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Monday, November 14, 2016

Holy Apostle St. Jude

St. Jude

In the address of the Epistle the author styles himself “Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James.” “Servant of Jesus Christ“ means “apostolic minister or labourer.” “Brother of James” denotes him as the brother of James kat exochen who was well-known to the Hebrew Christians to whom the Epistle of St. Jude was written. This James is to be identified with the Bishop of the Church of Jerusalem (Acts 15:13; 21:18), spoken of by St. Paul as “the brother of the Lord” (Gal. 1:19), who was the author of the Catholic Epistle of St. James. and is regarded amongst Catholic interpreters as the Apostle James the son of Alpheus (St. James the Less). This last identification, however, is not evident, nor, from a critical point of view, does it seem beyond all doubt. Most Catholic commentators identify Jude with the “Judas Jacobi” (“Jude, the brother of James” in the D.V.) of Luke 6:16, and Acts 1:13 — also called Thaddeus (Matt. x, 3: Mark 3:18) — referring the expression to the fact that his brother James was better known than himself in the primitive Church. This view is strongly confirmed by the title “the brother of James,” by which Jude designates himself in the address of his Epistle. If this identification is proved, it is clear that Jude, the author of the Epistle, was reckoned among the Twelve Apostles. This opinion is most highly probable. Beyond this we find no further information concerning Jude in the New Testament, except that the “brethren of the Lord,” among whom Jude was included, were known to the Galatians and the Corinthians; also that several of them were married, and that they did not fully believe in Christ till after the Resurrection (I Cor. 9:5; Gal. 1:10; John 7:3-5; Acts 1:14). From a fact of Hegesippus told by Eusebius (Hist. eccl. III, 19:xx, xxii) we learn that Jude was “said to have been the brother of the Lord according to the flesh,” and that two of his grandsons lived till the reign of Trajan.


Tradition as to the Genuineness and the Canonicity of his Epistle
            The Epistle of Jude is one of the so-called antilegomena; but, although its canonicity has been questioned in several Churches, its genuineness has never been denied. The brevity of the Epistle, the coincidences between it and II Peter, and the supposed quotation from apocryphal books, created a prejudice against it which was gradually overcome. The history of its acceptance by the Church is briefly as follows:
            Some coincidences or analogies exist between Jude and the writings of the Apostolic Fathers — between Barnabas, 2:10, and Jude, 3, 4; Clemens Romanus, Ep. 20, 12; 65:2, and Jude, 25; Ep. ad Polyc. iii 2; 4:2, and Jude, 3. 20, Mart. Polyc. xx, and Jude, 24 sq. It is possible, though not certain, that the passages here noted were suggested by the text of Jude. The similarity between “Didache” 2:7 and Jude, 22 sq. does not seem to be accidental, whilst in Athenagoras (about A.D. 177), “Leg.” 24, and in Theophilus of Antioch (d. about 183), “Ad Autol.” II, 15, there is a clear reference to Jude, 6 and 13 respectively.
            The earliest positive reference to the Epistle occurs in the Muratorian Fragment, “Epistola sane Judæ et superscriptæ Joannis duae in catholica [scil. Ecclesia] habentur.” The Epistle was thus recognized as canonical and Apostolic (for it is Jude the Apostle who is here meant) in the Roman Church about 170. At the end of the second century it was also accepted as canonical and Apostolic by the Church of Alexandria (Clement of Alexandria, “Pæd.” III, 8:followed by Origen), and by the African Church of Carthage (Tertullian). At the beginning of the third century the Epistle was universally accepted except in the primitive East Syrian Church, where none of the Catholic Epistles were recognized, nor the Apocalypse.
            This remarkably wide acceptance, representing as it does the voice of ancient tradition, testifies to the canonicity and the genuineness of Jude. During the third and fourth centuries doubt and suspicion, based on internal evidence (especially on the supposed quotation from the Book of Henoch and the “Assumption of Moses”), arose in several Churches. However the prejudice created against the deuterocanonical Jude was soon overcome, so that the Epistle was universally accepted in the Western Church at the very beginning of the fifth century.
            In the Eastern Church Eusebius of Cæsarea (260-340) placed Jude among the antilegomena or the “disputed books, which are nevertheless known and accepted by the greater number” (Hist. Eccl. II xxiii; III, xxv); he incorporated all the Catholic Epistles in the fifty copies of the Bible which at the command of Constantine, he wrote for the Church of Constantinople. St. Athanasius (d. 387) and St. Epiphanius (d. 403) placed Jude among the canonical and Apostolic writings. Junilius and Paul of Nisibis in Constantinople (513) held it as mediæ auctoritatis. However, in the sixth century the Greek Church everywhere considered Jude as canonical.

            The recognition of Jude in the Syriac Church is not clear. In Western Syria we find no trace of Jude in the fifth century. In Eastern Syria the Epistle is wanting in the oldest Syriac version, the Peshito, but it is accepted in the Philoxenian (508) and Heracleon (616) versions. Except among the Syriac Nestorians, there is no trace of any ecclesiastical contradiction from the beginning of the sixth century till the Council of Trent, which defined the canonicity of both the proto- and deutero-canonical books of the New Testament.



Orthodox Church Pakistan
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by: Fr. Cyril Amer