In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Epistle of Jude

  • Introduction
  • Jude the Person
  • Monographs and Articles on the Text of Jude and Texts Cited by Jude
  • Biblical-Theological Monographs and Articles on Jude
  • Rhetorical Studies of Jude
  • Monographs and Articles on Jude’s Use of the Hebrew Scriptures and Second Temple Literature
  • Background Studies

Biblical Studies Epistle of Jude
Peter H. Davids
  • LAST REVIEWED: 12 December 2022
  • LAST MODIFIED: 27 October 2016
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195393361-0227


Jude or Judas is both an individual who lived in the 1st century and the letter attributed to that individual. The letter describes the individual as “the brother of James,” thereby almost certainly meaning that James who served as the “Patriarch” of the Jerusalem Church at least between 44 and 62 CE. Both James and Jude are listed among the “brothers” of Jesus in Mark 6:3 and both are identified by Patristic writers as members of the Twelve. The putative author was therefore a member, albeit an obscure one, of the inner circle of the 1st century Jesus movement. The relatively short letter has been the topic of controversy down through the ages, partly due to its references to Second Temple Jewish literature that never became canonical for either Jews or Christians and partly because of the vehemence of its attack on a group that is now obscure. More recently it has generated a significant literature on both its text and its rhetoric.

Jude the Person

While there are discussions of Jude the person in all good Bible dictionaries, two resources stand out for their comprehensiveness, both by Richard Bauckham.

  • Bauckham, Richard J. Jude and the Relatives of Jesus in the Early Church. Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1989.

    This is the only monograph devoted to the history and influence of the relatives of Jesus in the 1st century of the church. It is solid and detailed.

  • Bauckham, Richard J. “Relatives of Jesus.” In Dictionary of the Latter New Testament and Its Developments. Edited by Ralph P. Martin and Peter H. Davids, 1004–1006. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1997.

    This article both condenses and updates his earlier monograph. It also includes an extensive bibliography.

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