Contradiction between Matthew and Acts on how did Judas die
How did Judas die? Actually the Bible tells us 2 stories. In Matthew, it says that he hanged himself:
Matthew 27:5 And he cast down the pieces of silver into the sanctuary, and departed; and he went away and hanged himself.
While in Acts, it says that he fell on the ground his bowels gushed out:
Acts 1:18 (Now this man obtained a field with the reward of his iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out
So which one was the real story? It might be said that he first hanged himself, and then he fell on the ground and his bowels gushed out. Although this doesn’t seem to be very likely, this is not the only problem since it seems that every writer is trying to fulfill a prophecy in the Old Testament and builds his story on the verse he chose. We find that in case of Matthew, the chief priest took the money and bought the field, so that what happens in Jeremiah (Zechariah) is fulfilled:
Matthew 27:6 And the chief priests took the pieces of silver, and said, It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since it is the price of blood. 7 And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in.
And in case of Acts, Judas is the one who bought the field and he died in it, so that what is written in Psalms be fulfilled:
Acts 1:18 (Now this man obtained a field with the reward of his iniquity;
So if Judas obtained the field by the reward he took, from whom did the chief priest buy the field?
What did Papias Say about Judas death?
Actually if we examined the writings of early church fathers, we find that Papias actually mentioned a new story of how Judas died:
Judas walked about in this world a sad example of impiety; for his body having swollen to such an extent that he could not pass where a chariot could pass easily, he was crushed by the chariot, so that his bowels gushed out. ” (Source here)
So Papias says that Judas’ bowels were gushed out, not because he fell on the ground after hanging himself, but because his body was swollen and he was crushed by a chariot. This may match with the account of Acts, but for sure it doesn’t match with Matthew. It’s worth saying that Papias is considered a main evidence by Christians to prove that Matthew the disciple of Jesus is the one who wrote the Gospel of Matthew