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to Jülicher, however, the old idea of an Egyptian origin for the writing; while Schenkel, Mangold, Pfleiderer, and Holtzmann had thought of Alexandria, though Palestine or Asia Minor is intrinsically as probable. To confine it to the Syrian Antioch is siniply a guess. Many a community was exposed to pagan lawlessness in that age. In fact the data are far too scanty to permit of any safe conclusion being drawn from them in regard either to the situation or to the author of this vigorous, brief, and enigmatic note. It implies an intimate connection between writer and readers, involving some mutual affection and knowledge. But any efforts to get behind this fact merely result in fantastic constructions which lie quite off the ground of history.
If it is desired to find within the NT records any Judas who would correspond to the description of the title (1), the brother of James (Mk 63, Mt 1355) would certainly be the most likely figure. But as grandsons of his were alive in Domitian's reign (Euseb. HE, 111. pp. 19, 20), the period of his own life would be far too early 2 to suit the evidence of the writing, and would require the errors to be interpreted as products of Jewish Christianity or hyper-Paulinism. Neither in the letter nor in the rest of the NT is there the slightest ground for making such a conjecture upon the authorship, though it is wistfully favoured by several Anglican scholars, e.g. Farrar (Early Days of Christianity, bk. ii. chap. xi.), Plummer (Erpositor's Bible, “ James and Jude,"1891), Plumptre (Cambridge Bible, 1887), Salmon, 3 and Chase. For different and not very cogent reasons, von Soden (HC, III. 2, p. 186) dates the letter between 80 and 90, Weiss before 70, Wandel (der Brief des Judas, 1898) between 62 and 70, Kühl (-Meyer) between 65 and 80, Schäfer (Einl. p. 314 f.) between 64 and 66, and Renan c. 54 A.D. (as a bitter, covert attack upon Paul and Paulinism : Saint Paul, chap. x.). Spitta's date (+ 80 A.D.) is bound up with his lonely and brilliant attempt (Der 2 Brief d. Petrus und der Brief d. Judas, 1885; also Urc. ii. pp. 409-411) to establish the relative priority of 2 Peter, the letter of Judas being an outcome of 2 P 115; but his arguments really prove with renewed force the need and reason for insisting upon the opposite order, no longer as a problem but as a postulate for the criticism of the two writings. The priority of Judas is rightly accepted by modern critics with practical unanimity.4 In it we have the original purport of several
i In which case the “James” of Judas, ver. 1, would be the famous president of the Jerusalem Christians. This follows also, if the writing is one of the pseudepi. grapha Adeney (BI, pp. 450-452) also takes the author to have really been a brother
nes the head of the Jerusalem church, and consequently a brother of Jesus. 2 The shades of ver. 4 has its parallel not in any of the passages quoted by Zahn (Einl. ii. pp. 87, 88), where the context determines its relative scope, but in Heb 1, rádas • los huerra; non minimo intervallo, Bengel). It has a prophetic retrospect, for which no period of twenty years or so gives any adequate room. Similarly the destruction of unbelievers refers not to the Jewish ruin of 70 A.D., but to the incidents underlying the corresponding reminiscence in Heb 317-19. In short, all attempts to tear the document out of the second century are largely verbal, and break down upon serious examination. [Bacon (INT, 166 f.), 75-90 A.D., rejecting the iuscription.]
3 “Many of the phrases packed together in Jude's epistle might each be the text of a discourse; so that I could easily believe that we had in this epistle heads of topics enlarged on, either in a larger document, or by the apostle himself in viva voce addresses," p. 477 n. The same has been suggested in regard to James. There also, as here, the wisdom-literature is largely drawn upon, and the writer is acquainted with general Greek literature (cp. also Jud 16 with Jas 21).
"A recent exception is Zahn (Eini. ii. pp. 73-110), who dates Jud 70-75 A.D., supposing it to have been written by the brother of Jesus and addressed to the churches already warned in 2 Peter some ten years previously (60–63). He refers ver. 5 to the catastrophe of 70 A.D. Bartlet (AA, pp. 344-351) is fully alive to the
words and sentences which have been modified and readjusted 1 in 2 Pet to a different situation (Jud 9=2 P 211, Jud 10=2 P 212, Jud 12 =2 P 217). The latter writing preserves some of the conceptions of the earlier, but they are presented in a more abstract and expanded form, and often would be unintelligible were it not for the comment supplied by Judas. common situation of the Didachê and this epistle, but the early date he assigns to the former unfortunately obliges him to press Judas back to 70-80 A.D. as a Syrian document. It is, however, quite proper to insist that phenomena such as those presented in this epistle owe much of their obscurity to the fact that the modern reader " is not aware of the b
d of traditional and superstitious beliefs that existed from the first even in Christian minds, but were kept in abeyance as long as the power of fresh faith was unimpaired. Time, however, with its slow but potent alchemy, gradually destroyed this relation between the old and the new. ... The delay of the Lord's return had an unsettling etfect, causing men to fall more and more under the sway of the ordinary forces of human nature and society, and then by the aid of old beliefs to frame theories to explain and justify their This is admirably put, and points to a constant source of deflection in the Christian consciousness of the primitive age.
The identities of style and thought in Judas and the Didache, while curious and significant, need not imply a derivative relation or common authorship. In many such cases (cp. the book of Job and Prov 1-9) it is contemporary sympathy rather than filiation which is the clue to most of the phenomena. Often one or two important writings or writers modify the other products of their age, not through direct and conscious influence so much as by creating a certain tone and spirit, in which the other literature of the period more or less insensibly partakes. “A certain similarity all the best writers of any particular age inevitably are marked with, fronı the spirit of that age acting on all” (Shelley, who refers to his preface to Prometheus Unbound, where he closes a paragraph on this subject with the remark that "a number of writers possess the form, whilst they want the spirit of those whom, it is alleged, they imitate; because the former is the endowment of the age in which they live, and the latter must be the uncommunicated lightning of their own mind").
1 On this conflate nature of much ancient literature, historical and epistolary, cp. below, pp. 608–609; also Harper's “Deuteronomy” (Expos. Bible), pp. 69–70, and Prof. Moore's admirable study in EBi, ii. “Historical Literature," where he lays stress on the liberties taken by scribes and the successive recensions to which a book was liable, when every new copy practically meant in some sense a fresh edition, the written book being “in every sense the property of the scribe or the possessor of the roll” (see below, p. 633 f.). This applies in part even to the annalists and writers of the Augustan age, when “it was not considered unfair to transcribe whole passages from former annalists, or even to copy their works with additions and improvements, and bring them out as new and original histories. The idea of literary property seems, in truth, to be very much a creation of positive law. When no copyright existed, and when the circulation of any book was confined within very small limits by the cost and labour of transcription, the vaguest ideas prevailed, not at Rome alone, on what we should now regard as the elementary morality of plagiarism. Virgil himself transferred whole lines and passages, not merely from earlier, but even from contemporary poets; and in prose writing, one annalist cut up and reshaped the work of another with as little hesitation as a mediaeval romance-writer" (J. W. Mackail, Latin Literature, pp. 147-148). The bearing of this usage upon early Christian literature, especially when one remembers the literary methods employed in the composition of the Old Testament, is sufficiently clear. “It is one of the first things which the student of early Christian literature has to learn, that its documents were continually being altered and recast to suit every fresh development or change in the dogmatic beliefs, moral conceptions, and discipline of believers, whether orthodox or heretical. What was believed in the first century was not believed in the same way, and was not all that was believed, in the second " (Conybeare, Monuments, p. 3). Which is strong, but, in view of evidence from Irenaeus and others, hardly unjustified.
The sole purpose of the writing is to warn Christendom against a band of pseudo-Christians, whose doctrines are as frightful and anti-christian as is their moral conduct. Written in some anxiety regarding the spread of such tendencies within the church, the “epistle” shows more goodwill than skill in its methods of controversy. More space is given to indignation at these shameless persons and to the description of the judgment awaiting them, than to a proof of what is base in their principles and behaviour. Only in one or two expressionsand even these merely hint in part at the subject—is any useful advice given regarding the individuals in question. The refutation proper consists entirely of the assertion that people were long ago prepared for such phenomena, by the predictions of prophets and apostles.
The style does not give evidence of any remarkable ability, but it is not lacking in a certain marked force. Leaving out the objectionable quotations from the apocryphal writings, the author of 2 Peter afterwards incorporated in his own epistle this tiny letter of Judas, which had fallen into oblivion, but whose bitter in vectives seemed to him most serviceable.—Jülicher.
Judas, a slave of Jesus Christ and brother of James,
Jesus Christ :
mercy to you and peace and love be multiplied. 3 Beloved, in my great eagerness to write you concerning our common
salvation, I am obliged to write and appeal to you to contend for the faith 4 which was once for all delivered to the saints. For some men have slipped in by stealth, those who were predestined to this doom long ago
-Wimpious men, turning the grace of our God into sensuality, denying 5 also the only Master and our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Now I desire to remind you-knowing as you do all things once for allthat after the Lord saved a people out of the land of Egypt, he next
destroyed those who believed not: 6 and that the angels who kept not their office but abandoned their own
habitation, he has kept under the nether blackness in fetters
everlasting for the judgment of the great Day : 7 even as Sodom and Gomorra, with the surrounding cities, who (in a
way resembling these men) glutted themselves with fornication and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as a warning, under
going the penalty of fire eternal.
pollute the flesh,
and abuse Majesties. 9 Now when Michael the archangel was disputing with the devil in contro
versy over the body of Moses,
Nay, he said, “ The Lord rebuke thee."
And anything they do understand by nature, like the irrational
brutes, through that they are corrupted. 11 Woe to them !
For they went the road of Kain,
12 These are the men who are sunken rocks in your love feasts,
feasting with you unafraid,
shepherding their own selves :
Fruitless autumn-trees, twice dead, uprooted,
Wandering stars, for whom the nether blackness of darkness has been
for ever kept. 14 Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these also,
saying: 15 “Lo, the Lord came with his holy myriads, to execute judgment
of all their impious deeds which impiously they wrought,
Walking after their own lusts-
Paying regard to men's appearances for their own advantage. 17 But as for you, beloved,
Remember the words spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord
Jesus Christ, 18 How they told you : “At the end of the 1 time there shall be scoffers
who walk after their own impious lusts."
19 These are the men who make divisions,
who have not the Spirit. 20 But as for you, beloved,
Building yourselves up on your most holy faith,
Praying in the holy Spirit,
Waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to life eternal.
24 Now to him who is able to preserve you from stumbling, and to set 25 you with rejoicing faultless before his majesty-to the only God, our
Saviour through Jesus Christ our Lord, belong majesty, sovereignty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and for all time : Amen.
1 Adding rou.