The author of this small letter identifies himself as "Jude (or, Judas), the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James" (Jd.1). In the early church, there was only one James who could be referred to in this way without further specification, and that was "James, the Lord's brother," as he is called in Gal.1v19. This Jude was probably the same one who is numbered among the physical brothers of the Lord Jesus in Matt.13v55 and Mk.6v13. A few scholars identify Jude as the Apostle Judas (not Iscariot) in Matt.10v2-3, also called Lebbaeus or Thaddaeus (Lk.6v16; Ac.1v13) in some manuscripts.

Little is known of the circumstances to which Jude addresses himself, and no one knows the precise time of writing. Jude is quite similar to some of the content of Second Peter (which see). Both writers were alarmed at the inroads which false teachers were making. Jude urges the Christians to "earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints" (Jd.3). The apostasy of which Paul spoke (Ac.20v29-31) was beginning to threaten. It was a very serious situation.

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