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BARNABAS

Otherwise known as Joseph, a Levite of Cyprus (Acts 4:36-37). He became a member of the primitive Church. Paul's acceptance by the Christians in Jerusalem was largely due to Barnabas' eloquence in persuading them of Paul's sincerity and the miraculous conversion at Damascus. The two traveled together in the work of the Church in obedience to the Holy Spirit: "I want Barnabas and Saul set apart for the work to which I have called them" (Acts 13:2). They were especially successful in the year they spent together in Antioch, converting many (Acts 11:25-26). The team of Paul and Barnabas was finally disrupted by a "violent quarrel." On Paul's next projected journey Barnabas wanted his nephew, Mark, to accompany them, by t Paul disagreed. The consequence was that Paul chose Silks to accompany him, while Barnabas and Mark traveled to Cyprus (Acts 15:36-40). This new partnership paved the way for Mark's development as Peter's disciple and the second Evangelist. (Etym. Greek barnabas, from Aramaic word, popular meaning "son of consolation.")

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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