by Donald T. Williams
Jude wants us to "contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints" (1:3). In much New Testament scholarship today, you will find an unquestioned and unsupported assumption underlying the whole enterprise: that Jesus brought no theology with him at all, but his followers, in a long process, evolved many understandings of him which were reduced to one by arbitrary power at the Council of Nicaea in 325. Yet here is a voice from the 60s of the first century saying that the faith was not evolved from scratch but that there was a substantial and recognizable core of it that was delivered to the saints.
Now, who is likely to have a better understanding of what actually happened in the early Church: a scholar speculating about it two thousand years later or someone who was actually there? Maybe it's just me, but I trust Jude more than I do Bart Ehrman on this point.
Donald T. Williams Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus of Toccoa Falls College and the author of Deeper Magic: The Theology Behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis (Square Halo Books, 2016) and Ninety-Five Theses for a New Reformation: A Road Map for Post-Evangelical Christianity (Semper Reformanda Publications, 2021).
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