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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

A Letter of Jude - Introduction

Most New Testament letters are addressed to one or more specific congregations. This author, however, writes to all Christians. Following the salutation (vv. 1–2 ) the author gives reasons for writing: to urge Christians everywhere to defend the faith against false teaching (v. 3 ) and to oppose “the enemies of religion” (v. 4 ). In vv. 5–16 the effectiveness of God's judgment of evil is stressed, while in vv. 17–23 the readers are urged to take action to prevent themselves and others from falling into error. An impressive doxology (vv. 24–25 ) gives assurance of God's aid in holding fast to the faith.

Although concerned to safeguard right doctrine, the author offers no systematic refutation of false teaching, but rather condemns the immorality of those who espouse it. A similar tactic and some of the same points are present in 2 Peter (see Introduction there ). The author calls himself “Jude” the “brother of James,” and probably means for the readers to infer that he is therefore one of the brothers of Jesus himself (see Matt. 13.55; Mk. 6.3 ). Most scholars, however, believe that the style, content, and probable date of this tract (late first or early second century) require the conclusion that Jude's name has been used by a later writer to lend authority to this urgent appeal.

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