Date: c. A.D. 64-70
Jude, one of Jesus’ half-brothers (Matthew. 13:55), was considered the writer of this letter throughout most of the history of the church. Recently, doubts have been cast upon this, but there is no compelling reason to doubt his authorship.
Theological Themes in the Epistle of Jude
Three basic themes run through this short epistle. First, Jude wanted to warn believers against evil persons who were trying to use the gospel for their own ends. Those people found it easy to prey on the openness and sincerity of the believers, using them for immoral purposes. Jude warned Christians not to listen to everyone but to be certain when they committed themselves to anyone that that person was worthy of trust. Second, Jude wanted the believers to realize that they must take responsibility for the gospel and defend it when necessary. This does not mean that they are to go out of their way to be offensive, but when the necessity arises they are able to state with knowledge and conviction what they believe. If they do not do this, the wrong people will win out in the end. Finally, Jude gave a series of practical exhortations related to the Christian life. They are to build themselves up in the faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; live in God’s love; wait for the mercy of Jesus to manifest itself; and refuse to take part in the immorality of their age. All this can be accomplished because Jesus is able to keep them from falling. He is our Lord and Savior, possessing divine glory, dominion, majesty, and authority, and able to protect us from all harm.
Outline for the Epistle of Jude
- Greetings Jude 1:1-2
- Defend the faith Jude 1:3-4
- The evil detractors of the gospel Jude 1:5-16
- Practical instructions Jude 1:17-25