« AnteriorContinuar »
4 Behold, the wages of which you have defrauded the labourers who mowed
your fields, are calling aloud, And the cries of the harvesters have entered into the ears of the Lord of
Sabaoth. 5 You have lived on earth in luxury and dissipation,
You have nourished your hearts, on the day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned, have murdered the upright man:
He does not resist you.
7 Be patient, then, brothers, until the arrival of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waits for the precious fruit of the earth,
Patient over it till it receives the early and the latter rain: 8 Be you patient also, strengthen your hearts,
For the arrival of the Lord is near. 9 Murmur not against one another, brothers, that you may not be judged :
Behold, the judge is standing before the door! 10 As an example of hardship and patient endurance, brothers, take the 11 prophets who have spoken in the name of the Lord. Behold, we call
those who have endured, happy. You have heard of the endurance of Job,
and you have seen the end of the Lord, that the Lord is full of sympathy 12 and pitiful.
But above all, my brothers, swear not: neither by heaven, nor by earth, nor by any other oath. Let your “yes” be a simple “yes," and your “no” a simple "no"—that you may not fall
Let him pray
Let him sing praise.
Let him call for the elders of the Community,
And the Lord shall raise him up. Even if he has committed sins,
They shall be forgiven him. 16 Confess then your sins to one another, And pray for one another,
That you may be cured. Great is the effect of an upright person's prayer in its activity. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like our own ;
And he prayed earnestly that it might not rain,
And it did not rain on the land for three years and six months.
And the sky yielded rain, and the land produced her fruit.
19 My brothers, if anyone among you err from the truth, and some one 20 turn him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner back from the
error of his way, shall save his soul from death and hide a inultitude of sins.
THE EPISTLE OF JUDAS
The main indication of date in this forcible and brief letter is to be found in the nature of the error that is denounced. This is commonly and, upon the whole, rightly taken to be a phrase of that strange antinomian Gnosticism which spread over sections of the church especially during the second century. The epistle (unless the epistolary form be an artificial and literary device) is addressed to a definite, local, and recent manifestation of this libertinism within (12) the church. It is a word for an emergency. The immediate conditions soon passed out of knowledge, and it is unreasonable to expect the writing to afford clearly defined traces of a controversy with which writer and readers are already familiar. Still it is none the less possible from the writing itself to reconstruct with sufficient accuracy the spirit of its period, although the general tone of the letter points not to a genuine epistle but to a homily. In the background Gnostic tendencies are unmistakable : the stress laid on distinctions and classes (19, árodiopí Covtes, to which Ro 1617 is only a linguistic parallel), the claim to possess visions (8, évun viaţóue vou) and superior knowledge (16), the moral laxity (8. 23), the repudiation of the OT God and of angels (8, KUPLÓTyta ádetowow, do&as de Braoonuollowv). Most critics concur in regarding these as consistent and decisive traces of the opposition which the church presented to the movement headed by the Nikolaitans (Apoc 26. 15) towards the end of the first century, and later by several sectaries, including Karpokrates. Their leading tenet was a licentiousness which obliterated the distinction between the natural and the moral (Tapaxphoaobai tñ capri del), accompanied by ecclesiastical insubordination, and a violent antipathy to Judaism. Clement of Alexandria (Strom. iii. 2, 6-10) found this error implied—though, as he thought, propheticallyin the epistle. Omit the “prophetically” and the correct historical standpoint is gained for the writing, i.e. somewhere among the rising currents in the sub-apostolic age, most probably after the beginning of the second century. This is corroborated by the references to the apostolic age as distant and authoritative (3. 4. 17)—the apostles being not merely scattered but dead, as the passage clearly implies—and to the faith as a crystallised entity (at af rapado Oelon tois áyious Tiotel, cp. 19), to whose historical origin the readers can look back.
The terminus ad quem is the period of the Muratorian Canon which includes Judas, or more closely, that of 2 Peter, which derives from the epistle. The mind of the writer appears to be filled with anger and surprise
1 As in the pastorals, it is met by denunciation rather than discussion, anger rather than analysis. But the situation is not yet desperate. The errorists, who are on the way of Kain (i.e. sceptics), are not altogether irreclaimable, and the church is evidently strong enough to carry the war into the enemy's camp. In 8. 10, as in Jas 21-14, an abuse of Pauline principles is implied.
2 On this demagogic eruption, cp. Zahn, Einl. ii. pp. 77, 85, 86. Like the other features of the situation, it rests on a theoretical propaganda of explosive ideas.
at the contemporary godlessness and libertinism (see Jacoby, NT Ethik, pp. 455-459), as if these were (4) for him at least a comparatively new departure. This (as Jülicher judiciously remarks) makes it advisable not to go too far down into the second century. On the other side the terminus a quo is probably to be found not merely in the Pauline epistles which it presupposes (especially Col-Eph), but in the Johannine epistles, or even in the pastorals, with which Jud-2 Pet have clear literary and religious affinities, no less than with the Didachê (parts of it written by author of Judas ? Chase, DB, ii. p. 799 f.). Broadly speaking, the range for its composition is the first quarter—perhaps the first half-of the second century : neither within nor without the NT is there any evidence to justify a more precise date. So Hilgenfeld (Einl, pp. 739–744) and Volkmar, followed by most critics, including especially Mangold, Lipsius, Holtzmann (Einl. pp. 327–329; NTTh, ii. pp. 318-321), and Weizsäcker (AA, ii. pp. 160, 202). Völter formerly put it later than 140 A.D. Pfleiderer takes it similarly as the work of an Alexandrian Hellenist, written against the Karpokratian heresy (Urc. pp. 835-838), and this represents practically the position of several, like Hausrath and S. Davidson (INT, ii. p. 335 f.) and Cone (Gospel and its Interpret. p. 338 f.). But the narrower and earlier period, 100–
125 (130) A.D., recently chosen and reasserted by Jülicher (Einl, pp. 145– | 147), McGiffert (AA, pp. 585-588), and Harnack (Chron, pp. 465-470), is, | upon the whole, certain. The relative order of Judas and the pastorals
remains, however, quite an open question. It is attractive rather than safe to find the reference of Judas 17 (των ρημάτων των προειρημένων υπό T. Åtootówv) in 2 Tim 31.2 43, 1 Tim 4'; earlier prophecies might answer just as well (e.g. Col 24f, Ac 2029, etc). The affinities with the Didachê (27=Jud 22 ř., 41=Jud 8 etc.) are much more convincing, and probably indicate that the situation of both writings is fairly identical.
On this view the author is some unknown Judas who puts forward no claim to apostleshir. His title “Brother of James,” if it be authentic, is either an equivalent for “bishop" or a merely personal reference. If it does not refer to the author of “James," it must be supposed to have carried some weight at the time, although we have lost the clue to its local origin and appositeness. Unless the writing is to be regarded (with Harnack) as originally anonymous, or (with Pfleiderer, W.Brückner, Chron, p. 298; and Holtzmann, Einl. pp. 328, 329) as essentially pseudonymous -which is unlikely, as the primitive Judas was far from being a prominent leader-it must be taken with this shadow upon the title. Grotius assigned its composition to Judas (Euseb. HE, IV. 5. 3), a bishop of Jerusalem in the reign of Hadrian, and in the dearth of evidence this seems not an unlikely guess, especially (TU, VIII. 1, 2) if the heresy is interpreted as Coptic or Syro-Palestinian Gnosticism. The remarkable use of the apocryphal2 literature and its legends 3 in the epistle has suggested
1 Semler long ago put both it and 2 Peter between 150 and 200, the former, how. ever, as an epitomě of the latter.
2 Parallels collected by Spitta (cp. cit.); passages from Enoch by Chase in DB, ii. pp. 801, 802. The latter critic endeavours with great plausibility to connect the epistle with the brother of Jesus ; but at too great expense, if such a date (a year or two after the pastoral epistles !) involves not merely the authenticity of the pastorals but the earlier date of the apocalypse and (apparently) of Hebrews. Such a literary construction is quite untenable. Further, ver. 4 does not imply a Pauline missionfield (p. 804). Had Paul a monopoly of preaching “grace”?
..3 The literary dependence upon the Assumptio Mosis in ver. 9 must be maintained, in spite of Clemen's recent scepticism (KAP, ii. pp. 312, 314).
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 simply 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, III. 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 naturally favoured by several Anglican scholars, e.g. Farrar (Early Days of Christianity, bk. ii. chap. xi.), Plummer (Expositor's Bible, “ James and Jude," 1891, Plumptre (Cambridge Bible, 1887), Salmon, 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 words and sentences which have been modified and readjusted in 2 Peter 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 Didache 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 pre
1 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 pseudepigrapha. Adeney (BI, pp. 450-452) also takes the author to have really been a brother of James the head of the Jerusalem church, and consequently a brother of Jesus.
? The rádce 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 11, tánco · Aròs accroc; 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.
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 (Einl. 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
l in this epistle owe much of their obscurity to the fact that the modern reader “is not aware of the background 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, bowever, 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 effect, 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 practice." This is admirably put, and points to a constant source of deflection in the Christian consciousness of the primitive age.