Introduction to Jude

Contend for the faith

When evil abounds, hold on to God because he holds on to you

How to read Jude

Ever disconnect the smoke detector or the seatbelt buzzer because you didn’t want to be bothered with the irritating noise? Ignoring such warnings could cost you your home or your life. But ignoring spiritual warnings could be even worse. That’s why we should pay close attention to this book. Jude sounds a short sharp warning siren we dare not ignore.
Jude doesn’t waste words as he describes what’s wrong and what to do about it. He makes it crystal clear that we’ve got to take a stand for the truth and contend for the faith. As you read, you might want to flip back and forth with 2 Peter. Observe how many parallels there are between these two books as they both seek to combat false teaching in the church.
As you read Jude’s compelling words, be attentive to the warnings, but also notice the promises and the encouragement to live genuine Christian lives. You would think that with the need to contend against so much false teaching, Jude would be somewhat discouraged. Just the opposite is true! He’s more impressed with God’s capacity to keep us in his ways than with the enemy’s attempts to divert us. His final song of praise exudes great joy and confidence: “Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen” (verses 24-25).

Who wrote this book and when?

Jude was the half-brother of Jesus and full brother of James (author of James). He may have written this letter around the time Peter wrote his second letter, between AD 60 and 65. These two letters have striking similarities.

Why was it written?

Jude was concerned that Christians might be drawn away from the truth by slippery teachers of false doctrine. He wrote to urge believers “to defend the faith” (verse 3).

What was happening at the time?

Impostors had begun to teach things contrary to the gospel and were causing confusion in the church. They taught it really didn’t matter how people lived if they had been saved by grace. You can imagine the disaster this could produce! Jude wanted to make sure that no believer followed the example of Cain (Gen 4:1-25), Balaam (Num 22:1-24:25), or Korah (Num 16:1-49).

SourceView Insights

Reading Jude’s letter is like listening to a cell phone conversation—one-sided. Therefore, all the SourceView text is in black. We have displayed the letter with a cursive script to recreate the original handwritten feel.

World English Bible (WEB)
a Public Domain Modern English translation
of the Holy Bible.

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