Epistle of Jude

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Epistle of Jude

Papyrus 78 - Front - Epistle of Jude.jpg

A fragment of a copy of Jude, c. 300 CE.

Author Anonymous
Type Ancient writing
Genre Epistle
Themes Religion
Age Group Adult

The Epistle of Jude, often called simply, Jude, is the twenty-sixth book of the New Testament. It is a letter written in ancient Greek around 90-120 CE. The author identifies himself simply as Jude and doesn't include the name of a recipient. The letter warns the reader of evil men who have infiltrated the newly formed Christian church. This letter is in the public domain.

Personal

Own?Several translations.
Read?KJV and NIV translations.
Finished2016-04-25.

I read this letter to better familiarize myself with the Christian religion.

Authorship and Dating

The author identifies himself as "Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James." However, as early as the 2nd century, scholars have disagreed upon the identity of the author, and nobody has been able to give a definitive identity. There are several people named Jude in the New Testament and the descriptors, "servant of Jesus," and, "brother of James," are too generic to point to any one in particular. It may not be a Jude at all since several New Testament scholars believe the work is pseudonymous. Different branches of Christianity attribute this work to their favorite Jude from the other scriptures, but offer only opinions as to why they're correct.

The general consensus among modern scholars is a later date, around 90-120 CE which suggests either a pseudonymous author or a new Jude that is not one of the ones mentioned in the New Testament. The scholars who have faith that the manuscript is genuine are forced to give it a much earlier date, around 66-90 CE.

There are no known original manuscripts. The oldest fragment is Papyrus 78 dated to around 200-400 CE.

Content

The letter warns the unknown recipient to be on his guard because evil godless men have secretly infiltrated the ranks of his fellowship. He explains that the men are greedy selfish lawless blasphemers who grumble, complain, and brag, however, the recipient should still try and save them.

Interestingly, in 1:9 the author seems to allude to a passage from the Assumption of Moses a Jewish pseudepigraphical book, and later in 1:14-15, he quotes directly from the Book of Enoch, which is considered non-canonical by almost all branches of Christianity. The letter also appears to share text with the highly contested Second Epistle of Peter.

Review

Overall:

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Good

  • Nothing.

Bad

  • It's quite a dull read. The author says to be wary of bad people because they're bad, and to try to stop them from doing bad because it's good.
  • The author says that these horrible godless people have secretly infiltrated another man's fellowship. But if they're really as diabolically evil as the author writes, how can they possibly not be found out?

Ugly

  • Jude's canonical status only hurts Christianity.
    • There isn't much positive text worth quoting, so the epistle is mostly known for its problems.
    • The author is not only unknown, but, considering the date, most likely not a contemporary of Jesus.
    • The author cites two different apocryphal works in a positive manner.
    • Parts of the writing are so similar to the Second Epistle of Peter that most scholars agree that one plagiarized off the other. This is especially bad because II Peter is viewed by most scholars to be fraudulent.

Links

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