Commentary on Jude 17-19

Notes (NET Translation)

1:17 But you, dear friends – recall the predictions foretold by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In this verse Jude draws the readers into his own circle and distances them from the opponents (“But you, dear friends“; “our Lord Jesus Christ”). As was common in ancient moral exhortation, Jude calls his readers to recall what they had already been told (G. Green 112-113). This means the readers should take to heart what they had already been told. The predictions of the apostles are being fulfilled in Jude’s day.

1:18 For they said to you, “In the end time there will come scoffers, propelled by their own ungodly desires.”

Jude is not directly quoting any NT text but he is summarizing a common NT prediction that false teachers would arise (Mt 7:15-20; 24:11, 23-24; Mk 13:5-6, 21-22; Acts 20:29-30; 1 Tim 4:1-4; 2 Tim 3:1-5; 2 Pet 3:2-3; 1 John 2:18, 22). The phrase “to you” (hymin) most naturally means that Jude’s readers had directly heard some of the apostles (G. Green 115). The “end time” began with the coming of Christ (1 Cor 10:11; Gal 4:4; Heb 1:2; 9:26; 1 Pet 1:20). “Scoffers” (empaiktai) are those who despise and dishonor morality and religion (G. Green 115-116). Ungodly desires (i.e., desires for ungodly actions) drive the heretics.

1:19 These people are divisive, worldly, devoid of the Spirit.

To be “worldly” (psychikoi) is to not be governed by the Spirit or to be disciples of Christ. To be “devoid of the Spirit” (pneuma me echontes) is to be outside the body of Christ (Rom 8:9; 1 Cor 12:13). It is likely that Jude is contradicting the claims of his opponents, who claim to be spiritually superior to others.

Bibliography

Bauckham, Richard J. Jude, 2 Peter. Word Books, 1983.

Davids, Peter H. The Letters of 2 Peter and Jude. Kindle Edition. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2006.

Green, Gene. Jude & 2 Peter. Baker Academic, 2008.

Green, Michael. 2 Peter & Jude. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2007.

Schreiner, Thomas R. 1, 2 Peter, Jude. Holman Reference, 2003.

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