1Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James,
To those who have been called, who are loved in God the Father and kept for1:1 Or by; or in Jesus Christ:
2Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance.
The sin and doom of ungodly people
3Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. 4For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about1:4 Or individuals who were marked out for condemnation long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a licence for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.
5Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord1:5 Some early manuscripts Jesus at one time delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe. 6And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling – these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day. 7In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.
8In the very same way, on the strength of their dreams these ungodly people pollute their own bodies, reject authority and heap abuse on celestial beings. 9But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!’1:9 Jude is alluding to the Jewish Testament of Moses (approximately the first century a.d.). 10Yet these people slander whatever they do not understand, and the very things they do understand by instinct – as irrational animals do – will destroy them.
11Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion.
12These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm – shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted – twice dead. 13They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved for ever.
14Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: ‘See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones 15to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.’1:15 From the Jewish First Book of Enoch (approximately the first century b.c.) 16These people are grumblers and fault-finders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.
A call to persevere
17But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18They said to you, ‘In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.’ 19These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.
20But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
22Be merciful to those who doubt; 23save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear – hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.1:23 The Greek manuscripts of these verses vary at several points.
24To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy – 25to the only God our Saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and for evermore! Amen.