11. The Overlooked Epistle of Jude

By Gaye Strathearn

Gaye Strathearn, “The Overlooked Epistle of Jude,” Shedding Light on the New Testament: Acts–Revelation, ed. Ray L. Huntington, Frank F. Judd Jr., and David M. Whitchurch (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2009), 227–46.

The Overlooked Ep​istle of Jude

Gaye Strathearn

Gaye Strathearn is an assistant professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University.

J. Daryl Charles wrote, “The message and world of the epistle of Jude are strangely unfamiliar to the modern reader. Even among students of the New Testament this unfamiliarity is conspicuous. One is hard-pressed to find a single monograph which deals with the exegetical or theological problems raised by the letter.”[1] In Latter-day Saint writings we find a similar dearth.[2] As a teacher of the New Testament who constantly struggles to cover all that I want to in my classes, for a number of years I skipped over the Epistle of Jude so that I could have more time in Revelation. In the past few years, however, I have instituted a course correction to make sure that I include this short but powerful book of scripture. For Latter-day Saints in particular, Jude contains references that become more meaningful when viewed through the lens of Restoration teaching: the Apostasy, our premortal first estate, the translation of Moses, and our belief in an open canon.

Who Wa​s Jude?

The author introduces himself in the first verse as “Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and the brother of James.” A second-century writer by the name of Hegesippus wrote of Jude, “Who is said to have been [Christ’s] brother, according to the flesh”[3] (see Mark 6:3; Matthew 13:55).

Some suggest that Jude was an Apostle. This conclusion is based on two very different arguments. The first argument appeals to the King James translation of Luke’s lists of Apostles in Luke 6:16 and Acts 1:13. Both passages include in the apostolic list “Judas the brother of James,” and thus some have identified this Apostle Jude with the author of the epistle.[4] This connection, however, is problematic on at least two fronts. Textually a difficulty arises with the phrase “the brother.” It is italicized in the King James Translation because, unlike the corresponding passage in Jude 1:1, there is no specific equivalent in the Greek text. Rather, the translators have inserted the phrase. Literally, the Greek texts in both passages read “Judas of James” (Ioudan Iakōbou), and there is good contextual evidence to indicate that this phrase should be interpreted patronymically, “Judas the son of James.” For example, the King James translators chose a patronymical translation for a similar construction describing the relationship between James and Alphaeus in the same apostolic lists in Luke 6:15 and Acts 1:13. Again the Greek texts read “James of Alphaeus” (Iakōbon Alphaiou ), but in these cases the King James translators rendered them as “James the son of Alphaeus.” In addition, in Luke 6:14 when Luke wants to identify a sibling relationship between Peter and Andrew, he uses specific language: “Simon . . . and Andrew his brother” (Simōna . . . kai Andrean ton adelphon autou). Therefore, the link between the Jude of the epistle and the lists of Apostles in Luke and Acts is, at best, tenuous.[5]

Another argument suggests that Jude may be identified with the Apostle Thomas.[6] The Gospel of John, the only gospel that mentions Thomas outside the Apostle lists, identifies him as “Thomas, which is called Didymus” (John 11:16; see also 20:24; 21:2). Three major texts of East Syrian provenance, the Gospel of Thomas, the Book of Thomas the Contender, and the Acts of Thomas, however, identify him as Didymos Judas Thomas (Gospel of Thomas II 32.10–11), Judas Thomas (II, 7 Book of Thomas the Contender 138.1–2), or Judas Thomas, who is called Didymus (Acts of Thomas 1).[7] Both the names Didymus in Greek and Thomas in Aramaic mean “twin.” Therefore, it is argued that Judas or Jude is the proper name of the Apostle and that Didymos and Thomas act as descriptive terms to identify Judas as a twin. The Gospel account gives no indication of the identity of Judas’s twin, but the Acts of Thomas (31, 39) and the Book of Thomas the Contender (138.7) identify Judas Thomas as the twin brother of Christ.[8] Therefore, the reasoning goes, if the author of Jude’s epistle is the same individual named Thomas in the canonical lists of the Apostles, then Jude had apostolic authority.

There are however, some problems with this line of reasoning. First, the identification of Judas Thomas as Jesus’s twin in the Syrian texts has serious implications for the doctrine of the virgin birth. Restoration scripture, while not weighing in on the relationship between Thomas and Jude, boldly declares the reality of the virgin birth (see 1 Nephi 11:12–20; see also 2 Nephi 17:14; Alma 7:10) and that Jesus was the only Begotten Son of God (see 2 Nephi 25:12; Jacob 4:5; D&C 20:21; 138:57). Second, the identification of the Apostle Thomas with Judas is attested in only one limited geographical area of the early Christian Church: eastern Syria. Third, within that geographical area, the belief that Judas Thomas was Jesus’s twin is limited to only two works, the Acts of Thomas and the Book of Thomas the Contender, although “it may well be presupposed in the Gospel of Thomas.”[9] Both of these texts are late and reflect a specific theological position.[10] The tradition appears outside of eastern Syria “only in much later works under the influence of the Acts of Thomas.”[11] It should be noted that in these texts the label of “twin” does not simply imply that Thomas “was thought to resemble his brother Jesus so greatly that he almost seemed his twin.”[12] Rather the texts reflect a particular theological outlook that the elect race has a divine double or image.[13] Sometimes the image is described as a garment, as in the “Hymn of the Pearl” in the Acts of Thomas. From this theological perspective, Thomas is the human embodiment of that garment, which must be reunited with its principal to secure salvation.

It is therefore difficult to definitively identify Jude as an Apostle. It may simply be that his epistle received canonical status because of his family association with both Jesus and James.

Use of the Ep​istle of Jude

The earliest extant copy of the Epistle of Jude is a small papyrus codex from the Bodmer collection, p72.[14] The codex, which probably dates to the third century, also contained 1 and 2 Peter and some other noncanonical texts.[15] Although Jude was not quoted widely in the existing documents of the early Church, it seems to have been known and/or quoted by Clement of Alexandria (died AD 215; The Instructor, 3.8), Origen (AD 185–254; On First Principles, 3.2.1), and Tertullian (AD 160–225; On the Apparel of Women, 1.3). The Muratorian Canon, often dated to about AD 200, notes that at the time it was written, the epistle of Jude was “accepted in the catholic Church.”[16] The paucity of early references, however, led Eusebius to categorize it among “the Disputed Books” although he readily admits it has “been used publicly . . . in most churches” (History of the Church, 2.23.25).

In this dispensation, Jude’s epistle received limited attention in the writings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. In his New Translation of the Bible, the Prophet only makes changes to verses 1 and 11 of the King James text. In verse 1 he identifies Jude as “the servant of God, called of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them who are sanctified of the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ.” The second is a minor adjustment in verse 11, where he changes the verb “perish” from past to future tense.[17]

There are only two other references that the Prophet made to Jude and his epistle. The first comes in a discussion of the mission of Enoch. Here Joseph teaches that Enoch appeared to Jude, which may suggest why he made reference to Enoch’s writings in verses 14 and 15 in his epistle. “Now this Enoch God reserved unto Himself, that he should not die at that time, and appointed unto him a ministry unto terrestrial bodies, of whom there has been but little revealed. He is reserved also unto the presidency of a dispensation. . . . He is a ministering angel, to minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation, and appeared unto Jude as Abel did unto Paul; therefore Jude spoke of him. And Enoch, the seventh from Adam, revealed these sayings: ‘Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of His Saints.’”[18]

The second reference comes from a discussion of books mentioned but not contained in our present Bible: “Much conjecture and conversation frequently occurred among the Saints, concerning the books mentioned, and referred to, in various places in the Old and New Testaments, which were now nowhere to be found. The common remark was, ‘They are lost books;’ but it seems that the Apostolic Church had some of these writings, as Jude mentions or quotes the Prophecy of Enoch, the seventh man from Adam.”[19] I will return to this subject later in this article.

The Message of ​the Epistle of Jude in Light of the Restoration

In the opening verses, Jude indicates that his initial desire in writing this epistle is to “write unto you concerning the common salvation” (v. 3; author’s translation). Elder Bruce R. McConkie understands “the common salvation” to mean “salvation is available to all men, not just a select few. Eternal life is not reserved for apostles and prophets, for the saints of Enoch’s day, or for the martyrs of the Christian Dispensation. . . . The eternal call of the Eternal God is: ‘Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price,’ for ‘salvation is free!’”[20]

Something had happened, however, to induce Jude to shift focus and write a different letter: “It was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (v. 3). Jude describes the incursion of apostasy into the community that he addresses: “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 4). Later in his epistle Jude notes that the Apostles had forewarned the Saints, “There should be mockers in the last time who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit” (vv. 17–19). The translation of “separate themselves” comes from the Greek word apodiorizō, meaning to “mark off by dividing or separating.”[21] In other words, they caused a division in the Church. Peter, who may have known of Jude’s epistle, warned, “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways” (2 Peter 2:1–2).[22]

The doctrine of the Apostasy is the bedrock upon which the need for a restoration is founded. Elder Neal A. Maxwell has taught, “Teaching about history’s major apostasies has long been one of the restored gospel’s ‘givens.’” He notes that while the fullness of the gospel was “preached from the beginning” (Moses 5:58), “this initial fullness was soon lost. Resulting fragmentation, diffusion, and distortion contributed to a wide variety of world religions—Christian and non-Christian. . . . New Testament epistles clearly indicate that serious and widespread apostasy—not just sporadic dissent—began soon.”[23]

The brevity of Jude’s epistle makes it difficult to pinpoint the specific circumstances that led to his epistle. Jude does make it clear, however, that the problems were internal in nature. He also specifies that the deeds of those who were responsible had been proclaimed or written down long ago (see v. 4).[24] Paul had taught the Thessalonians that the Second Coming would not come until there had been an apostasia, or rebellion, within the Church (see 2 Thessalonians 2:3) and had warned the Saints at the Miletus conference that after his “departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them” (Acts 20:29–30). Centuries before Jude wrote his epistle, Nephi prophesied that after the fullness of the gospel goes “forth by the hand of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, from the Jews to the Gentiles . . . many parts which are plain and most precious are taken away.” Nephi learned that the purpose was “that they might pervert the right ways of the Lord” (1 Nephi 13:24–27). Likewise Isaiah prophesied, “This people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men” (Isaiah 29:13), a principle that was later reiterated to the boy Joseph in the Sacred Grove (see Joseph Smith—History 1:19).

Jude’s main concern was for the doctrinal drift within the Church. He asked the Saints to “contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” The Greek word translated as “contend” is epagōnizomai and suggests that to “stand up for the faith” is to engage in a noble cause.[25] His appeal is not just that his readers defend the faith but that they actively fight to promote the gospel.[26] Thus we see at the end of the epistle Jude encouraging the members to go about “building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (vv. 20–21). Likewise, in this dispensation, when Oliver Cowdery gave his charge to the Twelve, he also exhorted them to “contend for the faith.” He says, “You are to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints. Jacob, you know, wrestled till he had obtained. It was by fervent prayer and diligent search that you have obtained the testimony you are now able to bear. You are as one; you are equal in bearing the keys of the Kingdom to all nations. You are called to preach the Gospel of the Son of God to the nations of the earth; it is the will of your heavenly Father, that you proclaim His Gospel to the ends of the earth and the islands of the sea.”[27]

In the body of his epistle, Jude discusses some issues and doctrines that are of particular interest to Latter-day Saints: the first estate, Michael the Archangel, the death of Moses, and nonbiblical texts (the Assumption of Moses and 1 Enoch).

The First Estat​e (verse 6)

In verse 6 Jude includes a statement that teaches a doctrine particularly important for Latter-day Saints: “And the angels which kept not their first estate [tēn heautōn archēn], but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.” The Greek word that the King James Version translates as “estate” is archē, the same word used at the beginning of John’s Gospel, “In the beginning [archē] was the Word” (John 1:1). Various English translations have rendered the archē in Jude 1:6 as “positions of authority” (New International Version), “their own domain” (New American Standard Bible), “their own principality” (American Standard Version), or “the authority they had” (Jerusalem Bible). Each of these translations reflects a nuance of the Greek word archē. The sense is that archē refers to a period at the beginning of time, or at least the beginning of time for this earth (see Moses 1:33–35), but it also conveys a sense that this premortal period was a time of power and dominion.[28]

Like Jude, Peter taught, “God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment” (2 Peter 2:4). Clearly, his understanding was that the angels lost their position or first estate because of sin, but to what specific event was Jude referring? Many biblical commentators connect the passage with Genesis 6:1–4, which describes the sons of God taking daughters of men as wives.[29] The Genesis passage is expanded in 1 Enoch, where the “sons of God” are identified as “the angels, the children of heaven” (6:1–2). Certainly, there are numerous literary connections with the account in 1 Enoch.[30]

Because of the Restoration, however, Latter-day Saints understand this passage very differently. The First Presidency has written, “The most reliable way to measure the accuracy of any biblical passage is not by comparing different texts, but by comparison with the Book of Mormon and modern-day revelations.”[31] Abraham 3 provides important information for understanding Jude 1:6. Here we learn that “intelligences were organized before the world was” (Abraham 3:22) and that God declared, “And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them; and they who keep their first estate shall be added upon; and they who keep not their first estate shall not have glory in the same kingdom with those who keep their first estate; and they who keep their second estate shall have glory added upon their heads for ever and ever.” The context suggests that “those who keep their first estate” were “many of the noble and great ones” who followed the one “like unto the Son of Man” (vv. 22, 27). These were those whom God promised He would make His rulers (see v. 23). President Heber J. Grant taught, “We have been placed upon this earth because of our faithfulness in having kept our first estate. The labors that we performed in the sphere that we left before we came here have had a certain effect upon our lives here, and to a certain extent they govern and control the lives that we lead here, just the same as the labors that we do here will control and govern our lives when we pass from this stage of existence.”[32]

In contrast, those who kept not their first estate were the “many [who] followed after” Satan (v. 28). Doctrine and Covenants 29:36–38 is even more specific and identifies “the many” as “a third part of the hosts of heaven.” Thus, instead of connecting Jude 1:6 with Genesis 6:1–4, Latter-day Saints see a much stronger connection with Revelation 12:7–9, “And there was a war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”[33] The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that when Satan fell, “He sought for things which were unlawful. Hence he was sent down, and it is said he drew many away with him; and the greatness of his punishment is that he shall not have a tabernacle.” Further, “The contention in heaven was—Jesus said there would be certain souls that would not be saved; and the devil said he could save them all, and laid his plans before the grand council, who gave their vote in favor of Jesus Christ. So the devil rose up in rebellion against God, and was cast down, with all who put up their heads for him.”[34] This Restoration view of Jude’s mention of “the angels who kept not their first estate” is very different from other Christian and academic readings of the verse.

Michael the Arch​angel (Verse 9)

A second verse for which the Restoration provides significant insight is verse 9, which reads, “But when Michael, the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.” In Jewish tradition, Michael is the leader of archangels who dwell in the presence of God (Ascension of Isaiah 3:16). In this capacity, he functions in a number of roles. He is “the patron angel of Israel . . . fighting for Israel” against her enemies, he is “an intercessor for Israel before God,” he keeps “the heavenly books,” and he is the leader of the angels who cast Satan from heaven (Revelation 12:7–9).[35]

Latter-day revelation provides additional information. The Doctrine and Covenants teaches us that Michael will play an important role at the resurrection and at the end of the Millennium. Doctrine and Covenants 29:26 reads, “But, behold, verily I say unto you, before the earth shall pass away, Michael, mine archangel, shall sound his trump, and then shall all the dead awake, for their graves shall be opened, and they shall come forth—yea, even all.” Then, at the end of the Millennium, when Satan is loosed, “Michael, the seventh angel, even the archangel, shall gather together his armies, even the hosts of heaven. And the devil shall gather together his armies; even the hosts of hell, and shall come up to battle against Michael and his armies. And then cometh the battle of the great God; and the devil and his armies shall be cast away into their own place, that they shall not have power over the saints any more at all. For Michael shall fight their battles, and shall overcome him who seeketh the throne of him who sitteth upon the throne, even the Lamb,” (D&C 88:112–15).

Perhaps most significantly, Restoration teachings identify Michael as Adam (See D&C 27:11; 107:54; 128:21). The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that he “is the father of the human family, and presides over the spirits of all men, and all that have had the keys must stand before him in the grand council.” Further, he is “the first to hold the spiritual blessings, to whom was made known the plan of ordinances for the salvation of his posterity unto the end, and to whom Christ was first revealed, and through whom Christ has been revealed from heaven, and will continue to be revealed from henceforth.”[36]

The Death of Mos​es (Verse 9)

In addition to introducing Michael, verse 9 also includes an intriguing reference to a dispute between him and the devil over the body of Moses.[37] Jude assumes that the account was familiar to his audience. According to some early Christian texts, Jude is quoting from a document known as the Assumption of Moses.[38] From parallel Jewish stories, we can assume that the debate was over who should have control of Moses’s body.[39] The account in Deuteronomy says that “Moses the servant of the Lord died . . . in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord. And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulcher unto this day” (Deuteronomy 34:1). Some Jewish sources accept that Moses died as other mortals.[40] The account in Josephus, however, says that while he was on the mountain Abarim, “(one that affords, to such as are on it, a prospect of the greatest part of the excellent land of Canaan,) [Moses] dismissed the senate; and as he was going to embrace Eleazar and Joshua, and was still discoursing with them, a cloud stood over him on the sudden, and he disappeared in a certain valley, although he wrote in the holy books that he died, which was done out of fear, lest they should venture to say that, because of his extraordinary virtue, he went to God” (Antiquities of the Jews, 4.8.48).

Concerning the end of Moses’s life, the Book of Mormon compares it to that of Alma the Younger: “And this we know, that he [Alma] was a righteous man; and the saying went abroad in the church that he was taken up by the Spirit, or buried by the hand of the Lord, even as Moses. But behold, the scriptures saith the Lord took Moses unto himself; and we suppose that he has also received Alma in the spirit, unto himself; therefore, for this cause we know nothing concerning his death and burial” (Alma 45:19). Latter-day Saints understand these passages to mean that Moses did not die, but was translated, as was Elijah. President Boyd K. Packer wrote, Elijah and Moses “were both translated—taken from the earth without experiencing mortal death. . . . There were things that both Elijah and Moses must pass on to others in the flesh in the generations that were still to come, and they would come back to earth to do that before experiencing the change from mortality to resurrected being.”[41] It would appear, therefore, that the argument between Michael and the devil cannot have been over who would control the body because, as a translated being, Moses kept his body. Speaking of translated beings, Mormon teaches, “There must needs be a change wrought upon their bodies, or else it need be that they must taste of death” (3 Nephi 28:37). It may be, therefore, that what Michael and the devil are disputing over is whether Moses was worthy to be translated, not who should have control of the body after he had died.

The Assumption of Moses (Ver​se 9) and 1 Enoch (Verses 14–15)

Jude’s quotation from the Assumption of Moses raises a question of importance for Latter-day Saints: why does he quote from a nonbiblical source? The issue becomes even more significant where he, in verses 14–15, seems to be quoting from another nonbiblical text, 1 Enoch. Jude writes, “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him” (see also 1 Enoch 1:9). In the Christian Church, 1 Enoch appears to have played an important role. For example, two influential Christian authors from the second century quote from it: Irenaeus (Against Heresies, 4.36.4), and Justin Martyr (2 Apology, 5). In addition, the Epistle of Barnabas quotes 1 Enoch using the formula, “For the Scripture says” (16.5–6), and Tertullian specifically used Jude’s quotation of 1 Enoch to argue for the latter’s authenticity (On the Apparel of Women, 1.3). By the time of Jerome (fifth century), however, many considered the quotation to be evidence that the Epistle of Jude was not inspired scripture.[42] In this dispensation, the Prophet Joseph associated Jude’s quotation from 1 Enoch with the prophecy of Enoch recorded in Moses 7.[43]

Jude’s use of the Assumption of Moses and 1 Enoch reminds readers that the concept of scripture was much more fluid in Jude’s day than during the fourth century, when, from the perspective of many Christians, the canon became a closed entity.[44] In the earliest period of Christianity the only scriptural texts available were the Hebrew Bible, which was itself still in a certain period of fluidity and which included texts from the Old Testament Apocrypha.[45] When the Prophet Joseph was engaged in his translation of the Old Testament, he inquired of the Lord about how he should approach the apocryphal texts included in his version of the King James Bible. The Lord instructed him, “There are many things contained therein that are true, and it is mostly translated correctly,” but he also warned, “There are many things contained therein that are not true, which are interpolations by the hands of men. . . . Therefore, whoso readeth it, let him understand, for the Spirit manifesteth truth; and whoso is enlightened by the Spirit shall obtain benefit therefrom” (D&C 91:1–5).

With time the early Christian Churches developed their own scriptural texts, which included texts that were not later included in the canon. For example, the Muratorian Canon includes texts such as epistles to the Laodiceans and the Alexandrians (although it claims that “it was forged in Paul’s name for the sect of Marcion”), the Revelation of Peter, the Wisdom of Solomon, and the Shepherd of Hermas. Other texts that were also quoted authoritatively in the early Christian Church included 1 Clement, the Epistle of Barnabas, and the Acts of Paul.

While Jude’s use of noncanonical texts may be difficult to explain for those who adhere to a closed canon, Latter-day Saints are not faced with the same conundrum. The Prophet Joseph, in answer to the question, “Is not the canon of Scriptures full?” replied, “If it is, there is a great defect in the book, or else it would have said so.”[46] Latter-day Saints have always accepted that both scripture and canon are subject to expansion because we believe in the principle of continuing revelation from God. Jude’s epistle confirms that he has also acknowledged an expanded version of scriptural texts.

Con​clusion

The Epistle of Jude is a short but important scriptural text. Because of the teachings of the Restoration, Latter-day Saints are well equipped to recognize and appreciate its contribution. Although Eusebius listed Jude’s epistle among “the Disputed Books,” the Latter-day Saint doctrines of the Apostasy, the premortal existence, the identity of Michael, the translation of Moses, and an expanded canon all provide an interpretive lens through which we can see the important role this text plays in our New Testament canon.


[1] J. Daryl Charles, “Jude’s Use of Pseudepigraphical Source-Material as Part of a Literary Strategy,” in New Testament Studies 37 (1991): 130.

[2] Some exceptions are M. Catherine Thomas, “Refuge in God’s Love,” in Studies in Scripture, Volume 6: Acts to Revelation, ed. by Robert L. Millet (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1987), 244–55, and T. John Nielsen II, “Jude: A Call to Contend for the Faith,” in The New Testament and the Latter-day Saints: The 1987 Sidney B. Sperry Symposium (Orem, UT: Randall Book, 1987), 219–32.

[3] As recorded by Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, 3.20.1; see also Richard Bauckham, Jude and the Relatives of Jesus in the Early Church (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1990), 5–32.

[4] Nielsen, “Jude,” 221.

[5] Elder Bruce R. McConkie attempts to harmonize the apostolic lists in Matthew, Mark and Luke. In this he follows Elder Talmage’s lead in Jesus the Christ, and identifies Judas as the same individual as “Lebbeus or Thaddeus” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1979], 1:211). It should be noted, however, that Elder Talmage recognizes the difficulties in the translation of “Judas of James” in Luke 6:16 and Acts 1:13. He concludes, “We are uninformed as to which James is referred to, and as to whether the Judas here mentioned was the son, the brother, or some other relative of the unidentified James” (Jesus the Christ [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1982], 214). Elder McConkie does not include this caveat in his discussion of the author of the Epistle of Jude (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3:416).

[6] Helmut Koester, “Gnōmai Diaphoroi: The Origin and Nature of Diversification in the History of Early Christianity,” Harvard Theological Review 58 (1965): 297. See also the recent discussion by John F. Hall, New Testament Witnesses of Christ: Peter, John, James, and Paul (American Fork, UT: Covenant Communications, Inc., 2002), 171–72. This identification, however, does not explain Jude’s self-description as “the brother of James.”

[7] For other instances of the name Judas Thomas, see the Curetonian syriac version of John 14:22 and the Abgar legend in Eusebius, History of the Church 1.13.11.

[8] John J. Gunther, however, has argued that the association of Judas with Didymus Thomas as Jesus’s twin results from an amalgamation of two traditions about Judas Thaddaeus and Didymus Thomas (“The Meaning and Origin of the Name ‘Judas Thomas,’” Muséon 93 [1980]: 113–48).

[9] Bauckham, Jude and the Relatives of Jesus, 33.

[10] Both the Book of Thomas the Contender and the Acts of Thomas date to the first half of the third century AD (John D. Turner, “Introduction to The Book of Thomas the Contender [II,7],” in The Nag Hammadi Library in English, ed. James M. Robinson, rev. ed. [San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1990], 199). For a discussion on the theological outlook of the Thomas material, see Gregory J. Riley, “Thomas Tradition and the Acts of Thomas,” Society of Biblical Literature Seminar Papers 30 (1991): 533–42 and Riley, Resurrection Reconsidered: Thomas and John in Controversy (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1995).

[11] Bauckham, Jude and the Relatives of Jesus, 33.

[12] Hall, New Testament Witnesses of Christ, 171.

[13] Hans Jonas, The Gnostic Religion: The Message of the Alien God and the Beginnings of Christianity (Boston: Beacon Press, 1963), 122–29.

[14] For an extensive discussion on the manuscript witnesses to the Epistle of Jude, see Tommy Wasserman, The Epistle of Jude: Its Text and Transmission, Coniectanea Biblica New Testament Series 43 (Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International, 2006), 104–21.

[15] Bruce M. Metzger and Bart D. Ehrman, The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005), 58.

[16] See Wilhelm Schneemelcher, ed., New Testament Apocrypha, trans. R. M. Wilson (Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1991), 1:36.

[17] See Scott H. Faulring, Kent P. Jackson, and Robert J. Matthews, eds., Joseph Smith’s New Translation of the Bible: Original Manuscripts (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2004), 565.

[18] Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, comp. Joseph Fielding Smith (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1976), 170.

[19] Smith, History of the Church, 1:132–33.

[20] McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3:416–17.

[21] Walter Bauer, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, trans. William F. Arndt and F. Wilbur Gingrich, rev. F. Wilbur Gingrich and Frederick W. Danker, 2nd ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979), 90, s.v. “α̉ποδιορίζω.”

[22] Both Jude and 2 Peter contain a significant amount of material in common. Scholars generally argue that 2 Peter is dependent upon the material in Jude, but it has also been argued that Jude is dependent on 2 Peter or that both texts are drawing from an independent source. For a discussion, see Wasserman, Epistle of Jude, 73–97.

[23] Neal A. Maxwell, “From the Beginning,” Ensign, November 1993, 18.

[24] The King James Version translates prographō as “ordained”—“who were before of old ordained to this condemnation”—but its literal meaning is to “write before” and is often used in the sense of being “written earlier in the same document” or “written in an earlier document,” or “to proclaim” or “to write down” Bauer, Greek-English Lexicon, s.v “προγράφω.”

[25] Bauer, Greek-English Lexicon, 281, s.v. “ἐπαγωνίζομαι.”

[26] Richard J. Bauckham, Jude, 2 Peter, Word Biblical Commentary 50 (Waco, TX: Word Books, 1983), 32.

[27] Smith, History of the Church, 2:196.

[28] Gerhard Kittel, ed., Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, trans. and ed. Geoffrey W. Bromiley (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1964–1976), s.v. “ἀρχή.”

[29] E. M. Sidebottom, James, Jude, 2 Peter; The New Century Bible Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1982), 85.

[30] “abandon their home” = 1 Enoch 12:4; 15:3; “judgment of the great day” = 1 Enoch 10:12; 22:11; 84:4; “gloom” = 1 Enoch 10:4–6; “chains” = 1 Enoch 13:1; 14:5; 56:1–4; “kept” = 2 Enoch 7:2 (Bauckham, Jude, 2 Peter, 52–53).

[31] Letter from the First Presidency regarding the King James Version of the Bible, signed by Ezra Taft Benson, Gordon B. Hinckley, and Thomas S. Monson, May 22, 1992.

[32] Heber J. Grant, “Reward of Conscience,” Improvement Era, February 1943, 75.

[33] McConkie, Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3:418.

[34] Smith, Teachings, 297, 357; see also Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954–56), 1:65, and James E. Talmage, The Articles of Faith (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1987), 62–63.

[35] Duane F. Watson, The Anchor Bible Dictionary, ed. David Noel Freedman (New York: Doubleday, 1992), s.v. “Michael.”

[36] Smith, Teachings, 157, 167.

[37] The concept of a debate between one of God’s angels and the devil is also known in other sources (see Zechariah 3:1–5; Jubilees 17:15–18; 48:2–5; and the Dead Sea Scrolls fragment 4Q544).

[38] Clement of Alexandria, Comments on the Epistle of Jude; Origen, On First Principles, 3.2.1. An incomplete sixth-century manuscript of the Assumption of Moses (or Testament of Moses) does not include Jude’s reference in the extant material.

[39] One text from the Dead Sea Scrolls (4Q544) describes an account in which Moses’s father, Amram, has a vision of a dispute between two angels over him. One angel “had a dreadful appearance . . . and his clothing was coloured and obscured by darkness” while the other “in his appearance and his face was smiling” (1.13–14). They were disputing because they “[have received] control and control all the sons of Adam” (1.12). Translation from Florentino García Martinez, The Dead Sea Scrolls Translated, The Qumran Texts in English, trans. Wilfred G. E. Watson (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1994), 273­.

[40] See, for example, Pseudo-Philo, 19. Christian texts usually refer to Enoch and Elijah being translated, but not Moses (1 Clement, 9.3; Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, 19; Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 4.16.2; 5.5.1; Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies, 4.17; Tertullian, Against the Jews, 2, 4, A Treatise on the Soul, 50).

[41] Boyd K. Packer, The Holy Temple (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1980), 109.

[42] Jerome, Lives of Illustrious Men, 4.

[43] Smith, History of the Church, 1:132–33.

[44] Although the terms “scripture” and “canon” are sometimes used interchangeably, there is a distinction. “If in connection with Christian writings the word ‘canon’ originally had a specific sense of a fixed list of authoritative documents, the term ‘scripture’ designates writings which are taken to be religiously authoritative and are used and valued as such, yet without regard to their systematic enumeration or limitation. Whereas the concept of canon presupposes the existence of scriptures, the concept of scripture does not necessarily entail the notion of canon. It is entirely possible to possess scriptures without also having a canon, and this was in fact the situation in the first several centuries of Christianity” (Harry Y. Gamble, The New Testament Canon: Its Making and Meaning [Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1985], 18).

[45] For a discussion of early Christian use of authoritative sources, see Bruce M. Metzger, The Canon of the New Testament: Its Origin, Development, and Significance (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987), 39­–73.

[46] Smith, Teachings, 121.