Jude

The author claims to be Jude, the brother of James and therefore of Jesus (see Mark 6:3 where Jude is spelled Judas). The fact that this book is written in an educated Greek style while Jesus’ family was of a lower class raises suspicion in the minds of biblical scholars. Also, a bulk of this letter is paralleled in 2 Peter 2, and most scholars conclude that 2 Peter incorporated Jude into his letter.

This book is concerned with false teachers who are threatening to influence and lead the recipients of the letter astray. There also seems to have been an issue with sexual immorality. These were godless men undermining the church from within. The author calls upon a number of biblical illustrations to describe these men and their inevitable fate: Israel in the wildness rebellion, Sodom and Gomorrah, Cain, Balaam, and Korah’s rebellion.

The author also gives two illustrations not found in the Old Testament: the dispute between Michael and the devil over Moses’ corpse, and Enoch’s prophesies against the ungodly. Both stories are found in extrabiblical texts. The casual presence of these stories in Jude demonstrates how widespread these stories were at the time.

The book ends with a doxology—a brief hymn of praise to God—that is commonly recited in many Christian worship services.

– Peter Enns