The General Epistles

by Glen H. Jones

This short commentary, covering James to Jude inclusively, makes an excellent handbook for teachers of the Word. Its scholarship is conservative; the author holds a high view of inspired Scripture.

The author's introduction to each epistle provides background information on the author, the recipients, the date, occasion, and style. A short outline of the book follows.

The Epistle of James has always provided grounds for controversy. Jeske does not avoid these "problem" passages. He carefully expounds the faith-works passage (2:14-26).  He also tackles the "anoint him with oil" passage (5:13-18).

Peter's second letter has, for many, been a source of controversy. Peter's harsh words against false teachers and of the judgment to come make liberals wince at the idea that a loving God would punish anyone. Jeske affirms Peter's authorship of Second Peter.

First John was written to counter the false teachings of the Gnostic philosophers, who had much in common with today's New Age philosophers. Both deny the virgin birth and bodily resurrection of Jesus. Both assert that the Bible alone is an insufficient source of information. John's letters show that the Lord Jesus Christ was God's Son who came in bodily form to be atonement for humanity's sins.

The last of the general epistles was written by Jude, half-brother of Jesus and brother of James, the head of the church in Jerusalem. In his short letter Jude warns church leaders to be on their guard against false teachers, who reject or ignore the certainty of coming judgment; and purposely deceive believers in order to glorify their own fleshly lust for power.

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