Acts 4:36
Parallel Verses
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
Clarke'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


Acts 11:22-25,30 Then tidings of these things came to the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas...

Acts 12:25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry, and took with them John, whose surname was Mark.

Acts 13:1 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger...

Acts 15:2,12,37 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas...

1 Corinthians 9:6 Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?

Galatians 2:1,9,13 Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also...

The son.

Mark 3:17 And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder:


Acts 11:19,20 Now they which were scattered abroad on the persecution that arose about Stephen traveled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch...

Acts 15:39 And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark...

Acts 21:16 There went with us also certain of the disciples of Caesarea, and brought with them one Mnason of Cyprus, an old disciple...

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

Impossible Silence
'We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.' --ACTS iv. 20. The context tells us that the Jewish Council were surprised, as they well might be, at the boldness of Peter and John, and traced it to their having been with Jesus. But do you remember that they were by no means bold when they were with Jesus, and that the bravery came after what, in ordinary circumstances, would have destroyed any of it in a man? A leader's execution is not a usual recipe for heartening his followers,
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts

A Manifestation of God in Answer to Prayer
A MANIFESTATION OF GOD IN ANSWER TO PRAYER ". . . When they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness." -- Acts 4:31. This remarkable manifestation of God reveals the effectiveness of prevailing prayer. It vividly discloses the fact that prayer can accomplish much. It is apparent that neither the apostles, nor the assembled company of devout believers were astonished at the marvelous
T. M. Anderson—Prayer Availeth Much

Against the Modern Free-Thinkers.
Sir, THERE arrived in this neighbourhood, two days ago, one of your gay gentlemen of the town, who being attended at his entry with a servant of his own, besides a countryman he had taken up for a guide, excited the curiosity of the village to learn whence and what he might be. The countryman (to whom they applied as most easy of access) knew little more than that the gentleman came from London to travel and see fashions, and was, as he heard say, a Free-thinker; what religion that might be he could
Joseph Addison—The Evidences of the Christian Religion, with Additional Discourses

Cross References
Acts 9:27
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.

Acts 11:19
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.

Acts 11:20
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.

Acts 11:22
News of this reached the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch.

Acts 11:30
This they did, sending their gift to the elders by Barnabas and Saul.

Acts 12:25
When Barnabas and Saul had finished their mission, they returned from Jerusalem, taking with them John, also called Mark.

Acts 13:1
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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