Barnabas ,born Joseph, was an Early Christian convert, one of the earliest Christian disciples in Jerusalem. Like almost all Christians at the time Barnabas was one of the Children of Israel, specifically a Levite. Named an apostle in Acts 14:14, he and Saint Paul undertook missionary journeys together and defended Gentile converts against a faction promoting Gentile circumcision. They gained many converts in Antioch, traveled together making more converts and participated in the Council of Jerusalem (circa 50). Barnabas and Paul successfully evangelized among the "God-fearing" gentiles who attended synagogues in various Hellenized cities of modern-day Turkey
The Epistle of Barnabasby Barnabas
The Epistle of Barnabas is a Greek epistle containing twenty-one chapters, preserved complete in the 4th century Codex Sinaiticus where it appears at the end of the New Testament. It is traditionally ascribed to Barnabas who is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, though some ascribe it to another Apostolic Father of the same name, a "Barnabas of Alexandria", or… See more details below
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The Epistle of Barnabas is a Greek epistle containing twenty-one chapters, preserved complete in the 4th century Codex Sinaiticus where it appears at the end of the New Testament. It is traditionally ascribed to Barnabas who is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, though some ascribe it to another Apostolic Father of the same name, a "Barnabas of Alexandria", or simply attribute it to an unknown early Christian teacher.
The opinion on the Epistle varied between early Church fathers. Toward the end of the 2nd century Clement of Alexandria cites the Epistle. It is also appealed to by Origen of Alexandria. Eusebius, the first major church historian, however, recorded objection to it and ultimately the epistle disappeared from the appendix to the New Testament, or rather the appendix disappeared with the epistle.
In the West the epistle never enjoyed canonical authority (though it stands beside the Epistle of James in the Latin manuscripts). In the East, the Stichometry of Nicephorus, the list appended by the 9th century Patriarch of Jerusalem to his Chronography, lists the Epistle of Barnabas in a secondary list, of books that are antilegomena— "disputed”.
Although the work is not gnostic, the author, who considers himself to be a teacher to the unidentified audience to which he writes intends to impart to his readers the perfect gnosis that they may perceive that the Christians are the only true covenant people, and that the Jewish people had never been in a covenant with God. Barnabas quotes liberally from the Old Testament, including the apocryphal books. He quotes from the New Testament gospels twice and is in general agreement with the New Testament presentation of history.
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