Friday, May 8, 2015

The Self-Harmony of the Bible - 1 (Part Seven)

Did Judas or the Priests Buy the Potter's Field?  
Acts 1:18 (NASB) states: "[Judas] acquired a field with the price of his wickedness." However to some what is stated at Matthew 27:7 seems to contradict that. There it (NWT) reads: "[the chief priests and elders] used the money to buy the potter's field as a burial place for strangers." Are these verses hopelessly at odds with each other? Jewish legal tradition sheds light on this transaction.  
A renowned Scholar, Dr. A. Edersheim, notes: "It was not lawful to take into the Temple-treasury, for the purchase of sacred things that been unlawfully gained. In such cases the Jewish Law provided that the money was to be restored to the donor and if he insisted on giving it, that he should be induced to spend it for the public [well-being]." (Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, 1906, Vol. II, p. 575) Judas not being there to choose the field as he was dead required the elders and chief priests to take counsel, which is what the verse 7 said they did, so "By a fiction of law the money was still considered to be Judas', and to have been applied by him in the purchase of the well-known 'potter's field.'"(Ibid) Therefore, there is no contradiction between the two. 

Is Marriage Good?  
God created marriage, so it naturally follows that marriage is good. 1 Corinthians 7:1b to some seems to contradict that. There it (NIV) reads: "It is good for a man not to marry." Paul seems to only view marriage as acceptable to prevent fornication (1 Corinthians 7:2). Does he condemn marriage 
No, in fact he states at 1 Corinthians 7:7 (ASV): "Howbeit each man hath his own gift from God, one after this manner [virginity], and another after that [marriage]." Why then wish virginity if marriage was a gift from God? Simply put it is best if possible to put all efforts toward the Lord's work (1 Corinthians 7:32). Since we do not live in a perfect world virginity is better than marriage, yet both are good. There is no contradiction. 

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