The Epistle of Barnabas

quotes from the Epistle of Barnabas →

The Epistle of Barnabas  is a Greek epistle written between 70 and 90 AD. The complete text is preserved in the 4th-century Codex Sinaiticus, where it appears immediately after the New Testament and before the Shepherd of Hermas. For several centuries it was considered one of the “antilegomena” writings that some Christians looked on as sacred scripture, while others excluded them. Eusebius of Caesarea classified it as a “disputed” letter. A list of what was considered “inspired texts” that dates back to the third century was found in the sixth-century Codex Claromontanus  and lists many of the New Testament books along with the Epistle of Barnabas.  Some early Fathers of the Church ascribed it to the Barnabas who is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles and it is generally considered to have been written earlier than some books of the New Testament.  It is one of the “antilegomena” or “disputed” writings that many Christians considered Scripture and were widely read in the Early Church, but were questioned in some places.  These “disputed” writings included James, Jude, Hebrews, 3rd John, 2nd Peter, Revelation, the Didache, Shepherd of Hermas, the Epistle of Barnabas, Apocalypse of Peter, and the Acts of Paul. These should not be confused with known heretical works that were clearly condemned by the Church Fathers, such as the many Gospels of Gnostic origin that were written close to a century later.  It was not until the 4th Century at the Councils of Rome (382 A.D.), Hippo (393 A.D.), and Carthage (397 A.D.), that the current New Testament canon was formally decided upon.

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Quotes & Excerpts:

5:1 For to this end the Lord endured to deliver His flesh unto corruption, that by the remission of sins we might be cleansed, which cleansing is through the blood of His sprinkling.

15:8 Finally He saith to them; Your new moons and your Sabbaths I cannot away with. Ye see what is His meaning ; it is not your present Sabbaths that are acceptable [unto Me], but the Sabbath which I have made, in the which, when I have set all things at rest, I will make the beginning of the eighth day which is the beginning of another world.

15:9 Wherefore also we keep the eighth day for rejoicing, in the which also Jesus rose from the dead, and having been manifested ascended into the heavens.

16:9 How? Understand ye. By receiving the remission of our sins and hoping on the Name we became new, created afresh from the beginning. Wherefore God dwelleth truly in our habitation within us. How? The word of his faith, the calling of his promise, the wisdom of the ordinances, the commandments of the teaching, He Himself prophesying in us, He Himself dwelling in us, opening for us who had been in bondage unto death the door of the temple, which is the mouth, and giving us repentance leadeth us to the incorruptible temple.

19:5 Thou shalt not doubt whether a thing shall be or not be. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain. Thou shalt love thy neighbor more than thine own soul. Thou shalt not murder a child by abortion, nor again shalt thou kill it when it is born. Thou shalt not withhold thy hand from thy son or daughter, but from their youth thou shalt teach them the fear of God.

19:10 Thou shalt remember the day of judgment night and day, and thou shalt seek out day by day the persons of the saints, either laboring by word and going to exhort them and meditating how thou mayest save souls by thy word, or thou shalt work with thy hands for a ransom for thy sins.

19:11 Thou shall not hesitate to give, neither shalt thou murmur when giving, but thou shalt know who is the good paymaster of thy reward. Thou shalt keep those things which thou hast received, neither adding to them nor taking away from them. Thou shalt utterly hate the Evil One. Thou shalt judge righteously.

19:12 Thou shalt not make a schism, but thou shalt pacify them that contend by bringing them together. Thou shalt confess thy sins. Thou shalt not betake thyself to prayer with an evil conscience. This is the way of light.