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Barnabas

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I. Who was ?
II. Where is he first mentioned in the Bible?
III. ' introduction of Saul to the apostles
IV. His mission work with Paul
V. His departure from Paul
VI. Barnabas as a writer VII. His Death


Barnabas was a native of the island of Cyprus. His birthplace makes him
a Jew of the Diaspora, the dispersion of Jews outside Palestine or modern Israel.
He was originally named Joseph but the apostles called him Barnabas, he probably
acquired this name because of his ability as a preacher. The name Barnabas was
understood by Luke to mean "Son of Encouragement" (Acts 4:36). Barnabas was an
apostle of the secondary group, companion of Paul on his mission to Cyprus and
the Pisidian mainland.
Barnabas first appears in Luke's account of communal living in the
Jerusalem church, as a man of some means who gave to the church the proceeds
from the sale of a piece land, "Barnabas sold a field he owned and brought the
money and put it at the apostles' feet" (Acts 4:36-37).
After the stoning of Stephen in Acts 7:54-8:1, the church was persecuted
and scattered, "On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at
Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and
Samaria. Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. But Saul began to
destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and
put them in prison" Acts 8:1-3. In Acts 9:26-27, "Saul tries to join the
disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a
disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them
how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him,
and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus." Barnabas
thus belongs to the company of first converts in Jerusalem who were won by the
apostolic preaching, if not by Jesus himself.
Though not a native, Barnabas had the confidence of the apostles. Later
he was sent to join the company of workers at Antioch, to preach to Jews,
Hellenists, and Greeks (Acts 11:19-22). As the work of the Antioch church
expanded and more workers were needed, Barnabas went over to Tarsus and brought
back with him Saul. It seems that Barnabas was the leader of the Antioch church,
and the order which Luke gives, "Barnabas and Saul," indicates the pre-eminence.
It was "Barnabas and Saul" who carried ...

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