The Similarity Between The Epistle Of Jude And The Second Epistle Of Peter -- By: Frederic Gardiner

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 011:41 (Jan 1854)
Article: The Similarity Between The Epistle Of Jude And The Second Epistle Of Peter
Author: Frederic Gardiner


The Similarity Between The Epistle Of Jude And The Second Epistle Of Peter

Rev. Frederic Gardiner

Many and various are the conjectures which, from time to time, have been put forth to account for the remarkable resemblance between the epistle of Jude and the second of Peter. One critic finds, in the fact of this resemblance, conclusive proof that neither Apostle could have seen the epistle of the other, or he would not have written his own; another thinks it equally clear that one of them must have had the epistle of the other before his eyes. This one cannot doubt that the epistle of Jude, being more terse and having greater concinnity, bears the plain mark of originality, and must have been the earlier of the two; but another is convinced that the epistle of

Peter preceded that of Jude, by a period long enough to allow of his warning to have been forgotten and his prophecies fulfilled. It has been suggested, on the one hand, that Jude might have been in the habit of hearing Peter preach, and so have set down briefly, from memory, what Peter spoke, and afterwards himself wrote more fully; and, on the other hand, it has been imagined that both writers might have derived their ideas and their language from some other common source, of which we know nothing. And if there be any other possible theory, it has not wanted an advocate among the host of those who have sought to solve this interesting but most difficult question.

Amid this Babel of opinions among men of learning and sagacity, it may be doubted whether there really exist sufficient data for the establishment of any one view. Yet, in this doubt, the student of Scripture cannot willingly acquiesce, until such data as there are, have been fully presented to view, and all inferences drawn from them which they will legitimately bear. Arnold has justly remarked in regard to uncertainty in matters of history: “Scepticism must ever be a misfortune or a defect: a misfortune, if there be no means of arriving at truth; a defect, if, while there exist such means, we are unable or unwilling to use them.”1 The uncertainty in regard to the present question must be considered more as a defect than a misfortune, until a clear examination, and a more careful weighing of the evidence is made, than has hitherto been done, at least in out own language. This defect, Laurman, in his admirable work upon this epistle,2 proposed to remedy; but he abruptly left his task half-finished.3 There seems, therefore, the more necessity, that some one else should take up the work and carry...

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