Jude

I. AUTHOR:

Jude called himself “the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James” (v. 1). The name Jude is derived from Judah and pronounced Judas in Greek; it was a very common name in the first century. There are five Judases mentioned in the New Testament: (1) Judas an apostle, who was “the son of James” (Lk. 6:16; Acts 1:13); (2) “Judas Iscariot, who also was the traitor” (Lk. 6:16); (3) Judas, the brother of James and half brother of Jesus (Mt. 13:55); (4) Judas of Damascus (Acts 9:11); (5) “Judas, surnamed Barsabbas” (Acts 15:22). The two apostles named Judas cannot be the author, because Jude never called himself an apostle. Judas of Damascus and Judas Barsabbas are eliminated, since they did not have a brother named James. That leaves only Judas the brother of James and half brother of Jesus who must have written the book.

II. DATE:

Jude did not record the date of his writing, but he did make reference to 2 Peter 3:3 in Jude 18, which would give some indication of when he penned the epistle. Scholars date Peter’s writing around A.D. 65-66, and Jude wrote soon after that, possibly around A.D. 67-68. Although the place where the book was written is not given, many believe it to be Jerusalem.

III. PURPOSE:

Jude had started to write about the “common salvation” (v. 3) provided in Christ, but the Holy Spirit directed him to warn the church about false teachers (possibly Gnostics) who were coming into the fellowship bringing their ungodly teachings (v. 4). He beseeched the church to stand against such men and “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (v. 3).

IV. RECIPIENTS:

Most likely Jude wrote to Hebrew Christians, since many of his references were from the Old Testament, but the letter was circulated to all the churches warning them of ungodly teachers.

V. STYLE:

Jude wrote in figurative language, drawing many illustrations from nature and from men who had committed apostasy in the Old Testament. He built figure upon figure, often writing in triads (e.g., sanctified, preserved, called [v. 1]; mercy, peace, love [v. 2] to make his point.

VI.THEME:

Earnestly contending for the faith

VII. KEYWORDS:

Remember, ungodly

VIII. KEY VERSES:

3-4

I. PRESERVED FROM APOSTASY (vv. 1-2)

  1. Salvation through Christ (v. 1)
  2. Servant of Christ (v. 1)
  3. Sanctified for Christ (v. 1)
  4. Secure in Christ (v. 1)
  5. Sustained by Christ (v. 2)

II. PROBLEM OF APOSTASY (vv. 3-4)

  1. Common Faith (v. 3)
  2. Contending for the Faith (v. 4)
  3. Corruption of the Faith (v. 4)
  4. Conduct of the Fallen (v. 4)

III. PAST APOSTATES (vv. 5-7)

  1. Failure of Israel (v. 5)
  2. Fall of Angels (v. 6)
  3. Fornication of Sodom and Gomorrah (v. 7)

IV. PRESENT APOSTATES (vv. 8-11)

  1. Defiled Dreamers (v. 8)
  2. Disputing the Devil (v. 9)
  3. Destruction Declared (v. 10)
  4. Destiny Described (v. 11)

V. PROFILE OF THE APOSTATE (vv. 12-16)

  1. Character of Apostates (vv. 12-13)
    1. Worthless Worship (v. 12)
    2. Wicked Shepherds (v. 12)
    3. Waterless Clouds (v. 12)
    4. Withered Trees (v. 12)
    5. Wind-tossed Waves (v. 13)
    6. Wandering Stars (v. 13)
  2. Condemnation of Apostates (vv. 14-15)
    1. Warning from Enoch (v. 14)
    2. Wrath from God (v. 15)
  3. Conduct of Apostates (v. 16)
    1. Description of their Walk
    2. Deception of their Words

VI. POWER OVER APOSTASY(vv. 17-25)

  1. Reminding the Believer (vv. 17-19)
  2. Responsibility of the Believer (vv. 20-21)
  3. Rescuing the Backslidden (vv. 22-23)
  4. Reassuring Benediction (vv. 24-25)

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