Surprisingly enough, there is little disagreement concerning the authorship of the Epistle of Jude; and it was accepted as canonical in the early days of the church. This also indicates its apostolic acceptance. As indicated in the first verse, it was written by Jude, a brother of James and of the Lord Jesus (although he rightly calls himself a servant of Jesus Christ). The date of this writing is largely held to be from 64-67 A.D., partly because of some perceived similarities with 2 Peter.
The book consists of one chapter and only 25 verses. The recipient of the letter cannot be determined from the content of the text, but is assumed to be written to a congregation that included both Jew and Gentile members. The purpose of the letter is to express grave concern and even put forth a rebuke because of apostasy resulting from false teaching that has crept into the church. Verse 4 says “certain people have crept in unnoticed…ungodly people, who pervert the grace of God into sensuality and deny our only master and Lord, Jesus Christ.”
So, the problems that Jude addressed in this letter were no small matter at all, and we get the sense that some have allowed things to get so bad because they were too timid to stand for the truth. Verse 3 says that Jude “found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” In verses 22-23, Jude urges them to “have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.” Those who know the truth need to step up and provide the needed leadership to get them back on track.
There is much counsel contained in this short epistle, and some “bonuses” thrown in by Jude, such as verse 14’s clear confirmation that Enoch was the seventh generation from Adam (Genesis 5:18). One other interesting note is in verse 5, where Jude confirms Jesus as having been with God from the beginning, as John wrote in John 1:3.
(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.