Was Judas Iscariot Saved?

Judas’ Death

Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself. – Matthew 27:3-5

When Judas saw that Jesus was condemned, which would be evident from seeing Jesus being taken to Pilate, “he repented himself” (Greek Metameleomai, “to regret”). This word is different from the term for repentance to salvation (Greek metanoia). Judas shows every indication of still being unsaved: he betrays innocent blood for money, becomes guilty, returns the money and commits suicide. These are the actions of a guilty conscience, not a forgiven and regenerate one. His admission “I have sinned” is not necessarily a true confession to faith. The reply of the priests reveals the real cruelty of their hearts: “What is that to us? See to it yourself” — Judas then threw the money “in the temple” (Greek Naos means “sanctuary”) and “hanged himself.”

The reference to Judas’ “falling headlong” (Acts 1:18-19) is generally thought to have happened while he was attempting to commit suicide. Perhaps Judas hanged himself over the ledge or wall of Jerusalem and fell into the valley below.

The Potter’s Field

But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since it is blood money.” So they took counsel and bought with them the potter’s field as a burial place for strangers. Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. – Matthew 27:6-8

In such cases the purchase was made in the name of the man to whom the money had been paid and to whom the money, by a legal faction was supposed all the time to belong. By law, therefore, the man himself purchased the field. (Notes from Liberty Bible Commentary, Vol. II, pp. 91,263).

Acts 1:18-19. Now this man purchased a field — “the account of Judas’ faith (verses 18-19) is not inconsistent with that set forth by Matthew (27:3-8). The field was probably bought by the legally-minded priests in Judas’ name. Amid the crazed inconsistencies of despair he may have laid claim to it in consequence and in bitter irony made it the scene of suicide. The two accounts preserve different but equally true details from the rest of the shocking story, and the field won its somber name on more than one count.” (E. M. Blaiklock, Acts of the Apostles, p. 53.)

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Dr. Elmer Towns is a college and seminary professor, an author of popular and scholarly works (the editor of two encyclopedias), a popular seminar lecturer, and dedicated worker in Sunday school, and has developed over 20 resource packets for leadership education.His personal education includes a B.S. from Northwestern College in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a M.A. from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary also in Dallas, a MRE from Garrett Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, and a D.Min. from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.He is co-founder of Liberty University, with Jerry Falwell, in 1971, and was the only full-time teacher in the first year of Liberty’s existence. Today, the University has over 11,400 students on campus with 39,000 in the Distance Learning Program (now Liberty University Online), and he is the Dean of the School of Religion.Dr. Towns has given theological lectures and taught intensive seminars at over 50 theological seminaries in America and abroad. He holds visiting professorship rank in five seminaries. He has written over 2,000 reference and/or popular articles and received six honorary doctoral degrees. Four doctoral dissertations have analyzed his contribution to religious education and evangelism.

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