Since the previous page gave the details related to verifying ancient personalities, I will just list the information that supports the historic personality referred to as Jude, the skeptical brother of Jesus.
Guideline of Independent Attestation
Four independent authors write about Jude, the brother of Jesus.
- Independent Author of the gospel of Mark: identifies Jude by name as the brother of Jesus. "Isn't this the carpenter? Isn't this Mary's son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us?" (Mark 6:3)
Mark identifies Jude as rejecting his brother Jesus as the Messiah. Jesus said of them, "Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor." (Mark 6:4)
- Independent Author of the gospel of John: identifies that Jesus has many brothers and sisters that are skeptics, though he does not cite them by name as recorded in John 7:3-5.
- Independent Author of the book of Acts: identifies that Jesus' brothers being present on the day of Pentecost in Acts 1:14, though he does not cite them by name at this time.
- Independent Author Jude: wrote the book of Jude and identifies himself as the brother of James. "Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and a brother of James" (Jude 1:1).
The written evidence recorded before the end of the 1st century gives us four independent sources that support the existence of Jude, the brother of Jesus.
Guideline of Dissimilarity
The Guideline of Dissimilarity is about negative ideas or negative writing. If a person testifies against their interest, that testimony is likely to be true. Jesus’ brothers and sisters being skeptics fit this criteria. In the gospels, Jude is identified as a skeptic of Jesus prior to Jesus' crucifixion. "...For even his own brothers did not believe in him. " (John 7:3-5)
Only after the resurrection did Jude accept Jesus as the Messiah.
Guideline of Contextual Credibility
The Guideline of Contextual Credibility relates to authors who wrote about Jesus as close as possible to when Jesus lived. Did the author know Jesus in person? Or did the author know people that knew Jesus in person?
In general, this limits the reliability of documents to the end of the 1st century. All authors noted on this page wrote well before the end of the 1st century.
How Credible is Jude?
Based on the evidence presented above, how certain can we be that Jude actually existed as a skeptical brother of Jesus that became a devout follower of the Messiah?
Once again, I use a statistical tool referred to as a chi-square test of independence. This is the ideal tool for this calculation.
To use this tool, we must state a hypothesis that can be evaluated with known data. Then we can test whether the data supports if the hypothesis is true or false at a calculated confidence level.
Chi-Square Test of Independence
Consider that some people will claim that Jude the brother of Jesus is simply a myth. Therefore, let's hypothesize by stating that "Jude the brother of Jesus is a myth due to no supporting evidence." Having made that statement as the hypothesis, we simply calculate a level of confidence that the hypothesis is true or false.
Since the hypothesis is "Jude the brother of Jesus is a myth due to no supporting evidence," we would expect to find zero evidence supporting that Jude the brother of Jesus actually existed.
The same method used to calculate the probability of James is used for Jude. We expect zero items to support the hypothesis since some people think that biblical characters are mythic. But the research cited above reveals there are 4 credible independent authors, the negativity that Jude did not believe Jesus is the Messiah, and 4 independent sources written before the year 100. Therefore, we have a total of 9 items that support Jude the brother of Jesus actually existed. Therefore, let's do the calculation using 9 as the expected value and zero as observed value as shown below:
The chart above shows that we expected 9 items and observed zero. This yields the following values of 0 (Bottom Left Corner Above). The difference between the expected (+9) and observed (0) is +9units (Middle Column Above). The number +9 is squared to equal 81. The value of 81 is divided by the expected value of +9 to yield a chi-square value of +9 (Bottom Right Corner Above). What does the value of +9 mean?
We can state that Jude the brother of Jesus was a real historic person at a probability level of 99.73% at the 95% confidence level. And it appears certain that Jude met with other New Testament characters such as Peter, Luke, John and others.
The probability level infers that Jude did in fact witness Jesus as the resurrected Messiah. The analysis done herein supports that biblical faith is credible. Jude the brother of Jesus did exist with less than 3 chances in 1,000 that this would be false.