« ÎnapoiContinuați »
taken to a great extent from S. Jude, or S. Jude was taken from it, or both were taken from a common source.
The warning against false prophets here given is to be compared with S. Matth. 7:22; 24: 24; 1 S. John 4:1.
“ Denying even the Master who bought them.”
No words could better assert the truth that the redemption with the precious blood of Christ was universal in its range than these. The great sin of these teachers was that they would not recognize their position as redeemed men which of right belonged to them.
The denial referred to may be either a formal rejection of Christ as the Son of God, like that referred to in 1 John 2:22, 23 or to a more practical denial shown forth in base and godless lives.
“ With covetousness they shall with feigned words make merchandise of you.”
This greed of gain, found in strange union with high flown claims to a higher knowledge and holiness than that of other men seems to have been one of the chief features of the Apostolic age. Our own times are very much like it.
“ Cast them into Tartarus." The use of a word so closely bound up with the associations of Greek mythology is a phenomenon absolutely unique in the New Testament.
2:6. “ Having made them an example.".
S. Peter does not see in the supernatural destruction of the cities of the plain an exception to the normal order of the Divine government. It was rather a pattern instance of the judgment sure to fall, sooner or later, on all who were guilty of like sins.
Compare i S. Peter 3:20; S. Luke 17 : 26–29; Isaiah 1:9, 10; Ezek 16:48–56.
Luxuriating in their love feasts while they feast
2:13. with you.
The love feasts of the early Christians were a kind of social club feast, at first, perhaps connected in time and place with the Lord's Supper, but afterwards first distinguished and then divided from it. They were a witness of the new brotherhood in which the conventional distinctions of society were suspended, and rich and poor met together with the distinct recognition of the fact that the Lord is the maker of them both. Disorders connected with them led to their discontinu
1 Cor 11:21 as well as the present text show the beginning of these disorders at a very early period.
• Promising them liberty. while they themselves are slaves of corruption.
The Council of Jerusalem had imposed restraints alike on participation in idolatrous feasts and on sins of impurity (Acts 15:29). S. Peter here refers to those who are treating that Council's rulings with disdain. Compare i Cor. 8:9; 10:23.
“ It has happened to them according to the true proverb."
Stress is laid on the fact that there had been a real change. Those who after baptism returned to the impurity they had renounced, were in the Apostle's eyes, no better than the unclean beasts. Compare S. Matth. 7:6.
3:1. “ This is now, beloved, the second letter." A new section of the epistle opens.
The thoughts of the Apostle now turns to mockers who make merry at the delay of the coming of the Lord.
3:3 Following their own desires."
The habit of self-indulgence is always the natural parent of the cynical and scoffing sneer.
“ Where is the promise of his coming ? ' S. Paul had written time and again as if he expected to be living on the earth when the Judge of all the earth should finally come (1 Thess. 4:15; 1 Cor. 15:51 ; 2 Cor. 5:4), and yet he had not come, so some men began to think the coming was a delusion.
“ Fell asleep."
In Christian language the old idea of death as a sleep is perpetuated in the term “ cemetery”_sleeping-place, as applied to the burial of the dead.
“ The world * * perished.” This word carries with it not simply the idea of destruction pure and simple, but rather that of a change, or breaking up of an old order, by which a new and higher order is introduced.
The seed thrown on the ground decays and dies, but that is the very condition by which alone the new life germinates and starts afresh in the circle of its being. 3:7.
Stored up for fire.”
“One day is * * * as a thousand years." A day may be as important with results for the spiritual history of mankind or of an individual soul as great as those of a millennium. The period of a millennium may be but as a day in the evolution of the great purposes of God.
“ Go to work earnestly." Here is seen a trace of our Lord's words in S. Matth. 24:46.
3:15. “ The longsuffering of our Lord is salvation.”
Men were impatient and considered the longsuffering of God as tardiness in the fulfilment of his promises. The
of looking at it was to see in it the working out of his plan of salvation.
“ Our beloved brother Paul.”
These words imply a full recognition of S. Paul's work as a brother in the Apostleship. Compare i S. Peter 5:12 and note on it. See also 1 Thess. 4:5 and 2 Thess. 2. These latter were written when Silvanus was with S. Paul. Compare also Eph. 1:4; 2:7; 3:9-11; Col. 1:20.
“ As they do also the other Scriptures." Few passages are more important than this in its bearing on the growth of the canon of the New Testament. It shows that the distinctive term of honor used of the books of the Old Testament was applied without reserve to S. Paul's writings.
“ But grow in grace and knowledge.” Here, as in chapter one, five, stress is laid on knowledge as an element of growth, partly as essential to completeness in the Christian life, partly, also, perhaps, in the reference to the knowledge falsely so called (1 Tim. 6:20).
1:1. “ Jude."
S. Jude, the writer of this letter, was a brother of S. James the writer of the letter bearing that name.
“ Beloved of God.”
“ To contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered.”
Compare for the word "contend,” Col. 1: 29; 4:12.
The expression here used finds a close parallel in the “striving together for the faith” of Phil. 1:27.
Faith is obviously to be taken in its objective sense, as being the belief of the Church universal. This · faith was first of all imparted orally to every convert and took its place among the traditions of the Church (2 Thess. 2:15; 3:6), the noble deposit, “ the good thing committed to their trust,” which all pastors and teachers were to watch over and to pass on to others (2 Tim. 1 : 14), identical with the “ form of sound words ” (2 Tim. 1:13). In the words which describe the “ mystery of godli
(1 Tim. 3:16), and in “ faithful sayings of the Pastoral Epistles (1 Tim. 1:15; 3:1; 4:9; 2 Tim. 2:11; Titus 3:8), we have probably portions of this traditional faith.