Epistle of Barnabas
It is to be observed that this writer sometimes speaks as a Gentile, a fact
which some have found it difficult to account for, on the supposition that
he was a Hebrew, if not a Levite as well. But so, also, St. Paul sometimes
speaks as a Roman, and sometimes as a Jew; and, owing to the mixed character
of the early Church, he writes to the Romans iv. 1 as if they were all
Israelites, and again to the same Church (Rom. xi. 13) as if they were all
Gentiles. So this writer sometimes identifies himself with Jewish thought as
a son of Abraham, and again speaks from the Christian position as if he were
a Gentile, thus identifying himself with the catholicity of the Church.
Text edited by Rev. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson and
first published by T&T Clark in Edinburgh in 1867. Additional
introductionary material and notes provided for the American
edition by A. Cleveland Coxe, 1886.
Introductory Note to the Epistle of Barnabas
[a.d. 100.] The writer of this Epistle is supposed to have been an
Alexandrian Jew of the times of Trajan and Hadrian. He was a layman; but
possibly he bore the name of "Barnabas," and so has been confounded with his
holy and apostolic name-sire. It is more probable that the Epistle, being
anonymous, was attributed to St. Barnabas, by those who supposed that
apostle to be the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, and who discovered
similarities in the plan and purpose of the two works. It is with great
reluctance that I yield to modern scholars, in dismissing the ingenious and
temperate argument of Archbishop Wake  for the apostolic origin of
this treatise. The learned Lardner  shares his convictions; and the
very interesting and ingenious views of Jones  never appeared to me
satisfactory, weighed with preponderating arguments, on the other side.
The Maccabæan spirit of the Jews never burned more furiously than after the
destruction of Jerusalem, and while it was kindling the conflagration that
broke out under Barchochebas, and blazed so terribly in the insurrection
against Hadrian.  It is not credible that the Jewish Christians at
Alexandria and elsewhere were able to emancipate themselves from their
national spirit; and accordingly the old Judaizing, which St. Paul had
anathematized and confuted, would assert itself again. If such was the
occasion of this Epistle, as I venture to suppose, a higher character must
be ascribed to it than could otherwise be claimed. This accounts, also, for
the degree of favour with which it was accepted by the primitive faithful.
It is interesting as a specimen of their conflicts with a persistent Judaism
which St. Paul had defeated and anathematized, but which was ever cropping
out among believers originally of the Hebrews.  Their own habits of
allegorizing, and their Oriental tastes, must be borne in mind, if we are
readily disgusted with our author's fancies and refinements. St. Paul
himself pays a practical tribute to their modes of thought, in his Epistle
to the Galatians iv. 24. This is the ad hominem form of rhetoric, familiar
to all speakers, which laid even the apostle open to the slander of enemies
(2 Cor. xii. 16), that he was "crafty," and caught men with guile. It is
interesting to note the more Occidental spirit of Cyprian, as compared with
our author, when he also contends with Judaism. Doubtless we have in the
pseudo-Barnabas something of that œconomy which is always capable of abuse,
and which was destined too soon to overleap the bounds of its moral
But the subject thus opened is vast; and "the Epistle of Barnabas," so
called, still awaits a critical editor, who at the same time shall be a
competent expositor. Nobody can answer these requisitions, who is unable,
for this purpose, to be a Christian of the days of Trajan.
But it will be observed that this version has great advantages over any of
its predecessor, and is a valuable acquisition to the student. The learned
translators have had before them the entire Greek text of the fourth
century, disfigured is true by corruptions, but still very precious, the
rather as they have been able to compare it with the text of Hilgenfeld.
Their editorial notes are sufficient for our own plan; and little has been
left for me to do, according to the scheme of this publication, save to
revise the "copy" for printing. I am glad to presume no further into such a
labyrinth, concerning which the learned and careful Wake modestly professes,
"I have endeavoured to attain to the sense of my author, and to make him as
plain and easy as I was able. If in anything I have chanced to mistake him,
I have only this to say for myself: that he must be better acquainted with
the road than I pretend to be, who will undertake to travel so long a
journey in the dark and never to miss his way."
The following is the original Introductory Notice:
Nothing certain is known as to the author of the following Epistle. The
writer's name is Barnabas, but scarcely any scholars now ascribe it to the
illustrious friend and companion of St. Paul. External and internal evidence
here come into direct collision. The ancient writers who refer to this
Epistle unanimously attribute it to Barnabas the Levite, of Cyprus, who held
such an honourable place in the infant Church. Clement of Alexandria does so
again and again (Strom., ii. 6, ii. 7, etc.). Origen describes it as "a
Catholic Epistle" (Cont. Cels., i. 63), and seems to rank it among the
Sacred Scriptures (Comm. in Rom., i. 24). Other statements have been quoted
from the fathers, to show that they held this to be an authentic production
of the apostolic Barnabas; and certainly no other name is ever hinted at in
Christian antiquity as that of the writer. But notwithstanding this, the
internal evidence is now generally regarded as conclusive against this
opinion. On perusing the Epistle, the reader will be in circumstances to
judge of this matter for himself. He will be led to consider whether the
spirit and tone of the writing, as so decidedly opposed to all respect for
Judaism the numerous inaccuracies which it contains with respect to Mosaic
enactments and observances the absurd and trifling interpretations of
Scripture which it suggests and the many silly vaunts of superior knowledge
in which its writer indulges can possibly comport with its ascription to the
fellow labourer of St. Paul. When it is remembered that no one ascribes the
Epistle to the apostolic Barnabas till the times of Clement of Alexandria,
and that it is ranked by Eusebius among the "spurious" writings, which,
however much known and read in the Church, were never regarded as
authoritative, little doubt can remain that the external evidence is of
itself weak, and should not make us hesitate for a moment in refusing to
ascribe this writing to Barnabas the Apostle.
The date, object, and intended reader of the Epistle can only be doubtfully
inferred from some statements which it contains. It was clearly written
after the destruction of Jerusalem, since reference is made to that event
(chap. xvi.), but how long after is matter of much dispute. The general
opinion is, that its date is not later than the middle of the second
century, and that it cannot be placed earlier than some twenty or thirty
years before. In point of style, both as respects thought and expression, a
very low place must be assigned it. We know nothing certain of the region in
which the author lived, or where the first readers were to be found. The
intention of the writer, as he himself states (chap. i), was "to perfect the
knowledge" of those to whom he wrote. Hilgenfeld, who has devoted much
attention to this Epistle, holds that "it was written at the close of the
first century by a Gentile Christian of the school of Alexandria, with the
view of winning back, or guarding from a Judaic form of Christianity, those
Christians belonging to the same class as himself."
Until the recent discovery of the Codex Sinaiticus by Tischendorf, the first
four and a half chapters were known only in an ancient Latin version. The
whole Greek text is now happily recovered, though it is in many places very
corrupt. We have compared its readings throughout, and noted the principal
variations from the text represented in our version. We have also made
frequent reference to the text adopted by Hilgenfeld in his recent edition
of the Epistle (Lipsiæ, T. O. Weigel, 1886).
 Discourse (p. 148) to his Genuine Epistles of the Apostolical
Fathers. Philadelphia, 1846.
 Works, ii. 250, note; and iv. 128.
 On the Canon, vol. ii. p. 431.
 To those who may adhere to the older opinion, let me commend the
eloquent and instructive chapter (xxiii.) in Farrar's Life of St. Paul.
 Hadrian's purpose to rebuild their city seems to be pointed out in
 M. Renan may be read with pain, and yet with profit, in much that his
Gallio-spirit suggests on this subject. Chap. v., St. Paul, Paris, 1884.
The Epistle of Barnabas 
Chapter. After the salutation, the writer declares that he would
communicate to his brethren something of that which he had himself received.
All hail, ye sons and daughters, in the name of our Lord  Jesus
Christ, who loved us in peace.
Seeing that the divine fruits  of righteousness abound among you, I
rejoice exceedingly and above measure in your happy and honoured spirits,
because ye have with such effect received the engrafted  spiritual
gift. Wherefore also I inwardly rejoice the more, hoping to be saved,
because I truly perceive in you the Spirit poured forth from the rich Lord
 of love. Your greatly desired appearance has thus filled me with
astonishment over you.  I am therefore pursuaded of this, and fully
convinced in my own mind, that since I began to speak among you I understand
many things, because the Lord hath accompanied me in the way of
righteousness. I am also on this account bound  by the strictest
obligation to love you above my own soul, because great are the faith and
love dwelling in you, while you hope for the life which He has promised.
 Considering this, therefore, that if I should take the trouble to
communicate to you some portion of what I have myself received, it will
prove to me a sufficient reward that I minister to such spirits, I have
hastened briefly to write unto you, in order that, along with your faith, ye
might have perfect knowledge. The doctrines of the Lord, then, are three:
 the hope of life, the beginning and the completion of it. For the
Lord hath made known to us by the prophets both the things which are past
and present, giving us also the first-fruits of the knowledge  of
things to come, which things as we see accomplished, one by one, we ought
with the greater richness of faith  and elevation of spirit to draw
near to Him with reverence.  I then, not as your teacher, but as one
of yourselves, will set forth a few things by which in present circumstances
ye may be rendered the more joyful.
 The Cod. Sin. has simply, "the Lord."
 Literally, "the judgments of God being great and rich towards you;"
but, as Hefele remarks, dikaiōma seems here to have the meaning of
righteousness, as in Rom. v. 18.
 This appears to be the meaning of the Greek, and is confirmed by the
ancient Latin version. Hilgenfeld, however, following Cod. Sin., reads
"thus," instead of "because," and separates the clauses.
 The Latin reads, "spirit infused into you from the honourable
fountain of God."
 This sentence is entirely omitted in the Latin.
 The Latin text is here quite different, and seems evidently corrupt.
We have followed the Cod. Sin., as does Hilgenfeld.
 Literally, "in the hope of His life."
 The Greek is here totally unintelligible: it seems impossible either
to punctuate or construe it. We may attempt to represent it as follows: "The
doctrines of the Lord, then, are three: Life, Faith, and Hope, our beginning
and end; and Righteousness, the beginning and the end of judgment; Love and
Joy and the Testimony of gladness for works of righteousness." We have
followed the ancient Latin text, which Hilgenfeld also adopts, though
Weitzäcker and others prefer the Greek.
 Instead of "knowledge" (gnōseōs), Cod. Sin. has "taste" (geuseōs).
 Literally, "we ought more richly and loftily to approach His fear."
 Instead of, "to Him with fear," the reading of Cod. Sin., the Latin
has, "to His altar," which Hilgenfeld adopts.
Chapter I. The Jewish sacrifices are now abolished.
Since, therefore, the days are evil, and Satan  possesses the power of
this world, we ought to give heed to ourselves, and diligently inquire into
the ordinances of the Lord. Fear and patience, then, are helpers of our
faith; and long-suffering and continence are things which fight on our side.
While these remain pure in what respects the Lord, Wisdom, Understanding,
Science, and Knowledge rejoice along with them.  For He hath revealed
to us by all the prophets that He needs neither sacrifices, nor
burnt-offerings, nor oblations, saying thus, "What is the multitude of your
sacrifices unto Me, saith the Lord? I am full of burnt-offerings, and desire
not the fat of lambs, and the blood of bulls and goats, not when ye come to
appear before Me: for who hath required these things at your hands? Tread no
more My courts, not though ye bring with you fine flour. Incense is a vain
abomination unto Me, and your new moons and sabbaths I cannot endure."
 He has therefore abolished these things, that the new law of our Lord
Jesus Christ, which is without the yoke of necessity, might have a human
oblation.  And again He says to them, "Did I command your fathers,
when they went out from the land of Egypt, to offer unto Me burnt-offerings
and sacrifices? But this rather I commanded them, Let no one of you cherish
any evil in his heart against his neighbour, and love not an oath of
falsehood."  We ought therefore, being possessed of understanding, to
perceive the gracious intention of our Father; for He speaks to us, desirous
that we, not  going astray like them, should ask how we may approach
Him. To us, then, He declares, "A sacrifice [pleasing] to God is a broken
spirit; a smell of sweet savour to the Lord is a heart that glorifieth Him
that made it."  We ought therefore, brethren, carefully to inquire
concerning our salvation, lest the wicked one, having made his entrance by
deceit, should hurl  us forth from our [true] life.
 The Latin text is literally, "the adversary;" the Greek has, "and he
that worketh possesseth power;" Hilgenfeld reads, "he that worketh
against," the idea expressed above being intended.
 Or, "while these things continue, those which respect the Lord
rejoice in purity along with them Wisdom," etc.
 Isa. i. 11-14, from the Sept., as is the case throughout. We have
given the quotation as it stands in Cod. Sin.
 Thus in the Latin. The Greek reads, "might not have a man-made
oblation." The Latin text seems preferable, implying that, instead of the
outward sacrifices of the law, there is now required a dedication of man
himself. Hilgenfeld follows the Greek.
 Jer. vii. 22; Zech. viii. 17.
 So the Greek. Hilgenfeld, with the Latin, omits "not."
 Ps. li. 19. There is nothing in Scripture corresponding to the last
 Literally, "sling us out."
Chapter II. The fasts of the Jews are not true fasts, nor acceptable to God.
He says then to them again concerning these things, "Why do ye fast to Me as
on this day, saith the Lord, that your voice should be heard with a cry? I
have not chosen this fast, saith the Lord, that a man should humble his
soul. Nor, though ye bend your neck like a ring, and put upon you sackcloth
and ashes, will ye call it an acceptable fast."  To us He saith,
"Behold, this is the fast that I have chosen, saith the Lord, not that a man
should humble his soul, but that he should loose every band of iniquity,
untie the fastenings of harsh agreements, restore to liberty them that are
bruised, tear in pieces every unjust engagement, feed the hungry with thy
bread, clothe the naked when thou seest him, bring the homeless into thy
house, not despise the humble if thou behold him, and not [turn away] from
the members of thine own family. Then shall thy dawn break forth, and thy
healing shall quickly spring up, and righteousness shall go forth before
thee, and the glory of God shall encompass thee; and then thou shalt call,
and God shall hear thee; whilst thou art yet speaking, He shall say, Behold,
I am with thee; if thou take away from thee the chain [binding others], and
the stretching forth of the hands  [to swear falsely], and words of
murmuring, and give cheerfully thy bread to the hungry, and show compassion
to the soul that has been humbled."  To this end, therefore, brethren,
He is long-suffering, foreseeing how the people whom He has prepared shall
with guilelessness believe in His Beloved. For He revealed all these things
to us beforehand, that we should not rush forward as rash acceptors of their
 Isa. lviii. 4, 5.
 The original here is cheirotonian, from the LXX. Hefele remarks, that
it may refer to the stretching forth of the hands, either to swear falsely,
or to mock and insult one's neighbour.
 Isa. lviii. 6-10.
 The Greek is here unintelligible: the Latin has, "that we should not
rush on, as if proselytes to their law."
Chapter IV. Antichrist is at hand: let us therefore avoid Jewish errors.
It therefore behoves us, who inquire much concerning events at hand, 
to search diligently into those things which are able to save us. Let us
then utterly flee from all the works of iniquity, lest these should take
hold of us; and let us hate the error of the present time, that we may set
our love on the world to come: let us not give loose reins to our soul, that
it should have power to run with sinners and the wicked, lest we become like
them. The final stumbling-block (or source of danger) approaches, concerning
which it is written, as Enoch  says, "For for this end the Lord has
cut short the times and the days, that His Beloved may hasten; and He will
come to the inheritance." And the prophet also speaks thus: "Ten kingdoms
shall reign upon the earth, and a little king shall rise up after them, who
shall subdue under one three of the kings."  In like manner Daniel
says concerning the same, "And I beheld the fourth beast, wicked and
powerful, and more savage than all the beasts of the earth, and how from it
sprang up ten horns, and out of them a little budding horn, and how it
subdued under one three of the great horns."  Ye ought therefore to
understand. And this also I further beg of you, as being one of you, and
loving you both individually and collectively more than my own soul, to take
heed now to yourselves, and not to be like some, adding largely to your
sins, and saying, "The covenant is both theirs and ours."  But they
thus finally lost it, after Moses had already received it. For the Scripture
saith, "And Moses was fasting in the mount forty days and forty nights, and
received the covenant from the Lord, tables of stone written with the finger
of the hand of the Lord;"  but turning away to idols, they lost it.
For the Lord speaks thus to Moses: "Moses go down quickly; for the people
whom thou hast brought out of the land of Egypt have transgressed." 
And Moses understood [the meaning of God], and cast the two tables out of
his hands; and their covenant was broken, in order that the covenant of the
beloved Jesus might be sealed upon our heart, in the hope which flows from
believing in Him.  Now, being desirous to write many things to you,
not as your teacher, but as becometh one who loves you, I have taken care
not to fail to write to you from what I myself possess, with a view to your
purification.  We take earnest  heed in these last days; for the
whole [past] time of your faith will profit you nothing, unless now in this
wicked time we also withstand coming sources of danger, as becometh the sons
of God. That the Black One  may find no means of entrance, let us flee
from every vanity, let us utterly hate the works of the way of wickedness.
Do not, by retiring apart, live a solitary life, as if you were already
[fully] justified; but coming together in one place, make common inquiry
concerning what tends to your general welfare. For the Scripture saith, "Woe
to them who are wise to themselves, and prudent in their own sight!" 
Let us be spiritually-minded: let us be a perfect temple to God. As much as
in us lies, let us meditate upon the fear of God, and let us keep His
commandments, that we may rejoice in His ordinances. The Lord will judge the
world without respect of persons. Each will receive as he has done: if he is
righteous, his righteousness will precede him; if he is wicked, the reward
of wickedness is before him. Take heed, lest resting at our ease, as those
who are the called [of God], we should fall asleep in our sins, and the
wicked prince, acquiring power over us, should thrust us away from the
kingdom of the Lord. And all the more attend to this, my brethren, when ye
reflect and behold, that after so great signs and wonders were wrought in
Israel, they were thus [at length] abandoned. Let us beware lest we be found
[fulfilling that saying], as it is written, "Many are called, but few are
 Or it might be rendered, "things present." Cotelerius reads, "de his
 The Latin reads, "Daniel" instead of "Enoch;" comp. Dan. ix. 24-27.
 Dan. vii. 24, very loosely quoted.
 Dan. vii. 7, 8, also very inaccurately cited.
 We here follow the Latin text in preference to the Greek, which reads
merely, "the covenant is ours." What follows seems to show the correctness
of the Latin, as the author proceeds to deny that the Jews had any further
interest in the promises.
 Ex. xxxi. 18, Ex. xxxiv. 28.
 Ex. xxxii. 7; Deut. ix. 12.
 Literally, "in hope of His faith."
 The Greek is here incorrect and unintelligible; and as the Latin
omits the clause, our translation is merely conjectural. Hilgenfeld's text,
if we give a somewhat peculiar meaning to ellipein, may be translated: "but
as it is becoming in one who loves you not to fail in giving you what we
have, I, though the very offscouring of you, have been eager to write to
 So the Cod. Sin. Hilgenfeld reads, with the Latin, "let us take."
 The Latin here departs entirely from the Greek text, and quotes as a
saying of "the Son of God" the following precept, nowhere to be found in the
New Testament: "Let us resist all iniquity, and hold it in hatred."
Hilgenfeld joins this clause to the former sentence.
 Isa. v. 21.
 An exact quotation from Matt. xx. 16or Matt. xxii. 14. It is worthy
of notice that this is the first example in the writings of the Fathers of a
citation from any book of the New Testament, preceded by the authoritative
formula, "it is written."
Chapter V. The new covenant, founded on the sufferings of Christ, tends to
our salvation, but to the Jews destruction.
For to this end the Lord endured to deliver up His flesh to corruption, that
we might be sanctified through the remission of sins, which is effected by
His blood of sprinkling. For it is written concerning Him, partly with
reference to Israel, and partly to us; and [the Scripture] saith thus: "He
was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities: with His
stripes we are healed. He was brought as a sheep to the slaughter, and as a
lamb which is dumb before its shearer."  Therefore we ought to be
deeply grateful to the Lord, because He has both made known to us things
that are past, and hath given us wisdom concerning things present, and hath
not left us without understanding in regard to things which are to come.
Now, the Scripture saith, "Not unjustly are nets spread out for birds."
 This means that the man perishes justly, who, having a knowledge of
the way of righteousness, rushes off into the way of darkness. And further,
my brethren: if the Lord endured to suffer for our soul, He being Lord of
all the world, to whom God said at the foundation of the world, "Let us make
man after our image, and after our likeness,"  understand how it was
that He endured to suffer at the hand of men. The prophets, having obtained
grace from Him, prophesied concerning Him. And He (since it behoved Him to
appear in flesh), that He might abolish death, and reveal the resurrection
from the dead, endured [what and as He did], in order that He might fulfil
the promise made unto the fathers, and by preparing a new people for
Himself, might show, while He dwelt on earth, that He, when He has raised
mankind, will also judge them. Moreover, teaching Israel, and doing so great
miracles and signs, He preached [the truth] to him, and greatly loved him.
But when He chose His own apostles who were to preach His Gospel, [He did so
from among those] who were sinners above all sin, that He might show He came
"not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."  Then He
manifested Himself to be the Son of God. For if He had not come in the
flesh, how could men have been saved by beholding Him?  Since looking
upon the sun which is to cease to exist, and is the work of His hands, their
eyes are not able to bear his rays. The Son of God therefore came in the
flesh with this view, that He might bring to a head the sum of their sins
who had persecuted His prophets  to the death. For this purpose, then,
He endured. For God saith, "The stroke of his flesh is from them;" 
and  "when I shall smite the Shepherd, then the sheep of the flock
shall be scattered."  He himself willed thus to suffer, for it was
necessary that He should suffer on the tree. For says he who prophesies
regarding Him, "Spare my soul from the sword,  fasten my flesh with
nails; for the assemblies of the wicked have risen up against me." 
And again he says, "Behold, I have given my back to scourges, and my cheeks
to strokes, and I have set my countenance as a firm rock." 
 Isa. liii. 5, 7.
 Prov. i. 17, from the LXX, which has mistaken the meaning.
 Gen. i. 26.
 Matt. ix. 13; Mark ii. 17; Luke v. 32.
 The Cod. Sin. reads, "neither would men have been saved by seeing
 Cod. Sin. has, "their prophets," but the corrector has changed it as
 A very loose reference to Isa. liii. 8.
 Cod. Sin. omits "and," and reads, "when they smite their own
shepherd, then the sheep of the pasture shall be scattered and fail."
 Zech. xiii. 7.
 Cod. Sin. inserts "and."
 These are inaccurate and confused quotations from Ps. xxii. 21, 17,
and Ps. cxix. 120.
 Isa. l. 6, 7.
Chapter VI. The sufferings of Christ, and the new covenant, were announced by
When, therefore, He has fulfilled the commandment, what saith He? "Who is he
that will contend with Me? let him oppose Me: or who is he that will enter
into judgment with Me? let him draw near to the servant of the Lord." 
"Woe unto you, for ye shall all wax old, like a garment, and the moth shall
eat you up."  And again the prophet says, "Since  as a mighty
stone He is laid for crushing, behold I cast down for the foundations of
Zion a stone, precious, elect, a corner-stone, honourable." Next, what says
He? "And he who shall trust  in it shall live for ever." Is our hope,
then, upon a stone? Far from it. But [the language is used] inasmuch as He
laid his flesh [as a foundation] with power; for He says, "And He placed me
as a firm rock."  And the prophet says again, "The stone which the
builders rejected, the same has become the head of the corner."  And
again he says, "This is the great and wonderful day which the Lord hath
made."  I write the more simply unto you, that ye may understand. I am
the off-scouring of your love.  What, then, again says the prophet?
"The assembly of the wicked surrounded me; they encompassed me as bees do a
honeycomb,"  and "upon my garment they cast lots."  Since,
therefore, He was about to be manifested and to suffer in the flesh, His
suffering was foreshown. For the prophet speaks against Israel, "Woe to
their soul, because they have counselled an evil counsel against themselves,
 saying, Let us bind the just one, because he is displeasing to us."
 And Moses also says to them,  "Behold these things, saith the
Lord God: Enter into the good land which the Lord swore [to give] to
Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and inherit ye it, a land flowing with milk
and honey."  What, then, says Knowledge?  Learn: "Trust," she
says, "in Him who is to be manifested to you in the flesh that is, Jesus."
For man is earth in a suffering state, for the formation of Adam was from
the face of the earth. What, then, meaneth this: "into the good land, a land
flowing with milk and honey?" Blessed be our Lord, who has placed in us
wisdom and understanding of secret things. For the prophet says, "Who shall
understand the parable of the Lord, except him who is wise and prudent, and
who loves his Lord?"  Since, therefore, having renewed us by the
remission of our sins, He hath made us after another pattern, [it is His
purpose] that we should possess the soul of children, inasmuch as He has
created us anew by His Spirit.  For the Scripture says concerning us,
while He speaks to the Son, "Let Us make man after Our image, and after Our
likeness; and let them have dominion over the beasts of the earth, and the
fowls of heaven, and the fishes of the sea."  And the Lord said, on
beholding the fair creature  man, "Increase, and multiply, and
replenish the earth."  These things [were spoken] to the Son. Again, I
will show thee how, in respect to us,  He has accomplished a second
fashioning in these last days. The Lord says, "Behold, I will make 
the last like the first."  In reference to this, then, the prophet
proclaimed, "Enter ye into the land flowing with milk and honey, and have
dominion over it."  Behold, therefore, we have been refashioned, as
again He says in another prophet, "Behold, saith the Lord, I will take away
from these, that is, from those whom the Spirit of the Lord foresaw, their
stony hearts, and I will put hearts of flesh within them,"  because He
 was to be manifested in flesh, and to sojourn among us. For, my
brethren, the habitation of our heart is a holy temple to the Lord. 
For again saith the Lord, "And wherewith shall I appear before the Lord my
God, and be glorified?"  He says,  "I will confess to thee in
the Church in the midst  of my brethren; and I will praise thee in the
midst of the assembly of the saints."  We, then, are they whom He has
led into the good land. What, then, mean milk and honey? This, that as the
infant is kept alive first by honey, and then by milk, so also we, being
quickened and kept alive by the faith of the promise and by the word, shall
live ruling over the earth. But He said above,  "Let them increase,
and rule over the fishes."  Who then is able to govern the beasts, or
the fishes, or the fowls of heaven? For we ought to perceive that to govern
implies authority, so that one should command and rule. If, therefore, this
does not exist at present, yet still He has promised it to us. When? When we
ourselves also have been made perfect [so as] to become heirs of the
covenant of the Lord. 
 Isa. l. 8.
 Isa. l. 9.
 The Latin omits "since," but it is found in all the Greek mss.
 Cod. Sin. has "believe." Isa. viii. 14, Isa. xxviii. 16.
 Isa. l. 7.
 Ps. cxviii. 22.
 Ps. cxviii. 24.
 Comp. 1 Cor. iv. 13. The meaning is, "My love to you is so great,
that I am ready to be or to do all things for you."
 Ps. xxii. 17, Ps. cxviii. 12.
 Ps. xxii. 19.
 Isa. iii. 9.
 Wisdom ii. 12. This apocryphal book is thus quoted as Scripture, and
intertwined with it.
 Cod. Sin. reads, "What says the other prophet Moses unto them?"
 Ex. xxxiii. 1; Lev. xx. 24.
 The original word is "Gnosis," the knowledge peculiar to advanced
Christians, by which they understand the mysteries of Scripture.
 Not found in Scripture. Comp. Isa. xl. 13; Prov. i. 6. Hilgenfeld,
however, changes the usual punctuation, which places a colon after prophet,
and reads, "For the prophet speaketh the parable of the Lord. Who shall
 The Greek is here very elliptical and obscure: "His Spirit" is
inserted above, from the Latin.
 Gen. i. 26.
 Cod. Sin. has "our fair formation."
 Gen. i. 28.
 Cod. Sin. inserts, "the Lord says."
 Cod. Sin. has "I make."
 Not in Scripture, but comp. Matt. xx. 16, and 2 Cor. v. 17.
 Ex. xxxiii. 3.
 Ezek. xi. 19, Ezek. xxxvi. 26.
 Cod. Sin. inserts "Himself;" comp. John i. 14.
 Comp. Eph. ii. 21.
 Comp. Ps. xlii. 2.
 Cod. Sin. omits "He says."
 Cod. Sin. omits "in the midst."
 Ps. xxii. 23; Heb. ii. 12.
 Cod. Sin. has "But we said above."
 Gen. i. 28.
 These are specimens of the "Gnosis," or faculty of bringing out the
hidden spiritual meaning of Scripture referred to before. Many more such
Chapter VII. Fasting, and the goat sent away, were types of Christ.
Understand, then, ye children of gladness, that the good Lord has foreshown
all things to us, that we might know to whom we ought for everything to
render thanksgiving and praise. If therefore the Son of God, who is Lord [of
all things], and who will judge the living and the dead, suffered, that His
stroke might give us life, let us believe that the Son of God could not have
suffered except for our sakes. Moreover, when fixed to the cross, He had
given Him to drink vinegar and gall. Hearken how the priests of the people
 gave previous indications of this. His commandment having been
written, the Lord enjoined, that whosoever did not keep the fast should be
put to death, because He also Himself was to offer in sacrifice for our sins
the vessel of the Spirit, in order that the type established in Isaac when
he was offered upon the altar might be fully accomplished. What, then, says
He in the prophet? "And let them eat of the goat which is offered, with
fasting, for all their sins."  Attend carefully: "And let all the
priests alone eat the inwards, unwashed with vinegar." Wherefore? Because to
me, who am to offer my flesh for the sins of my new people, ye are to give
gall with vinegar to drink: eat ye alone, while the people fast and mourn in
sackcloth and ashes. [These things were done] that He might show that it was
necessary for Him to suffer for them.  How,  then, ran the
commandment? Give your attention. Take two goats of goodly aspect, and
similar to each other, and offer them. And let the priest take one as a
burnt-offering for sins.  And what should they do with the other?
"Accursed," says He, "is the one." Mark how the type of Jesus  now
comes out. "And all of you spit upon it, and pierce it, and encircle its
head with scarlet wool, and thus let it be driven into the wilderness." And
when all this has been done, he who bears the goat brings it into the
desert, and takes the wool off from it, and places that upon a shrub which
is called Rachia,  of which also we are accustomed to eat the fruits
 when we find them in the field. Of this  kind of shrub alone
the fruits are sweet. Why then, again, is this? Give good heed. [You see]
"one upon the altar, and the other accursed;" and why [do you behold] the
one that is accursed crowned? Because they shall see Him then in that day
having a scarlet robe about his body down to his feet; and they shall say,
Is not this He whom we once despised, and pierced, and mocked, and
crucified? Truly this is  He who then declared Himself to be the Son
of God. For how like is He to Him!  With a view to this, [He required]
the goats to be of goodly aspect, and similar, that, when they see Him then
coming, they may be amazed by the likeness of the goat. Behold, then, 
the type of Jesus who was to suffer. But why is it that they place the wool
in the midst of thorns? It is a type of Jesus set before the view of the
Church. [They  place the wool among thorns], that any one who wishes
to bear it away may find it necessary to suffer much, because the thorn is
formidable, and thus obtain it only as the result of suffering. Thus also,
says He, "Those who wish to behold Me, and lay hold of My kingdom, must
through tribulation and suffering obtain Me." 
 Cod. Sin. reads "temple," which is adopted by Hilgenfeld.
 Not to be found in Scripture, as is the case also with what follows.
Hefele remarks, that "certain false traditions respecting the Jewish rites
seem to have prevailed among the Christians of the second century, of which
Barnabas here adopts some, as do Justin (Dial. c. Try. 40) and Tertullian
(adv. Jud. 14; adv. Marc. iii. 7)."
 Cod. Sin. has "by them."
 Cod. Sin. reads, "what commanded He?"
 Cod. Sin. reads, "one as a burnt-offering, and one for sins."
 Cod. Sin. reads, "type of God," but it has been corrected to
 In Cod. Sin. we find "Rachel." The orthography is doubtful, but there
is little question that a kind of bramble-bush is intended.
 Thus the Latin interprets: others render "shoots."
 Cod. Sin. has "thus" instead of "this."
 Literally, "was."
 The text is here in great confusion, though the meaning is plain.
Dressel reads, "For how are they alike, and why [does He enjoin] that the
goats should be good and alike?" The Cod. Sin. reads, "How is He like Him?
For this that," etc.
 Cod. Sin. here inserts "the goat."
 Cod. Sin. reads, "for as he who so, says he," etc.
 Comp. Acts xiv. 22.
Chapter VIII. The red heifer a type of Christ.
Now what do you suppose this to be a type of, that a command was given to
Israel, that men of the greatest wickedness  should offer a heifer,
and slay and burn it, and, that then boys should take the ashes, and put
these into vessels, and bind round a stick  purple wool along with
hyssop, and that thus the boys should sprinkle the people, one by one, in
order that they might be purified from their sins? Consider how He speaks to
you with simplicity. The calf  is Jesus: the sinful men offering it
are those who led Him to the slaughter. But now the men are no longer
guilty, are no longer regarded as sinners.  And the boys that sprinkle
are those that have proclaimed to us the remission of sins and purification
of heart. To these He gave authority to preach the Gospel, being twelve in
number, corresponding to the twelve tribes  of Israel. But why are
there three boys that sprinkle? To correspond  to Abraham, and Isaac,
and Jacob, because these were great with God. And why was the wool [placed]
upon the wood? Because by wood Jesus holds His kingdom, so that [through the
cross] those believing on Him shall live for ever. But why was hyssop joined
with the wool? Because in His kingdom the days will be evil and polluted in
which we shall be saved, [and] because he who suffers in body is cured
through the cleansing  efficacy of hyssop. And on this account the
things which stand thus are clear to us, but obscure to them because they
did not hear the voice of the Lord.
 Literally, "men in whom sins are perfect." Of this, and much more
that follows, no mention is made in Scripture.
 Cod. Sin. has "upon sticks," and adds, "Behold again the type of the
cross, both the scarlet wool and the hyssop," adopted by Hilgenfeld.
 Cod. Sin. has, "the law is Christ Jesus," corrected to the above.
 The Greek text is, "then no longer [sinful] men, no longer the glory
of sinners," which Dressel defends and Hilgenfeld adopts, but which is
 Literally, "in witness of the tribes."
 "In witness of."
 Thus the sense seems to require, and thus Dressel translates, though
it is difficult to extract such a meaning from the Greek text.
Chapter IX. The spiritual meaning of circumcision.
He speaks moreover concerning our ears, how He hath circumcised both them
and our heart. The Lord saith in the prophet, "In the hearing of the ear
they obeyed me."  And again He saith, "By hearing, those shall hear
who are afar off; they shall know what I have done."  And, "Be ye
circumcised in your hearts, saith the Lord."  And again He says,
"Hear, O Israel, for these things saith the Lord thy God."  And once
more the Spirit of the Lord proclaims, "Who is he that wishes to live for
ever? By hearing let him hear the voice of my servant."  And again He
saith, "Hear, O heaven, and give ear, O earth, for God  hath
spoken."  These are in proof.  And again He saith, "Hear the
word of the Lord, ye rulers of this people."  And again He saith,
"Hear, ye children, the voice of one crying in the wilderness." 
Therefore He hath circumcised our ears, that we might hear His word and
believe, for the circumcision in which they trusted is abolished.  For
He declared that circumcision was not of the flesh, but they transgressed
because an evil angel deluded them.  He saith to them, "These things
saith the Lord your God" (here  I find a new  commandment) "Sow
not among thorns, but circumcise yourselves to the Lord."  And why
speaks He thus: "Circumcise the stubbornness of your heart, and harden not
your neck?"  And again: "Behold, saith the Lord, all the nations are
uncircumcised  in the flesh, but this people are uncircumcised in
heart."  But thou wilt say, "Yea, verily the people are circumcised
for a seal." But so also is every Syrian and Arab, and all the priests of
idols: are these then also within the bond of His covenant?  Yea, the
Egyptians also practise circumcision. Learn then, my children, concerning
all things richly,  that Abraham, the first who enjoined circumcision,
looking forward in spirit to Jesus, practised that rite, having received the
mysteries  of the three letters. For [the Scripture] saith, "And
Abraham circumcised ten, and eight, and three hundred men of his
household."  What, then, was the knowledge given to him in this? Learn
the eighteen first, and then the three hundred.  The ten and the eight
are thus denoted Ten by I, and Eight by Ē.  You have [the initials of
the, name of] Jesus. And because  the cross was to express the grace
[of our redemption] by the letter T, he says also, "Three Hundred." He
signifies, therefore, Jesus by two letters, and the cross by one. He knows
this, who has put within us the engrafted  gift of His doctrine. No
one has been admitted by me to a more excellent piece of knowledge 
than this, but I know that ye are worthy.
 Ps. xviii. 44.
 Isa. xxxiii. 13.
 Jer. iv. 4.
 Jer. vii. 2.
 Ps. xxxiv. 11-13. The first clause of this sentence is wanting in
 Cod. Sin. has "Lord."
 Isa. i. 2.
 In proof of the spiritual meaning of circumcision; but Hilgenfeld
joins the words to the preceding sentence.
 Isa. i. 10.
 Cod. Sin. reads, "it is the voice," corrected, however, as above.
 Cod. Sin. has, "that we might hear the word, and not only believe,"
plainly a corrupt text.
 Cod. Sin., at first hand, has "slew them," but is corrected as above.
 The meaning is here very obscure, but the above rendering and
punctuation seem preferable to any other.
 Cod. Sin., with several other mss., leaves out "new."
 Jer. iv. 3. Cod. Sin. has "God" instead of "Lord."
 Deut. x. 16.
 This contrast seems to be marked in the original. Cod. Sin. has,
"Behold, receive again."
 Jer. ix. 25, 26.
 Dressel and Hilgenfeld read, "their covenant," as does Cod. Sin.; we
have followed Hefele.
 Cod. Sin. has "children of love," omitting "richly," and inserting it
before "looking forward."
 Literally, "doctrines."
 Not found in Scripture: but comp. Gen. xvii. 26, 27, Gen. xiv. 14.
 Cod. Sin. inserts, "and then making a pause."
 This sentence is altogether omitted by inadvertence in Cod. Sin.
 Some mss. here read, "and further:" the above is the reading in Cod.
Sin., and is also that of Hefele.
 This is rendered in the Latin, "the more profound gift," referring,
as it does, to the Gnosis of the initiated. The same word is used in chap.
 Literally, "has learned a more germane (or genuine) word from me,"
being an idle vaunt on account of the ingenuity in interpreting Scripture he
has just displayed.
Chapter X. Spiritual significance of the precepts of Moses respecting
different kinds of food.
Now, wherefore did Moses say, "Thou shalt not eat the swine, nor the eagle,
nor the hawk, nor the raven, nor any fish which is not possessed of
scales?"  He embraced three doctrines in his mind [in doing so].
Moreover, the Lord saith to them in Deuteronomy, "And I will establish my
ordinances among this people."  Is there then not a command of God
they should not eat [these things]? There is, but Moses spoke with a
spiritual reference.  For this reason he named the swine, as much as
to say, "Thou shalt not join thyself to men who resemble swine." For when
they live in pleasure, they forget their Lord; but when they come to want,
they acknowledge the Lord. And [in like manner] the swine, when it has
eaten, does not recognize its master; but when hungry it cries out, and on
receiving food is quiet again. "Neither shalt thou eat," says he "the eagle,
nor the hawk, nor the kite, nor the raven." "Thou shalt not join thyself,"
he means, "to such men as know not how to procure food for themselves by
labour and sweat, but seize on that of others in their iniquity, and
although wearing an aspect of simplicity, are on the watch to plunder
others."  So these birds, while they sit idle, inquire how they may
devour the flesh of others, proving themselves pests [to all] by their
wickedness. "And thou shalt not eat," he says, "the lamprey, or the polypus,
or the cuttlefish." He means, "Thou shalt not join thyself or be like to
such men as are ungodly to the end, and are condemned  to death." In
like manner as those fishes, above accursed, float in the deep, not swimming
[on the surface] like the rest, but make their abode in the mud which lies
at the bottom. Moreover, "Thou shall not," he says, "eat the hare."
Wherefore? "Thou shall not be a corrupter of boys, nor like unto such."
 Because the hare multiplies, year by year, the places of its
conception; for as many years as it lives so many  it has. Moreover,
"Thou shall not eat the hyena." He means, "Thou shall not be an adulterer,
nor a corrupter, nor be like to them that are such." Wherefore? Because that
animal annually changes its sex, and is at one time male, and at another
female. Moreover, he has rightly detested the weasel. For he means, "Thou
shalt not be like to those whom we hear of as committing wickedness with the
mouth,  on account of their uncleanness; nor shall thou be joined to
those impure women who commit iniquity with the mouth. For this animal
conceives by the mouth." Moses then issued  three doctrines concerning
meats with a spiritual significance; but they received them according to
fleshly desire, as if he had merely spoken of [literal] meats. David,
however, comprehends the knowledge of the three doctrines, and speaks in
like manner: "Blessed is the man who hath not walked in the counsel of the
ungodly,"  even as the fishes [referred to] go in darkness to the
depths [of the sea]; "and hath not stood in the way of sinners," even as
those who profess to fear the Lord, but go astray like swine; "and hath not
sat in the seat of scorners,"  even as those birds that lie in wait
for prey. Take a full and firm grasp of this spiritual  knowledge. But
Moses says still further, "Ye shall eat every animal that is cloven-footed
and ruminant." What does he mean? [The ruminant animal denotes him] who, on
receiving food, recognizes Him that nourishes him, and being satisfied by
Him,  is visibly made glad. Well spake [Moses], having respect to the
commandment. What, then, does he mean? That we ought to join ourselves to
those that fear the Lord, those who meditate in their heart on the
commandment which they have received, those who both utter the judgments of
the Lord and observe them, those who know that meditation is a work of
gladness, and who ruminate  upon the word of the Lord. But what means
the cloven-footed? That the righteous man also walks in this world, yet
looks forward to the holy state  [to come]. Behold how well Moses
legislated. But how was it possible for them to understand or comprehend
these things? We then, rightly understanding his commandments, 
explain them as the Lord intended. For this purpose He circumcised our ears
and our hearts, that we might understand these things.
 Cod. Sin. has "portion," corrected, however, as above. See Lev. xi.
and Deut. xiv.
 Deut. iv. 1.
 Literally, "in spirit."
 Cod. Sin. inserts, "and gaze about for some way of escape on account
of their greediness, even as these birds alone do not procure food for
themselves (by labour), but sitting idle, seek to devour the flesh of
others." The text as above seems preferable: Hilgenfeld, however, follows
 Cod. Sin. has, "condemned already."
 Dressel has a note upon this passage, in which he refers the words we
have rendered, "corrupters of boys," to those who by their dissolute lives
waste their fortunes, and so entail destruction on their children; but this
does not appear satisfactory. Comp. Clem. Alex. Pædag. ii. 10.
 We have left trupas untranslated. [Cavities, i.e., of conception].
 Cod. Sin. has, "with the body through uncleanness," and so again in
the last clause.
 Cod. Sin. inserts, "having received."
 Ps. i. 1.
 Literally, "of the pestilent."
 Cod. Sin. reads, "perfectly," instead of "perfect," as do most mss.;
but, according to Dressel, we should read, "have a perfect knowledge
concerning the food." Hilgenfeld follows the Greek.
 Or, "resting upon Him."
 Cod. Sin. here has the singular, "one who ruminates."
 Literally, "holy age."
 Cod. Sin. inserts again, "rightly."
Chapter XI. Baptism and the cross prefigured in the Old Testament.
Let us further inquire whether the Lord took any care to foreshadow the
water [of baptism] and the cross. Concerning the water, indeed, it is
written, in reference to the Israelites, that they should not receive that
baptism which leads to the remission of sins, but should procure 
another for themselves. The prophet therefore declares, "Be astonished, O
heaven, and let the earth tremble  at this, because this people hath
committed two great evils: they have forsaken Me, a living fountain, and
have hewn out for themselves broken cisterns.  Is my holy hill Zion a
desolate rock? For ye shall be as the fledglings of a bird, which fly away
when the nest is removed."  And again saith the prophet, "I will go
before thee and make level the mountains, and will break the brazen gates,
and bruise in pieces the iron bars; and I will give thee the secret, 
hidden, invisible treasures, that they may know that I am the Lord God."
 And "He shall dwell in a lofty cave of the strong rock." 
Furthermore, what saith He in reference to the Son? "His water is sure;
 ye shall see the King in His glory, and your soul shall meditate on
the fear of the Lord."  And again He saith in another prophet, "The
man who doeth these things shall be like a tree planted by the courses of
waters, which shall yield its fruit in due season; and his leaf shall not
fade, and all that he doeth shall prosper. Not so are the ungodly, not so,
but even as chaff, which the wind sweeps away from the face of the earth.
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in judgment, nor sinners in the
counsel of the just; for the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous, but the
way of the ungodly shall perish."  Mark how He has described at once
both the water and the cross. For these words imply, Blessed are they who,
placing their trust in the cross, have gone down into the water; for, says
He, they shall receive their reward in due time: then He declares, I will
recompense them. But now He saith,  "Their leaves shall not fade."
This meaneth, that every word which proceedeth out of your mouth in faith
and love shall tend to bring conversion and hope to many. Again, another
prophet saith, "And the land of Jacob shall be extolled above every land."
 This meaneth the vessel of His Spirit, which He shall glorify.
Further, what says He? "And there was a river flowing on the right, and from
it arose beautiful trees; and whosoever shall eat of them shall live for
ever."  This meaneth,  that we indeed descend into the water
full of sins and defilement, but come up, bearing fruit in our heart, having
the fear [of God] and trust in Jesus in our spirit. "And whosoever shall eat
of these shall live for ever," This meaneth: Whosoever, He declares, shall
hear thee speaking, and believe, shall live for ever.
 Literally, "should build."
 Cod. Sin. has, "confine still more," corrected to "tremble still
 Cod. Sin. has, "have dug a pit of death." See Jer. ii. 12, 13.
 Comp. Isa. xvi. 1, 2.
 Literally, "dark." Cod. Sin. has, "of darkness."
 Isa. xlv. 2, 3.
 Isa. xxxiii. 16. Cod. Sin. has, "thou that dwell."
 Cod. Sin. entirely omits the question given above, and joins "the
water is sure" to the former sentence.
 Isa. xxxiii. 16-18.
 Ps. i. 3-6.
 Cod. Sin. has, "what meaneth?"
 Zeph. iii. 19.
 Ezek. xlvii. 12.
 Omitted in Cod. Sin.
Chapter XII. The cross of Christ frequently announced in the Old Testament.
In like manner He points to the cross of Christ in another prophet, who
saith,  "And when shall these things be accomplished? And the Lord
saith, When a tree shall be bent down, and again arise, and when blood shall
flow out of wood."  Here again you have an intimation concerning the
cross, and Him who should be crucified. Yet again He speaks of this 
in Moses, when Israel was attacked by strangers. And that He might remind
them, when assailed, that it was on account of their sins they were
delivered to death, the Spirit speaks to the heart of Moses, that he should
make a figure of the cross,  and of Him about to suffer thereon; for
unless they put their trust in Him, they shall be overcome for ever. Moses
therefore placed one weapon above another in the midst of the hill, 
and standing upon it, so as to be higher than all the people, he stretched
forth his hands,  and thus again Israel acquired the mastery. But when
again he let down his hands, they were again destroyed. For what reason?
That they might know that they could not be saved unless they put their
trust in Him.  And in another prophet He declares, "All day long I
have stretched forth My hands to an unbelieving people, and one that
gainsays My righteous way."  And again Moses makes a type of Jesus,
[signifying] that it was necessary for Him to suffer, [and also] that He
would be the author of life  [to others], whom they believed to have
destroyed on the cross  when Israel was failing. For since
transgression was committed by Eve through means of the serpent, [the Lord]
brought it to pass that every [kind of] serpents bit them, and they died,
 that He might convince them, that on account of their transgression
they were given over to the straits of death. Moreover Moses, when he
commanded, "Ye shall not have any graven or molten [image] for your God,"
 did so that he might reveal a type of Jesus. Moses then makes a
brazen serpent, and places it upon a beam,  and by proclamation
assembles the people. When, therefore, they were come together, they
besought Moses that he would offer sacrifice  in their behalf, and
pray for their recovery. And Moses spake unto them, saying, "When any one of
you is bitten, let him come to the serpent placed on the pole; and let him
hope and believe, that even though dead, it is able to give him life, and
immediately he shall be restored."  And they did so. Thou hast in this
also [an indication of] the glory of Jesus; for in Him and to Him are all
things.  What, again, says Moses to Jesus (Joshua) the son of Nave,
when he gave him  this name, as being a prophet, with this view only,
that all the people might hear that the Father would reveal all things
concerning His Son Jesus to the son  of Nave? This name then being
given him when he sent him to spy out the land, he said, "Take a book into
thy hands, and write what the Lord declares, that the Son of God will in the
last days cut off from the roots all the house of Amalek."  Behold
again: Jesus who was manifested, both by type and in the flesh,  is
not the Son of man, but the Son of God. Since, therefore, they were to say
that Christ was the son  of David, fearing and understanding the error
of the wicked, he saith, "The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit at My right hand,
until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool."  And again, thus saith
Isaiah, "The Lord said to Christ,  my Lord, whose right hand I have
holden,  that the nations should yield obedience before Him; and I
will break in pieces the strength of kings."  Behold how David calleth
Him Lord and the Son of God.
 Cod. Sin. refers this to God, and not to the prophet.
 From some unknown apocryphal book. Hilgenfeld compares Hab. ii. 11.
 Cod. Sin. reads, "He speaks to Moses."
 Cod. Sin. omits "and."
 Cod. Sin. reads pugmēs, which must here be translated "heap" or
"mass." According to Hilgenfeld, however, pugmē is here equivalent to
pugmachia, "a fight." The meaning would then be, that "Moses piled weapon
upon weapon in the midst of the battle," instead of "hill" (pēgēs), as
 Thus standing in the form of a cross.
 Or, as some read, "in the cross."
 Isa. lxv. 2.
 Cod. Sin. has, "and He shall make him alive."
 Literally, "the sign."
 Comp. Num. xxi. 6-9; John iii. 14-18.
 Deut. xxvii. 15. Cod. Sin. reads, "molten or graven."
 Instead of en dokō, "on a beam," Cod. Sin. with other mss. has
endoxōs, "manifestly," which is adopted by Hilgenfeld.
 Cod. Sin. simply reads, "offer supplication."
 Num. xxi. 9.
 Comp. Col. i. 16.
 Cod. Sin. has the imperative, "Put on him;" but it is connected as
 Cod. Sin. closes the sentence with Jesus, and inserts, "Moses said
therefore to Jesus."
 Ex. xvii. 14.
 Comp. 1 Tim. iii. 16.
 That is, merely human: a reference is supposed to the Ebionites.
 Ps. cx. 1; Matt. xxii. 43-45.
 Cod. Sin. corrects "to Cyrus," as LXX.
 Cod. Sin. has, "he has taken hold."
 Isa. xlv. 1.
Chapter XIII. Christians, and not Jews, the heirs of the covenant.
But let us see if this people  is the heir, or the former, and if the
covenant belongs to us or to them. Hear ye now what the Scripture saith
concerning the people. Isaac prayed for Rebecca his wife, because she was
barren; and she conceived.  Furthermore also, Rebecca went forth to
inquire of the Lord; and the Lord said to her, "Two nations are in thy womb,
and two peoples in thy belly; and the one people shall surpass the other,
and the elder shall serve the younger."  You ought to understand who
was Isaac, who Rebecca, and concerning what persons He declared that this
people should be greater than that. And in another prophecy Jacob speaks
more clearly to his son Joseph, saying, "Behold, the Lord hath not deprived
me of thy presence; bring thy sons to me, that I may bless them."  And
he brought Manasseh and Ephraim, desiring that Manasseh  should be
blessed, because he was the elder. With this view Joseph led him to the
right hand of his father Jacob. But Jacob saw in spirit the type of the
people to arise afterwards. And what says [the Scripture]? And Jacob changed
the direction of his hands, and laid his right hand upon the head of
Ephraim, the second and younger, and blessed him. And Joseph said to Jacob,
"Transfer thy right hand to the head of Manasseh,  for he is my
first-born son."  And Jacob said, "I know it, my son, I know it; but
the elder shall serve the younger: yet he also shall be blessed."  Ye
see on whom he laid  [his hands], that this people should be first,
and heir of the covenant. If then, still further, the same thing was
intimated through Abraham, we reach the perfection of our knowledge. What,
then, says He to Abraham? "Because thou hast believed,  it is imputed
to thee for righteousness: behold, I have made thee the father of those
nations who believe in the Lord while in [a state of] uncircumcision."
 That is, "Christians."
 Gen. xxv. 21.
 Gen. xxv. 23.
 Gen. xlviii. 11, 9.
 Cod. Sin. reads each time "Ephraim," by a manifest mistake, instead
 Cod. Sin. reads each time "Ephraim," by a manifest mistake, instead
 Gen. xlviii. 18.
 Gen. xlviii. 19.
 Or, "of whom he willed."
 Cod. Sin. has, "when alone believing," and is followed by Hilgenfeld
to this effect: "What, then, says He to Abraham, when, alone believing, he
was placed in righteousness? Behold," etc.
 Gen. xv. 6, Gen. xvii. 5; comp. Rom. iv. 3.
Chapter XIV. The Lord hath given us the testament which Moses received and
Yes [it is even so]; but let us inquire if the Lord has really given that
testament which He swore to the fathers that He would give  to the
people. He did give it; but they were not worthy to receive it, on account
of their sins. For the prophet declares, "And Moses was fasting forty days
and forty nights on Mount Sinai, that he might receive the testament of the
Lord for the people."  And he received from the Lord  two
tables, written in the spirit by the finger of the hand of the Lord. And
Moses having received them, carried them down to give to the people. And the
Lord said to Moses, "Moses, Moses, go down quickly; for thy people hath
sinned, whom thou didst bring out of the land of Egypt."  And Moses
understood that they had again  made molten images; and he threw the
tables out of his hands, and the tables of the testament of the Lord were
broken. Moses then received it, but they proved themselves unworthy. Learn
now how we have received it. Moses, as a servant,  received it; but
the Lord himself, having suffered in our behalf, hath given it to us, that
we should be the people of inheritance. But He was manifested, in order that
they might be perfected in their iniquities, and that we, being constituted
heirs through Him,  might receive the testament of the Lord Jesus, who
was prepared for this end, that by His personal manifestation, redeeming our
hearts (which were already wasted by death, and given over to the iniquity
of error) from darkness, He might by His word enter into a covenant with us.
For it is written how the Father, about to redeem  us from darkness,
commanded Him to prepare  a holy people for Himself. The prophet
therefore declares, "I, the Lord Thy God, have called Thee in righteousness,
and will hold Thy hand, and will strengthen Thee; and I have given Thee for
a covenant to the people, for a light to the nations, to open the eyes of
the blind, and to bring forth from fetters them that are bound, and those
that sit in darkness out of the prison-house."  Ye perceive, 
then, whence we have been redeemed. And again, the prophet says, "Behold, I
have appointed Thee as a light to the nations, that Thou mightest be for
salvation even to the ends of the earth, saith the Lord God that redeemeth
thee."  And again, the prophet saith, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon
me; because He hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the humble: He hath
sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim deliverance to the captives,
and recovery of sight to the blind; to announce the acceptable year of the
Lord, and the day of recompense; to comfort all that mourn." 
 Cod. Sin. absurdly repeats "to give."
 Ex. xxiv. 18.
 Ex. xxxi. 18.
 Ex. xxxii. 7; Deut. ix. 12.
 Cod. Sin. reads, "for themselves."
 Comp. Heb. iii. 5.
 Cod. Sin. and other mss. read, "through Him who inherited."
 Cod. Sin. refers this to Christ.
 Cod. Sin. reads, "be prepared." Hilgenfeld follows Cod. Sin. so far,
and reads, "For it is written how the Father commanded Him who was to redeem
us from darkness (autō lutrōsamenos) to prepare a holy people for
 Isa. xlii. 6, 7.
 Cod. Sin. has, "we know."
 Isa. xlix. 6. The text of Cod. Sin., and of the other mss., is here
in great confusion: we have followed that given by Hefele.
 Isa. lxi. 1, 2.
Chapter XV. The false and the true Sabbath.
Further,  also, it is written concerning the Sabbath in the Decalogue
which [the Lord] spoke, face to face, to Moses on Mount Sinai, "And sanctify
ye the Sabbath of the Lord with clean hands and a pure heart."  And He
says in another place, "If my sons keep the Sabbath, then will I cause my
mercy to rest upon them."  The Sabbath is mentioned at the beginning
of the creation [thus]: "And God made in six days the works of His hands,
and made an end on the seventh day, and rested on it, and sanctified it."
 Attend, my children, to the meaning of this expression, "He finished
in six days." This implieth that the Lord will finish all things in six
thousand years, for a day is  with Him a thousand years. And He
Himself testifieth,  saying, "Behold, to-day  will be as a
thousand years."  Therefore, my children, in six days, that is, in six
thousand years, all things will be finished. "And He rested on the seventh
day." This meaneth: when His Son, coming [again], shall destroy the time of
the wicked man,  and judge the ungodly, and change the-sun, and the
moon,  and the stars, then shall He truly rest on the seventh day.
Moreover, He says, "Thou shalt sanctify it with pure hands and a pure
heart." If, therefore, any one can now sanctify the day which God hath
sanctified, except he is pure in heart in all things,  we are
deceived.  Behold, therefore:  certainly then one properly
resting sanctifies it, when we ourselves, having received the promise,
wickedness no longer existing, and all things having been made new by the
Lord, shall be able to work righteousness.  Then we shall be able to
sanctify it, having been first sanctified ourselves.  Further, He says
to them, "Your new moons and your Sabbath I cannot endure."  Ye
perceive how He speaks: Your present Sabbaths are not acceptable to Me, but
that is which I have made, [namely this,] when, giving rest to all things, I
shall make a beginning of the eighth day, that is, a beginning of another
world. Wherefore, also, we keep the eighth day with joyfulness, the day also
on which Jesus rose again from the dead.  And  when He had
manifested Himself, He ascended into the heavens.
 Cod. Sin. reads "because," but this is corrected to "moreover."
 Ex. xx. 8; Deut. v. 12.
 Jer. xvii. 24, 25.
 Gen. ii. 2. The Hebrew text is here followed, the Septuagint reading
"sixth" instead of "seventh."
 Cod. Sin. reads "signifies."
 Cod. Sin. adds, "to me."
 Cod. Sin. reads, "The day of the Lord shall be as a thousand
 Ps. xc. 4; 2 Pet. iii. 8.
 Cod. Sin. seems properly to omit "of the wicked man."
 Cod. Sin. places stars before moon.
 Cod. Sin. reads "again," but is corrected as above.
 The meaning is, "If the Sabbaths of the Jews were the true Sabbath,
we should have been deceived by God, who demands pure hands and a pure
 Cod. Sin. has, "But if not." Hilgenfeld's text of this confused
passage reads as follows: "Who then can sanctify the day which God has
sanctified, except the man who is of a pure heart? We are deceived (or
mistaken) in all things. Behold, therefore," etc.
 Cod. Sin. reads, "resting aright, we shall sanctify it, having been
justified, and received the promise, iniquity no longer existing, but all
things having been made new by the Lord."
 Cod. Sin. reads, "Shall we not then?"
 Isa. i. 13.
 "Barnabas here bears testimony to the observance of the Lord's Day in
early times." Hefele.
 We here follow the punctuation of Dressel: Hefele places only a comma
between the clauses, and inclines to think that the writer implies that the
ascension of Christ took place on the first day of the week.
Chapter XVI. The spiritual temple of God.
Moreover, I will also tell you concerning the temple, how the wretched
[Jews], wandering in error, trusted not in God Himself, but in the temple,
as being the house of God. For almost after the manner of the Gentiles they
worshipped Him in the temple.  But learn how the Lord speaks, when
abolishing it: "Who hath meted out heaven with a span, and the earth with
his palm? Have not I?"  "Thus saith the Lord, Heaven is My throne, and
the earth My footstool: what kind of house will ye build to Me, or what is
the place of My rest?"  Ye perceive that their hope is vain. Moreover,
He again says, "Behold, they who have cast down this temple, even they shall
build it up again."  It has so happened.  For through their
going to war, it was destroyed by their enemies; and now: they, as the
servants of their enemies, shall rebuild it. Again, it was revealed that the
city and the temple and the people of Israel were to be given up. For the
Scripture saith, "And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the Lord
will deliver up the sheep of His pasture, and their sheep-fold and tower, to
destruction."  And it so happened as the Lord had spoken. Let us
inquire, then, if there still is a temple of God. There is where He himself
declared He would make and finish it. For it is written, "And it shall come
to pass, when the week is completed, the temple of God shall be built in
glory in the name of the Lord."  I find, therefore, that a temple does
exist. Learn, then, how it shall be built in the name of the Lord. Before we
believed in God, the habitation of our heart was corrupt and weak, as being
indeed like a temple made with hands. For it was full of idolatry, and was a
habitation of demons, through our doing such things as were opposed to [the
will of] God. But it shall be built, observe ye, in the name of the Lord, in
order that the temple of the Lord may be built in glory. How? Learn [as
follows]. Having received the forgiveness of sins, and placed our trust in
the name of the Lord, we have become new creatures, formed again from the
beginning. Wherefore in our habitation God truly dwells in us. How? His word
of faith; His calling  of promise; the wisdom of the statutes; the
commands of the doctrine; He himself prophesying in us; He himself dwelling
in us; opening to us who were enslaved by death the doors of the temple,
that is, the mouth; and by giving us repentance introduced us into the
incorruptible temple.  He then, who wishes to be saved, looks not to
man,  but to Him who dwelleth in him, and speaketh in him, amazed at
never having either heard him utter such words with his mouth, nor himself
having ever desired to hear them.  This is the spiritual temple built
for the Lord.
 That is, "they worshipped the temple instead of Him."
 Isa. xl. 12.
 Isa. lxvi. 1.
 Comp. Isa. xlix. 17 (Sept.).
 Cod. Sin. omits this.
 Comp. Isa. v., Jer. xxv.; but the words do not occur in Scripture.
 Dan. ix. 24-27; Hag. ii. 10.
 Cod. Sin. reads, "the calling."
 Cod. Sin. gives the clauses of this sentence separately, each
occupying a line.
 That is, the man who is engaged in preaching the Gospel.
 Such is the punctuation adopted by Hefele, Dressel, and Hilgenfeld.
Chapter XVII. Conclusion of the first part of the epistle.
As far as was possible, and could be done with perspicuity, I cherish the
hope that, according to my desire, I have omitted none  of those
things at present [demanding consideration], which bear upon your salvation.
For if I should write to you about things future,  ye would not
understand, because such knowledge is hid in parables. These things then are
 Cod. Sin. reads, "my soul hopes that it has not omitted anything."
 Cod. Sin., "about things present or future." Hilgenfeld's text of
this passage is as follows: "My mind and soul hopes that, according to my
desire, I have omitted none of the things that pertain to salvation. For if
I should write to you about things present or future," etc. Hefele gives the
text as above, and understands the meaning to be, "points bearing on the
Chapter XVIII. Second part of the epistle. The two ways.
But let us now pass to another sort of knowledge and doctrine. There are two
ways of doctrine and authority, the one of light, and the other of darkness.
But there is a great difference between these two ways. For over one are
stationed the light-bringing angels of God, but over the other the angels
 of Satan. And He indeed (i.e., God) is Lord for ever and ever, but he
(i.e., Satan) is prince of the time  of iniquity.
 Comp. 2 Cor. xii. 7.
 Cod. Sin. reads, "of the present time of iniquity."
Chapter XIX. The way of light.
The way of light, then, is as follows. If any one desires to travel to the
appointed place, he must be zealous in his works. The knowledge, therefore,
which is given to us for the purpose of walking in this way, is the
following. Thou shalt love Him that created thee:  thou shalt glorify
Him that redeemed thee from death. Thou shalt be simple in heart, and rich
in spirit. Thou shalt not join thyself to those who walk in the way of
death. Thou shalt hate doing what is unpleasing to God: thou shalt hate all
hypocrisy. Thou shalt not forsake the commandments of the Lord. Thou shalt
not exalt thyself, but shalt be of a lowly mind.  Thou shalt not take
glory to thyself. Thou shalt not take evil counsel against thy neighbour.
Thou shalt not allow over-boldness to enter into thy soul.  Thou shalt
not commit fornication: thou shalt not commit adultery: thou shalt not be a
corrupter of youth. Thou shalt not let the word of God issue from thy lips
with any kind of impurity.  Thou shalt not accept persons when thou
reprovest any one for transgression. Thou shalt be meek: thou shalt be
peaceable. Thou shalt tremble at the words which thou hearest.  Thou
shalt not be mindful of evil against thy brother. Thou shalt not be of
doubtful mind  as to whether a thing shall be or not. Thou shalt not
take the name  of the Lord in vain. Thou shalt love thy neighbour more
than thine own soul.  Thou shalt not slay the child by procuring
abortion; nor, again, shalt thou destroy it after it is born. Thou shalt not
withdraw thy hand from thy son, or from thy daughter, but from their infancy
thou shalt teach them the fear of the Lord.  Thou shalt not covet what
is thy neighbour s, nor shalt thou be avaricious. Thou shalt not be joined
in soul with the haughty, but thou shalt be reckoned with the righteous and
lowly. Receive thou as good things the trials  which come upon thee.
 Thou shalt not be of double mind or of double tongue,  for a
double tongue is a snare of death. Thou shalt be subject  to the Lord,
and to [other] masters as the image of God, with modesty and fear. Thou
shalt not issue orders with bitterness to thy maidservant or thy
man-servant, who trust in the same [God  ], lest thou shouldst not
 reverence that God who is above both; for He came to call men not
according to their outward appearance,  but according as the Spirit
had prepared them.  Thou shalt communicate in all things with thy
neighbour; thou shalt not call  things thine own; for if ye are
partakers in common of things which are incorruptible,  how much more
[should you be] of those things which are corruptible!  Thou shalt not
be hasty with thy tongue, for the mouth is a snare of death. As far as
possible, thou shalt be pure in thy soul. Do not be ready to stretch forth
thy hands to take, whilst thou contractest them to give. Thou shalt love, as
the apple of thine eye, every one that speaketh to thee the word of the
Lord. Thou shalt remember the day of judgment, night and day. Thou shalt
seek out every day the faces of the saints,  either by word examining
them, and going to exhort them, and meditating how to save a soul by the
word,  or by thy hands thou shalt labour for the redemption of thy
sins. Thou shalt not hesitate to give, nor murmur when thou givest. "Give to
every one that asketh thee,"  and thou shalt know who is the good
Recompenser of the reward. Thou shalt preserve what thou hast received [in
charge], neither adding to it nor taking from it. To the last thou shalt
hate the wicked  [one].  Thou shalt judge righteously. Thou
shalt not make a schism, but thou shalt pacify those that contend by
bringing them together. Thou shalt confess thy sins. Thou shalt not go to
prayer with an evil conscience. This is the way of light. 
 Cod. Sin. inserts, "Thou shalt fear Him that formed thee."
 Cod. Sin. adds, "in all things."
 Literally, "shalt not give insolence to thy soul."
 "That is, while proclaiming the Gospel, thou shalt not in any way be
of corrupt morals." Hefele.
 Isa. lxvi. 2. All the preceding clauses are given in Cod. Sin. in
 Comp. Jas. i. 8.
 Cod. Sin. has "thy name," but this is corrected as above.
 Cod. Sin. corrects to, "as thine own soul."
 Cod. Sin. has, "of God."
 "Difficulties," or "troubles."
 Cod. Sin. adds, "knowing that without God nothing happens."
 Cod. Sin. has, "talkative," and omits the following clause.
 Cod. Sin. has, "Thou shalt be subject (hupotagēsē untouched by the
corrector) to masters as a type of God."
 Inserted in Cod. Sin.
 Cod. Sin. has, "they should not."
 Comp. Eph. vi. 9.
 Comp. Rom. viii. 29, 30.
 Cod. Sin. has, "and not call."
 Cod. Sin. has, "in that which is incorruptible."
 Cod. Sin. has, "in things that are subject to death," but is
corrected as above.
 Or, "the persons of the saints." Cod. Sin. omits this clause, but it
is added by the corrector.
 The text is here confused in all the editions; we have followed that
of Dressel. Cod. Sin. is defective. Hilgenfeld's text reads, "Thou shalt
seek out every day the faces of the saints, either labouring by word and
going to exhort them, and meditating to save a soul by the word, or by thy
hands thou shalt labour for the redemption of thy sins" almost identical
with that given above.
 Cod. Sin. omits this quotation from Matt. v. 42 or Luke vi. 30, but
it is added by a corrector.
 Cod. Sin. has, "hate evil."
 Cod. Sin. inserts "and."
 Cod. Sin. omits this clause: it is inserted by a corrector.
Chapter XX. The way of darkness.
But the way of darkness  is crooked, and full of cursing; for it is
the way of eternal  death with punishment, in which way are the things
that destroy the soul, viz., idolatry, over-confidence, the arrogance of
power, hypocrisy, double-heartedness, adultery, murder, rapine, haughtiness,
transgression,  deceit, malice, self-sufficiency, poisoning, magic,
avarice,  want of the fear of God. [In this way, too,] are those who
persecute the good, those who hate truth, those who love falsehood, those
who know not the reward of righteousness, those who cleave not to that which
is good, those who attend not with just judgment to the widow and orphan,
those who watch not to the fear of God, [but incline] to wickedness, from
whom meekness and patience are far off; persons who love vanity, follow
after a reward, pity not the needy, labour not in aid of him who is overcome
with toil; who are prone to evil-speaking, who know not Him that made them,
who are murderers of children, destroyers of the workmanship of God; who
turn away him that is in want, who oppress the afflicted, who are advocates
of the rich, who are unjust judges of the poor, and who are in every respect
 Literally, "of the Black One."
 Cod. Sin. joins "eternal" with way, instead of death.
 Cod. Sin. reads "transgressions."
 Cod. Sin. omits "magic, avarice."
Chapter XXI. Conclusion.
It is well, therefore,  that he who has learned the judgments of the
Lord, as many as have been written, should walk in them. For he who keepeth
these shall be glorified in the kingdom of God; but he who chooseth other
things  shall be destroyed with his works. On this account there will
be a resurrection,  on this account a retribution. I beseech you who
are superiors, if you will receive any counsel of my good-will, have among
yourselves those to whom you may show kindness: do not forsake them. For the
day is at hand on which all things shall perish with the evil [one]. The
Lord is near, and His reward. Again, and yet again, I beseech you: be good
lawgivers  to one another; continue faithful counsellors of one
another; take away from among you all hypocrisy. And may God, who ruleth
over all the world, give to you wisdom, intelligence, understanding,
knowledge of His judgments,  with patience. And be ye  taught of
God, inquiring diligently what the Lord asks from you; and do it that ye
maybe safe in the day of judgment.  And if you have any remembrance of
what is good, be mindful of me, meditating on these things, in order that
both my desire and watchfulness may result in some good. I beseech you,
entreating this as a favour. While yet you are in this fair vessel, 
do not fail in any one of those things,  but unceasingly seek after
them, and fulfil every commandment; for these things are worthy. 
Wherefore I have been the more earnest to write to you, as my ability
served,  that I might cheer you. Farewell, ye children of love and
peace. The Lord of glory and of all grace be with your spirit. Amen. 
 Cod. Sin. omits "therefore."
 The things condemned in the previous chapter.
 Cod. Sin. has "resurrections," but is corrected as above.
 Cod. Sin. has, "lawgivers of good things."
 Cod. Sin. omits the preposition.
 Cod. Sin. omits this.
 Cod. Sin. reads, "that ye may be found in the day of judgment," which
 Literally, "While yet the good vessel is with you," i.e., as long as
you are in the body.
 Cod. Sin. reads, "fail not in any one of yourselves," which is
adopted by Hilgenfeld.
 Corrected in Cod. Sin. to, "it is worthy."
 Cod. Sin. omits this clause, but it is inserted by the corrector.
 Cod. Sin. omits "Amen," and adds at the close, "Epistle of
 The Codex Sinaiticus has simply "Epistle of Barnabas" for title;
Dressel gives, "Epistle of Barnabas the Apostle," from the Vatican ms. of
the Latin text.
Also, see links to 3500 other Manuscripts:
E-mail to: BELIEVE
The main BELIEVE web-page (and the index to subjects) is at:
BELIEVE Religious Information Source - By Alphabet