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Jesus is Back in Jude (Monday with Mounce 164)

Categories Mondays with Mounce

Monday with MouncePerhaps this is a little overstated, but it did get your attention.

I just got back from the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society. One of the things I wanted to see is the new release of the standard Greek text of the New Testament, the NA28. I ran into a grinning Wayne Grudem, and he told me about Jude 5.

This is the only place I recall that the ESV diverged from the NA27 Greek text. The ESV reads, “Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus (᾽Ιηοῦς), who save a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.” The NET and NLT also have “Jesus.”

NA27 reads κύριος, which is followed by most translations. The RSV left it an indefinite “he,” which was changed to “Lord” in the NRSV.

It actually is a fascinating example of text critical issues. Many different readings, and which one is the more difficult, most likely to explain the others?

What caught my eye initially was Metzger’s comment in his textual commentary. I don’t have access to it right now (and if you do, would you post it in a comment to this blog), but it read almost as a dissenting position, and the primary reason given was theological. The committee did not think that Jude would talk about Jesus being active in the Exodus. But it seemed to us that the external evidence was stronger for ᾽Ιηοῦς, and we had no theological problem with this reading.

And so it was much to Wayne’s and my delight that we saw that NA28 now reads, ᾽Ιηοῦς. Jesus is back!

MouncewWilliam D. [Bill] Mounce posts about the Greek language, exegesis, and related topics at Koinonia. He is the author of numerous books, including the bestselling Basics of Biblical Greek, and is the general editor for Mounce's Complete Expository Dictionary of the Old and New Testament Words. He served as the New Testament chair of the English Standard Version Bible translation, and is currently on the Committee for Bible Translation for the NIV. Learn more about Bill at, and visit his other blog on spiritual growth, Life is a Journey, at

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