Conversation Between Jesus and Barnabas

Extract of Page 129-130 of Gospel of Barnabas. Jesus, weeping said:

“O Barnabas, it is necessary that I should reveal to thee great secrets which, after that I shall be departed from the world, thou shalt reveal to it.”

Then answered he that writeth, weeping and said:

“Suffer me to weep, O master, and other men also, for that we are sinners. And thou, that art a holy one and prophet of God, it is not fitting for thee to weep so much.”

Jesus answered:

“Believe me, Barnabas, that I cannot weep as much as I ought. For if men had not called me God, I should have seen God here as he will be seen in paradise, and should of been safe not to fear the day of Judgement. But God knoweth that I am innocent, because never have I harboured thought to be held more than a poor slave. Nay, I tell thee that I had not been called God I should have been carried into paradise when I shall depart from the world, whereas now I shall not go thither until judgement. Now thou seest if I have cause to weep. Know O BARNABAS, that for this I must have great persecution, and shall whereupon I am sure that he who sell me shall be slain in my name, for that God shall take me up from the earth, and shall change appearance of the traitor so that everyone shall believe him to be me; nevertheless, when he dieth an evil death, I shall abide in that dishonour for a long time in the world. But when Muhammad shall come, the sacred messenger of God, that infamy shall be taken away. And this shall God do because I have confessed the truth of the Messiah; who shall give me reward, that I shall be known alive and to be a stranger to that death of infamy.”

Then answered he that he writeth: “O master, tell me who is wretch, for I fain would choke him to death.”

“Hold thy peace,” answered Jesus, “for so God willeth, and he cannot do otherwise: but see thou that when my mother is afflicted at such an event thou tell her the truth, in order that she may be comforted.”

Then answered he who writeth: “All this will I do, O master, if God please”.

In the Bible, apostle is a title conferred on one sent with a message. The term is applied primarily to the original Twelve called by Jesus to accompany him during his ministry (Matt. 10:2-4; Mark 3:16-19; Luke 6:13-16).

In the Gospels, other followers are called disciples. The title was gradually extended to others such as Paul and Barnabas (Acts 14:14; Rom. 9:1, 11:13); when this occurred, the Twelve were distinguished from all the apostles, as in 1 Corinthians 15:5-7. Most of the Twelve were from the labouring class, with the exception of Matthew, a tax collector. None was from the religious sector of Jewish society. Peter, James (the Greater), and John formed an inner circle closest to Jesus; Judas Iscariot betrayed him, and Matthias was selected to replace Judas (Acts 1:16). The others were Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, James (the Lesser), Simon, and Thaddeus.

Paul was born a Jew and trained to be a Pharisee, that is, a learned and strict observer of religious law. The New Testament records how he actively tried to suppress the early Christian movement through persecution (Gal. 1:13-14) until he was converted to Christianity by a visionary encounter with the risen Jesus while on the road to Damascus about AD 36 (Gal. 1:15-16; Acts 9:1-31; 22; 26). Because of this vision, Paul held that he, too, had met Jesus and was therefore qualified to be called an APOSTLE (1 Cor. 9:1). After being instructed and receiving Christian baptism in Damascus, Paul went to “Arabia” (probably the desert of Transjordan) for a short time; he then returned to Damascus for 3 years until he was driven out to Tarsus, probably in 40. Several years later BARNABAS brought Paul to Antioch in Syria (Acts 11), where they ministered together for a year.

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