The history of the interpretation of Jude, broadly speaking, is one of omission or misunderstanding. Most commentary on the epistle over the last hundred years, while being highly derivative in nature, has lacked thoughtful inquiry. One factor that has discouraged serious study is the writer's use of OT and extrabiblical tradition-material. Surviving Jewish literature from the last two centuries B.C. and first century A.D. is decisive in helping to explain the religious thought-world reflected in the NT. This is particularly the case in Jude. The use of Jewish tradition-material in the epistle invites the reader to give attention to the writer's exegetical methodology— a methodology owing to a distinctly Palestinian Jewish-Christian cultural milieu. In Jude, significant theological truth is wrapped in literary arguments of the day. Literary sources, all part of a well-calculated literary strategy, are marshalled for the purpose of addressing urgent pastoral need. Lessons from the past bear forcefully on the present as a means of admonishing the Christian community.

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