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Barnabas Essay

926 words - 4 pages

BarnabasI. Who was Barnabas?II. Where is he first mentioned in the Bible?III. Barnabas' introduction of Saul to the apostlesIV. His mission work with PaulV. His departure from PaulVI. Barnabas as a writerVII. His DeathBarnabas was a native of the island of Cyprus. His birthplace makes him a Jew ofthe Diaspora, the dispersion of Jews outside Palestine or modern Israel. He was originallynamed Joseph but the apostles called him Barnabas, he probably acquired this namebecause 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 Jerusalemchurch, as a man of some means who gave to the church the proceeds from the sale of apiece land, 'Barnabas sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at theapostles' feet' (Acts 4:36-37).After the stoning of Stephen in Acts 7:54-8:1, the church was persecuted andscattered, 'On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, andall except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. Godly men buriedStephen and mourned deeply for him. But Saul began to destroy the church. Going fromhouse to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison' Acts 8:1-3. InActs 9:26-27, 'Saul tries to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believingthat he really was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. Hetold them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him,and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus.' Barnabas thusbelongs to the company of first converts in Jerusalem who were won by the apostolicpreaching, if not by Jesus himself.Though not a native, Barnabas had the confidence of the apostles. Later he wassent to join the company of workers at Antioch, to preach to Jews, Hellenists, and Greeks(Acts 11:19-22). As the work of the Antioch church expanded and more workers wereneeded, Barnabas went over to Tarsus and brought back with him Saul. It seems thatBarnabas was the leader of the Antioch church, and the order which Luke gives,'Barnabas and Saul,' indicates the pre-eminence. It was 'Barnabas and Saul' who carriedrelief funds from Antioch to the famine-stricken Jerusalem (Acts 11:30). Barnabas wascommissioned by the Antioch church, along with Saul and John Mark, to undertake themissionary journey which led them to Cyprus and later to the provinces of the mainland.While on the island of Cyprus, two major changes occur, Saul is now called Paul and theleadership role changes from Barnabas to Paul (Acts 13:9). Once on the mainland thegroup would be referred to as 'Paul and his company' (Acts...

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