To Previous Book
- THE TITLE
The epistle is named for the writer, Jude.
- THE WRITER
The writer signs his name as "Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James" (1). It is generally agreed that he was a brother of the Lord (Mat 13:55), and therefore not one of the apostles, for the brethren of the Lord did not believe on Jesus until after the resurrection (Jn 7:5; Acts 1:13-22). However, a few expositors try to identify the writer of this epistle as "Judas (Thaddeus) the brother of James," one of the twelve apostles (Lk 6:16; Jn 14:22). Since Jude does not call himself an apostle, we are inclined to believe that he was not.
- TO WHOM ADDRESSED
Although the letter is addressed to Christians in general, "To them that are called, beloved in God the father, and kept for Jesus Christ" (1), it was likely intended at first for Jewish Christians in Palestine. Several allusions presuppose an acquaintance with Old Testament scriptures and Jewish traditions. Some critics believe that the epistle was sent to Antioch in Syria and that it was intended for both Jewish and Gentile Christians.
- TIME AND PLACE OF WRITING
There is no suggestion concerning the place of origin, but critics estimate that it was written about A.D. 66. Evidently it was written before A.D. 70 when Jerusalem was destroyed, for Jude would certainly have mentioned that event along with the other persecutions given.
- PURPOSE AND CONTENTS
False teachers among the brethren were teaching heresies in the congregational meetings. Some of the men were also immoral in conduct. Jude wrote to expose their immoralities and heresies, urging Christians "to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered unto the saints" (3). This epistle and the second chapter of II Peter are very similar. Some think that Jude wrote first, but in our present state of knowledge it is impossible to reach a definite conclusion regarding the matter. A distinctive feature of the book is the writer's fondness for triplet expressions. It is somewhat terse and picturesque. Alford describes it as an "impassioned invective with epithet on epithet, image on image." The stern warnings concerning the fate of wicked disturbers give some the impression that the writer was a harsh character with little or no pathos. This criticism, however, overlooks the fact that the writer was discussing a very serious problem as he was guided by the Holy Spirit. Some of the words have a definite poetic ring.
- EXERCISES FOR STUDENT ACTIVITY
- Complete the following triplets:
- The threefold salutation: "…to them that are ________, _________ in God the Father, and ___________ for Jesus Christ."
- The threefold benediction: "____________ unto you and __________ and _________ be multiplied."
- Three examples of divine retribution: "…the Lord, having saved a ________ out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. And __________ that kept not their own principality, …he hath kept…unto the judgment…Even as __________ and __________…suffering the punishment of eternal fire."
- Three types of wickedness: "They went in the way of __________, and ran riotously in the error of _____________ for hire, and perished in the gainsaying of ___________."
- Three classes of evil-doers: "these are ___________, _____________, __________ after their own lusts."
- Three exhortations to Christians: They are to build up themselves in the most holy faith by "____________ in the Holy Spirit, __________ yourselves in the love of God, ______________ for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life."
- Three expressions of Christian service toward the erring: "And on some have _____________, who are in doubt; and some ___________, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have _____________ with fear."
- Doxology: "…_______________ all time, and _____________, and __________."
- Topics for further study
- List all the things said about evil workers.
- What does the epistle teach concerning angels?
- Summarize the teaching of the epistle regarding the punishment of sin.
- What had the apostles foretold concerning false teachers described by Jude?
Published in The Old Paths Archive