Was Barnabas an Apostle?

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Southern Presbyterian

Puritan Board Doctor
Acts 14 is about Paul and Barnabas in Iconium, Lystra and surrounding areas and in verse 4 it says...

[bible]Acts 14:4[/bible]

Was Barnabas therefore an Apostle in the same sense that Paul was an Apostle? I mean Paul had a direct commission from Christ, Acts 26:14-18. I know of no such call for Barnabas, neither was there a decision by the other Apostles as with Mattias in Acts 1. So what is the deal with Barnabas? Were others, besides Paul and The Twelve, considered Apostles? What about Apollos?
 

moral necessity

Puritan Board Junior
I think Barnabas was an apostle. Check out Acts 13:2 for the calling: "While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, 'Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.'" And, later in Acts 14:14, it says, "But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed out into the crowd, crying out,..."

Blessings!
 

Christusregnat

Puritan Board Professor
Acts 14 is about Paul and Barnabas in Iconium, Lystra and surrounding areas and in verse 4 it says...

[bible]Acts 14:4[/bible]

Was Barnabas therefore an Apostle in the same sense that Paul was an Apostle? I mean Paul had a direct commission from Christ, Acts 26:14-18. I know of no such call for Barnabas, neither was there a decision by the other Apostles as with Mattias in Acts 1. So what is the deal with Barnabas? Were others, besides Paul and The Twelve, considered Apostles? What about Apollos?

James,

Scripture identifies 12 Apostles:

Revelation 21:14
The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

This excludes Judas I. and includes Paul, in my opinion (open to correction on the replacement).

However, an "apostle" in the Biblical sense is someone sent with delegated authority. A representative, or ambassador for someone else. Paul was an Apostle of Christ, but he was also an Apostle of the church at Antioch. In other words, I believe that a subset of the office of "teaching elder" is the role of "apostle". Not in the same sense as the Holy Apostles ("the twelve"), but in the sense of ambassadors of the church, sent to establish churches, and accountable to the local and presbyterial church they are sent from. Thus, while Paul was a double Apostle (of Christ and the church), Barnabas was a single (of the church only).

John the Presbyterian, is said to be a "man sent from God", and the term is "apostled" from God, if you will. Delegated and commissioned as God's ambassador. Mind you, this is why he had the authority to baptize.

Thus, Barnabas was an ambassador from the church at Antioch. My take is that it was a collection of churches, but I will remain silent on that. Either way, it appears to have been a sub-set office of the T.E.

Cheers,
 

Southern Presbyterian

Puritan Board Doctor
Adam,

So you would see the distinction between Apostle of Christ and Apostle of the Church sort of like the distinction between TE and RE? Is that a fair assessment?
 

Christusregnat

Puritan Board Professor
Adam,

So you would see the distinction between Apostle of Christ and Apostle of the Church sort of like the distinction between TE and RE? Is that a fair assessment?

James,

No, I see the Apostles of Christ to be a 12 man office, never to be repeated.

The idea of "apostle" is just the idea of one sent with delegated authority. The "of Christ" part indicating that they were the vicars of Christ, so to speak. The "of the church" part indicating that such are the vicars of the presbytery or session in establishing churches. Does that make sense?
 

Marrow Man

Drunk with Powder
I was discussing Barnabas with a friend yesterday. Isn't it interesting that after the parting of ways b/t Paul and Barnabas, we never really hear much of Barnabas again in Scripture. We do read about John Mark again (end of Colossians and 2 Timothy, reconciliation apparently having taken place). Since the reference in Colossians 4:10 describes Mark as "Barnabas' cousin", it might be safe to assume that Paul and Barnabas may have had subsequent contact and that Barnabas maintained a good reputation in the church (since he is apparently well known to the Colossians, a church which was not planted by Paul and did not exist until after his first missionary journey with Barnabas).

On the other hand, Barnabas is spoken of rather negatively (with regard to his actions) in Galatians 2:13 -- "The rest of the Jews joined [Peter] in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy." Of course, Peter is certainly an apostle (in the stronger sense of the word) and he is also mentioned in that verse.

My guess is both yes and no. Yes, in the general sense of being an apostle; that is, one who brings a message (the Scriptures sometimes use "angel" in this sense). There is some debate about whether Andronicus and Junias (Rom 16:7) are "apostles", but if they are, it appears to be only in that general sense. The biblical definition of an apostle (in the greater sense; i.e., one of the Twelve) appears to be in Acts 1:21-22 -- "Therefore it is necessary that of the men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us-- beginning with the baptism of John until the day that He was taken up from us--one of these [must] become a witness with us of His resurrection." Barnabas, therefore, would not fit this qualification (but neither would Paul, though he is a special case with a special commission, and we have evidence of this elsewhere in Scripture).
 

Southern Presbyterian

Puritan Board Doctor
Adam,

So you would see the distinction between Apostle of Christ and Apostle of the Church sort of like the distinction between TE and RE? Is that a fair assessment?

James,

No, I see the Apostles of Christ to be a 12 man office, never to be repeated.

The idea of "apostle" is just the idea of one sent with delegated authority. The "of Christ" part indicating that they were the vicars of Christ, so to speak. The "of the church" part indicating that such are the vicars of the presbytery or session in establishing churches. Does that make sense?

Yes. I see your point now. Thanks for the clarification. This makes sense. to me. The only thing I would disagree with you on is that Mattias is the 12th, not Paul. ;)
 

Southern Presbyterian

Puritan Board Doctor
Weren't there 13 apostles? The 11 + Matthias. And then Paul.

Yes, I understand this to be the case. However, Barnabas is included in the "Apostles" in Acts 14.

I am wondering if the early Church used the term "sent one" to indicate one we would call a missionary or and evangelist. I'm not a Greek scholar, nor the son of a Greek scholar, but I took it from Adam's explanation above that the Greek for "Apostle" is much like the word for "Angel" or "Messenger" and might be translated, or transliterated, as "sent one" or "Apostle" according to the context.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
It all about the sender. Whose "apostles" are being spoken of in what contexts?

Barnabas was an "apostle" of the church in Antioch. All of our missionaries are such "apostles" since they are "sent" by the church. But being an "apostle" in the Bible is not always the same thing as being an "Apostle", which is a title for the office of one "sent" personally by Jesus. It's possible to have been an "Apostle" and also an "apostle", as in Paul's case.

We need to appreciate that the Greek WORD "apostle" became the TITLE of "Apostle" in the days of the writing of the New Testament. So, why should it surprise us that the WORD is used is certain contexts to describe people who aren't Apostles (capital A)?
 

Southern Presbyterian

Puritan Board Doctor
It all about the sender. Whose "apostles" are being spoken of in what contexts?

Barnabas was an "apostle" of the church in Antioch. All of our missionaries are such "apostles" since they are "sent" by the church. But being an "apostle" in the Bible is not always the same thing as being an "Apostle", which is a title for the office of one "sent" personally by Jesus. It's possible to have been an "Apostle" and also an "apostle", as in Paul's case.

We need to appreciate that the Greek WORD "apostle" became the TITLE of "Apostle" in the days of the writing of the New Testament. So, why should it surprise us that the WORD is used is certain contexts to describe people who aren't Apostles (capital A)?

Exactly, that's what I was trying to say in my own inarticulate way.

Thank you Pastor!
 
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