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Sample text

There is a note of election here which corresponds with v. 24 where God is worshipped for his ability to keep readers from falling. The language has a strong eschatological 2. Reading Jude 39 orientation. It asserts that those who remained faithful, by which is meant those who resisted the false teaching (and in that sense did what the letter-writer said), would be claimed by Jesus as his own when he returned from heaven. The qualities mentioned by v. 2—mercy, peace and love— are similar to those said to be the fruit of the Spirit by Paul in Gal.

Their external origin appears from v. 4 where the author says that they had 'wormed their way' (NEB translation) into the church in question. A possible reason why the teachers had come to gain entrance into that church is the theory that they were wandering prophets. The teachers are significantly called 'dreamers' in Jude 8. This phrase has a strong Old Testament background. e. false prophets) made by Deuteronomy 13. False prophecy was a recurrent feature in early Christianity as we know from the late first-century text called the Didache which supplies rules for unmasking false prophets (ch.

Gal. 4, 12). The fact that they had 'slipped in' indicates that they came from outside the community but suggests that they had been able to gain an easy access to it. Their teaching evidently had an antinomian aspect and involved what is called here 'immorality'. This term has a sexual ring. The author rebuffed the teachers by saying that they had used the experience of grace as an excuse for such practices and that their behaviour rendered them 'ungodly'. A similar reserve towards antinomianism is expressed by Paul who said that 'walking by the Spirit' meant not gratifying the desires of the flesh (see Gal.

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