The GENERAL EPISTLE OF BARNABAS.
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[Barnabas was a companion and fellow-preacher with Paul. This Epistle lays a greater claim to canonical authority than most others. It has been cited by Clemens Alexandrinus, Origen, Eusebius, and Jerome, and many ancient Fathers. Cotelerius affirms that Origen and Jerome esteemed it genuine and canonical; but Cotelerius himself did not believe it to be either one or the other; on the contrary, he supposes it was written for the benefit of the Ebionites (the christianized Jews,) who were tenacious of rites and ceremonies. Bishop Fell feared to own expressly what he seemed to be persuaded of, that it ought to be treated with the same respect as several of the books of the present canon. Dr. Bernard, Savilian professor at Oxford, not only believed it to be genuine, but that it was read throughout, in the churches at Alexandria, as the canonical scriptures were. Dodwell supposed it to have been published before the Epistle of Jude, and the writings of both the Johns. Vossius, Dupuis, Dr. Cane, Dr. Mill, Dr. S. Clark, Whiston, and Archbishop Wake also esteemed it genuine: Menardus, Archbishop Laud, Spanheim, and others, deemed it apocryphal.]


(William Wake and Solomon Caesar Malan version)



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ALL happiness to you my sons and daughters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, who loved us, in peace.
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Having perceived abundance of knowledge of the great and [*145:1] excellent [*145:2] laws of God to be in you, I exceedingly rejoice in your blessed and admirable [*145:3] souls, because ye have so worthily received the grace which was [*145:4] grafted in you.
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For which cause I am full of joy, hoping the rather to he [*145:5] saved; inasmuch as I truly see a spirit infused into you, from the [*145:6] pure fountain of God:
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Having this persuasion, and being fully convinced thereof, because that since I have begun to speak unto you, I have had a more than ordinary good success in the way of [*145:7] the law of the Lord which is in Christ.
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For which cause [*145:8] brethren, I also think verily that I love you above my own soul: because that therein dwelleth the greatness of faith and charity, as also the hope of that life which is to come.
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Wherefore considering this, that if I shall take care to communicate to you a part of what I have received, it shall turn to my reward, [*145:9] that I have served such good souls; I gave diligence to write in a few words unto you; that together with your faith, [*145:10] knowledge also may be perfect.
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There are therefore three [*145:11] things ordained by the Lord; the hope of life; [*145:12] the beginning and the completion of it.
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For the Lord hath both declared unto us, by the prophets those things that [*145:13] are past; and [*145:14] opened to us the beginnings of those that are to come.
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Wherefore, it will behoove us, [*146:1] as he has spoken, to come [*146:2] more holily, and nearer to his altar.
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I therefore, not as a teacher, but as one [*146:3] of you, will endeavour to lay before you a few things by which you may, on [*146:4] many accounts, become the more joyful.
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Footnotes

^145:1 Honestarum. ^145:2 Aequitatum, Dikaiumatun, righteous judgments. ^145:3 Spiritibus, Disposition. ^145:4 Natural, Gr. emfyton. See chap. xix. emfyton dorean didaxes: which the Lat. Int. renders. Naturale donum Doctrinae. Comp. Jam. i. 21. ^145:5 Liberari: Gr. at videtur suthenai. ^145:6 Honesto from the Gr. kales. ^145:7 Comp. Psalm 119, 33, viz. either by preaching or fulfilling the same. ^145:8 Vid. Annot. Vos. in loc. ^145:9 Talibus spiritibus servienti. Usser. ^145:10 Gnusis. ^145:11 Dogmata kyrioy, Constitutions of the Lord. ^145:12 Viz. faith and Charity. See before. ^145:13 Namely, which we are to believe. ^145:14 That is, which are to be hoped for, and end in love. ^146:1 Given us to know. ^146:2 Honestinus et Altius: he more honestly and highly. ^146:3 Like yourselves. ^146:4 In many things.


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