|Easton's Bible Dictionary|
Son of consolation, the surname of Joses, a Levite (Acts 4:36). His name stands first on the list of prophets and teachers of the church at Antioch (13:1). Luke speaks of him as a "good man" (11:24). He was born of Jewish parents of the tribe of Levi. He was a native of Cyprus, where he had a possession of land (Acts 4:36, 37), which he sold. His personal appearance is supposed to have been dignified and commanding (Acts 14:11, 12). When Paul returned to Jerusalem after his conversion, Barnabas took him and introduced him to the apostles (9:27). They had probably been companions as students in the school of Gamaliel.
The prosperity of the church at Antioch led the apostles and brethren at Jerusalem to send Barnabas thither to superintend the movement. He found the work so extensive and weighty that he went to Tarsus in search of Saul to assist him. Saul returned with him to Antioch and laboured with him for a whole year (Acts 11:25, 26). The two were at the end of this period sent up to Jerusalem with the contributions the church at Antioch had made for the poorer brethren there (11:28-30). Shortly after they returned, bringing John Mark with them, they were appointed as missionaries to the heathen world, and in this capacity visited Cyprus and some of the principal cities of Asia Minor (Acts 13:14). Returning from this first missionary journey to Antioch, they were again sent up to Jerusalem to consult with the church there regarding the relation of Gentiles to the church (Acts 15:2: Galatians 2:1). This matter having been settled, they returned again to Antioch, bringing the decree of the council as the rule by which Gentiles were to be admitted into the church.
When about to set forth on a second missionary journey, a dispute arose between Saul and Barnabas as to the propriety of taking John Mark with them again. The dispute ended by Saul and Barnabas taking separate routes. Saul took Silas as his companion, and journeyed through Syria and Cilicia; while Barnabas took his nephew John Mark, and visited Cyprus (Acts 15:36-41). Barnabas is not again mentioned by Luke in the Acts.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
bar'-na-bas (Barnabas, "son of exhortation," or possibly "son of Nebo"): This name was applied to the associate of Paul, who was originally called Joses or Joseph (Acts 4:36), as a testimony to his eloquence. Its literal meaning is "son of prophecy" (bar, "son"; nebhu'ah, "prophecy"). Compare word for prophet in Genesis 20:7 Deuteronomy 18:15, 18, etc. This is interpreted in Acts 4:36 as "son of exhortation" the Revised Version (British and American), or "son of consolation" the King James Version, expressing two sides of the Greek paraklesis, that are not exclusive. The office of a prophet being more than to foretell, all these interpretations are admissible in estimating Barnabas as a preacher. Deismann (Bibelstudien, 175-78) considers Barnabas the Jewish Grecized form of Barnebous, a personal Semitic name recently discovered in Asia Minor inscriptions, and meaning "son of Nebo" (Standard Bible Dictionary in the place cited.).
He was a Levite from the island of Cyprus, and cousin, not "nephew" (the King James Version), of the evangelist Mark, the word anepsios (Colossians 4:10), being used in Numbers 36:11, for "father's brothers' sons." When we first learn of him, he had removed to Jerusalem, and acquired property there. He sold "a field," and contributed its price to the support of the poorer members of the church (Acts 4:36). In Acts 11:24 he is described as "a good man and full of the Holy Spirit" (compare Isaiah 11:2 1 Corinthians 12:8, 11) "and of faith," traits that gave him influence and leadership. Possibly on the ground of former acquaintanceship, interceding as Paul's sponsor and surety, he removed the distrust of the disciples at Jerusalem and secured the admission of the former persecutor into their fellowship. When the preaching of some of the countrymen of Barnabas had begun a movement toward Christianity among the Greeks at Antioch, Barnabas was sent from Jerusalem to give it encouragement and direction, and, after a personal visit, recognizing its importance and needs, sought out Paul at Tarsus, and brought him back as his associate. At the close of a year's successful work, Barnabas and Paul were sent to Jerusalem with contributions from the infant church for the famine sufferers in the older congregation (Acts 11:30). Ordained as missionaries on their return (Acts 13:3), and accompanied by John Mark, they proceeded upon what is ordinarily known as the "First Missionary Journey" of Paul (Acts 13:4, 5). Its history belongs to Paul's life. Barnabas as well as Paul is designated "an apostle" (Acts 14:14). Up to Acts 13:43, the precedency is constantly ascribed to Barnabas; from that point, except in 14:14 and 15:12, 25, we read "Paul and Barnabas," instead of "Barnabas and Saul." The latter becomes the chief spokesman. The people at Lystra named Paul, because of his fervid oratory, Mercurius, while the quiet dignity and reserved strength of Barnabas gave him the title of Jupiter (Acts 14:12). Barnabas escaped the violence which Paul suffered at Iconium (Acts 14:19).
Upon their return from this first missionary tour, they were sent, with other representatives of the church at Antioch, to confer with the apostles and elders of the church at Jerusalem concerning the obligation of circumcision and the ceremonial law in general under the New Testament-the synod of Jerusalem. A separation from Paul seems to begin with a temporary yielding of Barnabas in favor of the inconsistent course of Peter (Galatians 2:13). This was followed by a more serious rupture concerning Mark. On the second journey, Paul proceeded alone, while Barnabas and Mark went to Cyprus. Luther and Calvin regard 2 Corinthians 8:18, 19 as meaning Barnabas by "the brother whose praise is spread through all the churches," and indicating, therefore, subsequent joint work. The incidental allusions in 1 Corinthians 9:6 and Galatians 2:13 ("even Barnabas") show at any rate Paul's continued appreciation of his former associate. Like Paul, he accepted no support from those to whom he ministered.
Tertullian, followed in recent years by Grau and Zahn, regard him as the author of the Epistle to the He. The document published among patristic writings as the Epistle of Barnabas, and found in full in the Codex Sinaiticus, is universally assigned today to a later period. "The writer nowhere claims to be the apostle Barnabas; possibly its author was some unknown namesake of 'the son of consolation' " (Lightfoot, Apostolic Fathers, 239).
H. E. Jacobs
BARNABAS, EPISTLE OF
See APOCRYPHAL EPISTLES.
BARNABAS, GOSPEL OF
See APOCRYPHAL GOSPELS.
Barnabas (33 Occurrences)
Acts 4:36 Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas (which is, being interpreted, Son of Encouragement), a Levite, a man of Cyprus by race, (WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 9:27 But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared to them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 11:22 The report concerning them came to the ears of the assembly which was in Jerusalem. They sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch, (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 11:25 Barnabas went out to Tarsus to look for Saul. (WEB KJV WEY WBS YLT RSV NIV)
Acts 11:26 When he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. It happened, that for a whole year they were gathered together with the assembly, and taught many people. The disciples were first called Christians in Antioch. (See NIV)
Acts 11:30 which they also did, sending it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 12:25 Barnabas and Saul returned to Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their service, also taking with them John whose surname was Mark. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 13:1 Now in the assembly that was at Antioch there were some prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen the foster brother of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 13:2 As they served the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, "Separate Barnabas and Saul for me, for the work to which I have called them." (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 13:7 who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of understanding. This man summoned Barnabas and Saul, and sought to hear the word of God. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 13:42 As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue, the people earnestly begged to have all this repeated to them on the following Sabbath. (WEY NAS NIV)
Acts 13:43 Now when the synagogue broke up, many of the Jews and of the devout proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas; who, speaking to them, urged them to continue in the grace of God. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 13:46 Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, and said, "It was necessary that God's word should be spoken to you first. Since indeed you thrust it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 13:50 But the Jews stirred up the devout and prominent women and the chief men of the city, and stirred up a persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and threw them out of their borders. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 14:1 It happened in Iconium that they entered together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spoke that a great multitude both of Jews and of Greeks believed. (See NIV)
Acts 14:3 Yet Paul and Barnabas remained there for a considerable time, speaking freely and relying on the Lord, while He bore witness to the Message of His grace by permitting signs and marvels to be done by them. (WEY NIV)
Acts 14:12 They called Barnabas "Jupiter," and Paul "Mercury," because he was the chief speaker. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 14:14 But when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of it, they tore their clothes, and sprang into the multitude, crying out, (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 14:20 But as the disciples stood around him, he rose up, and entered into the city. On the next day he went out with Barnabas to Derbe. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 14:23 When they had appointed elders for them in every assembly, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they had believed. (See NIV)
Acts 15:2 Therefore when Paul and Barnabas had no small discord and discussion with them, they appointed Paul and Barnabas, and some others of them, to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders about this question. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 15:12 All the multitude kept silence, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul reporting what signs and wonders God had done among the nations through them. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 15:22 Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole assembly, to choose men out of their company, and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas: Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, chief men among the brothers. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 15:25 it seemed good to us, having come to one accord, to choose out men and send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 15:35 But Paul and Barnabas stayed in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 15:36 After some days Paul said to Barnabas, "Let's return now and visit our brothers in every city in which we proclaimed the word of the Lord, to see how they are doing." (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 15:37 Barnabas planned to take John, who was called Mark, with them also. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Acts 15:39 Then the contention grew so sharp that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark with him, and sailed away to Cyprus, (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
1 Corinthians 9:6 Or have only Barnabas and I no right to not work? (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Galatians 2:1 Then after a period of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus also with me. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Galatians 2:9 and when they perceived the grace that was given to me, James and Cephas and John, they who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the circumcision. (WEB KJV ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Galatians 2:13 And the rest of the Jews joined him in his hypocrisy; so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy. (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)
Colossians 4:10 Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, greets you, and Mark, the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you received commandments, "if he comes to you, receive him"), (WEB KJV WEY ASV BBE DBY WBS YLT NAS RSV NIV)