Jude is a short letter making it easy to read entirely in one sitting. Yet the letter is rarely read, and it is not a popular text for teaching and preaching. Jude is a warning to an early Christian community about a group of itinerant teachers bearing a message that Jude considers incompatible with the apostolic gospel. The teaching and practice of these people puts them into a class of individuals who, according to Scripture, incur God's wrath and judgment. Jude stresses that there is guaranteed judgment on those who live outside the normalized instruction and teach others to do the same. The importance of a lifestyle that adheres with biblical teaching is just as crucial today as it was in the early church.
This commentary highlights the oral and performative nature of the first-century Mediterranean world. Jude was situated in this oral context, and it decisively shaped the form and delivery of the epistle while also enhancing its content. One cannot separate the content of a message from how a message comes to expression. This commentary aims to show the relationship between expression and content, demonstrating that there is not only value in what Jude says but in how he says it.