Who Bought the Potter’s Field?

Who Bought the Potter’s Field?

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Acts 1:18 claims that Judas purchased the field called Potter’s Field, saying,

Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.

But Matthew 27:5-8 says,

And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day.

So who purchased the field of blood or the potter’s field? Was it Judas or the chief priests?

Both statements are correct. The chief priests purchased the field in Judas’ name with his money. The narrative in Matthew tells how and why the field was purchased. In Acts 1:18, Peter explains that the field was purchased by the chief priests with Judas’ money in his name.

Crediting someone with an action on behalf of another is common. John 4:1-3 describes such a scenario with explanation, saying,

When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples).

Likewise, John 19:1 credits Pilate with the scourging of Jesus when in fact it was the soldiers who actually did the scourging.

Another example is found in Genesis 45:4-5, where Joseph credits his brothers for selling him into Egypt. But Genesis 37:28 tells us that his brothers sold Joseph to Ishmeelites, who brought him into Egypt.

In all cases, there are two correct ways of saying the same thing when crediting one for another’s actions.


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