Essay by JIMMY TERRAPINA+, March 1997

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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...