Dave the Web

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Barnabas has always been an intriguing fellow. Somehow I always imagine a very good natured but very good humoured fellow, tirelessly moving from moment to moment. So interesting that you already see him as a workhorse! Yet I know so little of him but somehow his impression seems already fixed.
Re:The Two Commandments

I would agree with your picture of Barnabas, and would like to build on it if I may. Barnabas was known as the 'teacher and missionary' of the mother church and a fellow traveler of Peter's. A very concerned and compassionate individual is pictured when John Mark left Paul and his entourgage because of their activities, though this is not substantiated by text. He also left with the young man to return to Jerusalem and neither ever went back. His character is also illustrated when he took it upon himself to forgive Paul, trust him, and return to Jerusalem with him as Paul's sponsor, so he could meet the disciples. (Obviously they were terrified of Paul.) Much of his endeavors have been lost to us, as soon after Paul's beginning ministry (some 17 years after the incident on the road to Damascus) his writings began to influence and replace much of any oral tradition concerning the mother church. Barnabas is probably one of the prime movers toward including the Gentile population within the outgrowth of Christianty (Corinth, Rome, Galatia, etc). But as theological views expand in our modern age, much more credit is being given to Barnabas than in the past.
Re:The Two Commandments

It is quite the terrible shame that we do not have more to go on regarding some of the other figures who flit in and out of the New Testament. I would love to see more on some of these enigmatic beings. Have you ever read the Epistles of Baranbas? I just saw the Gospel of Barnabas and it is dimissed outright as a medieval forgery.
Re:The Two Commandments

No, in fact, I had not even heard of them. I have quite a collection of the Dead Sea Scrolls, but had not heard of these writings. (So much for the great scholar! ::)) Can you point me in the right direction, this would be an exciting new study, forgery or not.
Re:The Two Commandments

Why, victor - it's in our collection of New Testament Apocrypha. The biggest collection online, so far as I know. :)

Work attributed to the disciples is high on the list - the Epistle of Barnabas comes after the Acts of Barnabas. :) The Gospel of Barnabas is apparently a fraudalent mediaeval work, included simply for the sake of the subject matter.
Re:The Two Commandments

Here is a short biography of Barnabas from the "Calendar of the Church Year" website written by Fr. James Kiefer of the Episcopal Church. Kiefer seems to be fairly solid in what he has to say -- if something is considered by scholars as accurate, he reports it; if it's controversial or apocryphal, he says so.
Re:The Two Commandments

Hello Polycarp and thanks for the link. Are you related to the other person of that name?
There was a little trouble as there is an extra apostrophe in the URL but I soon took it out. It is a shame there wasn't much more to read on as Barnabas has an intriguing colour to him. It is a shame we know little more.
Re:The Two Commandments

Welcome to, Polycarp. :)

There's surprisingly little we can glean about Barnabas, even though he appears to have had a pivotal role in the early organisation fo the church.

Of the three texts I have attributed to him and listed in our Apocrypha section, two I know little about in terms of origins. The third is apparently a blatant fraud from around the 15th century, but I included simply because I've brought together psuedominous writings and pseudepigrapha with the actual Apocrypha. The definitions can be a little hazy, and sometimes plain contentious. So I brought everything I could find together. :)
PS - The replies focussed so much on Barnabas that I took the liberty of splitting the thread to create this new topic on the subject. :)
Perhaps the tales of Barnabas (or lack of), is simply due to the fact that he played his role at its pivotal point, much like the Centurian before Jesus, or the soldier before the dying Jesus. The decisions and words are immortalized, thus changing the path of Christianity, but then the role is finished.

Barnabas, may well be a "bit/Camio" player, lending support to Paul, who is the star of that particular chapter in Christianity.

Something to consider?