The Letters of 2 Peter and Jude

By Peter H. Davids | Go to book overview

Introduction to Jude

I. INTRODUCTION

Jude is a book that has often been treated with “benign neglect.”1 Rarely the text for a sermon, even in the university or seminary classroom it is often given only brief treatment at the end of a course on the General Epistles, perhaps as part of the last lecture on the final day of the course. Apparently it was more valued in the period right after it was written, for it is the only letter in the NT to be extensively incorporated into another (i.e., into 2 Peter). Indeed, 2 Peter is the earliest evidence for the existence of Jude. Jude was circulated as a separate book in Egypt and Italy by the end of the second century, for both Clement of Alexandria and Origen cite it (both lived in Egypt), and it was included in the Muratorian Canon (which was Italian). However, subsequent to this doubts arose (so Eusebius, Eccl. Hist. 2.23.25; 3.25.3) since Jude cites works such as 1 Enoch that by then were considered noncanonical. Of course, this was the age of the consolidation of authority and of the delimitation of the canon (meaning the list of what was to be read in church as reflecting the rule of faith).2 Thus a work that did not fit the developing patterns was doubted

1. Elliott, I-II Peter/Jude, 161.

2. A “canon” means a rule or a list, in this case the list of which works should be read publicly in church as reflecting the rule of faith (i.e., canon meaning “list” took on the sense of canon meaning “rule” because the term was applied to the rule of faith before it was applied to a list of books). In an oral-mnemonic society most people received their only scriptural knowledge through this public reading. The concern was that works would be read that misled the congregation in the house church and later the larger church. This concern was stimulated by Marcion’s truncated canon (and his truncating of Luke to fit his position), but became even more significant as Gnostic works became

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The Letters of 2 Peter and Jude
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Pillar New Testament Commentary i
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Series Preface viii
  • Author’s Preface x
  • Abbreviations xii
  • Select Bibliography xxi
  • General Introduction 1
  • The Letter of Jude 5
  • Introduction to Jude 7
  • Commentary on Jude 33
  • The Letter of 2 Peter 119
  • Introduction to 2 Peter 121
  • Commentary on 2 Peter 159
  • Index of Modern Authors 319
  • Index of Subjects 322
  • Index of Scripture References 327
  • Index of Extrabiblical Literature 341
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