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International Critical Commentary NT International Critical
by S.R. Driver, A.A. Plummer and C.A. Briggs
A CRITICAL AND EXEGETICAL COMMENTARY
T & T. CLARK LIMITED, 59 GEORGE STREET
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I send this laborious volume to the press with a clear sense of its limitations. But on this subject no more need be said; the shortcomings of the work will be at least as evident to others as to myself.
The books that I have used most for the purpose of the commentary are those of Alford, Kühl, and von Soden, that of Dr. Hort for part of the First Epistle of St. Peter, that of Spitta for 2 Peter and Jude 1:0:1Jude 1:1; Jude 1:1 Of Introductions I know at first hand only those of Salmon, B. Weiss, Westcott, Jülicher, and Zahn, the excellent articles of Dr. Chase in Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible, and Harnack’s Chronologie. No one can write of the early Church without feeling how greatly he has been helped in an infinity of directions by the eminent scholar last named.
But the apparatus of a commentator on the New Testament ought to be much wider than it usually is. The Antinomians with whom we meet in 2 Peter and Jude cannot be understood from the New Testament alone. To see what they were we must turn not merely to Corinthians, Thessalonians, or the Apocalypse, but to the lives of Luther and Wesley, to the times of Eckhart, Tauler and Ruysbroek, or to such books as Barclay’s Inner Life of the Religious Societies of the Commonwealth. Every great religious upheaval reproduces the same phenomena. There can be no doubt that they existed also in apostolic times. The Gnostics again, with whom these Antinomians have been confounded, cannot be understood without some acquaintance with the magic and devil-worship which reigned throughout the Greco-Roman world. For this we must go to Plutarch, Apuleius, Lucian, the Neo-Platonists, or the papyri. Deissmann, in his Bibelstudien, gives some specimens of magical formulæ, and the Pistis Sophia will show how the sacred names of the Bible and of the heathen mythology were mixed up together.
At this moment in Hayti there are Gnostics who blend Vaudoux, or snake-worship, with Roman Catholicism, and it is probable that the same kind of “syncretism” is known to missionaries in other quarters. The Gnosticism of the Greeks and Orientals was probably not quite so sinister as that of the Haytian negroes, but it belonged to the same family.
A point which gives the commentator much trouble is the nature of the Greek with which he has to deal. It is Vulgar Greek, but this is a most indefinite term. There is (1) the Greek that was written by men of education, by Epictetus, Plutarch, Dio Chrysostom, Lucian, Clement of Alexandria. In this there are many new words and expressions, and the niceties of Attic grammar are relaxed; at the same time the old classics exercise a strong influence over the writer’s mind. (2) Again there is colloquial Greek, which, as it was spoken in Egypt, we see fresh from the source in the Oxyrhynchus Papyri, published by Grenfell and Hunt. (3) There is, again, the colloquial Greek as written by Jews, whose grammar and phraseology were more or less influenced by the Septuagint and the genius of the Hebrew tongue. (4) Again we have to take into account the force of Christian usage, which coined many new terms of its own. (5) Finally, there are perceptible differences in the linguistic habits of the New Testament writers themselves. Constantly we have to ask whether any inference can be drawn from the presence or absence of the article, what sense is to be attached to a μή or an ἐν, whether such a phrase as κρίσις βλασφημίας is Hebrew or Greek, whether ἐν Χριστῷ is Pauline or liturgical. Much has been done in later years to simplify these questions. The admirable Concordance of Hatch and Redpath is often the best of commentaries. Field has done much good service, and books like Deissmann’s Bibelstudien (of which an English translation has recently been published by Messrs. T. & T. Clark) are of great use. Finally, Dr. Blass has earned the gratitude of all commentators by his Grammar. It is the work of one who with a profound knowledge of classical Greek combines a large and accurate acquaintance with the language of the New Testament, and no book shows so clearly, what we want especially to know, the difference between the two.
Some of my readers may be startled, or even shocked, by the view taken in this volume of the relation between the two great apostles, St. Peter and St. Paul. It has not been adopted hastily, nor is it, I trust, irreverent. But it will not be accepted by anyone who regards the Didache as belonging to the first or even to the second century. My own conviction is that it belongs to the fourth. According as the reader accepts one view or the other, his conception of the early history of the Church will be fundamentally different.
As regards the relation between St. Peter and St. Paul again, there is need of a wider historical sense than is usually brought to bear upon the question. The difference between the two apostles was, as I believe, practically that which divided Hooker from Cartwright. I say practically, as meaning that a strictly Pauline Church would, in the details of worship and discipline, approximate very closely to the ideal of the Puritans. It would be built upon the theory of direct and personal inspiration, not upon that of indirect and corporate inspiration. These two theories produce very different results in the way of organisation, as, in fact, everybody knows. I have called St. Paul a Mystic and St. Peter a Disciplinarian, not because the latter was not truly inspired, but because his inspiration was of a different type, of that type which is on amicable terms with reason, education, and law.
People often tell one that the more Mysticism is explained the more obscure it becomes. It is a natural difficulty, because up to a certain point all Christians are Mystics, as indeed are many who are not Christians at all. I may refer all those who wish for light upon this perplexing question to the excellent Bampton Lectures of my friend Mr. Inge. Or they may consider the difference between Law’s Serious Call and his Spirit of Prayer. Or they may read the Sermons of Tauler, or that most instructive book the Journal of George Fox. Or they may ask themselves that question, on the answer to which everything turns, what they mean by the right of private judgment, on what it rests, and how far it extends.
No man may presume to ask whether St. Peter or St. Paul was the greater saint. Nor can we ask whether the Pauline or the Petrine spirit is the more profitable for our times, for this, too, God alone knows. But, as we read the second chapter of Galatians, we cannot fail to be struck by the remarkable fact that St. Peter made no reply, nor can we well avoid the attempt to see what he might have said for himself, if he had thought it wise to take up the glove. Further, every Christian ought to ask which of these great apostles speaks more directly to his own soul. If it be Paul, let us be sure that we know what Freedom means, where it meets and where it parts from Law. If it be Peter, let us be sure that we know where Discipline begins and where it ends, lest for others, and indeed for ourselves, it become a yoke too heavy to be borne.
Like all brethren of the guild of students, I owe more than I can tell, to more people than I can name. It has been my desire to acknowledge all debts. But the great libraries are not easy of access to a dweller in the country, and often, from lack of intercourse with fellow-labourers, one does not even hear of good books. In this way, not only is much valuable information missed, but it becomes impossible to render the due tribute of respect and appreciation to those who have tilled the same ground beforehand. If there is any scholar who may think that I have been vending his wares without his trade-mark, I trust he will accept this imperfect apology. But I must tender special thanks to the Rev. Dr. Plummer, Master of University College, Durham, who has revised all the proofs with laborious care, and whose learning and judgment have been exceedingly helpful at many points; and to those eminent and most courteous scholars, the Rev. Dr. Sanday and the Rev. Dr. Driver, who have been most kind in answering questions as to which I was very much in the dark.
With these words of explanation and gratitude the book must go forth to face the world. Whatever be its fate, it is a sincere and humble endeavour to promote the interests of scholarship, edification, and peace.
Fenny Compton, June 29, 1901.
PREFACE TO SECOND EDITION
As the Publishers inform me that a new issue of this volume is called for, I trust that it has been found useful.
The modern custom of stereotyping does not allow a writer much freedom in revision. I have corrected a great number of small errors, pointed out to me not by crabbed reviewers, but by accurate and most benevolent readers, whose wounds are the faithful wounds of a friend, and to whom I tender my grateful thanks.
Also, I have added on the pages immediately following a handful of addenda et corrigenda, which could not be inserted in the body of the book.
Christ Church, Oxford,
November 4, 1902.
ADDENDA ET CORRIGENDA
To the Testimonia for First Peter may be added—
Barn. xi. 2, καὶ ἡμεῖς μὲν καταβαίνομεν εἰς τὸ ὕδωρ γέμοντες ἁμαρτιῶν καὶ ῥύπου, cf. 1 Peter 3:21.
Ep. ad Diognetum, xii., κλῆροι συνάγονται, cf. 1 Peter 5:3.
Sarapion of Antioch, in Eus. H. E. v. 19. 2, παρί πάση τῇ ἐν κόσμῳ�1 Peter 5:9.
Page 56, line 3.—Add Julian, Ep. 63, to the other references to the Decree of Jerusalem.
Page 100.—A remark should be added to the note upon τετηρημένην εἰς ὑμᾶς (1:4). With the addition of ἔτι καί, and in connexion with verbs distinctly expressive of survival, εἰς ὑμᾶς might mean “until your time,” cf. Herod. i. 92, ἔτι καὶ ἐς ἐμὲ ἦν περιεόντα, and, for a late instance, Julian, ad S.P.Q.R. Athen. 269 D (ed. Spanheim), σώζεται δὶ ἐξ ἐκείνου καὶ εἰς ὑμᾶς ἔτι τῆς τῶν προγόνων�Acts 25:21; 2 Peter 2:4, 2 Peter 2:9, 2 Peter 2:3:7; Jude 1:6, τηρεῖν εἰς means “to reserve for,” not “to preserve until.”
Page 111, note on νῦν�H. E. vii. 5. 2, οἷς νῦν ἐπεστείλατε, “to whom you wrote the other day.” Dr. Hort insists that the aorist must here keep its proper sense.
Page 124, line 40.—My friend Mr. Plummer of C. C. C. observes that Gospel is not good spell, but news about God; but it is not possible to rearrange the text of the passage where this error occurs.
Page 134, note on τὰς�uirtutes constantly means “miracles.” See Tertullian, Apolog. 21, de praesc. haer. 30, 44; Silvia, Peregr. 20 (ed. Geyer, p. 66), ut et uirtutes faciant multas; Paul. Nol. carm. xix. 291, uirtutes ut eas idem celebraret humatus; Sid. Ap. Ep. vii. 16, sed confessorem uirtutum signa sequuntur.
Page 140, line 2.—Mr. Plummer notes that, in the East, the title βασιλεύς came to be so exclusively confined to the Emperor, that, when the Byzantine historians speak of any other prince, they call him ῥήξ (rex). See the Glossary to Georgius Cedrenus in the Corp. Script. Hist. Byzantinae, Bonn, 1839.
Page 150, line 8.—It should be observed that Clement does not quote the words of Isaiah as they are rendered by the LXX., δώσω τοὺς ἄρχοντάς σου ἐν εἰρήνῃ καὶ τοὺς ἐπισκόπους σου ἐν δικαιοσύνῃ. See Lightfoot’s note upon the passage in Clement, and Swete, Introduction to the O.T. in Greek, p. 469.
Page 165, note on ῥύπος.—St. Peter’s use of the word may be illustrated from Marcus Antoninus, vii. 47,�
Page 165, line 31.—“ἐπερωτᾶν is not used of prayer to God.” Ἐπερωτᾶν τὸν Θεόν, ἐν τῷ Θεῷ, ἐν Κυρίω, διὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ, διὰ τοῦ Κυρίου are common phrases in the LXX., but signify not “to pray to God,” but “to ask God a question,” “to ask Him for an oracle.” See Isaiah 30:2, Isaiah 65:1 (quoted by St. Paul in Romans 10:20); Jeremiah 21:2; Ezekiel 20:1. Ἐπερωτᾶν σοφίαν in Proverbs 17:28 is probably “to consult or question wisdom,” not “to pray for wisdom.” Ἐρωτᾶν is used in the New Testament of prayer by St. John 14:16; John 16:26John 16:26; John 17:9John 17:9; John 17:15John 17:15; John 17:20John 17:20; 1 John 5:16 (see Bishop Westcott’s note on this last passage). But it means strictly not “pray,” but “ask.”
Page 168, line 23.—The verb οἰνοφλυγεῖν is found in Deuteronomy 21:20, not the noun οἰνοφλυγία.
Page 184, line 30.—For “high-priest’s family” read “highpriestly families.” There seem to have been about four families from which the high-priest was selected.
Page 189, line 1.—The reader’s attention should here have been drawn to the just remark of Professor Ramsay (C. R. E., p. 367), that corporate or collegiate responsibility did not exist in the ancient polity. “Each individual possessed the full powers of the whole body. The act of one was authoritative as the act of all; each could thwart the power of his colleagues; no idea of acting by vote of the majority existed.” Dr. Hatch’s view introduces a strictly modern conception into a quite alien state of things.
To the Testimonia for Second Peter may perhaps be added—
Dionysius of Alexandria, in Eus. H. E. vii. 7. 2, συμφύρεσθαι τῷ τῆς πονηρίας αὐτῶν βορβόρῳ.
Novatian, De Regula Fidei, 8, siue quoniam ad igneum diem iudicii mundus iste festinat, where Jackson discerns an allusion to 2Pe_3.
Page 264, line 32.—Μνήμην ποιεῖσθαι, “to remember,” is commonly used in the sense of “to mention,” see for instance Herod. i. 15, Ἄρδυος δὲ τοῦ Γύγεω μετὰ Γύγην βασιλεύσαντος μνήμην ποιήσομαι. With the addition of the article it means “to call to remembrance,” see Thuc. ii. 54, πρὸς ἃ ἔπασχον τὴν μνήμην ἐποιοῦντο, “they called (the oracular verse) to their remembrance in the shape that agreed with their sufferings”; they maintained that λοιμός was the right reading. Μνήμη is not found elsewhere in the New Testament. Apparently it had been almost pushed out of colloquial use by μνεία, see Bekker’s Anecdota, 107. 25. Thus we find πάντες σου διαπαντὸς μνείαν ποιούμενοι, in a papyrus of 172 b.c. (Deissmann, Bibelstudien, p. 210); cf. Philemon 1:4; 1 Thessalonians 1:2; Romans 1:9; Ephesians 1:16. In all these passages it would be difficult to say whether the precise meaning is “mention by name,” or “call to remembrance.” The phrase “to remember in prayer” includes both senses. It may be noticed that P and some cursives have μνείαν here.
Page 277, note on τεφρώσας.—In the fourth century Silvia was shown the ruins of the Five Cities. See Peregr. 12 (ed. Geyer, P. 54), quae tamen Segor sola de illis quinque in hodie constat. Nam et memoriale ibi est, de ceteris autem illis ciuitatibus nichil aliud apparet nisi subuersio ruinarum, quemadmodum in cinerem conuersae sunt.
Page 283, line 15.—For�v; thus we find ἐπάην, παήσομαι,�Mark 14:41), ὧδε�C. I. G. 6595), and�tasted, but it is just possible that�collyrium (Epict. ii. 21. 20, iii. 21. 21), or with clay (John 19:6). I cannot find that καταπάσσω is employed in this medical sense, but in Tobit 11:11 we read, καὶ προσέπασε τὴν χολὴν ἐπὶ τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτοῦ. In this way�
Page 310.—Add to the list of ἅπαξ λεγόμενα, in Jude, ἐκπορνεύειν1 and ὑπέχειν1.
Page 336.—The word μεμψίμοιρος occurs in Epictetus, iii. 2. 14. Other references are given in Liddell and Scott.
Page 344, note on μόνῳ Θεῷ.—It should be observed that, in using the phrase, “the only God,” of the Father, Jude is in agreement with St. John (17:3), St. Paul (Ephesians 4:6), all the early Fathers (Hermas, Mand. 1; Irenaeus (Stieren), i. 9. 2, 3, i. 10. 1, and passim; Tertullian, ad. Prax. 2, de praescr. haer. 36, de uirg. uel. 1; Novatian, de Reg. Fidei, 9; Justin, Dial. 126; Clem. Alex. Protrep. x. 103; Cyprian, quod idola dii non sint, 8-11; Origen, in Joann. i. 22 and passim), and the Nicene Creed itself, which, in accordance with earlier creeds and theology, begins with the words πιστεύομεν εἰς ἕνα Θεὸν πατέρα παντοκράτορα. The Father was held to be the one ultimate author of all that exists in heaven or on earth. This view was not thought to be inconsistent with belief in the true divinity of the Son, though it led to the use of guarded expressions (Ignatius, ὁ Θεὸς ἡμῶν Cyprian, Deus noster; Justin, Θεός, not ὁ Θεός).
INTRODUCTION TO THE EPISTLE OF ST. JUDE
§ 1. TESTIMONIA VETERUM
De uir. ill. iv., “Judas frater Jacobi paruam quae de septem catholicis est epistolam reliquit. Et quia de libro Enoch, qui apocryphas est, in ea assumit testimonia a plerisque reiicitur: tamen auctoritatem uetustate iam et usu meruit et inter sanctas computatur.”
H. E. ii. 23. 25, Ἱστέον δὲ ὅτι νοθεύεται μέν (he is speaking of the Epistle of James), οὐ πολλοὶ γοῦν τῶν παλαιῶν αὐτῆς ἐμνημόνευσαν, ὡς οὐδὲ τῆς λεγομένης Ἰούδα, μιᾶς καὶ αὐτῆς οὔσης τῶν ἑπτὰ λεγομένων καθολικῶν, ὅμως δʼ ἴσμεν καὶ μετὰ ταύτας τῶν λοιπῶν ἐν πλείσταις δεδημοσιευμένας ἐκκλησίαις.
Here Eusebius gives it as his own opinion that Jude was νόθος, on the ground that few of the ancients mentioned it, that is to say, quoted it by name. But he admits that some of the ancients had done so, and that it was regarded as genuine by very many Churches.
H. E. iii. 25. 3. Here Eusebius ranks Jude in the number of τῶν�
H. E. vi. 13. 6, 14. 1 Clement quoted Jude and commented upon it in the Hypotyposes.
Didymus of Alexandria
Died, 394 or 399.
Comments on Jude, and defends it against those who questioned the authority of the Epistle on the ground of the use therein made of apocryphal books. Migne, xxxix.1811-1818; Zahn, Forschungen, iii. 97.
Synod of Antioch
264, or perhaps the second synod held a few years later.
Eus. H. E. vii. 30. 4. The bishops speak of Paul of Samosata as τοῦ καὶ τὸν Θεὸν τὸν ἑαυτοῦ�Jude 1:4 where K L P have τὸν μόνον δεσπότην Θεὸν καὶ Κύριον ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν�
In Matth. tom. xvii. 30 (Lomm. iv. 149), after the words εἰ δὶ καὶ τὴν Ἰούδα πρόσοιτό τις ἐπιστολήν, proceeds to quote Jude 1:6.
Ibid. x. 17 (Lomm. iii. 46), καὶ Ἰούδας ἔγραψεν ἐπιστολήν, ὀλιγόστιχον μέν, πεπληρωμένην δὲ τῶν τῆς οὐρανίου χάριτος ἐρρωμένων λόγων, ὅστις ἑν τῷ προοιμίῳ εἴρηκεν· Ἰούδας Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ δοῦλος,�
Again in Matth. tom. xv. 27 (Lomm. iii. 386); in Joan. tom. viii. 37 (Lomm. ii. 70), he quotes Jude 1:6 without naming the Epistle.
In the Latin version of Origen, Jude 1:6 is quoted in ad Rom. iii.6 (Lomm. vi. 192), v. 1 (Lomm. vi. 338, “quod apostolus Iudas in sua epistola dicit”); in Ezech. Hom. iv. 1 (Lomm. xiv. 58), and Jude 1:8 and 9 in Epist. ad Alex. (Lomm. xvii. 7, 8); de princ. iii. 2. 1 (Lomm. xxi. 303, “de quo in adscensione Mosis, cuius libelli meminit in epistola sua apostolus Judas”).
Origen treats Jude much as he treats 2 Peter. He acknowledges that there were doubts, but does not appear to have felt them himself. He was attracted to the Epistle by that very feature which repelled others, its angelology. The title apostle is given to Jude only in the Latin version of Origen.
Clement of Alexandria
Commented on Jude in his Hypotyposes. The substance of his commentary is still extant in the Latin Adumbrationes, which may be found in the edition of Dindorf or in Zahn’s Forschungen. Dr. Westcott with justice regards the latter part of this Adumbration, from immaculatos autem, as an interpolation due to Cassiodorus, and in the former part the words “sic etiam peccato Adae subiacemus secundum peccati similitudinem” can hardly be genuine, but the rest is not open to suspicion.
In Paed. iii. 8. 44, Clement quotes Jude 1:5, Jude 1:6 by name: in the next section, 45, Jude 1:11 is quoted, not by name.
In Strom. iii. 2. 11 he quotes by name Jude 1:8-16, giving, as he often does, the first and last words of the section.
De cultu fem. i. 3, “Enoch apud Judam apostolum testimonium possidet.” “His words seem to imply that the Epistle was known to his readers, and therefore current in a Latin translation.” “It should be added that it has no place among the books contained in the Latin antiqua translatio referred to by Cassiodorus, de inst. diu. litt. xiv.” (Dr. Chase, article on Jude in Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible). The Epistle is omitted in the Canon Mommsenianus, an African catalogue of about 350 a.d.; see Introduction to 1 Peter above, p. 14, but is included in the list of canonical Scriptures set forth by the third Council of Carthage in 397; see Westcott, Canon, p. 542.
Accepts Jude, but mentions it in a manner which implies that it was doubted by some; see Introduction to 1 Peter above, p. 14.
Theophilus of Antioch
ii. 15 ad fin., οἱ δʼ αὖ μεταβαίνοντες καὶ φεύγοντες τόπον ἐκ τόπου, οἱ καὶ πλάνητες καλούμενοι, καὶ αὐτοὶ τύπος τυγχάνουσιν τῶν�Enoch) are the planets a type of fallen man.
About 177 a.d.
Suppl. xxiv. (Otto, pp. 129, 130). The good angels ἔμειναν ἐφʼ οἷς αὐτοὺς ἐποίησεν καὶ διέταξεν ὁ Θεός, but others τῶν περὶ τὸ πρῶτον στερέωμα (these are the planets whose place is the first heaven below the�
Phil. address. Ἔλεος ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη πληθυνθείη, cf. Jude 1:2.
Phil. iii. 2, οἰκοδομεῖσθαι εἰς τὴν δοθεῖσαν ὑμῖν πίστιν, cf. Jude 1:3, Jude 1:20; only here do we find the figure of building on or into the faith.
Phil. x., “mansuetudinem Domini alterutri praestolantes.” The Greek text may have been τὸ ἔλεος τοῦ Κυρίου�praestolantes, cf. Jude 1:21; see, however, the notes of Lightfoot and Zahn.
Phil. ix. 4, “sed sicut passibilia membra et errantia eos reuocate, ut omnium uestrum corpus saluetis. Hoc enim agentes uos ipsos aedificatis.” The same two thoughts are found in juxtaposition in Jude 1:20, Jude 1:23.
xxi., in doxology, δόξα, τιμή, μεγαλωσύνη, cf. Jude 1:25.
Second Epistle of Clement
xvi. 2, μεταληψόμεθα τοῦ ἐλέους Ἰησοῦ, cf. Jude 1:21.
Sim. v. 7. 2, μιαίνειν τὴν σάρκα, cf. Jude 1:8.
Clement of Rome
xx. 12, ᾧ ἡ δόξα καὶ ἡ μεγαλωσύνη.
lxv. 2, δόξα, τιμή, κράτος, μεγαλωσύνη.
Both these phrases occur in doxologies and may be liturgical. Sir. 18:5 has κράτος μεγαλωσύνης αὐτοῦ τίς ἐξαριθμήσεται, but it is still possible that the form is suggested by Jude 1:25.
ii. 10,�Jude 1:3, Jude 1:4. Παρείσδυσις does not occur in the Greek Bible; παρεισδύνω is found only in Jude. It is just possible that Barnabas was thinking of Jude.
There can be little doubt that Athenagoras knew Jude, and the references to Polycarp will bear some weight. Above that time it must be allowed that the evidence is scanty and shadowy. There is less to produce than in the case of 2 Peter, but Jude is less interesting and much shorter. The testimony of Athenagoras is sufficient to carry back the date of Jude as high as the early years of the second century; if we accept the witness of Polycarp we must proceed still further, and there is nothing to prevent us from ascribing the Epistle even to the first century.
The most serious points in the case against Jude are the omission of the Epistle by the editors of the Peshito, and the fact that its authenticity was doubted in the time of Origen. It is possible that the omission and the doubt are connected, and that both may be accounted for by the same reason, namely, the use made in the Epistle of apocryphal writings. Certainly this was one reason for its rejection, as we learn from Jerome and Didymus, and it may very well have been the only one. We may consider this point in some little detail.
It has been maintained by Hofmann, Weisse, Volkmar, and others that Enoch did not exist, at any rate in its complete form, before the beginning of the second century a.d., and this contention has formed one of the main grounds for ascribing a still later date to the Epistle of Jude. Mr. Charles, however, in his admirable edition, explains and justifies the conclusion that of the six elements which may be distinguished in Enoch, not one is later than the Christian era.
Enoch was used by the author of the Assumption of Moses, writing about the time of the Christian era, in the Book of Jubilees (before 70 a.d.), in the Apocalypse of Baruch (not long after 70 a.d.), in 4 Ezra (between 81 and 96 a.d.), and in the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs. It was known also to many of the writers of the New Testament. Mr. Charles gives a list of passages which attest this fact. They abound in the Apocalypse, but they are to be discovered also in the Pauline Epistles, 1 and 2 Peter, Hebrews, Acts, and even the Gospels.
Barnabas cites Enoch three times, twice as scripture; and the book was used also by Justin Martyr, Athenagoras, Tertullian, and Clement. Irenaeus also knew Enoch, but it is to be noticed that on the crucial point he refuses to follow its teaching. The reason why the angels sinned, he tells us, must be left to God (ii. 28. 7). They sinned before they fell to earth (iv. 16. 2); hence lust was the consequence and punishment, not the cause of their fall. Origen doubted the inspiration of the book, but does not absolutely reject it; he was attracted towards it by its promise of mysteries, but he believed that the angels fell through pride. Somewhat later Anatolius of Laodicea (bishop in 269; Eus. H. E. vii. 32. 19) refers to Enoch for an astronomical point. From this time the book fell into disrepute. Chrysostom treated the 0account therein given of the fall of the angels as blasphemy (Hom. in Gen. vi. 1). Jerome called Enoch apocryphal. Augustine pronounced strongly against it on the ground of its angelology (de Ciu. dei, xv. 23. 4), and Photius blames Clement of Alexandria in very severe terms for adopting its account of the angelic sin (Cod. cix.).
In short, at the time when Barnabas wrote, Enoch was held to be an inspired book; it retained this reputation more or less throughout the second century, and from that date onwards was more or less emphatically condemned. And the ground of condemnation was its attribution of carnal lust to heavenly beings.
More than one inference may be drawn from these facts. It is certain that the authors of 2 Peter and of Jude would hold much the same opinion of Enoch; both would regard the book with high respect. Hence it is impossible to fix the relative dates of the two Epistles by that Apokryphenscheu, or comparative reserve in the use of Apocrypha, which some German scholars detect in 2 Peter Indeed, if it could be admitted that the later of the two was likely to be more discreet in his use of Enoch, the fact would tell in favour of the priority of 2 Peter, who may be thought to adopt the objectionable interpretation of Gen. 6., while Jude rather avoids it (see notes on the respective passages).
Again, the offence of Jude was not so much that he made use of Enoch, as that he actually quoted the book by name. Some, like Tertullian, would regard this fact as canonising Enoch; others, again, would regard it as condemning Jude. There must have been many men of authority even in the second century who took the latter view. For the Enochian account of the fall of the angels was not only repulsive to devout minds, but lent itself with great facility to more than one of the Gnostic systems.
Here we may find a very probable reason for the rejection of Jude by the editors of the Peshito. It is precisely in Syria, where the extravagances of Jewish angelology were most familiar, that we should expect to find the strongest reaction against them. (On the subject of Enoch see especially Mr. Charles’ edition, and Schürer, History of the Jewish People in the Time of Christ, Eng. trans., references in Index).
Jude’s use of the Assumption of Moses also gave great offence, as we see from Didymus, not because of the source of what he says about the archangel, but because of its nature.
Finally, it may be said that the use of Jewish apocalypses forms a bond of relationship between 1 and 2 Peter and Jude. All three employ them in much the same way, a way that is different from that in which they are employed in other books of the New Testament, in order to give concrete details of our Lord’s ministrations in the world of spirits, or of the history of the angels. If we compare their utterances with what we know from other sources of Jewish speculations on topics of this nature, we shall see that all three exercise great reserve. Jude goes slightly further than the other two, but there is no considerable difference. This feature may be taken as an indication that all three documents belong to nearly the same date, that the authors of all three were Jews who still bore legible traits of their Jewish education, yet at the same time exhibited that delicacy of spiritual perception which distinguishes the Church from the sectarians.
§ 2. VOCABULARY AND STYLE
The words peculiar to Jude are�1, δεῖγμα, ἐξελέγχειν (v.l. in ver. 15)1, ἐπαγωνίζεσθαι, ἐπαφρίζειν, μεμψίμοιρος, παρεισδύειν, πλανήτης, σπιλάς, φθινοπωρινός, φυσικῶς.
The words marked (1) are found in one or other of the Greek versions of the Old Testament. Ἄπταιστος occurs only once in the LXX., 3 Macc. 6:39. Γογγυστής, in Sym. Proverbs 26:22; Isaiah 29:24; Theod. Proverbs 26:20, but not in the LXX., though γογγύζειν, γογγυσμός, γόγγυσις are there found. Πλανήτης is found Hosea 9:17 in the sense of “wanderers,” but is not used in the Greek Bible of “wandering stars.”
The use of the Old Testament in Jude is very similar to that in 2 Peter. Biblical words are used, and the facts of the ancient history are known, but there is no direct quotation. Dr. Chase goes too far when he says that the writer is steeped in the language of the LXX. Of the phrases which he cites, ἐμπαίκτης is borrowed from 2 Peter, θαυμάζειν πρόσωπα and λαλεῖν ὑπμέρογκα are probably taken from the Assumption of Moses, and ἐνυπνιάζεσθαι is used without the accusative ἐνύπνιον.
Many of Jude’s phrases have a poetic ring about them, ἐπαφπίζειν, σπιλάς, φθινοπωρινός, κύματα ἄγρια, προκεῖσθαι δεῖγμα, δίκην ὑπέχειν. In this also he bears resemblance to 2 Peter.
He is, however, more correct. Thus he has σπουδὴν ποιεῖσθαι, ver. 3, for the vulgar σπουδὴν παρεισφέρειν, 2 Peter 1:5. The introductory vers. 3, 4 are well written; this is true also of vers. 11 and 13, and of the concluding passage vers. 20-25, which is finely expressed. He corrects and simplifies 2 Peter in vers. 10 and 17, drops his awkward Hebraisms in vers. 10 and 18, and does not needlessly repeat words; the only striking instances of repetition are those of κατὰ τὰς ἐπιθυμίας αὐτῶν πορευόμενοι, vers. 16, 18, and of�
The ἐρρωμένοι λόγοι which Origen admired are to be looked for mainly in the denunciatory passage, where the style is affected by the model of 2 Peter. But Jude’s own writing is strong, dignified, and sonorous.
The style and tone of the Epistle set before us a stern and unbending nature. There is no pathos in Jude, and he inclines always to a harsh view. See Introduction to 2 Peter, p. 221 sq. There is severity approaching to rigour in vers. 3, 22, 23. In this point 2 Peter bears a close resemblance to 1 Peter, but is very different from Jude.
Lastly, attention must again be drawn to the use of Pauline phraseology. In Jude’s vocabulary ἅγιος means “a Christian,” and, whether accidentally or not, the word does not carry this significance in either 1 or 2 Peter. Κλητός belongs to the same family, and the phrase used in ver. 19, ψυχικοί, πνεῦμα μὴ ἔχοντες, is strongly Pauline. Peter could hardly have used πνεῦμα ἔχειν in this sense, of men who are guided by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and ψυχικός, carnal, is wholly incompatible with the Petrine use of ψυχή. Jude does not employ the other crucial words δίκαιος or δικαιοσύνη, and we are therefore unable to say what signification he attached to them. But if δὶς�H. E. iv. 22. 5) and of Irenaeus (i. 25, ii. 31-34). Carpocrates is said to have insisted on the unity of God, but to have taught that the world was made by evil angels. According to this statement of Irenaeus he was therefore a dualist, like all the Gnostics. It is possible, however, that Irenaeus did not rightly apprehend the precise form of his teaching on this point. At any rate the doctrine of his son, Epiphanes, was quite different. Epiphanes based his moral system on the state of nature, which is divine, yet neither chaste nor honest. “God,” he said, “made the vines in common for all men; they reject neither the sparrow nor the thief.” The same rule applies to difference of sex. In all things the divine justice is κοινωνία μετʼ ἰσότητος. Human law violates this natural equality of right, makes the thief, and makes the adulterer. Nature is divine, but law is devilish. In the fragments from the work of Epiphanes on Justice, preserved by Clement of Alexandria (Strom. iii. 2), we are not told expressly who was supposed to be the author of law, but it was probably the adversary, the Devil. Our Lord taught us that we are to “free ourselves from the adversary” (Luke 12:58). This is to be done by breaking all his rules, and completing the cycle of experience which he forbids. Those who have not attained in this way to perfect emancipation must return again to life in other bodies till they have found freedom (Iren. i. 25. 4).
It is not difficult to reconcile Epiphanes and Carpocrates, and it may probably be true that the Carpocratian dualism opposed not God and Nature, but Nature and Law. But Irenaeus tells us that according to Carpocrates the world itself was created by evil beings; and, though this may be a misconception, it is the view current among the Christian writers against Gnosticism, and would be that of Jude himself, if he lived at the time when this heresy was at work.
Some of the Gnostics did not desire to separate wholly from the Church, but this can hardly have been the case with the Carpocratians.
Whatever view we take of this extravagant sect, it is impossible to suppose that Jude had actually seen or heard of them. Carpocratianism was built on Stoicism (ζῆν κατὰ φύσιν) and on the Republic of Plato, but Jude says not one word about philosophy. The sect practised magic to show that they were masters over the evil spirits, believed in the transmigration of souls, possessed pictures or statues of Christ and the philosophers, which they crowned, or, in other words, worshipped, with equal honour. Some of them marked themselves with a brand on the right ear. They have nothing whatever in common with the men denounced by Jude except Antinomianism, and to find this error at work we have no need to look beyond the apostolic times.
Jülicher, however, is still unwilling to admit this. The opponents denounced by Jude, he says (Einleitung, i. 180), “are not simply vicious and characterless Christians, who had perhaps fallen away in the persecution (Jude 1:4, Jude 1:16), or even Jewish revolutionaries, but Antinomian Gnostics.” They are Gnostics because they call the catholics “psychic” (ver. 19), regard the God of the Old Testament and His angels either as evil or as far inferior to the true God (vers. 8, 10), treat the violation of the Decalogue as a duty, and even practise unnatural vices vers. 8, 23). Hence we must regard them as Carpocratians, or as Archontics, or as “a school of Gnostics which afterwards disappeared.”
Every word of this reasoning is disputable in the highest degree. But there is a sense in which we may accept the last of Jülicher’s alternative conclusions. These people may be called Gnostics, at the cost of a slight anachronism, in so far as they set reason (or the inner light) against Scripture, and “they afterwards disappeared” in this sense, that these early Antinomian movements, which had in themselves no principle except a gross misconception of Pauline freedom, were finally lost in the developed Gnosticism of the second century.
Jülicher maintains, further, that the author of Jude is shown to be a man of late date by his stiff orthodoxy (vers. 3, 20), by his allusion to the time of the apostles as quite past (ver. 17), by his quotation of a Christian saying as written long ago (ver. 4), by his use of apocrypha, which is not in the apostolic manner. The general conclusion at which he arrives is that Jude must have been written before 180 (on the ground of the external attestation), that we cannot fix the exact date between 100 and 180, but that it must have been rather early than late between these two limits, because that author evidently regards this outbreak of Gnostic godlessness as a new thing.
Here again every point is highly disputable. Jude’s use of apocrypha is certainly not later than that of Barnabas, and one of the reasons for which Harnack and others place 2 Peter after Jude is that the latter employs apocrypha more courageously, that is to say, more in the primitive manner, than the former. Again, ver. 17 need not be understood to imply that the apostolic age was quite past. Jude tells us that he himself was not an apostle; and this counts in his favour, for Tertullian gives him the title, and a second century forger would probably have done the same. The writer of this Epistle knew that the brother of James was not one of the Twelve. For the rest he bids his disciples “remember the words spoken before by the apostles” (ver. 17). In 2 Peter the apostles appear as still active. From the words of Jude we may infer one of two things, either that they (or some of them) were dead, or that they were dispersed in such a way that their voice could not at the time be heard by those to whom the Epistle was directed. The latter supposition, as Dr. Chase thinks, will quite satisfy the requirements of the expression. Indeed it is hard to believe that a writer, who claimed to be the brother of James, yet was clever enough not to pretend to be an apostle, would betray himself by any very gross anachronism. Again, there is no reason for thinking that the words αἱ πάλαι προγεγραμμένοι, in ver. 4, refer to a Christian document; if there were, there would be strong grounds for holding, with Spitta and Zahn, that 2 Peter is the document in question. This Jülicher would not allow, and his Christian document is a mere fiction of the imagination. As to Jude’s orthodoxy, the same objective conception of “the faith” is found elsewhere in the New Testament, even in the Pauline Epistles (Galatians 1:23, Galatians 1:6:10; Romans 10:8); and, though Jude’s language is stern, his belief in the exclusiveness of the Christian creed is readily illustrated (Acts 4:12; John 3:18; Matthew 3:12; Revelation 21:8; Romans 10:9; 1 Corinthians 16:22; Ephesians 2:3; Hebrews 10:29).
Dr. Zahn (Einleitung, ii. 83) infers from ver. 5 that Jerusalem had been destroyed at the time when Jude wrote; but this meaning can hardly be extracted from the passage. There is no allusion to persecution; at the time when the Epistle was written it is probable that none had occurred. Very little can be gathered as to the organisation of the Church. The writer clearly regards himself as responsible for the oversight of a group of communities; and as in 2 Peter, the δόξαι are probably the presbyters who have κυριότης: the same officials seem to be alluded to in the phrase ποιμαίνοντες ἑαυτούς. This is the same state of things that we find in the Petrine Epistles, and it may be said with great confidence that, if Jude had been writing in the midst of the Gnostic controversy, he would certainly have said more about the position of the clergy. The adversaries whom he denounces are the same who appear in 2 Peter, and enough has been said about them in the Introduction to that Epistle.
Some help towards fixing the date would be gained, if we could settle the precise relationship of Jude to our Lord. Clement of Alexandria, following the very ancient tradition embodied in the Protevangelium of James, regarded him as the son of Joseph by a previous marriage (Adumb. in Ep. Judae ad initium). If we accept this view Jude was older than Christ, though possibly not by many years, as he is named last or last but one of the brethren. And this view is commended not only by the peculiar form of Jude’s address,—he seems to shrink from calling himself the Lord’s brother,—but by the fact that the brethren on more than one occasion appear to have claimed a certain right to interfere with our Lord’s freedom of action (Matthew 12:46; John 7:3; indeed all the passages where the Lord’s brethren are mentioned in the Gospels are most readily understood in the same way). But if this is so, and if Jude was born some six or seven years at least before the Christian era, we could not safely date the Epistle after 65 a.d. or thereabouts. Those who, while accepting the Epistle as authentic, would yet place it about 80 or 90 a.d., must face this as well as other difficulties.
Dismissing the theory that the Epistle is the work of a forger, we find the posterior limit of time in the probable duration of Jude’s active powers. The anterior limit is given by 2 Peter. But there still remains a question as to the interval of time that may be supposed to have elapsed between the two Epistles.
It is not at all likely that this interval was considerable. In the first place, the circumstances which called forth the two Epistles are in all substantial features identical. But Antinomianism, or anarchism, is perpetually changing its shape. Even in its embryonic stage it is never the same for two moments together. We need only turn to the life of Luther, and read again the well-known history of his dealings with Carlstadt and Münzer for an illustration. Before very long this void and formless anarchy takes shape, enunciates definite propositions, forms a school or conventicle. But neither St. Peter nor St. Jude mentions any distinct persons, or facts, or doctrines. They do not give so many details about the errors which they denounce as Colossians, or the Pastoral Epistles, or the Apocalypse. It is quite certain that they would have done so, if it had been in their power. If they are vague, it is for the obvious reason that they are obliged to be vague. They deal with this new heresy just as 1 Peter deals with persecution. There is as yet nothing very definite to lay hold of; the peril is inchoate, and their warning is like an alarm in the night; it is only known that there is an enemy. In five or ten years’ time this state of things must have undergone a material change. Again, it is exceedingly difficult to believe that these moral disorders endured after the outbreak of the Neronian persecution:
“Hi motus animorum atque haec certamina tanta
Sanguinis exigui iactu compressa quiescunt”
Nor, again, is it easy to understand how St. Jude came to make so free and yet unacknowledged a use of 2 Peter after a lapse of time. Can we think that the previous Epistle had been forgotten, that by some miracle precisely the same state of things had recurred, that Jude happened to possess a copy of 2 Peter, and adapted it to his purpose without saying what he had done? This is not a plausible hypothesis.
The same difficulty recurs whichever Epistle we put first, and it is greatly aggravated if we regard both as forgeries. Between such forgeries we could hardly allow a smaller interval than thirty years. But if we are to date Jude about 125-130 and 2 Peter about 155-160, how did the latter succeed in imposing upon the learned Clement?
By far the easiest and most probable explanation of the facts is that which has already been propounded, that the errors denounced in both Epistles took their origin from Corinth, that the disorder was spreading, that St. Peter took alarm and wrote his Second Epistle, sending a copy to St. Jude with a warning of the urgency of the danger, and that St. Jude at once issued a similar letter to the Churches in which he was personally interested. In fact, both Epistles may be samples of a circular that was addressed to many groups of Churches at the same time. In this way we get a perfectly natural explanation of Jude 1:3, a most significant verse. The writer had evidently received a sudden alarm, which had obliged him to write one thing when he was purposing to write quite another. The�
Thus also we find an intelligible explanation of the resemblance and of the difference between the two Epistles. In the second century a number of bishops sent round a circular against Montanism (Eus. H.E. v. 19), signed with their names. So the apostles in the early years of the Church sent round a circular in the matter of the circumcision dispute. Why should not the Corinthian disorders have called forth a similar manifesto? There may have been an apostolic meeting on the subject, or, if for any reason a meeting was not possible, a model epistle might be circulated, which each apostle or apostolic man would be at liberty to modify, within reasonable limits, according to his personal inclination. This is certainly what would be done now, and common sense would dictate a very similar course at all times.
Thus we may conclude that Jude is practically contemporaneous with 2 Peter. Nor can the difference of tense between the παρεισέδυσαν of the one and the ἔσονται ψευδδιδάσκαλοι of the other be taken as a serious objection to this view. It is the nature of Jude to put things more forcibly. But the two Epistles were addressed to different Churches, and the danger which was imminent in one place may have been present in another.
§ 4. AUTHORSHIP OF THE EPISTLE. WHERE, AND TO WHOM WAS IT WRITTEN?
In the Address the author styles himself “Jude, the slave of Jesus Christ, but brother of James” “Slave of Jesus Christ” means “faithful Christian” or “labourer in the Lord’s vineyard” (see note); the second qualification marks him out as brother of that James who appears in Acts 15:21. as president of the Church at Jerusalem, who is called “the Lord’s brother” by St. Paul, Galatians 1:19, and is commonly regarded as the author of the Epistle of James.
We may identify him with that Jude or Judas of whom we read in the Gospels as one of the Lord’s Brethren. The list, as given by Matthew 13:55, is James, and Joseph (v.l. Joses), and Simon, and Judas; as given by Mark 6:3, James, and Joses, and Judas, and Simon. Both evangelists tell us that there were also sisters, and place Judas last, or last but one; and as the order which they follow is not an order of honour, for Joseph or Joses is unknown, we may probably infer that Jude was third or fourth of the sons in respect of age. What was the position of the daughters in the family sequence we cannot ascertain.
Jude is first expressly called “brother of the Lord” by Hegesippus, and it is probable that neither he nor James used this title themselves. But it was freely given to them by the Church, as we see from 1 Corinthians 9:5. From this passage we gather also two important facts, that the brethren were well known in Corinth, a Gentile city, and that more than one of them were married. Hegesippus tells us that two grandsons of Jude were brought before Domitian, the authorities having taken alarm at their claim of descent from David, and of relationship to Christ; but that when they had showed their horny hands, described the little farm which they held in common, and explained that the kingdom which they looked for was not of this world, they were scornfully dismissed (Eus. H.E. iii. 20). Hegesippus further related that both these descendants of Jude lived on into the reign of Trajan, and seems clearly to imply that they were old men when they died (Eus. H.E. iii. 32. 5). Beyond this we have no knowledge of Jude, except what we can gather from the Epistle itself.
It is perhaps possible to draw an important inference from this narrative. If these grandsons of Jude were middle-aged men in the time of Domitian, and old men in the time of Trajan, when was Jude himself born? Suppose that the grandson died in 105 a.d., about the middle of Trajan’s reign, at the age of 70. He would have been born in 35 a.d.; his father could hardly have been born after 13 a.d., or his grandfather after 9 b.c. On the other hand, if we suppose Jude to have been one of the younger children of Joseph and Mary, he can hardly have been born before 1 a.d.; his son hardly before 24 a.d., or his grandson before 47 a.d. In this case the elder grandson would only have been 70 in the year of Trajan’s death, and there would have been nothing surprising, if he or his younger brother had lived on well into the reign of Hadrian. If, then, we may regard the narrative of Hegesippus as based on fact, the natural conclusion seems to be that Jude was older than our Lord—in other words, that he was the son of Joseph by an earlier marriage. Further, Hegesippus clearly believed that Jude himself was no longer alive in the reign of Domitian, who assumed the purple in 81 a.d. When Jude died we do not know, but, if he was born nine or ten years before the Christian era, we can hardly suppose that he retained the full enjoyment of his faculties much after 65 a.d. For further information on the complicated problems involved in the term “Brethren of the Lord” the reader must be referred to Bishop Lightfoot’s well known Excursus, or to the article in Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible.
It is probable, as has been already said, that Jude did not call himself “Brother of the Lord.” But, then, why does he call himself “Brother of James”? James was the special patron of the Jewish Christians. Now, the Epistle of Jude is not Jewish in any special sense, either in language or in thought, nor is there any reason for imagining that the Churches to which it was addressed were composed, to any marked extent, of Jewish converts. The writer, therefore, can hardly have intended to conciliate his readers by putting himself, as it were, under the wing of his great brother. Those to whom the letter was sent must have known perfectly well who he was, and what was his authority. The true explanation is probably that suggested long ago by Clement of Alexandria. Though Jude was not in the habit of calling himself “Brother of the Lord,” he knew that others were, and he deprecates this usage. “I am Jude,” he says, in effect, “whom you call brother of Christ. Call me slave of Christ, but brother of James.” “Brother of the Lord” was not an official designation, and, if used by Jude himself, might seem to imply a claim to an authority above that of an apostle. There is no affectation of humility in its avoidance.
Most of the commentators, whether they regard the Epistle as genuine or not, would accept the foregoing explanation of the Address. There have, however, been other opinions.
Keil and others thought that the writer might be Jude the Apostle. Ἰούδας Ἰακώβου, Luke 6:16; Acts 1:13, may possibly mean “Judas the brother of James” (Blass, p. 95); and it is conceivable that if “James, the son of Alphaeus,” was the same person as “James, the Lord’s brother,” his younger and less distinguished brother might be known as “James’ Jude.” But this identification is extremely doubtful; and if in St. Luke’s list of the apostles we must translate ἸάκωβονἈλφαίου, “James, son of Alphaeus,” it is almost or quite certain that ἸούδασἸακώβου must mean “Jude, son of James.” Further, it cannot be shown that any of the Lord’s brethren, even James, was reckoned among the Twelve. Again, the author of our Epistle does not call himself an apostle in the Address, and appears clearly to imply in ver. 17 that he was not one. Tertullian, indeed, calls him so (see above, p. 307), and he is so called also in the Latin translation of Origen’s works, but not in Origen’s Greek text, and not by Clement.
Grotius conjectured that 2 Peter was written by Symeon the second, and Jude by that Judas who, according to Eusebius, was fifteenth and last of the Jewish line of bishops of Jerusalem. Before anyone can adopt this view he must persuade himself either that the words�H.E. vi. 5. 3) seems to have been unknown to Hegesippus, who says that Symeon, son of Clopas, the second bishop, lived to a great age, and suffered martyrdom in the reign of Trajan (Eus. H.E. iii. 2, 32. 1). But in the Codex Marcianus there is a note which professes to be derived from the fifth book of the Hypotyposes of Clement, and gives the places of sepulture of certain apostles and apostolic men (the text will be found in Zahn, Forschungen, iii. 70). Here we read “Simon Cleophas, qui et Judas, post Jacobum episcopus, 120 annorum crucifixus est in Jerusalem Traiano mandante.” It seems clear that Clement had combined the statement of Hegesippus with another that made Judas bishop in Trajan’s time. Hence we may infer that the ἔγγραφα from which Eusebius drew his list of bishops were older than 200 a.d.
The conjecture of Grotius has been recently revived with some modification by Julicher (quoted by Harnack, Chronologie, p. 467), who thought at one time that Judas was probably the real name of the author of the Epistle, and that “brother of James” meant nothing more than bishop. But in his Einleitung (1901, i. p. 182) Jülicher has abandoned this view, and now thinks it most probable “that the author belonged by birth to that circle in which the memory of James was held in special honour; that he did not venture to foist his well-meant work on James himself, but contented himself with a member of his family. Perhaps Judas lived on after his brother, down to a time at which none of the apostles of the Lord survived in Palestine, and therefore could most easily be selected out of the men of the first generation as the announcer of the appearance of the prophesied abominations.” But there is, as we have seen, some reason for thinking that Jude did not long outlive James.
Dr. Harnack thinks (Chronologie, p. 468) that the author was possibly named Judas, and that the words�
All these theories rest upon the presupposition that Jude must have been written in the second century, because it is directed against Gnosticism, and have no value for those who hold the opposite belief. The sum of the matter is that, if Jude belongs to Gnostic times, we know nothing whatever about the author, except that he was not what he calls himself.
The place of composition is unknown. Egypt or specially Alexandria, Palestine or specially Jerusalem, have been suggested. There is no reason whatever for selecting Alexandria, beyond the fact that the Epistle was known to Clement and Origen, who collected books from every quarter. Of any specially Egyptian or Alexandrine ideas it exhibits not the faintest trace. The other locality seems equally improbable. The death of James occurred probably in 62 A.D., and Jude, if he took any active part in the affairs of the Church, can hardly have lived in Jerusalem before this date. Even after his great brother’s martyrdom he was not Bishop of Jerusalem, and can scarcely have had a fixed abode in the sacred city. Nor should we be inclined to look for him in one of the smaller towns of Palestine. The brethren of the Lord were known to the Galatians and to the Corinthians. Who can say where they were not known, what places they had visited, or where they were usually to be found? We need not suppose that they stuck like limpets to the rock of Zion. Such little information as we possess gives quite a different idea.
Again, as to the Churches to which the Epistle was directed, we are left absolutely to conjecture. The only points which give us any kind of hold are the similarity of Jude to 2 Peter, and the similarity of the evils denounced to those of the Corinthian Church. But what conclusion can be built upon this slender basis? Corinth was a seaport town within a short sail of many places. In a limited number of hours an Antinomian missionary would find himself at any harbour in the Eastern half of the Mediterranean, at Thessalonica, or on the Asiatic shore, or at Alexandria. People were constantly going to and fro.
Dr. Chase thinks it probable that the Epistle was sent to the Syrian Antioch, and possibly to other Churches in that district. The reader will find his argument in Hastings” Bible Dictionary. Dr. Chase relies chiefly upon three points: that the Christians addressed were mainly Gentiles, that they were men among whom St. Paul had worked, and that they had received oral instruction from the apostles generally, and, therefore, probably lived at no great distance from Jerusalem. We may say that no better conjecture can be proposed; but even this is far from certain. It seems most probable that the Churches addressed were mainly Gentile, though this is disputed; that they were acquainted with St. Paul’s form of teaching is most likely, but St. Paul had laboured in many places; they knew the apostles also, but how many of them or in what way is doubtful. For it is not necessary to understand ἔλεγον, in ver. 18, of oral instruction alone, and in any case we need not imagine that more than one or two of the Twelve had visited the district in question. But there is really no clear light. We might be tempted to infer from the resemblance between the two Epistles that the Churches addressed in 2 Peter and in Jude lay in proximity to one another; but even this is perilous. Jude may have been addressed to almost any community in which Greek was spoken. The two Epistles must have been written at nearly the same time, but they may have been sent in very different directions.
As to the personal characteristics of Jude something has already been said, and what little remains will be found in the notes. Compared with 2 Peter he exhibits a certain hastiness and tendency to take things at their worst, compared with either 1 or 2 Peter a certain hardness. No document in the New Testament is so exquisitely tender and pastoral as the First Epistle of St. Peter, and even in the Second Epistle, in the midst of the anger and indignation so naturally excited by the cruel wickedness of the false teachers, there are still beautiful phrases, steeped in sympathy and fatherly affection. Jude is undoubtedly stern and unbending. On the other hand, Jude is in closer intellectual sympathy with St. Paul. St. Peter commends the Apostle of the Gentiles in high terms, yet with qualifications. St. Jude speaks Pauline language, and inclines towards the Pauline mysticism,though to what extent it is impossible to say. The notable word ψυχικός is used also by his brother James in the same sense, and, though it belongs to the Pauline psychology, in which ψυχή was sharply distinguished from πνεῦμα or νοῦς, does not necessarily involve the Pauline conceptions of law or of justification. St. James was probably as mystical as St. Paul, yet he was a strong legalist. Like St. Paul, he held that whoever breaks one article of the law breaks the law as a whole (James 2:10; Galatians 3:10). This view (it was held also by the Stoics) is highly metaphysical or mystical, but it led the two apostles to very different conclusions, the one to the necessity of perfect obedience, the other to the idea of a righteousness which was not of law at all. It is possible that Jude also belonged to the same type of Pharisaic mysticism as his brother. But in any case his ideas and language differ noticeably from those of St. Peter.
But here we touch upon a question which is unhappily among the obscurest of all the problems that surround the history of the early Church. Who can enumerate the countless modes in which the relation of law and gospel presented itself to the first believers? Many writers content themselves with the rough and unintelligent distinction between Jewish and Gentile Christians, but this rests upon the mere accident of birth. The most Gentile of all teachers, St. Paul himself, was a Jew, and on either side there are endless shades and gradations. On the one extreme there are certain sects which we may call exclusively Jewish, or rather Oriental, but a Gentile Christian might be anything. Certainly there can be no greater error than that of using “Pauline” and “Gentile” as if these words were coextensive.
1 Valuable summaries of the Literature are found—for 1 and 2 Peter, Hastings’ D. of the B., vol. 3. pp. 817, 818; for Jude, vol. 2: pp. 805, 806, and Smith’s D. of the B., vol. 1. p. 1839, ed. 1893.