I.  The Man

A. originally named Joseph (cf. Acts 4:36)

B. born in Cyprus (cf. Acts 4:36)

C. of the tribe of Levi (cf. Acts 4:36)

D. nicknamed "son of encouragement" (cf. Acts 4:36; 11:23)

E. called "a good man" (cf. Acts 11:24)

F. a member of the Jerusalem church (cf. Acts 11:22) and sent as its representative to check out the new growing church of Antioch, Syria (cf. Acts 11:19-28)

G. said to be full of the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 11:24)

H. said to be full of faith (cf. Acts 11:24)

I.  he had the spiritual gifts of a prophet and teacher (cf. Acts 13:1)

J.  called an apostle (cf. Acts 14:14)


II. His Ministry

A. in Jerusalem

1. sold his property and gave all the money to the Apostles to help the poor (cf. Acts 4:37)

2. leader in the Jerusalem church (cf. Acts 11:22)

B. with Paul

1. he was one of the first to trust Saul/Paul's conversion (cf. Acts 9:27)

2. he went to Tarsus to find Saul/Paul and get him to help with the new church in Antioch (cf. Acts 11:24-26)

3. the church at Antioch sent Barnabas and Saul to the church in Jerusalem with a contribution for the poor (cf. Acts 11:29-30)

4. Barnabas and Paul go on the first missionary journey (cf. Acts 13:1-3)

5. Barnabas was the team leader on Cyprus (his home island), but soon Paul's leadership was recognized (cf. Acts 13:13)

6. they reported to the church in Jerusalem to explain and document their mission work among the Gentiles (cf. Acts 15:1-21, called the Jerusalem Council).

7. Barnabas and Paul had a disagreement about Jewish food laws and Gentile fellowship recorded in Gal. 2:11-14

8. Barnabas and Paul planned a second missionary journey, but a dispute broke out over Barnabas' cousin, John Mark (cf. Col. 4:10), who deserted the work on the first mission trip (cf. Acts 13:13). Paul refused to take him on the second mission trip, so the team broke up (cf. Acts 15:36-41). This resulted in two teams (i.e., Barnabas and John Mark, and Paul and Silas).


III. Church Tradition (Eusebius)

A. Barnabas was one of the seventy sent out by Jesus (cf. Luke 10:1-20).

B. He died as a Christian martyr on his home island, Cyprus (from Acts of Barnabas).

C. Tertullian says he wrote the book of Hebrews.

D. Clement of Alexandria says he wrote the non-canonical book of the Epistle of Barnabas.


Copyright © 2014 Bible Lessons International