Book Background: Jude

Written by Andy Pisciotti | June 26, 2010 | Jude 1

No, it’s not just the title of a great Beatles song- it’s a book of the Bible!  Though short (maybe even just one page in your Bible), and nestled in between the 3 Epistles of John and the epic book of Revelation- Jude is no insignificant piece of writing.

Jude, the author given credit for the book by the majority of scholars, was the brother of James (and thus also related to Jesus).  The date of the book is considered to be most likely in the mid-60’s A.D. due to similarities of events documented by it and 2 Peter.

The book starts with a greeting to believers and those who belong to Jesus Christ and ends with a doxology, giving glory to God in Christ.  The body of the letter in between is a sharp judgment, warning and criticism of some of the false teaching about the faith of Jesus Christ.  Jude un-apologetically attacks those ‘apostates’ that have perverted the Gospel and the tradition of the true faith under Christ.  He fiercely contends for the truth that is in the death and resurrection of Christ and opposes those who might try to lead one astray to other teachings.  His call to perseverance is for believers, instructing them to trust the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and to follow it, staying rooted in God’s love.  Jude challenges the church to guard the teaching of the truth and protect itself from the infiltration of the askew doctrines that were prevalent at the time.

The letter is significant in that it uses a lot of Old Testament imagery and quotation.  In its short form, it draws from stories and examples from throughout the history of God’s people and has a significant Jewish feel to it.  He even references the Jewish apocalyptic literature of 1 Enoch.  In addition to that, Jude speaks of the apostles and their teaching, something that also helps push the date of authorship back.