Review: The Epistle of Barnabas

The Epistle of Barnabas
The Epistle of Barnabas by St Barnabas
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Barnabas was a dear saint who loved God, but deeply misunderstood the gospel. While his letter is full of wise counsel and commands that set forth the path of loving your neighbor, he has not sufficiently disconnected works from Christ’s righteousness as the means of travel to the “appointed place”. For Barnabas, you are resurrected on account of your walking in the ordinances of the Lord. This is a sad and common mistake, contributing to a stream of darkness in the church that Augustine and a few others would overcome, but a stream that became dominant until Luther began to herald an alien righteousness.

On the bright side, Barnabas understands the eighth day new creation Sabbath, and advances the typological 1000 years/1 day reading of history that requires six day creation. He argues that the Lord’s chosen fast is not soul humiliation, but rather fasting from sin. He also speaks biblically enough of election to allow for the broad meaning that preserves a meaningful doctrine of apostasy.

A mixed bag, and an instructive look at the positives and negatives of the early church’s teaching.

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