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AUTHENTICITY OF THE EPISTLE OF JUDE.
1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of Probably iod, 4779. James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, Syria. VulgarÆra, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:
Titus i. 12. Neither do such allusions establish the credibility
The epistle itself was acknowledged, and generally received, as
The other objection to the authenticity of this epistle arises from the omission of the word apostle. The writer calls himself the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of our Lord; probably from a desire to shew at once that he was a different person from Judas Iscariot. For if he had styled himself an apostle simply, he would not have been distinguished from that traitor: and, as the brother of James he has fully established his claims to the apostleship, and his relationship to our Lord. James (chap. i. 1.) has also used the same manner of expression; so likewise has St. Paul, in his inscription to the Philippians. And the word apostle is omitted by the latter in his Epistle to Philemon, and in his Epistle to the Thessalonians; and St. John, in his epistles, does not use the word apostle, nor make any mention of his own name. Yet no one, on this account, have supposed that these epistles were not genuine.
Commentators differ as to the persons to whom this epistle was addressed. Estius and Witsius suppose that St. Jude wrote to Christians every where, but more especially to the converted Jews. Dr. Hammond, that the epistle was addressed to Jewish Christians, with the design of cautioning them against the errors of the Gnostics. Dr. Benson, that it was written to
2 Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be mul- Probably riod, 4779. tiplied. Syria. Vulgar Era,
Jewish believers, particularly to those of the western dispersion.
It is generally supposed, from the internal evidence of this
There is a striking similarity between this epistle and that of the second chapter of the second Epistle of St. Peter; which Estius and Benson account for by supposing that Jude wrote it after he had seen that of St. Peter, sometimes copying his very words, compare 2 Peter iii. 3. with Jude ver. 17, 18. Macknight is also of this opinion, and remarks upon it, “The Spirit may have directed Jude to write upon the same subject with Peter, and even in the words which Peter used, to give the greater authority to both epistles: and that the condemnation of the false teachers, and the exhortations which the two apostles addressed to the faithful in their time, might have the more weight with them, and with Christians in succeeding ages, when they found these things delivered by both, precisely in the same terms."
Lardner conjectures on the contrary, and perhaps with greater probability. (Canon, vol. iii. p. 353.) "It seems very unlikely that St. Jude should write so similar an epistle if he had not seen Peter's. In that case, St. Jude would not have
Julian Period, 4779. Vulgar Æra,
HOLINESS THE ONLY PROOF OF TRUE FAITH.
§ 2. JUDE 3-11.
The Apostle having heard of the pernicious Doctrines of
3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you
thought it needful for him to write at all. If he had formed a
4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, riod, 4779. were before of old ordained to this condemnation; unVulgar Æra, godly men, turning the grace of God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
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 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them, in like manner giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
8 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.
9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation", but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
31 Archbishop Tillotson (a) supposes that this difficult passage is illustrated by Deut. xxxiv. 6. He conjectures that Michael was employed by God secretly to bury the body of Moses, to defeat the malignant purpose of the devil, who, could he have discovered to the Jews where Moses was interred, would have encouraged them to pay idolatrous honours to his remains, and they might have made him an occasion of idolatry after his death who had been so great an enemy to it in his life-time. Beza and Estius are of the same opinion.
Macknight refers it to the vision of Zech. iii. 1. where the same words are used; he observes, "In Daniel's prophecy, (chap. x. 13—21. and xii. 1.) Michael is spoken of as one of the chief angels who took care of the Israelites as a nation. He may, therefore, have been the angel of the Lord before whom Joshua the high-priest is said to have stood, "Satan being at his right-hand to resist him ;" namely, in his design of restoring the Jewish church and state, (which is typified in this chapter) called by Jude "the body of Moses," just as the Christian Church is called by St. Paul "the body of Christ." Zachariah adds, "and the Lord," that is, the angel of the Lord, as is plain from ver. 1. "said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan! even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem, rebuke thee!" Adam Clarke considers this, as the most likely interprc. tation of the passage; and it will appear, he continues, the more probable, when it is considered that among the Hebrews, the word "body," is often used for a thing itself; so in Rom. vii. 24. owμa тns aμaprias, the body of sin, signifies sin itself; so the body of Moses, may signify Moses himself; or that in which he was particularly concerned, viz. bis institutes, religion, &c. It may be added, that the Jews consider Michael and Samuel, one as the
FALSE TEACHERS DESCRIBED AND CONDEMNED.
10 But these speak evil of those things which they Probably riod, 4779. know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, Syria. Vulgar Era, 66. in those things they corrupt themselves.
11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core ".
The Apostle tells the Christians that these Teachers are a
friend, the other as the enemy, of Israel. Samael is their accuser,
(a) Vol. ii. p. 158.
* Jones, in his figurative language, p. 158, has the following observations on this passage: "The Church that went from Egypt to Canaan, gives us an example of every thing that can happen to the Christian Church, from the beginning of it even to the end of the world. The same evil which happened in the Church of Moses, is found in the Church of Christ. Corah and his company had no dispute about the object or form of divine worship: they questioned none of the doctrines of the law; they rose up against the persons of Moses and Aaron; that is, against the civil and ecclesiastical authority; contending that themselves and the congregation had an equal right; that Moses and Aaron had taken too much upon themselves; and, by exercising an usurped authority, were abusing and making fools of the people. This was their sin, and they maintained it to the last, and perished in it. It was the dispute of popular power against divine authority: and wherever the like pretensions are avowed by Christians, and the same arguments used in support of them, there we see the gainsaying of Corah,”