Guy N. Woods Makes the Case

It has been argued that Guy N. Wood didn’t make the connection between Second Peter and the book of Jude, and that therefore the idea that Second Peter 3:3 could have been speaking about the time when Jude wrote is “nonsense.”

Number one, Guy N. Woods is not the standard of what is correct.  He has written some very helpful material, but he himself admitted that his commentaries were not perfect, and that there were likely things that he missed.

Number two, he made the connection between the two letters, but only in his commentary on Jude (strange, I thought, but it is what it is).  So the argument about brother Woods not making the connection is a false one.  He himself makes the case that Peter and Jude are speaking of the same group of people.

[From his introduction to the book of Jude, bold font added for emphasis]

RESEMBLANCE OF JUDE TO SECOND PETER

There is a close and obvious relation between the Epistles of Jude and Second Peter; and the effort to determine which preceded the other—whether Jude borrowed from Peter or Peter from Jude, or whether both borrowed from a common source— has long occasioned the ingenuity of commentators, Bible expositors and students generally. To those of us who accept both Epistles as inspired productions, the matter is of little consequence. Inasmuch as Peter was an apostle and Jude was not, it seems more likely that Jude would expand the teaching of an apostle than that an apostle would depend on Jude for what he wrote; and an examination of the internal evidence leads plausibly to the conclusion that Jude followed the apostle. In verses 17 and 18, Jude appears to quote 2 Peter 3:3. Testimony to the apostolic office in the phraseology of this verse indicates Jude’s knowledge of 2 Peter, and his use of it, a procedure entirely proper in his case, but difficult to believe if reversed. Jude confessed dependence on what the apostles had taught as ground for the acceptance of matters; whereas, Peter never acknowledged, even in the most indirect fashion, dependence on another.

As evidence of the close connection between the two Epistles, it may be noted that both warn of heretics who deny the Lord that bought them (2 Peter 2:1; Jude 4); these false teachers, in both instances, were turning the grace of God into lasciviousness (Jude 4; 2 Peter 2:2); they had crept into the congregations privily and were doing their work deceptively (2 Peter 2:1; Jude 4); their motive was covetousness (Jude 11; 2 Peter 2:3, 15); in both references the heretics despised authority, and railed at dignitaries (2 Peter 2: 10; Jude 8); both writers call attention to the fact that they employed swelling words of vanity (2 Peter 2; 18; Jude 16); they are described in both Epistles as ignorant, being influenced by neither reason nor the gospel, but acting like brutes (2 Pet 2: 12 ; Jude 10); they are likened to Baalam (2 Peter 2:5; Jude 11); and to “springs without water,” and “clouds carried along by winds” (2 Peter 2:17; Jude 12).

From the foregoing instances, and numerous others which might be offered, it seems certain that either Jude or Peter was familiar with, and followed, in some detail, the work of the other, though which it is not possible to pronounce with certainty. Again we would emphasize that it is of little consequence; both are divine productions, both dealt with similar conditions; and it was, therefore, entirely legitimate to follow the same pattern and plan and utilize the same arguments. If the apostles Peter, John and Paul could cite Old Testament prophecy in support of their inspired utterances, what objection could be raised to a New Testament writer citing a prior production for the same reason?

Guy N. Woods above acknowledged that it was “obvious” that the two letters were discussing the same topic.

[From his notes on Jude 4, bold font added for emphasis]

For there are certain men crept in privily, even they who were of old written of beforehand unto this condemnation,—The occasion for the concern which Jude felt, and the immediate reason why he wrote the Epistle is here revealed: false teachers had appeared among the saints; they had slipped in unawares, and were thus all the more dangerous because they were unrecognized. These teachers are described as “certain men,” but not otherwise identified; they had “crept in privily,” i.e., they had entered, as it were, by a side door (pareisedusan) and without revealing their true motive of seducing the saints. Peter, in describing these same teachers, predicted that they would “bring in destructive heresies, denying even the Master that bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their lascivious doings, by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.” (2 Peter 2: 1,2.)

Guy N. Woods states that the false teachers described by Jude are the “same teachers, predicted” by Peter. Therefore, Guy N. Wood taught that the prediction (prophecy) of Peter regarding these false teachers was fulfilled by the time Jude wrote.

[From his notes on Jude 18, bold font added for emphasis]

That they said to you, In the last time there shall be mockers, walking after their own ungodly lusts.—Cf. 2 Peter 3: 2, 3, where the words are very much the same. Those who are disposed to hold that Second Peter was written earlier than Jude, and that the writer of our Epistle was dependent on that production for many of its sentences, cite this reference as evidence of the claim. It should be noted, however, that Peter, in the words which immediately precede the statement, refers the prophecy to an earlier announcement than his own: “This now beloved, the second epistle that I write unto you; and in both of them I stir up your sincere mind by putting you in remembrance; that ye should remember the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and the commandment of the Lord and Saviour through your apostles; knowing this first, that in the last days mockers shall come with mockery, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for, from the day that the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” (2 Peter 3: 1-4.) The word translated “mockery” here is the same as that which occurs in 2 Peter 3: 3, and the reference is much the same, though Jude does not detail, as did Peter, the specific form of mockery referred to—sneers at the delay alleged in the coming of the Lord.

Guy N. Woods stated that Peter’s prophecy was a statement of an earlier prophecy. So, Jude quoted Peter, and Peter was referencing a prior prophecy given. Jesus prophesied that false teachers would come in the final days of the Jewish system (Matthew 24).

Conclusion

Even Guy N. Woods, who neglects to mention the connection between the epistles in his commentary on 2 Peter [but did mention it in his notes on Jude, as seen above], noted that Peter and Jude were speaking of the same false teachers. He admitted that Peter wrote first by saying that the false teachers that Jude spoke of were the same ones “predicted” by Peter. He even admitted that Jude 17-18 “appeared” to quote 2 Peter 3:3.

Therefore, Guy N. Woods admitted through these notes that the false teachers mentioned by Jude—false teachers that were already in the church when Jude wrote—were the same ones prophesied about in Second Peter.

-Bradley Cobb

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