Was Barnabas one of the 12 apostles since he traveled with Paul often?

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Speaker 1

So Mark is asking was Barnabas one of the twelve apostles since he traveled with Paul often? That’s a really great question, Mark. And that’s actually something I thought of in the past before too, because because when it talks about the twelve apostles that’s a very specific group of people. But then there’s also Paul who’s also named an apostle, but he’s not part of the 12th. And so I’ll show that to you in the Bible really quick. And then we have this character Barnabas who is kind of in the mix. And so when we talk about the apostles, we have to first, I think again go back to dictionary definition. What is an apostle? What does that even mean? And so when you look at the word apostle in the dictionary, it basically means somebody who sent on a mission and also a person. It can mean somebody who initiates a great moral reform or somebody who advocates an important belief system. So this is definitely would characterize the twelve apostles that started the Christian church after the resurrection of Jesus. Now when you think about who were those twelve apostles, that would have been eleven of the twelve apostles that Jesus called to him using the children’s song Jesus.

Speaker 1

There were twelve disciples. Jesus called to help him. Simon Peter, Andrew James, his brother john Philip, Thomas, matthew James, the son of Alpheus, Fatty, Assignment, judas, Ascariat, who is not an apostle. And then Bartholomew. And so after the eleven we see in Acts chapter one who they replaced Judas to scare it with. So if you look at act chapter one inverses, it kind of starts around verse 22. So basically Peter here is saying like hey, this whole mess happened with Judith being numbered with the twelve, but because he’s now gone, we need to take somebody in to replace him. And so what happened was Peter says in starting verse 22, beginning from the baptism of John. So we want somebody who started with the baptism of John unto the same day that he was taken up from us. Must one be ordained to be witnessed of his resurrection. And so if you keep going it reads in verse 23 and they appointed two. So there was two people that they were considering as being part of the twelve apostles. One was Joseph called Versabus, who is also named justice and Mathias. And then in verse 24 basically they prayed and said lord, which knows the heart of all men, show us whether of these two you have chosen.

Speaker 1

This is very clear that he may take part of this ministry. And apostleship from which Judas by transgression felt that he may go into his own place. And in verse 26 it says and they gave forth their lots of cast lots like they rolled the dice and it fell upon Mathias and he was numbered with the eleven apostles. So we see eleven of the twelve, except for Judas being the apostles and then they added Mathias later after Judas fell. So would Barnabas then have been an apostle? Because later on we see Paul being called an apostle. And that’s very clear that Paul was an apostle. It says that in various parts of you see in the Book of Acts as well as all over in the New Testament where Paul writes like in Galatians chapter one, verse one, it says Paul an apostle, not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised him from the dead. So Paul was an apostle because he was somebody who initiated something, but it was more because Paul initiated the Gospel going to the Gentiles. And so Paul isn’t apostle, but he’s not part of the Twelve.

Speaker 1

So it’s a little bit different. Now, when it came to Barnabas, who worked side and side with Paul, we don’t see in the Bible that he’s named an apostle. And it’s actually very clear, it’s very distinct the way the Bible shows this. So for example, we see Barnabas coming into the picture a little bit later in Acts chapter four. And you see that basically how he began his ministry. He couldn’t have been impossible because he didn’t start like we saw with Mathias. He didn’t start from the baptism of John. He came into the ministry later. But you see in act chapter four, kind of his beginning in the ministry. And it says talking about kind of the early church and how they were doing things. And verse 34 it says neither was there any among them that last, for as many as their possessors of lands or houses sold them and brought the prices of the things that were sold in verse 25 and laid them down at the apostles feet. And distribution was made unto every man according as he had. So there were people that were selling their land and giving the money to the apostles to help the ministry go forward.

Speaker 1

And you see here Barnabas coming into play in verse 36. And it says and Joseph, who by the apostles, sir, named Barnabas. So Barnabas was named Barnabas by the apostles. They never said you are now an apostle. They just said, hey, now you’re Barnabas because your name used to be Joseph. And they called a Barnabas, which is being interpreted the Son of Consolation. So that was his nature. There was something special about him. That’s why they gave him this special name of Barnabas. And he was a Levi in the country of Cyprus. And verse 37 says having the land, sold it and brought the money and laid it at the apostles feet. So we see that Barnabas is a very serious and faithful member of the early church and he definitely did a lot of ministry. We see him going around that he was called by the Holy Spirit to work with Paul and preach the Gospel, but he was definitely not an apostle. And again you see this really clear, I think the most clear, if you look up the word barnabas and apostle and you look through the book of Acts, you see it’s very distinct that it’s like Barnabas, Paul, apostles.

Speaker 1

So they’re distinct groups of people. And I think you see this, again, like I said, most clear in the Book of Acts, chapter 14. And this is a story basically where they were preaching in a city called Iconium, and Paul sees him and crippled and heals him. And there were Jews and there were Greeks there. But these Greeks, these people that didn’t know the true God yet, they saw Paul heal somebody and they thought these are the gods. These men are not men, these are gods. And if you see in let me see, in verse eleven it says act, chapter 14, verse eleven, it says when the people saw that what Paul had done, they left us a voice saying in the speech of singing, the gods have come down unto us in the likeness of men. In verse twelve says and they called Barnabas Jupiter and Paul mercurious because he was a chief speaker. So pagan people, seeing the works of God, think that they ascribed to Barnabas and Paul their own religion. But it says something very interesting in verse 14, and this is what I want to point out. It says which when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they rent their clothes, they tore their clothes and ran in among the people crying out, basically saying, why do you do these things?

Speaker 1

We are also men of like passions with you and preaching to you that you should turn from these vanities into the living God which made heaven and earth to see and all the things they’re in. So they’re like, no, you’re getting deeper into your paganism. We want you to come out of that. We’re trying to teach you the truth. And so again, though, you see in verse 14, apostles barnabas, Paul, very distinct. Barnabas was definitely not an apostle. He began his ministry later. In order to even be considered for apostleship of the 12th, he would have had to start back in the time of John the Baptist and been part of that baptism of repentance and that message leading into the ministry of Jesus. And Barnabas didn’t come to the picture at that time. And again we see Paul being labeled an apostle. But again, that was because Paul had initiated the Gospel to the Gentiles and he was basically the founder, the leader. He was a forerunner in that. And Barnabas was and Barnabas was kind of his, I want to say wingman, but he was a supporter in that ministry and he definitely has a really important role in the early church.

Speaker 1

And I’m sure Paul couldn’t have done what he did without the support of Barnabas in a lot of ways. And we see like the holy in the book of Acts where it says, the Holy Spirit send Paul and Barnabas to these people. So he was definitely led by the Holy Spirit, but did he have the title of apostle? No. I know there’s a little bit of information there, but I hope that answers your question. Jared, any other thoughts on that one?

Speaker 2

No. I’m amazed how much you’re able to get in there. Like, wow, I would have just made that yes or no answer, but I’m like, I learned a lot right now.

Speaker 1

Okay, good. I know. I’m sorry. I love the Bible. It’s so fascinating, this study. You start reading, you’re like, oh, there’s more to this. And that’s the beauty of scripture. And that’s why we appreciate your questions so much, because it helps us look deeper into the word of God, and you just see the beautiful gems of truth that are in there and how it’s just so interwoven and complex. It’s like this couldn’t have been a cuttingly devised fable. It’s too rich, too complex. Something made up. It’s really beautiful.

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