death.

Honey

Anonymous said...

Noogatiger,

RE: JUDAS
EXPLANATION OF MATT & ACTS TAKEN FROM NET

I think the similarities between this explanation and the one I gave should be noted first.

1. Both agree that the Acts text has spiritual significance.

2. Both agree that the falling represents a falling away from God (God’s grace, his position in relation to God ie as disciple of Christ)

3. Both agree that the spilling of the intestines represents the ‘heart condition’ of Judas and the significance of it’s relation to his betrayal of Jesus Christ (here I spoke of the English understanding of ‘to spill ones guts’, the other author spoke of the Hebrew understanding of intestines – the concept of what is represented by intestines being the same in both languages)

Now the difference is that I believe the Acts text happened in the physical as a demonstration of and witness to the spiritual, (as God works time and time again) whereas the other author believed it to be purely spiritual. He seemed to believe this because he couldn’t correlate the body bursting or falling headlong, with the hanging. I don’t think he understood some things, such as putrefaction, God’s tree and branches analogy (as used in Romans 11:17, and elsewhere), and the manner in which branches often break off (I’ve been witness to more branches breaking than the average person). I don’t believe he is correct due to the physical words used eg. intestines, burst, spilling/gushing. If this were a purely spiritual context, then why make reference to the physical?

I don’t see how this authors stance in anyway detracts from mine. I have presented a thorough and Biblical explanation for the two accounts. I am glad though that the net author and myself are in agreement in the spiritual context.
_____________________________

RE: SALVATION


You must eat to survive.

You must eat food to survive.

You must eat food containing nutrition to survive.

You must eat food containing nutrition, and be able to digest it to survive.

Etc. etc. etc….

Apparently all simple truth can be made complex. None of the more complex statements nullify the simple statements.

You need a degree to understand fully the workings of the digestive system and the nutritional aspect of food and how they work together to keep our bodies functioning, and yet we all mostly eat and survive.

In the physical, daily food is our salvation.

If I live in my Father's house He teaches me daily through his actions of provision, what and how I am to eat for my good health. This knowledge becomes a part of me. Even the youngest child in the family is fed if he but opens his mouth to receive. When we live in faith that He will provide the food needed for our growth, then we need not concern ourselves with the details beyond our understanding, but when we seek for knowledge it should be to Him that we turn. Often He will give us a taste of a variety of foods but many of us will acquire a specific taste for certain foods.

In the physical when we sit to the table with our siblings, they may tell us all sorts of things about the food, and may sometimes wish to impose their palate preferences upon us. Usually in the physical we know when, what, and who to listen to at the table, and become very aware of who we are best to ignore. Likewise, although we belong to the family we need to be able to think independently of our siblings in the spiritual but always maintaining awareness of the instruction of our Father.

It is most important that we learn to understand the concepts expressed by words, as well as understanding the words themselves. And like everything this applies to both the physical world and the spiritual.

Jesus said:

Matthew 4:4 "...Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. "
_____________________________

RE: FAITH

What was it that Eve was missing in the Garden of Eden when she ate of the forbidden fruit?

FAITH

How can we be one with God when we have no faith in Him?

How can a child be guided on the right path when he refuses to acknowledge the Father's wisdom?

How can instruction be given to the student who contests against the knowledge and authority of the teacher?

How productive can be an employee who has no respect of the employer?

How can the lover trust with his Love, the one committed only to self?

God has given us in creation, life, a universe of matter subject to order and natural laws, a Book, his Son, all that bears witness of Him. Still for many it is not enough.
God demonstrated that He can stand in front of man and give instruction, yet the minute man is left to his own devices, the first snake to come along with a convincing story is able to turn man’s heart from God – this is the consequence of free will. We are here to learn to do differently. We are here to learn to live by faith. God has revealed Himself to me in ways that are meaningful and personal, but most of all through Jesus Christ and the truth he portrayed. I understand there is no greater demonstration of Love. There is nothing in this world to compare to that gift of God, and I know in my heart the truth of the Love God demonstrated. I see his instruction in my life every day through every situation. To those who choose to put their trust in Him, He will do the same. He doesn’t stand with a flashing neon sign, His revelations are subtle – questionable in times of doubt so that we might be forced to lean on what we know in our hearts to be truth. This is the only way we can stand against what is false. When we realise we cannot contend with every new deception, every new talking creature with a believable story, even often our own doubts and thoughts, then we have something firm - something that can never be altered – something that can never be disputed, we can stand on God’s Love. We can stand firm on Jesus Christ. Does anyone know of a better demonstration of Love than that of Christ? This becomes our light, directing our way, our strength to stand, our foundation to build on, the model for our behavior, and our very life itself.

I ask again, does anyone know of a better demonstration of Love than that of Christ?
Does anyone know of a better way to live than to emulate the Love of Jesus Christ?

Honey

Merle said...

See my response to "Honey" at http://geocities.com/questioningpage/notdeceptive.html

Merle

Anonymous said...

There is a phrase that describes exactly what you are doing Merle - yet it goes against my better judgment to use it here.

Let's break down your response so everyone can clearly see what's going on.
___________________________________
MERLE SAYS

Ah, so you now appear to be backing down. You originally wrote that, "a knowing deception on his part is the only conclusion I can come up with," when you spoke of my opinion of Judas's death. But now you seem to acknowledge that I could really believe that Acts 1:18 refers to Judas's death. Ah, so it was not a knowing deception when I referred to Acts 1:18 and Judas's death? For you now see that I believed what I was saying? If I believed that what I was saying was true, then it was wrong for you to call it a knowing deception, wasn't it? You might argue it was a mistake on my part, but it would not be a knowing deception as you claimed, would it?
___________________________________

First I did not speak of your opinion - I spoke of what you claimed the Bible actually said in relation to the Acts text, which was this:
___________________________________
MERLE SAYS

“In one place the Bible says Judas hanged himself, but another place says he fell headfirst to his death”
___________________________________

I demonstrated this as the 'knowing deception' in the first instance, then I repeated the same even more clearly in the second instance.

Here is the text:

Acts 1:18 (Now this man [Judas] acquired a field with the price of his wickedness, and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his intestines gushed out.

Now I ask you, does the text use any word that denotes to death?

Honey

Merle said...

"Honey", I answered your concerns at http://mindsetfree.blogspot.com/2007/01/death-of-judas.html