Robert L. Webb, "The Eschatology of the Epistle of Jude and Its Rhetorical and Social Functions," Bulletin for Biblical Research 6 (1996): 139-151.
Jude’s eschatology is oriented around the twin poles of eschatological salvation and judgment with the latter being more prominent. Judgment in Jude includes not only past and future judgment but present judgment as well. Allusions to past judgment highlight the punishment aspect of the judicial process while references to future and present judgment highlight laying charges and producing a guilty verdict. The rhetorical function of Jude’s eschatology is: (1) to convince his readers also to engage in judgment: to pronounce the intruders guilty of ungodliness, and (2) to reassure his readers that they themselves will not be judged but instead are being guarded by God. The social function of Jude’s eschatology is to bring about a separation between the original community and the intruders. These two functions address both the external threat of the intruders themselves and the internal threat of their negative impact in the readers’ ethics, theology, and unity.
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