|New International Version (©2011)|
For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.
New Living Translation (©2007)
I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God's marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
English Standard Version (©2001)
For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
For some men, who were designated for this judgment long ago, have come in by stealth; they are ungodly, turning the grace of our God into promiscuity and denying Jesus Christ, our only Master and Lord.
International Standard Version (©2012)
For some people have slipped in among you unnoticed. They were written about long ago as being deserving of this condemnation because they are ungodly. They turn the grace of our God into uncontrollable lust and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus the Messiah.
NET Bible (©2006)
For certain men have secretly slipped in among you--men who long ago were marked out for the condemnation I am about to describe--ungodly men who have turned the grace of our God into a license for evil and who deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010)
For men have obtained entrance, who from the beginning were written with this guilty verdict: “Evil men who pervert the grace of our God into an abomination and deny him who is the only Lord God and our Lord Yeshua The Messiah.”
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
Some people have slipped in among you unnoticed. Not long ago they were condemned in writing for the following reason: They are people to whom God means nothing. They use God's kindness as an excuse for sexual freedom and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
King James 2000 Bible (©2003)
For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into licentiousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
American King James Version
For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
American Standard Version
For there are certain men crept in privily, even they who were of old written of beforehand unto this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
For certain men are secretly entered in, (who were written of long ago unto this judgment,) ungodly men, turning the grace of our Lord God into riotousness, and denying the only sovereign Ruler, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Darby Bible Translation
For certain men have got in unnoticed, they who of old were marked out beforehand to this sentence, ungodly persons, turning the grace of our God into dissoluteness, and denying our only Master and Lord Jesus Christ.
English Revised Version
For there are certain men crept in privily, even they who were of old set forth unto this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Webster's Bible Translation
For certain men have crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
Weymouth New Testament
For certain persons have crept in unnoticed--men spoken of in ancient writings as pre-destined to this condemnation--ungodly men, who pervert the grace of our God into an excuse for immorality, and disown Jesus Christ, our only Sovereign and Lord.
World English Bible
For there are certain men who crept in secretly, even those who were long ago written about for this condemnation: ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into indecency, and denying our only Master, God, and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Young's Literal Translation
for there did come in unobserved certain men, long ago having been written beforehand to this judgment, impious, the grace of our God perverting to lasciviousness, and our only Master, God, and Lord -- Jesus Christ -- denying,
|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:1-4 Christians are called out of the world, from the evil spirit and temper of it; called above the world, to higher and better things, to heaven, things unseen and eternal; called from sin to Christ, from vanity to seriousness, from uncleanness to holiness; and this according to the Divine purpose and grace. If sanctified and glorified, all the honour and glory must be ascribed to God, and to him alone. As it is God who begins the work of grace in the souls of men, so it is he who carries it on, and perfects it. Let us not trust in ourselves, nor in our stock of grace already received, but in him, and in him alone. The mercy of God is the spring and fountain of all the good we have or hope for; mercy, not only to the miserable, but to the guilty. Next to mercy is peace, which we have from the sense of having obtained mercy. From peace springs love; Christ's love to us, our love to him, and our brotherly love to one another. The apostle prays, not that Christians may be content with a little; but that their souls and societies may be full of these things. None are shut out from gospel offers and invitations, but those who obstinately and wickedly shut themselves out. But the application is to all believers, and only to such. It is to the weak as well as to the strong. Those who have received the doctrine of this common salvation, must contend for it, earnestly, not furiously. Lying for the truth is bad; scolding for it is not better. Those who have received the truth must contend for it, as the apostles did; by suffering with patience and courage for it, not by making others suffer if they will not embrace every notion we call faith, or important. We ought to contend earnestly for the faith, in opposition to those who would corrupt or deprave it; who creep in unawares; who glide in like serpents. And those are the worst of the ungodly, who take encouragement to sin boldly, because the grace of God has abounded, and still abounds so wonderfully, and who are hardened by the extent and fulness of gospel grace, the design of which is to deliver men from sin, and bring them unto God.
Verse 4. - It has been inferred that the writer had been actually at work upon another Epistle, when he felt it necessary to give it up and compose this one. That is not a certain inference from the previous verse. What that verse makes clear is that it had been Jude's purpose to compose an Epistle on the general subject of the common salvation, and that something emerged which made him change his plan and write a letter dealing with certain specific matters of urgent importance, and hortatory in its form. The circumstance which led to this change is here stated - it was the appearance of a corrupt and insidious party in the Church. For, he says, there are certain men crept in unawares; or, as the Revised Version more forcibly renders it, privily. The verb describes the men as men who had no rightful standing in the Church, but had made their way into it secretly and by false pretences. Compare Paul's description of the "false brethren unawares brought in, the came in privily to spy out our liberty. which we have in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 2:4); but especially the picture which two of the latest Epistles give of the "false teachers who privily shall bring in damnable heresies" (2 Peter 2:1), and those who "creep into houses and lead captive silly women" (2 Timothy 3:6). The men thus generally described are next designated more precisely as those who were before of old ordained to this condemnation. So the Authorized Version renders it. But the point is more correctly caught by the "even they who" of the Revised Version. The men just spoken of in general terms are immediately described as the very men to whom something more precise applies, which is now to be stated. There is some difficulty, however, as to the exact sense of the statement. The term which is translated "ordained" by the Authorized Version is of doubtful interpretation, the doubt turning on the question whether it has a temporal or a local reference. The latter idea seems to be expressed in Galatians 3:1, where the verb means either publicly placarded or openly set forth ("evidently set forth," according to the Authorized Version). For the most part, however, the temporal sense prevails, and that this is the sense here is confirmed by the fact that the verb is connected with the temporal adverb "of old." It has been contended that the biblical figure of a book of the Divine counsels is at the basis of the expression here, and that it should be rendered "ordained" (with the Authorized Version), in the Calvinistic sense of "foreordained." But this is opposed by the fact that the term here rendered" of old" is not applied in the New Testament to the eternal purpose of God. The reference, therefore, is to ancient prophecy, and the term means "who were of old written of," "who were of old set forth," as the Revised Version puts it, or "designated" in prophecy. The writer does not specify what particular prophecies are in view. Hence some take them to be predictions of the evils of the last days spoken of by the apostles, such as we find recorded in the Pastoral Epistles and in 2 Peter. But the force of the phrase "of old," in its present connection, points to what is of ancient date in the stricter sense. The Old Testament prophecies, therefore, are probably those referred to, and the fact that mention is made by-and-by of Enoch as one of the prophets of old, makes it likely that the predictive sections of the book which bears his name are also in the author's mind. The phrase, "to this condemnation," explains that unto which these men were prophetically designated in ancient time. The noun denotes usually, if not invariably, the judgment of a judge on something wrong, and here, therefore, it seems to have the sense of penal judgment or condemnation. It is not quite apparent what judgment is intended. It is supposed by some that the writer is looking to the unhappy relations of these men to the Church, and finds in these relations and in the moral conditions thereby revealed the judgment 'of God upon them. It is more probable that he refers to the penal retribution, of which he is immediately to give examples. Three strokes are added to the picture of the men. These bring out in darkest outline both their character and their faith. There is first the general description of them as ungodly men - impious men, in whom there is no spirit of reverence, as the adjective literally implies. The same note appears in Peter's description (2 Peter 2:5, 6). (Compare the use of the same term in Romans 4:5; Romans 5:6; 1 Timothy 1:9; 2 Peter 3:7.) This ungodliness is next shown to take the form of an immoral perversion of spiritual privilege - turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness. By the grace of God is meant the whole gift of redemption offered in the gospel. It is called here the grace of our God; the turn thus given to the expression indicating at once the dear and intimate relation to God into which the writer and his fellows in the faith have been introduced, and their shuddering sense of the shameless use to which his gift was debased. The thing to which that grace was perverted is described by a word of wide and evil application, denoting every species of unbridled conduct, but particularly unblushing licentiousness. The same ungodliness in these men is further declared to rise to a denial and disavowal of all Divine claims upon them. The Revised Version, which is more rigorously true to the original here than the Authorized Version, gives an alternative rendering, denying our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ, in the text, but denying the only Master, and our Lord Jesus Christ in the margin. The question is whether God and Christ are separately mentioned as both objects of the denial, or whether Christ alone is referred to; both the titles, Master and Lord, being applied to him. The question is not easy to decide. Among the strongest arguments in favour of the latter view are the two considerations that the attitude of these men to God has been already stated in the previous clause, and that in 2 Peter 2:1 we find both the verb and the noun which are used here applied to Christ. On the other side, it is urged that the parallel in 1 John 2:22 favours the double reference here; that the title here rendered "Master" is never applied to Christ except in the single instance of 2 Peter 2:1; that the epithet "only" is used more properly of God, as in verse 25 of this same Epistle; that it is difficult to distinguish between the two titles, if both are referred to Christ here; and that the analogous expression in the Book of Enoch (48:10) is to be considered. The case is stronger on the whole on the side of the twofold subject being in view. But it is further asked whether this denial of God and of Christ is meant to be a theoretical denial or a practical. It is the practical disavowal of God, which appears in a godless and unbridled life, that seems chiefly in view. But there is no good reason for excluding the idea of corrupt doctrine or teaching. The latter is not expressed, it is true, in the terms adopted in the Epistles of John. Neither is there anything to warrant the supposition that the writer was thinking of Simon Magus in particular, or of Carpocrates, or any of the early Gnostics - a supposition entertained both by the earliest Christian writers and by some in our own time. But it is possible enough that the seeds which were to develop into the pronounced Gnosticism of a later time were already sown, and that in such speculative error Jude saw the ally of a life which was regardless of all Divine restraint.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For there are certain men crept in unawares,.... These words contain a reason why the doctrine of faith should be contended for, because of false teachers, who are described as being then upon the spot; the Apostles Peter and Paul had foretold that they would come, but Jude here speaks of them as in being; wherefore present rigour and vigilance were necessary to be used: their names are not mentioned, nor their number, only that there were "certain", or "some men"; which is done to stir up the saints to self-examination, whether they were in the faith; to diligence, in finding out these men; to vigour, in opposing them; and to care, to nip error and heresy in the bud: and they are said to have "crept in unawares": either into private houses, as was the custom of those men; or into the churches, and become members of them being the tares the enemy sows among the wheat; or into the ministry, assuming that office to themselves, without being called and sent of God; and so into the public assemblies of the saints, spreading their poisonous doctrines among them; and also into their affections, until discovered; and so the Ethiopic version reads here, "because ungodly men have entered into your hearts"; and all this was at an unawares, privily, secretly, without any thought about them, or suspicion of them:
who were before of old ordained to this condemnation; or judgment; meaning either judicial blindness of heart, they were given up to, in embracing and spreading errors and heresies; so that these are not casual things, but fall under the ordination and decree of God, which does not make God the author of them, nor excuse the men that hold them; and they are ordained and ordered for many valuable ends; on the part of God, to show his power and wisdom; and on the part of truth, that it might be tried and appear the brighter, and to manifest his people and their graces: or else punishment is designed, even everlasting condemnation, to which some are preordained of God; for this act of preordination respects persons, and not mere actions and events; and is not a naked prescience, but a real decree, and which is sure, certain, and irrevocable; is God's act, and springs from his sovereignty, is agreeably to his justice and holiness; nor is it contrary to his goodness, and is for his glory: the date of this act is "of old"; or as the Syriac version renders it, , "from the beginning"; that is, from eternity; see 2 Thessalonians 2:13; for reprobation is of the same date with election; if the one is from eternity, the other must be so too, since there cannot be one without the other: if some were chosen before the foundation of the world, others must be left or passed by as early; and if some were appointed unto salvation from the beginning, others must be foreordained to condemnation from the beginning also; for these words cannot be understood of any prophecy of old, in which it was forewritten, or prophesied of these men, that they should be condemned for their ungodliness; not in Matthew 24:1, in which no such persons are described as here, nor any mention made of their punishment or condemnation; nor in 2 Peter 2:1; for then the apostle would never have said that they were "of old", a long while ago, before written, or prophesied of, since according to the common calculation, that epistle of Peter's, and this of Jude's, were written in the same year; nor in the prophecy of Enoch, Jde 1:14; for Enoch's prophecy was not written, as we know of; and therefore these men could not be said to be before written in it; besides, that prophecy is spoken of as something distinct from these persons being before written, to condemnation; and after all, was a prophecy referred to, the sense would be the same, since such a prophecy concerning them must be founded upon an antecedent ordination and appointment of God; the word here used does not intend their being forewritten in any book of the Scriptures, but in the book of God's eternal purposes and decrees; and the justice of such a preordination appears by the following characters of them,
ungodly men: all men are by nature ungodly, some are notoriously so, and false teachers are generally such; here it signifies such who are destitute of the fear of God, and of all internal devotion, and powerful godliness; and who did not worship God externally, according to his institutions and appointments, and much less sincerely, and in a spiritual manner; and who even separated themselves from the true worshippers of God, and gave themselves up to sensuality, and therefore their condemnation was just:
turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness; not the love and favour of God, as in his own heart, or as shed abroad in the hearts of others; for that can never, be turned to such a purpose, it always working in a contrary way; nor the principle of grace wrought in the soul, which being of a spiritual nature, lusteth against the flesh, and cannot be turned into it; more likely the goodness of God in his providential dispensations, which is despised by some, and abused by others; but rather the doctrine of grace, which though lasciviousness is not in its nature, nor has it any natural tendency to it, yet wicked men turn or transfer it from its original nature, design, and use, to a foreign one: and they may be said to turn it into lasciviousness, either by asserting it to be a licentious doctrine, when it is not; or by treating it in a wanton and ludicrous manner, scoffing at it, and lampooning it; or by making the doctrine of grace universal, extending it equally alike to all mankind, and thereby harden and encourage men in sin,
And denying the only Lord God; God the Father, who is the only sovereign Lord, both in providence and grace; and the only God, not to the exclusion of the Son and Spirit, but in opposition to nominal and fictitious deities, or Heathen gods; and he was denied by these men, if not in words, yet in works: the word "God" is left out in the Alexandrian copy, and in the Vulgate Latin version,
And our Lord Jesus Christ; as his deity, or sonship, or humanity, or that he was the Messiah, or the alone Saviour, or his sacrifice, satisfaction, and righteousness; with respect to either of which he may be said to be denied doctrinally, as he is also practically, when men do not walk worthy of their profession of him; and both might be true of these men, and therefore their condemnation was righteous. The copulative "and" is omitted in the Syriac version, which seems to make this clause explanative of the former.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. certain men—implying disparagement.
crept in unawares—stealthily and unlawfully. See on 2Pe 2:1, "privily shall bring in damnable heresies."
before … ordained—Greek, "forewritten," namely, in Peter's prophecy Jude 17, 18; and in Paul's before that, 1Ti 4:1; 2Ti 3:1; and by implication in the judgments which overtook the apostate angels. The disobedient Israelites, Sodom and Gomorrah, Balaam and Core, and which are written "for an example" (Jude 7, and Jude 5, 6, 11). God's eternal character as the Punisher of sin, as set forth in Scripture "of old," is the ground on which such apostate characters are ordained to condemnation. Scripture is the reflection of God's book of life in which believers are "written among the living." "Forewritten" is applied also in Ro 15:4 to the things written in Scripture. Scripture itself reflects God's character from everlasting, which is the ground of His decrees from everlasting. Bengel explains it as an abbreviated phrase for, "They were of old foretold by Enoch (Jude 14, who did not write his prophecies), and afterwards marked out by the written word."
to this condemnation—Jude graphically puts their judgment as it were present before the eyes, "THIS." Enoch's prophecy comprises the "ungodly men" of the last days before Christ's coming to judgment, as well as their forerunners, the "ungodly men" before the flood, the type of the last judgment (Mt 24:37-39; 2Pe 3:3-7). The disposition and the doom of both correspond.
the grace of our God—A phrase for the Gospel especially sweet to believers who appropriate God in Christ as "our God," and so rendering the more odious the vile perversity of those who turn the Gospel state of grace and liberty into a ground of licentiousness, as if their exemption from the law gave them a license to sin.
denying the only Lord—The oldest manuscripts, versions, and Fathers omit "God," which follows in English Version. Translate as the Greek, "the only Master"; here used of Jesus Christ, who is at once Master and "Lord" (a different Greek word). See on 2Pe 2:1. By virtue of Christ's perfect oneness with the Father, He, as well as the Father, is termed "the ONLY" God and "Master." Greek, "Master," implies God's absolute ownership to dispose of His creatures as He likes.
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