Author

The epistle identifies the author as “Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James” (1). “Jude” is an English form of “Judas”, the Greek form of “Judah.” The James of Jude 1:1 is most likely the James of Jerusalem, leader of the Jerusalem church, who was also known as “James, the Lord’s brother” (Gal 1:19; 2:9,12; Acts 12:17; 15:13; 21:18; 1Cor 15:7). If this assumption is correct, then Jude, the brother of James, would also be the brother of the Lord (Mt 13:55; Mk 6:3).

Recipient

The identity of the author and knowledge of Jewish background that the letter assumes suggests that the intended recipients were Jewish Christians. The author seems to be writing to a local church or a group of churches which false teachers were attempting to penetrate.

Date

Probably between 60 to 65 A.D.

Purpose/Occasion

From the epistle itself, we can know something about the conditions at that time and the purpose for writing this epistle. Identify and record your observations.
Ungodly men have crept into the fellowship of believers, and they were probably influencing some of the believers. Jude at first intended to write about the gospel of salvation. But sensing the urgency and seriousness of the issue, he decided to exhort the believers to stand firm against the wickedness of the ungodly.

Unique Characteristics

1. Jude borrows from many Old Testament examples of wicked men and the judgment that fell on them to show that the false teachers, whom the Lord had already prophesied about, are likewise marked out for condemnation. He uses strong words and images to depict the vile character of these false teachers and the severity of their punishment.

Central Verse

“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (1:20-21).

Modern Relevance

As the apostle Paul had predicted, many will turn from the truth in the last days. They will be lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God (2Tim 3:4; 4:3,4). The prevalence of pleasure-seeking and moral relativism has corrupted the minds of people today, including many professed Christians. The epistle of Jude is a call to contemporary believers to stand up for the truth and be strong in the faith while we fulfill our mission of bringing the gospel to the world.