Epistle of Jude
|Light iron-age reading|
|Gabbin' with God|
The Epistle of St. Jude is yet another really short "book" in the Bible. It is St. Jude's only contribution to the literature of the civilized world, and boy does he let fly in this one which is probably why he was not allowed to contribute a second book to the Bible.
Jude is the quintessential True Believing Fanatic, spewing forth flowery language about the Chains of Darkness, God's Holy Judgment, Those Long Ago Marked Out For Condemnation, Blasphemy, Woe To Them, etc etc etc, and a long run-on sentence about wild waves of the sea foaming up their shame, or something. Whatever. One gets the impression St. Jude had unkempt hair, a thousand-yard stare, hadn't bathed in several weeks, launched into wild "repent!" sermons at the drop of a hat, and probably kept a can of paint and painted "Trust Jesus" everywhere he went.
Jude paraphrases an incident in a book that has been lost about Satan and Michael quarrelling over the body of Moses. If the holy angel Michael did not rebuke Satan himself, but only said "the Lord rebuke thee" how much more so should we not rebuke human enemies of the faith but only pray for the Lord to make the rebuke. Well and good. But at the same time Jude calls unbelievers "filthy dreamers" who "defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities." Thus he is the quintessential Christian preacher.
The Epistle of Jude is beloved by heresy-hunters everywhere because it contains the oft-quoted verse about "contending for the faith once delivered to the Saints." Roman Catholics used that verse to burn Protestants at the stake, and Protestants used that verse to denounce the Great Satanic Papal Whore of Babylon to eternal damnation in the Lake of Fire, so Jude must have been onto something there if both sides agreed he was right.
Jude's real name was Judas, but Judas Iscariot did for that first name what Adolph Hitler did for those little square mustaches. He might have been Judas Thaddaeus, or Jude/Judas, Jesus's brother (see also James, brother of Jesus who is blamed for some by the Epistle of James, making them the wackiest sibling authors till the Brontës). Since the book of Jude talks about persevering in the midst of hopelessness, Catholics often take out ads in the newspaper praying for St. Jude to do something about their life savings invested in Washington Mutual stocks.