Jude 1-9

I’m confused by jude 1-9. I understand the context from it where its coming from as in the testament of moses. I don’t understand what Michael is disputing over as the body of moses. As well as how this would slander him. Please assist

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@Michael_Ryan If you read Jude and 2 Peter 2 side by side, you will quickly notice that they are not only similar, but actually contain much of the same content. My own opinion is that Jude is an example of a sermon from the early Church expounding on 2 Peter.

My reason for holding this belief is found in Jude 17-18, “But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, ‘In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.’”

In 2 Peter 2 we are being warned that scoffers ‘will come’, but in Jude they have already come and the listeners are being told to remember what the apostles, such as Peter, had earlier warned them would happen.

That Jude is a sermonette also explains the references to the book of Enoch. A pastor will often use material familiar to his audience that it is not itself authoritative – think of the poems, stories and examples used in sermons today.

However, there are several possibilities.

  1. Jude was citing something from Enoch that actually happened, but that does not mean Enoch itself is inspired because the Church never recognized Enoch as inspired
  2. Jude was using the book of Enoch as a sermon illustration for his intended audience, much like a modern day pastor might use a story from Narnia, the Lord of the Rings or another culturally relevant story that people can relate to…
  3. Jude was actually citing something other than Enoch

At times, Paul also quoted pagan poets in order to relate to his audience. Below are a few examples along with the original texts from which the quotes were taken.

Titus 1:12 - One of Crete’s own prophets has said it: “Cretans are always liars, evil brutes, lazy gluttons.”

Epimenides (600 BC)
They fashioned a tomb for thee, O holy and high one — the Cretans, always liars, evil beasts, idle bellies! ---- But thou art not dead; thou livest and abidest for ever, for in thee we live and move and have our being.

Acts 17:28 - For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

Phaenomena, Aratus (315-240 BC) - Let us begin with Zeus. Never, o men, let us leave him unmentioned. All the ways are full of zeus, and all the market places of human beings. The sea is full of him; so are the harbors. In every way we have all to do with zeus, for we are truly his offspring .

The fact that Paul used the source material does not mean that the original work was inspired or accurate. Certainly we do not believe that all the ways are full of zeus…

However, being aware of these works does help us to better understand the cultural context of the Bible and so it can be helpful for us in that sense. The Biblical authors practiced being a ‘Greek to the Greeks’ and a ‘Jew to the Jews’ - part of that was using illustrations that would help them to relate to their audience.

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Thanks I understand all that but still don’t understand the reference then. The actual words used about Michael the angel. What is it saying

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@Michael_Ryan It is unclear exactly what the false teachers were doing to blaspheme celestial beings. Possibilities include:

  • disobeying the law - the angels were seen as guardians of the law, so it is possible that these false teachers evil behavior was considered slandering angels
  • denying the judgment - angels were viewed as having a critical role in the final judgment, which it is clear these false teachers deny
  • the Gnosticis were said to have slandered angels by associating them with inferior gods
  • denying the danger of evil spiritual beings

The glorious ones refers to angelic beings rather than mere human beings, just as in [2 Pet 2:10](javascript:{}) (on which this passage apparently depends). Whether the angelic beings are good or evil, however, is difficult to tell (hence, the translation is left ambiguous). However, both in [2 Pet 2:11](javascript:{}) and here, in [Jude 9](javascript:{}), the wicked angels seem to be in view (for not even Michael insults them).