Study of Jude



Jude was the brother of James, i.e. the James who pastored the church at Jerusalem and the one who wrote the epistle of James. They were the sons of Mary and Joseph and, thus, the half-brothers of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jude is listed among the brothers of Christ in Matthew 13:55. He was still an unbeliever in John 7:2-9 but is found as a believer in Acts 1:14 following the resurrection. Jude appears nowhere else in Scripture.

The epistle of Jude has been variously dated from A.D. 67 to 85, but it is impossible to date precisely. However, it seems to have been written later than II Peter.

Just as there is no agreement regarding the date of Jude, there is also no agreement regarding the recipients of this brief letter or even where they lived because there is so little information given from which any specific conclusions may be drawn.

According to verse 4 certain men had sneaked into the churches undetected. These are described as ungodly men, who had turned the grace of God into lasciviousness and denied the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. It appears as if the specific problem was a kind of antinomianism which made license out of liberty and denied the lordship of Christ. Apparently, it observed no restraints on sin or any fixed moral standards. Antinomianism is the belief that one is not under any obligation to obey the moral law and came as a result of Gnostic thought.

Jude's purpose is expressed in verse 3 as being to exhort his readers to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all time delivered to the saints.

Jude seems fond of using combinations of threes. Among other things he describes himself in three ways (v. 1), describes his readers in three ways (v. 1), wishes three things upon his readers (v. 3), uses three examples of judgment chosen from the Old Testament (vv. 5-7), and lists three classes of people who need help (v. 22-23).

An Outline of Jude

I. Greeting - vv. 1-2

II. Purpose - vv. 3-4

III. Admonitions against false teachers - vv. 5-16

IV. Exhortations to Christians - vv. 17-23

V. Concluding benediction - vv. 24-25