What can the letter of Jude teach us today?

I write Bible reading notes for several organisations, and at the moment am writing for BRF’s Guidelines series. I recently wrote these notes on the Letter of Jude, which is a much neglected short letter, and offer them here for wider use. I have added in some questions for group discussion.


The letter of Jude is very short and equally challenging! Where some of the New Testament letters feel like spacious rooms of theological and pastoral exploration, this one feels like a small closet packed floor to ceiling.

The author is one of the younger brothers of Jesus, mentioned third in Mark 6.3 and fourth in the parallel list in Matt 13.55. It is clear that Jesus’ brothers were not believers during his life time, but seem to have encountered the resurrected Jesus (see 1 Cor 15.7) and were involved in early missionary activity (1 Cor 9.5). It is notable here that Paul describes ‘the Lord’s brothers’ separately from ‘the apostles’; their actual kin relationship to Jesus did not grant them special authority.

Jude appears to be writing to people that he knows and responding to a situation he has heard about, so this is not a general ‘catholic’ epistle like those of Peter and James. The main section of the letter is full of powerful and persuasive rhetorical devices, but the beginning and ending make it clear this is a genuine letter. We need to remember that almost all communication in the ancient world was oral, both in origin and reception; letters were dictated to a secretary and read aloud to the audience. Jude is particularly fond of saying things in threes!

The challenges for the modern reader are not just the powerful yet concise language Jude uses. He is writing in the style of Jewish apocalyptic, using much terminology that is unique in the New Testament. He draws extensively on Jewish traditions with which we are unfamiliar, especially the Jewish works of 1 Enoch and the Testament of Moses, both of which are mostly lost to us. Yet his message is as pertinent today as ever: do not be drawn away from the apostolic faith by those claiming new revelation, who reject the disciplines of holiness for their own gain, and bring division and disunity to the people of God.

I am mostly using the NIV, but commenting where the translation needs clarifying.

Further reading

Richard Bauckham Jude, 2 Peter (WBC, 1983)

Michael Green 2 Peter & Jude (TNTC, 2009)

Douglas Moo 2 Peter, and Jude (The NIV Application Commentary, 1997)

John Painter and David deSilva James and Jude (Paideia, 2012)

Jim Samra James, 1 & 2 Peter, and Jude (Teach the Text Commentary Series, 2016)

Day 1: Jude 1–4: Called, chosen—and challenged

Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James, To those who have been called, who are loved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ:

2 Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.

3 Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that the Lord has once for all entrusted to us, his people. 4 For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.

Jude is one of the brothers of Jesus (and so brother of James, the leader of the community in Jerusalem), but he does not claim any authority from that earthly kin relationship. The resurrection and ascension of Jesus has changed everything; what matters is that he is a servant of Jesus the exalted messiah.

Jude loves to do things in threes! He greets his readers as being ‘called, loved, and chosen’, language used in the OT of God’s people, particularly in anticipating their restoration from exile (see for example, Is 42.1, 6), and echoed in the voice from heaven at Jesus’ baptism. This language looks back; what God has accomplished by his love in Jesus is the fulfilment of all God’s promises to his people. But it also looks forward; though the kingdom of God has broken in, we will not see it in its fulness until Jesus returns, and in the meantime we are kept, safe and firm, by God.

The threefold greeting is typically Jewish in speaking of the ‘abundance’ of God’s mercy, but also reflects the gospel of peace with God that we have as his love is poured into our hearts (Rom 5.5).

Rather than expound further what God has done for us in Jesus, Jude needs to tackle a real and practical challenge his readers are facing. It is striking that he begins first with an assurance of all that God has done for us—but quickly focuses on what we need to do in return. God’s grace is not just something to rest in, but also something to respond to; the waiting we are called to is active, not passive. This should come as no surprise; such conflict was anticipated ‘long ago’ and will not jeopardise either God’s salvation or his just judgement.

As Paul has seen in Corinth (1 Cor 6.12) and Galatia (Gal 5.1), Jude sees that the radical freedom that is ours in Jesus can be misunderstood. It is not freedom from obedience to God, but freedom to live lives of holiness that honour him. Perhaps the equivalent error in our age is the idea that ‘God accepts me as I am; therefore I can stay as I am.’ But if we proclaim ‘Jesus is Lord’ (Rom 10.9, 1 Cor 12.3) then it means surrendering our lives to his transforming power.


Are you aware of being ‘called, loved, and chosen’? What difference does this make to you? How might it help in situations of conflict or where you feel under pressure?

What response is God’s grace calling you to at the moment? Can you see ways in which faith in God is being misrepresented and you need to speak up?

Day 2: Jude 5–7: Three examples to heed

5 Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord at one time delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day. 7 In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

Jude now moves into the main part of his argument, signalled by ‘I want to remind you…’ using language like that of Paul (Rom 11.25, 2 Cor 1.8, Gal 1.11). But he is not offering them new, additional knowledge, for they already know the full truth that they received when the message of the apostles was shared with them once and for all. Christian teaching can never add to or displace that apostolic message—but it is a core discipline for us to remember and reflect on the truth we have received. The central act of Christian worship is to ‘do this in remembrance of me’.

Jude continues in his threefold rhetoric by pointing to three episodes from the Torah which serve as examples for his readers, just as Paul notes that these stories are offered as warnings to us (1 Cor 10.11). There is no sharp difference between ‘Israel’ and ‘Church’; the same Greek word ekklesia is used for both. No, those who follow Jesus now, both Jew and Gentile, are the new Israel in him, and so their stories are now our stories, and we must learn from them.

The three episodes are: the unbelief of the people about the goodness of the promised land in response to the report of the spies in Numbers 14; the fall of the ‘sons of God’, driven by lust, in Gen 6.1–4, interpreted through the language of 1 Enoch 6–19; and the sin of the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah in Gen 19. The strong sense of God’s sovereignty means the language here is expressed in terms of God’s active judgement, but each story is in fact about the consequences of actions, of unbelief and of disobedience. Two of the three relate to immoral sexual desire—the angels for the daughters of men, and the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah for the ‘strange flesh’ of angelic visitors.

These classic Jewish examples show that no-one is exempt from accountability before God—neither the foreigners in Sodom or Gomorrah, nor the angelic powers, nor even the people of God whom he longs to save. Rejecting God’s call to holy living does not bring freedom, but chaos and disaster—and Jude longs for his readers to learn this lesson.


What things do you need to be ‘reminded of’? How does the remembering involved in Holy Communion help build your faith?

How important is Scripture, and in particular the Old Testament, in your devotional life? How do these stories help you in your walk with God?

Day 3: Jude 8–10: Don’t repeat their mistakes

8 In the very same way, on the strength of their dreams these ungodly people pollute their own bodies, reject authority and heap abuse on celestial beings. 9 But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” 10 Yet these people speak abusively against whatever they do not understand; and what things they do understand by instinct, like unreasoning animals—these are the very things that destroy them.

Jude now makes the connection with the present situation; the false teachers he is warning about are falling into error ‘in the same way’ as those of the past. Like Peter at Pentecost (‘in the last days’, Acts 2.17) and Paul writing to the Corinthians (‘we on whom the end of ages has come’ 1 Cor 10.11), Jude sees the coming of Jesus and the renewed Israel following him as the end-time (‘eschatological’) fulfilment of the Scriptures. Therefore all the lessons from the story of God’s people apply to the followers of Jesus.

‘Dreaming’ can sometimes be seen as positive (Acts 2.17)—but more often it is associated with false prophets (Deut 13.1, Jer 23.25) because the dreams are claimed to offer an alternative, new source of revelation—and so offering ‘another gospel’ (Gal 1.6–8). The three problems that arise are related to the three OT examples that Jude is drawing on, but do not correspond to them in order.

The examples of the angels in Numbers 6 and Sodom and Gomorrah both involve sexual immorality, and Jude agrees with Paul that this causes harm to oneself (‘those who sin sexually sin against their own bodies’ 1 Cor 6.18). The throwing off of moral restraint is not just a general rejection of authority, but specifically a rejection of the Lordship of Christ; the unusual term kuriotes connects back with the mention of ‘the Lord’ (kurios) in verses 4 and 5. ‘Heap abuse on celestial beings’ is most likely a reference to the Jewish tradition that the Torah was given to Moses by angels, who are the faithful messengers of God to humanity.

The story of Michael contending with Satan for the body of Moses comes from the apocryphal Testament of Moses, but the idea of Satan as the accuser of God’s people is found in Job, Zechariah, and Revelation 12. Michael’s language of rebuke, based on Zech 3.2, demonstrates that, in these spiritual conflicts, even the angels don’t depend on their own power, but appeal to the authority of God who is the just judge. The false teachers are following their own desires, just like animals, rather than seeking to understand the truth of the gospel.

Departing from the teaching of the apostles is not just unfortunate—Jude sees it as dangerous and damaging at every level.


Where have you come across claims of a ‘new revelation’ about the Christian life? How should we respond to such claims? How might scripture help us in this?

What practical difference does it make to recognise ‘Jesus is Lord’ in different areas of your life? Have you recognised that conflict has a spiritual dimension to it? How does that help?

Day 4: Jude 11–13: Avoiding error; shunning rebellion

11 Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion.

12 These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead. 13 They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.

We are now reaching the pinnacle of Jude’s rhetoric against the false teachers, with more examples from Scripture and vivid metaphors from nature. It is challenging to be immersed in this language—but this kind of ‘woe’ oracle was stock in trade of the Old Testament prophets and was a key part of the teaching of Jesus (see Matt 11.21 and Matt 23.13–29). The emphasis here is not the authority of the prophet themselves, but the judgement of God alone.

The three further examples from Scripture are now individuals rather than (as previously) groups. Jude is drawing not just from the biblical text, but from the way these examples were used in Jewish tradition. Each committed sin—Cain’s murderous anger when his sacrifice was not accepted in Gen 4, Balaam’s being enticed by money to prophecy against Israel in Num 22, and Korah leading a rebellion in Num 16—but in the tradition they all were thought to have led others astray as well.

The threefold criticism that follows focusses on the community of faith, on God, and on the false teachers themselves. The word translated ‘blemishes’ is actually the normal word for a rock, that is, something that causes a shipwreck; the false teachers are in danger of destroying the central reality of community life, here described as agape meals for the first time. They participate ‘without fear’ of God, and their ministry serves only themselves (Ezek 34.2), rather than the people of God.

The use of vivid metaphors from the natural world comes from the Wisdom tradition; we find similar language in Proverbs, in James, and in the teaching of Jesus. Jude draws from what were considered the four regions of the universe—air, earth, water, and the heavens—showing how comprehensive the issues are. The false teachers either fail to produce what God intended—life-giving rain from clouds, fruit from trees—or produce what is not wanted, like turbulent waves throwing filthy debris onto the shore. The image of ‘wandering stars’ (from which we get our word ‘planet’) is drawn from 1 Enoch, but uses the same language as Jesus when he rebukes those who have ‘gone astray’ (Mark 12.27).

There is a serious warning to believers—but there is also a note of pity. These false teachers are missing out on all that God promises; there is a much better way.


How do you respond to language of judgement in the Bible? Why do we shy away from it? Why is it important?

Do you have experience of seeing people or communities ‘shipwrecking’ their faith? Is there anything we can learn from these examples?

Day 5: Jude 14–19: Nothing new under the sun

14 Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones 15 to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” 16 These people are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.

17 But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18 They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19 These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.

Having looked to the past in the biblical narrative in relation to the events of the present, Jude now changes his focus. He appeals to two sources to assure his readers that these tests are not unexpected, but have been anticipated long ago.

His first source is, again, 1 Enoch, introduced with a quotation formula. This book was not included in the canon of Scripture, but that does not stop it from being a text which can offer insight and encouragement. It was valued because it reflected on the application of key parts of the Torah, particularly on Deut 33. Enoch is seventh from Adam on the basis of ‘inclusive’ counting; he was revered along with Moses (whose burial was mysterious) and Elijah as ones who defied death to enter God’s presence (Gen 5.24).

Jewish hope was that God would come as promised to judge the world, raise the dead, and both purify and redeem his people from oppression. The New Testament consistently identifies this hope with the royal return (parousia) of Jesus; he is king in principle now, seated at the right hand of God, but will be recognised as Lord by all when he comes again (Phil 2.10–11, citing Isaiah 45.23). ‘Lord’ is used in the Old Testament of the God of Israel, but in the New Testament it refers to Jesus, who does for us all the things that God does. In both the quotation and the rebuke of the false leaders, Jude for the first time focusses on what they say as well as how they live. His threefold critique is of grumbling speech (which characterised the dissenters in the wilderness), following desires (as at Sodom and the ‘sons of God’ in Num 6) and seeking their own gain (as Balaam did).

As a brother of Jesus, Jude does not count himself as one of the apostles. The quotation is not a precise one from any text we have, but echoes both the teaching of Jesus (Matt 24.24) and Paul (2 Tim 3.1–5). The contrast between ‘natural instincts’ and the Spirit is the same as Paul makes between the ‘works of the flesh’ and the ‘fruit of the Spirit’ in Gal 5.16–26. Claiming new insights, rejecting God’s call to holiness, and indulging desire will always bring division and disunity to the people of God.


How important to you is the hope of Jesus’ return? What difference does knowing that he will come to judge the world make in practice?

Whatever troubles we face, we can be sure that we are not the first! Does this change our perspective on our own challenges?

Day 6: Jude 20–24: He is able

20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.

24 To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

These closing verses return to the positive tone of the opening section. Jude once more emphasises that those he is writing to are beloved (‘dear friends’, agapetoi, here and in verse 17). The reason for his strong warnings about the false leaders is his deep concern for his sisters and brothers in Christ. His final commendations include three emphases which might seem surprising to us.

First, the primary strategy for continuing to live faithfully in obedience to Jesus is not to get dragged into disputes and debate, but to focus positively on what we believe. We are to be active in building ourselves up, in praying in the Spirit (as in Eph 6.18), and in guarding what we already have (similar to John 15.9, ‘remain in my love’). Jude here talks both in Trinitarian terms, referring to the work of the Spirit, the love of the Father, and the hope we have in Jesus, and in doing so echoes the Pauline triad of faith, hope, and love (1 Cor 13.13).

Secondly, our attitude to others must always be marked by compassion. Between those who are strong in faith and those who are drawn to these erroneous teachers will be the middle ground of those who have questions, and they are to be treated with mercy. But part of that merciful compassion will be a recognition that they are in real danger from false teaching; we should rightly fear the consequences of them falling away, which is why Jude has gone to so much trouble to expound the dangers.

But, thirdly, our confidence is not in ourselves and our ability to avoid error, but in God’s ability to complete the work that he has begun in us (Phil 1.6), so that we will reach the full maturity that he desires for us (Eph 4.13). As everywhere else in scripture, our confidence in God motivates us to positive action; and our action is always rooted in our confidence in God. The goal is to fully live the live of the kingdom of God; our power to do this comes from God alone; and the result is for his glory alone. ‘For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever! Amen!’


Jude talks, rather surprisingly, of the active things we can do to ‘keep ourselves in God’s love’. What can you do this week to remain in God’s love? What can you do to help others in this?

Who do you know who is doubting, or appearing to be stumble? What can you do to show them compassion this week?


In reading carefully through this short letter, if feels as thought we have come a long way. There are some important things to learn from our journey.

Though filled with strong language and stark warnings, the letter of Jude begins and ends with his love and concern for the believers he writes to. This must surely be the first motivation in tackling and engaging with false teaching. It applies in our thinking about ourselves as well as our thinking about others. If we hear words of warning and discipline from God, we need to remember that this springs from God’s deep love for us, the forgiveness, peace, and hope that he has given us in the costly gift of Jesus, and his calling and empowerment through the Spirit. And if we love our sisters in brothers in Christ, we will want them to be aware of the dangerous reefs created by claims to new revelation which will lead them away from the truth.

Throughout his letter, Jude interprets the present challenges through the lens of Scripture, interpreted and applied within his Jewish teaching tradition. Because we are all, Jew and Gentile, incorporated into the Israel of God by means of the overflowing grace of God, ‘from every tribe, language, people and nation’ (Rev 7.9), the story of Israel is our story. We face the same dangers that they did, and so we need to learn the lessons from their experienced.

Although Jude uses different language from the gospels and other letters in the New Testament, the theological and pastoral ideas are the same. The good news about Jesus, passed on to us by the apostles and now forming the text of our New Testament, is all that we need to ‘grow up into salvation’ (1 Peter 2.2). There is no further ‘new revelation’ needed, since Jesus is God’s last word to us (Heb 1.1) and the scriptures testify to him. When confronted with claims to new teaching, we need to realise two things: first, that they represent a real danger for ourselves and for others; and second, that the primary response must be to stand firm in the faith that we have received. God calls us to true freedom, empowering us by the Spirit to live in the holiness which is ours through the new life offered in Jesus.

As always, the Bible Project video offers a great overview of this letter:

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111 thoughts on “What can the letter of Jude teach us today?”

  1. I find it curious that Jude’s allusions to the fallen angels in Enoch seems to me to indicate that he thought Enoch was authoritative in some sense yet the books of Enoch were not considered inspired enough to be included in the Protestant Canon.

    • Yes, I think that has long been a puzzle…or even an embarrassment!

      But, as I read it and looked at commentary, I am not sure why we should think it so. It is not as if Jude gives it clear canonical status, is it?

      • It seems he does. It can only be on the basis that 1 Enoch is inspired that he asserts ‘Enoch prophesied [specifically x]’. If a modern writer were to make such an assertion, he would be laughed out of court, not so much because the book is not canonical but because it is not historical.

        The concept of an inspired fiction that purports to be historical is foreign also to biblical thinking (unless the book of Job is an exception?) – even if the likes of Tom Wright think that the book of Daniel was written in the 2nd century BC. Is Jude inspired/canonical in the same way as we accept that other books and letters are? One reason why the letter is ‘much neglected’ may be that it does not inspire that kind of confidence.

        I have my reservations, especially when so much of Jude appears to be lifted from 2 Peter, even though the writing is extraordinarily vivid and the teaching valuable. The incessant repetition of ‘ungodly’ (asebes) is crass.

        One might also wonder about the early Church’s decision to include 2 John and 3 John in the canon. The Catholic and Orthodox churches include in their canons books that the Protestant churches exclude. The question of canonicity, authority and inspiration may not be as black and white as one might imagine.

        • ‘The question of canonicity, authority and inspiration may not be as black and white as one might imagine.’

          I think you may be right Steven.

        • That’s an odd argument. I quite often cite fictional characters in the terms ‘As [Gandalf] said…’ without the slightest assumptions that the character is historical.

          • …. except that you might quote JRR Tolkein in order to give a concrete illustration, to help people understand the concrete point you have just made. Here Jude seems to be going much further than that and pointedly bringing in the authoritative words of the ‘big shots’ to substantiate his point, to tell us that this is not a weird and wacky idea of his own, but stretches back to the Godly men of antiquity.

            But I’m not sure that this whole ‘canonical’ business depends on what was -or was not- considered inspired. For the OT it may have been based on the assessment of what Jesus was referring to when he referred to Scripture (i.e what was regarded as inspired by the authorities at the time).

    • Chris – have you any idea of the original language of the book? Is there historical evidence that might indicate whether or not it would have been considered part of the ‘canon’ of Scripture when Jesus taught from Scripture at the synagogue? I know nothing about this – but from the very little I’ve picked up the issue wasn’t whether or not it was inspired or not, but rather whether it would have belonged to the collection of books classed as ‘Scripture’ which Jesus used.

  2. Jude uses it illustrativly not auhoritatively does he not, to make points, warnings and correctives, to address his audience, which would well know his references and perhaps have a commonplace understanding even if it did not accept the writings as part of the Hebrew canon of scripture.?
    Didn’t Saul/Paul do the same at times?

      • You’re right of course Geoff, allusions to (or direct quotes) from non-scriptural sources are not approval of their authoritative status. 😉

        • Yes, I see your argument Mat, but I am not really convinced that what we are reading here is Jude using in the same sense as Paul quoting Greek philosophers.

          Enoch gives some fascinating detail and insight into what was understood to be the actions and origins of fallen angels and the mysterious ‘watchers ‘which is found nowhere else in the Bible and how this impacted on the events read in the book of |Genesis. The import of Jude’s writing is that he believed Enoch had some inspiration behind it and it to be true, and that that his readers would also. Whilst Paul makes it clear he is quoting from a secular source, there is no such indication in the letter that Jude is doing a similar thing or makes it clear to his readers that he is doing so.

          The book of Enoch has a controversial history both among the Jews and in the Protestant canon, but the fact that Jude saw reason to quote from does makes me wonder if there is more to the book than was originally thought.

          • Oh, for sure.

            I was simply making the point that mention/reference alone is insufficient to infer status of a writing.

            I think the argument that Jude considered Enoch (at least) important and worthwhile (if not quite scripture) is not without merit, and challenges some of our lazy assumptions about what scripture is. There’s much in Steven Robinson’s question that I agree with, and , hopefully obviously, I wouldn’t be trying to make a comparative point about how Paul is using Greek poetry. 🙂


          • It’s quite obvious, Chris, that Jude (and the author of 2 Peter 2:4)l believed in fallen supernatural angels, and he uses 1 Enoch to confirm his belief. 1 Enoch would also probably be a popular document his readership – but not a totally inspired document.

          • That assumes an extraordinarily detailed common knowledge at the time of degrees of inspiration. Where would people get that knowledge from? Certainly not from knowledge of the original writers’ circumstances.

          • To Chris Shell; Chris Bishop; et al,

            You could possibly extend your question, Chris (Shell), and ask, “Where did Jesus get His knowledge from regarding unclean spirits, demons, and an intrinsically evil, supernatural Devil, who was an antagonist of both Mankind and of Yahweh God, Himself ?”. These beliefs are not fully revealed in the Old Testament, but they do filter through into popular Judaism during the intertestamental period. That Jesus seems to literally accept these basic beliefs, puts His stamp of Divine acknowledgement upon them. The first miracle of Jesus in the Gospel of Mark, is to cast out an unclean spirit. (Mark 1:21-28).

        • Yes, I agree Mat. What fascinates me most about Enoch is that it shows a window into Jewish thought about events in Genesis, the angelic realms and their interaction with humans on Earth, to a degree that is not found elsewhere in the accepted canon of scripture.

          That Jude alludes to it makes me think that early Jewish Christians were more cognizant of ancient theological origins than we understand them today.

          • The JPS Jewish Study Bible translates ‘bene ha elohim’ in Gen. 6:2, 4, as ‘divine beings’. The oldest Jewish interpretation of we have of ‘bene ha elohim’ is that they are supernatural angels. Jesus too, seemed, like Jude, to believe in the concept of fallen angels.

      • Pelligrino- thank you for your comment. Is it conceivable that the author of 2 Peter is getting his information from the same source as Jude? If so, that would lend further credence to Enoch being of canonical value.

        I agree that even, without Enoch, it is clear that Scripture, Jesus and the Jews believed in fallen angels yet Enoch gives much more background information about them ( The book of the Watchers), and their relation to Genesis including their interactions with humans.

        Why do you think that Enoch is not considered in later times by the church to be fully inspired if Jude and possibly the author of 2 Peter ) seems to quote it as an authoritative source? Steven R above , makes an interesting point about Jude asserting that Enoch prophesied’ which suggests to me that 1 Enoch cannot be easily dismissed in the inspirational sense.
        ( Some Ethiopian christians still do regard Enoch as canonical I believe).

        However, as Ian suggests, the letter of Jude has a quite different ‘feel’ to some of the other writings in the NT. Paul as far as I know, never refers to Enoch unless he doing so in 2 Cor 12:2.

        • Hi, Chris (Bishop);

          Jude lifts some verses in 1 Enoch to put in his Epistle. I think 1 Enoch was highly popular in certain circles of Judaism, and this popularity continued among many such Jews who became Christians. If I remember correctly, the demons of 1 Enoch were the spirits of the Nephilim who were physically wiped out in the Flood. Maybe this was the background understanding of who exactly ‘demons’ were supposed to be, in Christ’s day. I would say reading 1 Enoch (which is a composite literary construction) may be useful for getting some general background ideas to the N.T. , but, personally, I wouldn’t go as far as the Ethiopian Church, and include it in the Christian canon.

          As regards 2 Cor. 12:2, I think Paul is obviously talking about himself. He had some sort of wondrous ‘out-of- body’ experience, and heard things he was not allowed to repeat.

          God bless you, Chris.

        • We know that Enoch walked with God, more so than any man, such that God translated him.
          We know also that Enoch named his son Methuselah, prophetically.
          And in Jude we have another prophetic utterance by Enoch.
          However, every prophet will have written and said a lot of things in their lives which were not prompted by the Holy Spirit. Enoch included.
          And the book we have which purports to be the prophecy of Enoch may not be exactly as it left the stylus of the man himself. Edits and additions have been known to occur, down the years.
          So let us put our trust in those in the early church who preserved the writings of the apostles and sought God’s wisdom to discern truth from error.

  3. I don’t know the answer to that question Jock. However l think it conceivable that Jude and the ist century Jewish believers considered it so.

  4. Thank you, Ian, as always for your blog.
    If I can be permitted a personal story….
    A few years ago I went to the local eye hospital because I was a little worried about one of my eyes. I was told that my eye was one third detached and this would be re-attached the following day.
    As I read my Bible I read Jude 1. I had been “called” in the past. I am “loved” in the present. I will be “kept” for the future.
    I slept well and the operation was a success!

    • William – well, on the one hand very good to hear that the operation was a success, but on the other hand there are lots of Christians for whom an operation is not a success – and it doesn’t mean that they haven’t been called, loved and kept.

      For me, I believe in Him – and I know the promise of Scripture; John 3:16 tells me that I have passed from death to life, I will not perish but have eternal life. This does mean that I am called, loved, kept; I believe that I am one of His sheep and that the promises of John 10 apply to me.

      I find the questions for `Day 1′ very strange though. `What difference does it make?’ Difference to what? This is very much a `what if’ counterfactual question. Am I supposed to somehow figure out what things might be like if I weren’t in the number of the Saviour’s family? Am I supposed to imagine the hypothetical conditional where somehow or other I wasn’t called, loved, kept? It’s a question along the lines of ‘What if Mahatma Gandhi had come from Belfast? Would he have worn warmer clothing?’

      So the questions ‘What difference does this make to you? How might it help in situations of conflict or where you feel under pressure?’ do seem somewhat odd; faith is a fact of life and isn’t something that can be turned on to make a difference when it might be helpful.

      The next question: ‘Can you see ways in which faith in God is being misrepresented and you need to speak up?’ Well, someone earlier in this thread indicated that NT Wright believes that the book of Daniel is a pack of lies (clear statements are made in the book about the author and when the author lived – anyone who says it was written in the 2nd century BC is stating that the book is basically a pack of lies). So I see faith in God being misrepresented by theological big shots such as NT Wright, but I know that there is absolutely nothing I can do about it – speaking up will make no difference – nobody will listen to me.

      • Jock, morning to you. We’re all watching the coronation at mo.
        On Jude . I like Jude. He’s non theological. He probably thought if Paul can quote fr9m greek philosophers he could quote from Jewish popular classics to. He did it without a theologians technical mind. I wonder if He quoted Enoch just to put a spanner in the works?
        To confound the wisdom of the wise?

        • Hi, Steve;

          The apostle Paul was certainly an exceptional ‘brain-box’ (cf. 2 Peter 3:15).

          Perhaps Jude was an artist? (cue smiley emoji)

          But whatever Jude was in spare time, I love his Epistle – it’s short, packs a ‘punch’, and is ethically, very relevant to our times.

          Enjoy the Coronation, Steve. Will you be swearing your allegiance ?

          God bless you, and God bless the King (King Jesus; and our Charlie).

          • When I read the Bible through from Gen. to Rev I was so relieved to get a change of diet when I got to Hebrews, Peter and John. It was as if a heavy diet of theology suddenly got to the sweet trolly. Jude is a change of menu again, a short shot of brandy to loosen the theological belt. But why? I now realise, thanks to this blog, that it sets us up to receive the grand surprise dish… Revelation. If one went straight from Pauline theology to Revelation one might choke or wave it away.
            Jude breaks the spell of logic so one can enjoy the piece de resistance… Revelation!

        • Hello Steve,

          …. well, they succeeded in getting the crown onto his head, which is a relief, I suppose. I should inform you that I was anointed with oil earlier in the day (some vegetable oil splashed out of the pan when I was doing my bacon and eggs in the morning) – so they should probably have crowned me instead.

          Actually, it might have been more fun if they had put an element of doubt into it – a sort of hoopla – ten bishops, each approximately 3 metres from the king, trying to get a crown onto his head. The first to succeed is elevated to Archbishop of Canterbury ……

          It would seem that a splendid time was had by all.

          • Well, that’s that for a decade or two.
            Back to Jude, he does have something in common with Paul. They both seemed to believe that planets have souls, or to be able to get affronted by criticism. Never understood that. Must be referring to government departments or something.
            On the whole I like the way Jude brings us full circle to start reading Genesis again. I’ll post a link to a graphic I did..

      • Hi, Jock;

        Romans 8:31-39 says it all, for me.

        IF the book of Daniel, as we have it in its current edited form, is a 2nd century BCE production, then this wouldn’t affect my faith. My faith is based on the ontological resurrection of Christ – and all the implications that flow from that.

        God bless you, Jock.

        • Pellegrino – respectfully, you’ve missed the point – the question Ian Paul posed – and what I was commenting on is: what situations have you found yourself in when you have felt obliged to counter false teaching? And a follow-up (which wasn’t asked – but is very important) do you feel that speaking up would have had any chance of success.

          The question that Ian Paul was posing wasn’t about your own personal faith. About my own personal faith, I’d agree with you on Romans 8:31-39. I don’t agree, though with the assertion that the hypothesis that the OT authors were a bunch of liars writing `I Daniel’, placing him as someone alive at the time of Belshazzar when it wasn’t written by Daniel at all and it was written several centuries later.

          By the way – thanks for the blessing – and spectacles, etc … to you too!

        • Hello Pellegrino,
          Your faith built on the ONTOLOGICAL resurrection of Jesus, is it, Pellegrino?
          Is it not built on the two the CROSS(as opposed to a stake) on which Jesus died, AND his BODILY RESURRECTION?

          • Geoff – thanks for drawing attention to this – I missed that. Could someone explain to me what an ontological resurrection is – and how it differs from a non-ontological resurrection?

          • Dear Geoff;

            I see further down, that you have badly mis-understood my point, and my terminology. I elucidate the terminology and my point further down, in a full response to one of your other posts.

            God bless you, Geoff.

    • Hi Geoff,
      I believe, feel, think, that Michael is the Holy Spirit, the narrator of Revelation, showing us Jesus defeating the devil in a cosmic tableau. Jude would have grasped and understood revelation immediately.
      BTW, here is a link to a graphic I did a while back showing the books of the Bible arranged in groups of 13 around the book of Revelation.
      You will see Jude is next to Genesis. I like to think the best way to read the bible is to stop when something seems to point to Revelation, then read Revelation, then resume reading the bible. so, Jude mentions Michael. Go to Revelation and read that. It mentions the Woman. Go to Mathew.

        • I know, I sometimes agree. But, I believe the angel in verse Ch1:1 is in fact the Angel, the Holy Spirit, bringing Jesus Revelation to John. From then on the Holy Spirit narrates the Revelation taking John in hand through each scene. Because the Holy Spirit only wants to point to Jesus he conceals his true identity so as to throw all the light on Jesus, the One on the throne, the Lamb at its centre. At the end John percieves who the angel is and worships but true to his commission the Angel deflects the worship and tells John to worship Jesus.
          So even the mighty angel holding the scroll is The Holy Spirit. Michael too, is the Holy Spirit acting as the Word of Jesus defeating the dragon. The distinction is a fine one but if you are a trinitarian you might, just might agree with me!?

          • Hello Steve,
            That cohort of bible teacher does hold that the archangel Michael is Jesus, wherever he is encountered in scripture.

            BTW. It is the same cohort of bible teachers that holds that 1) Jesus did not die on the cross, and 2) he was not bodily resurrected.
            They are a well known corporate entity.

          • Ok, Jesus did die on the cross and rose again. Visitations of God in the O.T. Were the Holy Spirit. If one says they were Jesus it could be construed that Jesus Himself was some sort of apparition; not a flesh and blood body. Therefore the Michael of Revelation is the active person of the Spirit working through people today. For we see Jesus in that scenario whisked up to heaven and then the Spirit of Michael goes on to defeat the dragon in the age we are in.

          • Hello Steve,
            Is scripture not clear that angels are separate created beings from
            our triune God and humans?

          • Angels to me are a mystery. Like members of the chorus in Greek theatre. Are they beings created to embody God’s presence? Like a state coach , made for one purpose but too magnificent to be retired. Sometimes I think they are just humans employed to do an important task. Sometimes beings from another world , sometimes they are God in disguise, like a famous film producer appearing in his own film.
            The ‘sons of God’ in Genesis may simply be a way of differentiating Adams pure race from the hybrid humans they became on breeding with Neanderthals. Nothing very supernatural, just sordid, sinful facts.
            Gabriel, at the end of the age was probably God in disguise.

      • Dear Steve;

        This is what ‘The IVP Bible Background Commentary’ says about the ‘seven Spirits’ in Rev. 1:4, before the throne :

        ” The ‘seven spirits’ here might refer to the sevenfold messianic Spirit of Isa. 11:2, BUT MORE LIKELY refers to THE SEVEN HOLY ARCHANGELS recognized by Judaism around the throne (Rev. 8:2..) ”

        God bless.

        • The stone with seven sides is Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The Lamb with seven horns is Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The Greeting in Rev. 1 is from the Father, Son and the seven fold Holy Spirit.
          The Archangel is The Holy Spirit. Who else has the power and authority to announce the Day of the Lord?
          He who trod the grapes of wrath on His own isn’t going to delegate the calling of His bride by name to another. He will do it Himself.
          When He covers us with His robe , like Boaz, there will be no created angels present, it will be only Him.
          Jude’s mention of angels isn’t a licence to add a pantheon of supernatural beings to the nuptial bed.

    • Yes. They’re called the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
      However, while Jude tells us that Michael did not dare bring a railing accusation against Satan, Jesus had no such compunction. “Get thee behind me Satan”, for example.

    • Geoff, what is interesting here is noting the difference between Jude and 2 Peter in the latter excising specific reference to the pseudepigrapha, and so being more concerned about canonical authority.

      • To IAN, :

        I initially thought that you meant a final page of 2 Peter, may have been lost !

        Wouldn’t it be great to discover in desert sands a copy of a draft of the letter Jude may have been working on, before he had his complete change of mind ? (cf. Jude 1:3).

        God bless you, Ian.

      • Thanks Ian, for your comments on the essay.
        In light of the rest of it, the summary, conclusion, seems to take on a different * voice* as it were, and appears somewhat truncated.
        It article was gleaned from a search of the Monergism site, linked as a PDF.
        I couldn’t send the link on my phone so the PDF was downloaded and linked from the laptop.
        Maybe the whole document is not there and you, with your academic access may be able to dig out the original JETS essay.
        I know nothing of the author.
        Yours, Geoff

  5. It is also to be noted and emphasised Jude 5
    Who it was and what he did; it was Jesus.

    “As a cornerstone of Trinitarian theology, the doctrine of inseparable operations was not abandoned by the Protestant Reformers but was embraced as necessary for maintaining an accurate view of God both in His unity of essence and diversity of person. This doctrine, which says that each person of the Trinity acts inseparably with the others in every act of God with respect to things outside Himself, helps us understand that each person is involved in everything God does in a manner that is appropriate to that person. Every action of God is from the Father through the Son and in the Holy Spirit, and this is an order that is inherent to God’s triune identity. Each person exercises the same divine attributes, but each does so in a manner fitting to His unique personal properties.
    “We have seen the doctrine of inseparable operations in both creation and atonement, and today we will look at the doctrine as it is revealed in the work of redemption more generally. Although atonement is essential to God’s work of redemption, it is not identical to it. Redemption is a greater whole, of which atonement is one part. Redemption also involves things such as rescue from bondage, the resurrection of our bodies, and more (Ex. 20:1; Rom. 8:23).
    “Today’s passage attributes the work of rescuing the Israelites from Egyptian slavery to Jesus (Jude 5), a particularly strong way of asserting His deity since the Old Testament says that Yahweh, the covenant Lord of Israel, saved His people from Egypt (Deut. 5:6). Of course, we also know that the Lord went before His people as a pillar of fire when He led them out of Egypt (Ex. 13:21), pointing us to the activity of the Holy Spirit in light of the Spirit’s association with supernatural fire (Luke 3:16). Given that Jesus often refers to the God of Israel as “Father,” we thus see the involvement of all three persons in the work of redeeming the people of God from Egypt, and, more generally, from sin and death.
    “The Scriptures often associate particular aspects of redemption, such as sanctification, with the Holy Spirit (2 Thess. 2:13). This is because the work of sanctification reveals the Spirit in particular. Given inseparable operations, however, the Father and Son are also involved in everything the Spirit does. From start to finish, redemption is the work of the triune God. It is from the Father, through the Son, and in the Holy Spirit that we are redeemed.

    “Coram Deo

    “God’s people are important to Him. That is proven in the fact that all three persons act to save us. We are not important to the Lord because of anything we are in ourselves. Rather, having decided to save us, God makes us important to Him. Because all of God is involved in our salvation, we know that He pays attention to whatever we are doing, saying, or thinking.”

  6. A Christocentric Credo :

    I love Jesus, I trust in Jesus, and I rely on Jesus, as my Lord and Saviour, and as the Way, the Truth and the Life –

    So, to the charge of believing in the plain words of Jesus, including those in John 17:3 :

    I plead, ” Guilty !”

    Here I stand. I can do no other.

    Glory to God !

    • And yet you don’t, don’t believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus! Only in His none- biblical “Ontological” resurrection. No mere lacunas in biblical faith. and the truth, and the life in him.
      Nor do you believe in his his death on the cross do you?
      Your belief is outside mainstream biblical Christian orthodoxy. Not the Jesus revealed in scripture. In is more in line with the teaching of organisation of Jehovah witnesses
      Every blessing, in the name of God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

      • Geoff – many thanks for pointing this out – you have an eagle eye for detail. I typed ‘ontological resurrection’ into the search engine, but it didn’t come up with anything – so I’m no wiser as to the precise meaning, but I do know that it is a rejection of core Christian beliefs.

        A normal Christian would simply state that they believed in the resurrection – they wouldn’t add in fancy adjectives. The very fact that a fancy adjective has been inserted tells us everything we need to know – his faith isn’t ‘straight goods’.

          • Hegel is arguing that reality is merely an a priori adjunct of non-naturalistic ethics, Kant via the categorical imperative is holding that ontologically, it exists only in the imagination and Marx is claiming it was offside

            (Monte Python’s Philosophy football sketch)

          • Dear GEOFF;

            No, Geoff, that is not true, and it looks like it is tantamount to libel. I wish you would check the facts first before you start espousing untruths, and employing ‘ad hominem’ and ‘straw man’ fallacies. You have behaved on this occasion, Geoff, in a manner unworthy of a disciple of Christ – but I forgive you.

            In correction of your errors :

            1. Of course I believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus. The bodily resurrection of Jesus is crucial because it validates the prophecy contained in Ps. 16:8-11, and, furthermore, it absolutely proved Who Jesus always said that He was – that is, the Son of God, and the Messiah (cf. Romans 1:4; Gal. 1:1, John 4:25-26; John 10:36, et al). When I use the the term ‘ontological resurrection’ I mean a real, objective resurrection of the Lord Messiah (cf. Psalm 110:1; Acts 2:36) Jesus – in contradistinction to views of Christ’s resurrection, that include :

            (a). It was just a metaphor, and the event never literally happened. This view was held by Richard Holloway, who was Bishop of Edinburgh.

            (b). It was just a dream, an hallucination, or a vision.

            (c). It was just a spiritual, non-bodily resurrection.

            The objective resurrection of Christ by God (cf. Gal. 1:1), is of absolute crucial importance to the Christian Faith, because without it there would be no living Messiah to come into spiritual union with, so as to share in His death, and in His resurrection to a new life. Without being in union with a resurrected Messiah Jesus, we would :

            (i) Still be under condemnation for our sins.

            (ii) Still be slaves of Sin, and still dominated by the power of Sin (cf. Romans 6:1-Romans 7:4-5; Romans 7:14-24; et al)

            (iii) We would be without the holy Spirit, and therefore be unable to live a morally clean and holy life, producing fruit for God (cf. Romans 7:4; 8:13; Gal. 5:16, et al)

            2. Of course I believe Jesus died on a cross (Greek : ‘stauros’).

            3. My belief is not outside mainstream Christian Biblical Orthodoxy of the First century CE. The ‘Trinity model’ of God is the result of later post-New Testament reflection upon the Scriptures, using the tools and concepts of Gentile Greek Philosophy. This fact is even recognized by many Trinitarian scholars, such Anglican Canon, Dr. Anthony E. Harvey, (who wrote an excellent New Testament commentary, based on the ‘New English Bible’), and Professor Walter Matthews, who was Dean of St. Pauls Cathedral.

            This is why ‘The Oxford Companion to the Bible’ (Oxford University Press) states, with respect to the ‘Trinity’ model :

            ” Likewise, the developed concept of three coequal partners in the Godhead found in later creedal formulations CANNOT BE CLEARLY DETECTED WITHIN THE CONFINES OF THE CANON.”

            May THE FATHER, Who our Lord Messiah Jesus said was both His God (John 20:17 Rev. 3:12)1, and our God (John 20:17),; and THE ONLY TRUE GOD (John 17:3), bless you, Geoff.

            Do you believe Jesus, Geoff, when He says that THE FATHER is THE ONLY TRUE GOD, in John 17:3 ? I do – but what say you, Geoff ?

          • The Coronation was an ontological event, Steve, which made it an objective historical reality. It wasn’t just a dream, an hallucination, or a vision that you may have had. (Cue ‘smiley face’)

            Did you enjoy it ?

        • You start with illogical resurrection and then you go onto logical resurrection. And then you go onto atheism.

        • Are you or have you been part of the Jehovah’s witnesses,Pelligrino?
          A more than a decade ago friend a long time Jehovah Witness vame out of it, though his wife remained part.
          As a result I’ m aware of the methodology of the teaching and bible study, marshalling of all argumentation, with multiple resourse against the Trinity, and ready made library of answers and scripture interpretation and how witnesses are obliged to make no admissions, concessions, that the Trinity exists. And they are certain, adamant, that they are that they are the only true Christians. And I see in your comments.
          But if you think it is a slur, to be misidentified I apologise.
          The bottom line here is that there is false teaching. You are of the cohort who strenuously claim that the Triune God of Christianity is false teaching.

          Having made contributions, with refernces and links, to the Ian’s article on Jude, I’m drawing a line under this, thanks.

          • Dear Geoff;

            Thank you for your apologies which are, of course, fully accepted.

            I can put your mind at rest Geoff :

            I am not a ‘Jehovah’s Witness; I never have been a ‘Jehovah’s Witness’; and I am absolutely positive that I never will be a Jehovah’s Witness. or a Roman Catholic, et al.
            However, it has to be generally admitted that many Trinitarian Christians are often a bit like Jehovah’s Witnesses in their rather arrogant, simplistic judgements regarding who can possibly, or who can’t possibly, be a member of Christ’s invisible Church. This is up to Christ to decide, and nobody else. We will all have to stand before Jesus, and give an account of ourselves. I am personally, fully convinced by Christ’s words, and the rest of the New Testament evidence that the ‘Triune God’ concept was unknown in early Christianity, and represents a post-New Testament development. However, as Trinitarians at least accept Jesus as the ‘Son of God’ and as the ‘Messiah’ (which are the essential intellectual saving requirements according to John in John 20:31, and the author of ‘The First Epistle of John’ in 1 John 4:15; 5:1; 5:5; 5:12; 5:13), then I accept Trinitarian Christians as my brothers and sisters in Christ, as long as they act like Christians. That’s my position, Geoff, I will state it before Christ. God bless you, dear Geoff.

        • Hi Pellegrino,
          Yes I did enjoy it, for I am an English man , and it’s greatly to my credit!

          I stand between you and Geoff. I don’t make a great play on Trinity doctrine because, for one thing, Paul didn’t. He didn’t; not because the theology hadn’t occurred to him but because he wanted to point only to Jesus; get people obedient in love and faith, and leave the rest to the Holy spirit.
          The doctrine of the Trinity was promulgated, as I see it, to act as a flag to gather under for political reasons. Easier it is to set up a set of doctrines from a position of power for people to sign up to out of fear of exclusion than to plead and work in love by example. To me the Trinity is a family secret among believers. We know it instinctively when pressed but we don’t shout family secrets across the garden fence, otherwise neighbours kids will know where the buiscuit barrel is and when its full. That is, in the past, many people could recite doctrine without knowing Him. Know where the biscuits were, pop in the back door, and help themselves.
          If you really are a wolf in sheep’s clothing we’ll find out soon enough. Meanwhile, have a biscuit.
          PS. When the Lord of the banquet said, “friend, where is your wedding garment.” I believe it referres to putting on Christ’s flesh. It can’t be done if you think Jesus is not raised from the dead. Thanks for making yourself clear on the resurrection.
          PPS. I feel uneasy among such esteemed company. I’m not theological at all. I’m just someone who has read the Bible.

          • Steve, your comment took me back to have a skim of the first few pages of a book from long ago.
            Of course, you are a theologian, Steve. We all are, whether we’ve read the bible or not!? We all have a view, belief (even if we are unable to recognise and fully articulate it) in the nature and character of God. Even atheists are theologians!

            To be clear: not that you are an atheist, or are not a Christian.

            A wonderful description is from J. I Packer : it is Knowing God as opposed to knowing about God. It is what we are made for. And the best and most esteemed of biblical scholars and theologians may know much about God, but not know God.

            Knowing God: J.I Packer.

            For what it is worth, it is a book of old that while of it’s time was ahead of its time, recognising then what is vociferously opposed and rejected, even more so, now.

    1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
    My wife and I have had numerous encounters with angel activities. In my wife’s case he was using a pneumatic drill at the side of the road. Very wonderful and beyond human speculations. I find that the book of Hebrews very informative as regards them.
    However to return to Ian’s original edifying piece which I will enjoy, no doubt, mulling over this week.
    It may well have been that Jude may have been meditating on Psalm 37 or Psalm 58 on that particular day, where he *heard * God laugh.
    Be sure to read it all in an uncorrupted version of the Bible as hundreds of translators have failed to be correct in their translations apparently- – Just saying.

    • Dear Alan;

      Do you personally recommend an ‘Uncorrupted Version of the Bible”, with which to meditate upon Psalm 37 and Psalm 58 ? I’ll make a start with some the Bible Versions I have to hand.

      I’m absolutely sure that the Greek scholars behind the original ‘King James Version’of the Bible said in the Preference, that there wasn’t any absolutely perfect translation of the Bible – hence Professor Jason David BeDuhn’s book :

      ” Truth in Translation : Accuracy and Bias in English Translations of the New Testament.”

      However, ALL TRANSLAIONS read substantially the same as regards the verse John 17:3. Do you feel ready yet, Alan, to reveal whether you believe that Jesus’ clear statement in John 17:3, is ‘true’ or ‘false’. And if you cannot say whether Jesus’ statement in John 17:3, is ‘true’ or ‘false’, then can you please say, why ?

      God bless you, Alan.

      Yours in the interests of Truth;


  8. Ah PELLEGRINO a little transparency. You are coy.
    Of coarse the debate between the Arians and the church appears a late introduction regarding the Trinity. If one was to examine the debate which resulted in the Nicean Cread this was a time when Arianism was gaining widespread dominance and influence It was Anselm who helped turn the tide at a time when he was told “Anselm the whole of the world is against you! He replied “Then Anselm is against the whole world!”
    The Arians were only dislodged after a mighty warfare.
    I marvel that if Arianism was of God then they would have prevailed.
    and they would have gained the crown of Orthodoxy as “Another Gospel”
    I fear that you are “Standing” in the wrong place no matter how sincere you may be.
    For a brilliant Church History of that period I heartyly urge you to read
    Hillaire Bellocs brilliant history of the period at
    Also by the same token may I ask that you refrain from ” accusing the brethren” of being degenerate Christians. Thankyou.

    • Dear Alan;

      Are you trying to suggest that because I believe the words of my inspired Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, in John 17:3, that I am an Arian’ ? Are you suggesting that my Lord and Saviour was also an Arian ?

      Now let’s get one thing straight, dear Alan :

      I am not an Arian;
      I have never been an Arian;
      I am not intending to be an Arian; and,
      I never will be Arian.

      I am a simple Christian believer, who believes the clear, plain words of His Saviour and Lord, in John 17:3.

      Finally, your libel that I have accused anybody, at any time, of being ‘ degenerate Christians’, is an utter disgrace, Alan, and you are acting in a way that is totally unworthy of a Christian. You should be ashamed of yourself – but I forgive you, because I my Lord and Saviour Jesus bids me so.

      May the God bless you, Alan.

      • Really, Pellegrino you need know the law relating to libel, before bandying accusation about. Perhaps you ought to apologise for its misuse unless you are sure what has been written falls within its scope.
        Not only that it would be arguable that if it were libelous, Ian Paul would be actionable for publishing it.
        There are no two ways about it, we believe and worship different Gods.

        • Dear Geoff;

          If a person doesn’t believe the words of Jesus in John 17:3 that the FATHER is “THE ONLY TRUE GOD”, then naturally, that person would believe in, and worship a different God, to the God of Jesus (cf. John 20:17; Rev. 3:12).

          I don’t know you primarily believe, Geoff, but I believe Jesus.

          Wishing you blessings, from the only true God, and from His Son, the Messianic lord (cf. Psalm 110: ‘Adoni’) Jesus.

        • Dear Geoff,

          Slander, as I as understand it, is the action of making false statements that are damaging to a person’s reputation. Jesus was slandered on quite a few occasions, and He may even have been the victim of what we would now call libel. However, being the victim of genuine slander, and/or libel may be one thing, but proving it in a human court of law, may be quite another. Thankfully, however, we have an all seeing and all-knowing Father God, Who will ultimately sort all things out.

          May Jesus, and His God, and our God (John 20:17), the Father – the only true God (John 17:3) – bless you, Geoff.

        • Dear Geoff;

          My Christological beliefs can be read straight off the pages of the inspired Gospels, whereas yours, Geoff, can not.

          My Christological beliefs use pure and simple Scriptural terms, whereas yours, Geoff, do not – but depend upon Gentile Greek philosophical concepts and language.

          My Christological beliefs are based on the very words of Jesus Himself, whereas yours, Geoff, appear not.

          My Christological beliefs include believing in Jesus’ clear words in John 17:3, whereas yours, Geoff, appear not.

          I see that your latest ‘straw man’ fallacy, concerns the Christadelphians. So just to clarify :

          I am not a Christadelphian;
          I have never been a Christadelphian;
          I am not intending to be a Christadelphian;
          I never will be a Christadelphian.

          God bless you, Geoff.

        • Both—these have turned into unhelpful exchanges. Please change the tone and register, and engage in a respectful exchange about issues rather than exchanging insults.


      • Pellegrino, do you realise that in saying ‘I am a simple Christian believer, who believes the clear, plain words of His Saviour and Lord’ you are doing exactly what the Arians claimed? Isn’t that why Athanasius had to argue the way he did — that it is HOW we read scripture that is crucial not simply WHAT we read?

        • Dear Bruce,

          Thank you for your ‘straw man’ and ‘red herring’ fallacies.

          I am claiming to believe in all the words of Jesus, including those in John 17:3, 20:17, and Rev. 3:12. I stand on the words of Jesus.

          JESUS is my one and only ” Rabbi ” (Matt. 23:8, cf. John 3:2; John 20:16), not Athanasius, Bruce, nor anybody else.

          May the God of Jesus (John 20:17; Rev. 3:12), and His Son, bless you Bruce.

          • It is a fallacy to say you are not relying in anything else, as you reference authorities from outside scripture to corroborate your beliefs; beliefs which align with Christadelphians.
            Are you really saying that you have had no teachers outside scripture, even as you cite the NIV background commentary and as you have cited another commentary?
            The question of How you read the scripture is far from from straw man or red herring fallacies, by employing them you indulge in them.
            How? Hermeneutics, is core.
            And the overall sweep of the canon of scripture, biblical theology, of God’s revelation of Himself, nature and character is the context of what scripture, 1) says and 2) what it means.
            It would be good if you would employ fallacies correctly in you arguments rather than as a method of blanking out, blocking, curtailing and denying discussion, as is an assertion of libel, defamation, and in the context of a discussion could anount to an ad hom fallacy in itself.
            It is a discussion that has been had over the centuries but once again not to be rehearsed and reiterated here, a point which you appear to be deaf, oblivious to.

  9. It would seem clear to me that the comments by Jude and in 2 Peter presupposes a knowledge of Jewish thought and writings regarding events concerning angels and their earthly interactions in the antediluvian world that is now largely lost to us, but was commonly understood by the audience that Jude and 2 Peter are addressing, and that Jude and the writer of 2 Peter thought them true and authoritative (and even canonical?) to be quoted from.

    It does not seem to me at all, that they they were simply used as convenient quotations in the manner that Paul quoted from pagan philosophers to make his assertions.

    I do wonder if there is still in existence, extensive Jewish writings of the background to Genesis in extra-Torah sources? We have the books of Enoch of course and other apocryphal writings, but I would be interested to know if there has been any serious research in this area how Jewish scholars and redactors treated this material and what they decided to exclude from their canon and why.

    Another point is that some of these angels were given names that are not found in the Bible. While we know of angels in the Bible called Gabriel and Michael, the Jews understood there were angels with other names like Raphael and Uriel-and a few more I think. And they understood there were these beings called the ‘Watchers’.

    So where did all this information come from?

    • Hi Chris,
      The watchmen on the walls in the Song of Solomon springs to mind. I might reread it and see what thoughts arise in the light of your comment.
      BTW A. Custance wrote a lot on this. I get my sparse info on the subject from him.

        • Arthur Custance . It’s probably not worth looking up but he wrote about Genesis from a scientific point of view. He considered the flood local and Adam’s pure race as the ‘sons of God’. After they took wives from the population of hominids, Neanderthals etc, the resultant hybrids were the ‘heroes of old’ , shorter lived, more powerful. The human race is the product of this first interbreeding. Noah’s flood stopped the decay but enough Nephilim persisted to add to the gene pool. Modern man retains a small amount of this interbreeding dna plus the associated diseases .

    • Hello Chris,
      Does the book of Hebrew have something to say about angels?
      And what are demons and the doctrine of demons?
      Islam believes in demons.
      And so does Screwtape!

      This link to the Jewish Encyclopedia entry on “angelology” may help to assuage your curiousity.


      And while I’ve not read it, didn’t Billy Graham write a book on the topic?
      And while it is in the genre of Screwtape, (except it is an Angel lecturing angels on the celestial eye view on key episodes in the Bible) Jennifer Rees Larcombe wrote a book titled, “An Angel Called Mervin: the Christian story through Celestial eyes.” Reviews can found.

  10. Oh my goodness, who let the ducks out?
    Why do you keep hijacking Ian’s blog? with your repeated assertions,
    ‘ Is it something personal? Perhaps you are filibustering until Ian moves on within the week to another topic? What is your agenda? End of pal.
    Will focus now on Ian’s edifying blogs. If a duck quacks like a duck it is aDuck.

    • Alan Kempson, I am unsure if your comment is directed to either me or Geoff , but I can assure you I am not filibustering or hijacking this particular thread. My approach to reading scripture particularly the letters, is to try to get inside the minds of the people for whom it was written in an attempt to get a better understanding from where the writer is coming from and to avoid impressing my own presuppositions on the text. I mainly come to Ian’s Blog to see what I can learn from others and offer anything from my own experience that may be useful as well as asking questions.

      The fact that Jude makes a number of allusions to obscure Jewish traditions that we are largely unfamiliar with near the start of his letter should make us a pause for thought as to why this is so, particularly when he is referring to non-canonical sources and if we believe (as I do), that the Holy Spirit inspired this letter. I think it is perfectly legitimate to try and unpick this in order to expand the overall direction of Jude’s writing which is largely about false teachers and deception in the church, as well as his exhortations to contend for the faith and the encouragement he gives in the Doxology.

      What ducks have to do with this I haven’t a clue.

      • Chris – I suspect it was a reference to Pellegrino and the Arian controversy. It isn’t a reference to Steve, because Steve hasn’t mentioned bikinis yet.

      • Hello Chris,
        While Alan can speak for himself, I think the difficulty is when we don’t follow the thread of every comment and at times the difficulty in applying a reply to a particular comment. Following the comments, Alan is responding to Pellegrino.

        Alan has made an earlier comment relating to angels and encountering them. Scroll upwards a little.


  11. OK l get that. The location of comments can be confusing sometimes.

    Maybe l need to go to SpecSavers…

  12. As I indicated earlier, I have a major problem with the questions posed in this piece. The exegesis of Jude seems (at least to me) sound, interesting, well worth reading, but the questions seem to turn a God-centred piece of Scripture towards self.

    I’m reminded of the title of Spike Milligan’s war memoirs, `Adolf Hitler: My part in his downfall’, where, with an event of cataclysmic proportions going on around him, he is (amusingly) able to change the perspective and turn it into something all about him.

    The questions all seem to have the feel: how do I respond? what difference has it made to me? what should I be doing about it?

    A prayer meeting is a good prayer meeting if we are presented with the situations encountered in the mission at home and the mission abroad and are invited to think and pray about them – thus taking the centre of attention entirely away from self and directing attention to the mission. One of the positive effects of a good prayer meeting is that those participating come to put their own difficulties-of-life, their own personal problems connected with the faith, into a proper perspective – in short, they forget about their own difficulties-of-life-and-faith because they are so utterly insignificant in comparison with the Mission.

    The self-centred what should I be doing about it – how should I be building up my own personal faith – seems a wrong perspective somehow.

    • Any discussion of scripture is like a game of Tetris. The common denominator is Jesus but as soon as we all agree on that a line is formed and disappears. We then are faced once more with different blocks of shape and colour to contend with.

      • Steve – well, I think I agree with that – in the sense that when I come to Jesus, the problem of I, me, myself is solved (at least that’s what the bible tells me – and I believe it). I then go to the prayer meeting, which concentrates on the mission at home and abroad – and discover just what there is to contend with (taking the mission as a whole), what I should be praying about and – well – you’re right – the blocks keep changing, their shape and colour keep changing – the one constant behind it all is a radical evil ……..

  13. Sorry guys for the misunderstandings.I forgot to include an addressee, which others correctly identified. I have shaken off the dust and taken Judes’ advice,
    “from such turn away” and trying to focus on the thread.
    Also I find the editing on here quite bizzarre at times, posts are shunted off the track, even at times onto a thread months old. Solution?Perhaps to include a time stamp in the text so that folks can refer to the section of thread that it relates to. Maybe the editing is a limitation of the technology on this blog.

  14. Generally I find some whimsy on this thread, speculative conjecture,
    and declarations of self-righteousness.
    However there are some valiant efforts trying to engage with the book of Jude.
    We have enough on to “Search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life”
    Also, 2 Pet 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
    Much of what God has revealed of Himself has been has been derided. The Bible has been cast into doubt
    “Yea, hath God said” God has gone to enormous lengths to make Himself known through holy men of God moved by the Spirit

    What a fool God is to visit us through a backward dystopian people, To leave a book that is translated by fools
    Why didn’t he wait a little longer for a more intelligent, Enlightened time?

    My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass:
    32:3 Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God.
    32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.
    32:5 They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation.
    32:6 Do ye thus requite the LORD, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father that hath bought thee? hath he not made thee, and established thee?
    32:7 Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.

    1 Cor 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

    1 Cor 1:20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
    Forget disputed books. Or lost pages
    Surely, as one has commented, Jude gives a gentle introduction to REVELATION
    He reference’s past judgements of God

    Paul tells us “knowing the terror of the Lord we persuade men,
    {Not todays Churches message!]
    Paul didn’t believe in safe places.He didn’t ask people to invite Jesus or the Holy Spirit
    He [God ] commands all men everywhere to repent.
    Oh how vital that this book is needed to inspire the Church of today which as forgotten that Jesus not only comes to Judge but also to take vengeance

    Jude 1:15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.

    • Thank you Alan.
      There is something special about the triplets in Jude. I haven’t figured it out yet. I think it corresponds in some strange way to Genesis’ creation days. 3 days to create the stage, 3 days to fill it.
      In my diagrammatic representation of the Word as a flower there is significance in the gaps between the petals.
      Between 1 &2 Chronicles, the temple is built
      Between Ezekiel &Daniel the New temple is planned and the Son of Man described
      Between Malachi and Matthew , a Star and Jesus, the Temple
      Between 1&2 Thessalonians a prophetic look into the New Jerusalem. Sort of
      Between Jude and Genesis, a recapitulation and an appeal.
      Each of these Selah moments points to Jesus at centre.
      I’d appreciate anything further you could add, especially to the Jude-Genesis gap.

      • STEVE –

        The comment to ‘Chief’ got spatially dislocated, and was directed to the character above who calls himself (or herself), ‘The Chief of sinners’.

        God bless you, Steve.


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