The Judas We Never Knew: An Interview with Jerome Van Kuiken

The Judas We Never Knew: An Interview with Jerome Van Kuiken

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Seedbed is pleased to release a new Bible study on the life and Letter of Jude by Jerome Van Kuiken. The Judas We Never Knew includes reflection questions as well as supplemental video teaching content.

Who is the Judas you’re referring to in this study and what was his relationship to Jesus?

This Judas is the one named in the Gospels as a brother of Jesus (Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3). He’s also known as Jude. He’s the author of the little letter of Jude that’s in the back of the New Testament just before the book of Revelation.

What particular interest do you have in Jude and what motivated you to write this study now?

Jude interests me because who he is and what he wrote haven’t been talked about much, in my experience. But the more I’ve studied him and his letter, the more I’ve come to recognize that his life experience and his message are relevant to issues that the church is facing today.

What is the primary message of Jude’s letter that we have in our biblical canon?

Think of an Allstate commercial that shows the Mayhem guy running amuck and then asks you if you’re in good hands. It’s a short commercial but it grabs your attention and communicates two things: 1) Watch out for Mayhem. 2) Trust Allstate. Jude’s letter is short, too, but it grabs our attention and communicates three things: 1) Watch out for spiritual scammers who bring mayhem to church. 2) Trust Jesus—you’re in his good hands. 3) Show mercy to the mayhem-makers while exercising proper caution.

Why do you think the church has largely neglected this letter and the historical person has all but faded into obscurity?

Jude isn’t mentioned much in the New Testament and his letter’s short, so they’re both easy to overlook. The ancient church was put off by the fact that he refers to a couple of pieces of Jewish literature that aren’t part of the Bible, and Martin Luther didn’t like Jude because he didn’t sound like Paul, Luther’s favorite New Testament writer. These are the reasons Jude’s been sidelined for so long.

Why do we need to pay attention to Jude’s letter today just as much as the early church did?

Today we hear many voices offering trendy, unorthodox opinions about who Jesus is, how Christians should live, and what the spiritual realm and the afterlife are like. Jude gives us answers based on Jesus’ authority, but he also encourages us to show God’s mercy to those who disagree with us. It’s a message we need to hear and put into practice in our confused and polarized culture.

What positive change would we witness in our world today if people took the life and letter of Jude seriously?

Some Christians are bold to stand for what they believe in but lack grace and love toward people on the other side of the issues. Other Christians are the opposite: warmhearted but without the will or the understanding to hold to their convictions. Jude shows us how to be Christ-followers who are neither spineless nor heartless.

Get Jerome Van Kuiken’s new book, The Judas We Never Knew: A Study on the Life and Letter of Jude. As you read this book and view the videos, you’ll discover unearth the Judas behind the biblical letter of Jude—illustrating why we should care about his twenty-five-verse letter and arguing that Jude’s presence in the early church and in our Canon still matters today.

We believe this resource can help someone understand:

  • Why the book of Jude is so important for the church today
  • Jude’s place in the church as Jesus’s half-sibling
  • What we stand to lose as believers if the book of Jude is overlooked

Get it from our store here.


One Response

  1. Our Sunday school class just finished our study on Jude, using a small booklet by Jack Kuhatschek. We were amazed how this little book is so relevant in today’s UMC. Our church voted to remain UM. We have started our own church, and the Holy Spirit has been loosed.

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