The View from the Firehouse

The one thing that is universal in fire stations the world round, is usually late at night there is a deck of cards, a pot of coffee and two or three fire fighters sitting around solving the worlds problems. It’s just a shame that no one listens to us.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

How did Judas Die?

For some odd reason I’ve been thinking about the so called contradiction between Matthew’s telling of Judas’s death and Luke’s telling of it in Acts.

Matt 27:5

So Judas threw the silver coins into the temple and left. Then he went out and hanged himself.

Acts 1:12
(Now this man Judas acquired a field with the reward of his unjust deed, and falling headfirst he burst open in the middle and all his intestines gushed out. NET

I think it is important here to point out that Luke does not say that Judas died from this fall, just that he fall headfirst and his intestines gushed out.

Now most apologists will tell you that Judas did indeed hang himself and the tree branch broke. Critics have often scoffed at this, and I admit this seems to be an over simplistic explanation and this is what got me thinking:

While stationed in Korea, I had the unfortunate opportunity to respond to a hanging. The cops were on scene before us; saw that the gentleman had indeed been dead for quite sometime. When we got there, in order to preserve the “crime scene” they only allowed my captain to enter. Well needless to say firemen can have an almost morbid curiosity, so by the time he got back we had a million questions for him, one of which was what did he look like? As you can imagine it was not a pretty picture, his neck had elongated and the blood had started to pool in his lower abdominal area. They believe he was dead for at least a couple of days.

When I sat out to write this, I was going to make the argument that gravity took its course, and his body stretched out and laid out flat at which point his bowels spilled out. But then I thought about it, I realized that position would be hard to defend. I mean not knowing how tall Judas was, how big of a tree he chose or how rigimortus may affect my theory.

That is when it dawned on me; the explanation was so simple I almost kicked myself. Just how do you get a dead person out of a tree, especially one that wasn’t a very popular person? After all, I’m sure the remaining disciples were not running out there to let him down, not to mention that the Jewish people had very strict rules regarding the handling of dead people:

Num 19:11-14
(11) " 'Whoever touches the corpse of any person will be unclean seven days.
(12) He must purify himself with water on the third day and on the seventh day, and so will be clean. But if he does not purify himself on the third day and the seventh day, then he will not be clean.
(13) Anyone who touches the corpse of any dead person and does not purify himself defiles the tabernacle of the Lord. And that person must be cut off from Israel, because the water for impurity was not sprinkled upon him. He will be unclean; his uncleanness remains on him.
(14) " 'This is the law: when a man dies in a tent, anyone who comes into the tent and all who are in the tent will be unclean seven days. NET

So let me tell you how I picture it. I see people complaining of this awful smell coming from this dead corpse. Now who were they complaining to? Well that would be the people that were in charge back then, and that would be the Romans. And how do you think the Romans dealt with this? Well having spent eight years in the military I know who they sent, the lowest person on the totem pole. So back to the question at hand, how do you get a dead person out of a tree? Well lets just say if I was the person send out to do this job that no body wanted I’d cut the guy out of the tree. So what to you think happens to a rotting corpse when you cut him out of a tree, well for one, he falls and after his legs hit the ground he would naturally fall head first, rather it was on his face, on his back or to the sides. So here’s my second question for you what happens to a rotting bloated corpse after its taken a fall from some height? My guess is that something gives and it sure isn’t the ground.

Is this what happened? Heck I don’t know, nobody on this earth knows for sure. The point I’m trying to make is if you want to you can easily make the case that the Bible contradicts it’s self in many places. But I can just as easily make the case that the sky is green and the grass is blue, it doesn’t make me anymore right.

It’s so easy for people to key in on these so called contradictions, that they never take a look at the bigger picture. The Bible is not merely one book written in somebody’s spare time, but 66 books written by around 40 different humans over a matter of thousands of years, yet stills maintains a central theme, has been found to be factual by many an archaeologist, and has foretold of future events that later came true.

Many people can take what I have just written and explain it away in a matter of minutes, but the truth of the matter is that there is truly only one author of the Bible and that is God himself. The same God that created you in the womb and gave you life is the same God of both the Old and New Testaments. You see the same God that people call harsh and unforgiving in the Old Testament is the same God that humbled himself and came to earth in human form in the New Testament, He is unchanging.

Okay let me wrap this up; I know I’ve gotten way of the topic. Let me just conclude with this, what do you think happens when you die. Are you like many people and think that as I’ve been a good person and I’ll go to heaven. Well I’ll challenge you take this quick test and find out if you good enough to get into heaven, I promise you it’ll only take a few minutes out of your day to complete. You now life is so funny one minute you’re on top of the world, the next your gone, to be heard from no more, so take the test and find out if you’ll get to heaven.

Are you a good person?

# Posted by Alyfireman :: 1:03 PM :: |
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