Introduction to the Book of Jude


The letter was written by Jude, the “brother of James” (Jude 1). While the name Jude (Hebrew: Judah, Greek: Judas) was very common (Luke 6:16), scholarship identifies this particular Jude as Jesus’ half brother. The James mentioned in Jude 1 is most likely the well-known leader of the church in Jerusalem (Acts 15:13) who was another half brother of Jesus (Gal. 1:19; cf. Matt. 13:55; Mark 6:3; James 1:1). Jude’s greeting and teaching are similar to James’s, and Jude does not include himself within the original group of apostles (Jude 17-18).


Jude wrote this letter between AD 55-80, most likely in the mid-60s. Church historian Eusebius records that Jude and his son had already died by AD 81. Jude seems to have been written after many of the original apostles had died (Jude 17) but no mention is made of the destruction of Jerusalem (AD 70). Many scholars think that Jude was dependent on and thus written after 2 Peter (c. AD 64-67), since Jude 4-18 are somewhat parallel to 2 Peter 2:1-3:3 (see notes there). However, it is not clear which epistle, if either, was copied by the other (see Introduction to 2 Peter).


The importance of standing for the faith against false teachers.


To encourage believers to “earnestly contend for the faith” (Jude 3) by recognizing the character of false teachers and responding to their errors with perseverance in the truth and compassionate action to those endangered by heresy.


The Contribution of Jude to Redemptive Revelation

The letter of Jude encourages believers to “contend for the faith” (Jude 3) and keep themselves “in the love of God” (Jude 21). Jude warns against false teachers who corrupt the gospel and deny “our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 4), comparing them with Old Testament examples and describing them with sharp admonitions and vivid word pictures (Jude 5-16). Jude urges believers to keep themselves from falling away and to “have compassion” on others who are in danger (Jude 22-23). The letter begins and ends with comforting truths concerning God’s preservation of believers, closing with a beautiful doxology to “our Saviour” who “is able to keep you from falling” (Jude 24-25).

Theologically, Jude primarily focuses on describing false teachers and the Christian response to them (cf. 2 Thess. 2:10; 2 Peter 2:1-22; 1 John 2:18-23). The book teaches the twin doctrines of God’s preservation (Jude 1-2,24-25) and the believer’s need to persevere (Jude 17-23). It also teaches the doctrine of God—especially His sovereign authority in the face of rebellion, His pending judgment of ungodliness, and His triune character (Jude 20-21). Jude also forms a basis for Christian apologetics.

Key themes of the book include:

  1. Faithful Christians must remember the apostolic word (vv. 17-19), keep themselves in sound doctrine (Jude 20-21), and have compassion on the lost (Jude 22-23) in order to persevere in the faith.
  2. False teachers can be identified by their denial of Christ’s Lordship (unbelief, Jude 4) and their immoral character (ungodliness, Jude 4-16).
  3. Confessing the sovereign authority of God (Jude 5-16) and striving for personal growth in the Christian graces (Jude 3,20-23) are antidotes against false teaching.
  4. The Lord will judge false teachers and punish all rebellion at the coming judgment day (Jude 5-16).
  5. Christ will keep His people from apostasy and present them without sin to God (Jude 24-25).


  1. Greeting (Jude 1-2)
  2. Purpose (Jude 3-4)
  3. Warning (Jude 5-16)
  4. Instructions (Jude 17-23)
  5. Doxology (Jude 24-25)

Extracted from: Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible Notes(Beeke, Joel R. 2015. Reformation Heritage Books).

Bible Challenges

See Today’s Bible Reading and Bible Study challenges below, which include the Book of Psalms and build on this overview with a chapter-by-chapter Bible reading plan and Bible study insights.

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