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We see in Exodus 21:32:

"If the ox gores a male or female slave, the owner shall pay to the slave-owner thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.""

Now, thirty pieces of silver is what Judas Iscariot got from the Jewish leaders for betraying Jesus (Matthew 26:15 ), and which he would later return to them realizing that Jesus had been condemned to death ( Mtt 27:3-5). It appears that Judas was misled by the leaders stating that Jesus would be caught and sold as a slave , and that they were depositing with him the advance slave-money of 30 silver coins, which they would later charge from the one who bought Jesus as a slave . Judas would have hardly expected that the leaders would have Jesus crucified, judging by his reaction to the verdict. In fact, we believe that Judas was destined to go to hell not because he betrayed Jesus , but because he refused to accept the gracious forgiveness that was free for him to take .

My question is as follows: Does the Catholic Church teach that the 30 pieces of silver that Judas Iscariot got for betraying Jesus, was any indication that he had been misinformed of the real purpose behind the arrest of Jesus?

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    "It appears that Judas was misled by the leaders stating that Jesus would be caught and sold as a slave , and that they were depositing with him the advance slave-money of 30 silver coins," Where did you get this idea from? – curiousdannii Jul 22 at 12:33
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    Thirty shekels of silver was compensation to the owner of a slave in a country ruled by such laws. Israel was under Roman law, occupied by Roman forces. The Jews had no right to buy Jesus from Judas because Judas had no ownership of Jesus. There is no evidence for this scenario. It was the negotiated price of a betrayal. There is an abundance of evidence, throughout the gospels, that the Jewish rulership wished to murder Jesus. Judas would have been fully aware of this fact. – Nigel J Jul 22 at 13:01
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    Even in within the Catholic Church the question would be considered somewhat optioned based. – Ken Graham Jul 22 at 13:10
  • Yes Joseph Judas regretted seeing Christ condemned. Even stating that Christ's innocent. Maybe betrayal was abstract. Then he saw it worked out. Did he think Jesus would vindicate or rescue Himself? Based on Jn 6:70; Ac 1:25, Mk 14:21: "Was it not I who chose you, the twelve? Yet one of you is a devil...The place of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place..." could one say Judas was destined to betray Jesus, and that it would've been better for him not to be born? Some feel Judas'll return before the lake of fire as the false prophet, Rv 13:11 – Walter S Jul 22 at 20:26
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Was Judas misinformed of the real purpose behind the planned arrest of Jesus?

The Jewish Sanhedrin would probably prefer that their true intentions would not be known to Judas, who was one of the twelve.

The day Judas Iscariot betrayed Our Lord will go down as being traditionally known as Spy Wednesday

Nowhere in Scriptures, do we see Judas asking the Jewish leaders their intentions about why they wanted Jesus arrested! Judas wanted money, that much we know.

In the New Testament account of Holy Week, after Palm Sunday, the Sanhedrin gathered and plotted to kill Jesus before the feast of Pesach. On the Wednesday before his death, Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the Leper. As he sat at the supper table with his disciples, a woman named Mary anointed Jesus' head and feet with a costly oil of spikenard. The disciples were indignant, asking why the oil was not instead sold and the money given to the poor. But Judas Iscariot wanted to keep the money for himself.[9][10] Then Judas went to the Sanhedrin and offered to deliver Jesus to them in exchange for money. From this moment on, Judas sought an opportunity to betray Jesus.

In reference to Judas Iscariot's intent to betray Jesus, formed on Holy Wednesday, the day is sometimes called "Spy Wednesday". The word spy, as used in the term, means "ambush, ambuscade, snare". Additionally, among the disciples, Judas clandestinely was a spy and Wednesday was the day he chose to betray Christ. - Holy Wednesday

If the Scriptures do not tell us what Judas actually believed about what he thought about the intentions of the Jewish Sanhedrin, the Church can not say. Was Judas misinformed? Possibly, but not Catholic theologians know for sure either.

In the absence of light on this subject there is only tenebrae and as such, I would like to let Pope Benedict XVI have the last words here. Pope Benedict XVI goes on to speak about Judas’ motives and says nothing if Judas was misinformed or not. We all know that he was spurred on by the Devil!

The name Judas alone arouses among Christians an instinctive reaction of reprobation and condemnation. The meaning of the name "Iscariot" is controversial: The most used explanation says that it means "man from Queriyyot," in reference to his native village, located in the surroundings of Hebron, mentioned twice in sacred Scripture (cf. Joshua 15:25; Amos 2:2).

Others interpret it as a variation of the term "hired assassin," as if it alluded to a guerrilla armed with a dagger, called "sica" in Latin. Finally, some see in the label the simple transcription of a Hebrew-Aramaic root that means: "He who was going to betray him." This mention is found twice in the fourth Gospel, that is, after a confession of faith by Peter (cf. John 6:71) and later during the anointing at Bethany (cf. John 12:4).

Other passages show that the betrayal was underway, saying: "He who betrayed him," as happened during the Last Supper, after the announcement of the betrayal (cf. Matthew 26:25) and later at the moment Jesus was arrested (cf. Matthew 26:46.48; John 18:2.5). However, the lists of the twelve recall the betrayal as something that already occurred: "Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him," says Mark (3:19); Matthew (10:4) and Luke (6:16) use equivalent formulas.

The betrayal, as such, took place in two moments: first of all in its planning phase, when Judas comes to an agreement with Jesus' enemies for 30 pieces of silver (cf. Matthew 26:14-16), and later in its execution with the kiss he gave the master in Gethsemane (cf. Matthew 26:46-50).

Anyway, the evangelists insist that his condition of apostle corresponded fully to him: He is repeatedly called "one of the twelve" (Matthew 26:14.47; Mark 14:10.20; John 6:71) or "of the number of the twelve" (Luke 22:3).

Moreover, on two occasions, Jesus, addressing the apostles and speaking precisely of him, indicates him as "one of you" (Matthew 26:21; Mark 14:18; John 6:70; 13:21). And Peter would say of Judas "he was numbered among us, and was allotted his share in this ministry" (Acts 1:17).

He is, therefore, a figure belonging to the group of those whom Jesus had chosen as companions and close collaborators. This poses two questions when it comes to explaining what happened. The first consists in asking ourselves how it was possible that Jesus chose this man and trusted him.

In fact, though Judas is the group's administrator (cf. John 12:6b; 13:29a), in reality he is also called "thief" (John 12:6a). The mystery of the choice is even greater, as Jesus utters a very severe judgment on him: "Woe to that man by whom the son of man is betrayed!" (Matthew 26:24).

This mystery is even more profound if one thinks of his eternal fate, knowing that Judas "repented and brought back the 30 pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, saying 'I have sinned in betraying innocent blood'" (Matthew 27:3-4). Though he departed afterward to hang himself (cf. Matthew 27:5), it is not for us to judge his gesture, putting ourselves in God's place, who is infinitely merciful and just.

A second question affects the motive of Judas' behavior: Why did he betray Jesus? The question raises several theories. Some say it was his greed for money; others give an explanation of a messianic nature: Judas was disappointed on seeing that Jesus did not fit the program of the political-military liberation of his country.

In fact, the Gospel texts insist on another aspect: John says expressly that "the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him" (John 13:2); in the same way, Luke writes: "Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve" (Luke 22:3).

In this way, one goes beyond historical motivations, explaining what occurred by basing it on Judas' personal responsibility, who yielded miserably to a temptation of the evil one. In any case, Judas' betrayal continues to be a mystery. Jesus treated him as a friend (cf. Matthew 26:50), but in his invitations to follow him on the path of the beatitudes he did not force his will or prevent him from falling into Satan's temptations, respecting human freedom.

In fact, the possibilities of perversion of the human heart are truly many. The only way to prevent them consists in not cultivating a view of life that is only individualistic, autonomous, but in always placing oneself on the side of Jesus, assuming his point of view. - Pope Benedict On Judas Iscariot and Matthias

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  • Thanks for the inspiring quote. The words "..Though he departed afterward to hang himself , it is not for us to judge his gesture, putting ourselves in God's place, who is infinitely merciful and just..." hit me hard . They somehow give the feeling that Pope Benedict has no problem with Judas getting the `` benefit of doubt.'" – Kadalikatt Joseph Sibichan Jul 23 at 10:08

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