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New Testament Survey

Jude



LOOKING AHEAD TO . . .

Jude

Key Verse(s):

Key Chapter(s):

Key Word(s) or Concept(s)

Contend for the Faith

Consider:

Can you determine the nature of the false teachings?

Is it important that Jude appears to refer to non-biblical material?

Is it important to learn doctrine to be able to contend for the faith?

Jude

This is the only book of the New Testament we will consider out of order. We have already looked at the issue of Jude versus 2 Peter. Let us now look at Jude’s epistle while 2 Peter is fresh in our mind, so we might form our own opinion as to the comparison

Jude was the half-brother of our Lord and the brother of James. This is the James who wrote the book bearing his name and who was the leader of the Christian church in Jerusalem. There is little question as to the authorship of this book. What criticism did arise came because of an apparent use of the non-canonical book of Enoch and the apparent quoting of Jude in many of the apocryphal books.

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It is entirely possible that Jude is one of the itinerant preachers mentioned by Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:5.

If Jude is the brother of James and our Lord, then the date must fall into what would have been the limits of his life. Jude was the younger brother of Jesus and James (Mark 6:3 and Matthew 13:55). This does not help much. The discussion of false teachers, when compared to Paul’s discussions of false teachers, suggests that the date should fall between A.D. 65 and 85.

It is most likely that Jude is written after 2 Peter. The apostasy Peter sees in the future (2 Peter 2:1), Jude sees in the present (v3, 4). We know from our own lives, it does not take apostasy long to spread, so a date in the mid-70s is probable.

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Special Considerations

Does Jude use the apocryphal writings? And if he does, so what?

The following books from the apocrypha appear to be used by Jude

It is important to keep in mind that regardless of Jude’s sources or usage, he was guided by the Holy Spirit in his selections. Jude does not take these books to be Scripture. He may have relied upon oral tradition or some other source common to both he and the apocryphal writers.

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It must be kept in mind, that many works contain some truth. Karl Marx’s works on communism contain great truths on the state of society, even if wrong conclusions are drawn from these truths. The Qur’an, the holy book of Islam, contains many great moral truths, even if its view of God is incorrect. Or, for that matter, what about the books by your favorite Christian author? Don’t you read them because they contain some good truths?

As a result, one may certainly quote from a variety of sources so long as one carefully edits the material. Paul did this in Acts 17:28 as well as in Titus 1:12. So if Jude did make use of some of the apocrypha, we must remember that only those portions which actually appear in Scripture are what has been inspired by God.

Theme

Jude starts out to write a letter of encouragement but quickly skips to a warning on false teachers. These men are part of the Christian community (4), but their identity is unclear. What may be gained from the letter is that they misunderstand grace (4a), denied Christ (4b), followed their own dreams (8), misunderstood the doctrine of the Holy Spirit (8,19), criticized doctrine (8), acted outside of God’s Will (4,7,16,18), allowed themselves to be ruled by their own passions (8,23), and were focused on personal gain (11, 16).

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Thus, Jude writes to warn the community of believers. In so doing, he defends the faith against the false doctrines being imparted by these “anti-Christs.” Not only is the warning not to be led astray, but Jude expresses hope for the rescue of those already derailed from their Christian path (23). There is an assurance in this letter that God is in control and Jesus will judge the false teachers.

As with all of the letters, the exhortation is to remain true to the faith. The message is one focusing on HOW TO LIVE.

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Jude’s closing benediction is one of the finest in all of Scripture.

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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, 25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
Jude 24,25

This is the key to Jude’s epistle and to all of our Christian walk.

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Do you fall into false teachings?

Could it be because you take your eyes off of Christ?

In verse 9, Jude records Michael’s fight with Satan for the body of Moses. Why would Satan want Moses’ body?

 

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April 20, 2018

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