Did the Chief Priests or Judas Buy the Potter’s Field?

by Pastor Ricky Kurth

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“Matthew 27:6-10 says the chief priests bought the potter’s field, and Acts 1:18 says Judas did. Which was it?”

Judas returned the 30 pieces of silver he received for betraying the Lord to the priests, but they said, “It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood” (Matt. 27:6). Because of that, the money was never technically theirs to use to purchase anything. But Judas was dead, so technically he couldn’t purchase anything either. So it is not incorrect to attribute the purchase to both.

If that’s not clear, let’s say a Mafia hitman killed someone, then felt remorseful enough to donate the money he was paid to a church right before killing himself, in hopes of staving off God’s condemnation for his wicked act. If the church had a policy of refusing to receive ill-gotten gain from morally objectionable sources, they might in turn give the money to the family of the hitman’s victim.

In such a case, it could be said that the hitman actually donated the money to the victim, since the church policy technically prohibited them from receiving the money and being able to donate it to anyone. But it would also be correct to say that the church contributed the gift, because dead men can’t donate any money to anyone either. And in the same way, it’s not incorrect to ascribe the purchase of the field to both Judas and to the priests.

To the Reader:

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