The Epistle of Barnabas

Barnabae epistula

Barnabas. The Apostolic Fathers with an English Translation In Two Volumes. Vol. I. Lake, Kirsopp, translator. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; London: William Heinemann Ltd. 1912.

Hail, sons and daughters, in the name of the[*](Greeting and introduction) Lord who loved us, in peace.

Exceedingly and abundantly do I rejoice over your blessed and glorious spirit for the greatness and richness of God’s ordinances towards you; so innate a grace of the gift of the spirit have you received.

Wherefore I congratulate myself the more in my hope of salvation, because I truly see in you that the Spirit has been poured out upon you from the Lord, who is rich in his bounty;[*](Literally spring.) so that the sight of you, for which I longed, amazed me.

Being persuaded then of this, and being conscious that since I spoke among you I have much understanding because the Lord has travelled with me in the way of righteousness, I am above all constrained to this, to love you above my own life, because great faith and love dwell in you in the hope of his life.

I have therefore reckoned that, if I make it my care in your behalf to communicate somewhat of that which I received, it shall bring me the reward of having ministered to such spirits, and I hasten to send you a short letter in order that

your knowledge may be perfected along with your faith.

There are then three doctrines [*](Or possibly ordinances or decrees.) of the Lord:[*](The three doctrines) the hope of life is the beginning and end of our faith; and righteousness is the beginning and end of judgment; love of joy and of gladness is the testimony of the works of righteousness.

For the Lord[*](Prophecy) made known to us through the prophets things past and things present and has given us the firstfruits of the taste of things to come; and when we see these things coming to pass one by one, as he said, we ought to make a richer and deeper offering for fear of him.

But I will show you a few things, not as a teacher but as one of yourselves, in which you shall rejoice at this present time.