Barnabas : biography
Barnabas (), born Joseph, was an early Christian, one of the earliest Christian disciples in Jerusalem.Harris names him as a "prominent leader" of the early church in Jerusalem. Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985. According to Barnabas was a Cypriot Jew. Named an apostle in , he and Paul the Apostle undertook missionary journeys together and defended Gentile converts against the Judaizers. They traveled together making more converts (c 45-47), and participated in the Council of Jerusalem (c 50).Durant, Will. Caesar and Christ. New York: Simon and Schuster. 1972 Barnabas and Paul successfully evangelized among the "God-fearing" Gentiles who attended synagogues in various Hellenized cities of Anatolia.Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985.
Barnabas’ story appears in the Acts of the Apostles, and Paul mentions him in some of his epistles."Barnabas." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005 Tertullian named him as the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, but this and other attributions are conjecture."Hebrews, Epistle to the" Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005 Clement of Alexandria ascribed the Epistle of Barnabas to him, but that is highly improbable."Epistle of Barnabas." Cross, F. L., ed. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
Although the date, place, and circumstances of his death are historically unverifiable, Christian tradition holds that Barnabas was martyred at Salamis, Cyprus, in 61 AD. He is traditionally identified as the founder of the Cypriot Orthodox Church. The feast day of Barnabas is celebrated on June 11.
Barnabas is usually identified as the cousin of Mark the Evangelist on the basis of Colossians 4.Mark: Images of an Apostolic Interpreter p55 C. Clifton Black – 2001 "infrequent occurrence in the Septuagint (Num 36:11; Tob 7:2) to its presence in Josephus (JW 1.662; Ant 1.290, 15.250) and Philo (On the Embassy to Gaius 67), anepsios consistently carries the connotation of "cousin," though …" Some traditions hold that Aristobulus of Britannia, one of the Seventy Disciples, was the brother of Barnabas.
Although many assume that the biblical Mark the Cousin of Barnabas (Colossians 4:10) is the same as John Mark (Acts 12:12, 25; 13:5, 13; 15: 37) and Mark the Evangelist, the traditionally believed author of the Gospel of Mark, according to Hippolytus of Rome,Ante-Nicean Fathers, ed. Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson and A. Cleaveland Coxe, vol. 5 (Peabody MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 1999), 255-6 the three "Mark"s are distinct persons. They were all members of the Seventy Apostles of Christ, including Barnabas himself. There are two people named Barnabas among Hippolytus’ list of Seventy Disciples, one (#13) became the bishop of Milan, the other (#25) the bishop of Heraclea. Most likely one of these two is the biblical Barnabas; the first one is more likely, because the numbering by Hippolytus seems to indicate a level of significance. Clement of Alexandria (Stromata, ii, 20) also makes Barnabas one of the Seventy Disciples that are mentioned in the Gospel of Luke 10:1ff.
Other sources bring Barnabas to Rome and Alexandria. In the "Clementine Recognitions" (i, 7) he is depicted as preaching in Rome even during Christ’s lifetime.
Not older than the 3rd century is the tradition of the later activity and martyrdom of Barnabas in Cyprus, where his remains are said to have been discovered under the Emperor Zeno. The Cypriot Church claimed Barnabas as its founder in order to rid itself of the supremacy of the Patriarch of Antioch, as did the Archbishop of Milan afterwards, to become more independent of Rome. In this connection, the question whether Barnabas was an apostle became important, and was often discussed during the Middle Ages.Compare C. J. Hefele, Das Sendschreiben des Apostels Barnabas, Tübingen, 1840; Otto Braunsberger, "Der Apostel Barnabas," Mainz, 1876. The statements as to the year of Barnabas’s death are discrepant and untrustworthy.