Death of Judas according to Papias

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Category: Patristic Anecdotes

Status: in progress by Geoffrey Smith.

Citing this resource (using Chicago Manual of Style):

1. SUMMARY

The fourth book of Papias’s lost Exposition of the Sayings of the Lord contains a tradition about the death of Judas that is different from what we find in both Matt 27:3–10 and Acts 1:18–20. This tradition, preserved in a long version and a short version in Greek catenae (collections of extracts from biblical commentators), states that Judas was punished for his betrayal of Jesus by becoming “inflamed in the flesh”—so large that he could not through narrow streets, his eyes swollen shut, his genitals enlarged and filled with pus and worms. Death came to him “in his own land” and no one can pass through there without holding their nose.

2. RESOURCES

3. BIBLIOGRAPHY

3.1 Manuscripts and Editions

Cramer’s edition uses Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Coislin gr. 23 and Oxford, Bodleian Library, Auctarium T.I.4 for the catenae to Matthew, and Oxford, New College, 58 for Acts.

Cramer, John Anthony. Catenae Graecorum Patrum in Novum Testamentum. 8 vols. Oxford: Academic Press, 1840–1844 (short version, vol. 1, p. 231; long version, vol. 3, pp. 12–13).

Holmes, Michael W. The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations. Rev. ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1999 (long version pp. 582–85).

3.2 Modern Translations

3.2.1 English

Holmes, Michael W. The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations. Rev. ed.; Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1999 (long version pp. 582–85).

Smith, Geoffrey. “The Death of Judas According to Papias.” Pages 309–13 in vol. 1 of New Testament Apocrypha: More Noncanonical Scriptures. Edited by Tony Burke and Brent Landau. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2016.

3.3 General Works

Harris, J. Rendel. “Did Judas Really Commit Suicide?” AJT 4.3 (1900): 490–513.

Lake, Kirsopp. “The Death of Judas.” Pages 22–30 in vol. 5 of The Beginnings of Christianity, Part 1: The Acts of the Apostles. Edited by Kirsopp Lake and Henry J. Cadbury. 5 vols. London: Macmillan, 1920–1933.