New International Version
Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means "son of encouragement"),
King James Bible
And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,
Darby Bible Translation
And Joseph, who had been surnamed Barnabas by the apostles (which is, being interpreted, Son of consolation), a Levite, Cyprian by birth,
World English Bible
Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas (which is, being interpreted, Son of Encouragement), a Levite, a man of Cyprus by race,
Young's Literal Translation
And Joses, who was surnamed by the apostles Barnabas -- which is, having been interpreted, Son of Comfort -- a Levite, of Cyprus by birth,
Acts 4:36 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
Joses - Or, Joseph, as many excellent MSS. read; but who he was, farther than what is here said, we know not.
Surnamed Barnabas - Or, Barsabbas, according to the Coptic.
The son of consolation - Υἱος παρακλησεως; As παρακλησις signifies exhortation, as well as consolation, and is indeed distinguished from the latter, 1 Corinthians 14:3, the original name was probably בר נבא Bar naba, or בר נביא Bar nebia, which signifies the son of prophecy or exhortation; and this is certainly one sense which prophecy has in the New Testament; and in this way Barnabas distinguished himself among the apostles. See Acts 11:23. And Barnabas Exhorted them all that with purpose of heart they should cleave unto the Lord.
A Levite, and of the country of Cyprus - Cyprus is an island in the Mediterranean Sea, off Cilicia, and not very distant from the Jewish coast. The Jews were very numerous in that island: see Dion. Cas. lib. 68, 69. Though he was a Levite, he might have had land of his own by private purchase. The Levites, as a tribe, had no land in Israel; but the individuals certainly might make purchases any where in the country: but, as Barnabas was of Cyprus, his land probably lay there; and as it is likely that he was one of those strangers that came up to Jerusalem to the late feast, and was there converted, he might have sold his land in the island to some of his own countrymen who were at Jerusalem at this time; and so, being called to the work of the ministry, continued to associate with the apostles, travelling every where, and preaching the Gospel of the kingdom of God. He was the constant companion of St. Paul, till the separation took place on account of John Mark, mentioned Acts 15:36-39.
It is worthy of remark that the two apostles of the Gentiles, though of Jewish extraction, were both born in Gentile countries; Paul in Cilicia, Barnabas in Cyprus: this gave them many advantages; served to remove prejudices from the heathens; and gave them no doubt much facility in the Greek tongue, without which they could have done but little in Asia Minor, nor in most parts of the Roman empire where they traveled. How admirably does God determine even the place of our birth, and the bounds of our habitation! When under the influence of the grace of Christ, every thing is turned to a man's advantage. The man whom he calls to his work he will take care to endue with every necessary qualification. And is it too much to say that God never did call a man to preach the Gospel whom he did not qualify in such a manner that both the workman and the work should appear to be of God?
Some have said that ignorance is the mother of devotion. Devotion and religion are both scandalized by the saying. Enlightened piety has ever been the most sincere, steady, and active. God makes those wise who turn unto him; and by experimental religion all the powers of the mind are greatly improved. Every genuine minister of Christ has an enlightened heart; and, to this, it is his duty to add a well-cultivated mind. Ex quovis ligno Mercurius non fit: A blockhead never did, and never can, make a minister.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Chester Cathedral, 1871. Acts iv. 13, 18-20. "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. . . . And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak …
Charles Kingsley—All Saints' Day and Other Sermons
A Manifestation of God in Answer to Prayer
Against the Modern Free-Thinkers.
But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus.
Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, spreading the word only among Jews.
Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus.
News of this reached the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch.
This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.
When Barnabas and Saul had finished their mission, they returned from Jerusalem, taking with them John, also called Mark.
Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul.
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