Jude: Guide to Commentaries

Classics of the Christian Tradition Online


20th Century Commentaries Online

There are a large number of online commentaries and other resources on Jude available here (these are mostly by preachers and popular treatments rather than academic) and also links to various whole Bible and other commentaries at StudyLight here


Which modern commentaries are best?

Biblical Studies Bulletin

In BSB 30, in Dec 2003, Gene Green (author of a subsequent commentary on 2 Peter and Jude) wrote of commentaries on these two books:

In 1976, John H. Elliott called 1 Peter an 'Exegetical Step-Child' due to the scant attention paid to the interpretation of that letter. But until recently, the bibliography on 2 Peter and Jude has been pale in comparison to the attention given to 1 Peter. Questions about the books' pseudonymity and the view that they reflect early catholic perspectives from the beginning of the second century AD have conspired to relegate these epistles to second-tier status. However, since the publication of Richard Bauckham's commentary on the epistles in 1983, the books have begun to receive renewed attention, although no commentary thus far has surpassed the exegetical power and insight of this contribution to the Word Biblical Commentary series. Bauckham argues that while Jude is an authentic work of the brother of James, who is therefore the brother of the Jesus, 2 Peter is a pseudonymous letter in the testamentary genre.

The second major critical commentary on these epistles is by Jerome Neyrey, published ten years after Bauckham's offering (Anchor Bible, 1993). While Bauckham pays particular attention to the Jewish world as a source for exegetical insight, Neyrey's approach is more social-scientific with cultural insights drawn from the larger Mediterranean world. Three other critical commentaries are currently in production by Scott Hafemann (New International Greek Testament Commentary), Gene L Green (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament) and Tom Schreiner (New American Commentary), all authors who write within the Evangelical tradition. The older critical commentaries based on the Greek text by Charles Bigg (International Critical Commentary, 1901) and J B Mayor (1907) are still occasionally worth consulting for lexical information but have been surpassed by the much fuller exposition of more recent works. Anyone seriously interested in the study of Jude and the family of Jesus should also consult Bauckham's monograph on Jude and the Relatives of Jesus (T & T Clark, 1990).

Quite a few commentaries were penned for the church leader and informed layperson. Among these, J N D Kelly's older work is always helpful and insightful (Black's New Testament Commentaries, 1969) and Michael Green's Tyndale commentary is a rewarding mix of brevity and depth (Tyndale New Testament Commentaries; rev ed, 1987). Both these authors are keenly aware of the value of insights from the Church Fathers, and Green presents the ablest defence of Petrine authorship of 2 Peter. Of the more recent offerings among the midrange commentaries from a more critical perspective, the careful and thorough work of Phoeme Perkins takes the prize (Interpretation, 1995) while Steve Kraftchick is often helpful to bring the reader up to date with scholarly discussion in a summary manner (Abingdon New Testament Commentaries, 2002). The recent Sacra Pagina offering by Daniel Harrington is surprisingly thin and somewhat dull in its exposition (2003). The NIV Application Commentary by Doug Moo (1996) is careful and always conservative. It should be chosen over Norman Hillyer's work (New International Biblical Commentary, 1992) if one is looking for an easily accessible Evangelical study of these books. The commentary by Daryl Charles raised hopes of being a good source due to Charles' previous monographs on Jude and 2 Peter, but the commentary fails to live up to what the author is capable of (Herald Press, 1999; bound with E Waltner on 1 Peter). Charles is currently writing a new exposition of these letters for the Expositor's Bible Commentary series and we hope for richer insights. The older midrange commentaries by Charles Moffatt (Moffatt New Testament Commentary, 1928), Bo Reicke (Anchor Bible, 1964) and E M Sidebottom (New Century Bible, 1982) do not have much to commend them these days.

While contemporary commentaries rightly fill our shelves, ancient voices are still well worth listening to. Clement of Alexandria wrote the first commentary which has survived on Jude and he, more than anyone else, was closer to the situation about which Jude wrote. The Venerable Bede is quite illuminating, and on many points contemporary works do not better him (The Commentary on the Seven Catholic Epistles of Bede the Venerable, trans D Hurst; Michigan: Cistercian Publications, 1985). Gerald Bray has done us all a service by collecting ancient comments on these books in a verse by verse format in his contribution to the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture series (IVP, 2000). This book is a 'must read' in order to bring us into the dialogue about these epistles which began almost two millennia ago; unfortunately, all we get are snippets of ancient comment on any particular epistle. Finally, for anyone wanting a quick orientation to scholarly comment on these books, Jonathan Knight's work in the New Testament Guides series on 2 Peter and Jude (Sheffield, 1995) is worth the price.

William W. Klein, Craig L. Blomberg and David Mathewson of the New Testament Department of Denver Seminary, January 2014 bibliography

The lists of top commentaries for each N.T. book are divided into three sections: the first contains those we consider the best detailed, critical commentaries using the Greek text; the second lists more mid-level works using the English text (some with references to the Greek in footnotes); and the third consists of commentaries that are briefer and/or have a special focus on application. At least one priority title is asterisked for each level.


*Bauckham, Richard. Jude, 2 Peter (WBC). Waco: Word, 1983.

*Green, Gene L. Jude & 2 Peter (BECNT). Grand Rapids: Baker, 2008.

Neyrey, Jerome H. 2 Peter, Jude (AB, rev.). New York: Doubleday, 1993.


Charles, J. Daryl. “2 Peter,” “Jude.” In EBC, rev., ed. D. E. Garland and T. Longman III, vol. 13, 357-411, 539-69. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006.

*Davids, Peter H. The Letters of Second Peter and Jude (PNTC). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2006.

Donelson, Lewis R.   I & II Peter and Jude (NTL).  Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2010.

Green, E. M. B. The Second Epistle of Peter and the Epistle of Jude (TNTC). 2nd Edition. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1990.

Kelly, J. N. D. A Commentary on the Epistles of Peter and Jude (HNTC). San Francisco: Harper, 1969.

Reese, Ruth A. 2 Peter and Jude (THNTC). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2007.

*Schreiner, Thomas R. 1, 2 Peter, Jude (NAC). Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2003.


Callan, Terrance D. and Duane F. Watson, First and Second Peter (Paideia).  Grand Rapids: Baker, 2012.

Harvey, Robert and Philip H. Towner. 2 Peter & Jude (NTC).  Downers Grove: IVP, 2009.

*Moo, Douglas J. 2 Peter, Jude (NIVAC). Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996.

The Gospel Coalition

In May 2009, Keith Mathison's article on 2 Peter and Jude recommended

  • Gene L. Green, Jude and 2 Peter (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, 2008)
  • Peter Davids, Letters of 2 Peter and Jude (Pillar New Testament Commentary, 2006)
  • Douglas Moo, 2 Peter, Jude (NIV Application Commentary, 1997)
  • Thomas Schreiner, 1 & 2 Peter, Jude (New American Commentary, 2003)
  • Richard Bauckham, 2 Peter & Jude (Word Biblical Commentary, 1983)

Among other helpful commentaries it listed Michael Green, Paul Gardner, JND Kelly, Dick Lucas and Mark Johnston.

Best Commentaries Website

The page on 2 Peter & Jude has a long list and can be searched by various criteria.  Its top 3 are Bauckham (1983), Moo (1997) and Schriener (2003).

Other recommendations

Tim Challies (Dec 2013) lists his top 5 commentaries - Bauckham (1983), Green (2008), Davids (2006), Schreiner (2003) & Moo (1997).

Reading Acts has an August 2012 account of top 5  - Bauckham (1983), Schreiner (2003), Davids (2006), Reese (2007), Kelly (1969).

Jeremy Pierce at Parableman (Dec 2006) has an extensive survey of commentaries with Schreiner and Jobes as top.

Gene Green at Catalyst (April 2013) offers the following assessment

The work of R.J. Bauckham on 2 Peter and Jude in the Word Biblical Commentary (WBC; Word, 1983) takes first place among commentaries on these epistles. Although rejecting Petrine authorship for 2 Peter, he defends the authenticity of Jude (cf. his Jude and the Relatives of Jesus in the Early Church [T. & T. Clark, 2004]). Watch for his revised edition. Gene L. Green’s work in the BECNT (2008) attends closely to background materials from the Jewish and Greco-Roman worlds. Green is one of the few these days who favors Petrine authorship. Peter Davids is something of an Obi-Wan Kenobi in the study of the Catholic letters, having written on James in the New International Greek Testament Commentary (NIGTC; Eerdmans, 1982), 1 Peter (NICNT; 1990), and 2 Peter and Jude (PNTC; 2006). Jerome Neyrey (AB; 1994) reads the letters from a social scientific perspective while R.A. Reese (THNTC; 2007) supplements the exegetical works with her rich theological discussion.

Fulcrum Articles on Jude

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