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WILLIAMS AND NORGATE:
The Epistle of Barnabas seems to claim notice in any Life of the Apostle Paul: first, because the two apostles had at one time lived in close friendship, and it in part explains why at a later time Paul's feelings towards Barnabas were changed; and secondly, because it offers the earliest example of the Gnosticism which was creeping into the Christian Churches, very much to the trouble of Paul. But when I wished to mention this Epistle in my work on “The Journeys and Epistles of the Apostle Paul,” I was met with the difficulty of not knowing of any English translation that I thought satisfactory. Hence this publication.
32 Highbury Place, 11th September, 1880.
JosEs, who by the Apostles was surnamed Barnabas, was an Israelite of the island of Cyprus, and of the tribe of Levi. He is first mentioned in Acts iv. 36, as selling his land in Cyprus and laying the money at the Apostles' feet as a contribution to the young Church. We next hear of him as bringing Saul, who had lately been persecuting the Church, to the Apostles who distrusted him, and assuring them that Saul's conversion was real (Acts ix. 27). He next goes down from Jerusalem to Antioch to preach to the Church in that Greek city (Acts xi. 22). He then goes to Tarsus in search of Saul, and brings him to Antioch to join in preaching there (Acts xi. 25). When the Church of Antioch sends money to the relief of the poor of Jerusalem, they send it by the hands of Barnabas and Saul (Acts xi. 30). He then accompanies Saul on his first missionary journey (Acts xiii. 3). Up to this time, of the two friends Barnabas had been the chief; he had been the longest time a Christian, and he was probably the older
From this only can we form an opinion of his age.