BibleProject New Testament Series - Lesson 30

Jude - BibleProject

In this lesson, you'll learn about the book of Jude and its significance for Christians. Jude, a brother of Jesus, wrote this letter as a traveling teacher and missionary to address a crisis in a church likely made up of Messianic Jews. The letter is designed to warn against corrupt teachers whose immoral behavior reveals their bad theology and to remind the church to contend for their faith. Jude draws from both Old Testament examples and non-biblical Jewish texts to support his message. By understanding the book of Jude, you'll gain insight into the importance of a whole-life response to God's grace through Jesus, recognizing that obedience to Jesus' teachings is the most reliable indicator of genuine faith.

Taught by a Team
Taught by a Team
BibleProject New Testament Series
Lesson 30
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Jude - BibleProject

BP150-30: The Book of Jude

I. Background and Purpose of the Letter

A. Jude's Relationship to Jesus

B. Traveling Teacher and Missionary

C. Audience and Their Knowledge of Jewish Literature

II. The Design of the Letter

A. Opening Charge

B. Warning and Accusation against Corrupt Teachers

C. Closing Charge

III. Examples and Warnings

A. Old Testament Examples

B. Non-Biblical Jewish Texts

IV. Application for Christians

A. Contending for the Faith

B. Building on the Foundation of Faith

C. Importance of Obedience to Jesus

  • You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the literary design, purpose, themes, and messages of each book in the New Testament, including the four Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, epistles of Paul, general epistles, and the book of Revelation.
  • You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the book of Matthew 1-13 through this lesson, including the literary design of the book, the flow of thought in each chapter, and the key themes and events. The lesson highlights the importance of Jesus' role in bringing God's kingdom to earth and inviting his disciples into a new way of life.
  • You will gain knowledge and insight into the Gospel book of Matthew through an overview of the first 13 chapters. You will learn how Matthew presents Jesus as the king who brings God's kingdom to earth, and how his disciples are invited to participate in this new way of life through his death and resurrection. You will also discover the central theme of the kingdom of God in Matthew, its relationship with the Church, and the call to discipleship and obedience.
  • Gain insight into the book of Mark's literary design and flow of thought, as well as Jesus' role as Israel's Messiah, inaugurating God's kingdom through his suffering, death, and resurrection.
  • By studying the Gospel of Luke, you will gain knowledge of the authorship, purpose, themes, and literary features of the Gospel, as well as a deep understanding of Luke 1-2, which narrates the miraculous births of John the Baptist and Jesus and provides models of faith and obedience. You will discover how Luke emphasizes the universality of God's love and the role of the Holy Spirit in empowering Jesus and his followers.
  • Luke's Gospel portrays Jesus as the fulfillment of God's promises told in the Old Testament, bringing the good news of God's kingdom to the poor, teaching his disciples about prayer, trust, and generosity, continuing his mission to the poor and social outsiders, celebrating God's mercy for the lost and the tragic resistance of Israel's leaders, and ultimately dying on the cross as an embodiment of God's love and mercy.
  • In the Gospel of John, the first half of the book tells stories of Jesus performing miraculous signs that lead to controversy, culminating in the raising of Lazarus and his rejection by Israel's leaders, all of which prepare us to understand Jesus as the Messiah, teacher of Israel, and Son of God who offers a new quality of life through belief in Him.
  • You will gain insights into Jesus' ministry and teachings, including the seven signs of Jesus' public ministry and his private ministry, which include the washing of the disciples' feet, farewell discourse, and high priestly prayer.
  • This lesson provides comprehensive insight into the introduction and context of the book of Acts, the early church in Jerusalem, and the gospel going to the Gentiles.
  • You will learn about the book of Acts, covering chapters 13-28, which includes Paul's missionary journeys, the Jerusalem Council, and his journey to Rome, and learn about the debates and decisions made by the apostles and elders, as well as gain insights into Paul's ministry and travels.
  • In Paul's Letter to the Romans, he explains how the gospel reveals God's righteousness, creates a new humanity fulfilling God's promise to Israel, and unifies the church, with chapters one through four laying the foundation for understanding the rest of the letter, which emphasizes that all humanity is hopelessly trapped in sin and needs to be rescued through faith in Jesus.
  • In Paul's letter to the Romans, he explores the idea that all humanity is trapped in sin and needs to be rescued through Jesus' death and resurrection, and that being in the family of Abraham means being a part of a new humanity that God is creating through Jesus and the Spirit, with the purpose of rescuing and renewing all of creation.
  • Explore 1 Corinthians to gain insights into complex problems faced by the church and how Paul responds through the gospel. Learn about unity, sexual integrity, love, worship order, and the resurrection as the foundation of hope in the future. Understand the gospel's application to all aspects of life.
  • In 2 Corinthians, you will learn about Paul's efforts to reconcile with the Corinthians, address their forgotten generosity, and confront the "super apostles" who undermine his authority, revealing the paradox of the cross and its implications for a transformed life.
  • You will gain an understanding of the background, context, and content of Galatians, including the false teaching that prompted Paul's letter, his defense of his gospel and authority, the role of the law in God's promise to Abraham, and the importance of living by the Spirit and bearing the fruit of the Spirit.
  • Gain insights into the book of Ephesians, which emphasizes the creation of unified, ethnically diverse communities through devotion to Jesus and each other.
  • This lesson on Philippians will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of its background, authorship, themes, literary features, detailed analysis of each chapter, and significance in Christian theology and impact on the church.
  • By studying Colossians, you will gain understanding of the book's authorship, background, and theological themes such as Christology, spiritual maturity, and the new humanity in Christ and how to practically apply the teachings of Colossians to the church and daily life.
  • By studying this lesson on the book of 1 Thessalonians, you will gain understanding of its background, themes, purpose, literary features, and application. You will learn about the historical and cultural relevance of the book and its personal and spiritual significance for us today.
  • You will gain an understanding of the background, purpose, and themes of 2 Thessalonians, as well as an in-depth exegesis of the text. The application of the book to historical and cultural contexts, as well as its relevance for today, is also explored.
  • This lesson provides comprehensive insights into the book of 1 Timothy, including its background, themes, and significance in the New Testament, such as its contribution to understanding church leadership and worship, the historical context of the early church, and its application for modern church life.
  • In 2 Timothy, Paul writes to Timothy from prison, urging him to stay strong in the face of persecution and to confront corrupt teachers who are causing problems in the church in Ephesus.
  • This lesson on the book of Titus provides a comprehensive understanding of its background, authorship, purpose, structure, themes, and significance, enabling you to appreciate its contributions to the New Testament, its impact on the original audience, and its relevance to the Church today.
  • Gain insights into Paul's letter to Philemon about forgiveness and reconciliation with his runaway slave, challenging assumptions about social justice and inequality, and highlighting Paul's commitment to pastoral care and reconciliation.
  • This lesson on Hebrews covers the authorship, purpose, literary genre, Christology, eschatology, and theology of the book, providing insights into Jesus as the Son of God, High Priest, and Perfect Sacrifice, the concept of Rest, Warning Passages, and the Superiority of Christ and the New Covenant, the Importance of Faith and Obedience, and the Perseverance of the Saints.
  • In the Book of James, you will explore the wisdom of Jesus' teachings and the Book of Proverbs, examining themes such as faith and works, the power of words, wealth, poverty, and wisdom, ultimately learning to live according to the "Perfect Torah of Freedom."
  • Through participating in this lesson, you will learn about 1 Peter, including information on its authorship and date, recipients and purpose, theological themes, literary features, and application. The lesson covers the book's historical and cultural context, as well as its contemporary relevance, and provides insights into how it speaks to topics such as suffering and glory, holiness and ethics, and Christology and salvation.
  • You will gain understanding of the book of 2 Peter, including its authorship, date, and literary context, as well as its theological themes, interpretation, and application. By studying 2 Peter, you will learn about false teachers and their destruction, the day of the Lord, the second coming of Christ, the certainty of God's promises, and the importance of godly living in contemporary Christian life.
  • You will gain knowledge and insight into the letters of John, including their historical and cultural context, authorship, purpose, literary features, themes, and messages, as well as their significance in the New Testament.
  • The book of Jude emphasizes the importance of contending for the Christian faith and exposes corrupt teachers, using both biblical and non-biblical Jewish texts as examples, ultimately highlighting that obedience to Jesus is the true indicator of genuine belief.
  • You will gain a deeper understanding of the book of Revelation, including its historical and literary context, authorship, purpose, and genre, as well as its structure, themes, and images. Additionally, you will be introduced to different interpretive approaches and learn how to apply the book to your personal life, the church, and culture.
  • This lesson provides an understanding of the book of Revelation, including its structure, content, symbolism, interpretive approaches, message, and relevance, helping you to gain insight into the nature of God, the victory of Christ, the role of the church, and the end of history.

BP150-30 - Jude

The letter of Jude, or more accurately, Judah, according to the pronunciation of his name, both in Greek and in Hebrew. Judah was one of Jesus's four brothers who are named in the Gospel accounts. None of the brothers followed Jesus as the Messiah before his death, but afterwards they saw him alive from the dead and then became His disciples. All these brothers of Jesus became leaders eventually in the first Jewish Christian communities, and Judah was known as a traveling teacher and missionary. And this gives us the background to understand the purpose of his letter. We don't know what specific church community he wrote to, but it was likely made up of mostly messianic Jews. His writing style assumes a deep knowledge of the Hebrew Old Testament scriptures, as well as other popular Jewish literature. Jude had become aware of a crisis facing this church, and so this helps us understand the letter's design. It begins with an opening charge, followed by a long warning and accusation against corrupt teachers who had influenced this church. And then Judah closes by completing the charge about what this church is supposed to do. Judah begins by charging this church to contend for the true Christian faith. He says his plan was to write a longer work that explored our shared salvation through the Messiah. But that project, he says, got delayed when he heard the urgent news about this church. And so he fired off this very thoughtful but very short letter. Judah doesn't begin with how they're supposed to contend for the faith. Rather, he first goes into why? It's because of the corrupt teachers who have infiltrated this church, and it's not their teaching that he targets, but their way of life. Their moral compromise is what tells you they have bad theology. First of all, they've distorted God's grace as a license to sin. They think that they're forgiven and they have God's spirit. So now they can do whatever they want, especially when it comes to money and sex. And so Judah says they've betrayed Jesus by rejecting his authority and his teachings. And Judah wants this church to know that the appearance of these teachers is no surprise. He transitions into a longer warning to stay away from them. He first offers two sets of three Old Testament examples. The first trio is about rebellious people who in the past receive divine justice. So the Israelites who rebelled against God in the wilderness, they got what they wanted and they died out in the middle of nowhere. Then he brings up a story about angels who are imprisoned for rebellion until they face God's justice. He's referring to the interpretation of the story in Genesis six, offered in the popular Jewish work called First Enoch, where the Sons of God are interpreted to refer to angels who rebelled against God, then had sex with women and were judged accordingly. Judah links this story to his third example about the ruin of Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis, where violent men tried to have sex with angels. Both these stories are about rebellion against God's order that led to sexual immorality, and that's precisely what the corrupt teachers are guilty of. After this, Judah brings up a bonus example from a popular Jewish text called The Testament of Moses. Like Enoch, it was not part of the Old Testament scriptures, and it was a creative retelling of Moses, his final days and words based on Deuteronomy in the section that Judah quotes from Moses has died. And there's a good angel, Michael, who is refuting the Devils accusations against Moses, but he decides to leave final judgment for God alone. Now, these stories might seem kind of odd to you, but for Jewish people who were raised on this literature, Judas warnings make good sense. The behavior of these corrupt teachers has ancient roots, rebellion against God's authority, sexual immorality, rejecting God's messengers. And this connects to the second trio of examples. They're all about rebels who went on to corrupt other people. So Cain, he murdered his brother, but then he went on to build a city where violence rained. Balaam the sorcerer, he couldn't curse Israel, and so he lured them into idolatry and sexual corruption. And then Cora, the Levite. He led a rebellion against Moses that ended in disaster. Others, Judah concludes the second trio with a barrage of Old Testament images to describe the teachers. They're like the selfish shepherds of Ezekiel or like the clouds with no rain from Proverbs or like the chaotic waves from Isaiah. Their self-absorption betrays their claim to follow Jesus. They create chaos wherever they go due to concludes his warning by quoting from two other warnings, one ancient and one recent. The first comes again from the popular book of First Enoch, which claimed to contain the visions of the ancient figure Enoch from the Book of Genesis. Now what's fascinating is Judah quotes from the opening chapter of Enoch, which is itself quoting about half a dozen Old Testament texts about the final day of the Lord's Justice on human evil. Judah then matches Enoch's ancient warning with a more recent one from the Apostles. Peter, John Paul They all predicted that corrupt teachers would arise and distort the good news about Jesus, and they themselves were. So in Jesus's early warning about the same thing. And so this church should need no more convincing. These teachers have to be dealt with. So Judah then moves into his closing charge. He picks up his opening line about contending for the faith, and he unpacks how to do so with a cool set of metaphors. He describes the community of Jesus as God's new temple, and so they are to build their lives on the foundation of the most holy faith, which refers to the core message of good news about Jesus's life, death and resurrection for our sins. On that foundation, the Church is to build itself through a dedication to prayer, by devoting itself to the love of God through obedience. And the integrity of this building will be maintained by staying alert for the return of Jesus to bring His justice and his mercy. And in doing this, they will help each other stay faithful to Jesus. Due to then concludes by praising the God who will protect His people and keep them from falling too far from His grace. The short letter of Judah is powerful and puzzling for many modern readers who ask why he quotes from texts that aren't today considered part of the Hebrew Bible, like First Enoch or the Testament of Moses. It's important to remember that Jewish culture in this time was immersed in religious text. Jesus, his family, all the early Jewish Christians grew up reading the Hebrew Bible, along with many later books that were based on and inspired by the Scriptures. And we know there were ancient debates about whether or not some of these later books should be viewed as Scripture. But regardless, they're still important. A book doesn't have to be in the Bible to speak an important message to God's people. And so we have many Jewish texts from this period. They're known today as the collections of the Apocrypha, also called the Dewdrop canon, along with the suit Apocrypha. These were all preserved and read in Jewish and Christian communities. They were treated with great respect. It doesn't mean they were originally designed as part of the Hebrew Bible, but they are part of the biblical tradition. And so Judah, knowing his readers, that they would value words from first Enoch, he used them to communicate his message, which is this God's grace through Jesus demands a whole life response, not just intellectual assent. Notice that Judah doesn't criticize or focus on the teachers theology, but their immoral way of life, which denies Jesus. And so Judah is here applying what Jesus first told his disciples, If you really love me, then you will obey my teachings. For Christians, how you live is the most reliable indicator of what you actually believe. And that's what the Letter of Jude is all about.