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For it contains only those books, which were acknowledged by all in the time of Eufebe, and from the beginning, and seven other, which were then well known, and were next in esteem to those before mentioned, as universally acknowledged ; and were more generally received as of authority, than any other controverted writings. Nor is there in them any thing inconsistent with the facts, or principles, delivered in the universally acknowledged books. And moreover, there may be a great deal of reason to think, that they are the genuine writings of those, to whom they are ascribed, and that the writers were apostles. This evidence will be carefully examined, and distinctly considered, as we proceed.
In this canon likewise the above-mentioned rule is regarded. It is a short canon. For out of it are excluded many books, which might feem to make a claim to be ranked among sacred and canonical
VI. There are not any books, beside those now generally received by us, that ought to be esteemed canonical, or books of authority.
I suppose this to be evident to all, who have carefully attended to the historie in the several volumes of this work; and that there is no reason to receive, as a part of sacred scripture, the epistle of Barnabas, the epiftle of Clement, the Shepherd of Hermas, the Recognitions, the Clementin Homidies
, the Doctrine of the Apostles, the Apostolical Constitutions, the Gospel of Peter, or Matthias, or Thomas, the Preaching of Peter, the Acts of Peter and Paul, of Andrew and John and other Apostles, the Revelation of Peter, and Paul, their Travels or Circuits. That these books were not received, as sacred scripture, or a part of the rule of faith, by Christians in former times, has been shewn. Nor can they therefore be reasonably received by us as such.
The only writing of all these, that seems to make a fair claim to be a part of sacred scripture, is the epistle of St. Barnabas, if genuine, as I (s) have supposed it to be. Nevertheless, I think, it ought not to be received as facred scripture, or admitted into the canon, for these reasons.
1. It was not reckoned a book of authority, or a part of the rule of faith, by those ancient Christians, who have quoted it, and taken the greatest notice of it.
Clement of Alexandria has (1) quoted this epistle several times, but not as decisive, and by way of full proof, as we thewed. Nor is it so quoted by (x) Origen. Nor is the epistle of Barnabas in any of (x) Origen's catalogues of the books of Scripture, which we still find in his works, or are taken notice of by Eusebe. By that Ecclefiaftical Historian, in 0ite place it is reckoned (5) among fpurious writings, that is, fuch as were generally rejected and supposed not to be part of the New Testament. At other times it is called by him (z) a contradicted book, that is , not received by all.
(s) See Ch. i. Vol. i. p. 23, ...30.
(t) See l’ol. ii. p. 521. ...523.
Nor is this epistle placed among sacred scriptures by following writers, who have given catalogues of the books of the New Testament. It is wanting, particularly, in the Festal Epistle (a) of Athanafius, in (b) the catalogue of Cyril of Jerusalem, of (c) the Council of Laodicea, of (d) Epiphanius, (e) Gregorie Nazianzen, (f) Amphilochius, and (8) Jerome, (h) Rufin, (i) the Council of Carthage, and (k) Auguftin.
Nor has it been reckoned a part of canonical scripture by later writers.
2. Barnabas was not an Apostle.
For he was not one of the twelve Apostles of Christ. Nor was he chosen in the room of Judas. Nor is there in the Acts any account of his being chofen into the number of Apostles, or appointed to be an Apostle by Christ, as Paul was. What St. Luke fays of Barnabas is, that he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost, and of faith. Acts xi. 24. And in ch. xiii. 1, he is mentioned among Propbets and Teachers in the church of Antioch. But St. Luke speaks in the like manner of Stephen, of whom he says, he was a man full of faith, and of the Holy Ghost. vi. 5. full of faith and power. v. 8. full of the Holy Ghost. vii. 55. And all the seven were full of the Holy Ghost, and wisdom. vi. 3.
That Barnabas was not an Apostle, I think, may be concluded from Gal. ii. 9. where Paul says : And when James
, and Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given to me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of Fellowship. By grace I suppose St. Paul to mean the favour of the apostleship. So Rom. i. 5. By whom we have received grace and apostleship, that is, the favour of the apostleship. Ch. xii. 3. For I. Jay, through the grace given to me, meaning the especial favour of the apostlethip. And fee ch. xv. 15. 1 Cor. xv. 10. Eph. iv. 7. compared with ver. U.
If Barnabas had been an Apostle, in the fullest sense of the word, St. Paul would not have said in the above cited place from the second to the Galatians, when they perceived the grace given to me, but, when they perceived the grace given to me, and Barnabas. And in the preceding part of the context, particularly, in ver. 7. 8. he twice says me, where he would have said us, if Barnabas had been an apostle. For he had been mentioned before, in ver. 1.
Indeed, in the Aes, where Paul and Barnabas are mentioned together, Barnabas is sometinies first named, as Acts xi. 30. xii. 25. xiii. 1. 2. and 7. xiv. 14. xv. 12. 25.
Which I think not at all strange, among persons, who were not intent upon precedence: when too Barnabas was the elder in years and discipleship. But in several other places Paul is first named, as in Acts xiii. 43. 46. xv. 2. 22. 35, of which no other reason can be well asligned, belide that of Paul's apostlefhip.
Moreover, wherever they travelled together, if there was an opportunity for discoursing, Paul spake. So at Paphos, in the island of Cyprus.
(a) Vol viii. p. 227. ...229.
(6) P. 269. 270.
Acts xiii. 6. . And at Antioch in Pisidia. ch. xiii. 15. 16. See also ch. xiv. 12.
And that Paul was the principal person, appears from that early account, after they had been in Cyprus. ch. xiii. 13. Now when Paul and bis companie loojed from Paphos, they came to Perga, in Pamphylia,
However, there are some texts, which must be considered by us, as seeming to afford objections.
Acts xiv. 4. But the multitude of the city was divided. Part held with the Jews, and part with the Apostles: that is, Paul and Barnabas, who were then at Iconium. And afterwards, at Lystra, ver. 14. Which wher the Apostles, Barnabas and Paul, beard, . ... Here Barnabas is ftiled an Apoftle, as well as Paul.
To which I answer, firft. Both being now together, and meeting with the like treatment; might be called Apostles: though only one of them was, properly, fo. . Secondly, it is not unlikely, that Barnabas and Paul are here ftiled by St. Luke, Apostles, in regard to what had been done at Antioch, as related by him, ch. xii, i. . . 4. when by an express order from heaven, they were fent forth from the church at Antioch, upon a special commission, in which they were still employed. That designation, however solemn, did not make either of them Apostles of Christ, in the highest sense. It was not the apoftolical, which is a general commission. But it was a particular commission, as appears from that whole historie, and from what is said at the conclusion of the journey, which they had taken. Acts xiv. 26. And thence they failed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God, for the work, wbich they had fulfilled. Nevertheless, they are not unfitly called Apofles upon account of it. So 2 Cor. viii. 13. Whether any do enquire of Titus, be is my partner, and fellow-helper concerning you : or our brethren be enquired of, they (l) are the messengers of the churches, literally, apostles of the churches, and the glorie of Christ. If those brethren, which had been appointed by the churches to go to Jerusalem, with the contributions, which had been made for the relief of the poor faints in Judea, might be called Apostles; there can be no doubt, but Paul and Barnabas might be called Apostles in regard to the work, to which they had been solemnly appointed by the church at Antioch.
Again i Cor. ix. 5. 6. Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other Apostles, and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas? Or I only, and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working ?
Some may think, that Barnabas is here supposed to be an Apostle. I answer, that though Barnabas was not an Apostle properly, or equally with himself, yet Paul, out of an affectionate respect to his friend, companion, and fellow-laborer, might be disposed to mention him, upon this occafion, in the manner he has done. This is faid, supposing all beforementioned to have been Apostles of Christ, in the highest senfe. But, secondly, it is not certain, that all, before-mentioned, were strictly Apoftles. It seems to be more likely, that by the brethren of the Lord some are intended, who were not Apostles. "If so, Paul might reasonably, and without offence, gratify his friendly disposition: and infert here the
(7) απόγελοι εκκλησιών,
name of Barnabas, who had shared with him many fatigues and difficulties in the service of the gospel, though he was not an Apostle.
I do not therefore discern any good reason from the New Testament, why Barnabas should be reckoned an Apoftle. But quite otherwise.
The sense of the primitive Chriftians is agreeable hereto. Few or none of them have thought Barnabas an Apostle.
Clement of Alexandria has quoted Barnabas (m) five or fix times. Twice he calls him Apoftle. In another place he calls him the apostolic Barnabas, who was one of the seventy, and fellow-laborer of Paul. These are the highest characters, which he intended to give to Barnabas, and what he means, when he calls him Apofile, as is fully shewn in the place just referred to
By Tertullian, as cited by us (n) formerly, Barnabas is plainly reckoned no more, than ) a companion of Apostles.
Eufebe, in a chapter concerning those who were disciples of Christ, says: « The (o) names of our Saviour's Apostles are well known from « the Gospels. But there is no where extant a catalogue of the seventy
disciples. However, it is said, that Barnabas was one of them, who u is expressly mentioned in the Acts, and in Paul's epistle to the Galatians.”
That learned writer therefore did not know, that Barnabas was an Apostle. In (9) another place of the same work, his Ecclefiaftical Historie, he quotes a passage from the seventh book of Clement's Institutions or Hypotoposes, where Barnabas is filed one of the seventy. In his Commentarie upon Isaiah (r) Eusibe computes fourteen Apostles, meaning the twelve, and Paul added to them, and equal to them, and James the Lord's brother, Bishop of Jerusalem, whom Eusebe did not think to be one of the twelve. Nor does he here say, that (s) he was equal to them, or Paul. However, from all these places, we can be fully assured, that our learned Ecclefiaftical Historian did not so much as suspect Barnabas to have been an Apostle, in the highest sense of the word.
Jerome, in the article of Barnabas, in his book of Ecclefiaftical Wrio ters, says, he (t) was ordained with Paul an Apostle of the Gentiles. But authors, who write in haste, as Jerome often did, do not always cxpress themselves exactly and properly. Jerome did not think, that Barnabas was equally an Apostle with Paul. This may be concluded from what there follows: He wrote an epistle for the edification of the Church, which is read among the apocryphal feriptures
. If Barnabas had been an Apoltle, strictly speaking, ferome would not have said, he wrote an epistle for the edification of the Churcb. Which any man might do. Nor would his epistle have been reckoned apocryphal, as Jerome here, and elsewhere
(m) Vol. ii. p. 521. • .• $23.. (n)...p.606. ...608.
(0) Volo tamen ex redundantia alicujus etiam comitis Apoftolorum testimonium fuperducere, idoneum confirmandi de proximo jure disciplinam Magistro
Exftat enim & Barnabæ titulus ad Hebræos. Tertull. de Pudicit. cap. 20. P. 741.
γ) ... Των δε εεδομήκοντα μαθητών κατάλογος μεν έδεις εδαμή φέρεται. Λίγεται γι μην εις αι των βαρνάβας. κ. λ. Η. Ε. Ι. Ι. cap. xi. (9) L. 2. cap. i. p. 38. D.
(r) Comm. in El. p. 422. (s) See Vol. viii. p.154. 155.
(!) See Vol. x. p. 142. 143.
(u) calls it. When Jerome fays, that Barnabas was ordained with Paul an Apostle of the Gentiles; it is likely, he refers to the historie in Acts xiii.
4. of which I have already said all that is needful. Theodoret, as formerly quoted, says: “ The (x) all-wise Deity com“mitted the culture of a barrèn world to a few men, and those filher
men, and publicans, and one tent-maker.” And to the like purpose often. Which-thews, that he did not reckon Barnabas an Apoitle in the fullest meaning of the word. If he had, he must have added, and one Levite. The fame observation may be applied to Chryfoftom, who (y) in his many passages shewing the wonderful progresse of the gospel, of ten mentions the Apostles Peter, a fisherman, and Paul a tent-maker, but never Barnabas a Levite. · If then Barnabas was not an Apostle, an epistle writ by him cannot be received as canonical, or a part of the rule of faith : forasmuch as no men, beside Apostles, have the privilege of writing epistles, or other works, preceptive, and doctrinal, that shall be received by the churches, in that quality. This has been said several times in the course of this (z) work. And I still think it right.
Mark (a) and Luke, apostolical men, may write histories of our Lord's and his apostles preaching, and doctrine, and miracles, which shall be received as facred, and of authority. But no epiftles, or other writings, delivering doctrines and precepts, (except only in the way of historical narration,) can be of authority, but those writ by Apoftles.
Says Jerome of St. John: “ He (6) was at once Apostle, Evangelist, " and Prophet: Apostle, in that he wrote letters to the churches as a "master : Evangelist, as he wrote a book of the Gospel, which no other “ of the twelve Apostles did, except Matthew : Prophet, as he law " the Revelation in the island Patmos, where he was banished by Dee « mitian.”
Frederic Spanheim, in his Dissertation concerning the twelve Aposties, readily acknowledgeth this to be one prerogative of Apostles: “That c) they may write epistles, which shall be received as canonical, " and be of universal and perpetual authority in the Church."
3. Barnabas does not take upon himself the character of an Apostle, or a man of authority. Near the beginning of the epistle he says: “I (d) therefore, not as a
(u) See again, as before, Vol. x. p. 143.
) See Vol. 2. p. 366. . 370.
(0) Vol. x. p. 101.
() Ego autem non tanquam doctor, fed unus ex vobis, demonftrabo pauca;
T. 2. p. 310.