Authorship and Audience

Based on tradition and internal evidence, Jude, the brother of Jesus (Mark 6:3), is the author of this book (vs. 1a). In verse seventeen of this letter, the author differentiates himself from the other Apostles, thus implying that the author was not the Apostle Judas, but Judas, Jesus' brother. The letter is addressed broadly to those who are "called beloved in God the Father, kept for Jesus Christ..." (1b). Based on the references to the Old Testament stories and even stories from the Book of Enoch (verses 9 and 14-15), it is possible the audience is Jewish believers with whom these stories would have resonated.

Date and Context

Based on the similarities with 2 Peter, this book was likely written shortly after that book. Thus, sometime between 65 and 80 A.D. is most likely.


  • Contending Earnestly for the Faith. This book encourages its audience to contend for the faith by identifying the "hidden reefs" (vs. 12), avoiding their teaching and practice (20-21), and saving others from their destructive teachings and practice (22-23).
  • The inevitable judgement coming on those who turn the gospel of God into licentiousness and deny Jesus Christ. As described in this book, judgement against those who reject Christ and live as "unreasoned animals" (10) is inevitable. It has occurred in the past (see 5-7 and 14-16) and will occur again as such people are already "marked out for this condemnation" (4).


0. Introduction [1-2]

I. The Challenge: Contend Earnestly for the Faith Against Unbelief and Immorality [3-4]

II. God's History of Judging Sin [5-7]

III. The Nature of Those Who Pursue Licentiousness [8-13]

IV. Past Testimony About Such Men [14-16]

V. Present Testimony About Such Men [17-19]

VI. Exhortation and Instruction for Believers [20-23]

VII. Closing Doxology [24-25]


  • Verse 9 contains a quote from the Book of Enoch to show the respect that even Michael, the archangel, has for "angelic majesties".
  • Verses 14 and 15 also contain a quote from the Book of Enoch that describes the fate of those "ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ" (vs 4).
  • These references to the Book of Enoch do not imply that the Book of Enoch should be included in the canon or that the Book of Enoch was divinely inspired. These are simply a useful stories that, ostensibly, would have been familiar to the original audience.
  • This book contains much in common with 2 Peter. The use of Old Testament stories to highlight God's judgement (2 Peter 2:4-10a), reviling of angelic authorities (2 Peter 2:10b-11), living unreasoned lives based on instinct like an animal (2 Peter 2:12), and vivid metaphors (2 Peter 2:17) are all topics/characteristics shared by both 2 Peter and Jude. In fact, Jude 18 is almost a direct quote from 2 Peter 3:3.
  • Verse 12 and 13 contain some of the most vivid imagery anywhere in the Bible. Jude uses such clear, imaginative metaphors to describe those who deny Jesus Christ and pursue licentiousness.

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