Jude calls believers to stand firm in their belief in Jesus’ messiahship, even when various forms of rebellion occur around them. In this comprehensive volume, Herbert Bateman examines the historical, cultural, and literary context of Jude’s letter, identifying the “godless” as Zealots and other Judaeans caught up in an insurgence against Rome. At the same time, the letter admonishes readers to extend mercy to those who inadvertently rebel against God, both inside and outside the church.
Herb Bateman’s Jude gives us a thorough introduction to the book followed by careful and detailed exegesis. Most any question one has about this epistle finds skilled treatment here. The detail shows how rich reflection on Scripture can be.
—Darrell L. Bock, senior research professor of New Testament studies, Dallas Theological Seminary
It is a pleasure for me to recommend Herb Bateman’s commentary on the sometimes overlooked but significant New Testament book the Epistle of Jude. The strength of his work is its detailed engagement with relevant ancient Jewish writings and the religious issues of Judaism in the first century as well as with political events in Judea in the mid-60s AD that form the backdrop of Jude’s epistle in his view. His carefully researched treatment includes a number of valuable sections on each passage, such as text-critical notes, structural outline, detailed exegesis, and comments on biblical theology and application to life. Highly recommended for a fresh look at the Epistle of Jude—and at the broader world of an important part of the early church!
—Buist Fanning, senior professor emeritus of New Testament studies, Dallas Theological Seminary
Bateman's commentary on the Letter of Jude is a helpful reminder that books—even the inspired books of the Bible—do not simply fall from heaven. Jude wrote his letter within a concrete set of historical circumstances, within a sociopolitical reality that served to shape his message and his teaching against rebellion. Bateman's willingness to sift through the data concerning the historical context of Jude’s letter opens up new avenues for carefully interpreting this book and understanding its relevance within our own context today.
—Joel Williams, professor of New Testament and Greek, Cedarville University
“Despite Wisse, Thurén, and Reese’s skepticism, I will argue and eventually interpret Jude’s letter based on Jude’s historical, cultural, and literary context, which identifies the ‘godless’ spoken of vituperatively in Jude’s letter as Judaean Zealots and other Judaeans who have gotten caught up in an insurgence against Rome (which eventually erupted into a full-scale war with Rome in ad 66). At the same time, Jude admonishes Judaean Jewish-Christian readers to extend mercy to Zealot revolutionaries and their seduced followers in order to win them over to Jesus.” (Pages 2–3)
“And yet this commentary goes one step further to argue that Jude’s letter is a letter exhorting Jewish believers to abstain from participating in the Zealot revolt against Rome, while trying to win Zealot revolutionaries over to Jesus, who as the true Messiah will come again, exhibiting mercy in the process.” (Page 80)
“Consequently, with Witherington, it seems reasonable to suggest the occasion for the writing of Jude surrounds the rising tension and rebellion of Zealots leading up to the Jewish war against Rome in ad 66, a point in need of further development in discussing the occasion for writing. Thus this commentary will presume Jude wrote his letter shortly after James’s death in ad 62 and prior to the total outbreak of the Judaean war with Rome in ad 66.” (Page 44)
“The second massive rebellion was not without its consequences and appears to be the one to which Jude alludes. As God’s people were camped at Kadesh-barnea with Canaan before them, namely the land God had promised them to inhabit (Deut 12:9–10; Josh 21:44), Israel again rebelled against God’s leading.” (Page 172)
The Evangelical Exegetical Commentary (EEC) series is a premiere biblical commentary rooted in the original text of Scripture. Incorporating the latest in critical biblical scholarship and written from a distinctly evangelical perspective, each comprehensive volume features a remarkable amount of depth, providing historical and literary insights, and addressing exegetical, pastoral, and theological details. Readers will gain a full understanding of the text and how to apply it to everyday life.
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Herbert Bateman runs the Cyber-Center for Biblical Studies, and he serves as an adjunct faculty member for Liberty Seminary. He has also served on the faculty at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Moody Bible Institute, Grace Theological Seminary, Taylor University of the Upland, Tyndale Theological Seminary in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Asian Theological Seminary in Manila, the Philippines, and Dallas Theological Seminary. He has a BS from Philadelphia Biblical University, a ThM Dallas Theological Seminary, and a PhD Dallas Theological Seminary.