By Pat Mudgett and Betsy Mayer
When we read the book of Acts, the names of Peter and Paul dominate its headlines. Minor characters show up for a time, then disappear into the records of heaven. Yet without those minor characters, Christian history would have been quite different. The apostle Barnabas is one of those minor characters who significantly influenced Christian history.
At the outset of the infant church, Barnabas played a significant role in both the upbuilding of the young church in Jerusalem and the spread of Christianity beyond Palestine’s borders. Barnabas was uniquely equipped for spreading the gospel. The book of Acts depicts his natural disposition as warm and encouraging. And as a Jew from the Greek island of Cyprus, by necessity he possessed cross-cultural skills.
Barnabas, whose given name was Joseph, was from the tribe of Levi. The Bible does not mention when he became a follower of Jesus. He was
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Pat Mudgett writes from Berkeley Springs, West Virginia and is a frequent contributor to Last Generation magazine. Betsy Mayer is the managing editor.