Barnabas,- born Joseph, was according to tradition an early Christian, one of the prominent Christian disciples in Jerusalem. According to Acts 4:36, Barnabas was a Cypriot Jew. Named an apostle in Acts 14:14, he and Paul the Apostle undertook missionary journeys together and defended Gentile converts against the Judaizers. They traveled together making more converts and participated in the Council of Jerusalem. Barnabas and Paul successfully evangelized among the “God-fearing” Gentiles who attended synagogues in various Hellenized cities of Anatolia.
Barnabas’ story appears in the Acts of the Apostles, and Paul mentions him in some of his epistles. Tertullian named him as the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, but this and other attributions are conjecture. Clement of Alexandria and some scholars have ascribed the Epistle of Barnabas to him, but his authorship is disputed.
Although it is believed he was martyred by being stoned, the apocryphal Acts of Barnabas states that he was bound with a rope by the neck, and then being dragged only to the site where he would be burned to death.
St. Barnabas is venerated as the Patron Saint of Cyprus.
Barnabas the Apostle is remembered in the Church of England with a Festival on 11 June.