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Jude: What's to Come
A time to reflect
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been digging into the book of Jude, which I must say has been a delight. There is so much to learn from this little book, tucked away at the back of our Bibles.
We’ve looked at where Jude sits within the canon of Scripture, why it’s important to say that it’s both a Jewish book and a (c)atholic one (drawing from Jude’s heritage and being a book for the—small c—catholic church, or the universal church.)
We then went on to discuss the identity of the writer, why it’s important that we understand who he was, who his brothers were, and the context that gives us for understanding the book as a whole.
Then we discussed the framework upon which the book was built, Mercy, Peace & Love, how each one is expounded upon and considered, and what we ought to look out for as we read the book.
Finally, we looked at the letter which wasn’t written, the one which Jude had wanted to write but was constrained from doing so by the Holy Spirit. We looked at the implications this has for our understanding of the authorship of Scripture, and also for the person of Jude himself.
Those four articles were drawn from the following verses:
“Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James:
To those who are the called, loved, by God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ. May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you. Dear friends, although I was eager to write you about the salvation we share, I found it necessary to write, appealing to you to contend for the faith that was delivered to the saints once for all.”
Christian Standard Bible, (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2020), Jude 1–3
Can I encourage you, before we go on with our studies, to go and read the whole book with these things in mind?
What we’ve looked at so far, at least in large part, has been the context of the book as a whole, which will help us to understand those things which are more difficult, or otherwise more obscure. There’s more contextual ground to cover, which I’ll mention in a second, but for now, why not go and read the whole book of Jude? It will take you 2-4 mins, then come back and see what’s to come.
Next week we’ll continue with Jude 3, and then the following week we’ll deal with Jude 4, talking particularly about the subjects of Faith and of imposters, or false disciples. After that, we’ll be taking 2/3 weeks to discuss something a tad more complicated, which I’ve been studying in-depth to try and make sure I don’t misrepresent. There is a form of Jewish exposition, which we don’t use today, and which we have not always looked upon favourably in the Protestant tradition, which is called Midrash. I’ve explained this a little before, but essentially it uses narrative, or allegory, to expound on a particular scripture or multiple scriptures, often using examples from elsewhere in the bible, or from culture. As it’s not used much today, I’ve got a lot of ground to cover to make sure that I deal with it well. Part of my reasoning behind this is that in two places, Jude uses extra-biblical sources, which doesn’t make sense outside of this expository framework. Many have tried to remove it from that framework, or otherwise dismiss those usages, or even the book as a whole, but there is a far more reasonable answer to be found if we take the time to understand this form, Midrash.
After that, we will continue to go verse by verse through the book, and then onto a Robust Theology of Suffering later in the year.
That’s all for today as I’m currently away with my wife, but I will have something extra for you in the next couple of days, so watch out for that.
If you’re looking for more, can I encourage you to head over to GCD to read my latest article there, O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing, which is on the incredibly important subject of Church Unity.
Grace and Peace,
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