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Purpose of The Book of Jude:
Jude started as a personal letter from a leader in the apostolic church to one or more of the congregations dispersed throughout the Roman Empire. The dangers facing the church at this time were not those of persecution but of heretics and distorters of the faith and false teachers. Although Jude was eager to write to his readers about salvation, he thought he must instead warn them about certain immoral men circulating among them who were perverting and using the grace as an excuse to sin. Apparently these false teachers were trying to convince believers that being saved by grace gave them permission to sin. The recipients of Jude are unknown, but they were probably Jewish because of the many OT references: the exodus, angels, Sodom and Gomorrah, Cain, Balaam, Korah, and Enoch.
Summary of The Book of Jude:
The book of Jude warns readers against the clever devices of the false teachers among them. Their false teaching may be new, but their error is as old as time. Jude warns his readers to remain faithful to the doctrine they have already been taught and to look to God the Father and the Lord Jesus who are be able to strengthen them amidst the last days.
Author and Dates of The Book of Jude:
The author identifies himself as Jude. He was most likely Judas, the brother of Jesus. Jude or Judas was a very common name. In the New Testament we have Judas Iscariot and Judas son or brother of James (John 14:22 and Luke 6:6), Judas of Galilee (Acts 15:22), Judas of Damascus (Acts 9:11), Judas Barsabbaas (Acts 15:22). Jude calls himself a slave of Jesus, just as James did, and he adds that he is also a brother of Jesus. Jude and James both seemed to not emphasize being called the brothers of Jesus. Maybe to them it claimed too much authority.
The letter of Jude is similar to 2 Peter. Compare Jude 3-18 to 2 Peter 2:1-18. The letter was probably written about AD 65. Some interest arises from a comparison of Jude and 2 Peter. Jude 3-18 is almost identical with 2 Peter 1:5 and 2:1-18. One or the other writer certainly had before him the work of the other. It is probable that Jude found that a part of Peter's epistle expressed his ideas so well that he modified it somewhat and inserted it in his letter. It is more likely that Jude would thus honor an apostolic letter of the renowned Peter than that Peter would borrow from Jude. If this is so then the epistle of Jude was written between A. D. 65 and 70, or shortly before the siege of Jerusalem.
Outline of The Book of Jude:
Themes of The Book of Jude:
This epistle is addressed to all believers in the gospel. Its design appears to be to guard believers against the false teachers who had begun to creep into the Christian church, and to scatter dangerous tenets, by attempting to lower all Christianity into a merely religious outward profession. They taught their disciples to live in sinful courses, at the same time flattering them with the hope of eternal life.