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Word for the Wise January 31, 2007 Broadcast Topic: Thirty pieces of silver and potter's field

Following up a recent program on the phrase thirty pieces of silver with one on potter's field is a natural development. (来源:EnglishCN英语问答中心[e问e答])

If that comes as a surprise, we'll direct you to the Gospel of Saint Matthew and the line "And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in."

Still sound a bit strange? Then we'd better backtrack a bit more. Judas Iscariot, whose name became a byword for a traitor, was paid thirty pieces of silver for turning over Jesus to the authorities. After Judas repented, he gave his blood money to the priests of the temple.

The priests did not want to add the sullied money to their coffers so they took counsel—that is, "gave the matter some further thought"—and decided to use the money to purchase a certain field and use it for the burial of strangers. In the Bible, this first potter's field was known as Aceldamaliterally, "field of blood" in Aramaic—but that particular name did not last as long as the original reference.

For hundreds of years, Potter’s Field has been used as a name for any public burial place where the unknown, the indigent, and criminals are laid to rest.

 
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