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.

I will also speak with you concerning the[*](The Temple) Temple, and show how the wretched men erred by putting their hope on the building, and not on the God who made them, and is the true house of God.

For they consecrated him in the Temple almost like the heathen. But learn how the Lord speaks, in bringing it to naught, Who has measured the heaven with a span, or the earth with his outstretched hand? Have not I? saith the Lord. Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool, what house will ye build for me, or what is the place of my rest? You know that their hope was vain.

Furthermore he says again, Lo, they who destroyed this temple shall themselves build it.

That is happening now. For owing to the war it was destroyed by the enemy; at present even the servants of the enemy will build it up again.

Again, it was made manifest that the city and the temple and the people of Israel were to be delivered up. For the Scripture says, And it shall come to pass in the last days that the Lord shall deliver the sheep of his pasture, and the sheep-fold, and their tower to destruction. And it took place according to what the Lord said.

But let us inquire if a temple of God exists. Yes, it exists, where he himself said that he makes and perfects it. For it is written, And it shall come to

pass when the week is ended that a temple of God shall be built gloriously in the name of the Lord.

I find then that a temple exists. Learn then how it will be built in the name of the Lord. Before we believed in God the habitation of our heart was corrupt and Weak, like a temple really built with hands, because it was full of idolatry, and was the house of demons through doing things which were contrary to God.

But it shall be built in the name of the Lord. Now give heed, in order that the temple of the Lord may be built gloriously. Learn in what way. When we received the remission of sins, and put our hope on the Name, we became new, being created again from the beginning; wherefore God truly dwells in us, in the habitation which we are.

How? His word of faith, the calling of his promise, the wisdom of the ordinances, the commands of the teaching, himself prophesying in us, himself dwelling in us, by opening the door of the temple (that is the mouth) to us, giving repentance to us, and thus he leads us, who have been enslaved to death into the incorruptible temple.

For he who desires to be saved looks not at the man, but at him who dwells and speaks in him, and is amazed at him, for he has never either heard him speak such words with his mouth, nor has he himself ever desired to hear them. This is a spiritual temple being built for the Lord.