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Did Judas have libertarian free will? If so, what would've happened to the salvation plan had he chosen not to betray Jesus? Would there have been no crucifixion, and therefore, no atonement, no forgiveness of sins, no salvation? On the other hand, if the betrayal was a 100% guaranteed thing, with Judas having no actual possibility whatsoever of not betraying Jesus, would that mean that Judas had no real free will, and if that's the case, then how can he be held accountable for his actions?

I would like to know if there are philosophical explanations published by reputable Christian sources addressing this complex dilemma.

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  • Any possible edits to get the question reopened? – Spirit Realm Investigator Mar 21 at 21:49
  • Bishop Papias had nothing good to say of Judas..."Judas was a terrible, walking example of ungodliness in this world, his flesh so bloated that he was not able to pass through a place where a wagon passes easily, not even his bloated head by itself. For his eyelids, they say, were so swollen that he could not see the light at all, and his eyes could not be seen, even by a doctor using an optical instrument, so far had they sunk below the outer surface. His genitals appeared more loathsome and larger than anyone else's, and when he relieved himself there passed through it pus and worms" – Adam Mar 21 at 21:53
  • here is a really interesting perspective on Judas...m.egwwritings.org/en/book/130.3509#3509. Whilst many may not ascribe the authority of E.G.White in the way SDA members do, its a perspective well worth reading and follows the Gospel of Matthew version combined with the gruesome ending of Judas in Luke, with the added nicety of the fate of Queen Jezebel (where dogs ate her flesh). A very appropriate articulation of Judas demise! I have an interesting query for you SpiritRealm...Is it possible Judas may have repented or was even his suicide self serving? – Adam Mar 21 at 22:23
  • @SpiritRealmInvestigator I agree with curiousdannii that different denominations would have answered this differently. This article will give you a range of options. However, I believe most denominations will answer like this: 1) God and his foreknowledge is outside time vs. a person's free will who is in time. 2) Prophesying that someone will do this is an instance of divine exercise of foreknowledge and does NOT "force his hand". 3) All Jesus needed to do was to recruit one of many potential betrayers in the world, who happened to be Judas. – GratefulDisciple Mar 22 at 3:36