Summary: The Joyful benediction (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: email@example.com)
Reading: Jude verses 24-25.
As a guess, I don not think I am too far wrong to say that the letter of Jude;
• Is one of the least read and therefore least known parts of the New Testament!
• Certainly one preachers avoid (when did you last hear a sermon - me neither!)
• Ill: Right now I can see little puffs of dust rising up, out of your Bibles!
• Quote: Jude has been called 'the most neglected book in the New Testament'.
• There are a number of reasons for this:
(1). IT'S SMALL
• Along with Philemon and 2 and 3 John,
• It is one of the smallest books in the New Testament.
• These New Testament postcards often get overlooked;
• Either they are too hard to find or in this case; “maybe size does matter!”
(2). IT'S STRANGE
• As you read it you encounter puzzling references;
• e.g. The Archangel Michael arguing with Satan over Moses' body.
• What does that refer to?
• There is certainly no mention of that happening in the Old Testament account.
• e.g. There are references to 'the sons of Korah' and to angels locked in a dungeon;
• Once again to the casual reader they seem similarly obscure.
• So as you read it you encounter puzzling references;
• If you do not want to strain your brain too much – it is easier just to ignore this book!
(3). IT'S SUSPECT
• Some Christians take exception to the fact that Jude quotes the Apocrypha.
• The Apocrypha is the name given to some extra Jewish books (14 in total);
• The name ‘Apocrypha’ simply means ‘Hidden books’.
• Written in the 400 year period between our Old and New Testaments.
• (i.e. Between the end of Malachi and the beginning of Matthew).
• At the time of Jesus Hebrew was a dead language (unless you were a scribe or Pharisee);
• The people spoke Aramaic and the language of literature was Greek.
• The Hebrew Old Testament had been translated into Greek (called The Septuagint);
• And it was in this edition of the Old Testament that these books appear.
• Note: That although Paul and the apostles quote from the Septuagint;
• They never quote from the apocryphal books (only Jude does that).
• And we will look at why in a minute.
• Ill: When Jerome was commissioned by Pope Damasus I in 382;
• To make a revision of the old Latin translations.
• He revised the Latin Bible to produce a version called ‘The Vulgate’ (i.e. ‘Common’);
• He rejected from the Old Testament all books that were not in Hebrew.
• Today these Apocryphal books are included in the Catholic version of the Bible;
• They are called ‘Duetero-canonical’ meaning ‘belonging to the second cannon’
• The word ‘Cannon’ simply means ‘measuring rod’;
• But the Apocrypha is not found in the Protestant Bible.
Bible Expo in Southern Ireland.
• First panel started with 66 books in the Bible.