Epistle of Jude

Letter of Jude

Epistle of Jude

Author: Jude, the brother of Jesus and James

Date written: Circa 65 A.D.

To whom written: Jewish Christians. Not written to a specific church, but is a general / catholic epistle, a letter to the whole Church. Written to those “who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ.”

Why it was written:

• To remind the church of the need for constant vigilance — to keep strong in the faith and to oppose heresy.

Megathemes found in Jude. General outline of Jude:

• False Teachers. Jude warns against false teachers and leaders who reject the lordship of Christ, undermine the faith of others, and lead them astray. These leaders and any who follow them will be punished.

• Apostasy. Jude also warns against apostasy — turning away from Christ. We are to remember that God punishes rebellion against him. We must be careful not to drift away from a faithful commitment to Christ.

• Fight for the faith.

☆ Bible study note: 2 Peter covers much of the same content as Jude.

Jude’s message to Christians:

• The ungodly contending against the faith. The danger of false teachers. (1–16). Opposition would come, and godless teachers would arise, but Christians should “defend the faith” (1:3) by rejecting all falsehood and immorality (1:4-19), remembering God’s mighty acts of rescue and punishments (1:5-11, 14-16) and the warnings of the apostles (1:17-19).

• How we should contend for the faith. The duty to fight for God’s truth. A call to remain faithful. (17–25). His readers are to build up their own faith through prayer (1:20), keeping close to Christ (1:21), helping others (1:22, 23).

• A prayer of praise. Then Jude concludes with a glorious benediction of praise to God (1:24-25).

Famous passages and verses you’ll find in this Book:

• “Jude, a bond-servant [slave] of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, [writes this letter], To those who are the called (God’s chosen ones, the elect), dearly loved by God the Father, and kept [secure and set apart] for Jesus Christ: Mercy to you, and peace, and divine love be multiplied (filling your heart with the spiritual well-being and serenity experienced by those who walk closely with God).” – Jude 1:2 (GTNT, AMP)

o The opening greeting, where Jude humbly refers to himself as a “slave of Jesus Christ” and assures the recipients that they are called, loved, and “kept safe by Jesus Christ”. In keeping with his habit of writing in three’s, Jude hopes that the readers have the three-fold blessings of “mercy, peace, and love.” (2)

o Verses 1 and 2 are well known for a few reasons. One is in reference to our quest to be bondservants [slaves] for Christ in our daily walk with the Lord. And the beautiful blessing bestowed upon believers.

“But even Michael [the archangel] one of the mightiest of angels, did not dare accuse the devil of blasphemy but simply said, “The Lord rebuke you!” (The took place when Michael was arguing with the devil about Moses body). – Jude 1:9 (NLT)

and

“Enoch, who lived in the seventh generation after Adam, prophesied about these people. He said, “Listen! The Lord is coming with countless thousands of his holy ones to execute judgment on the people of the world. He will convict every person of all the ungodly things they have done and for all the insults that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” – Jude 1:14-15 (NLT)

o These two verses are well known for the very fact that they are based on apocryphal literature (Jewish writings outside of the Scriptures). “Jude mentions events that aren’t recorded in the Bible, such as an argument between Michael the Archangel and the devil over the body of Moses, and Enoch’s ancient prophecies. These examples come from the Assumption of Moses and First Enoch. Jude’s intended audience was familiar with these pieces and therefore would have appreciated the references.” (3)

☆ Enoch’s ancient prophecies are found in apocryphal literature, but the person Enoch is found in the Bible. He is a descendant of Adam and an ancestor of Noah, whom God “took” from earth before he died. He is found in the genealogy of Adam’s descendants in Genesis 5:21. And a reference to his death is found in the New Testament in Hebrews 11:5, “It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying — he still speaks to us by his example of faith.” (NLT)

• Although the verses above are well known for being based on apocryphal literature, Jude references Old Testament figures and events from numerous books found in the Bible including:

o The Exodus from Egypt – Jude 1:5 is based on the Exodus story found in Exodus 1:31-51. And Jude specifically is referencing Exodus 12:51, “On that very day the Lord brought the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt like an army.” (NLT)

o The generation of Israelites who died in the wilderness. The Lord punishes the Israelites. – Jude 5. This story is found in Numbers 26:35. Jude is specifically referencing Numbers 14:35, “I, the Lord, have spoken! I will certainly do these things to every member of the community who has conspired against me. They will be destroyed here in the wilderness, and here they will die!” (NLT)

o The destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah – Jude 1:7. The story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is found in Genesis 19:1-29. Jude is specifically referencing Genesis 19:24, “Then the Lord rained down fire and burning sulfur from the sky on Sodom and Gomorroah.” (NLT)

o Cain, the son of Adam, who murdered his brother out of vengeful jealousy – Jude 1:11. The story of Cain and Able is found in Genesis 4:1-16. Jude is specifically referencing Genesis 4:8, “One day Cain suggested to his brother, “Let’s go out into the fields. And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother, Abel, and killed him.” (NLT)

o The prophet Balaam, who prophesied out of greed, not out of obedience to God’s command, he who tried to curse the Israelites in exchange for money – Jude 1:11. This story of Balaam can be found in Numbers 22-24. “Jude accuses the false teachers of rushing for profit into Balaam’s error. They valued financial gain more highly than God’s will and led their followers into immorality.” (1)

o Korah, who rebelled against God’s divinely appointed leaders, Moses, and Aaron, wanted the power for himself, but was swallowed up by the earth – Jude 1:11. The story of Korah can be found in Numbers 16:1-35.

☆ The usage of these stories from the Old Testament found in Jude show us that if the chosen people, and sinful cities were punished, how much more would these false teachers be judged? The stories of Cain, Balaam, and Korah show attitudes that are typical of false teachers — pride, selfishness, jealousy, greed, lust for power, and disregard of God’s will.

“These people [false teachers] are blemishes at your love feasts [fellowship meals commemorating the Lord’s love, they are like dangerous reefs that can shipwreck you], eating with you without the slightest qualm–shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit, and uprooted–twice dead. They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.” – Jude 1:12-13 (NIV, NLT)

o The above verses are known for their poetic wording. Similar wording is found in 2 Peter 2:17:

“These men [false teachers] are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them.” (BSB)

o When the Lord’s supper was celebrated in the early church, believers would eat a full meal before taking part in Communion with the sharing of the bread and wine. . . . It was a sacred time of fellowship to prepare one’s heart for Communion.

☆ This verse is an excellent reminder to keep our heart and spirit in a sacred space, a sacred place, when we are preparing ourselves to receive Communion. It reminds me of the small hand bell, Sanctus bells, that are rung shortly before the consecration of the bread and wine, and again when presented to the congregation, signifying the real presence of Christ. It reminds us to, “Pay attention, Jesus is coming. He is here on the altar. He will soon be present within us in the Holy Eucharist!” (6)

☆ The false teachers described in these verses were “doubly dead.” They were useless “trees” because they weren’t producing fruit. They weren’t even believers, so they would be rooted up and burned. The letter of Jude is highly applicable today. We have false teachers in our midst in the 21st century. The mendacity of the “Prosperity Gospel” (The belief that “financial blessing and physical well-being are always the will of God for them [believers in the message], and that faith, positive speech, and donations to religious causes will increase one’s material wealth.”) and those that teach and preach it are just one of many examples of false teaching and teachers that exist today that are leading believers astray.

“But you dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love.” – Jude 1:20 (NLT)

☆ The way to avoid the evil influences of false teachers and their teachings is to build each other up in our holy faith, to be more sincere in prayer (and in how we pray), grow in our devotion to God, and to help (show mercy/compassion to) those affected by the false teachers to find new life in God.

“All glory to Him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All Glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen.” – Jude 1:25 (NLT)

☆ “Jude closes his letter on a note of magnificent praise to the only God and Savior. God is supreme in majesty and authority, and the same power by which he saved Christians in the first place is still available to them. God is able to keep his people safe and pure amid the destructive corruption of the false teaching, and one day bring them triumphantly into his heavenly presence.” (8)

O Perfect Father by Steph Macleod

Lyrics to O Perfect Father by Steph Macleod:

[Verse 1]
O Perfect Father on Heaven’s throne
Who gave my orphan heart a home
Treasured and destined before all time
Forever claimed by Your love divine
What wondrous kindness shown to me
To know that I’m eternally
A chosen child of God above
The perfect Father with perfect love

[Verse 2]
You never fail me You never leave
You will provide my every need
Joyful or burdened I seek Your face
O Father You never turn away
Your presence is my perfect peace
No other place I long to be
A chosen child of God above
The perfect Father with perfect love

[Verse 3]
Whom shall I fear in the days to come
You are the great Almighty One
Formed in Your image I bear Your name
Yet in Your heart still my heart remains
My silent prayer You always hear
You cradle every secret tear
A chosen child of God above
The perfect Father with perfect love

[Verse 4]
Father my Father who reigns on High
Your sovereign name be glorified
Lead me through life with great words of truth
My passion Father to worship You
What joy to serve You all my days
I live to follow and obey
A chosen child of God above
The perfect Father with perfect love

[Tag]
What joy to follow all my days
I live to follow and obey
A chosen child of God above
The perfect Father with perfect love

Reference and Source List:

Bibles used:

a. New Living Translation (1)

b. The Godbey New Testament Bible (1902) by Rev. W. B. Godbey (1833-1920) M. W. Knapp, Office of God’s Revivalist, Cincinnati, Ohio

c. The Holy Bible: The Amplified Bible. 1987. 2015. La Habra, CA: The Lockman Foundation

d. The Bible. Today’s New International Version. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2005.

e. The Holy Bible, Berean Study Bible, BSB. Copyright ©2016, 2020 by Bible Hub
Used by Permission. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

  1. Life Application Study Bible, New Living Translation, 2014, Wheaton, Il: Tyndale House Publishers.
  2. Akin, D. (2004, 17 August). The place of Hebrews, the general epistles, and Revelation in the New Testament history. danielakin.com
  3. Kranz, Jeffrey (2013, 4 August). Jude: fight for the faith! overviewbible.com
  4. BibleRef.com is a ministry of Got Questions Ministries. What does Jude 1:11 mean?
  5. Herrera, Matthew D., Sanctus Bells: Their History and Use in the Catholic Church. San Luis Obispo, CA: Tixlini Scriptorium, 2004.
  6. Girotti, Fr. John W. (2020, 30 April). Why Ring Bells in the Middle of Mass? The Compass, Official Publication for the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin.
  7. Wilson, J. Matthew, From Pews to Polling Places: Faith and Politics in the American Religious Mosaic. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2007.
  8. Flemming, Donald C. “Commentary on Jude 1:25“. “Bridgeway Bible Commentary”. 2005.

☆ This blog entry is from my work in my Intro. to the New Testament course I took at Phillips Seminary. ☆

If you use any information from my blog posts as a reference or source, please give credit and provide a link back to my work that you are referencing. Unless otherwise noted, my work is © Anna A. Kasper 2011-2022. All rights reserved. Thank you.

About Anna Kasper, ACDP

I am an avid Genealogist. I am currently a student at Phillips Theological Seminary (one of the few Catholics!). I am an ACDP - Associate of the Congregation of Divine Providence (Sisters of Divine Providence of Texas). If you are unfamiliar with what a Religious Associate (also called an Affiliate, Consociate, Oblate, Companion) is exactly, visit my about me page for more information. In community college, I majored in American Sign Language/Deaf Studies, and Interdisciplinary Studies when at university.
This entry was posted in Bible Study, Catholic, Religious and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s