I. Who was Barnabas?
II. Where is he first mentioned in the Bible?
III. Barnabas' 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...