What does Jude 1:22 mean?
ESV: And have mercy on those who doubt;
NIV: Be merciful to those who doubt;
NASB: And have mercy on some, who are doubting;
CSB: Have mercy on those who waver;
NLT: And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering.
KJV: And of some have compassion, making a difference:
NKJV: And on some have compassion, making a distinction;
Verse Commentary:
This verse emphasizes a distinction between those who sincerely "doubt," as opposed to those who are rebellious and arrogant: the "scoffers" who are not really seeking truth (Jude 1:10). Jude encourages his readers to show mercy to those who have doubts, perhaps doubts sown by the apostates concerning the truth. This was a key danger presented by Jude, that the presence of false teachers was like a "hidden reef" among the members of the church (Jude 1:12). The key attitude Jude presents here is mercy—a caring compassion—instead of a judgmental anger or rejection.

Strong believers should deal with doubters patiently and with love (Ephesians 4:2). Harsh criticism only drives doubters farther away from the truth. Some doubters might be on the verge of trusting in Jesus as their Savior, but they have intellectual questions. Believers can answer those concerns (1 Peter 3:15–16) if they extend enough mercy to those sincere seekers.
Verse Context:
Jude 1:17–23 lays out Jude's plan of action for recognizing, resisting, and defeating apostates. Prior verses were devoted to explaining how, and why, these false teachers were dangerous. Those who followed their examples were bound for eternal judgment. Here, Jude provides a means to avoid these liars, as well as their fate.
Chapter Summary:
Jude's brief letter describes men at their worst and God at His best. Believers are already on the victorious side! Those who mock God's truth and who follow their own desires all while claiming to be Christians, are the most dangerous kind of unbelievers. These persons pose a danger to themselves and to any Christians they might influence. In response, Christians need to focus on understanding the truth of God's written Word and submitting to His will.
Chapter Context:
Jude is a single-chapter letter which reflects earlier warnings about apostates and their false teachings. Other passages of Scripture describe evil men who taught that Jesus was not fully human or fully God (1 John 2:22; 4:1–3), that God's grace allowed them to live immorally (2 Peter 2; Romans 6:1, 15), that Jesus blood was not an adequate sacrifice (Galatians 1:6–9; Hebrews 3:12–19; 10:19), and sinners gain a right standing in God's sight by keeping the law of Moses (Galatians 5:4, 7–9). Jude's letter combats false teaching and exhorts readers to remain faithful to the Lord.
Book Summary:
The book of Jude is a letter written by a half-brother of Jesus, likely later than AD 66–67, which was after 2 Peter was written. Its placement immediately before the book of Revelation is appropriate. This letter warns about false religion and evil men, whom Revelation describes as maliciously affecting political and religious conditions.
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