Internet Verse Search Commentaries Word Analysis ITL - draft

Jude 1:3


Dear friends, although I have been eager to write to you 1  about our common salvation, I now feel compelled 2  instead to write to encourage 3  you to contend earnestly 4  for the faith 5  that was once for all 6  entrusted to the saints. 7 


De 9:10; De 21:9; Ne 13:25; Isa 45:17,22; Jer 9:3; Ac 4:12; Ac 6:8-10; Ac 9:22; Ac 13:46,47; Ac 17:3; Ac 18:4-6,28; Ac 20:27; Ac 28:28; Ro 15:15,16; 1Co 15:3; Ga 2:5; Ga 3:28; Ga 6:11; Eph 1:1; Php 1:1; Php 1:27; Col 1:2; 1Th 2:2; 1Ti 1:18; 1Ti 6:12; 2Ti 1:13; 2Ti 4:7,8; Tit 1:4; Heb 13:22; 1Pe 5:12; 2Pe 1:1; 2Pe 1:12-15; 2Pe 3:1; 2Pe 3:2; Re 2:10; Re 12:11

NET © Notes

tn Grk “while being quite diligent to write to you,” or “while making all haste to write to you.” Two issues are at stake: (1) whether σπουδή (spoudh) here means diligence, eagerness, or haste; (2) whether ποιούμενος γράφειν (poioumeno" grafein) is to be taken conatively (“I was about to write”) or progressively (“I was writing”). Without knowing more of the background, it is difficult to tell which option is to be preferred.

tn Grk “I had the necessity.” The term ἀνάγκη (anankh, “necessity”) often connotes urgency or distress. In this context, Jude is indicating that the more comprehensive treatment about the faith shared between himself and his readers was not nearly as urgent as the letter he found it now necessary to write.

tn Grk “encouraging.” Παρακαλῶν (parakalwn) is most likely a telic participle. In keeping with other participles of purpose, it is present tense and occurs after the main verb.

tn the verb ἐπαγωνίζομαι (epagwnizomai) is an intensive form of ἀγωνίζομαι (agwnizomai). As such, the notion of struggling, fighting, contending, etc. is heightened.

tn Τῇ πίστει (th pistei) here is taken as a dative of advantage (“on behalf of the faith”). Though rare (see BDAG 820 s.v. 3), it is not unexampled and must have this meaning here.

sn The term “faith” has a variety of meanings in the NT. Here, the faith refers to the doctrinal content embraced by believers rather than the act of believing. Rather than discuss the points of agreement that Jude would have with these believers, because of the urgency of the present situation he must assume that these believers were well grounded and press on to encourage them to fight for this common belief.

sn The adverb once for all (ἅπαξ, Japax) seems to indicate that the doctrinal convictions of the early church had been substantially codified. That is to say, Jude could appeal to written documents of the Christian faith in his arguments with the false teachers. Most likely, these documents were the letters of Paul and perhaps one or more gospels. First and Second Peter may also have been among the documents Jude has in mind (see also the note on the phrase entrusted to the saints in this verse).

sn I now feel compelled instead…saints. Apparently news of some crisis has reached Jude, prompting him to write a different letter than what he had originally planned. A plausible scenario (assuming authenticity of 2 Peter or at least that there are authentic Petrine snippets in it) is that after Peter’s death, Jude intended to write to the same Gentile readers that Peter had written to (essentially, Paul’s churches). Jude starts by affirming that the gospel the Gentiles had received from Paul was the same as the one the Jewish Christians had received from the other apostles (our common salvation). But in the midst of writing this letter, Jude felt that the present crisis deserved another, shorter piece. The crisis, as the letter reveals, is that the false teachers whom Peter prophesied have now infiltrated the church. The letter of Jude is thus an ad hoc letter, intended to confirm the truth of Peter’s letter and encourage the saints to ground their faith in the written documents of the nascent church, rather than listen to the twisted gospel of the false teachers. In large measure, the letter of Jude illustrates the necessity of clinging to the authority of scripture as opposed to those who claim to be prophets.

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