The General of Jude

New Testament Teacher Resource Manual, (2002), 245–46


Author:The author of Jude identified himself as “the servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James” (Jude 1:1). This Jude was most likely the half brother of Jesus (see Matthew 13:55). We have no indication of what office Jude held, but the Epistle itself suggests that he had a position of authority that qualified him to write letters of counsel.

Audience:As with the other General Epistles, little is known about the audience of the book of Jude. Jude merely addressed his writing “to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ” (Jude 1:1).

Unique Features:Although it is one of the shortest books in the New Testament, Jude has information that is not found anywhere else in the Bible. Jude speaks of angels “which kept not their first estate” (v. 6; see also Abraham 3:26), of a confrontation between Michael and Lucifer over the body of Moses (v. 9), and of a prophecy of Enoch about the Savior’s Second Coming (vv. 14–15; see also Moses 7:65–66).

Theme:Jude wrote to urge his readers to be devoted in their defense of the faith in the midst of ongoing apostasy and to warn them against people in the Church who were trying to lead them into forbidden paths (see Jude 1:3–4). Jude 1:4–9is similar in wording to 2 Peter 2, but whereas Peter was prophesying of future apostasy, Jude spoke of the fulfillment of that prophecy (see 2 Peter 2:1; Jude 1:4).