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Joseph Esquivel

Introduction to Epistle of Barnabas



    [Barnabas was a companion and fellow-preacher with Paul. This Epistle lays a greater claim to canonical authority than most others. It has been cited by Clemens of Alexandrinus, Origen, Eusebius, and Jerome, and many ancient Fathers. Cotelerius affirms that Origen and Jerome, esteemed it genuine and canonical: But Cotelerius himself did not believe it to be either one or the other; on the contrary, he supposed it was written for the benefit of the Ebionites (the Christianized Jews,) who were tenacious of rites and ceremonies. Bishop Fell feared to own expressly what he seemed to be persuade of, that it ought to be treated with the same respect as several of the books of the present canon. Dr. Bernard Savilian professor at Oxford, not only believed it to be genuine, but that it was read throughout, in the churches in Alexandria, as the canonical scriptures were. Dodwell believed it to have been published before the Epistle of Jude, and the writings of both the Johns. Vosius, Dupuis, Dr. Cane, Dr. Mill, Dr. S. Clark, Whiston, and Archbishop Wake also esteemed it genuine: Menardus, Archbishop Laud, Spanheim, and others, deemed it apocryphal.]



    Barnabas’s name and affiliation can be found in [Gal. 2:9] Barnabas traveled with Paul and was an avid spokesperson and preacher of the Gospel. Although over looked for his contribution to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Also reference of him is found in Smith Bible Dictionary.

    Gal. 2:9      And when James, Ce’phas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Bar’na-bas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.


    (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)

    & Smith Bible Dictionary


    [Βαρνναβας] Bar’nabas, n.pr. GK: Barnabas “Son of Comfort” :- a name given by apostles, [Acts 4:36], Joseph (or Jose), a Levite of the island of Cyprus, who was a disciple of Christ.

    Acts 4:36        And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,

    In [Acts 9:27] we find him introducing the newly-converted Saul to the apostles at Jerusalem.

    Acts 9:27        But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.

    Barnabas was sent to Jerusalem, Barnabas was sent to Jerusalem [Acts 11:19-26],




    Acts 11:19     Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.

    Acts 11:20          And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene, which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the Grecians, preaching the LORD Jesus. Acts 11:21          And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.

    Acts 11:22          Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.

    Acts 11:23          Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.

    Acts 11:24          For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.

    Acts 11:25          Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul:

    Acts 11:26          And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.

    “Barnabas then went to Tarsus to seek Saul, as one specially raised up to preach to the Gentiles.” [Acts 26:17].

    Acts 26:17     Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,

    He brought him to Antioch, and was sent with him to Jerusalem. [Acts 11:30].

    Acts 11:30     Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.

    “On their return, they were ordained by the church for the missionary work,” [Acts 13:2],

    Acts 13:2        As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.

    “and sent forth (A.D.45). From this time Barnabas and Paul enjoyed the title and dignity of apostles. Their first missionary journey is related to in [Acts 13:14].

    Acts 13:14     But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down.

    “Returning to Antioch (A.D. 47 or 48), they were sent (A.D. 50), with some others, to Jerusalem.” [Acts 15: 1, 36].

    Acts 15:1        And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.

    Acts 15:36     And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the LORD, and see how they do.

    “Afterwards they parted, and Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus, his native island. Here the notices of him cease. The epistle attributed to Barnabas is believed to have been written early in the second century.”




    This Epistle was taken from “The Lost Books of the Bible”

    The Gospels, Epistles and other pieces now extant

    Attributed in the first four centuries to


    Jesus Christ

    His Apostles and their companions


    And not include by its compilers in the Authorized

    New Testament; and Syriac Mss. Of Pilate’s Letters to


    Compiled By: William Hone