By Jonathan Knight

ISBN-10: 1850757445

ISBN-13: 9781850757443

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Tradition has it that he became the first bishop of the Roman church and that he died a martyr in Rome (see Cullmann 1962: 70-153; Thiede 1976: 171-94). 2 Peter is thus attributed to a recognized and important figure in early Christianity, someone who had accompanied Jesus from the beginning and who belonged to the 'inner circle' of his disciples (which comprised Peter, James and John). His choice as patron for this letter was due both to his apostolic credentials and to his association with the church in Rome.

The material probably does have a history of exegesis behind it but it is difficult now to reconstruct this in detail. If there were such a background the author's skill would have lain especially in selecting and arranging the material to yield the letter's rhetorical effect. In this way Jude probably offers a badly-needed glance into the nature and contents of the early Christian exhortatory tradition (see further Charles, 1993). We can only guess now at how far such material featured in the teaching of early Christian churches but it probably exercised a prominent role there.

Like Cain, Balaam was regarded as enticing Israel to sin and hence as responsible for the deaths of the Israelites recorded in Numbers 25. Applied to Jude's situation this example illustrates how the opponents tried to entice others into their loose ways and it also hints that they took payment for doing this. The Korah reference in v. 11 draws on Numbers 16 where this man and others are said to have led a rebellion against Moses and Aaron. Pseudo-Philo (Bib. Ant. 1) and one of the Targums (ps-Jonathan to Num.

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2 Peter and Jude by Jonathan Knight


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