Heretics, One and All (2)

For certain people have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into indecent behavior and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus ChristJude 1:4  NASB

Our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ – Jude worries about the influence false teachers have on the Messianic community.  They have crept in unnoticed.  That means the others in the group weren’t even aware of their presence until someone like Jude pointed them out.  And, amazingly, this verse is a perfect example of how unnoticed these people really were—and still are.

Here’s the same verse in the King James Version, the most widely circulated book in the history of mankind:

“For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Do you notice anything significantly different?  How about the final phrase, “the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.”  The word “God” is inserted into the text.  Actually, at the time the King James text was translated from Greek, the Textus Receptus was the standard Greek text of the New Testament, and the word “God” was in that text.  Since the time of King James, a lot of discoveries have been made in ancient texts and it now appears certain that the word was notin Jude’s original letter.  So where did it come from?  Ah, it crept in unnoticed at of the hand of some copyist whose theology trumped linguistic accuracy.  Just like the infamous verse in 1 John 5:7, the Trinity was written into the text.  Jude was not a Trinitarian, but the copyists were, and, lo and behold, suddenly Jude endorses the Trinitarian view.  The very verse that signals a warning about changing from the tradition of Moses has been modified to fit the doctrine of the Church.  And no one had a clue.

Circumcision was replaced with one-time baptism.

The annual Passover meal became communion.

Shabbat became “the Lord’s Day”—Sunday.

The “ordinary” saints (followers of the Messiah) were replaced by “Saints” (who were worshipped)

Mary went from a pregnant teenager to the Queen of the Universe.

The Jewish man named Yeshua became the divine God, Jesus.

Now ask yourself, “Who did the creeping in?”

Topical Index:  syncretism, Law, doctrine, Jude 1:4

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Richard Bridgan

Effectively, except for the purpose of gaining an overall contextual perspective, It is unimportant “who” did the creeping in.

Whether intentional, or simply a response to the need for consistency of theology, human actions concerning the biblical testimony derive from a perceived relation (or lack thereof) to the testimony of YHVH, and Israel’s witness to that God. Remarkably, we also now have the testimony of Yeshua of Nazareth, who bore a unique testimony and witness concerning the God of Israel. And then there’s that whole issue of his crucifixion and subsequent resurrection, concerning and from which a renewed testimony and a new set of conditions of “witness” reshaped the testimony and “adjusted” the scope of the theology of Israel’s fundamental testimony.

The unique theology and witness resulting from the “Yeshua event” in the social admixture and context of natural events, faith, and recorded witness, now has a history of two millennia. Yet the issues remain essentially the same: Israel has born witness in testimony to the reality of their God, YHVH, who is Creator and Sovereign over his creation. Throughout the changing events of Israels’ history, this God has sustained Israel’s commission to bear witness before the nations, concerning both the grace and severity of this God. This testimony has been brought to the nations, some of whom believe, and many of whom—in respect to this peculiar and particular testimony—remain “ungodly.”

Ultimately, this is “who did the creeping in.”

Richard Bridgan

For the record, I for one believe the testimony of YHVH brought to us by the witness of Israel. Moreover, I believe the testimony of Yeshua of Nazareth, brought to us by the continued witnesss of Israel, and the apostles, and those who subsequently bore witness to this peculiar and particular testimony of faith in YHVH.