Jude the Apostle (Thaddeus)
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Jude the Apostle (Thaddeus)

by Angel Studios | February 7, 2023

Jude the Apostle was one of Jesus' disciples during his life on earth who dedicated his life to the gospel. His name is often translated as Jude or Judas, a name that occurs several times in the Bible and can cause some confusion. Jude is also known as Jude Thaddaeus, Judas Thaddaeus, or Lebbaeus. These names also help distinguish him from others with similar names. Sometimes people refer to him by just Thaddaeus, as seen in The Chosen.

Many people wonder, “Which apostle betrayed Jesus?” The apostle who betrayed Jesus was Judas Iscariot, not Jude the Apostle. These two are often confused because both of their names have been translated as the same name. But the scriptures, Jude’s last name, and scholarly writings clearly distinguish Jude from Judas Iscariot. Many speculate that the early English translators of the Bible started using “Jude” instead of “Judas” to help make the distinction clear. Instead, Jude was a faithful and devoted follower of Christ.

Who Was Jude before He Was an Apostle?

There are many debates as to the clear and distinct identity of Jude the Apostle. Many scholars have differing views as to who is a separate individual in the Bible, including Jude. Because of the unclear distinctions, there are many varying beliefs about who Jude was before he was an apostle.

The most prevalent belief is that Jude was born in Galilee, Israel. Most likely, he was a farmer by trade before being called as an apostle. In addition, he most likely knew both Aramaic and Greek and possibly helped others learn to speak Greek. Because he was able to speak Greek, most people believe Jude to be the author of the Book of Jude in the New Testament.

Jude’s family is also discussed often. Most scholars believe he’s the brother of James the Less, who was also from Galilee and who is sometimes called his brother. If he is James the Lesser’s brother, then Jude’s parents are Clopas and Mary of Clopas. Mary of Clopas may have been Mary the mother of Jesus’s sister. She’s also known for being one of the three Marys present at Jesus’s tomb after the resurrection. If Mary Clopas was Jude’s mother, then he was Jesus’s cousin. But some scholars instead believe that Jude was the son of James the Less. It’s most likely that these two apostles were related in some way.

Significant Events with Jude the Apostle

Jude was one of Jesus’ twelve disciples and witnessed many of Jesus’ miracles firsthand. He was also taught the gospel directly from Jesus. One significant event during the ministry of Jesus took place at the Last Supper. Jude was the apostle who asked Jesus why he wouldn’t manifest Himself to the world after the resurrection. Jude asks Jesus, “Lord, how is it that you will reveal yourself to us, and not to the world?”

Jude was also the most likely author of a canonical letter called the Letter of Jude or the Epistle of Jude. This letter is the 26th book in the New Testament. In the letter, Jude warns the Christian converts about the dangers of heresy and warns them of the pseudo-teachers who may try to lead them away from the gospel. He warns that heretics will be punished in a similar way to those who were unfaithful in Old Testament times. Finally, he offers hope and encouragement to these Christians to stay true to their faith. This letter demonstrates Jude’s dedication to his faith in Jesus and in the gospel and his desire for all believers to hold fast to their faith in Jesus too. His words of encouragement are part of why St. Jude is the patron saint of the desperate in the Catholic faith.

Was Jude the Apostle a Missionary?

Like many of the other apostles, Jude most likely was a missionary and helped spread the gospel to more people than Jesus could teach during his life. His dedication to the gospel led him to new places and to teach the people there. Jude is one of the apostles who potentially went to the most places during his time as a missionary. While it’s hard to pinpoint each of his exact locations, most people believe that Jude spread the gospel into Mesopotamia, Judea, Samaria, Idumaea, Syria, Persia, and Libya.

Most likely Jude was martyred during his time as a missionary in Persia or Syria. Most people believe he was martyred alongside Simon the Zealot. These two apostles were killed by either a club or an ax, which is why they are often depicted with these symbols.

If you haven’t already, check out Angel Studios’ The Chosen to view the first-ever multi-season show about the life of Jesus. This historical drama set in Judaea and Galilee in the first century CE follows Jesus and those whom He met and ministered to.

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