1 FROM Jude, servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, to those whom God has called, who live in the love of God the Father and are kept safe for the coming a 1 kept … coming: or in the safe keeping. of Jesus Christ.
2Mercy, peace, and love be yours in fullest measure.
3My friends, I was fully intending to write to you about the salvation we share, when I found it necessary to take up my pen and urge you to join in the struggle for that faith which God entrusted to his people once for all. 4Certain individuals have wormed their way in, the very people whom scripture long ago marked down for the sentence they are now incurring. They are enemies of religion; they pervert the free favour of our God into licentiousness, disowning Jesus Christ, our only Master and Lord b 4 disowning … Lord: or disowning our one and only Master, and Jesus Christ our Lord. .
5You already know all this, but let me remind you how the Lord c 5 the Lord: some witnesses read Jesus; others read God. , having once for all delivered his people out of Egypt, later destroyed those who did not believe. 6Remember too those angels who were not content to maintain the dominion assigned to them, but abandoned their proper dwelling-place; God is holding them, bound in darkness with everlasting chains, for judgement on the great day. 7Remember Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbouring towns; like the angels, they committed fornication and indulged in unnatural lusts; and in eternal fire they paid the penalty, a warning for all.
8In the same way these deluded dreamers continue to defile their bodies, flout authority, and insult celestial beings. 9Not even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil for possession of Moses' body, presumed to condemn him in insulting words d 9 to condemn … words: or to charge him with blasphemy. , but said, ‘May the Lord rebuke you!’
10But these people pour abuse on whatever they do not understand; the things that, like brute beasts, they do understand by their senses prove their undoing. 11Alas for them! They have followed the way of Cain; for profit they have plunged into Balaam’s error; they have rebelled like Korah, and they share his fate.
12These people are a danger at your love-feasts with their shameless carousals. They are shepherds who take care only of themselves. They are clouds carried along by a wind without giving rain, trees fruitless in autumn, dead twice over and pulled up by the roots. 13They are wild sea waves, foaming with disgraceful deeds; they are stars that have wandered from their courses, and the place reserved for them is an eternity of blackest darkness.
14It was against them that Enoch, the seventh in descent from Adam, prophesied when he said: ‘I saw the Lord come with his myriads of angels, 15to bring all mankind to judgement and to convict all the godless of every godless deed they had committed, and of every defiant word they had spoken against him, godless sinners that they are.’
16They are a set of grumblers and malcontents. They follow their lusts. Bombast comes rolling from their lips, and they court favour to gain their ends. 17But you, my friends, should remember the predictions made by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. 18They said to you: ‘In the final age there will be those who mock at religion and follow their own ungodly lusts.’
19These people create divisions; they are worldly and unspiritual e 19 These … unspiritual: or These people draw a line between spiritual and unspiritual persons, although they themselves are unspiritual, not spiritual. . 20But you, my friends, must make your most sacred faith the foundation of your lives. Continue to pray in the power of the Holy Spirit. 21Keep yourselves in the love of God, and look forward to the day when our Lord Jesus Christ in his mercy will give eternal life.
22There are some doubting souls who need your pity. 23Others you should save by snatching them from the flames. For others your pity must be mixed with fear f 23 Others you … fear: some witnesses read There are some whom you should snatch from the flames. Show pity to doubting souls with fear. ; hate the very clothing that is contaminated with sensuality.
24Now to the One who can keep you from falling and set you in the presence of his glory, jubilant and above reproach, 25to the only God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all time, now, and for evermore. Amen.
d 1 kept … coming: or in the safe keeping.
e 4 disowning … Lord: or disowning our one and only Master, and Jesus Christ our Lord.
f 5 the Lord: some witnesses read Jesus; others read God.
g 9 to condemn … words: or to charge him with blasphemy.
h 19 These … unspiritual: or These people draw a line between spiritual and unspiritual persons, although they themselves are unspiritual, not spiritual.
i 23 Others you … fear: some witnesses read There are some whom you should snatch from the flames. Show pity to doubting souls with fear.