August 14, 2023
Ministry Voice

When Was Jude Written? Uncovering the Origins of the Short Epistle

The Epistle of Jude, an influential New Testament letter written during early Christianity’s early history and religious conflict, provides valuable insights into early Christian beliefs, values, and controversies. A key aspect of understanding Jude is pinpointing its period of composition; history greatly informs its message, themes, and significance. Scholars have sought out clues linguistic, historical, or thematic that would pinpoint his writing more precisely; in this article, we explore various factors and theories behind Jude’s writing and potential implications for broader understandings of early Christian church development over time.

Read The Full Article Now: Linguistic, Historical, and Thematic Arguments

1. Linguistic Clues: Greek Language and Literary Techniques

One key consideration in dating Jude is his use of language. Written in Hellenistic Greek – which was common throughout the eastern Mediterranean during Hellenistic and early Roman periods – Jude’s epistle suggests an experienced author, potentially narrowing its date of composition down to the late first or early second century CE when early Christians first adopted this variant of Greek.

2. External Evidence: Citations, Allusions, and Manuscripts

Scholars of Jude’s letter use external evidence such as allusions or quotations found elsewhere in early Christian writings as indicators for its composition date or limited distribution. While Jude seems popular with some audiences, its rare presence among early church fathers suggests a later date or limited distribution; additionally, extant manuscripts date to around the mid-late 2nd century CE which provides a definitive date for Jude’s composition.

3. Peter: Relationship Analysis

Jude and 2 Peter share many parallels when it comes to denouncing false teachers, prompting scholars to propose one or more theories: either Jude used 2 Peter as its source, 2 Peter used Jude or both letters drew upon a common source. If either theory proves correct, Jude may have been composed after 2 Peter which has usually been dated 64-67 CE while depending on Jude would necessitate an earlier composition date for Jude than 64-67 CE for completion.

4. Citations to Jewish Apocalyptic Literature

Jude contains unusual references to non-canonical Jewish apocalyptic literature (specifically 1 Enoch and the Testament of Moses) which suggests an author who might have had extensive knowledge both of Hebrew Scripture as well as extrabiblical works; thereby pushing back its dating potential until possibly late first century CE.

5. Analysing Your Target Audience and Their Concerns

Attribute of Jude and their contemporary concerns when dating it: the letter’s intended audience and themes like contending for faith and opposing false teachings indicate it was addressed to a community experiencing internal and external challenges to its faith; its themes such as advocating fidelity while discouraging false teachers promoting sexual promiscuity may indicate its contents date later, perhaps first or early second century CE when such contentiousness became more pervasive within early Christianity.

6. Eschatological Expectations

Jude makes prophetic comments regarding the last days, anticipating Christ’s imminent return and final judgment. These predictions represent an early form of Christian eschatology which places this letter earlier within Christian theology’s development.

7. Ongoing Scholarly Debate

Due to these variables, scholars continue to debate the exact date of Jude’s composition. Dates range anywhere between the late first century CE to the early second century CE with some scholars favoring dates between 70-90 CE or 100-130 CE as possible beginning points for interpretation of its themes, teachings, and importance within early Christianity.

Conclusion of Dating Jude

Even as the debate surrounding Jude’s date continues, efforts to unearth his historical context remain productive in understanding his significance within early Christianity. Dates ranging from the late first century CE to the early second century CE are proposed as possible dates for this epistle, placing its composition within key developments in Christian theology, ecclesiology, and identity formation. As scholars evaluate Jude on its historical, literary, and thematic evidence, its study contributes to our knowledge of early Christian communities’ responses to internal and external challenges; engagement with their religious heritage; and living out the faith within an increasingly complex environment. Thus, investigating its date not only strengthens our comprehension of Jude himself but also illuminates broader processes shaping Christian history.

Influences of Jude the Apologist Epistle on Early Christianity

Understanding when Jude was written remains at the forefront of biblical scholarship, since understanding when and why its themes and influences on early Christianity is vitally important to understanding its impact and value. While much debate still surrounds its composition date, certain components in Jude provide insights into Christian doctrine development, Biblical canon, and Jewish literature’s role within Christian thought.

Early Church Recognition of Jude: Acceptance by Bishop Arius

Jude’s inclusion in the biblical canon attests to its acceptance by Christian communities as authoritative work at some point; its precise circumstances remain unknown, though its appearance relatively late in patristic literature suggests this might not have happened as quickly; nonetheless, numerous church fathers (Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian and Cassiodorus among them) reference and quote Jude in their works which indicate its incorporation into the canon by late fourth century CE.

Epistle as a Bridge Between Jewish and Christian Thought Systems

Jude stands out by drawing heavily upon Jewish apocalyptic literature that goes beyond what the canonical Hebrew Bible can offer, like 1 Enoch and Testament of Moses, which diverges significantly from canonical Hebrew Bible readings. By including non-canonical texts like these within their epistles such as 1 Enoch and Testament of Moses it demonstrates Jude’s connection to wider Jewish literary tradition while attesting to fluid biblical interpretation within early church communities – suggesting the Christian movement didn’t immediately break free of its Jewish origins by engaging and adopting various strands of literature and thought from within Jewish literature and thought from within Jewish literature and thought systems within its early church community roots rather it engaged with and adopted different strands from within Jewish literature and thought systems over time.

Jude’s focus on fighting false teachings sheds light on early Christianity’s struggle for orthodoxy, clarity, and unity – qualities vital for its identity as it grows. He speaks directly to a community dealing with external pressures as well as internal struggles within itself.

Early Christian Theology and Spirituality Explored in Detail

Jude offers an early Christian snapshot, exploring key questions of faith, authority, and eschatology. As an epistle that captures community expectations for Christ’s return and final judgment eschatological narrative and development of spirituality through Jude’s perspective.


The dating of Jude remains uncertain, with further studies of its linguistic, historical, and thematic elements providing valuable insights into early Christianity. No matter when written, Epistle of Jude provides great insight into early church struggles, development of doctrine, and engagement between Jewish and Christian traditions – we gain more clarity by considering Jude within its historical setting as well as ongoing scholarly debate to gain a fuller picture.

Other Common Questions Related to When Was Jude Written

Who wrote Jude?

Answer: Jude was traditionally identified as its author – brother of James and servant to Jesus Christ. When is its estimated date of writing?

How has its dating been decided upon?

Answer: This decision can be affected by historical, theological, and literary comparisons with New Testament writings as well as geographical factors.

Was Jude written before or after John’s Gospel was composed in the late 1st Century AD?

Answer: According to some research, the Epistle of Jude may have been composed prior to John’s Gospel being completed and published.

Could any events or circumstances have had any influence over Jude’s writing?

Answer: Although its authorship and purpose remain controversial, some scholars suggest it may have been written as a response to false teachers influencing the church.

Was Jude considered Scripture by early Christians?

Answer: Yes, Jude was included as part of their canon of Scripture by early Christians and still belongs in our New Testament today.

What themes can be seen in Jude’s Epistle?

Answer:  Some themes present in Jude’s Epistle include contending for the faith, warning against false teachings, and encouraging believers to remain strong in their beliefs.

Was Jude’s inclusion as scripture controversial?

Answer: While some New Testament writings had differing levels of canonicity among early Christians, Jude was generally accepted and acknowledged by most.

How Does Jude Relate to Other New Testament Writings?

Answer: While The Epistle of Jude differs slightly from other New Testament works in terms of tone and content, certain similarities remain, such as its use of apocalyptic imagery and warning against false teachers.

Is the Epistle of Jude difficult to read and interpret?

Answer: While its language contains some challenging passages and references to obscure historical events, its message remains accessible to modern readers.

What is their tone of Jude?

Answer: Jude writes an Epistle full of warnings against false teachings and encouragement to remain true to Christ and keep following him faithfully. –

Does Jude quote other biblical texts?

Answer: Yes, Jude quotes several other books such as Old Testament prophets and Paul’s letters within its pages.

Is anything distinct about Jude compared with other New Testament writings?

Answer: One feature unique to Jude that stands out among its peers is its use of nonbiblical sources such as Enoch’s Book for making its theological claims.

To what degree has Jude’s Epistle had an influence on Christian theology and practice?

Answer: Jude has served as an invaluable source of guidance regarding issues like false teachings, perseverance in trials, and maintaining one’s faith despite any opposition or discouragement.


In summary, determining when Jude was written remains an intricate and contentious debate among scholars; there have been various opinions and theories offered based on various lines of evidence. Determining when authorship for this short but significant New Testament epistle occurred requires taking careful note of historical context, internal textual clues, and external sources of data.

While some scholars speculate on an early date for Jude’s composition – perhaps during Jesus’ disciples’ lifetime or soon thereafter – other experts place its writing sometime around the Temple destruction or within several decades after. Such opinions often rely on stylistic and linguistic similarities found between Jude and texts thought to have been composed at that period; as well as references that identify Jude with late first-century Christianity.

No matter when he wrote it, Jude played an essential part in early Christian communities by providing guidance and comfort during times of persecution or false teaching. Through bold condemnations of certain individuals or groups as well as emphasizing sound doctrine and faithful living practices, he attempted to strengthen believers’ faith while warning against possible deviation from it.

Though its exact date of composition remains unanswered, Jude continues to inspire Christians today as its message remains timeless: strengthening one’s faith while living lives that honor its truths. By studying Jude and other biblical texts, may we find inspiration in following in their footsteps and living lives of courage, conviction, and unwavering belief in Jesus Christ.

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