Its Background And Relation To Other Scriptures

The Epistle of Jude, often shortened to Jude, is the penultimate book of the New Testament and is attributed to Jude, the servant of Jesus and the brother of James the Just.

The letter of Jude was one of the disputed books of the Canon.

Although its canonical status was contested, its authenticity was never doubted by the Early Church.

The links between the Epistle and 2 Peter, its use of the Apocryphal Books, and its brevity raised concern.

It is one of the shortest books/letters in the Bible, being only 25 verses long.

Jude urges his readers to defend the deposit of Christ's doctrine that had been closed by the time he wrote his epistle, and to remember the words of the apostles spoken somewhat before.

He uses language similar to the second epistle of Peter to answer concerns that the Lord seemed to tarry, How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts...

Jude then asks the reader to recall how even after the Lord saved his own people out of the land of Egypt, he did not hesitate to destroy those who fell into unbelief, much as he punished the angels who fell from their original exalted status.

Jude quotes directly from the Book of Enoch, part of the scripture of the Ethiopian and Eritrean churches but rejected by other churches.

He cites Enoch's prophecy that the Lord would come with many thousands of his saints to render judgement on the whole world.

He also paraphrases an incident in a text that has been lost about Satan and Michael quarreling over the body of Moses.

The Epistle of Jude is held as canonical in the Christian Church.

Although some scholars consider the letter a pseudonymous work written between the end of the 1st century and the first quarter of the 2nd century, arguing from the references to the apostles, tradition; and the book's competent Greek style, conservative scholars date it between 70 and 90.

"More remarkable is the evidence that by the end of the second century Jude was widely accepted as canonical."

Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian and the Muratorian canon considered the letter canonical.

The first historical record of doubts as to authorship are found in the writings of Origen of Alexandria, who spoke of the doubts held by some—albeit not him.

Eusebius classified it with the "disputed writings, the antilegomena."

The letter was eventually accepted as part of the Canon by the Church Fathers such as Athanasius and the Synods of Laodicea (c. 363) and Carthage (397).

Part of Jude is very similar to 2 Peter (mainly 2 Peter chapter 2), so much so that most scholars agree that there is a dependence between the two; that either one letter used the other directly, or they both drew on a common source.

Because this epistle is much shorter than 2 Peter, and due to various stylistic details, some writers consider that Jude was the source for the similar passages of 2 Peter.

However other writers, noting that Jude 18 quotes 2 Peter 3:3 as past tense, consider that Jude came after 2 Peter.

Some scholars who consider Jude to predate 2 Peter note that the latter appears to quote the former but excises the reference to the non-canonical book of Enoch.

The Epistle of Jude references at least two other books, with one being non-canonical in all churches and the other non-canonical in most churches.

Verse 9 refers to a dispute between Michael the Archangel and the devil about the body of Moses.

The classical theologian Origen attributes this reference to the non-canonical Assumption of Moses.

According to James Charlesworth, there is no evidence the surviving book of this name ever contained any such content.

Others believe it to be in the lost ending of the book.

Verses 14–15 contains a direct quote of a prophecy from 1 Enoch1:9.

The title "Enoch, the seventh from Adam" is also sourced from 1 Enoch 60:1.

Most commentators assume that this indicates that Jude accepts the antediluvian patriarch Enoch as the author of the Book of Enoch which contains the same quotation.

However an alternative explanation is that Jude quotes the Book of Enoch aware that verses 14–15 are in fact an expansion of the words of Moses from Deuteronomy 33:2.

This is supported by Jude's unusual Greek statement that "Enoch the Seventh from Adam prophesied to the false teachers, not "concerning" them.

The Book of Enoch is not considered canonical by most churches, although it is by the Ethiopian Orthodox church.

According to Western scholars, the older sections of the Book of Enoch (mainly in the Book of the Watchers) date from about 300 BC and the latest part (Book of Parables) probably was composed at the end of 1st century BC.[34] It is generally accepted by scholars that the author of the Epistle of Jude was familiar with the Book of Enoch and was influenced by it in thought and diction.

Jude 1:14–15 quotes 1Enoch 1:9 which is part of the pseudepigrapha and is among the Dead Sea Scrolls [4Q Enoch (4Q204[4QENAR]) COL I 16–18].

The General Epistle of Jude

Salutation

1:1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, [and] called:

1:2 Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.

 

Occasion for the Letter

1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort [you] that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

 

The Presence of Godless Apostates

1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Warning against the False Teachers

1:5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.

 

The Fallen Angels

1:6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.

 

As Sodom and Gomorrha

1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

 

Description of the Apostates of Jude's Day

1:8 Likewise also these [filthy] dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.

 

The Archangel Michael

1:9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.

 

Their slanderous speech deplored

1:10 But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.

1:11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.

1:12 These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds [they are] without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;

1:13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.

 

Enoch, the Seventh From Adam

1:14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

1:15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard [speeches] which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.

1:16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling [words,] having men's persons in admiration because of advantage.

 

Exhortation to Believers

1:17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;

1:18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.

1:19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.

1:20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,

1:21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

1:22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:

1:23 And others save with fear, pulling [them] out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

1:24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present [you] faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

1:25 To the only wise God our Saviour, [be] glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.