When did Judas get paid? Matthew 26:15 and Luke 22:5



When did Judas get paid?  Comparing Luke 22:5 with Matthew 26:15


A very confused bible agnostic criticizes the King James Bible with the following example:


He writes:  KJV “Luke 22:5 “And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money.”


Compare to KJV Matthew 26:15 “and said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.”


The KJV’s “covenanted” for Matthew is a mistranslation and should be “paid”. Almost every other major, modern Christian translation says the equivalent of “paid”. Even the NKJV says “paid”. So Luke’s Judas didn’t receive money up front but Matthew’s Judas did.” (End of criticism)




Right off the bat this self-appointed Bible corrector shows his confusion by telling us that “the Judas of Luke didn’t receive money up front but Matthew’s Judas did.”  And he is wrong about what the NKJV says. The NKJV IS wrong and creates a contradiction, but it does not read “paid” as our Bible critic affirms.



The NKJV (and other inferior bibles) says in Matthew 26:15 “And they COUNTED OUT TO HIM thirty pieces of silver.”  BUT in Luke 22:5 it says: “And they were glad and AGREED TO GIVE HIM MONEY.”


The King James Bible only has one Judas and in both cases (Matthew and Luke) he does not receive the 30 pieces of silver at the time the agreement was made to deliver up Jesus to the Jewish authorities.  They merely agreed or covenanted with him to pay him that amount at that time.  Judas most likely was paid later on when he finally came through with his part of the deal and actually accompanied the soldiers to the garden where he betrayed our Lord.

All the Bible versions are in virtual agreement when it comes to how Luke 22:5 reads.  They all show that an agreement was made to pay Judas, but no mention is made of WHEN they actually gave him the agreed upon money.

The NKJV, NASB, NIV, RSV, ESV etc. all basically read the same way the King James Bible does in Luke 22:5.  The NKJV says: “And they were glad, AND AGREED TO GIVE HIM MONEY.”

Here we see that an agreement was met, but no indication that the 30 pieces of silver was paid at this time.

However in many new versions we run into a contradiction, and it is this contradiction that our Bible correcting friend is trying to defend in his misbegotten attempt to prove an error in the King James Bible.




The NKJV is typical of the confussion seen in other bogus bible versions like the NASB, NIV, RSV, ESV.  In Matthew 26:15 the NKJV tells us: “and said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” And THEY COUNTED OUT TO HIM thirty pieces of silver.” (That is, they paid him on the spot)


Other versions that are wrong here are the ASV, NASB, NIV, RSV, ESV, NET and Holman Standard.


The ESV says in Matthew 26:15: “And THEY PAID HIM thirty pieces of silver.”


But in Luke 22:5 the ESV says: “And they were glad, and AGREED TO GIVE HIM MONEY.”


However not all Bible translations got the verse wrong in Matthew 26:15


The New Life Bible 1969 has it right when it says in Matthew 26:15 “He said, “What will you pay me if I hand Jesus over to you?” They PROMISED TO PAY HIM thirty pieces of silver. “


Surprisingly even the Message is OK with: “”What will you give me if I hand him over to you?” They SETTLED ON thirty silver pieces.”


The Douay-Rheims is OK and so is Rotherham’s Emphasized bible 1902 with: – “What will you give me, and I will deliver him unto you? But THE APPOINTED HIM him thirty pieces of silver.”


Lamsa’s 1936 translation of the Syriac is OK – “And THEY PROMISED HIM thirty pieces of silver. “


The 1960 Bible in Basic English is good, reading: “And THE PRICE WAS FIXED AT thirty bits of silver.”


The 2008 International Standard Version, and God’s Word Translation 1995 are acceptable with: “They OFFERED HIM 30 pieces of silver,”



Mace’s New Testament of 1729 is good, as well as Worsley’s translation 1770 and Murdock’s translation of 1851 with: “and THEY PROMISED HIM thirty pieces of silver.“


John Wesley’s N.T. 1755 says: “And THE BARGAINED WITH HIM for thirty pieces of silver.”



Many older English translations got it right as well.


Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549, the Bishops’s bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587 and Beza’s N.T. 1599 all read: “And said, What will ye giue me, and I will deliuer him vnto you? and THEY APPOINTED UNTO HIM thirtie pieces of siluer.”


Wycliffe’s N.T. in updated spelling reads: “What will ye give to me, and I shall betake him to you? And they ordained to him thirty pieces of silver.”



“THEY COVENANTED WITH HIM for thirty pieces of silver.”


Reading exactly as the King James Bible has it in Matthew 26:15 with “they COVENANTED WITH HIM for thirty pieces of silver” are Whiston’s Primitive N.T. of 1745, Webster’s 1833 translation, The Commonly Received Version 1851, The Revised N.T. 1862, The Alford N.T. 1870, The Revised English Bible 1877, the 1994 KJV 21st Century Version, the 1998 Third Millennium Bible, The Jubilee Bible 2010.

Among foreign language translations that communicate the same idea that it was at this time that the Jewish leaders agreed to pay Judas 30 pieces of silver, but did not yet pay him at this precise moment but later, are the following:


The Spanish Reina Valera 1909, 1960, 1995 which say: “¿Qué me queréis dar, y yo os lo entregaré? Y ellos le asignaron treinta piezas de plata.” = “And they ASSIGNED TO HIM 30 pieces of silver.” The 2000 Spanish Traducción en lenguaje actual (Translation in Modern Language) says: “¿Cuánto me pagarán si les ayudo a atrapar a Jesús?” Ellos le ofrecieron treinta monedas de plata.” = “they OFFERED HIM 30 silver coins”



And the 2005 Reina Valera Gomez Bible says: “Y convinieron con él por treinta piezas de plata.” = And they agreed with him for 30 pieces of silver.”



Our Bible correcting friend assures us that the Greek word translated as “covenanted” in Matthew 26:16 “is a mistranslation” and should be “paid”.  However when we look at the Greek lexicons we find that the word used here, #2476 histeemi, has several meanings including “to stand, to set, to lay, to establish, to abide and to covenant or agree upon.


Thayer’s lexicon says it can mean such things as “to set, to place, to make to stand, to establish, to make firm, to ratify, to confirm, to appoint.”


Liddell and Scott’s Lexicon says it can mean: “to stand, to set up, to establish, to determine, and to fix by agreement.”


And Bauer, Arndt and Gingrich tell us that it can mean: “to stand, to put forward, to propose, to establish, to confirm, to set or to fix, and to confirm.”


Not only this, but the NASB itself variously translates this same Greek word as “to confirm, to establish, to fix, and to put forward, and only one time as “weighed out”, and they did that in Matthew 26:15.


In similar fashion, the NIV has translated this same word as “to establish, to propose, and to settle the matter, and only one time as “counted out”, which they did in Matthew 26:16.


It is not the King James Bible that is in error here, but rather the new versions like the NKJV, NASB, NIV, RSV, ESV, NET and Holman Standard that create a contradiction of merely coming to an agreement to pay in Luke 22:5 and actually being paid the money at this time in Matthew 26:15.


The King James Bible is always right.  Will they ever get this through their heads?  We can only hope God will have mercy on the blind and open their eyes to this fact.