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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The Letters of Jude and Second Peter: Paranoia and the Slaves of Christ
Aichele, George

Sheffield: Sheffield Phoenix, 2012 pp. xxii + 88. $19.95

Series Information
Phoenix Guides to the New Testament, 19

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Description: This book, one of the first in the new series of Phoenix Guides to the New Testament, offers a compact introduction to two of the shortest writings of the New Testament, Jude and 2 Peter. These are among the most intensely disliked books of the Bible, though there are other readers who admire and reverently follow them. There are very strong similarities between Jude and 2 Peter, and it appears that the letter of Jude was almost entirely ‘plagiarized’ by the letter of Second Peter. In both of them Jesus Christ is called the ‘master’, with a Greek word that means ‘slave-owner’, and the authors of both books refer to themselves and other Christians as the slaves of Christ. Furthermore, both writings report situations of paranoid fear within Christian communities of their time as they picture heretical infiltrators who threaten to pervert and perhaps even destroy the community. This Guide surveys the more important historical, socio-cultural, theological, and literary factors we must grapple with in understanding these two letters. George Aichele‘s main approach is the method of semiotics, examining signifying mechanisms in each of the texts both independently and when they are read together. In an adventurous excursion, the letter of Jude is read intertextually with the classic science fiction/horror film, Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Siegel 1956), in order to explore the dynamics of paranoia.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Hebrews and Catholic Epistles, 2 Peter, Jude, Literature

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Review by Andrew Mbuvi
Published 6/11/2015
Citation: Andrew Mbuvi, review of George Aichele, The Letters of Jude and Second Peter: Paranoia and the Slaves of Christ, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2015).


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