Summary: A throrough study of the book of Jude with illustrations, outlines, etc.
Jude: Getting Ready For The Fight
A Conversational Commentary on the Book of Jude
By Pastor David M. Wilson
Grant Avenue Baptist Church
2215 Grant Avenue
Redondo Beach, CA 90278
THE FOLLOWING MATERIAL IS ALSO AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE IN BOOK FORM at
www.lulu.com Search for Jude: Getting Ready for the Fight or author’s name David Wilson. Material on the book of James is also available there. Paperback version is only $7.99
I wanted to provide interesting illustrations that would make the reader smile. I wanted to provide a spoonful of scholarly work that would offer blessing but not prove overwhelming to the reader. I wanted to provide practical application and point the believer to a closer walk with God. In short, I wanted it to be much like my preaching.
Most of all, I wanted to provide a simple book that assisted the reader with comprehending the overall context of the letter written by Jude. The passages found in this letter fit together as neatly as the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. However, there is little puzzling about how it all fits together if the reader is paying attention. Jude’s letter is not a rambling document that bounces back and forth between varying topics. Jude doesn’t do his impression of Elmer Fudd (and too many of us pastors) and go chasing rabbits. His words have a very careful order and progression and I believe that far too many preachers and pastors miss the message of the book by preaching select portions of it out of context.
Jude’s theme is quite clear. It is a loud call to the church to stop ignoring the heretics that have found shelter in its branches (See Matthew 13) and to get up and fight. They weren’t to fight over prominence or position. Jude calls his readers to get up and defend the faith. Church, get your guard up and get ready for the fight.
I’ve always been intrigued by the relationship between II Peter and Jude. One of my first thoughts at discovering the striking similarities between them was that somebody copied somebody. Why did these guys feel that they had to copy off of each other? Isn’t plagiarism wrong?
The Apostle Paul told Timothy to copy his preaching and teaching ministry. He said, “What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.“ (II Timothy 1:13) He further said, “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.” (II Timothy 2:2) In the book of Titus the Apostle Paul tells Titus exactly what messages to pass on to the various groups in the church.
If Paul’s messages were worth repeating then it obviously was appropriate for Jude to copy Peter’s message (or vice versa). Now, that leads us to the next question—Why do I suggest it was Jude who did the copying? First, Peter declares that the false teachers will come and Jude declares that they have come. Second, Peter was an apostle and Jude was not. Therefore, based on these two pieces of circumstantial evidence, I will declare my firm belief that it was Jude who did the copying and likely Peter would have nodded in assent. Of course, there is always another possibility. Perhaps both Jude and Peter had another common source for their ideas.
This brings us to another issue. Who is Jude? The Greek version of this name is properly anglicized as Judas. At some point English translators, likely for the purpose of differentiating the servant of Christ from the betrayer, Judas Iscariot, decided to render it as Jude.
Jude identifies himself as the brother of James. Since there is no further identifier as to which James he is related to we can only assume he means the most famous James, the half-brother of Christ, and the leader of the church at Jerusalem. This would mean that Jude would be one of the half-brother of Christ. Let us take note of the humility of both Jude and James as neither one of these men claim kinship to Christ as authority for their letters. Instead they both claim simply to be servants of Christ.
The book of Jude, like the book of James, was obviously written to believers with a Jewish background. Both books use examples from Jewish history. Jude refers to the Exodus, makes references to fallen angels, and references the Jewish literature of the apocryphal (intertestament) period. He mentions names that would primarily be known to those familiar with Jewish history like Cain, Balaam, Korah, and Enoch.
Some scholars contrast the language of Jude as being more scholarly or Greek in style than James. To these scholars, it suggests that Jude might be referencing a completely different James. I don’t think that is correct. I have two brothers who occasionally like to foray into writing. All three of us like to write, but each of us has our own inimitable style. Does this mean that we were not raised together? Does the fact that my older brother who holds a PHD uses bigger words than I use suggest that we are not close to one another? All that the differing language, written in a higher style suggests, is that Jude and James were two different people.