Showing posts with label Jude. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jude. Show all posts

Thursday, September 08, 2022

Don’t Forget What You Never Knew

“Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. And the angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day — just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.”

Ummm …

What do you mean, “remind”?

Thursday, April 07, 2022

The Laughter of Jackals

When I was young, back in the 1970s, disaster movies were in vogue. Perhaps the most memorable was Jaws (1975), but before that were such noteworthies as The Omega Man (1971), The Poseidon Adventure (1972), Airport and Earthquake (1974). Afterward came such screen gems as Rollercoaster (1977), Meteor, Hurricane and The China Syndrome (1979). All in all, there were more than fifty such major Hollywood disaster productions released in the period.

And everybody was going to see them and talking about how great the special effects were or how spectacularly people were shown dying in them.

Odd, don’t you think?

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Non-Canonical Episodes

Did Jude have the gift of prophecy?

I wonder. It certainly seems a strong possibility. Prophecy is not merely a feature of the Old Testament, but is also numbered with the gifts given by the Holy Spirit to the New Testament church.

Prophecy was a practical gift. In the early church it also appears to have been a fairly common one. It did not manifest itself in the expected esoteric, oddball mutterings but rather in “upbuilding and encouragement and consolation”. In this the prophet functioned similarly to the teacher in today’s church.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Exile or Egypt?

Yesterday we looked at the Assyrian invasion of Israel which took place during the ministry of the prophet Isaiah around 2,700 years ago.

With an army at their doorstep, the citizens of the city of Samaria were confronted with a choice: repent of their sins, humble themselves under the chastening hand of God and probably end up in Assyrian exile, or else seek the protection of the Pharaoh in Egypt in hope of retaining some of their wealth and a few shreds of national pride.

The message God gave Isaiah for the people was quite unambiguous: “Don’t go down to Egypt.” Not a complicated instruction, but it certainly went against Israel’s inclinations.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Don’t Forget What You Never Knew

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Semi-Random Musings (11)

“Have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.”

To treat a medical condition helpfully, a doctor must first be an accurate diagnostician. If a physician fails to correctly discern the root cause of the problem, nothing he prescribes is likely to solve it. If he fails to correctly assess the current progress of an affliction, he may offer a solution that would have been helpful two weeks ago but will do nothing useful now. And if he fails to note the attendant risks associated with the problem, he may contract a communicable disease himself and spread it instead of restraining it.

A single approach to sin in the lives of others will not do. Some sins are infectious; others are merely repulsive. Some sinners need a sharp rebuke, others gentleness.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Reverse Engineering the Faith

“I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.”

Conservative scholars generally date the book of Jude to between A.D. 66 and 90. In his book The Untold Story of the New Testament Church, Frank Viola opts for a likely date of A.D. 68. William MacDonald uses internal evidence to place authorship between A.D. 67 and 70. I have not come across much that would incline me to argue with either man.

All these estimates place Jude as one of the very last books of the New Testament to be written and distributed to the first century churches.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Breaks in the Pattern

I was talking to my son the other morning about the parts of the Bible that are hard to wade through. You know, the repetitive bits, or the ones that contain such an excess of specific detail that they should by all rights be of interest to few people other than architects and historians.

The chapters you find yourself skimming rather than reading carefully.

I reminded him that while “All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable …” it is not all equally profitable. It is also not all equally relevant to your current circumstances or mine.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

The Laughter of Jackals

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Don’t Forget What You Never Knew

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Breaks in the Pattern

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Enoch-in’ on Heaven’s Door

From the 1728 Figures de la Bible
illustrated by Gerard Hoet (1648–1733)
Sorry. Dylan puns just kinda make themselves.

I may have mentioned in an earlier post that Jude has an interesting way of referencing Old Testament stories: he seems to know considerably more about them than the original writers told us.

One explanation is that Jude was a prophet, and in writing a letter that was itself God-breathed and therefore not subject to the normal limitations of knowledge under which most writers labor, he was free to introduce entirely new revelation. Another possibility is that written or oral Jewish religious lore was transmitted more extensively and more accurately than we know, and that the Old Testament only contains a portion of the truth revealed to man by God over the centuries during which it was compiled (though of course all the necessary bits).

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Non-Canonical Episodes

 The most recent version of this post is available here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Laughter of Jackals

A more current version of this post is available here.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Don’t Forget What You Never Knew

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The ‘Moral Hazard’ of Calling ISIS a ‘Cancer’

The New York Times, or at least one Michael J. Boyle, wants us to be careful about calling wickedness wicked:
“But if the ‘war on terror’ has taught us anything, it is that such moralistic language can blind its users to consequences. Describing a group as ‘inexplicable’ and ‘nihilistic,’ as Mr. Kerry did, tends to obscure the group’s strategic aims and preclude further analysis. Resorting to ritualized rhetoric can be a very costly mistake if it leads one to misunderstand an enemy and to take actions that inadvertently help its cause.”
Mr. Boyle is correct to express reserve about Mr. Kerry’s choice of epithets: the behavior of ISIS in Iraq is far from inexplicable and quite strategic, though its consequences are horrific.

But the Times’ concern about moralistic language is misplaced.