I thought I would share my personal bible study of Jude. This easily overlooked letter found near the end of the New Testament is unique and offers the Christian a very clear lesson about false teachers. I begin all of my studies with prayer and then do an overview study of the book before I study verse by verse.
I use a variety of study tools including a few different commentaries, bible dictionary, illustrated bible handbook and of course the Bible itself. The next study will be Jude verses 1-4 found here.
You may want to take your own notes and research using your own study tools. The Blue Letter Bible is a great resource that includes commentaries, dictionary, greek & hebrew lexicons as well as many different translations of the Bible. Check it out.
So, here is my “Overview” below.
“Jude” which is Judah in Hebrew and Judas in Greek. named after the author
Who is Jude?
- Jude was a leader of the Jerusalem church along with his half brother James who was THE Leader (acts 15).
- He is not the apostle Judas, son of James (Luke 6:16; Acts 1:13)
- Jude did not identify himself as an apostle but actually distinguishes himself from the apostles (v.17)
What was the purpose of his letter?
- To warn believers about “apostates” who have already infiltrated into the church and tell them how to recognize one.
- The word “apostasy” comes from the Greek apostasia, which is translated “falling away” in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. The word is closely related to the Greek word for “divorce.”
- Apostates are those who fall away from the true faith, abandoning what they formerly professed to believe. The term describes those whose beliefs are so deficient as to place them outside the pale of true Christianity. For example, a liberal denomination that denies the authority of Scripture or the deity of Christ is an apostate denomination.
- True Christians do not apostatize. Those who fall away into apostasy demonstrate that their faith was never real to begin with (1 John 2:19).
Who is the audience?
- The called, but also likely jews based on some of his illustrations.
- Based on the content, he wrote to a region where false teachers were impacting the church but we don’t know where.
- Some believe it was a general letter written to all believers
When was it written:
- Since no mention of the fall of jerusalem, it is written before 70 AD.
- After 2 Peter 2:1-4 which references a warning that false teachers will come while Jude says False teachers have already come and infiltrated the church. vv. 4,11,12,17,18.
- Jude actually quotes 2 peter 3:3 and acknowledges the quote is from an apostle (Peter) in verse v. 18 “18 that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.””
Where was it written
Jude was believed to be written near Jerusalem.
What makes Jude unique compared to most other NT letters?
- The letter of Jude is the only NT book devoted exclusively to confronting “apostasy”, meaning “deception from the true, biblical faith”.
- It was written by a relative of Jesus Christ
- Jude quotes from non-cannonical pseudepigraphical books – since he was writing bring guided by the holy spirit and what he quoted was accurate
- Jude rejected the Lord Jesus as Messiah before the resurrection of Christ. john 7:1-9
- Jude along with other half brothers were converted at the resurrection acts 1:14
- Because of his relation to Jesus and being an eye witness of the resurrection, Jude is acknowledged as inspired.
- Clement of Rome (2nd generation church leader AD96 alluded to the authenticity of Jude
- What was going on when Jude wrote his letter (historical background)
- Christianity under attack from Rome
- aggressive spiritual infiltration from gnostic like apostates and libertines who were in error doctrinally.
- Some believe this was the beginning of full blown gnosticism which John wrote about 20 years later.
- Refers to OT but never quotes it:
The exodus jude 1:5
Satans Rebellion jude 1:6
Sodom and Gomorrah jude 1:7
Moses death jude 1:9
Cain jude 1:11
Balam jude 1:11
Korah jude 1:11
Enoch jude 1:14-15
Adam jude 1:14
Jude and his wife traveled on missionary journeys with his brothers and their wives (1 Corinth 9:5) 5 Do we not have the right to take along a believing wife,