The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Acts 1:25 And The UR Position

Acts 1:25-to occupy this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place."

What is his own place that Judas is at? All the commentaries that I have seen suggest it’s hell. What is the Universalist position on this verse?

Like all of us, Judas was a sinner. His sin was despicable, as all sin is, and deserving of judgment, which will be meted out. We may think our sins are less awful than his, but like him, we will stand condemned in the judgment. Our only hope, and that of Judas, is that we will have an Advocate in the person of the Saviour of the World.

Judas must have gone through sheer hell after the enormity of his sin pierced his heart and soul. He compounded his sin by taking his own life to escape from that hell of his own making. Have any reading this reached the point of personal misery, self-condemnation when death might appear the best, perhaps the only way out? I have once and the experience was too awful to describe. It haunted me “in my own place” for weeks, months, even years afterwards…

Here are a couple of commentaries with other suggestions:

That he might go to his own place. These words by different interpreters have been referred both to Matthias and Judas. Those who refer them to Matthias say that they mean, that Judas fell that Matthias might go to his own place, that is, to a place for which he was fitted, or well qualified. But to this there are many objections.

  1. The apostolic office could with no propriety be called, in reference to Matthias, his own place, until it was actually conferred on him.

  2. There is no instance in which the expression, to go to his own place, is applied to a successor in office.

  3. It is not true that the design or reason why Judas fell was to make way for another. He fell by his crimes; his avarice, his voluntary and enormous wickedness.

  4. The former part of the sentence contains this sentiment: “Another must be appointed to this office which the death of Judas has made vacant.” If this expression, “that he might go,” etc., refers to the successor of Judas, it expresses the same sentiment, but more obscurely.

  5. The obvious and natural meaning of the phrase is to refer it to Judas. But those who suppose it to refer to Judas differ greatly about its meaning. Some suppose it refers to his own house; that he left the apostolic office to return to his own house; and they appeal to Nu 24:25. But it is not true that Judas did this; nor is there the least proof that it was his design. Others refer it to the grave, as the place of man, where all must lie; and particularly as an ignominious place where Judas should lie. But there is no example of the word place being used in this sense; nor is there an instance where a man by being buried is said to return to his own, or proper place. Others have supposed that the manner of his death, by hanging, is referred to, as his own or his proper place.

This verse has been variously expounded:

  1. Some suppose that the words, that he might go to his own place, are spoken of Judas, and his punishment in hell, which they say must be the own place of such a person as Judas.

  2. Others refer them to the purchase of the field, made by the thirty pieces of silver for which he had sold our Lord. So he abandoned the ministry and apostolate, that he might go to his own place, viz. that which he had purchased.

  3. Others, with more seeming propriety, state that his own place means his own house, or former occupation; he left this ministry and apostleship that he might resume his former employment in conjunction with his family, it in Nu 24:25: And Balaam returned to HIS OWN PLACE, i.e. to his own country, friends, and employment.

  4. Others think it simply means the state of the dead in general, independently of either rewards or punishments; as is probably meant by {Ec 3:20 }: All go unto ONE PLACE: all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.

  5. Some of the best critics assert that the words (as before hinted) belong to Matthias — his own place being the office to which he was about to be elected.

1 Like