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.

19:2 Thou shalt love Him that made thee, thou shalt fear Him that created thee, thou shalt glorify Him that redeemed thee from death; thou shalt be simple in heart and rich in spirit; thou shalt not cleave to those who walk the way of death; thou shalt hate everything that is not pleasing to God; thou shalt hate all hypocrisy; thou shalt never forsake the commandments of the Lord.

19:3 Thou shalt not exalt thyself, but shalt be lowly minded in all things. Thou shalt not assume glory to thyself. Thou shalt not entertain a wicked design against thy neighbor; thou shalt not admit boldness into thy soul.

19:4 Thou shalt not commit fornication, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not corrupt boys. The word of God shall not come forth from thee where any are unclean. Thou shalt not make a difference in a person to reprove him for a transgression. Thou shalt be meek, thou shalt be quiet, thou shalt be fearing the words which thou hast heard. Thou shalt not bear a grudge against thy brother.

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.

19:6 Thou shalt not be found coveting thy neighbors goods; thou shalt not be found greedy of gain. Neither shalt thou cleave with thy soul to the lofty, but shalt walk with the humble and righteous. The accidents that befall thee thou shalt receive as good, knowing that nothing is done without God. Thou shalt not be double minded nor double tongued.

19:7 Thou shalt be subject unto thy masters as to a type of God in shame and fear. Thou shalt not command in bitterness thy bondservant or thine handmaid who set their hope on the same God, lest haply, they should cease to fear the God who is over both of you; for He came not to call with respect of persons, but to call those whom the Spirit hath prepared.

19:8 Thou shalt make thy neighbor partake in all things, and shalt not say that anything is thine own. For if ye are fellow partakers in that which is imperishable, how much rather shall ye be in the things which are perishable. Thou shalt not be hasty with thine own tongue, for the mouth is the snare of death. So far as thou art able, thou shalt be pure for thy soul’s sake.

 19:9 Be not thou found holding out thy hands to receive, and drawing them in to give. Thou shalt love as the apple of thine eye every one that speaketh unto thee the word of the Lord.

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.