Jude 1:19
These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
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Jude 1:19. These be they who separate themselves — Namely, from the communion of the church and from other Christians, under pretence of their greater illumination; sensual Ψυχικοι, animal; not having the Spirit — Having a natural understanding and natural senses, but not the Spirit of God, either as the Spirit of truth or grace, and therefore addicted to the low gratifications of their animal life; otherwise they would not separate themselves from the Church of Christ. For that it is a sin, and a very heinous one, to separate from it, is out of all question. But then it should be observed, 1st, That by the Church of Christ is meant a body of living Christians, who are a habitation of God through the Spirit, Ephesians 2:20-21. And, 2d, That by separating is understood renouncing all religious intercourse with them, no longer joining with them in solemn prayer, or the other public offices of religion.

1:17-23 Sensual men separate from Christ, and his church, and join themselves to the devil, the world, and the flesh, by ungodly and sinful practices. That is infinitely worse than to separate from any branch of the visible church on account of opinions, or modes and circumstances of outward government or worship. Sensual men have not the spirit of holiness, which whoever has not, does not belong to Christ. The grace of faith is most holy, as it works by love, purifies the heart, and overcomes the world, by which it is distinguished from a false and dead faith. Our prayers are most likely to prevail, when we pray in the Holy Ghost, under his guidance and influence, according to the rule of his word, with faith, fervency, and earnestness; this is praying in the Holy Ghost. And a believing expectation of eternal life will arm us against the snares of sin: lively faith in this blessed hope will help us to mortify our lusts. We must watch over one another; faithfully, yet prudently reprove each other, and set a good example to all about us. This must be done with compassion, making a difference between the weak and the wilful. Some we must treat with tenderness. Others save with fear; urging the terrors of the Lord. All endeavours must be joined with decided abhorrence of crimes, and care be taken to avoid whatever led to, or was connected with fellowship with them, in works of darkness, keeping far from what is, or appears to be evil.These be they who separate themselves - That is, from their brethren and from the work of benevolence and truth. Compare Romans 16:17; Judges 5:16, Judges 5:23.

Sensual - Under the influence of gross passions and appetites.

Having not the spirit - The Holy Spirit, or the spirit of true religion.

19. These be they—showing that their characters are such as Peter and Paul had foretold.

separate themselves—from Church communion in its vital, spiritual reality: for outwardly they took part in Church ordinances (Jude 12). Some oldest manuscripts omit "themselves": then understand it, "separate," cast out members of the Church by excommunication (Isa 65:5; 66:5; Lu 6:22; Joh 9:34; compare "casteth them out of the Church;" 3Jo 10). Many, however, understand "themselves," which indeed is read in some of the oldest manuscripts as English Version has it. Arrogant setting up of themselves, as having greater sanctity and a wisdom and peculiar doctrine, distinct from others, is implied.

sensual—literally, "animal-souled": as opposed to the spiritual, or "having the Spirit." It is translated, "the natural man," 1Co 2:14. In the threefold division of man's being, body, soul, and spirit, the due state in God's design is, that "the spirit," which is the recipient of the Holy Spirit uniting man to God, should be first, and should rule the soul, which stands intermediate between the body and spirit: but in the animal, or natural man, the spirit is sunk into subserviency to the animal soul, which is earthly in its motives and aims. The "carnal" sink somewhat lower, for in these the flesh, the lowest element and corrupt side of man's bodily nature, reigns paramount.

having not the Spirit—In the animal and natural man the spirit, his higher part, which ought to be the receiver of the Holy Spirit, is not so; and therefore, his spirit not being in its normal state, he is said not to have the spirit (compare Joh 3:5, 6). In the completion of redemption the parts of redeemed man shall be placed in their due relation: whereas in the ungodly, the soul severed from the spirit shall have for ever animal life without union to God and heaven—a living death.

These be they who separate themselves; viz. from the true doctrine and church of Christ, as being in love with their carnal liberties, and loth to come under the yoke of Christ’s discipline.

Sensual; or carnal, or animal, 1 Corinthians 2:14; such as are mere men, and have no higher principle in them than human nature, which, left to itself, and being destitute of the sanctifying Spirit, is generally overpowered by sense, and inclines to fleshly lusts.

Having not the Spirit; the Spirit of God, by which they should be led, and to which they so much pretend; having neither the light, nor grace, nor comfort of the Spirit.

These be they who separate themselves,.... Not from sinners openly profane; such a separation is commendable, being according to the will and word of God, to the mind and practice of Christ, and which tends to the good of men, and to the glory of God; but from the saints and people of God; it is possible that a child of God may for a time leave the fellowship of the saints, but an entire and total forsaking of them, and of assembling with them, looks with an ill aspect; nor did they separate themselves from superstition and will worship, and every false way of worship, which would have been right, but from the pure worship, ordinances, and discipline of God's house, by a perversion of them, and as being above them, or unwilling to be under any notice and government; not from errors and heresies, and persons that held them, with these they herded; but from the pure doctrines of the Gospel, and ministers of the word, and made divisions and separations among the churches, for worldly ends, and through pride and affectation of vain glory, as if they were more knowing, more holy, and more spiritual than other men: when they were

sensual; such as gave themselves up to sensual lusts and pleasures; and at best were but natural men, who had only natural and rational abilities, but without spiritual and experimental knowledge: hence it follows,

having not the Spirit; though they might have some external gifts of the Spirit; or he himself dwelling in them as a spirit of conviction and illumination, as a spirit of regeneration and sanctification, as a spirit of faith and comfort, as a spirit of adoption, and as the earnest and pledge of the heavenly glory; they were not under his influence, nor did they feel the operations of his grace, nor had they communion with him: hence they appeared to be none of Christ's, nor could they claim interest in him, and were without life, and so could not persevere.

{12} These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.

(12) It is the habit of antichrists to separate themselves from the godly, because they are not governed by the Spirit of God: and contrariwise it is the habit of Christians to edify one another through godly prayers, both in faith and also in love, until the mercy of Christ appears to their full salvation.

Jude 1:19. Final description of the false teachers, not specially, but according to their general nature.

οὗτοί εἰσιν] parallel with Jude 1:16.

οἱ ἀποδιορίζοντες] the article marks the idea as definite: “these are they who,” etc.

ἀποδιορίζειν, a word which occurs only in Aristotle’s Polit. iv. 8. 9, is here very differently explained; with the reading ἑαυτούς it would most naturally be taken as equivalent to separate; thus, “who separate themselves from the church, whether internally or externally” (Wahl); without ἑαυτούς it is explained either as = to secede (Fronmüller), or = to cause separations and divisions, namely, in the church (Luther: “who make factions;” de Wette-Brückner, Wiesinger; so also in this commentary). Neither explanation is, however, justified from the use of the word διορίζειν. It is still more arbitrary, with Schott, to explain it: “who make a distinction, namely, between the pneumatical (Pneumatikern), as what they consider themselves, and the psychical (Psychikern), as what true Christians regard them;” for there is no indication of such a distinction made by them. If we base the explanation on the significance of διορίζειν, the word may be understood as = to make definitions. But in this case what follows must be closely connected with it, by which the mode and manner of their doing so is stated, namely, that they do so as psychical men, who are without the πνεῦμα. Hofmann gives to the verb the meaning: “to determine (define) something exactly in detail,” and then assumes that the preceding genitive τῶν ἀσεβειῶν depends on οἱ ἀποδιοριζόμενοι, which may well be the case, because a participle standing for a substantive may as well as a substantive govern the genitive. According to this explanation, Jude intends to describe those men as persons “who make impieties the object of an exercise of thought exactly defining everything, and so are the philosophers of impieties.” This explanation is condemned by the harsh and artificial construction which it requires.[44]

ψυχικοὶ, πνεῦμα μὴ ἔχοντες] πνεῦμα is not man’s natural spirit,[45] for Jude could not deny this to his opponents; and to explain μὴ ἔχοντες in the sense: “I might say that they have no spirit at all” (Fronmüller), is completely arbitrary. It is rather to be understood of the Holy Spirit (de Wette-Brückner, Wiesinger, Hofmann); the want of the article and of an epithet, such as ἁγίου or Θεοῦ, is no objection against this interpretation, since the simple word πνεῦμα is often used in the N. T. as a designation for the objective Holy Spirit. It is erroneous to affirm that by this interpretation the conclusion of the description is too flat, for nothing worse can be said of a man who desires to be esteemed a Christian than that he wants the Holy Spirit. Moreover, only so understood does πνεῦμα μὴ ἔχοντες correspond to the preceding ψυχικοί, to which it is added as an explanation; ψυχικοί they are, inasmuch as their natural spiritual life left to itself is under the unbroken power of the σάρξ; see 1 Corinthians 2:14-15; Jam 3:15.

[44] Certainly the dependent genitive may precede the governing substantive; but this union is here rendered impossible by the intervening οὗτοι. A participle also, taken as a substantive, may sometimes govern a genitive; but this is only found with the neuter, and then only rarely. Add to this that οὗτοί εἰσιν here corresponds to the οὗτοί εἰσιν in vv. 16 and 12, and accordingly must stand at the beginning of the sentence.

[45] Schott explains πνεῦμα “spiritual life in the distinctive character of its being, that it is self-controlled in personal self-consciousness and self-determination,” and so equivalent to “free personality of the spirit”(!); but this free personality, Schott further observes, is not denied to them in the sense as “if they were actually deprived of it,” but only that it “does not attain permanence and reality in actual performance.” This distorted interpretation is contradicted by the fact that Jude simply denies to them πνεῦμα ἔχειν.


Schott attempts to prove that the three verses, 12, 16, and 19, beginning with οὗτοι, refer to the threefold expression contained in Jude 1:11, namely, in this manner: that the Antinomians, in showing themselves to be σπιλάδες in their agapé (Jude 1:12), resembled Cain; that in being γογγυσταὶ μεμψίμοιροι, and out of greed for material gain indulging in mercenary flattery (Jude 1:16), they resembled Balaam; and that in establishing a self-invented ungodly sanctity in opposition to the divinely appointed and divinely effective Christian sanctity (Jude 1:19), they resembled Korah. This juxtaposition, however, is anything but appropriate, resting, on the one hand, on incorrect explanations; and, on the other hand, on the arbitrary selection of separate points. It is incorrect to affirm that the similarity of the Antinomians with Cain consisted in this, that what he did corporally they did spiritually; there is contained in this rather a distinction than a similarity. It is arbitrary to bring forward only the last clause of Jude 1:16, which reproaches the Antinomians with flattery, and which may also be found in Balaam; whereas the other expressions in the verse do not suit in the least degree. And lastly, it is erroneous so to interpret Jude 1:19 that the Antinomians were accused of the setting up of a false sanctity; even were this correct, yet the sanctity claimed by them is of a totally different nature from that to which Korah and his company laid claim.

Jude 1:19. οὗτοί εἰσιν οἱ ἀποδιορίζοντες. “These are they that make invidious distinctions.” See Introduction on the Text. The rare word ἀποδιορίζοντες is used of logical distinctions in Aristotle, Pol. iv. 43, ὥσπερ οὖν εἰ ζῴου προῃρούμεθα λαβεῖν εἴδη, πρῶτον ἂν ἀποδιωρίζομεν ὅπερ ἀναγκαῖον πᾶν ἔχειν ζῷον (“as, if we wished to make a classification of animals, we should have begun by setting aside that which all animals have in common”) and, I believe, in every other passage in which it is known to occur: see Maximus Confessor, ii. p. 103 D, τὸ μὲν φυσικὸν ὥρισεν ἐπʼ αὐτοῦ, τὸ δὲγνωμικὸν ἀποδιώρισε, translated “naturali in eo (Christo) constituta voluntate, arbitrariam dispunxit,” ib. p. 131 C, ὡς ὁ λόγος ἦν αὐτοῦ, μόνον τὸ ἐμπαθές, ἀλλʼ οὐ τὸ φυσικὸν ἀποδιορίσασθαι θέλημα, “quod dixerat hoc solum spectare ut libidinosam, non ut naturalem voluntatem a Salvatore eliminaret,” Severus de Clyst. xxxii., xxv., ὅταν ταῦτα τὰ συμπτώματα ὄψῃ παρόντα, ἀποδιόριζε τὴν ὀργανικὴν νόσον ἐκ τῆς ὁμοιομεροῦς. The simple διορίζω is found in Leviticus 20:24, διώρισα ὑμᾶς ἀπὸ τῶν ἐθνῶν “I separated you from the nations,” Job 35:11; so ἀφορίζω Matthew 25:32, ἀφορίζει τὰ πρόβατα ἀπὸ τῶν ἐρίφων, Acts 19:9 (Paul left the synagogue) καἰ ἀφώρισεν τοὺς μαθητάς, 2 Corinthians 6:17, ἐξέλθατε ἐκ μέσου αὐτῶν καὶ ἀφορίσθητε, Luke 6:22 (of excommunication) ὅταν ἀφορίσωσιν ὑμᾶς, Galatians 2:12 (of Peter’s withdrawal from the Gentiles) ὑπέστελλεν καὶ ἀφώριζεν ἐαυτόν.

ψυχικοί. Used of worldly wisdom in Jam 3:15, where see note, distinguished from πνευματικός in 1 Corinthians 2:13-15; 1 Corinthians 15:44, cf. the teaching of the Naassenes (ap. Hippol. p. 164) εἰς τὸν οἶκον θεοῦ οὐκ εἰσελεύσεται ἀκάθαρτος οὐδείς, οὐ ψυχικός, οὐ σαρκικός, ἀλλὰ τηρεῖται πνευματικοῖς.

πνεῦμα μὴ ἔχοντες. The subjective negative may be explained as describing a class (such as have not) rather than as stating a fact in regard to particular persons; but the use of μή is much more widely extended in late than in classical Greek, cf. such phrases as ἐπεὶ μή, ὅτι μή. It is simplest to understand πνεῦμα here of the Holy Spirit, cf. Romans 8:9, ὑμεῖς οὐκ ἐστὲ ἐν σαρκὶ ἀλλʼ ἐν πνεύματι, εἴπερ πνεῦμα Θεοῦ οἰκεῖ ἐν ὑμῖν, 1 Corinthians 2:13; 1 Corinthians 7:40, 1 John 3:24; 1 John 4:13, and the contrast in Jude 1:20, ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ προσευχόμενοι. Others, e.g. Plumptre, prefer the explanation that “the false teachers were so absorbed in their lower sensuous nature that they no longer possessed, in any real sense of the word. that element in man’s compound being, which is itself spiritual, and capable therefore of communion with the Divine Spirit”.

19. These be they who separate themselves] Many of the better MSS. omit the reflexive pronoun. The verb is not found elsewhere in the New Testament, but a simpler form, with the same meaning, occurs in Leviticus 20:24. It was characteristic of the false teachers and mockers who are spoken of that they drew lines of demarcation, which Christ had not drawn, between themselves and others, or between different classes of believers, those, e.g., who had the higher gnosis, or exercised a wider freedom (2 Peter 2:19), and those who were content to walk in “the Apostles’ doctrine and fellowship” (Acts 2:42). They lost sight of the unity of the Church of Christ and preferred the position of a sect or party; and, in so doing, united the exclusiveness of the Pharisees with the sensuous unbelief of the Sadducees.

sensual, having not the Spirit] The adjective is the same as that which describes the “natural man” of 1 Corinthians 2:14, and implies that the man lives in the full activity of his emotional and perceptive nature, without rising into the region of the reason and conscience which belong to his spiritual being. “Sensual,” or better perhaps, sensuous, is the nearest English equivalent, but, strictly speaking, it expresses the lower aspect of the character represented by the Greek term. The “sensuous” or psychical man is not necessarily “carnal” in the sense usually attached to that term, but the two words are closely connected with, and indeed overlap each other. The words seem specially directed against the boast of many of the Gnostic teachers, who, looking to St Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 2:14, boasted that they alone were “spiritual” in that Apostle’s sense of the term, and that the members of the Church were, as the “natural” or “sensuous,” incapable of knowing the higher mysteries of God (Iren. i. 6. 2–4). St Jude retorts the charge, and says that they, who boast of their illumination, are in very deed destitute of every higher element of the religious life. The word for “Spirit” stands without the article in the Greek, and though this does not necessarily exclude the thought that the Spirit of God is spoken of, it is, perhaps, better to rest in the meaning that the false teachers were so absorbed in their lower, sensuous nature that they no longer possessed, in any real sense of the word, that element in man’s compound being, which is itself spiritual, and capable therefore of communion with the Divine Spirit.

Jude 1:19. Οὗτοι) these. He shows that the characters of these are such as have been foretold, Jude 1:18.—οἱ ἀποδιορίζοντες) ἑαυτοὺς is understood, though this also is added by some:[9] Isaiah 45:24, Septuagint, αἰσχυνθήσονται πάντες οἱ ἀφορίζοντες (διορίζοντες is the reading of the Vatican edition) αὐτούς· All that separate themselves shall be ashamed. They separate themselves from God, and from living communion with the Church; yet not from its outward fellowship, Jude 1:12, at the beginning. Comp. Hosea 4:14, יפרדו; [Proverbs 18:1; Isaiah 66:5; Luke 6:22.—V. g.]—ψυχικοὶ, animal) who are influenced by the animal nature only, without the spirit.—ΠΝΕῦΜΑ ΜῊ ἜΧΟΝΤΕς, not having spirit) Therefore the spirit is not an essential part of man.

[9] A Vulg. and Lucifer omit ἑαυτούς: and so Stephens’ Rec. Text. But B (judging from the silence of collators) C and later Syr. add it: and so Elzev. Rec. Text.—E.

Verse 19. - There follows yet another description of the same men, taking up that in verse 16, and generalizing it in harmony with what is suggested by the apostolic prediction. In three bold strokes it gives a representation of them which is at once the sharpest and the broadest of all. This final description, too, at last lays bare the root of their hopeless corruption. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. The pronoun "themselves" cannot be retained in face of the weight of documentary evidence against it. The verb (which is one of very rare occurrence) is held to be capable of more than one sense - seceding, causing divisions, creating factions, making definitions or distinctions. The most natural meaning seems to be that adopted by the Revised Version, they who make separations. So Tyndale; Cranmer and the Genevan have "these are makers of sects," and Luther gives "makers of factions." It may be that they caused divisions by setting themselves up as the only enlightened Christians, and, on the ground of that enlightenment, claiming to be superior to the moral laws which bound others. The term translated "sensual" has unfortunately no proper representative in English. It is "psychical," being formed from the noun psyche, which is rendered "life" or "soul." This psyche is intermediate between "body" and "spirit." It is in the first instance simply the bond or principle of the animal life, and in the second instance it is embodied life. Thus it is that in man which he has in common with the brute creation beneath him, But it becomes also more than this, expressing that in man which renders him capable of connection with God. For in the third instance it denotes the seat of feeling, desire, affection, and emotion; the center of the personal life - the self in man. The adjective itself occurs in the New Testament only in a few passages of marked importance - 1 Corinthians 2:14; 1 Corinthians 15:44, 46; James 3:15; and the present verse. Here it designates the men as men who live only for the natural self - men who make the sensuous nature, with its appetites and passions, the law of their life; natural or animal men, as the Revised Version gives it in the margin. Wickliffe renders it "beastly;" Tyndale, Cranmer, and the Genevan, "fleshly;" the Rhemish, "sensual." The third clause admits of being rendered either "having not the spirit" (in which the Authorized is supported by Wickliffe, Tyndale, and Cranmer), or "having not the Spirit" (so the Revised Version, following the Genevan and the Rhemish). For it is in many passages difficult to decide whether the word "spirit" means the Holy Spirit of God or man's own spirit - that in him in virtue of which he can have fellowship with the Divine, and on which God specially acts; "that highest and noblest part of man," as Luther puts it, "which qualifies him to lay hold of incomprehensible, invisible things, eternal things; in short... the house where faith and God's Word are at home." The rendering of the Revised Version is favoured by the occurrence of the term in the following verse. The Spirit of God was not in the lives or the thoughts of these men, and hence they were creators of division, and sensual. Their pretension was that they were the eminently spiritual. But in refusing the Divine Spirit they had sunk to the level of an animal life, immoral in itself, and productive of confusion to the Church. Jude 1:19Separate themselves (ἀποδιορίζοντες)

Only here in New Testament. Themselves is unnecessary. Better, as Rev., make separations; i.e., cause divisions in the church. The verb is compounded with ἀπό, away; διά, through; ὅρος, a boundary line. Of those who draw a line through the church and set off one part from another.

Sensual (ψυχικοί)

See on Mark 12:30. As ψυχή denotes life in the distinctness of individual existence, "the centre of the personal being, the I of each individual," so this adjective derived from it denotes what pertains to man as man, the natural personality as distinguished from the renewed man. So 1 Corinthians 2:14; 1 Corinthians 15:44 :. The rendering sensual, here and James 3:15, is inferential: sensual because natural and unrenewed In contrast with this is

The spirit

The higher spiritual life. So the adjective πνευματικός, spiritual, is everywhere in the New Testament opposed to ψυχικός, natural. See 1 Corinthians 15:44, 1 Corinthians 15:46.

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