Jude? Jude Who?
This small book is found right before the Revelation, and it is so small it doesn’t have chapters.
How did Jude get put into the “Canon?” What’s a “canon?” Canon is Greek for ‘measuring stick.’ Canonicity was actually delivered by God not man, and the act of being chosen to be in the New Testament was done over a period of time. In the 300’s several bishops from all around Christendom met on various occasions to deliberate about which writings should be included.
Choice depended on: the importance of the issue addressed; how the writing was accepted by the various churches; if it was sound doctrinally and morally—reflecting the orthodoxy of the early church; if it was prophetic; if it was dynamic and powerful; if it was written by an apostle or someone close to the event?
Jude is the same name as Judas, a very common name then. Supposedly, Jude was the brother of James, who was the first Bishop of Jerusalem, and who also was the brother of Jesus; therefore, (one option) Jude was the brother of Jesus. Some of this writing is taken from the Book of Enoch, part of the Apocrypha. What’s “apocrypha?” It is part of the Septuagint (Jewish writings,) accepted by Catholics as Scripture, but not accepted as Scripture by Protestants; it is the writings found in between the OT and the NT. Some of Jude is similar to II Peter. For instance, II Peter 2:1, and Jude verse 18. See also, 2:4, v 6; 2:6, v 7; 2:9, v 6; 2:10, v 8; 2:11, v 9; 2:12, v 10; 2:13, v 12; 2:14, v 11; 2:15, v 11; 2:17, v 12-13; 2:18, v 16; 2:21, v 3; and, II Peter 3:3, Jude 18.
Jude was written to Greek speaking churches, to believers--the called, the beloved, the kept. It was written about 125 AD. Originally the author wrote of “our mutual faith” but then addressed the main problem of the day, “false teachers.” So, the themes of the book are: 1. Evil doers will be punished, and 2. Keep strong in the faith.
Come back next time and we’ll look at what is written in the book. Blessings.