Q&A: Jude's Themes

Jude's Themes

Question

What is the major theme(s) of Jude?

Answer

The themes of Jude are:

1. The Jewish Christian Character of the Epistle. This letter strongly reflects the milieu of first-century Jewish Christianity, as one would expect from an author like Jude. Evidence for the author's Jewish background includes his many allusions to the Old Testament (though he does not quote directly), his familiarity with Jewish apocryphal tradition, and his strong ethical concern.

2. Denunciation of False Teachers. Jude confronts a threat similar to that opposed in 2 Peter-false teachers who were using Christian liberty and the free grace of God as a license for immorality (v. 4; cf. 2 Pet. 2:13). Most of the epistle (vv. 419) is devoted to stern denunciation of the false teachers in order to impress the readers with the seriousness of the threat. But Jude's strategy is more than mere negative opposition. He urges his readers to grow in their knowledge of Christian truth (v. 20), to bear a firm witness for the truth (v. 3), and to seek to reclaim those whose faith was wavering (vv. 22, 23). This prescription for confronting spiritual error is as effective today as when it was first written.

Reference:

Whitlock, L. G., Sproul, R. C., Waltke, B. K., & Silva, M. Reformation Study Bible, Nashville: T. Nelson, 1995.

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).