Excerpt from The Expositor, Vol. 17
One cannot resist the feeling that Barnabas is not properly rated by modern Christians. This defect is partly due to the fact that Luke does not trace his career after chapter xv. of Acts. He drops from view under the shadow of the disagreement with Paul whose steps Luke traces all the way to Rome. And then we have no authentic writing of Barnabas. Tertullian and other writers in the West attribute to Barnabas the Epistle to the Hebrews, but the bare possibility of that theory is all that can be admitted. Clement of Alexandria quotes the so-called Epistle of Barnabas as the work of Paul's companion. Origen speaks of the Catholic Epistle of Barnabas and Eusebius mentions the Epistle of Barnabas. The Codex Sinaiticus gives it after the Apocalypse of John, showing that it was esteemed highly in Alexandria, and was read in some churches. But the writer is so hostile to the Mosaic law that it seems impossible to credit it to Joseph Barnabas. Some other Barnabas may have written it. McGiffert (Apostolic Age, p. 598 f.)pleads for the idea that Barnabas wrote 1 Peter, but not with convincing arguments. We may pass by the Apocryphal Gospel and the Acts under the name of Barnabas. The result is that we are left with no clearly known writing of Barnabas by which we may measure his life and teachings.
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