Re: Jude 1:3; KOINHS

From: Martin Gallagher (
Date: Fri Aug 28 1998 - 21:50:11 EDT

(WARNING. This message contains mostly theology.)


You wrote:
If KOINHS SWTHRIAS were to be understood as "profane
salvation," then there would have to be some understood hIERA SWTHRIA,
a "sacred salvation." But what would this mean?'s hard to see
what sense "profane" would have in either place: the antithesis of
'profane' is 'sacred'--but are we talking about a kind of that is profane rather than sacred?
The 'profane' salvation or 'profane' faith is not something that is
espoused by any teaching in scriptures, but it is clear by reading
throughout the new testament that salvation and the 'true' faith was
considered to be held solely by Israel, and thus a 'holy' or 'sacred'
salvation and faith as seen from the perspective of the Israelites.

The Gentiles had always been seen as unclean by Israel. Contact with
Gentiles or association with them in certain circumstances made them
ceremonially unclean, and in need of ritual 'washing' to be again

When the concept of Gentiles being given salvation was presented to
the Jews, they had a hard time accepting it. The council at Jerusalem
was convened to discuss the 'new' happenings and how they fit into
their present understandings.

Paul speaks about this is Romans, especially in chapters 9 through 12.
Also, the first part of his letter to the Galations addresses this

Titus, being a Gentile, was pressured to be circumcised by the Jews,
but did not feel compelled to do so. He was Paul's true son in the
'profane faith', as he mentions in Titus 1:4. It was important for
Paul to speak of this when addressing Titus, for this had been a key
issue in their ministry.

Peter also spends considerable time convincing the Jews that the
Gentiles were a part of God's salvation. This was a major disagreement
between Peter and Paul. Peter had at one time been influenced by the
Jews who did not want him to associate with the Gentiles, even after
his revelation from God.

It is conceivable that the phrase 'profane salvation' is one that the
readers of Jude's letter are familiar. He addresses the fact that he
was going to write to them about this salvation, and was diligent in
his planning to do this. There was much discussion and debate among
both the Gentiles and the Jews about what these new events meant, as
evidenced in Paul's writings to the Romans.

He decided to write to them about something different, however. He
writes to them, and reminds them of what they have already known.
God's plan of salvation was the same in their time as it had always
been. The mystery of this salvation was not revealed until that time,
but the truth of the faith had not changed. This is the same faith
that had been given to Abel. By having this faith he was able to offer
a sacrifice that was acceptable to God and which looked forward to the
sacrifice of Jesus.

In other words, he asks them to not to fight against those that are
teaching strange doctrine, but to fight for and align themselves to
the faith that does not change. He urges them to remember that all of
their knowledge of what God had revealed to Israel was still valid,
and that any new revelations need to be interpreted on that basis.

Translating KOINHS as 'shared' here does not make sense unless the
first part of Jude 1:3 is considered to be a 'throw-away'. It is also
difficult to understand why Paul would feel compelled to stress that
his and Titus' faith is 'shared' between them.

When KOINHS is translated as 'profane', these verses are shown to be
integral to the meaning of the larger text.

Martin Gallagher
Annapolis, MD

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