|In Depth Studies Index||A STUDY IN JUDE
Detailed Notes and Translation
|NOTES ON THE TRANSLATION
This rendering of Jude's letter is an attempt to do an accurate translation in modern English. Following the practice adopted by the translators of the King James (Authorised) Version, words not in the original Greek are italicised. These are added to complete the sense according to English usage.
Included for comparison are other passages of scripture from the KJV and a quotation from "The Book of Enoch From The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, R.H. Charles, Oxford: The Clarendon Press". The English of these is modernised but the sense is retained.
THE PERSON: WHO WAS JUDE?
Jude 1. The name Jude is from the Latin for the Hebrew Yehudah [Judah] which in Greek is IoudaV [Judas]. Many in the tribe of Judah were named Jude. He identifies himself as a brother of James. James 1:1. James was the Lord's brother. Galatians 1:19. Jude is also listed as one of the Lord's brothers. Matthew 13:55, Mark 6:3
He was not either of the Apostles named Judas in Luke 6:16. The Lord's brothers must not be confused with his apostles. Acts 1:13,14.
Why did he not claim to be a brother of the Lord? We can only speculate on this. It might be because before the crucifixion the Lord's brothers did not believe in him. Also, in that context, the Lord Jesus had pointedly emphasised that those who obeyed the heavenly Father were the same as brothers to him. Matthew 12:46-50 (Luke 11:27-28 & John 7:5). Another reason could be that after the Lord's ascension, in humility they might have been hesitant to claim to be the brothers of the glorified saviour and preferred to be known as his bonded servants.
After the ascension the Lord's brothers did believe and actively travelled around doing the Lord's work. Acts 1:13:14, 1 Corinthians 9:5
Jude was married (1 Corinthians 9:5) and apparently had children and grandchildren known to be devout Christians:-
According to the historian Eusebius, Hegesippus (circa 110-180) wrote about two of Jude's grandsons, brought before the Emperor Domitian accused of being a political threat as they were descendants of the royal house of Judah, being dismissed by him with contempt, having demonstrated their poverty and explained that Christ's Kingdom is not of this world. [ H.E.III.XX]
Jude 1 Judas a bonded servant of Jesus Christ, the brother of James ...
James 1:1 James, a bonded servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ ...
Galatians 1:19 But I saw none of the apostles, except James the Lords brother.
Matthew 13:55 Isn't this the carpenters son? isn't his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joseph, and Simon, and Judas?
Mark 6:3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joseph, and of Judas, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him
Luke 6:16 And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, who was also the traitor.
Acts 1:13,14 13And when they had come in, they went up into an upper room, where Peter, James, John, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon the zealot, and Judas the brother of James were all living. 14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, with Mary Jesus' mother, and with his brothers.
1 Corinthians 9:5 Haven't we the right to take with us a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and *Kephas? *[Peter]
Matthew 12:46-50 46 Whilst he was still talking to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood outside, wanting to speak to him. 47 Then someone said to him, "Look, your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you" 48 But he responded, saying to him who told him, "Who is my mother? and who are my brothers?" 49 And he stretched out his hand towards his disciples, and said, "Look, my mother and my brothers! 50 Because whoever will do the will of my Father who is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother."
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|THE LETTER'S ANTIQUITY
Origen (circa AD185-251) quoted it as scripture. [Strom III.ii & Paed III.viii]
It is in the Muratorian Fragment (circa AD 170). This puts it even earlier.
It must have been written before AD 68 because it does not mention the traumatic events of AD 68 to 70. If it had been written after the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple then it would have been an ideal illustration for Jude to use in verse 5 to illustrate the judgement of God on the wicked.
There are many similarities between Jude's letter and Peter's second letter, particularly chapter two. But there is a significant difference. Peter speaks of the evils as a future threat. Jude speaks of them as a present problem. Errors in the church had begun and were beginning to accelerate (2.Peter 2:1-3). So Jude would have been written a while after Peter's second letter. Compare Jude 17&18 with 2.Peter 3:3, Acts 20:29, and 2 Timothy 3:1. It helps to read 2nd.Peter chapter 2 in conjunction with Jude's letter.
Some scholars think Jude's letter might have been written in Aramaic because of its Hebraisms. Another explanation could be that Jude dictated it in Aramaic. A more likely explanation could be that, being a Hebrew, his Greek had Hebraic idioms.
Luke 11:27-28 27 ...a ... woman ... said to him, "Blest is the womb that bore you, and the breasts which you sucked." 28 But he said, "Yes, rather, they are blest who hear the word of God, and observe it."
John 7:5 ... neither did his brothers believe in him.
Jude 17&18 17 But you, beloved, remember the things previously said by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, 18 that they used to tell you how, in the last era, there would be scoffers, who would go after their own impious* craving. *(insolent towards God)
2 Peter 2:1 ... there will be false teachers amongst you, who will secretly bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways. Because of them the way of truth will be slandered 3 And motivated by greed, they will make merchandise of you with deceitful words ...
2 Peter 3:3 Knowing this first, that, in the last days, scoffers will come, pursuing their own lusts,
Acts 20:29 Because I know this, that after my departure grievous wolves will enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
2 Timothy 3:1 Also know this, that in the last days perilous times will come.
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|TO WHOM WRITTEN AND WHY?
Whereas his brother James' letter appears to have been written mainly for Jewish Christians, Jude seems to be writing to Christians from a heathen background. He does not introduce any new teaching. He encourages them to steadfastly hold to the complete body of faith already received (v.4).
It appears from verses 3 and 4 that the criticism was directed against an antonomian type of gnosticism. Gnostics claimed to have superior knowledge to ordinary Christians. Antinomians rejected moral restraints, teaching and practising greed and immorality whilst claiming to be inwardly spiritually purified by God's grace. 1.Corinthians 5:1-2, 6:9-18 & 11:17-18 illustrate some of the evils affecting the church.
1 Corinthians 5:1-2 1 It is commonly reported that there is fornication amongst you, and such fornication as is not even mentioned amongst the Gentiles, that someone would take his father's wife. 2 and you are conceited, rather than grieved, that he who has done this deed might be removed from amongst you.
1 Corinthians 6:9-18 9 Don't you know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Don't be deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. ... 13 ...the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. ... 16 What? Don't you know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body? Because he says "two will be one flesh" ... 18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man does is outside the body; but he who commits fornication sins against his own body.
1 Corinthians 11:17-18 17 Now in this ... I do not praise you, ... 18 because first of all, when you come together in the assembly, I hear that there are splits amongst you; and I partly believe it ...
| STUDY NOTES
1 Who was Jude? See the INTRODUCTION.
"sacred" All true Christians are called sacred, having been made sacred by God and in God.
["invited people" (klhtoV) is a dative adjective which coupled with the dative article "the" is an indirect object of the verb "made sacred". klhtoV is from kalew which means to call or to invite.]
"invited people" is placed at the end of the sentence in the Greek text. This is probably to emphasise that the letter is addressed to those who are invited and are made sacred - not to those present in the church who stealthily creep in (see verse 4),
God invites us to believe the truth by the message of the Gospel. This is
the way God chooses people. 2.Thessalonians 2:13-14. Those who obey the gospel
are referred to as "called" and "chosen" (e.g. Romans 8:28. Revelation
|JUDE'S LETTER (a direct
1 Judas a bonded servant of Jesus
Christ, the brother of Jacob [James], to the$ invited* people,
made sacred in# God the father, and preserved for Christ
| 2 "be
increased" (in the AV. "multiplied").
Knowing God and Jesus our Lord brings inner peace. 2.Peter 1:2
3 "contend for the faith" Here the word "faith" means the body of teaching which we have to believe and follow. Jude does not introduce any new teaching in this letter. The body of faith was already complete.
"making every effort ... is necessary" It was and is vitally important that the pure unadulterated original faith is taught and practised. That is why Jude wrote this letter. Similarly the apostle Paul emphatically insisted that no modification of the original gospel message can be tolerated. Galatians 1:8-9
We must abandon all men's creeds and return to the pure teaching given in the New Testament, to the Lord's church, in faith and practice.
"summon" (parakalew) literally means "call to one's side". They benefited from a "mutual salvation". Jude appeals for a mutual effort to preserve the faith on which it is based.
The complete faith was given once and for all time. No one has any right to add to it or to take away from it or to modify it,
|2 Mercy to you and peace and
love be increased.
3 Dearly loved, in making every effort to write to you about this mutual salvation, it is necessary that I write to summon* you to contend for the faith which is once delivered to the sacred people.
|4a "creep in stealthily" False Christians,
antichrists, advocating and living lifestyles diametrically opposed to the
spirit of Christ.
1 John 2:19,22 Galatians 2:4-5.
| 4a because some persons
creep in stealthily. *(parakalew)
|4b "These ... were already listed ...
for this condemnation." The AV. reads: 'who were before of old ordained
to this condemnation.'
"already" (AV "of old") is from palai which refers to events in the past, whether distant or recent. It is never used of anything decided before creation of the world.$ So the word "listed" (AV. "ordained") cannot be about a matter foreordained before creation.
"listed" (prografw) means: written previously or recorded beforehand. God was well aware of and had made note of their wickedness.
"accusation" krima forensically: the case to be decided in court or the sentence passed by the judge. They are to be put on trial.
|4b These persons were
already* listed to be tried for this accusation#: impious
people, changing our God's favour into hedonism and denying the only Master,
God and our Lord Jesus Christ.
*(palai) #(A Greek legal term)
|5 "remind" The seriousness of vital issues
must never be forgotten. This is to ensure that the original teaching is
not forgotten or set aside.
"since" Examples of the past are used to show that God will not overlook distrust, rebellion or immorality, or let them go unpunished.
"removes" When God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt he punished all those who persistently distrusted him. Hebrew 3:17,19 (read Numbers chapters 13 and 14)
6 Evidently the angels who sinned (c.p. 2 Peter 2:4), being dissatisfied with their God given role, abdicated their responsibilities and deserted their post. So God is keeping them permanently bound until the day of judgement.
God detains the unjust until the judgement day then they will be punished. (c.p. 2 Peter 2:9),
7 The punishment of Sodom and Gomorrah* is an example of God's condemnation of illicit sexual activity and of all impiety. (c.p. 2 Peter 2:6) *(Genesis chapters 18 and 19)
|5 You have perceived this once,
yet I must remind you, since:-
|8 "despite" Lessons from the past
(c.p. 2 Peter 2:10)
9 In Zechariah 3:1-5. Satan# is accusing Joshua son of Josedech, of not being fit to be the high priest, to the angel of the LORD. The LORD intervenes saying Joshua is "a brand plucked out of the fire" (see v.23 "snatching them out of the fire"). Perhaps Satan also confronted Michael in a similar manner over Moses' body because, Moses had struck the rock when God had told him to speak to the rock (Numbers 29:7-13, c.p. 2.Peter 2:11). However, why the disagreement over the body? See Appendix 1 "MOSES' BODY"
10 See the comment on the soul in verse 19. Satan the accuser slanders and these false brethren slander spiritual morals failing to understand them because they are entirely governed by their physical desires, being spiritually devoid. (c.p. 2.Peter 2:12 where AV."natural" (fusikoV) should be "physical").
11 "manner of life" (odoV) way, literally or figuratively.
The apostle John seems to imply that Cain was figuratively an offspring of the cause of troubles (that is Satan) and that his actions were evil but his brother Abel's were right (1.John 3:12). In what way were Cain's actions troublesome?
"Cain's manner of life." Cain was morose because God respected Abel's sacrifice and rejected his. (Genesis 4:3-8). If he had done it right, his sacrifice would have been accepted (Genesis 4:7). However the word "actions" (1.John 3:12). refers to more than the one act of offering a sacrifice. Cain was a troublesome person. This suggests he had an awkward disposition that always wanted to have things his own way and became disgruntled if he couldn't. Hence the subsequent confrontation with his brother which led to murder, the first murder.
The self interested false Christians tended to get nasty toward those who upheld the word of God.
"embroiled in Balaam's error" The elders of Moab and Midian wanted
Balaam to put a curse on the children of Israel. God told him not to get
involved with them, however increased pressure and bribery persuaded Balaam
to have several more attempts.
The minds of the false Christians were so distorted that they had no conscience about using the church as a source of income.
"the rebellion of Korah perish" God had sanctified the sons of Aaron to be priests. The sons of Korah objected and raised prestigious support from other tribes in rebellion against Moses and Aaron. God slew them and their supporters for their audacity. (see Numbers 16:1-41)
In the church, those opposing Divine principles were raising supporters in rebellion against the faithful.
|8 despite that, these dreamers
are not only polluting the body in the same way but are also setting aside
divine lordship, and are even slandering divine authority,
9 Yet Michael, the archangel, whilst disputing with the devil# (he was reasoning about Moses body) hesitates to bring against him a charge of slander* but says, "The Lord censure you". [# diaboloV an accuser. * blasfhmia blasphemy, slander]
10 But these slander* everything they have not understood, moreover, everything they happen to be focusing on physically# (like the irrational animals), by these they are being corrupted. [*blasfhmew blaspheme, slander. #fusikoV]
11 Woe to them because:-
|12 "gatherings of love"
literally: 'the loves' (taiV agapaiV). Jude
is probably drawing his illustration from the Greek custom of having communal
friendship meals, called "the loves." This practice might have given rise
to the abuses at Corinth. Paul's rebuke "have you not homes to eat and to
drink in?" 1.Corinthians 11:22. condemned the practice of
turning the Lord's supper into a common meal.
See appendix 2 "LOVE FEASTS" (c.p. 2 Peter 2:13,17)
"sunken rocks" Like the danger posed by hidden rocks in the sea, the loving fellowship of the faithful was at risk from the sneaks (verse 4) who brazenly put on the appearance of Christlike friendship but were out to take advantage of and shipwreck the faith of the church. They pretended to be the source of spiritual wisdom whilst really their devious teaching produced spiritual death, reasoning black is white and white is black. Isaiah 5:20..
13 "foaming out, of themselves" as though they
were spewing out the evil within. It is what comes out of a man's mouth
that makes him unfit company. Matthew 15:11,18, Proverbs 23:7.
(c.p. 2 Peter 2:17).
|12 These folk
are sunken rocks in your gatherings of love. They are sharing with you boldly,
They are providing themselves with pasture, waterless clouds being driven
by winds, autumn trees without fruit, twice dying, uprooted.
13 The sea's violent waves are foaming out, of themselves, shameful ways - stars - wanderers who are reserved to the blackness of darkness beyond the ages.
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|14 "the seventh from Adam"
distinguishes him from Cain's son. (Genesis 4:17, 5:18)
In scripture, Enoch and Elijah are unique. Enoch did not die. God took him [Genesis 5:24] and Elijah also did not die. He was taken directly to heaven [2 Kings 2:11]. Enoch walked with God and pleased God [Hebrews 11:5].
Enoch's predictions are not recorded anywhere else in scripture. We do not need to conclude that Jude quoted from "scripture". He could have quoted from a well known historically reliable document. [The same can be said of the book of Jasher. Joshua 10:13 & 2 Samuel 1:18].
There was a "Book of Enoch" in circulation in New Testament times and there is a "Book of Enoch" available in English today. Unfortunately the sources from which this was translated have many discrepancies. It can hardly be called historically reliable.
Alfred Plummer listed similarities between the "Book of Enoch", 2 Peter and Jude, in his "Excursus on Notes to Jude" (Ellicott's Commentary). Most might be coincidental but the similarity of one to Jude 15 is striking. It is in the right hand column after Jude 15.
|14 Enoch the seventh from Adam prophesied before about such saying: Behold, the Lord shall come with thousands of saints,|
|15 The only other occurrence of the phrase
"to execute judgement" is in John 5:27 ("And has also given him [the
son] authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of man.")
It is important to read the context.
The Lord will come in order to "convict" them, not to give them a second chance.
|15 to execute judgement against
everyone and to convict all their impious ones, about all of their impious
actions, which they impiously commit, and about all the offensive things
which impious sinners speak against him.
|16 "murmurers, discontented persons" They
were disgruntled complainers like the discontented angels in verse 6.
"their mouth utters conceit" 2 Peter 18 'For when they speak great swelling words of vanity ...'
"appearance" (proswpon face), looks, image, social status, elitist, superficial - empty. Having social graces but morally bankrupt. Doing things for the sake of appearance.
"For advantage" like Balaam (see verse 11).
|16 These are murmurers, discontented persons, going after their own craving, and their mouth utters conceit, admiring appearance for the sake of advantage.|
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|17 The word "you" is emphasised in
verses 17 and 20, contrasting the beloved with the impious.
18 This advice, initially written to first century Christians, shows they understood that they were already in "the last time". The phrase "last time" did not refer to some remote future era. The "last time" is the Christian era. 1.John 2:18, 2.Timothy 3:1,2,6, Hebrews 1:2 1.Peter 1:20
That is why he used the present tense 'are' in verse 19.(x)
|17 But you, beloved, remember
the things previously said by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ,
18 that they used to tell you how, in the last time, there would be scoffers, who would go after their own impious craving.
(yucikoV of the soul,
yuch). Man consist of "body, soul and spirit"
The body goes to dust and the spirit returns to the giver - God.
The word of God distinguishes between the soul and the spirit.
Here the word "soul" refers to the individual who dwells within the body, which the apostles referred to as their tent (AV. "tabernacle").
"natural, devoid of spirituality" These individuals were engrossed in their own personal interests having no spiritual aspirations. This brought them into conflict with the others.
| 19 These
divisive, natural*, devoid of
*(yucikoV of the soul) #(pneuma spirit)
1 Corinthians 2:14
|20 "sacred" "sacred" means the same as "holy".
The "once delivered" faith (verse 3) is sacred.
"praying in the Sacred Spirit" The Holy Spirit guides us on what to pray and reinforces our supplications. 1.John 5:14, Romans 8:26.
|20 But you, beloved, building
yourselves on your sacred faith, praying in the Sacred Spirit,
1 John 5:14
|21 It is possible for a Christian to lose
God's love and fail to gain eternal life. The Lord Jesus' mercy is constantly
held out to us. It is up to us to accept it by being faithful and so keep
ourselves in God's love. It must not be snubbed.
|21 keep yourselves in God's love,
unto eternal life, accepting the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ,
|22 and 23
"Moreover" Despite the seriousness of the problem addressed in this letter there might be Christians who need to be handled compassionately and these are to be distinguished from those who need snatching out of the fire. Some Greek texts are confusing but the Received Text is quite clear on this being a comparison between two situations.
23 Joshua son of Josedech was "a brand plucked out of the fire" (see comments on verse 9). Yet God was able to make him suitable to be a High Priest. Zechariah 3:1-7. There are many thoughts to ponder on and spiritual wisdom to be found in this passage. Joshua's sin-stained garments were removed. The LORD removed his iniquity. He was clothed with righteous garments making him suitable for service. But note - the LORD sternly instructed him to be actively faithful and then only would the LORD honour him with responsible service.
"even detesting the undergarment, sullied by the flesh." Timothy was advised to 'Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, love, peace, with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart' 1.Timothy 2:22. Christians are advised 'let him who thinks he stands take care in case he falls.' 1.Corinthians 10:12.
|22 Moreover, definitely have
compassion on some, distinguishing between them
23 and others whom you must save with horror, snatching them out of the fire; even detesting the undergarment, sullied by the flesh.
|24 "to keep them upright" Again some Greek texts are confusing but the Received Text is quite clear that the restored fallen are in mind. There is exceeding joy in heaven over sinners who repent. Luke 15:10.||24 Now to the one
having the power to keep them upright, and to present them in the presence
of his glory, without blemish, in exceeding joy,
|25 The wicked might fail to understand
God and slander him. The self righteous might accuse God of being foolish
in being so merciful. But his ways are immeasurably higher than our ways.
Well did God through Isaiah say:
The humble cry "God be merciful to me a sinner" and rejoice in the LORD their Saviour.
He who stooped to save us, may He ever rule over us.
|25 to the only wise God our Saviour
- glory and majesty - dominion and authority - both now and throughout the
|1) MOSES' BODY
FROM THE NOTES ON JUDE 9
In Zechariah 3:1-5. Satan# is accusing Joshua son of Josedech,
of not being fit to be the high priest, to the angel of the
LORD. The LORD intervenes saying Joshua is
"a brand plucked out of the fire" Perhaps Satan also confronted Michael in
a similar manner over Moses' body because, Moses had struck the rock when
God had told him to speak to the rock (Numbers 29:7-13). However,
why the disagreement over the body? #
|BACK TO THE
Jude 9 (direct translation)
Yet Michael, the archangel, whilst disputing with the
devil# (he was reasoning about Moses' body) hesitates to
bring against him a charge of slander* but says, "The Lord censure
the LORD said to Satan, The LORD rebuke you, O Satan; even the LORD who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you: is not this* a brand plucked out of the fire? *(Joshua son of Josedech)
God had a plan. Satan was aware of it and intended to thwart it. [See the series of studies UNDERSTANDING THE BIBLE]
The plan was to bring the Messiah into the world to set up his kingdom on earth. This materialised at the end of the Hebrew era when the Lord Jesus came into the world, prepared his followers for the inauguration of his universal kingdom. Having died, risen from the dead and ascended into heaven he set up his kingdom in this the final era. This kingdom is in the world but not of the world. It is a spiritual kingdom. Many saints of old anticipated and yearned for Messiah's coming.
Job was one of them:
The Book Called Job tells of a thoroughly good man of God named Job who lived in Uz [in south Jordan] probably when the Israelites lived in Egypt. Even whist enduring extreme suffering and being castigated by his friends, Job made four astounding statements:-
1) "Even if He/it slays me, yet I will confidently wait for Him. I
can definitely acquit myself before Him*" (Job 13:15,16a. direct
2) "Because I personally know that my redeemer lives, and that at the end* He will stand upon the earth". (Job 19:25. direct translation)
3) "So after my skin is destroyed, yet in my body I will behold God. Whom I, me-myself, will behold for myself. That is my own eyes will see and not someone else's." (Job 19:26-27a. direct translation) then at the end of v.27:-
4) "My yearning for this engrosses me." (direct translation)
Job expected to meet the LORD, in his body, on the earth.
Joseph would be another of them:
Joseph insisted on his bones being taken back to Canaan to be buried there, because he knew that God would bring the children of Israel out of Egypt.
This request was an act of faith not a superstitious or sentimental desire to be buried in Canaan.
Evidently he anticipated being raised along with many other saints to meet the Messiah.
They were not disappointed:
An astounding event took place after the Lord Jesus rose from the dead. There were numerous whitened graves of the saints outside of Jerusalem. Many of the saints of old rose from the dead and were seen in Jerusalem:-
This was at the end of the Mosaic era, when the Messiah set up his spiritual kingdom on earth, in the last days:-
Faithful Christians are in the Messiah's kingdom
What about Moses?
There was conflict in heaven. Satan contested Job's faithfulness. He insisted that if God made things difficult for Job then he would curse God to his face. Satan had more reason to contest God over Joshua's suitability to be the high priest but God said isn't he 'a brand plucked out of the fire?'
In Moses' case also Satan would think he had reason to accuse God of inconsistency, that he Moses should be buried, having refused him entry into the promised land because of his disbelief. But Moses was also a brand plucked from the fire.
God could have raised Moses whether his body was buried or not but it seems God was making a statement in himself burying Moses* and that Satan knew it. Moses would rise to meet the Messiah. But did Satan know that Moses would be with the Lord on the mount of transfiguration discussing the Lord's death? (Luke 9:30-31) Satan did not appreciate the significance of the Lord's death, otherwise he would not have slain him.
|2) LOVE FEASTS
FROM THE NOTES ON JUDE 12
"gatherings of love" literally: 'the loves' (taiV
agapaiV). Jude is probably drawing his illustration from the Greek
custom of having communal friendship meals, called "the loves." This practise
might have given rise to the abuses at Corinth. Paul's rebuke "have you not
homes to eat and to drink in?" 1.Corinthians 11:22. condemned the practise
of turning the Lord's supper into a common meal.
|BACK TO THE
Jude 12 (direct
1 Corinthians 11:20-22 (direct translation)
Virtually no writings by far eastern Christians exist. Most early Christian writings are from countries in the vicinity of the Mediterranean. From the writings of the latter it appears that in Greek culture communal meals were held as an expression of friendship. Sometimes these degenerated into drunken brawls.
Greek Christians also had communal meals where the poor benefited from sharing the food of the well off. They were careful to conduct themselves as Christians should. It seems these meals were held at various times and even on the First Day of the week. May be before or after meeting for the Lord's supper, but were distinct from the Lord's supper. It must be born in mind that most if not all churches did not have places of worship and met in houses to observe the Lord's supper. According to Tertullian (c.197), these communal gatherings would be in the evening and they would begin and end with prayer. They would sing hymns either from the scriptures or of their own composition.
The church in Corinth had a communal meal before the Lord's supper when the wealthy overindulged and the poor went hungry. Paul seems to be criticising the wealthy when he says "Have you no homes to eat in?" Paul was not banning gatherings where the food was shared by all. The selfish rich had come together to gorge themselves and not to remember the Lord.
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