Jude - We Need to Contend for the Faith

November 1, 2014 version



When was the Book of Jude written? Nothing in the letter tells us when the book of Jude was written. But there are a number of similarities between Jude and 2 Peter. If Peter referenced Jude in writing, then Jude would probably be written before 65 A.D. On the other hand, if Jude reference 2 Peter, then Jude might be written after 80 A.D.


Pre-Nicene and Post-Nicene writers who refer to Jude

Irenaeus (182-188 A.D.) Synopsis Scripturae Sacrae (350-370 A.D. or 5th century)
The Muratorian Canon (180-210 A.D.) Ephraim the Syrian (373 A.D.)
Clement of Alexandria (193-202 A.D.) Cyril of Jerusalem (c.349-386 A.D.)
Tertullian (198-220 A.D.) X Didymus the Blind (398 A.D.) rejected it because of references to apocryphal books
Origen (225-254 A.D.) Lucifer of Cagliari (361-c.399 A.D.)
Treatise Against Novatian (254-256 A.D.) Epiphanius of Salamis (360-403 A.D.)
m Eusebius of Caesarea (319-339/340 A.D.) says that is was disputed Jerome (373-420 A.D.)
Athanasius (367 A.D.) Augustine of Hippo (388-430 A.D.)
Hilary of Poitiers (355-367/368 A.D.) John Cassian (419-430 A.D.)

An Outline of Jude

I. Jude 1-2 Greetings

II. Jude 3-4 The Reason for the Letter

III. Jude 5-16 Unmasking false brethren and shepherds

1. Jude 5-7 Three examples": Israel, Fallen angels, Sodom and Gomorrah

2. Jude 8-16 False teachers: their speech, character, and destruction

IV. Jude 17-23 Encouragement to believers

V. Jude 24-25 Concluding Benediction




 

Jude - We Need to Contend for the Faith


1: In Jde 1, who is Jude?



2: In Jde 1, what are the similarities and differences between this book and 2 Peter?



3. In Jde 3, did Jude write another letter about our common salvation?



4. In Jude 3, sine we can show our faith by the example of our lives, and God already knows everyone who will be saved anyway, why do we need to contend for the faith?



5. In Jude 4-10, how could people who were licentious, indulging in unnatural lust, corrupt the flesh, carouse together, and follow ungodly passion, catch a congregation unawares?



6. In Jde 6, who are the bound angels Jude is mentioning?



7. From Jde 6-7, can we "reason that the angels fell as the result of an immoral act of unnatural lust" as the heretic Rev. Moon taught in the Fifth edition (1977) of the Divine Principle p.71-72?



8. In Jde 9, when did the archangel Michael dispute with Satan about the body of Moses?



9. In Jde 14, which Enoch is this?



10. In Jde 14, why did Jude quote from the pseudo-apocryphal Book of 1 Enoch as true?




11. In Jde 14, since Jude [allegedly] received inspiration from the uninspired book of 1 Enoch 1:9, how can Christians criticize Joseph Smith for receiving inspiration from the pagan Egyptian book of the Dead when Joseph Smith wrote the Mormon book of Abraham?



12. In Jde 21, since we cannot lose our salvation, how and why do we keep ourselves in the love of God?



13. In Jde 23, how do we save others?



 

Jude - We Need to Contend for the Faith - some brief answers


1: In Jde 1, who is Jude?

A: Jude is a brother of James. There was more than one James, but the James here and Jude were probably the half-brothers of Jesus. Other possibilities are Judas (not Iscariot) the apostle, and Judas, a leader in Jerusalem who was sent with Paul, Barnabas, and Silas in Acts 15:22. See The Bible Knowledge Commentary : New Testament for more info.


2: In Jde 1, what are the similarities and differences between this book and 2 Peter?

A: Similarities:

1. Servant of Jesus Christ in 2 Peter 1:1 and Jude 1

2. Common salvation in 2 Peter 1 and Jude 3

3. Friends (3x 2 Peter) and (1x Jude)

4. Use of the unusual Greek word (despotes) in 2 Peter 2:1 and Jude 4.

5. Slander of celestial beings in 2 Peter 2:10 and Jude 8

6. Sodom and Gomorrah in 2 Peter 2:6-9 and Jude 7

7. Christ's Coming Judgment in 2 Peter 3:7,10,12-14 and Jude 13-15,21

8. Similar ending of "now and forever, amen." 2 Peter 3:18 and Jude 25

Differences:

1. Where they have similarities, 2 Peter generally goes into more detail, the exception being celestial beings.

2. Apostle 2 Peter 1:1 vs. brother of James Jude 1

3. Grace and peace through knowledge 2 Peter 1:2 vs. mercy, peace and love Jude 2

4. Length: 2 Peter is twice as long as Jude (937 words vs. 459 words in Greek.)

5. Additional topics: for example, 2 Peter 1:3-21 mentions Paul.

6. Jude has very colorful metaphors

7. 2 Peter has additional examples of Noah and dogs.

8. Two apocryphal references in Jude

9. Contending for the faith in Jude vs. escaping corruption in 2 Peter.

10. Jude 7,13 emphasize eternity, while 2 Peter 3:3-8,12 emphasizes time.

11. While Jude is very brief, 2 Peter is written in a way that guards against people believing in "hard Calvinism". Examples are: "wanting everyone to come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9), "denying the Lord who bought them" (2 Peter 2:1), and those who escape the corruption of the world and again are entangled (2 Peter 2:19-22).

Summary: The differences and similarities can be explained by two men with somewhat different styles, who very likely talked with each other, and wrote at a similar time about similar problems, with Peter writing a more extensive letter.


3. In Jde 3, did Jude write another letter about our common salvation?

A: There is no evidence, pro or con, that Jude wrote a second letter later. If he did, God was not required to ensure its preservation; God could preserve whatever letters He wished.

Furthermore, the phrase here does not at all imply Jude had to write a second letter. It simply means that Jude had preferred to write instead about how great our common salvation was, and Jude regretted that there was a need for this kind of letter.

As a side note, when we (properly and legitimately) criticize other believers as Jude did, we should follow Jude's lead and do it with concern and regret that the situation is such that rebuke is needed.


4. In Jude 3, sine we can show our faith by the example of our lives, and God already knows everyone who will be saved anyway, why do we need to contend for the faith?

A: One reason is that God command us to here, and that is the only reason we need. But beyond that, God often chooses us as the means by which He accomplishes His will of bringing people to Christ. All of our efforts are not successful; we do not know who will accept Christ or not. In fact, some people who appear to almost certainly never accept Christ, naturally speaking, can come to Christ, as Saul of Tarsus did.


5. In Jude 4-10, how could people who were licentious, indulging in unnatural lust, corrupt the flesh, carouse together, and follow ungodly passion, catch a congregation unawares?

A: People can do things in secret. Jude does not say they did any of these things during the worship gatherings. Rather, they did those things unknown to people in the congregation, or they may even have told a few others in the congregation to leave them astray, and yet they were still tolerated.


6. In Jde 6, who are the bound angels Jude is mentioning?

A: These are the fallen angels, who are currently bound. There are three different views.

1. Some bound some free: Today some demons are bound, and some are free and do evil on the earth. Even the free demons Jesus encountered were afraid of Jesus casting them into the Abyss.

2. All partially bound: A different view is that all demons are currently bound, but even bound they can influence people. As Bible Difficulties and Seeming Contradictions (p.225-226) says by analogy, "A person may be imprisoned in a penitentiary for life and yet be given the privilege of walking about in the prison yard or even outside of it under certain conditions and restrictions." See Christian Theology by Millard J. Erickson p.447-448 for more on this view.

3. Combination: My view is a hybrid of the two. Different demons may have different restrictions and different degrees of freedom. Clearly Jude says that the restrictions of some demons have been increased. However, no demons can go against Christ's commands.


7. From Jde 6-7, can we "reason that the angels fell as the result of an immoral act of unnatural lust" as the heretic Rev. Moon taught in the Fifth edition (1977) of the Divine Principle p.71-72?

A: No. Jude 5-7 gives three examples: the Israelites who came out of Egypt (verse 5), the angels who left their own home (verse 6), and Sodom and Gomorrah (verse 7). Jude makes no mention of the Fall of man.


8. In Jde 9, when did the archangel Michael dispute with Satan about the body of Moses?

A: Scripture does not say, and this is no where else mentioned in Scripture. Jude refers to this to make another point, so Jude apparently assumed the readers had heard this before. This was mentioned in the apocryphal work, The Assumption of Moses. which is also called the Testament of Moses. See When Critics Ask p.549 and Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.430 for more info. Peter Davids in Hard Sayings of the Bible p.754-756 says that we have most of the Assumption of Moses, except for the ending, which presumably contains this verse.


9. In Jde 14, which Enoch is this?

A: This is not the Enoch who was Cain's son in Genesis 4:17. Rather, it was Enoch, descendant of Seth and seventh from Adam in Genesis 5:21-24. This is the same Enoch who walked with God and God took into Heaven. The Enoch in Genesis 4:17, and a son of Cain and third from Adam, is a different Enoch.


10. In Jde 14, why did Jude quote from the pseudo-apocryphal Book of 1 Enoch as true?

A: Because this verse is true, though there are errors in other parts of 1 Enoch. Four points.

1. It is not certain that Jude quoted from the book of 1 Enoch. While the words are almost the same, they could have been from a common source. The common source could have been a book with this true prophecy in it, or the common source could have been God Himself.

2. 1 Enoch was subjected to variation. While the book was pre-Christian, some think this quote was inserted after Jude was written, and before the 15th century by a misguided monk. You decide for yourself; here is the quote in the Dead Sea Scroll 4Q204; notice the gaps. "... the myriads of his holy ones ... flesh for all their ... arrogant and wicked ..." (This quote is from The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated by Florentino Garcia Martinez).

3. It is not unlikely that Jude did quote from the book of 1 Enoch, and that is OK. 1 Enoch had at least five different authors, and this verse is from the first and earliest part. The Book of 1 Enoch is a mixture of truth and error, and God may have had Jude deliberately quote a truth from there, so that this true prophecy from God would not only be preserved in extra-Biblical sources.

4. Even though 1 Enoch does contain at least one divine truth, that does not mean it should have been a part of Scripture. It is not sufficient for a book to have preserved a few words from God; it must be entirely what God wants in Scripture. The writings of Wesley, Luther, and Calvin contain a great deal of God's truth too, but that does not mean any of them are without error, and they themselves would have objected to their writings being considered Scripture.

In summary, as Hank Hanegraff said on the Bible Answer Man radio show on 10/29/1997: the book of 1 Enoch was well-respected. Well-respected means it has many truths, but it does not mean divinely-inspired. I can say Jesus is coming again. That is true, but that does not mean I am divinely inspired.

See Inerrancy p.68, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.430, and When Critics Ask p.549-550 for more info.


11. In Jde 14, since Jude [allegedly] received inspiration from the uninspired book of 1 Enoch 1:9, how can Christians criticize Joseph Smith for receiving inspiration from the pagan Egyptian book of the Dead when Joseph Smith wrote the Mormon book of Abraham?

A: The book of 1 Enoch is an extra-Biblical Jewish book, of composite origin, with a mixture of truth and error. The fact that Jude's quote matches a verse in the Book of 1 Enoch does not show that Enoch did not in fact, say this.

In contrast, many have proven that the scroll Joseph Smith fraudulently claimed to translate the Mormon Book of Abraham from was an idolatrous, pagan book.

In Summary:

1. It cannot be proven (or disproven) that Jude copied this verse from Enoch.

2. Even if Jude did take this from the book of 1 Enoch, 1 Enoch is a composite book, and could have fragments of divinely inspired prophecies.

3. In sharp contrast, Joseph Smith's bogus translation was from a book to idols.


12. In Jde 21, since we cannot lose our salvation, how and why do we keep ourselves in the love of God?

A: Some genuine Christians believe people can lose their salvation. Others do not. Regardless though, all can agree that just as a child can do things that bring tears to both his parents eyes and his own, we can do things that break the heart of God. Just as a child can want to run away from home, we, like Jonah, can try to run away from God.


13. In Jde 23, how do we save others?

A: We cannot substitute for the cross, but we can be instrumental in bringing the message of the cross to lead people to Christ. See the discussion on Colossians 1:24 for more info.


More on Joseph Smith and the Mormon Book of Abraham

Background on Jewish book of 1 Enoch:

1 Enoch is a composite book, with five parts written at various times by various authors. The quote in question is from the first and earliest part. However, it is possible that the quote was added later. The earliest copy we have is a fragment from the Dead Sea scrolls. However, the earliest copy with this quote is from the 15th century in Ethiopia. It has some truth in it, but is has mythological aspects too, with all the discussion of various angels and demons. The book of 1 Enoch is not lost to the modern world. For more info, and to read the Ethiopic and Slavonic versions of 1 Enoch, see The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha vol. 1.

Background on the Egyptian Book of the Dead:

The Egyptian Book of the Dead was probably not read much. Rather, its purpose was to be buried with the wealthy dead person to act as a magic charm to ease their entry into the after-life. There were as many variations of the book of the dead as there were copies, as each one had the deceased's name written in it. Many have translated the actual fragment Joseph Smith used to allegedly translate the Book of Abraham. From a Mormon source, you can read the translation in The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyrii by Hugh Nibley (Deseret Books, 1975). For non-Mormon sources you can read The Changing World of Mormonism by Jerald and Sandra Tanner (Moody Press, 1981) p.360, or The Book of Abraham Papyrus Found p.14). All three translations are essentially the same.

Background on the Mormon Book of Abraham:

According to Joseph Smith, the Mormon Book of Abraham was allegedly written by Abraham about his travels in Egypt. Joseph Smith claimed it was written in the same language as the Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith translated it with supernatural assistance. The Salt-Lake City Mormons (LDS) have four scriptures, and one of them, the Pearl of Great Price, contains The Book of Abraham as one of its books. The Book of Abraham 1:21-26 is the only Mormon-scriptural basis for the Mormons' anti-black doctrine. This said it was that blacks could never hold the highest priesthood. This doctrine was changed by the Mormon Church in 1978.

Background on Joseph Smith's Claim:

1. Joseph Smith claimed he "translated" the scrolls in Pearl of Great Price p.29.

2. Three of the four original English copies had the Egyptian characters next to the English.

3. The three pictures match

4. Most telling of all, Joseph Smith wrote a book, Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar, where he purportedly tried to teach others his fake Egyptian.

5. Smith translated an average of over 100 words per Egyptian hieroglyph, when it should have been one to two words per hieroglyph.

6. Nobody caught Joseph Smith in this fraud at that time, because there was nobody in America at that time who could read ancient Egyptian.

In Summary: The Mormons have as a part of scripture a bogus translation of an idolatrous, pagan book. While some of them have seen similarity between their situation and Jude 14 being found in 1 Enoch. The situation is totally different because

1. Even if Jude did quote from the book of 1 Enoch, it is not an idolatrous, occultic book. It is Jewish book with a blend of truth and error.

2. It cannot be determined if Jude actually did quote from the book of 1 Enoch. They may have had a common source, or this could have been added to 1 Enoch before the 15th century by a misguided monk.


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