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Jude Didn’t Change His Mind

Updated: May 25



In the KJV, in the book of Jude, in the third verse of this one chapter epistle, we read:

“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”

I believe its important to mention that its from the KJV and not some corrupt “Bible” perversion, which for the most part mutilate this passage, as they do most of the Bible, a subject we cover in some depth over here.


For instance, out of the corrupted ESV: “Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.


This is no minor perversion and deviation from the underlying Greek text, where words like “very” and “our” and “for all,” are additions to the text, transgressing Rev 22:18, Gods indictment to those who will add to His completed Word. Changing “the” to “our” is contradictory to the underlying Greek text, which carries forward the idea of a definitive article (“the”) rather than a genitive plural (“our”) of “common salvation.” A one word textual change, changes the meaning of the passage, advancing the idea that Jude changed his mind, which is how it’s taught by many or that he had a preference to his subject in writing. This is certainly not Biblically correct but it’s advanced on the back of critical textual perversion. Jude was writing to them about a false, profane, and corrupted salvation, and he didn’t change from that chartered course.


The subject being addressed here is the popular misinterpretation of Ju 1:3 where preachers and teachers and others have Jude changing his mind. Allegedly Jude was writing to born again believers about true salvation (what they claim “the common salvation” is referring to) and then he changed his mind about what he had intended to be his subject, changing it to a warning to true believers about false teachers and the need to earnestly contend for the faith once delivered unto the saints. This misinterpretation is unbelievably common (and that is definitely not the same “common” as Jude’s “common” in v. 3), but its wrong and egregious and needs correction.


It is certainly true that the epistle warns of false believers/teachers, but it’s likewise true that Jude is warning of the false and profane salvation that they come with, which is the very foundation of their apostasy.


Jude did not change his mind. When he stated that he was writing to born again believers (“to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:” v. 1) about “the common salvation,” which is a false, profane, unclean and defiled “salvation,” a perverse and corrupted salvation, that is EXACTLY what he was writing about, and that is what the rest of that short epistle clearly reflects. It dovetails with the general theme of the epistle.


Two Diverse Paths of Salvation, Only One is True


Everywhere in the Word of God we find patterns of twos, not threes. The world of unsaved religious people create three categories or labels or paths, to give some kind of false assurance of their unregenerate nature. Catholicism does it with purgatory and many other ways, while evangelicalism and protestantism and many Baptists create a third category of “lukewarm Christian” and “backslidden Christian” and “carnal Christian.” None of these exist in Scripture except under the label false professing “believers,” of the kind found throughout God’s Word, such as Judas, Balaam, Simon the sorcerer, very many of the Jewish people following Jesus (Jn 2:23-25; 6:60-66; 8:31-36), etc. There are ONLY two. There is no in-between. Saved or unsaved. True believer or false believer. Walking/living on narrow path or wide path. Spiritual or carnal. Walking forward or walking backward. Blessed or cursed. Under grace or under the law. In light or in darkness. Just or unjust. Wise or a fool. Born after the Spirit or born after the flesh. Of the freewoman or of the bondwoman. Under liberty or under bondage. Fruitful or unfruitful. Wheat or tares. Good fish or bad fish. Sheep or goat. Etc. For a further detail examination of this subject, including Scripture references, please read: There are Only Two Classes or Categories of People in God’s Word, Not Three.


In salvation itself we also see the two categories or classes as well. There is a true salvation, called a great salvation, and there is a false salvation, called a common salvation.


Heb 2:3,

“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation.”

Ju 1:3,

“I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation.”

This “common salvation” was being promoted by false teachers, who are “certain men crept in unawares” (Ju 1:4) and further described between vv. 4 and 16, and Jude was warning God’s true people of this profane and Satanic counterfeit that opposes God's "so great salvation" and damns souls to the eternal and unquenchable fires of hell.


Already in the days of Jude, God’s “great salvation” had been corrupted and perverted into a counterfeit that was “defiled,” “unclean” and “unholy.” Therefore Jude said, “...it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (v. 3). Jude continued,

“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” (v. 4).

The false gospel being promoted by these men was the grace of God being turned into lasciviousness, a very common problem today all over Christendom, especially evangelicalism. The promoters of this common salvation had “...crept in unawares.” That is, they moved subtly and carefully, in order to avoid being detected. The apostasy promoters were ordained to “this condemnation” (translated “judgment” 13x) for their ungodliness and apostasy. They were not ordained to creep into the churches. They were ordained (translated “set forth” Gal 3:1) for judgment because of their evil and unrepentant nature. These “ungodly men" were “denying the Lord” (v. 4), while they“feast with you” (v. 12) and were“among them.” (v. 15). These so-called "Christian" leaders, which flourish today and almost entirely blanket all of Christendom, where making unsaved people two-fold children of hell—in similitude to the Pharisees (Matt 23:15), though the false gospel differedis the strategy and the norm, not the exception.


Neither does the exception extend to those flying under the banner of fundamentalism, who almost without exception are bringing in “damnable heresies” (2 Pet 2:1). This heretical movement (i.e., fundamentalism) right out of the starting blocks, has become flooded with "Christian" leaders who are promoting a “common salvation” that rejects Biblical repentance as being necessary for salvation, and the Lordship of Jesus Christ, among other elements of the true gospel.


The true gospel is more important that pews full of people and church registers loaded with names. The true gospel is NOT easy, or salesmanship, or "simple" as in intellectual only divorced from the volition and divorced from repentance (or repentance becomes a mere change of mind) and divorced from surrender, nor is it received by merely praying a sinners prayer and/or asking for the gift. These are false, perverted and mongrel "gospels," warned of repeatedly by the Apostle Paul and others in Scripture, as "another gospel" (2 Cor 11:4). The goody meister "Jesus" that is preached alongside this false gospel, who meets all their worldly and fleshly needs, is also "another Jesus" (2 Cor 11:4). The ones preaching and teaching these things are dogs, deceitful workers, and servants of Satan while masquerading as servants of righteousness and light (2 Cor 11:12-15).


The Lord Jesus Christ or the Apostles of any of the other true preachers and teachers in the Word of God were not interested in attracting or maintaining a crowd. The truth was the only thing important to them. Jesus preached to people that were claiming to belong to God, calling them "hypocrites!” (Matt 23; Mk 7:6), calling them, “Ye are of your father the devil” (Jn 8:44), “Woe unto you . . . hypocrites! (Matt 23:27). In John 2, and then later at the end of His earthly ministry, so twice, Jesus carefully made a whip of cords and then whipped false believers/teachers out of the temple and overthrew their tables, who had turned God's house of prayer into a den of thieves and house of merchandise, not really much different than 99% of churches today. John the Baptist, filled with the Holy Ghost, preached,“Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” (Matt 23:33). John must have not realized that such preaching wasn't going to grow him a mega church. To professing so-called Christians, James preached; “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.(Jam 4:4). Did James not realize that kind of preaching might cause some people who tithed to leave the church? Paul's preaching didn't fare any better. In fact, it was virtually loaded with harsh denunciations, reproof, rebuke and condemnation, here are a few of many examples: “And thinkest thou . . . that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?” (Rom 2:3). "And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?" (Ac 13:10). Didn't Paul know that you won't win many friends preaching like this, and you'll lose all your influence on people and the capacity to engage with them? That Paul! When Paul was done preaching, with all his naming of names and sharp and "harsh" reproof, and more, he could say, “I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you . . . I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God” (Ac 20:20, 27).


Those that preach a "common salvation" are actually interested in serving their belly, and not the Lord Jesus Christ, even though it may appear otherwise, which is the hallmark of false teachers, and its by their false doctrine (which includes a false gospel), that we know them:

"Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple." (Rom 16:17-18)

How do we know that Judes mention of “the common salvation” in the passage under discussion is referring to a corrupt and false gospel being warned about?


Let’s Consider Firstly the Use and Definition of the Word "Common" of Jude 1:3.


The word “common” appears 14 times in the NT (including 2 of which are “commonly,” which means the same), but some of these are translated from combined Greek words (“polus polos,” “holos,” anthropinos,” and “koinos”). 


The word translated as “common” in Ju. 1:3 is the adjective “koinos.”


The word "koinos" appears 12x in 10 passages and translated as: “common” (Ac. 2:42; 4:32; 10:14, 28; 11:8; Ti. 1:4; Ju. 1:3), “defiled” (Mk. 7:2), “unclean” (Rom. 14:14 — 3x in this passage), and “unholy thing” (Heb. 10:29). The words “defiled,” “unclean,” and “unholy thing” are obviously quite negative and reflective of something profane or corrupt, not something positive or good, definitely not indicative of true Biblical salvation. If we were to put aside Ju 1:3, out of the other 11x that it appears in 9 passages (3x in Rom. 14:14), 8 are referring to something negative or unhallowed or sacrilegious, hence the standard definition of it: “profane:- common defiled unclean unholy.” In three of the passages, where Peter is in a trance, the word is actually defined right in the passage as “unclean” (Ac 10:14, 28; 11:8-9). Common animals were unclean animals. The spiritual application is true spirituality, which is not common, not unclean, whether Jew or Gentile. This is how the word was essentially always used by the people of that day, hence why it’s translated almost exclusively in such a manner. Its only referring to something positive and good in 3 passages: Ac. 2:42; 4:32; and Ti. 1:4, the first two passages speaking to a communal sharing of all their possessions, “had all things common” for the sake of physical life. The last verse, Ti 1:4, is the only time it is translated as something positive concerning salvation: “To Titus, mine own son after the common faith:…” (Ti 1:4a), and its this passage that gives some people hiccups over the meaning of Ju 1:3.


The matching Greek word, only differing in suffix, is “koinoo.” The “os” suffix added to the verbal root “koin” forms a noun of result or an abstract noun of action. The words are otherwise identical in meaning and definition: making or considering something profane, defiled, polluted or unclean. It is to render something unhallowed and count it as unclean, especially Levitically. This word is found 15x and all are referring to the definition given here, translated as “defile” (5x), “defileth” (4x), “call” (2x), “common” (2x), “polluted” (1x) and “unclean” (1x). None of these even remotely refer to something that is good and favourable.


Going back to “koinos” and Ju 1:3, why could “common” in Ju 1:3 not have the same definition as “common” in Ti 1:4, since both are translated from the same Greek "koinos"? (1) Because the standard definition is not something favourable, but something bad and negative and unfavourable, even as . “Common” is even defined in Peter’s dream in Acts 10 as “unclean.” When Peter argues against God about eating something “that is common or unclean,” God reminds him “What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.” (Ac 10:15).  Being cleansed is the opposite of being “common,” or uncleansed. (2) Because how it is found in Scripture 75% of the time, and that is in the negative, profane, and unclean definition.  When we look at sister words, essentially the same word only different suffixes, as we did above, that rate goes up to 100% in the negative. (3) Because of context. The context of Ti 1:4 is clearly referring to the true faith, there is no argument, while in Ju 1:3 the same cannot be said. Yes, Jude was writing to true believers, and yes, he had just mentioned some of the adjectives describing true believers (“sanctified . . . preserved . . . called”), but the actual immediate context is writing to true believers in warning and exhortation to contend for the faith against false teachers, which he goes on to describe for 13 verses, and the major theme that all false teachers have in common (no pun intended), is “the common salvation,” that is, a perverted and profane salvation that is missing elements of the gospel or has added elements, or some other corruption (noted very commonly today is denying or falsifying repentance and Lordship of Jesus). The false salvation/gospel is centre stage in false teachers, even though it might not always appear like that, with other more obvious and apparent egregious issues and failures.


The definition and translation in Scripture tell us what the word "common" means in Ju. 1:3. Something that is unholy, profane, and unclean. Obviously not a true salvation, but a corrupted and perverted and false one.


Other Elements of Jude 1:3 that Corresponds to the Truth that a False Salvation is Being Warned of


The use of generic “the” with “common salvation” makes it impersonal and exclusive of the writer, who would have used “our” had he meant the salvation that he received and partook of. “The” coupled with “common” (i.e., profane, unclean, unholy) makes it further clear that the “salvation” that Jude was warning and writing about was a false and perverted salvation, of which the Bible warns frequently; a different salvation than the one referred to in v. 1.


We also read in v. 3 that Jude “gave all diligence” to write and warn them about the fact that there was a salvation/gospel (same thing) rendered “common,” i.e, unclean and profane and unhallowed. He did not just give diligence, he gave “all diligence.” He was focused with laser precision to his task at hand. The Greek word has been translated “with haste” in other places. That lines up with why he was writing. There is a desperate urgency to warn about false gospels, false teachings and false teachers, and to earnestly contend for the faith.


It was “needful” for Jude to exhort them that they should “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” The Greek word “needful” has been translated “distress” 3x. When a person goes into distress, that person is in danger of dying. The emergency medicine specialists works on them with haste, because it is needful. This is the idea that Jude is bringing across when he speaks of the need for him to also write and exhort his audience about the critical necessity to earnestly contend for the faith.


There is also no "but" in the passage. Had he changed his mind, undoubtely Jude would have included the contrasting clause and conjunction "but," but thats not what we find. There is no "but" between "...the common salvation" and "it was needful for me to write unto you..." which would have then read, “I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, (BUT) it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” There is no "but" because there is no contrasting clause being made. The subject hadn't changed as to why Jude why was writing, needfully and with all diligence. The subject was that of a false gospel being promoted by false teachers, and the critical necessisty to be "earnestly contending for the faith."


The Immediate and Entire Epistle Context of Jude 1:3.


The definition and translation of "common" aligns with the immediate context and context of the epistle in its entirety. 


In fact, one wouldn’t even need the above information (though it of course bears importance), to understand what the meaning of "the common salvation" is. The immediate context and then the context of the entire epistle already tells us what the meaning is, as is the case in virtually all Bible interpretation. The context is always most important, and everything about this context reflects that "the common salvation" is not referring to a true salvation but to a false profane, unclean, perverted, corrupted, damnable, heretical and apostate “salvation," one warned of everywhere in Scripture (e.g. Ac. 15:1; Rom. 16:17-18; Gal. 1:6-9; 2:4-5; 5:1-12; Phil. 3:2, 18-19; Jam. 2:14-19; 2 Pet. 2:1-3, 17-22; Ju. 1:4-16; Rev. 2 & 3; etc), and one that takes up most of this short epistle and Judes purpose in writing it to all born again believers (vv. 1, 3). 


Jude didn’t change his mind.


Jude’s intention was to write an epistle that necessitated a warning on “the common salvation” (“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation”), which is something impersonal ("the”) and profane (“common") and exclusive of himself (“the” and not “our”), obviously referring to a different salvation than the one they were to earnestly contend for, "the faith" (v. 3), the true gospel/salvation.


The entire epistle is warning of false believers / teachers, based around the key passages of vv. 3 and 4 which theme extends to v. 16, and that is why he writes to warn every born again believer, “to them that are sanctified a by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:” (v. 1).


The first half of v. 3 corresponds and dovetails perfectly with the last half of v. 3. They were "to earnestly contend for the faith" which is the true faith, to oppose the false faith, "the common salvation" of which he was writing to them about, to warn them (vv. 3-16).


“The faith,” which is the body of Biblical Christian doctrine (Gal 1:23), which we are to earnestly contend for, is in direct contrast to “the common salvation” Jude was writing to warn them about. The former is true salvation while the latter a false salvation. We are to fight for the true faith, and against the false faith. Then he goes on and tells them about who it is that is bringing this in, ungodly men, v. 4, into v. 16. They are false ungodly teachers that come with a false profane unclean unholy “salvation” that required earnest contending against.


Again, The Bible Presents Two Types of Salvation: the True and the False


There are two types of salvation presented in Scripture: the true and great salvation, and then this false one, which is profane and unholy because it does not and cannot save. It’s this “salvation” that is the major theme of the book of Jude. Jude did not change his mind as to why he was writing true born again, sanctified, preserved, and called believers.


Jude was very concerned about the common (I.e. profane, unclean, unholy) “salvation” that was replacing “the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” The ungodly apostates had “crept in unawares.” That is, they moved in deceptively and subtlety in order to avoid being noticed, like wolves in sheep’s clothing, which they were. They were ordained to “this condemnation” (translated “judgment” 13x) for their actions. They were not ordained to creep into the churches. They were ordained (translated “set  forth” — Gal. 3:1) for judgment. They were “ungodly men” and v. 15 tells us these “ungodly men” were “among them,” as does v. 4, "crept in unawares." Verse 12 says, “they feast with you.” They were “turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness.” They were “denying the Lord” like the false teachers of 2 Pet. 2:1-3. Jude goes on to give historical Biblical examples of what he is writing, starting with ungodly men who have crept in unawares and ruined the grace of God into lasciviousness (v. 4), and then the Israelites in the wilderness who all died unsaved, which was all of them besides Moses, Caleb and Joshua (v. 5), and then the angels who rebelled with Satan (v. 6), followed by the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrha and the cities about them in like manner (v. 7), and then other generically mentioned false teachers of various characteristics (vv. 8-16).


The conclusion is very obvious. These apostates were promoting a “common salvation” which is a “damnable heresy” (2 Pet. 2:1) and believers were to “earnestly contend for the faith,” against those bringing in this false faith (v. 3) like Paul and Barnabas did in Ac. 15:1-2, and everywhere. It is against people we earnestly contend, and the entire context speaks of a false salvation/gospel that these false teachers are promoting, as we see also throughout Scripture. The key passage here is v. 4, the warning of the ungodly men who are creeping in with a false gospel/salvation ("turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ") which is the profane, unclean, unholy "salvation" that Jude was writing to the recipients of his epistle, true believers, to us, about.


Of course the devil never brings blatant error, for then it would be outright rejected, but rather he very subtly and very deceptively twists the truth of God’s Word ever so slightly, and packages it in a beautiful veneer with sparkles and flair. That is exactly what he did with Eve in the Garden (Gen. 3:1-6) and has been doing ever since through the lusts of the eyes, the lusts of the flesh and the pride of life (1 Jn. 2:15-17; cf. Matt. 4:3, 5-6, 8-9).

Conclusion


In conclusion, Jude didn’t change his mind. He was writing to born again believers about “the common salvation” which was a false and corrupted salvation, and then also found it needful to exhort the believers to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints,” which incidently would be against "the common salvation," i.e. the profane and counterfeit soteriology that doesn't save but decieves.


To interpret “common salvation” as true salvation changes the meaning of that verse and confuses the entire purpose of the Epistle of Jude. He did not change his mind about why he was writing, which is the necessary interpretation if this is referring to a true salvation. Jude was not writing to believers about a true salvation; he was writing to warn them about a false salvation (v. 3a) that false believers and false teachers were bringing in (vv. 4-16), to exhort them to "earnestly contend for the faith” against these promotors of damnable heresies. Meanings of words must align with the context, and to interpret that phrase as a true salvation contradicts the context. It simply makes no sense.


Is this important? It is if we believe that all of God's truth is important down to the jot and tittle, especially such an important subject as this. The misinterpretation also undermines the Satanic attack on the true gospel/salvation that existed already in the first century, and ever so prevalent in our day. Critical to Biblical hermeneutics is exegesis most importantly by context, and within that, grammar and the meaning of words, comparing scripture with scripture, rightly dividing the word of truth. Upon this Biblical practice, we see there can only be one conclusion, and we believe that conclusion is clear.


False gospels —"the common salvation"bring great destruction and calamity to its hearers and embracers, and eventually the furnace of fire, hence why the critical and urgent axiomatic necessity to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” It is the number one reason, first and foremost, for the great flood of apostasy of our day, and all true born again believers need to be warring against it.

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