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  Discovery Box

Jude 1:22-23

Context
1:22 And have mercy on those who waver; 1:23 save 1  others by snatching them out of the fire; have mercy 2  on others, coupled with a fear of God, 3  hating even the clothes stained 4  by the flesh. 5 

1 tn Grk “and save.”

2 tn Grk “and have mercy.”

3 tn Grk “with fear.” But as this contrasts with ἀφόβως (afobw") in v. 12 (without reverence), the posture of the false teachers, it most likely refers to reverence for God.

sn Joining a fear of God to mercy is an important balance when involved in disciplinary action. On the one hand, being merciful without fear can turn to unwarranted sympathy for the individual, absolving him of personal responsibility; but fearing God without showing mercy can turn into personal judgment and condemnation.

4 sn The imagery here suggests that the things close to the sinners are contaminated by them, presumably during the process of sinning.

5 tn Grk “hating even the tunic spotted by the flesh.” The “flesh” in this instance could refer to the body or to the sin nature. It makes little difference in one sense: Jude is thinking primarily of sexual sins, which are borne of the sin nature and manifest themselves in inappropriate deeds done with the body. At the same time, he is not saying that the body is intrinsically bad, a view held by the opponents of Christianity. Hence, it is best to see “flesh” as referring to the sin nature here and the language as metaphorical.



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