How does one explain the Biblical differences between Judas hanging himself in Matthew 27:5 and “falling headlong he burst open” in Acts 1:18?
There has been accusations (usually by non-believers), stating that the Bible is not a perfect book and that it actually contradicts itself on more than on occasion. This is simply not true. The entire Bible is harmonious. There are some passages written in the Bible that have been put into question, that is when one must use 1 of these principles to determine its authenticity:
You must consider the text. People will take anything the wrong way. You must consider the way something is written in order to determine its meaning.
Consider the writer’s viewpoint. Eyewitness accounts might describe an evet accurately, but not all will use the same exact wording. This is the case with the four gospels. They all describe the same events that took place, but each one has its different wording.
Consider historical facts and customs.
Be able to distinguish uses of words. Determine if they are being used in a figurative sense, or literal.
Do not mistake religious ideas with what the Bible actually says. IE Christmas.
The Bible cannot contradict itself because it is an accurate chronicle of real events that actually happened.
In the Judas’ death account, there were two separate descriptions of the story. However, they are not matching descriptions. Many base this as the main contradictory passage in the Bible. However, those that try to discredit the whole Bible because of this is wrong, because they did not considered all the possibilities.
Matthew says that Judas hung himself after selling out Jesus. However, Peter tells us that Judas fell and was crushed by its impact. It is important to remember that neither Matthew or Peter say that either accounts were false. Both accounts can be true and complementary. A possibility is that Judas hanged himself on a tree at the edge of a cliff overlooking the valley of Hinnom. After his body was hanging there for sometime, the branch could have snapped or the rope could have given out under his body pressure, causing his body to drop to its doom.