Epistle of Barnabas
Translated by J.B. Lightfoot. Adapt.
and mod. (c) 1990. ATHENA DATA PRODUCTS
I Bid you greeting, sons and daughters, in the name of the Lord that loved us, in peace.
Seeing that the ordinances of God are great and rich unto you, I rejoice with an exceeding
great and overflowing joy at your blessed and glorious spirits; so innate is the grace of
the spiritual gift that ye have received.
Wherefore also I the more congratulate myself hoping to be saved, for that I truly see the
Spirit poured out among you from the riches of the fount of the Lord. So greatly did the
much-desired sight of you astonish me respecting you.
Being therefore persuaded of this, and being conscious with myself that having said much
among you I know that the Lord journeyed with me on the way of righteousness, and am
wholly constrained also myself to this, to love you more than my own soul (for great faith
and love dwelleth in you through the hope of the life which is
His)--considering this therefore, that,
if it shall be my care to communicate to you some portion of that which I received, it
shall turn to my reward for having ministered to such spirits, I was eager to send you a
trifle, that along with your faith ye might have your knowledge also perfect.
Well then, there are three ordinances of the Lord; *the hope of life, which is the
beginning and end of our faith; and righteousness, which is the beginning and end of
judgment; love shown in gladness and exultation, the testimony of works of righteousness.*
For the Lord made known to us by His prophets things past and present, giving us likewise
the firstfruits of the taste of things future. And seeing each of these things severally
coming to pass, according as He spake, we ought to offer a richer and higher offering to
the fear of Him. But I, not as though I were a teacher, but as one of yourselves, will
show forth a few things, whereby ye shall be gladdened in the present circumstances.
Seeing then that the days are evil, and that the Active One himself has the authority, we
ought to give heed to ourselves and to seek out the ordinances of the Lord.
The aids of our faith then are fear and patience, and our allies are long-suffering and
While these abide in a pure spirit in matters relating to the Lord, wisdom, understanding,
science, knowledge rejoice with them.
For He hath made manifest to us by all the prophets that He wanteth neither sacrifices nor
whole burnt offerings nor oblations, saying at one time;
What to Me is the multitude of your sacrifices, saith the Lord I am full of whole
burnt-offerings, and the fat of lambs and the blood of bulls and of goats desire not, not
though ye should come to be seen of Me. or who required these things at your hands? Ye
shall continue no more to tread My court. If ye bring fine flour, it is in vain; incense
is an abomination to Me; your new moons and your Sabbaths I cannot away with.
These things therefore He annulled, that the new law of our Lord Jesus Christ, being free
from the yoke of constraint, might have its oblation not made by human hands.
And He saith again unto them; Did command your fathers when they went forth from the land
of Egypt to bring Me whole burnt offerings and sacrifices?
Nay, this was My command unto them, Let none of you bear a grudge of evil against his
neighbor in his heart, and love you not a false oath.
So we ought to perceive, unless we are without understanding, the mind of the goodness of
our Father; for He speaketh to us, desiring us not to go astray like them but to seek how
we may approach Him.
Barnabas 2:10 Thus then speaketh He to us; The sacrifice
unto God is a broken heart, the smell of a sweet savor unto the Lord is a heart that
glorifies its Maker. We ought therefore, brethren, to learn accurately concerning our
salvation, lest the Evil One having effected an entrance of error in us should fling us
away from our life.
He speaketh again therefore to them concerning these things; Wherefore fast ye for Me,
saith the Lord, so that your voice is heard this day crying aloud? This is not the fast
which have chosen, saith the Lord; not a man abasing his soul;
not though ye should bend your neck as a hoop, and put on sackcloth and make your bed of
ashes, not even so shall ye call a fast that is acceptable.
But unto us He saith; Behold, this is the fast which I have chosen, saith the Lord; loosen
every band of wickedness, untie the tightened cords of forcible contracts, send away the
broken ones released and tear in pieces every unjust bond. Break thy bread to the hungry,
and if thou seest one naked clothe him; bring the shelterless into thy house, and if thou
seest a humble man, thou shalt not despise him, neither shall any one of thy household and
of thine own seed.
Then shall thy light break forth in the morning, and thy healing shall arise quickly, and
righteousness shall go forth before thy face, and the glory of God shall environ thee.
Then shalt thou cry out and God shall hear thee; while thou art still speaking, He shall
say 'Lo, I am here'; if thou shalt take away from thee the yoke and the stretching forth
of the finger and the word of murmuring, and shalt give thy bread to the hungry heartily,
and shalt pity the abased soul.
To this end therefore, my brethren, He that is long-suffering, foreseeing that the people
whom He had prepared in His well-beloved would believe in simplicity, manifested to us
beforehand concerning all things, that we might not as novices shipwreck ourselves upon
It behooves us therefore to investigate deeply concerning the present, and to search out
the things which have power to save us. Let us therefore flee altogether from all the
works of lawlessness, lest the works of lawlessness overpower us; and let us loathe the
error of the present time, that we may be loved for that which is to come.
Let us give no relaxation to our soul that it should have liberty to consort with sinners
and wicked men, lest haply we be made like unto them.
The last offence is at hand, concerning which the scripture speaketh, as Enoch saith. For
to this end the Master hath cut the seasons and the days short, that His beloved might
hasten and come to His inheritance.
And the prophet also speaketh on this wise; Ten reigns shall reign upon the earth, and
after them shall arise another king, who shall bring low three of the kings under one.
In like manner Daniel speaketh concerning the same; And I saw the forth beast to be wicked
and strong and more intractable than all the beasts of the earth, and how there arose from
him ten horns, and from these a little horn and excrescence, and how that it abased under
one three of the great horns.
Ye ought therefore to understand. Moreover I ask you this one thing besides, as being one
of yourselves and loving you all in particular more than my own soul, to give heed to
yourselves now, and not to liken yourselves to certain persons who pile up sin upon sin,
saying that our covenant remains to them also.
Ours it is; but they lost it in this way for ever, when Moses had just received it. For
the scripture saith; And Moses was in the mountain fasting forty days and forty nights,
and he received the covenant from the Lord, even tablets of stone written with the finger
of the hand of the Lord.
But they lost it by turning unto idols. For thus saith the Lord; Moses, Moses, come down
quickly; for thy people whom thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt hath done
unlawfully. And Moses understood, and threw the two tables from his hands; and their
covenant was broken in pieces, that the covenant of the beloved Jesus might be sealed unto
our hearts in the hope which springeth from faith in Him.
But though I would fain write many things, not as a teacher, but as becometh one who
loveth you not to fall short of that which we possess, I was anxious to write to you,
being your devoted slave. Wherefore let us take heed in these last days. For the whole
time of our faith shall profit us nothing, unless we now, in the season of lawlessness and
in the offenses that shall be, as becometh sons of God, offer resistance, that the Black
One may not effect an entrance.
Barnabas 4:10 Let us flee from all vanity, let us
entirely hate the works of the evil way. Do not entering in privily stand apart by
yourselves, as if ye were already justified, but assemble yourselves together and consult
concerning the common welfare.
Barnabas 4:11 For the scripture saith; Woe unto them that
are wise for themselves, and understanding in their own sight. Let us become spiritual,
let us become a temple perfect unto God. As far as in us lies, let us exercise ourselves
in the fear of God, [and] let us strive to keep His commandments, that we may rejoice in
Barnabas 4:12 The Lord judgeth the world without respect
of persons; each man shall receive according to his deeds. If he be good, his
righteousness shall go before him in the way; if he be evil, the recompense of his
evil-doing is before him; lest perchance,
Barnabas 4:13 if we relax as men that are called, we
should slumber over our sins, and the prince of evil receive power against us and thrust
us out from the kingdom of the Lord.
Barnabas 4:14 Moreover understand this also, my brothers.
When ye see that after so many signs and wonders wrought in Israel, even then they were
abandoned, let us give heed, lest haply we be found, as the scripture saith, many are
called but few are chosen.
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
For the scripture concerning Him containeth some things relating to Israel, and some
things relating to us. And it speaketh thus; He was wounded for your transgressions, and
He hath been bruised for our sins; by His stripes we were healed. As a sheep He was led to
slaughter, as a lamb is dumb before his shearer.
We ought therefore to be very thankful unto the Lord, for that He both revealed unto us
the past, and made us wise in the present, and as regards the future we are not without
Now the scripture saith; Not unjustly is the net spread for the birds. He meaneth this
that a man shall justly perish, who having the knowledge of the way of righteousness
forceth himself into the way of darkness.
There is yet this also, my brethren; if the Lord endured to suffer for our souls, though
He was Lord of the whole world, unto whom God said from the foundation of the world, Let
us make man after our image and likeness, how then did He endure to suffer at the hand of
Understand ye. The prophets, receiving grace from Him, prophesied concerning Him. But He
Himself endured that He might destroy death and show forth the resurrection of the dead,
for that He must needs be manifested in the flesh;
that at the same time He might redeem the promise made to the fathers, and by preparing
the new people for Himself might show, while He was on earth, that having brought about
the resurrection He will Himself exercise judgment.
Yea and further, He preached teaching Israel and performing so many wonders and miracles,
and He loved him exceedingly.
And when He chose His own apostles who were to proclaim His Gospel, who that He might show
that He came not to call the righteous but sinners were sinners above every sin, then He
manifested Himself to be the Son of God.
Barnabas 5:10 For if He had not come in the flesh neither
would men have looked upon Him and been saved, forasmuch as when they look upon the sun
that shall cease to be, which is the work of His own hands, they cannot face its rays.
Barnabas 5:11 Therefore the Son of God came in the flesh
to this end, that He might sum up the complete tale of their sins against those who
persecuted and slew His prophets.
Barnabas 5:12 To this end therefore He endured. For God
saith of the wounds of His flesh that they came from them; When they shall smite their own
shepherd, then shall the sheep of the flock be lost.
Barnabas 5:13 But He Himself desired so to suffer; for it
was necessary for Him to suffer on a tree. For he that prophesied said concerning Him,
Spare My soul form the sword; and, Pierce My flesh with nails, for the congregations of
evil-doers have risen up against Me.
Barnabas 5:14 And again He saith; Behold I have given My
back to stripes, and My cheeks to smitings, and My face did I set as a hard rock.
When then He gave the commandment, what saith He? Who is he that disputeth with Me? Let
him oppose Me. Or who is he that goeth to law with Me? Let him draw nigh unto the servant
of the Lord,
Woe unto you, for ye all shall wax old as a garment, and the moth shall consume you. And
again the prophet saith, seeing that as a hard stone He was ordained for crushing; Behold
I will put into the fountains of Zion a stone very precious, elect, a chief corner-stone,
Then again what saith He; And whosoever shall set his hope on Him, shall live forever. Is
our hope then set upon a stone? Far be it. But it is because the Lord hath set His flesh
in strength. For He saith; And He set Me as a hard rock.
And the prophet saith again; The stone which the builders rejected, this became the head
and the corner. And again He saith; This is the great and wonderful day, which the Lord
I write to you the more simply, that ye may understand, I who am the offscouring of your
What then saith the prophet again? The assembly of evildoers gathered around Me, they
surrounded Me as bees surround a comb; and; For My garment they cast a lot.
Forasmuch then as He was about to be manifested in the flesh and to suffer, His suffering
was manifested beforehand. For the prophet saith concerning Israel; Woe unto their soul,
for they have counseled evil counsel against themselves saying, Let us bind the righteous
one, for he is unprofitable for us.
What sayeth the other prophet Moses unto them? Behold, these things saith the Lord God;
enter into the good land which the Lord swear unto Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and inherit
it, a land flowing with milk and honey.
But what saith knowledge? Understand ye. Set your hope on Him who is about to be
manifested to you in the flesh, even Jesus. For man is earth suffering; for from the face
of the earth came the creation of Adam.
Barnabas 6:10 What then saith He? Into the good land, a
land flowing with milk and honey. Blessed is our Lord, brethren, who established among us
wisdom and understanding of His secret things. For the prophet speaketh a parable
concerning the Lord. Who shall comprehend, save he that is wise and prudent and that
loveth his Lord?
Barnabas 6:11 Forasmuch then as He renewed us in the
remission of sins, He made us to be a new type, so that we should have the soul of
children, as if He were recreating us.
Barnabas 6:12 For the scripture saith concerning us, how
He saith to the Son; Let us make man after our image and after our likeness, and let them
rule over the beasts of the earth and the fowls of the heaven and the fishes of the sea.
And the Lord said when He saw the fair creation of us men; Increase and multiply and fill
the earth. These words refer to the Son.
Barnabas 6:13 Again I will shew thee how the Lord
speaketh concerning us. He made a second creation at the last; and the Lord saith; Behold
I make the last things as the first. In reference to this then the prophet preached; Enter
into a land flowing with milk and honey, and be lords over it.
Barnabas 6:14 Behold then we have been created anew, as
He saith again in another prophet; Behold, saith the Lord, I will take out from these,
that is to say, from those whom the Spirit of the Lord foresaw, their stony hearts, and
will put into them hearts of flesh; for He Himself was to be manifested in the flesh and
to dwell in us.
Barnabas 6:15 For a holy temple unto the Lord, my
brethren, is the abode of our heart.
Barnabas 6:16 For the Lord saith again; For wherein shall
I appear unto the Lord my God and be glorified? I will make confession unto Thee in the
assembly of my brethren, and I will sing unto Thee in the midst of the assembly of the
saints. We therefore are they whom He brought into the good land.
Barnabas 6:17 What then is the milk and the honey Because
the child is first kept alive by honey, and then by milk. So in like manner we also, being
kept alive by our faith in the promise and by the word, shall live and be lords of the
Barnabas 6:18 Now we have already said above; And let
them increase and multiply and rule over the fishes. But who is he that is able [now] to
rule over beasts and fishes and fowls of the heaven; for we ought to perceive that to rule
implieth power, so that one should give orders and have dominion.
Barnabas 6:19 If then this cometh not to pass now,
assuredly He spake to us for the hereafter, when we ourselves shall be made perfect so
that we may become heirs of the covenant of the Lord.
Understand therefore, children of gladness, that the good Lord manifested all things to us
beforehand, that we might know to whom we ought in all things to render thanksgiving and
If then the Son of God, being Lord and future Judge of quick and dead, suffered that His
wound might give us life, let us believe that the Son of God could not suffer except for
But moreover when crucified He had vinegar and gall given Him to drink. Hear how on this
matter the priests of the temple have revealed. Seeing that there is a commandment in
scripture, Whatsoever shall not observe the fast shall surely die, the Lord commanded,
because He was in His own person about to offer the vessel of His Spirit a sacrifice for
our sins, that the type also which was given in Isaac who was offered upon the alter
should be fulfilled.
What then saith He in the prophet? And let them eat of the goat that is offered at the
fast for all their sins. Attend carefully; And let all the priests alone eat the entrails
unwashed with vinegar.
Wherefore? Since ye are to give Me, who am to offer My flesh for the sins of My new
people, gall with vinegar to drink, eat ye alone, while the people fasteth and waileth in
sackcloth and ashes; that He might shew that He must suffer at their hands.
Attend ye to the commandments which He gave. Take two goats, fair and alike, and offer
them, and let the priest take the one for a whole burnt offering for sins.
But the other one--what must they do with it? Accursed, saith He, is the one. Give heed
how the type of Jesus is revealed.
And do ye all spit upon it and goad it, and place scarlet wool about its head, and so let
it be cast into the wilderness. And when it is so done, he that taketh the goat into the
wilderness leadeth it, and taketh off the wool, and putteth it upon the branch which is
called Rachia, the same whereof we are wont to eat the shoots when we find them in the
country. Of this briar alone is the fruit thus sweet.
What then meaneth this? Give heed. The one at the alter, and the other accursed. And
moreover the accursed one crowned. For they shall see Him in that day wearing the long
scarlet robe about His flesh, and shall say, Is not this He, Whom once we crucified and
set at nought and spat upon; verily this was He, Who then said that He was the Son of God.
Barnabas 7:10 For how is He like the goat? For this
reason it says the goats shall be fair and alike, that, when they shall see Him coming
then, they may be astonished at the likeness of the goat. Therefore behold the type of
Jesus that was to suffer.
Barnabas 7:11 But what meaneth it, that they place the
wool in the midst of the thorns? It is a type of Jesus set forth for the Church, since
whosoever should desire to take away the scarlet wool it behoved him to suffer many things
owing to the terrible nature of the thorn, and through affliction to win the mastery over
it. Thus, He saith, they that desire to see Me, and to attain unto My kingdom, must lay
hold on Me through tribulation and affliction.
But what think ye meaneth the type, where the commandment is given to Israel that those
men, whose sins are full grown, offer an heifer and slaughter and burn it, and then that
the children take up the ashes, and cast them into vessels, and twist the scarlet wool on
a tree (see here again is the type of the cross and the scarlet wool), and the hyssop, and
that this done the children should sprinkle the people one by one, that they may be
purified from their sins?
Understand ye how in all plainness it is spoken unto you; the calf is Jesus, the men that
offer it, being sinners, are they that offered Him for the slaughter. After this it is no
more men (who offer); the glory is no more for sinners.
The children who sprinkle are they that preached unto us the forgiveness of sins and the
purification of our heart, they to whom, being twelve in number for a testimony unto the
tribes (for there are twelve tribes of Israel), He gave authority over the Gospel, that
they should preach it.
But wherefore are the children that sprinkle three in number? For a testimony unto
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, because these are mighty before God.
Then there is the placing the wool on the tree. This means that the kingdom of Jesus is on
the cross, and that they who set their hope on Him shall live for ever.
And why is there the wool and the hyssop at the same time? Because in His kingdom there
shall be evil and foul days, in which we shall be saved; for he who suffers pain in the
flesh is healed through the foulness of the hyssop.
Now to us indeed it is manifest that these things so befell for this reason, but to them
they were dark, because they heard not the voice of the Lord.
Furthermore He saith concerning the ears, how that it is our heart which He circumcised.
The Lord saith in the prophet; With the hearing of the ears they listened to Me. And again
He saith; They that are afar off shall hear with their ears, and shall perceive what I
have done. And; Be ye circumcised in your hearts, saith the Lord.
And again He saith; Hear, O Israel, for thus saith the Lord thy God. Who is he that
desireth to live forever, let him hear with his ears the voice of My servant. ~y And again
He saith; Hear, O heaven, and give ear, O earth, for the Lord hath spoken these
things for a testimony. And again He saith; Hear the words of the Lord, ye rulers of this
people. And again He saith; Hear, O my children, the voice of one crying in the
wilderness. Therefore He circumcised our ears, that hearing the word we might believe.
But moreover the circumcision, in which they have confidence, is abolished; for He hath
said that a circumcision not of the flesh should be practiced. But they transgressed, for
an evil angel taught them cleverness.
He saith unto them; Thus saith the Lord your God (so I find the commandment); sow not upon
thorns, be ye circumcised in to your Lord. And what saith He? Be ye circumcised in the
hardness of your heart; and then ye will not harden your neck. Take this again; Behold,
sayith the Lord, all the Gentiles are uncircumcised in their foreskin, but this people is
uncircumcised in their hearts.
But thou wilt say; In truth the people hath been circumcised for a seal. Nay, but so
likewise is every Syrian and Arabian and all the priests of the idols. Do all those then
too belong to their covenant? Moreover the Egyptians also are included among the
Learn therefore, children of love, concerning all things abundantly, that Abraham, who
first appointed circumcision, looked forward in the spirit unto Jesus, when he circumcised
having received the ordinances of three letters.
For the scripture saith; And Abraham circumcised of his household eighteen males and three
hundred. What then was the knowledge given unto him? Understand ye that He saith the
eighteen first, and then after an interval three hundred In the eighteen 'I' stands for
ten, 'H' for eight. Here thou hast JESUS (IHSOYS). And because the cross in the 'T' was to
have grace, He saith also three hundred. So He revealeth Jesus in the two letters, and in
the remaining one the cross.
He who placed within us the innate gift of His covenant knoweth; no man hath ever learnt
from me a more genuine word; but I know that ye are worthy.
But forasmuch as Moses said; Ye shall not eat seine nor eagle nor falcon nor crow nor any
fish which hath no scale upon it, he received in his understanding three ordinances.
Yea and further He saith unto them in Deuteronomy; And I will lay as a covenant upon this
people My ordinances. So then it is not a commandment of God that they should not bite
with their teeth, but Moses spake it in spirit.
Accordingly he mentioned the swine with this intent. Thou shalt not cleave, saith he, to
such men who are like unto swine; that is, when they are in luxury they forget the Lord,
but when they are in want they recognize the Lord, just as the swine when it eateth
knoweth not his lord, but when it is hungry it crieth out, and when it has received food
again it is silent.
Neither shalt thou eat eagle nor falcon nor kite nor crow. Thou shalt not, He saith,
cleave unto, or be likened to, such men who now not how to provide food for themselves by
toil and sweat, but in their lawlessness seize what belongeth to others, and as if they
were walking in guilelessness watch and search about for some one to rob in their
rapacity, just as these birds alone do not provide food for themselves, but sit idle and
seek how they may eat the meat that belongeth to others, being pestilent in their
And thou shalt not eat, saith He, lamprey nor polypus nor cuttle fish . Thou shalt not, He
meaneth, become like unto such men, who are desperately wicked, and are already condemned
to death, just as these fishes alone are accursed and swim in the depths, not swimming on
the surface like the rest, but dwell on the ground beneath the deep sea.
Moreover thou shalt not eat the hare. Why so? Thou shalt not be found a corrupter of boys,
nor shalt thou become like such persons; for the hare gaineth one passage in the body
every year; for according to the number of years it lives it has just so many orifices.
Again, neither shalt thou eat the hyena; thou shalt not, saith He, become an adulterer or
a fornicator, neither shalt thou resemble such persons. Why so? Because this animal
changeth its nature year by year, and becometh at one time male and at another female.
Moreover He hath hated the weasel also and with good reason. Thou shalt not, saith He,
become such as those men of whom we hear as working iniquity with their mouth for
uncleanness, neither shalt thou cleave unto impure women who work iniquity with their
mouth. For this animal conceiveth with its mouth.
Concerning meats then Moses received three decrees to this effect and uttered them in a
spiritual sense; but they accepted them according to the lust of the flesh, as though they
referred to eating.
Barnabas 10:10 And David also receiveth knowledge of the
same three decrees, and saith; Blessed is the man who hath not gone in the council of the
ungodly--even as the fishes go in darkness into the depths; and hath not stood in the path
of sinners--just as they who pretend to fear the Lord sin like swine; and hath not sat on
the seat of the destroyers--as the birds that are seated for prey. Ye have now the
complete lesson concerning eating.
Barnabas 10:11 Again Moses saith; Ye shall everything
that divideth the hoof and cheweth the cud. What meaneth he? He that receiveth the food
knoweth Him that giveth him the food, and being refreshed appeareth to rejoice in him.
Well said he, having regard to the commandment. What then meaneth he? Cleave unto those
that fear the Lord, with those who meditate in their heart on the distinction of the word
which they have received, with those who tell of the ordinances of the Lord and keep them,
with those who know that meditation is a work of gladness and who chew the cud of the word
of the Lord. But why that which divideth the hoof? Because the righteous man both walketh
in this world, and at the same time looketh for the holy world to come. Ye see how wise a
lawgiver Moses was.
Barnabas 10:12 But whence should they perceive or
understand these things? Howbeit we having justly perceived the commandments tell them as
the Lord willed. To this end He circumcised our ears and hearts, that we might understand
But let us enquire whether the Lord took care to signify before hand concerning the water
and the cross. Now concerning the water it is written in reference to Israel, how that
they would not receive the baptism which bringeth remission of sins, but would build for
For the prophet saith; Be astonished, O heaven, and let the earth shudder the more at
this, for this people hath done two evil things; they abandoned Me the fountain of life,
and they digged for themselves a pit of death.
Is My holy mountain of Sinai a desert rock? for ye shall be as the fledglings of a bird,
which flutter aloft when deprived of their nest.
And again the prophet saith; I will go before thee, and level mountains and crush gates of
brass and break in pieces bolts of iron, and I will give thee treasures dark, concealed,
unseen, that they may know that I am the Lord God.
And; Thou shalt dwell in a lofty cave of a strong rock. And; His water shall be sure; ye
shall see the King in glory, and your soul shall meditate on the fear of the Lord.
And again He saith in another prophet; And He that doeth these things shall be as the tree
that is planted by the parting streams of waters, which shall yield his fruit at his
proper season, and his leaf shall not fall off, and all things whatsoever he doeth shall
Not so are the ungodly, not so, but are as the dust which the wind scattereth from the
face of the earth. Therefore ungodly men shall not stand in judgment, neither sinners in
the council of the righteous; for the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous, and the way
of the ungodly shall perish.
Ye perceive how He pointed out the water and the cross at the same time. For this is the
meaning; Blessed are they that set their hope on the cross, and go down into the water;
for He speaketh of the reward at his proper season; then, saith He, I will repay. But now
what saith He? His leaves shall not fall off; He meaneth by this that every word, which
shall come forth from you through your mouth in faith and love, shall be for the
conversion and hope of many.
And again another prophet saith; And the land of Jacob was praised above the whole earth.
He meaneth this; He glorifieth the vessel of His Spirit.
Barnabas 11:10 Next what saith He? And there was a river
streaming from the right hand, and beautiful trees rose up from it; and whosoever shall
eat of them shall live forever.
Barnabas 11:11 This He saith, because we go down into the
water laden with sins and filth, and rise up from it bearing fruit in the heart, resting
our fear and hope on Jesus in the spirit. And whosoever shall eat of these shall live
forever; He meaneth this; whosoever, saith He, shall hear these things spoken and shall
believe, shall live forever.
In like manner again He defineth concerning the cross in another prophet, who saith; And
when shall these things be accomplished? saith the Lord. Whenever a tree shall be bended
and stand upright, and whensoever blood shall drop from a tree. Again thou art taught
concerning the cross, and Him that was to be crucified.
And He saith again in Moses, when war was waged against Israel by men of another nation,
and that He might remind them when the war was waged against them that for their sins they
were delivered unto death; the Spirit saith to the heart of Moses, that he should make a
type of the cross and of Him that was to suffer, that unless, saith He, they shall set
their hope on Him, war shall be waged against them for ever. Moses therefore pileth arms
one upon another in the midst of the encounter, and standing on higher ground than any he
stretched out his hands, and so Israel was again victorious. Then, whenever he lowered
them, they were slain with the sword.
Wherefore was this? That they might learn that they cannot be saved, unless they should
set their hope on Him.
And again in another prophet He saith; The whole day long have I stretched out My hands to
a disobedient people that did gainsay My righteous way.
Again Moses maketh a type of Jesus, how that He must suffer, and that He Himself whom they
shall think to have destroyed shall make alive in an emblem when Israel was falling. For
the Lord caused all manner of serpents to bite them, and they died (forasmuch as the
transgression was wrought in Eve through the serpent), that He might convince them that by
reason of their transgression they should be delivered over to the affliction of death.
Yea and further though Moses gave the commandment; Ye shall not have a molten or a carved
image for your God, yet he himself made one that he might show them a type of Jesus. So
Moses maketh a brazen serpent, and setteth it up conspicuously, and summoneth the people
When therefore they were assembled together they entreated Moses that he should offer up
intercession for them that they might be healed. And Moses said unto them; Whensoever,
said he, one of you shall be bitten, let him come to the serpent which is placed on the
tree, and let him believe and hope that the serpent being himself dead can make alive; and
forthwith he shall be saved. And so they did. Here again thou hast in these things also
the glory of Jesus, how that in Him and unto Him are all things.
What again saith Moses unto Jesus (Joshua) the son of Nun, when he giveth him this name,
as being a prophet, that all the people might give ear to him alone, because the Father
revealeth all things concerning His Son Jesus?
Moses therefore saith to Jesus the son of Nun, giving him this name, when he sent him as a
spy on the land; Take a book in thy hands, and write what the Lord saith, how the Son of
God shall cut up by the roots all the house of Amalek in the last days.
Barnabas 12:10 Behold again it is Jesus, not a son of
man, but the Son of God, and He was revealed in the flesh in a figure. Since then men will
say that Christ is the son of David, David himself prophesieth being afraid and
understanding the error of sinners; The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on My right hand
until I set thine enemies for a footstool under Thy feet.
Barnabas 12:11 And again thus sayith Isaiah; The Lord
said unto my Christ the Lord, of whose right hand I laid hold, that the nations should
give ear before Him, and I will break down the strength of kings. See how David calleth
Him Lord, and calleth Him not Son.
Now let us see whether this people or the first people hath the inheritance, and whether
the covenant had reference to us or to them.
Hear then what the scripture saith concerning the people; And Isaac prayed concerning
Rebecca his wife, for she was barren. And she conceived. Then Rebecca went out to enquire
of the Lord. And the Lord said unto her; Two nations are in thy womb, and two peoples in
thy belly, and one people shall vanquish another people, and the greater shall serve the
Ye ought to understand who Isaac is, and who Rebecca is, and in whose case He hath shown
that the one people is greater than the other.
And in another prophecy Jacob speaketh more plainly to Joseph his son, saying; Behold, the
Lord hath not bereft me of thy face; bring me thy sons, that I may bless them.
And he brought Ephraim and Manasseh, desiring that Manasseh should be blessed, because he
was the elder; for Joseph led him by the right hand of his father Jacob. But Jacob saw in
the spirit a type of the people that should come afterwards. And what saith He? And Jacob
crossed his hands, and placed his right hand on the head of Ephraim, the second and
younger, and blessed him. And Joseph said unto Jacob, Transfer thy right hand to the head
of Manasseh, for he is my first born son. And Jacob said to Joseph, I know it, my son, I
know it; but the greater shall serve the less. Yet this one also shall be blessed.
Mark in whose cases He ordained that this people should be first and heir of the covenant.
If then besides this He also recorded it through Abraham, we attain the completion of our
knowledge. What then saith he to Abraham when he alone believed, and was ascribed for
righteousness? Behold I have made thee, Abraham, a father of nations that believe in God
Yea verily, but as regards the covenant which He swear to the fathers to give it to the
people let us see whether He hath actually given it. He hath given it, but they themselves
were not found worthy to receive it by reason of their sins.
For the prophet saith; And Moses was fasting in Mount Sinai forty days and forty nights,
that he might receive the covenant of the Lord to give to the people. And [Moses] received
from the Lord the two tables which were written by the finger of the hand of the Lord in
the spirit. And Moses took them, and brought them down to give them to the people.
And the Lord said unto Moses; Moses, Moses, come down quickly; for thy people, whom thou
leddest forth from the land of Egypt, hath done wickedly. And Moses perceived that they
had made for themselves again molten images, and he cast them out of his hands and the
tables of the covenant of the Lord were broken in pieces.
Moses received them, but they themselves were not found worthy. But how did we receive
them? Mark this. Moses received them being a servant, but the Lord himself gave them to us
to be the people of His inheritance, having endured patiently for our sakes.
But He was made manifest, in order that at the same time they might be perfected in their
sins, and we might receive the covenant through Him who inherited it, even the Lord Jesus,
who was prepared beforehand hereunto, that appearing in person He might redeem out of
darkness our hearts which had already been paid over unto death and delivered up to the
iniquity of error, and thus establish the covenant in us through the word.
For it is written how the Father chargeth Him to deliver us from darkness, and to prepare
a holy people for Himself.
Therefore saith the prophet; I the Lord thy God called thee in righteousness, and I will
lay hold of thy hand and will strengthen thee, and I have given thee to be a covenant of
the race, a light to the Gentiles, to open the eyes of the blind, and to bring forth them
that are bound from their fetters, and them that sit in darkness from their prison house.
We perceive then whence we were ransomed.
Again the prophet saith; Behold I have set Thee to be a light unto the Gentiles, that Thou
shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth; thus saith the Lord that ransomed
thee, even God.
Again the prophet saith; The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, wherefore He anointed Me to
preach good tidings to the humble; He hath sent Me to heal them that are broken-hearted,
to preach release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to proclaim the
acceptable year of the Lord and the day of recompense, to comfort all that mourn.
Moreover concerning the Sabbath likewise it is written in the Ten Words, in which He spake
to Moses face to face on Mount Sinai; And ye shall hallow the Sabbath of the Lord with
pure hands and with a pure heart.
And in another place He saith; If my sons observe the Sabbath then I will bestow My mercy
Of the Sabbath He speaketh in the beginning of the creation; And God made the works of His
hands in six days, and He ended on the seventh day, and rested on it, and He hallowed it.
Give heed, children, what this meaneth; He ended in six days. He meaneth this, that in six
thousand years the Lord shall bring all things to an end; for the day with Him signifyeth
a thousand years; and this He himself beareth me witness, saying; Behold, the day of the
Lord shall be as a thousand years. Therefore, children, in si x days, that is in six
thousand years, everything shall come to an end.
And He rested on the seventh day. this He meaneth; when His Son shall come, and shall
abolish the time of the Lawless One, and shall judge the ungodly, and shall change the sun
and the moon and the stars, then shall he truly rest on the seventh day.
Yea and furthermore He saith; Thou shalt hallow it with pure hands and with a pure heart.
If therefore a man is able now to hallow the day which God hallowed, though he be pure in
heart, we have gone utterly astray.
But if after all then and not till then shall we truly rest and hallow it, when we shall
ourselves be able to do so after being justified and receiving the promise, when iniquity
is no more and all things have been made new by the Lord, we shall be able to hallow it
then, because we ourselves shall have been hallowed first.
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.
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.
Moreover I will tell you likewise concerning the temple, how these wretched men being led
astray set their hope on the building, and not on their God that made them, as being a
house of God.
For like the Gentiles almost they consecrated Him in the temple. But what saith the Lord
abolishing the temple? Learn ye. Who hath measured the heaven with a span, or hath
measured the earth with his hand? Have not I, saith the Lord? The heaven is My throne and
the earth the footstool of My feet. What manner of house will ye build for Me? Or what
shall be my resting place? Ye perceive that their hope is vain.
Furthermore He saith again; Behold they that pulled down this temple themselves shall
So it cometh to pass; for because they went to war it was pulled down by their enemies.
Now also the very servants of their enemies shall build it up.
Again, it was revealed how the city and the temple and the people of Israel should be
betrayed. For the scripture saith; And it shall be in the last days, that the Lord shall
deliver up the sheep of the pasture and the fold and the tower thereof to destruction. And
it came to pass as the Lord spake.
But let us enquire whether there be any temple of God. There is; in the place where he
himself undertakes to make and finish it. For it is written And it shall come to pass,
when the week is being accomplished, the temple of God shall be built gloriously in the
name of the Lord.
I find then that there is a temple, How then shall it be built in the name of the Lord?
Understand ye. Before we believed on God, the abode of our heart was corrupt and weak, a
temple truly built by hands; for it was full of idolatry and was a house of demons,
because we did whatsoever was contrary to God.
But it shall be built in the name of the Lord. Give heed then that the temple of the Lord
may be built gloriously.
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
Barnabas 16:10 For he that desireth to be saved looketh
not to the man, but to Him that dwelleth and speaketh in him, being amazed at this that he
has never at any time heard these words from the mouth of the speaker, nor himself ever
desired to hear them. This is the spiritual temple built up to the Lord.
So far as it was possible with all simplicity to declare it unto you, my soul hopeth that
I have not omitted anything [of the matters pertaining unto salvation and so failed in my
For if I should write to you concerning things immediate or future, ye would not
understand them, because they are put in parables. So much then for this.
But let us pass on to another lesson and teaching. There are two ways of teaching and of
power, the one of light and the other of darkness; and there is a great difference between
the two ways. For on the one are stationed the light giving angels of God, on the other
the angels of Satan.
And the one is the Lord from all eternity and unto all eternity, whereas the other is Lord
of the season of iniquity that now is.
This then is the way of light, if anyone desiring to travel on the way to his appointed
place would be zealous in his works. The knowledge then which is given to us whereby we
may walk therein is as follows.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Barnabas 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.
Barnabas 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.
Barnabas 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.
But the way of the Black One is crooked and full of a curse. For it is a way of eternal
death with punishment wherein are the things that destroy men's souls--idolatry, boldness,
exhalation of power, hypocrisy, doubleness of heart, adultery, murder, plundering, pride,
transgression, treachery, malice, stubbornness, witchcraft, magic, covetousness, absence
of the fear of God;
persecutors of good men, hating the truth, loving lies, not perceiving the reward of
righteousness, not cleaving to the good nor to the righteous judgment, paying no heed to
the widow and the orphan, wakeful not for the fear of God but for that which is evil; men
from whom gentleness and forbearance stand aloof and far off; loving vain things, pursuing
a recompense, not pitying the poor man, not toiling for him that is oppressed with toil,
ready to slander, not recognizing Him that made them murderers of children, corrupters of
the creatures of God, turning away from him that is in want, oppressing him that is
afflicted, advocates of the wealthy, unjust judges of the poor, sinful in all things.
It is good therefore to learn the ordinances of the Lord, as many as have been written
above, and to walk in them. For he that doeth these things shall be glorified in the
kingdom of God; whereas he that chooseth their opposites shall perish together with his
works. For this cause is the resurrection, for this the recompense.
I entreat those of you who are in a higher station, if ye will receive any counsel of good
advice from me, keep amongst you those to whom ye may do good. Fail not.
The day is at hand, in which everything shall be destroyed together with the Evil One. The
Lord is at hand and his reward.
Again and again I entreat you; be good lawgivers one to another; continue faithful
councilors to yourselves; take away from you all hypocrisy.
And may God, who is Lord of the whole world, give you wisdom, judgment, learning,
knowledge of His ordinances, patience.
And be ye taught of God, seeking diligently what the Lord requireth of you, and act that
ye may be found in the day of judgment.
But if you have any remembrance of good, call me to mind when ye practice these things
these things, that both my desire and my watchfulness may lead to some good result. I
entreat you asking it as a favor.
So long as the good vessel (of the body) is with you, be lacking in none of these things,
but search them out constantly, and fulfill every commandment; for they deserve it.
For this reason I was the more eager to write to you so far as I was able, that I might
give you joy. Fare ye well, children of love and peace. The Lord of glory and of every
grace be with your spirit.