Jude 1:3 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Jude 1:3, NIV: Dear 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.

Jude 1:3, ESV: Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.

Jude 1:3, KJV: Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

Jude 1:3, NASB: Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith that was once for all time handed down to the saints.

Jude 1:3, NLT: Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people.

Jude 1:3, CSB: Dear friends, although I was eager to write you about the salvation we share, I found it necessary to write, appealing to you to contend for the faith that was delivered to the saints once for all.

What does Jude 1:3 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jude had a change of mind regarding what he would write about. At first, he intended to address matters pertaining to salvation. Instead, he feels led to tell his readers to aggressively defend the faith—the truths the apostles had given to believers. What brought about his change of mind? The answer is divine inspiration: the act by which the Holy Spirit guided the writers of Scripture to write only what He wanted them to write.

Second Peter 1:21 explains that Scripture is not a product of what man devised, but what the Holy Spirit wanted them to say. The Holy Spirit superintended the writing so that nothing was inserted into the Word of God that God wanted left out, and nothing was left out that He wanted to be included. Second Timothy 3:16 assures us that "all Scripture is breathed out by God."

Guided by the Holy Spirit, Jude writes to encourage his readers to aggressively defend the faith that the apostles had taught. The core of these teachings are complete, so Jude writes that "the faith … was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 1:3). The primary aspects of God's truth had been revealed. The apostates might subtract from or add to those teachings, but to do so was to corrupt the pure Word of God. The Scriptures written after the ministry of Jesus supported and explained those truths, but there was no legitimate change in the faith.

An important parallel to Jude's teaching here comes from the life of the apostle Paul. Like Jude, Paul valued the faith. On his way to Jerusalem, not knowing what persecution awaited him there, Paul summoned the leaders of the Ephesus church to meet him at Miletus. At Miletus he told the leaders that when he had ministered in Ephesus he had preached faithfully, but he warned that false teachers would soon emerge from their midst. These "fierce wolves" (Acts 20:29) would distort the truth in order to "draw away the disciples after them" (Acts 20:30).

Later, near the end of his life, Paul urged Timothy, a young pastor, to keep what he had heard from him as the pattern of sound teaching (2 Timothy 1:13). He also commanded Timothy to perpetuate the faith. He writes: "and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also" (2 Timothy 2:2). At the close of his life, Paul testified that unfaithful men would not put up with sound doctrine but would draw false teachers to themselves (2 Timothy 4:3–4). Further, as he was about to be executed for the faith, Paul testified, "I have kept the faith" (2 Timothy 4:7).