Jesus had several brothers, two of whom were James and Jude. Much less is known about Jude than James (see James), but he was clearly a church leader, since he wrote to believers with authority in this letter that bears his name. It cannot be determined exactly who was meant to receive the letter, although the references to angels, to Israel’s history and to specific writings indicate that Jewish Christians were in view.
Jude addresses the problem of false teachers who have come and are now threatening the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. On the basis of supposedly inspired dreams, they reject authority and pollute their own bodies. Even though they claim to be bringing God’s message, they really follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit. The believers must actively resist them and cleanse their community by rejecting both the teaching and the example of these ungodly men.
It seems that the apostle Peter received a copy of Jude’s letter and wrote a similar one of his own to show that it faithfully presented the teaching of the apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ (see 2 Peter).