Epistle of Jude | The Letter of Jude (Bible)

St Judes thaddaeus letter epistle of Jude

Epistle of Jude

The Epistle of Jude is a book of the New Testament. It is sent by “Jude servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James” (Jd 1,1), in other words Jude one of the brothers of the Lord mentioned in Mk 6,3.

Its author is sometimes identified with Jude Thaddeus, the apostle, however he does not present himself as an apostle in verse 1.1 and refers to their teaching in the third person in verse 17.

The letter of Jude is one of the last collection of apostles in the New Testament section of the Christian Bible. This letter was written to warn his readers to beware of false teachers who call themselves Christians. In this short letter, which is similar to the second letter of Peter, the author encourages his readers to continue to fight for the faith.

Read also: The Complete Holy Bible

Contending for the Faith: The Epistle of Jude

The Epistle of Jude, a brief yet impactful letter in the New Testament, is attributed to Jude, the brother of James and Jesus. Despite its brevity, Jude addresses crucial concerns within the early Christian community, urging believers to contend earnestly for the faith.

Authorship and Context: Attributed to Jude, a half-brother of Jesus and a leader in the early Christian church, the epistle is likely written in the first century. Addressed to Christians facing challenges from false teachers, Jude passionately calls for vigilance in maintaining the integrity of the Christian faith.

Contending for the Faith: A central theme of Jude is the call to contend for the faith. Jude expresses his urgency for believers to actively oppose false teachings and defend the core tenets of Christianity. The exhortation to contend is a call to both intellectual and moral vigilance.

Warning Against Apostasy: Jude warns about the presence of false teachers who distort the Gospel and promote ungodly practices. Drawing parallels to historical examples of divine judgment, he emphasizes the consequences of turning away from the truth and embracing false doctrines.

Appeal to Apostolic Tradition: Jude appeals to the apostolic tradition passed down to the believers. He reminds them of the teachings of the apostles and encourages steadfast adherence to the foundational truths of the Christian faith. The epistle underscores the importance of building upon the apostolic foundation.

Call to Personal Holiness: While contending against external threats, Jude also emphasizes the need for personal holiness. Believers are encouraged to build themselves up in the faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, and keeping themselves in the love of God. The epistle highlights the interconnectedness of personal piety and collective defense of the faith.

Confidence in God’s Preservation: Jude concludes on a note of confidence in God’s ability to preserve believers. Despite the challenges and apostasy, God is able to present them faultless before His glory. The epistle encourages believers to trust in God’s faithfulness and power.

Enduring Significance: Despite its brevity, the Epistle of Jude carries enduring significance for believers facing challenges to the Christian faith. Its call to contend for the truth, warning against apostasy, appeal to apostolic tradition, emphasis on personal holiness, and confidence in God’s preservation provide timeless guidance for Christians navigating the complexities of faith.

In exploring the Epistle of Jude, readers encounter a passionate call to defend the faith, a sobering warning against false teachings, and a reassuring confidence in God’s ability to uphold His people amidst the challenges of the Christian journey.

Colophon Alexandrinus Jude
Colophon of the Epistle of Jude in the Codex Alexandrinus, 5th century. unknown (according to the legend Thecla), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The Complete Epistle of Jude

Jud 1:1 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and the brother of James, to those of God’s selection who have been made holy by God the Father and are kept safe for Jesus Christ:
Jud 1:2 May mercy and peace and love be increased in you.
Jud 1:3 My loved ones, while my thoughts were full of a letter which I was going to send you about our common salvation, it was necessary for me to send you one requesting you with all my heart to go on fighting strongly for the faith which has been given to the saints once and for ever.
Jud 1:4 For certain men have come among you secretly, marked out before in the holy Writings for this evil fate, men without the fear of God, turning his grace into an unclean thing, and false to our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Jud 1:5 Now it is my purpose to put you in mind, though you once had knowledge of all these things, of how the Lord, having taken a people safely out of Egypt, later sent destruction on those who had no faith;
Jud 1:6 And the angels who did not keep to their kingdom but went out from the place which was theirs, he has put in eternal chains and in dark night till the great day of the judging.
Jud 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the towns near them, having like these, given themselves up to unclean desires and gone after strange flesh, have been made an example, undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.
Jud 1:8 In the same way these dreamers make the flesh unclean, having no respect for authorities, and say evil of rulers.
Jud 1:9 Now when Michael, one of the chief angels, was fighting against the Evil One for the body of Moses, fearing to make use of violent words against him, he only said, May the Lord be your judge.
Jud 1:10 But these men say evil about such things as they have no knowledge of; and the things of which they have natural knowledge, like beasts without reason, are the cause of their destruction.
Jud 1:11 A curse on them! They have gone in the way of Cain, running uncontrolled into the error of Balaam for reward, and have come to destruction by saying evil against the Lord, like Korah.
Jud 1:12 These men are unseen rocks at your love-feasts, when they take part in them with you, keepers of sheep who without fear take the food of the sheep; clouds without water rushing before the wind, wasted trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots,
Jud 1:13 Violent waves of the sea, streaming with their shame, wandering stars for whom the darkest night is kept in store for ever.
Jud 1:14 The prophet Enoch, who was the seventh after Adam, said of these men, The Lord came with tens of thousands of his saints,
Jud 1:15 To be the judge of all, and to give a decision against all those whose lives are unpleasing to him, because of the evil acts which they have done, and because of all the hard things which sinners without fear of God have said against him.
Jud 1:16 These are the men who make trouble, ever desiring change, going after evil pleasures, using high-sounding words, respecting men’s position in the hope of reward.
Jud 1:17 But you, my loved ones, keep in memory the words which were said before by the Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Jud 1:18 How they said to you, In the last days there will be men who, guided by their evil desires, will make sport of holy things.
Jud 1:19 These are the men who make divisions, natural men, not having the Spirit.
Jud 1:20 But you, my loved ones, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, and making prayers in the Holy Spirit,
Jud 1:21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for life eternal through the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jud 1:22 And have pity on those who are in doubt;
Jud 1:23 And to some give salvation, pulling them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the clothing which is made unclean by the flesh.
Jud 1:24 Now to him who is able to keep you from falling, and to give you a place in his glory, free from all evil, with great joy,
Jud 1:25 To the only God our Saviour, through Jesus Christ our Lord, let us give glory and honour and authority and power, before all time and now and for ever. So be it.

Sources: Biblica, Bible Study Tools, Wikipedia

Photo credit: Bicci di Lorenzo, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Photo description: Saint Jude Thaddeus (around 1440). Fragment of a fresco removed from the nave of the Duomo of Florence during the 17th century restoration.

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