Preparation Prior to the study session, participants should read the entire book.
Orientation Jude is book #26 of 27 in the New Testament, and and is one of the general letters. For more information see the Bible Overview page. Synopsis Jude writes this letter to an unnamed church, warning them about newcomers who have "secretly slipped in" to their congregation and become leaders (4). They believe that they have a loophole in faith: that having been forgiven their sins, they are free to go and continue sinning (having been forgiven in advance (5).
Jude points out this is incorrect teaching. To support his position, he refers back to people in the revered Hebrew scriptures who receive punishment for intentional sin. God delivered his people from Egypt (5) yet destroyed those who did not believe (from Exodus 14). Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed (7) for their sins (from Genesis 19). They are compared to Cain (11) who killed his brother (from Genesis 4:8). They err in their ways like Balaam (11) (from Numbers 22:28). Enoch (from Genesis 5:18) prophesied against these types of men, quoted here from the Book of Enoch.
Jude reminds them the apostles said there would be scoffers in the last days (17) (from 2 Peter 3). Build yourselves up in faith and pray in the Holy Spirit (20). The letter closes with a blessing (24).
Discussion points What is the logical fallacy behind the idea that once forgiven, you can sin all you want without consequence? Connections (9): The incident of Michael, Satan, and the body of Moses appears in The Assumption of Moses (not part of the Bible).
(14) Enoch was one of two people in the Bible who did not experience a physical death. He was translated (Genesis 5:24 and Hebrews 11:5). Jude is the only place in the Bible where Enoch's prophecy appears, and this is a quote from the Book of Enoch (not part of the Bible, but available for free download, see #37 on this page). The other was Elijah, taken to heaven in a whirlwind (2 Kings 2:11).
For source citations see the home page. Revised April 14 2014
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