Jude 1:1-7 – Step Up the Fight For Faith
Because The God Of Love Destroys Covenant-Breakers.

Translation & Sermon by Nate Wilson for Christ the Redeemer Church Manhattan KS, 15 Oct 2017

Introduction to Jude

·         After preaching through First, Second, and Third John, it seemed natural to move on to the next little epistle, but this one is from a different person named Jude.

·         In Greek, his name is pronounced “Judas” but the “-as” ending is just a nominative case ending in Greek, so the names “Judah,” “Judas,” and “Jude” are all the same name.

·         In the genealogy that begins the New Testament book of Matthew, this name refers to Judah, the fourth son of Jacob the patriarch of Israel. And there are other “Judah’s” in the Luke 3 genealogy, but those were all further back in history in the Old Testament. The Jude who wrote the New Testament book lived in the first century AD.

·         When we get into the Gospels and see the lists of the 12 apostles that Jesus chose, we see that there were two guys named “Judas” (or “Judah”) among the disciples:

0        One was from the southern Judean town of Cariot, so he was called Judas Iscariot. His father’s name was Simon, and that Judas was the one who betrayed Jesus and then hung himself.

0        The other is listed in Luke 6 and Acts 1 as “Judas [son] of James” (ιουδαν ιακωβου) and is called “Thaddeus” by Mark and “Lebbaeus” by Matthew.

à        (It would be interesting to know why he went by so many different names. I might guess that with the bad reputation of Judas Iscariot and the persecution of Christians by Jews, the names “Judah” and “Judas” might have lost popularity among some Christians.)

à        This disciple makes only one little cameo appearance in John 14:22 where he asks, "Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?" (NKJV)

à        Although commentators John Gill, Albert Barnes, and A.R. Fausset identified Thaddeus as the author of the book of Jude, the fact that neither James the son of Zebedee nor James the son of Alpheus have the same father as Thaddeus Jude (who was the son of James) and the fact that there is no James known to have been married to Mary after Joseph discounts this theory in my book.

·         Two other mentions of a man named Judas in the New Testament[1] are of note because they might be the same Judas as the writer of this book:

0        One is called the “brother” of Jesus in the Gospels, which also mention that he had a brother named James: Matthew 13:54 says of Jesus, “after coming into His hometown, He taught them in their synagogue in such a way that they were astounded and saying, ‘Why is it to this man that this wisdom and these miracles [came]? 55 Is not this man the son of the carpenter? Is not his mother named Mary and his brothers [named] James and Joseph and Simon and Jude? 56 And are not his sisters near us? Why then is it to this man that all these things [came]?’ 57 And they were scandalized by Him.” (NAW)
That fits with the Jude who wrote this epistle who mentions in v.1 that he is the brother of James. Apparently Mary had other children after Jesus[2], making this Jude the son of Joseph or perhaps of a second husband of Mary, and the only name I’ve ever heard postulated for a second husband of Mary was Cleopas (which is Greek for the Aramaic name Alphaeus), not James, so I think this Jude the brother of Jesus and of James is different from the disciple of Jesus named Thaddeus Jude son of James.[3]

0        The other mention of Jude that is think is significant is in Acts 15:22, “Then it pleased the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas, namely, Judas who was also named Barsabas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren.”

à        Here is a Jude who is a Christian leader in Jerusalem in close proximity to a prominent Christian leader named James, for whom it might have been natural if Jude was his younger brother, to trust him as an ambassador of the church in Jerusalem.

à        Later on in Acts 15, it says that this Jude was a “prophet” which again would fit with a writer of Scripture, and that he and his buddy Silas “exhorted and strengthened the brethren [in Antioch] with many words” before Jude came back home. Here in this epistle, the same word “exhort” is used of Jude’s message, although this letter is so short that we might surmise that, after another 15 years in ministry, when it came time to write this letter around 65 AD, perhaps Jude was less youthful and less wordy.

à        So, although Jude was a fairly common name at the time and the Bible doesn’t explicitly identify him, it seems entirely possible that this is the same Jude who wrote the epistle, and it gives us a glimpse of what his life was like after Jesus’ resurrection.

·         It is interesting that Jude in v.1 calls himself the “slave/servant of Jesus Christ.” This is particularly striking if he is actually the brother (or half-brother) of Jesus. In this case we see humility on the part of Jude as well as the recognition of Jesus’ divine Lordship.

0        Jude could have identified himself as the brother of Jesus, but instead of name-dropping, he takes the minimal approach to identifying himself humbly – just “Jude – nobody important, although you might know my big brother James.”

0        Jude could have identified himself as the brother of Jesus, but instead he chose to model for us the worship of Jesus as the Messiah (the Christ, in Greek).

à        Jude could have created a far more entertaining – and popular – letter by saying, “Now you may wonder what Jesus was like as a boy, well, I’m his little brother, and let me tell you some stories from when we were growing up together!” But he doesn’t.

à        Even though Jesus was truly human – human enough to have real brothers and sisters, even his siblings recognized that he was no mere man, but rather the holy God incarnate, the bringer of eternal life (v.21), the keeper of our salvation (v.1&25), “our only Sovereign and Lord” (v.4), Christ the cosmic authority over angels (v.9) and demons (v.6), with the power to come in judgment and consign anyone he wants to the deepest darkest depths of hell (v.13), the one who stands in the very presence of God in heaven (v.24). Jude portrays for us a Jesus who is God and therefore calls himself His slave.

0        Do you see Jesus that way? Are you so humbled by His power and authority and majesty and saving love that you say, “I am Jesus’ slave. He is my God; He is my rightful owner, and whatever He says I will do. Period.”

·         At any rate, with a name like “Jude” he’s bound to have a Jewish background, and indeed he shows a great familiarity with the Old Testament and even with Jewish traditions surrounding the Old Testament, and he uses this knowledge effectively to illustrate and lend authority to his exhortations.[4]

·         “Eusebius Ecclesiastical History, 3.20 states that when [Roman emperor] Domitian inquired after David’s posterity, some grandsons of Jude, called the Lord’s brother, were brought into his presence. Being asked as to their possessions, they said that they had thirty-nine acres of the value of nine thousand denarii, out of which they paid him taxes, and lived by the labor of their hands, a proof of which they gave by showing the hardness of their hands. Being interrogated as to Christ and His kingdom, they replied that it was not of this world, but heavenly; and that it would be manifested at the end of the world, when He would come in glory to judge the living and the dead.” ~A.R. Fausset (What a marvelous testimony of the fruit of this New Testament prophet who exhorted people to contend for the faith – his grandsons were still preaching Jesus!)

·         To finish introducing this letter, we need to look at who it is written to.

0        Jude is not very specific about his audience. All we know is that:

à        he loves them,

à        he thinks that they are saved,

à        he assumes that they are familiar enough with the writings and oral traditions of both Judaism and Christianity to follow his allusions to them,

à        and He sees that they are dealing with unruly, flagrantly-sinful, heretical people in their Christian community (which might indicate that it is not a brand-new church plant but rather one that has had time to degenerate).

0        All this would fit pretty well, in my opinion, with the church in Jerusalem or the church in Antioch (which was the first church plant after Jerusalem), both of which would have had lots of Jewish-background Christians, and it seems to fit with the Jude in the book of Acts who was based in Jerusalem and visited Antioch, writing to one or the other of those churches[5], or perhaps more generally to believers throughout the Levant[6].

0        but clearly Jude doesn’t limit his book to believers in only one time and place.

à        This book is addressed in v.1 to “those who have been called and loved by God the Father and who have been kept by Jesus Christ.” That’s not just the 1st Century church in Palestine, that’s for us too! We too are called and loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ!

à        We too have to deal with degenerate Christianity – with slippage of the faith (v. 3) – people claiming to be Christians but practicing immorality (v.7), people claiming to know God but who are disrespectful of proper authority (v.8) and are greedy for wealth (v.11), Christian leaders who have no love (v.12), scoffers who follow their fleshly lusts (v. 18), and even doubters who need help spiritually (v.22).

à        That’s the context in which we practice our faith too, so the book of Jude is for us!

·         And in the book of Jude, the main exhortation is see is in v.3. What must a Christian do in the midst of the degeneration of Christianity and culture around us? We must “contend earnestly for the faith” – we must push back against every message that tends to break down our belief in Jesus and fight to keep trusting Him to forgive our sins, make us right with God, make us happy, and ultimately bring justice to the world.

The Main Point
3 Loved ones, while I was making all due diligence to write to y’all concerning our shared salvation, I felt the necessity to write to y’all exhorting/urging [y’all] to step up the fight/contend earnestly for the faith once delivered/ handed down to the saints,

·         The Greek root word agwnizomai is used to describe competing in athletic contexts and to compare that to the effort we put out to trust Jesus in Luke 13:24 "Strive to enter through the narrow gate...” and 1 Timothy 6:12 “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called...” (NASB)

·         But the verb as it occurs here in Jude has an additional prefix which generally means “upon” – as in “pour on the steam” – to make it an even more intense word that occurs nowhere else in the Bible. This is the main exhortation, as I see it in the book of Jude.

·         What are we to fight and contend for? “the faith once delivered to those made holy.” The singularity of that faith is also expounded on in other places in the Bible:

0        Cf. Psalm 89:34-35 “Neither will I by any means profane my covenant; and I will not make void the things that proceed out of my lips. Once have I sworn by my holiness, that I will not lie to David.” (Brenton translation of the Septuagint)

0        2 Peter 2:21 “For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.”

0        Hebrews 9:26-28 “…but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself… so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many...”

0        1 Peter 3:18 “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit…” (NKJV)

0        Christ’s death on the cross is the center of that delivery, and this faith/belief system results in making humans into holy people, forgiven of their sins on account of Jesus’ death. This is what we are called to strive for.

v.4 because certain men have settled in/crept in unnoticed/secretly slipped in alongside [you] who have already been prescribed/ordained/marked out/de­signated to this condemnation/judgment, ungodly men who are turning/per­verting/displacing the grace of our God with licentiousness/unbridled sensuality and who deny our only Sovereign/Master and Lord Jesus Christ.

·         The main verb literally translates “gone down in alongside” and it has four nominative phrases which describe the “certain men” who have “crept in unnoticed/slipped in secretlyNIV

1) they have been marked out for judgment from of old (or already written about as to their judgment),

2) they are asebeis/ungodly/not devout/impious,

3) they exchange/turn/pervert God’s grace into unbridled living/licentiousness, and

4) they deny Jesus – particularly His authority over them.

·         I will plan to go more in-depth in my next sermon on the character of faithlesness, so let me skim over this verse at this point [jump over verse 4 for now] to focus on three strategies in verses 5, 6, and 7 for stepping up the fight for faithfulness:

0        We must take in the history books of Scripture to remind us that God holds His people accountable to trust Him.

0        We must remember the futility of Satan’s rebellion and humbly submit to the cosmic authority of Jesus rather than impatiently leaving Him.

0        We must remember the eschatological books of the Bible, that there are fires of hell with which God punishes those who indulge in sin rather than trusting God.

A) We must take in Scripture to remind us that God holds His people accountable to trust Him.
v.5 Although y’all know fully/all [these] things, I’m wanting to remind y’all that once having saved a people from the country of Egypt, the Lord later/after­ward/subsequently destroyed those who did not believe.

·         The scriptures explicitly state that at the time of deliverance from Egypt, the people of Israel “believed” the word of the LORD through Moses (Ex. 4:31, 14:31),

·         but later, after the ten spies disheartened the people from entering the promised land, God indicates that this was the tenth time of unbelief and the result of that protracted unbelief was the banning of that generation of Hebrews from the Promised land (Numbers 14:11 “And the Lord said to Moses, ‘How long does this people provoke me? and how long do they refuse to believe me for all the signs which I have wrought among them? … 22 For all the men who see my glory, and the signs which I wrought in Egypt, and in the wilderness, and have tempted me this tenth time, and have not hearkened to my voice, 23 surely they shall not see the land, which I sware to their fathers…’” (Brenton, cf. Deut. 9:23)

·         Everyone who trusts God to save them gets saved, but those who stop trusting God don’t coast into heaven on the faith that they had back in the past somewhere. That’s why Jude says that we need to fight to keep our faith up!

·         How did Jude do that? Through writing scripture to “remind” us!

·         So the first application is to fight to keep the faith through taking in reminders from the Bible of God’s redemptive (and judicial) work throughout history. We need to regularly read or listen to sermons about the history books of the Bible. They will remind us to keep trusting God because He has proved Himself a good savior, and everyone who has not trusted Him has ended up in a bad way. We have to keep reminding ourselves of this or we tend to forget, and that creates the circum­stances for our faith to slip away from God and get fixated on other people and things to help us.

B) We must remember the futility of Satan’s rebellion and humbly submit to the cosmic authority of Jesus rather than jumping ship religiously.
v.6 Also, He has reserved/been keeping in everlasting chains under gloom/ darkness for the judgment of the Great Day the angels which did not keep their own principality but instead have left their proper home/habitation/dwelling.

·         At some point in the created order, God made spirits called angels. As beings that were created by God, it was only proper for the angels to be in submission to God and to obey His authority.

0        In Hebrews 1:14 it says that angels were designed by God to serve/minister to Christians.

0        But from the third chapter of Genesis we see some of these spirit-beings living in rebellion against God and working at cross-purposes to God’s design,

à        working instead to hurt believers (like Satan did to Job)

à        and working to get believers to put their trust anywhere but in God (like when Satan moved King David to trust in his army instead of in God – 1 Chron. 21:1),

à        working to sift Christians (like Satan did to Peter trying to get him to deny Jesus forever –Luke 22:31),

à        and even trying to tempt Jesus away from His plan to save sinners (Mt. 4:10, 16:23).

à        It’s possible that this transgression of legitimate domains is also what is spoken of in Genesis 6 where the “sons of God looked upon the daughters of men” and married them,

à        or when unclean spirits possessed people in the New Testament and Jesus cast them out.

0        Scriptures speak of partial judgments against Satan and demons

à        in the casting of Satan out of heaven to earth (Isa. 14:12ff, Rev. 12:9)

à        and in Jesus’ cryptic comment in Matthew 12:43 about how demons that are cast out of human hosts wander through dry places seeking rest and finding none.

à        And in Jude we see some kind of binding upon the earlier liberties of unclean spirits.

à        These seem to be an initial judgment upon them which will be consummated in a final and complete way on the “great day” of judgment in the future.

·         Much time could be wasted chasing down details about demons, but Jude’s point is that if Jesus Christ has brought judgment upon angels who have transgressed His rules, then you can be sure that He will bring judgment upon humans who transgress His rules.

0        The Apostle Peter made the same point in his second epistle: 2 Peter 2:4&9 “For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment… then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment…” (NKJV)

·         What is being referred to here with angels not “keeping” their “first estate/their own domain/authority?” The Greek word for “keep” (or “stay within,” if you’re looking at the ESV) is the same word that occurs at the other end of verse 6 when it says Jesus Christ “has been keeping” them in chains and darkness. These fallen angels were supposed to preserve a boundary, but instead they violated it.

·         The thing they did not preserve is called archane in Greek, and is usually translated “beginning” or “ruler” in the Bible, but here it gets translated “first estate/domain/position of authority.”

0        In Rom. 8:38, “angels” are again mentioned together with this word, and traditional translations render it “principalities” there, as though it were a higher rank of spiritual being above angels.

0        Who is the “ruler” over the angels – their principal? Ultimately Jesus is, but some rebelled against Him, and so He will hold them accountable with justice both now and in the future.

·         Jude’s reference to the “great day” is an allusion to the prophecy in the book of Zephaniah 1:14-17 “The great day of the LORD is near; It is near and hastens quickly. …That day is a day of wrath, A day of trouble and distress, A day of devastation and desolation, A day of darkness and gloominess, A day of clouds and thick darkness… "I will bring distress upon men, And they shall walk like blind men, Because they have sinned against the LORD; Their blood shall be poured out like dust, And their flesh like refuse." (NKJV)

0        This “Great Day” became a symbol in Jude and in Rev. 6:17 of the final judgment day of the Lord in which all sin is finally and fully dealt with justly.

0        In the book of Revelation we see the same Jesus with full power over Satan and his demons, binding them with chains and ultimately casting them into the lake of fire for eternal judgment (Rev. 20:1-10).

·         When we remember this, we can have faith to stand up against Apollyon when he attacks us because we know that “greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world.”

·         Remembering the absolute authority that Jesus exercises over the vast powers of the spirit world is the second way that we can step up the fight for the faith! It helps us to humbly submit to Jesus’ word and to His ways rather than jumping ship and rebelling like the demons did, and getting into trouble like the demons did.

C) We must remember the fires of hell with which God punishes those who indulge in sin rather than trusting God.
v.7 In similar manner to these, Sodom and Gomorra and the towns around them, after acting out/giving themselves over to/indulging in sexual immor­ality and degradingly going off into/after abnormal/unnatural/strange/perverse physical/fleshly [relations] are laid out as an example when they suffered the justice/punishment of eternal fire.

·         In verse seven, Jude transitions from angels back to men and notes some similarity. Just as the Devil and his demons transgressed the boundaries that Jesus had designed for them when He created them, so too the wicked people of Sodom and Gomorrah transgressed boundaries that Jesus had designed for them when He created them, and just as the Devil will be punished with fire from God, so the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were punished with divine fire. What were the transgressions of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah? Jude highlights two, although I’m sure there were others (cf. Ezek. 16:49):

0        First: sexual immorality taken to an extreme. The KJV calls it “fornication,” and I am inclined to take this first sin in the sense of heterosexual transgression – violating one or more members of the opposite sex. The Greek word here adds a prefix which indicates that they took this sin to extremes – they were fully given over to it.

à        This sin is clearly mentioned in the Genesis 19 account of the ways of Sodom and Gomorrah – and of the way Lot’s daughters continued in this sin even after the cities were destroyed.

à        We think of Sodom and Gomorrah’s sin primarily in terms of the sin of homosexuality and hypocritically stigmatize homosexuals while accepting fornicators; we forget that the Bible tells us in the book of Jude that both of these classes of adultery were what made God punish them with fire and brimstone from heaven. Every form of adultery is serious!

à        The New Testament tells us in Ephesians 5:3 not to even tolerate a hint of sexual sin.

0        The second way that the citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah and environs transgressed the boundaries Jesus had created for them was, to follow the Greek wording literally, “going away backwards after other flesh.” “Other” as in “other than the gender that was designed to be complimentary to your gender,” which is another reason I think Jude was writing of these two classes of adultery – heterosexual and homosexual. (The NIV and ESV seem to have been embarrassed by this and were a bit euphemistic.)

à        One thing that struck me as I looked at the Greek wording was this word hopisw, which means “backwards” – I translated it “degraded.” In our culture today, the affirmation of homosexuality is considered to be progressive – we’ve been told that we old-fashioned moralists are on “the wrong side of history” and that the inevitable future will be the outlawing of our old, outmoded intolerance and the development of a society where everybody accepts everybody else (everybody, that is, except for intolerant people; because intolerant people should never be accepted). The Bible says the very opposite here; according to Jude, homosexuality is “abnormal” and “backwards;” it is de-humanizing, de-personalizing, and moves the practitioner “away from” God.

·         Now the point of verse 7 is not so much how bad it is to be “gay” but to reiterate how important it is to maintain faith in Jesus because there are those in the past who have moved away from trusting God into uncontrolled indulgence in things God calls sin and who have experienced terrifying punishment from God as a result – punishment that reminds that there is a terrifying final judgment coming in the future in which no sin will be left unpunished. Revelation 21:8 says that the “…un­believing, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." (NKJV)

0        Remember the fires of hell to motivate you to fight for the faith; it will be worth the fight to stand against the lies of this age we are in and obey Jesus when everybody else is scoffing at Him.

0        The verses before Revelation 21:8 explain why: Revelation 21:6-7 “And He said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.’” How do we overcome? By faith.

à        That’s what we saw just a few weeks ago in I John 5.

à        When we trust Jesus to be faithful and true, we win against temptations to sin, we overcome the lies of the Devil, and we prove to the world around us that Jesus was right after all, He gives to us for free the costly eternal life that He earned for us by his death on the cross, without us doing anything to earn it. If we keep trusting that this is what He is doing, He will keep pouring that eternal life into us, and we will never have to fear the justice of eternal fire.


0        The history books of Scripture to remind us that God holds His people accountable to trust Him.

0        The poets and prophets of Scripture remind us of the futility of Satan’s rebellion and how we should humbly submit to the cosmic authority of Jesus rather than impatiently leaving Him.

0        And the apocalyptic books of the Bible remind us of the final judgment of the fires of hell and that God will punish those who indulge in sin rather than trusting in Jesus for their comfort and joy.

0        So let us fill our minds with God’s word and step up the fight in support of the faith once delivered to the saints. Our heavenly reward will be worth every bit of the fight!


Greek Edition and English Translation of Jude 1:1-7 by Nate Wilson

[Brackets] indicate the addition of a word or concept not originally in the Greek text. Strikethrough indicates an inaccurate meaning or inaccurate grammar in the English version compared to the Greek text. X’s are inserted where a version omitted a word present in the Greek. Underlining highlights translations where the wording that is different from all the other English versions. Where English versions are more than diverse on a key word, I colored the Greek word and its translated words with the same color. I have also used some abbreviations to identify the sources of variants based on editions of the Greek New Testament (GNT) currently in print: “Maj.” stands for the reading of the majority of all Greek manuscripts predating the printing press, “UBS” stands for critical editions of the Greek New Testament published by the United Bible Society, “T.R.” stands for the Textus Receptus editions of the Greek New Testament, and “Pat.” stands for the Greek Orthodox Patristic edition of the GNT.


Greek NT



1 ᾿Ιούδας, ᾿Ιησοῦ Χριστοῦ δοῦλος, ἀδελφὸς δὲ ᾿Ιακώβου, τοῖς ἐν Θεῷ πατρὶ ηγαπημένοις[A] καὶ ᾿Ιησοῦ Χριστῷ τετηρημένοις κλητοῖς·

1 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, TO: the called ones who have been loved by God the Father and who have been kept by Jesus Christ.[B]

1 Jude, [the] servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctifiedMaj by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:

2 ἔλεος ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη καὶ ἀγάπη πληθυνθείη.

2 May mercy and peace and love be multiplied to y’all![C]

2 Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.

3 ᾿Αγαπητοί, πᾶσαν σπουδὴν ποιούμενος γράφ­ειν ὑμῖν περὶ τῆς κοινῆς [‘ημων[D]] σωτηρίας, ἀνάγ­κην ἔσχον γράψαι ὑμῖν παρακαλῶν ἐπαγωνίζεσθαι τῇ ἅπαξ παραδοθεί­σῃ τοῖς ἁγίοις πίστει.

3 Loved ones, while I was making all due diligence to write to y’all concern­ing our shared[E] salvation, I felt the necessity to write to y’all exhorting [y’all] to step up the fight for the faith once de­livered to the saints,

3 Beloved, when I gave all dili­gence to write unto you of theT.R. common sal­va­tion, it was need­ful for me to write unto you, [and] ex­hort you that ye should earnestly con­tend for the faith which was once de­livered unto the saints.

4 παρεισέδυσαν γάρ τινες ἄνθρω­ποι, οἱ πάλαι προγεγραμμένοι εἰς τοῦτο τὸ κρῖμα, ἀσεβεῖς, τὴν τοῦ Θεοῦ ἡμῶν χάριν[F] μετατιθέντες εἰς ἀσέλγειαν καὶ τὸν μόνον δεσπότην[G] καὶ Κύριον ἡμῶν ᾿Ιησοῦν Χριστὸν ἀρνούμενοι.

4 because certain men have settled in alongside [you] who have already been prescribed[H] to this judgment, ungodly men who are displac­ing the grace of our God with licentious­ness[I] and who deny[J] our only Master and Lord Jesus Christ.

4 For there are certain men crept in un­awares, who were before of old ordained to this condemna­tion, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lascivious­ness, and deny­ing the only Lord GodTR, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

5 ῾Υπομνῆσαι δὲ ὑμᾶς βούλομαι, εἰδότας ὑμᾶς παντα[K], ὅτι ὁ Κύριος ἅπαξ λαὸν ἐκ γῆς Αἰγύπτου σώσας, τὸ δεύτ­ερον τοὺς μὴ πιστεύσαντας ἀπώλεσεν·

5 Although y’all know all [these] things, I’m want­ing to remind y’all that once having saved a people from the country of Egypt, the Lord subse­quently destroy­ed those who did not believe.

5 I will therefore put you in rem­em­brance, though ye once knew thisTR, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.

6 ἀγγέλους τε τοὺς μὴ τηρήσαν­τας τὴν ἑαυτῶν ἀρχὴν, ἀλλὰ ἀπολιπόντας τὸ ἴδιον οἰκητήριον εἰς κρίσιν μεγ­άλης ἡμέρας δεσ­μοῖς ἀϊδίοις ὑπὸ ζόφον τετήρηκεν·

6 Also He has been keeping in everlasting chains under gloom for the judgment of the Great Day the angels which did not keep their own principality but instead have left their proper home.

6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.

7 ὡς Σόδομα καὶ Γόμορρα καὶ αἱ περὶ αὐτὰς πόλεις τὸν ὅμοιον τού­τοις τρόπον ἐκ­πορνεύσασαι καὶ ἀπελθοῦσαι ὀπίσω σαρκὸς ἑτέρας πρόκεινται δεῖγμα, πυρὸς αἰωνίου δίκην ὑπέχουσαι.

7 In similar man­ner to these, Sod­om and Gomorra and the towns around them, after acting out sexual immoral­ity and degrad­ingly going off into abnormal physical [rela­tions] are laid out[L] as an example when they suf­fered the justice of eternal fire.

7 Even as Sod­om and Gomor­rha, and the cities about them in like manner X, giving them­selves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suf­fering the veng­eance of eternal fire.


[1] Not counting two other men in the book of Acts by that name who seem unlikely to be the same person:
Acts 5:37 “After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census, and drew away many people after him. He also perished, and all who obeyed him were dispersed.” (NKJV)
The name Jude also appears later on in Acts 9:11 describing a man in Syria, who hosted the Apostle who would soon be called Paul for a time after God blinded him on the road to Damascus, but it seems unlikely that an escort tasked with persecuting Christians would headquarter themselves at the residence of Jesus’ brother, and the more likely Jude mentioned later in Acts didn’t move from Jerusalem to Syria until Paul’s second missionary journey.

[2] Some people think she married a widower after Joseph died and that her second husband brought children into the marriage, but that theory has the difficulty that there seemed to be no husband when Jesus relocated his mom and family to Capernaum at the beginning of his ministry years and when Jesus died on the cross at the end of his ministry years, even though He was visited by brothers and sisters in the middle of His ministry years.

[3] Origen and Adam Clark agreed for other reasons, saying that “of James” could mean “brother of” rather than “father of.” Clement of Alexandria and Jerome agreed that this Jude is the son of Alphaeus and Mary, as did M. Vincent, A.T. Robertson, and editors of the NASB and the NET Bible.

[4] He also has a message much in common with Peter’s second epistle. Albert Barnes quotes an author named Hug who gives the following reasons why he thought that 2 Peter quoted from Jude’s epistle: “(1) That there is little probability that Jude, in so brief an epistle as his, consisting of only 25 verses, would have made use of foreign aid. (2) That the style and phraseology of Jude is simple, unlabored, and without ornament; while that of Peter is artificial, and wears the ap­pearance of embellishment and amplification; that the simple language of Jude seems to have been moulded by Peter into a more elegant form, and is embellished with participles, and even with rhetorical flourishes. (3) That there is allusion in both Epistles to a controversy between angels and fallen spirits; but that it is so alluded to by Peter, that it would not be understood without the more full statement of Jude; and that Peter evidently supposed that the letter of Jude was in the hands of those to whom he wrote, and that thus the allusion would be at once understood.” However, as Fausset points out there is the fact that, “Jude 7-8 plainly refers to the very words of 2 Peter 3:3, ‘Remember the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus; how they told you there should be mockers in the last time who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.’ This proves, in opposition to Alford, that Jude’s Epistle is later than Peter’s…”

[5] Adam Clarke argued against Antioch being the destination because, “in this case the epistle would not have been written in Greek, but in Syriac or Chaldee, and would certainly have been received into the old Syriac version [which it was apparently not],” but A.T. Robertson was favorable to the position of a certain Dr. Chase that Syrian Antioch was the destination.

[6] Cf. A.R. Fausset, “Jude addressed his Epistle primarily to the Jewish Christians in and about Mesopotamia…”

[A] The Majority of Greek New Testament Manuscripts as well as the Textus Receptus and Patristic Greek Orthodox editions read ἠγιασ- (“holy”), but all 4 of the pre-6th century manuscripts as well as all the Latin, Coptic, and Syrian translations from ancient times read “loved” (60% of the Greek letters are the same, only two being different). Paul used both “holy and beloved” in Col. 3:12, so both are true.

[B] Cf. 1 Cor. 1:2 “TO: the church of God which exists in Corinth, having been made holy by Christ Jesus, the called saints together with all those who call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord in every place – theirs and ours.” (NAW) and Rev 17:14b “…He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.” (NKJV) “Christ keeps the believer safe until the parousia (cf. 1Th. 5:23; 1Pe. 1:4; Rev. 3:10; other terms meaning "to guard," "to keep" are also found in similar eschatological contexts [cf. 2Th. 3:3; 2Ti. 1:12; 1Pe. 1:5; Jud. 1:24]) ~NET Bible

[C] Cf. 1 Peter 1:2c “…grace and peace fulfilled in y’all”

[D] Although not in the Majority of Greek NT manuscripts or in the T.R. or Patristic editions, it is in all the oldest-known manuscripts including P72, א, B, C (+11 other mss), and it’s in all the oldest versions: Syriac, Coptic, and Vulgate. Here is a case where the variant adds weight to what was already a possible interpretation – in the absence of an explicit pronoun (“our”) the definite article (τῆς) could have been interpreted with possessive pronominal force, so there is no difference in meaning with the variant.

[E] The only other time this word koine appears in the Bible to speak of “common” good is Titus 1:4 “To Titus, a true son in our common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.” (NKJV)

[F] The Patristic edition reads –τα, as does the UBS edition on the basis of three manuscripts (half of the oldest-known manuscripts, one of which is P72 which has three other variants which Nestle-Aland edition rejected in v. 4 alone). It’s nothing more than a spelling variation, however, no difference in meaning or even in parsing.

[G] The Majority of Greek manuscripts (and the Syriac and Textus Receptus) insert the word “God” here, but it’s not in any of the pre-6th Century manuscripts, and there are manuscripts throughout history which don’t have it and it’s not in the Vulgate or Coptic versions.

[H] Progegrammenoi only occurs 3 other places in the NT. Perhaps literally “pre-written” (as in Romans 15:4 “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”; & Ephesians 3:3) Jude elaborates in the next few verses how such men and their judgments have been written about previously in the OT), or perhaps more figuratively “marked forth” as in Gal. 3:1 “Jesus Christ was clearly/publicly portrayed among you as crucified.” Regarding palai: I chose “already” (L&N#67.22) because JFB indicate that the writings were relatively recent from Peter and Paul (“forewritten,” namely, in Peter’s prophecy quoted in Jude 17-1:18; and in Paul’s before that, 1Tim. 4:1 & 2Tim. 3:1).

[I] Romans 6:1-2 “ What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?”

2 Peter 2:1-2 “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in (παρεισάξουσιν) destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.  2  And many will follow their destructive [unbridled] ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.” (NKJV)

[J] Matt. 10:33 “10:33 But whoever shall deny me in front of men, I will also deny him in front of my Father in the heavens.” (NAW)

2 Timothy 2:12 NKJV  If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us.

1 John 2:22-23 “Who is the liar, if not the one who is making the declamation that Jesus is not the Christ? This man is the antichrist--the one who is denying the Father and the Son. All who are denying the Son also don't have the Father.” (NAW)

[K] The majority of Greek manuscripts, followed by the Patristic and Textus Receptus editions substitute τοῦτο (“this”) for (“all”) and move the “once” up next to the “this.” I have followed the critical editions which seem to be supported by all the oldest-known Greek manuscripts as well as by all the ancient versions and by many church fathers. The editors of the UBS 4th edition of their GNT give their own edition a “D” rating on this phrase, however.

[L] This word literally means “to lie stretched out,” so is probably a purposeful use of irony relating the prone position of their immorality to their punishment.