Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Quotes from the Epistle of Barnabas: A.D. 70-100

Barnabas, Epistle of, A.D. 70-100:  An epistle that was widely circulated among the early Christians, who in general considered Barnabas, the apostle Paul’s companion, the author. 

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.  (Chapter 4)

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.  (Chapter 4)

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.  (Chapter 4)

That the Dark One may find no means of entrance, let us flee from every vanity, let us utterly hate the works of the way of wickedness. (Chapter 4)

Do not, by retiring apart, live a solitary life, as if you were already [fully] justified.  (Chapter 4)

The prophets, having obtained grace from Him, prophesied concerning Him.  (Chapter 5)

And He (since it behooved 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 fulfill 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.  (Chapter 5)

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 (Wisdom 2:12).”  (Chapter 6) 

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.”  (Chapter 6)

“Those who wish to behold Me, and lay hold of My kingdom, must through tribulation and suffering obtain Me.”  (Chapter 7)

When men 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.  (Chapter 10)

Thou shalt not let the word of God issue from thy lips with any kind of impurity…Thou shalt love thy neighbour more than thine own soul…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 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 judge righteously…To the last thou shalt hate the wicked.  (Chapter 19)

But the way of darkness is crooked.  (Chapter 20)  (Personal comment:  To the pure all things are pure.  But how many contend that Jesus’ teachings are impure—crooked?  Those who strive against His words prove themselves perverse)

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“Reason dictates that persons who are truly noble and who love wisdom will honor and love only what is true. They will refuse to follow traditional viewpoints if those viewpoints are worthless...Instead, a person who genuinely loves truth must choose to do and speak what is true, even if he is threatened with death...I have not come to flatter you by this written petition, nor to impress you by my words. I have come to simply beg that you do not pass judgment until you have made an accurate and thorough investigation. Your investigation must be free of prejudice, hearsay, and any desire to please the superstitious crowds. As for us, we are convinced that you can inflict no lasting evil on us. We can only do it to ourselves by proving to be wicked people. You can kill us—but you cannot harm us.” From Justin Martyr's first apology 150 A.D. Martyred A.D. 160