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Saint Barnabas (Ancient Greek: Βαρναβᾶς), born Joseph, was an Early Christian convert, one of the earliest Christian disciples in Jerusalem.[2][3] Like almost all Christians at the time (see also Jewish Christians), Barnabas was one of the Children of Israel, specifically a Levite. Named an apostle in Acts 14:14, he and Saint Paul undertook missionary journeys together and defended Gentile converts against the demands of stricter church leaders[2] (see also Judaizers). They gained many converts in Antioch (c 43-44), traveled together making more converts (c 45-47), and participated in the Council of Jerusalem (c 50).[4] Barnabas and Paul successfully evangelized among the "God-fearing" gentiles who attended synagogues in various Hellenized cities of Anatolia (modern day Turkey).[5].

Barnabas' story appears in the Acts of the Apostles, and Paul mentions him in some of his epistles.[2] Tertullian named him as the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews,[2] but this and other attributions are conjecture.[6] Clement of Alexandria ascribed an early Christian epistle to Barnabas (Epistle of Barnabas), but that is highly improbable.[7]

Martyred at Salamis, Cyprus, in AD 61 [2], he is traditionally identified as the founder of the Cypriot Church. The feast day of St Barnabas is celebrated on June 11.[2]

Some traditions hold that Aristobulus of Britannia, one of the Seventy Disciples, was the brother of Barnabas.


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