The Epistle of Jude has been examined by biblical scholars for a variety of reasons in recent decades, but one still underexplored interpretative avenue is Jude’s treatment of enslavement. In this article, I argue that Jude pulls from the same conceptual toolbox as many other texts of the Roman republican and imperial eras in its depiction of believers as enslaved people (δοῦλοι) and Jesus as an enslaver (κύριος; δɛσπότης). After placing these three terms in the context of ancient enslavement, I offer three examples of Jude’s participation in a broader discourse of enslavement: (1) the importance of loyalty and disloyalty to Jesus the κύριος; (2) the capability of the enslaver to harm and control the bodies of the enslaved, and (3) the presumption of the benevolence of the κύριος in offering mercy. This reading of Jude highlights how deeply embedded even a short New Testament text can be in the vocabulary, stereotypes, and normalization of violence of Roman enslavement.

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