Take the 2-minute tour ×
Christianity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I know fear can mean multiple things. But what I'm getting out of Jude 1:23 is that people saved others by fearing something. Do they fear Satan? Or do they fear God? The whole time, I was assuming fear was a bad thing.

120 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 22 And of some have compassion, making a difference: 23 and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

[KJV] my emphasis

share|improve this question
Thanks a lot Andrew Leach. That is why I love this sight. Not only it provides the meaning of Scripture. But it also teaches you how to ask a question in the proper way.. thanks again. –  user10314 Jun 17 at 13:32

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I think Jude is encouraging his readers to fear the temptation of the flesh, which explains the following statement "hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.". Look at how it's phrased in the New Living Translation:

Jude 1:20-23 NLT But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love. And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives.

Instead of the fear, it's saying the word caution. This is similar to the passage in Galatians 6:

Galatians 6:1 NLT Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.

It looks like it is a cautionary fear.

share|improve this answer
LCIII thanks. That makes more sense.. I believe I'm going to stop reading KJV. It's confusing.. –  user10314 Jun 17 at 14:11
@user10314 No problem. Glad to help! The KJV uses a lot of English phrases that were common 400 years ago but just aren't today. And please mark the answer as accepted if you accept it :). –  LCIII Jun 17 at 14:51
LCIII I don't mean to sound stupid, but how do you mark the answer as accepted? I've been trying to figure that out for an hour now.. lol –  user10314 Jun 17 at 16:46
@user10314 there are a lot of different Bible translations; each one serving a slightly different purpose (IMO). This answer may shine some light on some of the more popular translations hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/a/33 –  Alex Jun 18 at 1:05

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.