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HTS Theological Studies

On-line version ISSN 2072-8050
Print version ISSN 0259-9422


BATTEN, Alicia J.. The Letter of Jude and Graeco-Roman Invective. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2014, vol.70, n.1, pp.01-07. ISSN 2072-8050.

Many have attempted to identify the opponents in Jude and have addressed the manner in which the author characterises this group. Moreover, scholars have expended considerable energy on the analysis and explication of Jude's rhetorical structure and style, and there is wide consensus that as a text, Jude is a sophisticated letter. However, less work has attended to the evaluation of Jude within the tradition of Graeco-Roman invective. In comparing verses from Jude to some examples from such literature, we find similar themes. In particular, the letter of Jude and some Graeco-Roman moralists engage in a particular tactic to undermine, even destroy, the character of their opponents. They both present them as effeminates, which, although a stereotype, is one of the worst insults a writer or orator could wage against an adversary. This article argues that Jude engages in such character assassination, invoking effeminacy in the manner that he describes his opponents' behaviour, and placing them in a long line of debauched and condemned figures from ages past.

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