The author of this letter calls himself "Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James," Jud_1:1. This is not James, the son of Zebedee and brother of John, but James the Less, the son of Alphaeus, Jam_1:1; Gal_1:19; 1Co_15:7. This Jude, or Judas, therefore, was also a brother (or cousin) of the Lord; he was an apostle, and is probably to be identified with Judas Lebbaeus, or Thaddeus, Mat_10:3; Mar_3:18; Luk_6:16; Act_1:13. The letter seems to have been written to Christians in Palestine, and since no mention is made of the destruction of Jerusalem, its date may safely be set at about 68 A. D.
The letter shows evidence of great agitation on the part of the writer, who evidently had cause for the gravest apprehension as to the steadfastness of the Christians to whom he was writing. After the salutation there follows a brief reference to the reason for addressing this letter. The apostle next reminds his readers of some of the great judgments of the Old Testament, at the same time characterizing the false teachers as people that despise the divine authority in order to live according to their flesh, who, however, will receive their punishment when Christ returns to judge the quick and the dead. The readers are urged to remember the teaching of the apostle and to remain steadfast in faith and prayer, full of abhorrence toward sin, but also of true love for the sinners. The letter closes with a doxology.