Were Judas's actions Predetermined?

If God does not cause us to sin, then in theory could Judas have chosen a different path? I don’t see how he could have, the crucifiction had to happen, the betrayel had to happen, and even his subsequent suicide was part of prophecy (the field where nothing would grow…). This is different from God knowing the future, since no other possibility could be allowed to Judas.

Is this an example of Calvinist predestination?

Judas always had a choice.

I always look at it this way. Both peter and judas betrayed Jesus, yet judas gave into despair. Had he chosen not to take his life, he could have gone back and received forgivness.

JUst my thought.

It is also possible that Judas asked God for forgiveness. We don’t know that but scripture tells us he was sorry for what he had done.
Matthew 27:3-4. "Then Judas, his betrayer, seeing that Jesus had been condemned deeply regretted what he had done. He returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying I have sinned against innocent blood."
Taking his own life may have been his penance in his own mind as maybe the concept of suicide wasn’t a sin then (I don’t know that - just speculating). Also generally suicides are not mentally stable at the time they commit the act so it may not even have been a mortal sin anyway without the full knowledge and consent.
Who knows? Maybe Judas is with our Lord in heaven now. God’s mercy is bigger than all sins!

I “know” that if I put a half-gallon of butter-pecan ice cream in the icebox, then it will be gone by the next morning . So, if I wish to serve guests ice cream tomorrow for dinner, I will go to the store right before they arrive and pick up the yummies.

I think God is much better than me at knowing how his family (us, Judas, etc.) will behave and figuring a work around so as to achieve any plans he may have. I think God can pull it off correctly every time.

Note, in the ice cream example, my spouse’s behavior is not being determined by me at all. I do not force him to eat butter-pecan ice cream. I just know he WILL eat it of his own accord. That is how I tend to look at the whole “God knew in advance so how do they have freewill” thing.

If God predetermined the sinful actions of Judas or any other sinner, then God would be commiting evil acts. This simply isn’t possible because it goes against God’s nature.

Scripture tells us that God hardened Pharoah’s heart against the Israelites. In all, there are 13 OT verses in the Book of Exodus that speak of the hardening of Pharoah’s heart. Some of the passages simply indicate that Pharoah’s heart was hardened. Other passages indicate that Pharoah hardened his heart, while others say that God hardened Pharoah’s heart. The hardening of Pharoah’s heart caused him to do evil against the Chosen People. Does this mean that God caused the evil and the God did something evil? The answer to the question is a unequivocal “No.”

The early church historian, Origen, had a great analogy for shedding some light on the issue of free will and the hardening of the heart. He explained that God’s grace falls on everyone much like sunlight. When sunlight falls on wax it softens and melts. When sunlight falls on wet clay it dries hard and cracks. This is the way the actions of God’s power and grace affect the good and the bad.

In the case of the many signs and wonders God sent via Moses, including the plagues, it is clear that they were a source of comfort, encouragement, and a sign of God’s love toward his people. This gave them the strength and faith to follow Moses into the wilderness. These same signs should have positively influenced Pharoah to turn to Yahweh but he considered himself a god and refused let the people go.

The same events affected people differently. Hebrews 6:7-8 puts it this way, “For land which has drunk the rain that often falls upon it, and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed; its end is to be burned.”

I hope this helps.

Look at it this way–we all are given free will.
God knows all things, but He doesn’t cause all things.(allowing and causing are two different things.) He knows what you are going to do, but He doesn’t make you do it.
We all have to take responsibility for the choices we make.
Judas sounds like he went into despair, thinking that he did something that could never be forgiven.
We pray to not despair, but to trust in His Mercy…(think of the prayers of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy,… “Blood and water which gushed forth from the heart of Jesus as a fountain of mercy for us, I trust in you”. …and "so that in difficult moments we may not despair nor become despondant, but with great confidence submit ourselves to your holy will, which is love and MERCY, itself."
God knew we would fail at times and that is why He gave us the Sacrament of Confession.

Sorry but none of the replies really address the crux of it - Jesus HAD to be crucified, thus the events that lead up to this HAD to be predetermined, with NO possibility of an alternative. What was going to happen, Judas decides differently, Jesus lives to a ripe old age?..no ofcourse not. In a sick way, Judas was doing what God wanted him to do. Even his suicide was part of prophecy.

Sorry I’m repeating myself, but free-will rhetoric does not answer this question

Actually, there is no reason to believe that Judas “had” to betray Jesus. The Jewish leadership tried several times to kill Jesus. He could have allowed them to stone him. Many of these things should be looked at as “if/and” scenarios. God could have used any number of alternatives to achieve the mission. Of all the possibilities that existed, God chose to allow the unfolding of events to occur the way they did.

We do not understand the mind of God and we cannot fathom his knowledge and wisdom. Paul says this in Romans 11:33-34, "O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?”

The divine plan of salvation allows for man’s free will, but nothing will thwart the will of God. This last statement is key. Think about it. Man’s free will is not removed or destroyed, yet God’s divine plan is fulfilled. While not easy to appreciate, the answer to your question is contained therein.

[quote=Pax]Actually, there is no reason to believe that Judas “had” to betray Jesus. The Jewish leadership tried several times to kill Jesus. He could have allowed them to stone him. Many of these things should be looked at as “if/and” scenarios. God could have used any number of alternatives to achieve the mission.

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then that would have to involve anothers actions being predetermined, one way or another, and we end up in the same place. How can God will someone to sin, and yet we retain free will?

Let’s try one more thing in looking at Judas. Jesus gave Judas every opportunity to be a glorious apostle. In John 2:11 we read about the response of the disciples at the marriage feast of Cana. The verse tells us, “This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him.” This includes Judas. Judas was given the gift of faith.

Then in Mark 6:7-13 we read this, "And he called to him the twelve, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics. And he said to them, “Where you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. And if any place will not receive you and they refuse to hear you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet for a testimony against them.” So they went out and preached that men should repent. And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many that were sick and healed them."

Clearly Judas was even casting out unclean spirits and healing the sick along with the rest of the twelve. Moreover, Judas witnessed many other things that Jesus said and did. God gave Judas every grace and opportunity. God did not make Judas choose evil. In spite of all that God gave him, he chose his own path.

God in his infinite knowledge could foresee the treachery of Judas, but he did not make him a betrayer. God foresaw the betrayal but still gave the betrayer every opportunity to be a loyal apostle.

If I raise my children to be good Catholics and good citizens, and I give them all the tools they need and teach them what is right and wrong, there is still no guarantee that they will never commit a crime or commit a serious sin. Even if I knew in advance that one of them was going to do something wrong, it would not be “my choice” that they did so.

So it was with Judas. It was his choice and not God’s to commit the betrayal.

[quote=cynic]then that would have to involve anothers actions being predetermined, one way or another, and we end up in the same place. How can God will someone to sin, and yet we retain free will?
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You are claiming something that is clearly not in evidence. You are assuming that someone’s actions are predetermined. You need to somehow factually establish this rather than merely stating it as if it were a fact.

I can’t help thinking that foreknowledge and predestination are the same thing, since God is our creator, not merely an observer. However that’s not really the point.

If Christ had to die, then the resposibility for the death had to fall on someone, or perhaps several people. Free will rhetoric requires that there be another possiblity, even if God already knows what will end up happening. There clearly was no other possibility here.

[quote=cynic]I can’t help thinking that foreknowledge and predestination are the same thing, since God is our creator, not merely an observer. However that’s not really the point.

If Christ had to die, then the resposibility for the death had to fall on someone, or perhaps several people. Free will rhetoric requires that there be another possiblity, even if God already knows what will end up happening. There clearly was no other possibility here.
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I fail to see the logic here, and the possiblities are not limited to one. Try this mirror image of God’s foreknowledge. I know looking back in history that Judas betrayed Jesus. My knowledge of this event is certain even though I had did not make Judas do it. It makes no difference if someone knows ahead of time or only after an event occurs. There certain knowledge does not mean that they made it happen.

Possiblities? God could have chosen any number of ways to redeem us including simply willing it without any interaction with us whatsoever. God’s choice was merely to decide what possibility he thought was the most desireable. He chose to lay down his life for his friends. There is no greater love than this. Judas willing played his part. God never forced Judas and he never forced Ted Bundy to commit his crimes either. Neither does he force me or you to sin. We freely choose it.

[quote=cynic]Sorry but none of the replies really address the crux of it - Jesus HAD to be crucified, thus the events that lead up to this HAD to be predetermined, with NO possibility of an alternative. What was going to happen, Judas decides differently, Jesus lives to a ripe old age?..no ofcourse not. In a sick way, Judas was doing what God wanted him to do. Even his suicide was part of prophecy.

Sorry I’m repeating myself, but free-will rhetoric does not answer this question
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looks like Judas “took one for the team”.

SOMEONE had to betray Jesus in order for him to be crucified. back then its not like they had CNN to post his picture on as “most wanted”.

ultimately, SOMEONE had to do SOMETHING to bring him into custody. if they hadnt, how would he have been crucified?

sort of like, second and third, 2 outs, 9th batter bottom of the lineup at the plate against Randy Johnson. what does he do? he hugs the plate and takes a 100mph fastball square in the back so the leadoff man can come up with bases loaded.

does he REALLY want to do it? is it NECESSARY to win the game? im not saying Judas is a hero, but he definitely is a guy who took one in the ear.

Were Judas’s actions Predetermined?
Yes. Predestination is a doctine of the Church and it includes an explanation as to how that although God knows our choices and has always known them, this knowledge does not in any way impede our free will to choose right over wrong or make God responsible for our choices. This preknowledge of our wills and choices permits God, the AUTHOR of Life to write the story of creation in such a way that our free will is NEVER violated nor impeded while His Will is done on Earth as in Heaven
Did Jesus have to die?
Yes.
Did the one who betrayed Him have to endure eternal damnation?
No. Saint Peter also betrayed Jesus by His denial of Him as did the other apostles betray Him by fleeing from Him. God offers salvation for all.
Did Judas attain Heaven?
No. He refused to allow Jesus to draw him into His heart and this was ironic as Judas was the one who knew Jesus was the Son of God. He just thought He was taking too long in chasing the Romans out of the land of the Jews and so thaought that by betraying Him he could make a little lucre and force God the Father to save His Son. When things did not work out that way, Judas condemned himself to eternal death by being his own judge and jury and hanging himself instead of asking God to forgive Him.
If he had asked for forgiveness it would have been granted and the instrument of Jesus’ betrayal would have remained an apostle and been a saint today.

nobodies answered the question - how can predestination and true free will (ie the ability to choose our future, which we clearly don’t have if God foreknows everything) coexist. However I’m fascinated by Judas’s death, his suicide.

Surely if he thought that what he had done was so bad that God would not forgive him, or should not, then that is an endeering thing. To assume forgiveness for sin, especially a sin that bad, to me sounds like presumption. By recognising the magnitude of his crime and despairing, isn’t Judas, in fact , MORE deserving of forgiveness than someone who assumes they will be forgiven? I mean wouldn’t God take pity on that?

[quote=cynic]Sorry I’m repeating myself, but free-will rhetoric does not answer this question
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Yes, it does.

– Mark L. Chance.

[quote=cynic]If God does not cause us to sin, then in theory could Judas have chosen a different path? I don’t see how he could have, the crucifiction had to happen, the betrayel had to happen, and even his subsequent suicide was part of prophecy (the field where nothing would grow…). This is different from God knowing the future, since no other possibility could be allowed to Judas.

Is this an example of Calvinist predestination?
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To pretend that we all understand the plan and will of God would be foolish. Of course, if Judas had chosen a different path God would have been able, somehow, to affect our salvation. Just as if Mary, that perfect example of a Christian, could have said no to the Angel who brought her the news that she had been chosen to be the New Eve, all who have played a part - large and small - in Salvation History could have altered the way but not the outcome.

[quote=cynic]nobodies answered the question - how can predestination and true free will (ie the ability to choose our future, which we clearly don’t have if God foreknows everything) coexist. However I’m fascinated by Judas’s death, his suicide.

Surely if he thought that what he had done was so bad that God would not forgive him, or should not, then that is an endeering thing. To assume forgiveness for sin, especially a sin that bad, to me sounds like presumption. By recognising the magnitude of his crime and despairing, isn’t Judas, in fact , MORE deserving of forgiveness than someone who assumes they will be forgiven? I mean wouldn’t God take pity on that?
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I apologize for not being very astute, but I fail to see how your question has not been answered. Please go back and read my posts and logically explain why they do not answer the question as posed. It is one thing to simply state that the question has not been answered, but it is another thing entirely to prove it. IMHO you have made an error in logic to equate foreknowledge with predestination. Knowing that something is going to happen does not have to involve causality.

I demonstrated how knowledge and causality are not one in the same. This was done by showing that historical knowledge of prior events and future knowledge of events are the same in two ways. Both have certitude concerning the facts of the events and neither historical knowledge of past events or foreknowledge of future events can be said to have caused the events to happen. Knowledge and causality are logically separate.

Maybe an example will help. I hire someone that is coming out of a half-way house because of drug addiction. I know that this person has been through the system several times and always turns back to drugs. Nevertheless, I want to help the individual and I get him/her a place to live and I give them a job that pays slightly above a living wage. I know that this person will follow the same pattern and return to using drugs. After several weeks of working and staying clean, the person slips back into the drug scene and no longer shows up for work. Did I cause the person to return to the drug scene because I knew they would do so? The answer is “no.” None of my actions, or my willful intentions, or my foreknowledge had anything to do with the person returning to drugs.

If you really believe that God predetermines everything that is evil/sinful then you have just found a creative way to dismiss any and all personal responsibility for any sins you commit, and you turn God into some kind of monster. This is a no brainer.

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