Book of the Week 65: Jude

Greek Name: IOUDA

Human Author: Jude (brother of James)                                        

OT or NT: New Testament

Number of Chapters: 1

Basic Facts

  1. Jude is the sixty-fifth book of the Bible.

  2. In terms of literary genre, Jude is classified as an epistle, or letter.

  3. The Greek name for the book of Jude is IOUDA which means, “of Jude.”

  4. Jude is the only book of the Bible to refer to Enoch literature.

  5. Judah is written by the brother of James (Jude 1:1).

Story of the Book

Jude opens his letter by greeting his audience, identifying himself as a servant of Christ and a brother of James (Jude 1:1). He wishes that grace, mercy, and love would be multiplied to his audience (Jude 1:2). Jude stresses his urgency in writing to his audience about salvation, warning believers against false teachers who pervert the grace of God and deny Christ (Jude 1:3-4). Jude attributes to Jesus the mighty acts of God performed in the Exodus, the judgment upon Israelites who did not believe in the wilderness, the execution of God’s judgment upon fallen angels, and the judgment of eternal fire brought upon the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah for their sins (Jude 1:5-7). Jude condemns such disobedient people from the stories above as blasphemers, comparing them to Cain, the error of Balaam, and Korah’s rebellion (Jude 1:8-10). In the midst of this rebuke, Jude does allude to Enoch literature by giving the positive example of the archangel Michael’s rebuke against Satan regarding the body of Moses (Jude 1:9). Jude warns that false teachers are in the midst of the church and compares these false believers to shepherds who feed themselves, waterless clouds, dead trees, and waves of the sea. He condemns them as people who bring damnation upon themselves (Jude 1:11-13). Jude says that Enoch had prophesied against such people, and that God brought judgment upon them all (Jude 1:14-16). Jude warns his audience of believers to persevere by keeping themselves in the love of God, reminding them that the Apostles had prophesied that in the last days such false believers would arise who follow their own passions (Jude 1:17-23). Jude closes his letter with a form of doxology, proclaiming that all authority, dominion, majesty, and glory belong to the savior Jesus Christ forever (Jude 1:24-25).

Jesus Revealed in Jude

Jesus is revealed in Jude as the one through whom God accomplished several major events in the Old Testament. Jude argues that it is through Jesus that God the Father has saved the Israelites out of Egypt in the Exodus, and later destroyed some of them in the wilderness for their disobedience (Jude 1:5) and destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah (Jude 1:7). Jude even proclaims Jesus as the one who holds fallen angels captive for the day of judgment (Jude 1:6). It is this same Jesus whom Jude proclaims as the one who has all authority, dominion, majesty, and glory forever (Jude 1:24-25). Jude warns that just as Jesus judged those who were formerly disobedient, Jesus will one day return to judge those who reject Him. Therefore, it is imperative that those who hear the message of the gospel must believe in Jesus in order to receive the promise of eternal life. Just as Jude compelled his audience to believe in Jesus in Biblical antiquity, we too are compelled to place our faith in Jesus Christ and to obey the command of Jesus to make disciples of all nations, for to Him belong all authority, dominion, majesty and glory both now and forever (Matthew 28:18-20; Jude 1:24-25).