Bible Query from
Q: In Jde 1, who is Jude?
A: Jude is a brother of James. There was more than one James, but the James here and Jude were probably the half-brothers of Jesus. Other possibilities are Judas (not Iscariot) the apostle, and Judas, a leader in Jerusalem who was sent with Paul, Barnabas, and Silas in Acts 15:22. See The Bible Knowledge Commentary : New Testament for more info.
Q: In Jde 1, what are the similarities and differences between this book and 2 Peter?
1. Servant of Jesus Christ in 2 Peter 1:1 and Jude 1
2. Common salvation in 2 Peter 1 and Jude 3
3. Friends (3x 2 Peter) and (1x Jude)
4. Use of the unusual Greek word (despotes) in 2 Peter 2:1 and Jude 4.
5. Slander of celestial beings in 2 Peter 2:10 and Jude 8
6. Sodom and Gomorrah in 2 Peter 2:6-9 and Jude 7
7. Christ’s Coming Judgment in 2 Peter 3:7,10,12-14 and Jude 13-15,21
8. Similar ending of "now and forever, amen." 2 Peter 3:18 and Jude 25
1. Where they have similarities, 2 Peter generally goes into more detail, the exception being celestial beings.
2. Apostle 2 Peter 1:1 vs. brother of James Jude 1
3. Grace and peace through knowledge 2 Peter 1:2 vs. mercy, peace and love Jude 2
4. Length: 2 Peter is twice as long as Jude (937 words vs. 459 words in Greek.)
5. Additional topics: for example, 2 Peter 1:3-21 mentions Paul.
6. Jude has very colorful metaphors
7. 2 Peter has additional examples of Noah and dogs.
8. Two apocryphal references in Jude
9. Contending for the faith in Jude vs. escaping corruption in 2 Peter.
10. Jude 7,13 emphasize eternity, while 2 Peter 3:3-8,12 emphasizes time.
11. While Jude is very brief, 2 Peter is written in a way that guards against people believing in "hard Calvinism". Examples are: "wanting everyone to come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9), "denying the Lord who bought them" (2 Peter 2:1), and those who escape the corruption of the world and again are entangled (2 Peter 2:19-22).
Summary: The differences and similarities can be explained by two men with somewhat different styles, who very likely talked with each other, and wrote at a similar time about similar problems, with Peter writing a more extensive letter.
Q: The skeptic Bart Ehrman writes, "It is hard to believe that these two letters [James and Jude] could have been written by two lower-class Aramaic-speaking peasants from Galilee (whose more famous brother [Jesus] is not known to have been able to write, let alone compose a complicated treatise in Greek)." Jesus, Interrupted p.134-135
Elsewhere Ehrman writes, "We have some information about what it meant to be a lower-class peasant in rural areas of Palestine in the first century. One thing it meant is that you were almost certainly illiterate. Jesus himself was highly exceptional, in that he evidently could read (Luke 4:16-20), but there is nothing to indicate that he could write.... How many could read? Illiteracy was widespread throughout the Roman Empire. At the best of times maybe 10 percent of the population was roughly literate. And that 10 percent would be the leisured classes ... Nothing in the Gospels or Acts indicates that Jesus’ followers could read, let alone write. In fact there is an account in Acts in which Peter and John are said to be ‘unlettered’ (Acts 4:13) – the ancient word for illiterate." (Jesus, Interrupted p.105-106). also in Lost Christianities p.203.
A: Ehrman says this because he does not believe the people of Galilee would speak Greek. This is despite having Greek on their coins and being surrounded on three sides by Greek-speaking regions. There are at least four lines of reasoning that indicate Ehrman is wrong.
1. Nearness to Capernaum and Phoenicia: Nazareth, where Jesus was raised, was about 15 miles from Phoenicia in one direction, and only about 20 miles from Capernaum, where many Greek speakers lived. Galilee was bordered on the west, north, and east by Greek-speaking regions. East of Galilee was "the Decapolis", Greek for ten-cities. The Gerasene demoniac lived in that area. Herds of pigs were raised (and thus also eaten) by the Greek-speaking people who lived there. Jesus preached there when he crossed the Sea of Galilee. He certainly spoke Greek when he preached to them.
2. Coins of Galilee: The following is from Greco-Roman Culture and the Galilee of Jesus by Mark A. Chancey Cambridge University Press. (2005). He says that looking at the coinage in Galilee, "inscriptions were usually in Greek, though a few coins found in Palestine have Hebrew inscriptions." (p.168) ... "Another feature that differentiated Hasmonean coins was their limited use of Greek. Greek characters and monograms, their meanings unclear, are found on certain coins of Hyrcanus I. Most of his money, however, uses a script of Hebrew already ancient by his reign;" (ibid p.169) ... "at least one coin of Agrippa II was probably minted in Galilee, as reflected by the wreath-encircled Greek ‘Tiberias" on its reverse. An image of a palm branch and the inscription ... [in Greek] ‘King Agrippa, Victory of the Emperor are found on the obverse." (ibid p.183)
3. Literacy in the Roman Empire not relevant: Ehrman forgets that the percentage of people in the Roman Empire (Spain, Britain, Germany, etc.) who could not read is irrelevant; it is the percentage of educated people among the Jews in Judea and Galilee that matters. The Jews had a much higher standard of learning than most other peoples in the Roman Empire. The fact that the Sanhedrin accused Peter and John of being unschooled does not mean it was so.
4. Literacy in Palestine: As a side note, at Beir Allah in the Jordan Valley, archaeologists found a schoolboy’s writing practice mentioning Balaam son of Beor three times. This was radiocarbon dated to 800/760 B.C.
Q: In Jde 3, did Jude write another letter about our common salvation?
A: There is no evidence, pro or con, that Jude wrote a second letter later. If he did, God was not required to ensure its preservation; God could preserve whatever letters He wished.
Furthermore, the phrase here does not at all imply Jude had to write a second letter. It simply means that Jude had preferred to write instead about how great our common salvation was, and Jude regretted that there was a need for this kind of letter.
As a side note, when we (properly and legitimately) criticize other believers as Jude did, we should follow Jude’s lead and do it with concern and regret that the situation is such that rebuke is needed.
Q: In Jude 4-10, how could people who were licentious, indulging in unnatural lust, corrupt the flesh, carouse together, and follow ungodly passion, catch a congregation unawares?
A: People can do things in secret. Jude does not say they did any of these things during the worship gatherings. Rather, they did those things unknown to people in the congregation, or they may even have told a few others in the congregation to leave them astray, and yet they were still tolerated.
Q: In Jde 6, who are the bound angels Jude is mentioning?
A: These are the fallen angels, who are currently bound. There are three different views.
1. Some bound some free: Today some demons are bound, and some are free and do evil on the earth. Even the free demons Jesus encountered were afraid of Jesus casting them into the Abyss.
2. All partially bound: A different view is that all demons are currently bound, but even bound they can influence people. As Bible Difficulties and Seeming Contradictions (p.225-226) says by analogy, "A person may be imprisoned in a penitentiary for life and yet be given the privilege of walking about in the prison yard or even outside of it under certain conditions and restrictions." See Christian Theology by Millard J. Erickson p.447-448 for more on this view.
3. Combination: My view is a hybrid of the two. Different demons may have different restrictions and different degrees of freedom. Clearly Jude says that the restrictions of some demons have been increased. However, no demons can go against Christ’s commands.
Q: In Jde 6, are the bound angels the Nephilim in Gen 6 who married human women?
A: People disagree on this.
Yes. The Jewish apocryphal book of 1 Enoch, in the first and earliest of the five "books" says they were in 1 Enoch 6. Some early Christians had great respect for the book of 1 Enoch.
No. This could refer to demons rebelling in general. See 1001 Bible Questions Answered p.65 for more on this answer.
Regardless, this refers to plural fallen angels, and says nothing about Satan tempting Eve, as the false religion of the Unification church of Rev. Moon believes.
Q: From Jde 6-7, can we "reason that the angels fell as the result of an immoral act of unnatural lust" as the heretic Rev. Moon taught in the Fifth edition (1977) of the Divine Principle p.71-72?
A: No. Jude 5-7 gives three examples: the Israelites who came out of Egypt (verse 5), the angels who left their own home (verse 6), and Sodom and Gomorrah (verse 7). Jude makes no mention of the Fall of man.
Q: In Jde 7 (KJV), what does "going after strange flesh" mean?
A: This King James Version expression means "sexual perversion". The Greek here is "going after other flesh".
Q: In Jde 9, when did the archangel Michael dispute with Satan about the body of Moses?
A: Scripture does not say, and this is no where else mentioned in Scripture. Jude refers to this to make another point, so Jude apparently assumed the readers had heard this before. This was mentioned in the apocryphal work, The Assumption of Moses. which is also called the Testament of Moses. See When Critics Ask p.549 and Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.430 for more info. Peter Davids in Hard Sayings of the Bible p.754-756 says that we have most of the Assumption of Moses, except for the ending, which presumably contains this verse.
Q: In Jde 11 (KJV), who is Core?
A: This is Korah, whom you can read about in Numbers 16:1-38.
Q: In Jde 14, which Enoch is this?
A: This is not the Enoch who was Cain’s son in Genesis 4:17. Rather, it was Enoch, descendant of Seth and seventh from Adam in Genesis 5:21-24. This is the same Enoch who walked with God and God took into Heaven. The Enoch in Genesis 4:17, and a son of Cain and third from Adam, is a different Enoch.
Q: In Jde 14, since Enoch was seventh from Adam, does that prove there were no gaps in the genealogies between Adam and Enoch?
A: No. This can simply mean that Enoch is mentioned as the seventh from Adam in the list in Genesis.
Q: In Jde 14, why did Jude quote from the pseudo-apocryphal Book of 1 Enoch as true?
A: Because this verse is true, though there are errors in other parts of 1 Enoch. Four points.
1. It is not certain that Jude quoted from the book of 1 Enoch. While the words are almost the same, they could have been from a common source. The common source could have been a book with this true prophecy in it, or the common source could have been God Himself.
2. 1 Enoch was subjected to variation. While the book was pre-Christian, some think this quote was inserted after Jude was written, and before the 15th century by a misguided monk. You decide for yourself; here is the quote in the Dead Sea Scroll 4Q204; notice the gaps. "... the myriads of his holy ones ... flesh for all their ... arrogant and wicked ..." (This quote is from The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated by Florentino Garcia Martinez).
3. It is not unlikely that Jude did quote from the book of 1 Enoch, and that is OK. 1 Enoch had at least five different authors, and this verse is from the first and earliest part. The Book of 1 Enoch is a mixture of truth and error, and God may have had Jude deliberately quote a truth from there, so that this true prophecy from God would not only be preserved in extra-Biblical sources.
4. Even though 1 Enoch does contain at least one divine truth, that does not mean it should have been a part of Scripture. It is not sufficient for a book to have preserved a few words from God; it must be entirely what God wants in Scripture. The writings of Wesley, Luther, and Calvin contain a great deal of God’s truth too, but that does not mean any of them are without error, and they themselves would have objected to their writings being considered Scripture.
See Inerrancy p.68, Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties p.430, and When Critics Ask p.549-550 for more info.
Q: In Jde 14, briefly, since Jude [allegedly] received inspiration from the uninspired book of 1 Enoch 1:9, how can Christians criticize Joseph Smith for receiving inspiration from the pagan Egyptian book of the Dead when Joseph Smith wrote the Mormon book of Abraham?
A: The book of 1 Enoch is an extra-Biblical Jewish book, of composite origin, with a mixture of truth and error. The fact that Jude’s quote matches a verse in the Book of 1 Enoch does not show that Enoch did not in fact, say this.
In contrast, many have proven that the scroll Joseph Smith fraudulently claimed to translate the Mormon Book of Abraham from was an idolatrous, pagan book.
1. It cannot be proven (or disproven) that Jude copied this verse from Enoch.
2. Even if Jude did take this from the book of 1 Enoch, 1 Enoch is a composite book, and could have fragments of divinely inspired prophecies.
3. In sharp contrast, Joseph Smith’s bogus translation was from a book to idols.
See the next question for a more thorough answer.
Q: In Jde 14, since Jude [allegedly] received inspiration from the uninspired book of 1 Enoch 1:9, how can Christians criticize Joseph Smith for receiving inspiration from the pagan Egyptian book of the Dead when Joseph Smith wrote the Mormon book of Abraham?
A: See the previous question for a brief answer. For a thorough answer, consider the following points.
Background on Jewish book of 1 Enoch:
1 Enoch is a composite book, with five parts written at various times by various authors. The quote in question is from the first and earliest part. However, it is possible that the quote was added later. The earliest copy we have is a fragment from the Dead Sea scrolls. However, the earliest copy with this quote is from the 15th century in Ethiopia. It has some truth in it, but it has mythological aspects too, with all the discussion of various angels and demons. The book of 1 Enoch is not lost to the modern world. For more info, and to read the Ethiopic and Slavonic versions of 1 Enoch, see The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha vol. 1.
Background on the Egyptian Book of the Dead:
The Egyptian Book of the Dead was probably not read much. Rather, its purpose was to be buried with the wealthy dead person to act as a magic charm to ease their entry into the after-life. There were as many variations of the book of the dead as there were copies, as each one had the deceased’s name written in it. Many have translated the actual fragment Joseph Smith used to allegedly translate the Book of Abraham. From a Mormon source, you can read the translation in The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyrii by Hugh Nibley (Deseret Books, 1975). For non-Mormon sources you can read The Changing World of Mormonism by Jerald and Sandra Tanner (Moody Press, 1981) p.360, or The Book of Abraham Papyrus Found p.14). All three translations are essentially the same.
Background on the Mormon Book of Abraham:
According to Joseph Smith, the Mormon Book of Abraham was allegedly written by Abraham about his travels in Egypt. Joseph Smith claimed it was written in the same language as the Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith translated it with supernatural assistance. The Salt-Lake City Mormons (LDS) have four scriptures, and one of them, the Pearl of Great Price, contains The Book of Abraham as one of its books. The Book of Abraham 1:21-26 is the only Mormon-scriptural basis for the Mormons’ anti-black doctrine. This said it was that blacks could never hold the highest priesthood. This doctrine was changed by the Mormon Church in 1978.
Background on Joseph Smith’s Claim:
1. Joseph Smith claimed he "translated" the scrolls in Pearl of Great Price p.29.
2. Three of the four original English copies had the Egyptian characters next to the English.
3. The three pictures match
4. Most telling of all, Joseph Smith wrote a book, Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar, where he purportedly tried to teach others his fake Egyptian.
5. Smith translated an average of over 100 words per Egyptian hieroglyph, when it should have been one to two words per hieroglyph.
6. Nobody caught Joseph Smith in this fraud at that time, because there was nobody in America at that time who could read ancient Egyptian.
In Summary: The Mormons have as a part of scripture a bogus translation of an idolatrous, pagan book. While some of them have seen similarity between their situation and Jude 14 being found in 1 Enoch. The situation is totally different because
1. Even if Jude did quote from the book of 1 Enoch, it is not an idolatrous, occultic book. It is Jewish book with a blend of truth and error.
2. It cannot be determined if Jude actually did quote from the book of 1 Enoch. They may have had a common source, or this could have been added to 1 Enoch before the 15th century by a misguided monk.
Q: In Jde 21, since we cannot lose our salvation, how and why do we keep ourselves in the love of God?
A: Some genuine Christians believe people can lose their salvation. Others do not. Regardless though, all can agree that just as a child can do things that bring tears to both his parents eyes and his own, we can do things that break the heart of God. Just as a child can want to run away from home, we, like Jonah, can try to run away from God.
Q: In Jde 23, how do we save others?
A: We cannot substitute for the cross, but we can be instrumental in bringing the message of the cross to lead people to Christ. See the discussion on Colossians 1:24 for more info.
Q: In Jde, how do we know this book was written by Jude?
A: The author said he was Jude, and that is the only evidence we have, pro or con.
Q: In Jde, how do we know that scripture today is a reliable preservation of what was originally written?
A: There are at least three reasons.
1. God promised to preserve His word in Isaiah 55:10-11; Isaiah 59:21; Isaiah 40:6-8; 1 Peter 1:24-25; and Matthew 24:35.
2. Evidence of the early church. Here are the writers who referred to verses in Jude. Of the 25 verses of Jude, Pre-Nicene writers quoted or alluded to every single verse except for five (4 verses plus 2 half-verses). They are Jude 2, 18, 20-22a, 23b-25.
Irenaeus (182-188 A.D.) Jude 3 "faith delivered unto us" Irenaeus Fragment 36 p.574. Jude 3 has "the saints" instead of "us", but except for that this is the exact phrasing. This phrasing is found only in Jude 3.
Irenaeus (182-188 A.D.) alludes to Jude 7 mentioning Sodom and Gomorrah in the days of Lot, as an example of the righteous judgment of God. Irenaeus Against Heresies book 4 ch.36.4 p.516. The concept of Sodom and Gomorrah being an example is found only in Jude 7 in the Bible.
The Muratorian Canon (190-217 A.D.) "John wrote the Apocalypse. Two letters belonging to John, or bearing the name John. The Epistle of Jude." ANF vol.5 p.603.
Clement of Alexandria (193-217/220 A.D.) quotes Jude 5,6 as by Jude. The Instructor book 3 ch.8 p.282
Clement of Alexandria (193-202 A.D.) quotes part of Jude 19,22b,23a Stromata book 6 ch.8 p.495
Clement of Alexandria (193-202 A.D.) refers to Jude 8-17 as "Jude prophesied". Stromata book 3 ch.2 p.383
Clement of Alexandria (193-217/220 A.D.) quotes Jude 1,4-14,19 as by Jude in fragments form Cassiodorus p.573.
Tertullian (198-220 A.D.) mentions the writing of the Apostle Jude in On the Apparel of Women book 1 p.16.
Tertullian (198-220 A.D.) alludes to Jude 23 in On Modesty ch.18 p.94. "... denied to sinners, very especially such as had been ‘polluted by the flesh,’"
Origen (225-254A.D.) in discussing scriptural books, quotes Jude 1 as by Jude. Origen’s Commentary on Matthew book 10 ch.17 p.424. He also quotes part of Jude 1 as by Jude in his commentary on Matthew book 13 ch.27 p.491.
Origen (225-254 A.D.) loosely quotes three-fourths of Jude 8. Origen’s Commentary on Matthew book 10 ch.24 p.430
Anonymous Treatise Against Novatian (254-256 A.D.) ch.16 p.662 quotes Jude 14,15
½ Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History (323-326 A.D.) book 2 ch.23 p.128 says that James and Jude are said to have written the letters that bear their names, though this is disputed. Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers Second Series vol.1 p.128
Athanasius (367 A.D.) does not refer to any specific verses in Jude, but he lists the books of the New Testament, including Jude, in Festal Letter 39 p.552
Hilary of Poitiers (355-367/368 A.D.) quotes part of James 1:17 as by "the apostle James". On the Trinity book 4 ch.8 p.73
Synopsis Scripturae Sacrae (350-370 A.D. or 5th century) mentions the book of Jude as part of the New Testament. It quotes all of Jude 1.
Cyril of Jerusalem (c.349-386 A.D.) mentions James in the "Seven Catholic Epistles of James, Peter, John, and Jude" in Lecture 4.36 p.28
X Didymus the Blind (398 A.D.) refers to Jude 4,19. However, he rejects the book of Jude as Scripture because it quotes apocryphal books.
The schismatic Lucifer of Cagliari, Sardinia (361-c.399 A.D.) refers to Jude 1,3,4,5,8,12
Epiphanius of Salamis (360-403 A.D.) refers to Jude 8
Epiphanius of Salamis (360-403 A.D.) mentions the four gospels, 14 letters of Paul, James, Peter, John, Jude, Acts, Apocalypse of John, Wisdom of Solomon and Sirach (=Ecclesiasticus).
Jerome (373-420 A.D.) refers to Jude 8,23
Jerome (317-420 A.D.) mentions by name the "New Testament", Matthew, Mark, Luke, John as "the Lord’s team of four", seven church letters of Paul, Hebrews, Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Acts of the Apostles, seven epistles among James, Peter, John, and Jude, and the Apocalypse of John all in letter 53 ch.9 p.101-102.
Augustine of Hippo (388-430 A.D.) refers to Jude 1,19
Augustine of Hippo (388-430 A.D.) quotes Jude 19 in On Baptism, Against the Donatists ch.50 p.651
Augustine of Hippo quotes Jude 24 as being by Jude the apostle in On Rebuke and Grace ch.10 p.475 (vol.5). Also The City of God book 18 ch.38 p.383
John Cassian (419-430 A.D.) quotes Jude 5 as by the Apostle in Seven Books book 5.9 p.586
John Cassian mentions one of the apostles and quotes Jude 6 in the Second Conference of the Abbot Serenus ch.8 p.378
Cyril of Alexandria (444 A.D.) refers to Jude 4,5,19
3. Evidence of heretics and other writers
The heretic Priscillian (385 A.D.) refers to Jude 8.
Pseudo-Hippolytus refers to 2 Peter 2:1 and 3:3 in A Discourse on the End of the World ch.10 p.244
4. Earliest manuscripts we have of Jude show there are small manuscript variations, but no theologically significant errors.
p72 Bodmer 7 & 8 Papyrii 1 Peter 1:1-5:14, 2 Peter 1:1-3:18 and Jude 1-25. c.300 A.D. A photograph of part of this manuscript (showing 2 Peter 1:16-2:2) is in The Complete Text of the Earliest New Testament Manuscripts p.468. It says the handwriting is written "in a documentary hand."
p74 (=Bodmer 17) Acts 1:2-5,7-11,13-15,18-19,22-25; 2:2-4; 2:6-3:26; 4:2-6,8-27; 4:29-27:25; 27:27-28:31; James 1:1-6,8-19,21-23,25,27; 2:1-3,5-15; 18-22, 25-26; 3:1,5-6,10-12,14,17-18; 4:8,11-14; 5:1-3,7-9,12-14,19-20; 1 Peter 1:1-2,7-8,13,19-20,25; 2:6-7,11-12,18,24; 3:4-5; 2 Peter 2:21; 3:4,11,16; 1 John 1:1,6; 2:1-2,7,13-14,18-19,25-26; 3:1-2,8,14,19-20; 4:1,6-7,12,16-17;5:3-4,9-10,17; 2 John 1,6-7,13; 3 John 6,12; Jude 3,7,12,18,24 (7th century)
7th century - 1968 - The Text of the New Testament has James 2:4 and 1 Peter 1:12
7th century - 1975 - Aland et al. third edition
6th century - 1998 - Aland et al. fourth revised edition
p78 (=papyrus Oxyrhynchus 2684) c.300 A.D. Jude 4-5,7-8 The Complete Text of the Earliest New Testament Manuscripts p.602 indicates this is not a very reliable text. "in four verses it contains two unique and three rare readings, all of them in disagreement with the earliest witness [p72]." (quoted from Grenfell and Hunt Oxyrhynchus Papyrus, 34:4) Earlier is not always better.
Sinaiticus [Si] (340-350 A.D.) has all of Jude
Vaticanus [B] (325-350 A.D.) and Alexandrinus [A] (c.450 A.D) have all of Jude.
Bohairic Coptic [Boh] 3rd/4th century
Sahidic Coptic [Sah] 3rd/4rth century
Ephraemi Rescriptus [C] 5th century
Armenian [Arm] from 5th century
Georgian [Geo] from 5th century
Ethiopic [Eth] from c.500 A.D.
See www.BibleQuery.org/jdeMss.html for more on early manuscripts of Jude.
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