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BARNABAS


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BARNABAS


of falling into these errors. Therefore he never attacks them directly. He simply takes advantage of the opportunity that occurrences offer him to give his opinions as to the position and nature of Judaism and its Law. Hence the epistle, in its general char- acter, is more like a treatise or a homily than a letter. However, the epistolary^ form is not entirely ficti- tious. The author is not writing to Christians in general, but to a particular church in which he has exercised the office of a di5dirKa\os and from which he finds himself separated (ch. i, 2, 4; xxi, 7, 9).

From a literarj- point of view the Epistle of Bar- nabas has no merit. The style is tedious, poor in expression, deficient in clearness, in elegance, and in correctness. The author's logic is weak, and his mat- ter is not under his control; from this fact arise the numerous digressions. These digressions, however, afford no reason for doubting the integrity of the letter, or for regarding as interpolations either entire chapters (Schenkel, Heydecke, Volter), or a consecutive number of verses or parts of verses in each chapter (Weiss). Wehofer recently thought that he had discovered, in the arrangement of the epistle, an adherence to the laws of the Semitic strophe. But the phenomena noted are found in all authors who work out their thought without being able to subordinate the argument to the rules of literary style.

From the dogmatic point of \ievf the chief impor- tance of the epistle is in its relation to the historj-of the Canon of the Scriptures. It cites, in fact, the Gospel of St. Matthew as Scripture (ch. iv, 14), and even recognizes as in the Canon of the Sacred Books (y^^panrai), along with the collection of Jewish writings, a collection of Christian ones (ch. v, 2), the contents of which, however, caimot be deter- mined. The author regards several apocrj-phal books as belonging to the Old Testament — probably IV Esdras (ch. xii, 1) and without doubt Henoch (ch. iv, 3; xvi, 5). In his Christology, his soteriology and his doctrine concerning justification the author develops the ideas of Paul with originahty. It has been wrongly said that he regards the pre-existent Christ as only a spirit in the image of God. Without explicitly asserting the consubstantiahty and the true sonship, he evidently acknowledges the Divine nature of Christ from before the Creation. The eschatological descriptions are decidedly moderate. He is a millenarian, out in speaking of the Judgment to come he simply expresses a vague belief that the end is approaching.

Xationality of the Avthor. — History of the Epistle. — The extremely allegorical character of the exegesis leads to the supposition that the author of the letter was an Alexandrian. His way of constantly placing himself and his readers in opposition to the Jews makes it impossible to believe that either he or the larger part of his readers were of Jewish origin. Besides, he is not always familiar with the Mosaic rites (cf. ch. vii). The history of the epistle con- firms its Alexandrine origin. XJp to the fourth centurj- only the Alexandrians were acquainted with it, ami in their Church the epistle attained to the honour of being publicly read. The manner in which Clement of Alexandria and Origen refer to the letter gives confirmation to the belief that, about the year a. d. 200, e\en in Alexandria the Epistle of Barnabas was not regarded by everj' one as an inspired writing.

Richardson. The Ante-Nicrne Fathers (Buffalo. 1887\ I, Bibl. Syn., 16-19; Millig.4n in Did. Christ. Bioq. (London, 1900): Funk, Patres Apostolin (Tubingen, 19011, Proleg..

Ep. xx-x.vxii; B.irdenhewer. Gesch. der altkirchl. Lit. (Frei- urg, 1902), I, 97, 98; Wehofer, Vntersuch. zur altchristl. Epistolographie (Vienna. 1901 >: Van Veldhcvzen, De Brief van Barnabas (Groningen, 1901); Bartlet, Bamohas and His Genuine Epistle in Erposilor (1902); Dl Padli, Kritisehes zum Bamnhashrief in HislorisehpMHsche Blatter (1903); TrRMEl., La Ltttre de Barnabas in Ann. de phil. chret. (1903); Schweit-


zer, Der Bamabasbrief aber Glaube und Werke in Der Katholik (1904), 3tl series, XIX; Volter, Die apostclischen Voter neu untersucht (Leyden, 1904), 1; Hennecke, N eutestamentliche Apokrifphen in Verbindung mit Fachgelehrten in deutscher Uebersetzung und mit Einleitungen herausgegeben (Tubingen, 1904).

P. Ladeuze.

Barnabas (originally Joseph), S.unt, styled an Apostle in Holy Scripture, and, like St. Paul, ranked by the Church with the Twelve, though not one of them; b. of Jew-ish parents in the Island of Cyprus about the beginning of the Christian Era. A Levite, he naturally spent much time in Jerusalem, probably even before the Crucifixion of Our Lord, and appears also to have settled there (where his relatives, the family of Mark the Evangelist, likewise had their homes, Acts, xii, 12) and to have owned land in its vicinity (iv, 36, 37). A rather late tradition re- corded by Clement of Alexandria (Strom., II, 20, P. G., VHI, col. 1060) and Eusebius (H. E., 11, i, P. G., XX, col. 117) says that he was one of the seventy Disciples; but Acts (iv, 36-37) favours the opinion that he was converted to Christianity shortly after Pentecost (about A. D. 29 or 30) and immedi- ately sold his property and devoted the proceeds to the Church. The Apostles, probably because of his success as a preacher, for he is later placed first among the prophets and doctors of Antioch (xiii, 1), sur- named him Barnabas, a name then interpreted as meaning "son of exhortation" or "consolation". (The real etjTiiology, however, is disputed. See Encyl. Bibl., I, col. 484.) Though nothing is recorded of Barnabas for some years, he evidently acquired during this period a high position in the Church.

When Saul the persecutor, later Paul the Apostle, made his first visit (dated variously from A. D. 33 to 3.8) to Jerusalem after his conversion, the Church there, remembering his former fierce spirit, was slow to believe in the reality of his conversion. Barnabas stood sponsor for him and had him received by the Apostles, as the Acts relate (ix, 27), though he saw only Peter and James, the brother of the Lord, ac- cording to Paul himself (Gal., i, 18, 19). Saul went to his house at Tarsus to live in obscurity for some years, while Barnabas appears to have remained at Jerusalem. The event that brought them together again and opened to both the door to their lifework was an indirect result of Saul's own persecution. In the dispersion that followed Stephen's death, some Disciples from Cj-prus and CjTene, obscure men, inaugurated the real mission of the Christian Church by preaching to the Gentiles, They met with great success among the Greeks of Antioch in SjTia, reports of which coming to the ears of the Apostles, Barnabas was sent thither by them to investigate the work of his countrjTnen. He saw in the conversions effected the fruit of God's grace and, though a Jew, heartily welcomed these first Gentile converts. His mind was opened at once to the possibilities of this immense field. It is a proof how deeply impressed Barnabas had been by Paul that he thought of him immediately for this work, set out without delay for distant Tarsus, and persuaded Paul to go to Antioch and begin the work of preaching. This incident, shedding light on the character of each, shows it was no mere accident that led them to the Gentile field. Together they laboured at Antioch for a whole year and "taught a great multitude". Then, on the coming of famine, by which Jerusalem was much afflicted, the offerings of the Disciples at Antioch were carried (about A. D. 4.5) to the mother-church by Barnabas and Saul (Acts, xi). Their mission ended, they re- turned to Antioch, bringing with them the cousin, or nephew of Barnabas (Col., iv, 10), John Mark, the future Evangelist (Acts, xii, 25).

The time was now ripe, it was believed, for more systematic labours, and the Church of Antioch felt inspired by the Holy Ghost to send out missionaries