Bible Question:

My question is that Matthew says, "It is he who dips his hand with me in the bowl that will betray me" while John 13:26 says, "The one for whom I shall dip the morsel and give it to him who will betray me."  This is not contradictory since all of the Bible was written by the Holy Spirit, So, why is the Matthew account different than what John records?

Bible Answer:

First, the four gospels provide us with different pieces of information about events in the life of Christ. The complete account of any event or truth of what happened is found by combining all the information together. That is one reason why we have the chronological Life of Christ on this website. There are the three passages that explain what happened between Jesus and Judas during the events at the Passover (Matthew 26:23; Luke 22:21; John 13:26-28).  Luke 22:21 is too general to provide any clarification to the question.

Jesus Dip or Give the Morsel

Matthew 26:23 — Dipped His Hand With Me

The first passage that records the sign that Judas was Jesus’ betrayer is Matthew 26:23.  It tells us that Jesus said,

“He who dipped his hand with Me in the bowl is the one who will betray Me.” Matthew 26:23 (NASB)

Notice that Jesus said the betrayer will dip his hand “with Me.” The Greek word “with” is meta. That is, they would dip their hands at the same time into the bowl.

John 13:26 — Dip the Morsel and Give It

John 13:26 tells us that Jesus dipped the morsel and gave it to Judas.

“That is the one for whom I shall dip the morsel and give it to him.” John 13:26 (NASB)

The key that unlocks the mystery is the word “with” in Matthew 26:23. It reveals that Jesus said that Judas would dip his hand “with Me.” That is, they dipped their hands into the bowl together about the same time. Apparently, Jesus put the morsel into the sauce and gave or handed it to Judas as they removed their hands.  That is what the combined record would indicate happened.


So, did Jesus dip the morsel and give it to Judas? The answer is yes. He dipped the morsel of bread, and gave it to Judas as they pulled their hands  from the bowl.  This reminds us of an important truth. The Bible is without error or inerrant in all that is written. This is true because the Holy Spirit wrote all of Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21).