The Doxology


Jude concludes his epistle, not with a benediction, "grace be upon you ....", but with a doxology, an acclamation to "the only God our Saviour." Jude begins by proclaiming that God is an "able" God, a God able to keep us on our feet in our Christian walk such that in the last day we can be jubilantly presented before the throne of his grace faultless, above reproach. Jude goes on, in Christ's name, to ascribe to God the eternal characteristics of his worth - glory, majesty, power and authority. "Jude praises God's honour as eternal, both in the past and future", Neyrey.


i] Context: See v1-2.


ii] Background - A general introduction: See v1-2.


iii] Structure: A Doxology addressed to God,:

God's applied power;

God's character.


iv] Interpretation:

Jude concludes his epistle with a liturgical doxology. Such reminds us that the letter was designed to be read aloud in church as a homily. This is particularly indicated by the lack of personal greetings which set the letter apart for general use, rather than for one specific congregation.

Although not common practice today, it was once very common to end a sermon with a doxology, often this particular doxology. The preacher would turn and face the sanctuary as he recited the words, and the congregation would stand, positioned for the closing hymn of praise. In my youthful puritanical years I viewed it as an improper veneration of a brass cross, but in my blindness I failed to see beyond mere symbols, the cloud of angelic host surrounding the throne of God's grace. It is to Him, and Him alone, that we ascribe glory and honour.

Text - v24

The Doxology, v24-25: In typical fashion, the doxology begins by identifying God's sovereign might, his power, a power which enables the perseverance of the saints and their presentation before the throne of God's grace, righteous and holy in Christ.

de "-" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a step in the argument / paragraph marker.

tw/ ... dunamenw/ (dunamai) dat. pres. mid./pas. part. "to him who is able" - to the one being able. The participle serves as a substantive. The dative is usually classified as a dative of possession, although doxologies such as this are often elliptical by nature, eg., "let be ascribed glory and honour to him who is able .....", in which case we would classify it as a dative of indirect object. See Romans 16:25 and Ephesians 3:20 for a similar beginning to a doxology.

fulaxai (fulassw) aor. inf. "to keep [you]" - to guard, keep [you]. The infinitive, as with "to set / place", is complementary, completing the sense of the participle "being able." It is possible, although unlikely, that the second infinitive sthsai, "set / make stand", is adverbial, final, expressing purpose; "to him who is able to keep your from stumbling in order to present you ......" None-the-less, this is a logical consequence of God's providential care of his children, namely, to be presented faultless before him.

aptaistouV adj. "from stumbling" - without stumbling. Hapax legomenon, once only use in the NT. The word describes the act of maintaining equilibrium, although it is used in 3Macc.6:39 of Israel's deliverance "without hurt", so the sense could be something like "kept safe"; "keep you from falling", NRSV.

katenwpion gen. "before" - [and to set, make stand you] before. Spacial; "in the presence of / before the face of."

autou gen. pro. "his [glorious presence]" - [the glory] of him. The genitive is best taken as adjectival, possessive, expressing a characteristic possessed by God, "his glory", but possibly verbal, subjective, expressing the action of setting forth his glory, "in his bright presence", Peterson.

amwmouV adj. "without fault" - blameless. The second adjective used to describe what God is able to do, namely, to present us before his throne of glory "faultless", ie., morally pure. This he achieves in Christ who is, on our behalf, the righteous Son of God.

en + dat. "with [great joy]" - in [exaltation, gladness, jubilation, rejoicing]. The prepositional phrase here is probably adverbial, modal, expressing the manner of our being presented to God; "to joyfully present ....." One can't help but be brought to tears by such a truth, that a sinner, saved in Christ, is presented before the throne of the Ancient of days with jubilation - it's mind blowing!


Jude goes on to describe this God who is our saviour. With the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, Jude ascribes the following characteristics to God: he is a glorious God, a majestic God, an all powerful God who rules with authority, and these characteristics rightly apply to him throughout eternity.

qew/ (oV) dat. "to the [only] God" - [let glory, dominion, majesty and authority before all the age, and now, and into all the ages,] be ascribed to the [only] god, [saviour of us, through jesus christ, lord of us]. Given the elliptic nature of the doxology, the dative may be classified as a dative of indirect object, but at the same time it stands in apposition to the participle "to the one being able." As for the dative swthei, "saviour", it stands in apposition to "only God." Jude is clarifying the sense of the one he addresses as "being able"; he is "the only God, our saviour." Note that the adjective monoV, "only", may mean "alone", "to God alone", ie., the ascription is made to God and to him only, but it is more likely that a Jewish believer has in mind "the one God."

hJmwn gen. pro. "our [Saviour]" - [saviour] of us. The genitive is adjectival, probably verbal, objective, but possessive is also possible. Both ideas may be present, God saves us and he is our personal saviour, but it is often unclear whether the author wants to express both ideas, or only one in particular. This is particularly so for Jesus, our saviour.

doxa (a) "be glory" - The nominative nouns "glory, majesty, power and authority" stand as the subject of the assumed imperative "let be / let be ascribed."

dia + gen. "through" - through, by means of [jesus christ]. Expressing agency; "through the agency of Jesus Christ." Note that Jude is making the point that the ascription to God is made through Jesus Christ, and not that God is our saviour through Jesus Christ. The punctuation "the only God, our Saviour through Jesus Christ", is incorrect. The NIV nicely clarifies the point. Later manuscripts solve the problem by leaving out "through Jesus Christ our Lord."

tou kuriou (oV) gen. "[our] Lord" - lord [of us]. Genitive standing in apposition to "Jesus Christ." The genitive pronoun hJmwn, "our / of us", may be classified as adjectival, possessive, or idiomatic / subordination, "Lord over us."

pro + gen. "before" - before [all the ages. amen]. Temporal use of the preposition. The phrase, "before all the age, and now, and into (eiV + acc., temporal) all the ages", makes the point that the ascription of "glory, majesty, power and authority" to God covers all time; yesterday, today and tomorrow.


Jude Introduction

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