Early Christian Sources

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Letter of Barnabas

This letter, written to an unknown group of Christians, is considered by many to be anonymous because the text of the letter does not contain the name of the author. However, the letter has traditionally been attributed to Barnabas. Clement of Alexandria (writing in the later second century) claimed that this letter was written by the Barnabas who was Paul’s companion. It is possible that Origen (writing in the third century) thought the same.

The letter was well regarded enough to have been included with the New Testament books and The Shepherd of Hermas in the fourth-century Bible referred to as Codex Sinaiticus. Eusebius (writing in the fourth century) says that the letter was one of the rejected writings.

The date this letter was written is unknown but it is generally dated after the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D. and before the Bar Kokhba revolt (132-136 A.D.).

Suggested first translation(s):

Two easy-to-read, modern English translations that are freely available are the ones by Edgar J. Goodspeed from 1950 and by Robert A. Kraft from 1965 listed below. A more literal translation that is also in modern English and freely available is the anonymous one from 2013 listed below.

English translations:

Please send reports of missing translations, broken links or other errors/omissions to early@xpian.info.