“Certain Men Crept in Unawares”: A Postcolonial Reading of the Epistle of Jude – Jackson T. Reinhardt
The Epistle of Jude exists at the margins of the New Testament canon and has received limited scholarly treatment, particularly with regard to new critical hermeneutical methods. This article analyses Jude through a postcolonial optic, which seeks to critique both the implicit and overt means by which biblical texts and writers’ legitimate colonial modes of domination. I contend that the author of Jude mimics colonial power structures in order to solidify his position as leader of the early Christian assembly to which he writes. Jesus is depicted as a cosmic slave master, who demands complete and total obedience by the elect he has ransomed, while the author presents himself as the earthly vicegerent to Christ, thereby perpetuating a self-serving hierarchy. Jude thus normalizes colonial ideology and discourse, as empire itself has been rhetorically reinscribed upon the cosmos, the congregation, and the individual members of the assembly.
Postcolonialism, imperial criticism, Jude, slavery.