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[M & B] Re: Porter-Dugger Debate

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  • w_w_c_l
    ... Possibly first-century, don t forget, and no later than 132 AD, from internal evidence. ... It has been suggested that the document is a preserved form of
    Message 1 of 12 , Mar 4, 2007
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      --- In Maury_and_Baty@yahoogroups.com,
      Ernest <ernest77h@...> wrote:
      >
      > Re: [M & B] Re: Porter-Dugger Debate
      >
      > The quotations are from a second-century
      > document called the Epistle of Barnabas,
      > also known as Pseudo-Barnabas...

      Possibly first-century, don't forget, and
      no later than 132 AD, from internal evidence.


      > ...as the author of the epistle was clearly
      > not the Barnabas who was associated with
      > Paul. No one knows for certain who he was.

      It has been suggested that the document is
      a preserved form of an oral tradition that
      was not tranferred into written form until
      some years later. The writer's apparent lack
      of awareness of any written Synoptic Gospels
      seems to support this idea.

      But thank you for not using words like
      "forgery" and "spurious" as so many of your
      Sabbatarian brethren are wont to do in their
      attempts to distract attention away from the
      simple fact that, regardless of its authorship
      or the degree to which it is "inspired",
      "Pseudo-Barnabas" is a genuine historical
      document from the very early years of
      the Church that undeniably records first-day
      (eighth-day) worship services.


      > The Barnabas of the New Testament was
      > already a disciple of Christ before he met
      > Paul (Acts 11:22-26). Pseudo-Barnabas mentions
      > keeping the "eighth day," or day after the
      > seventh. The "present Sabbath" he mentions is
      > the seventh day, which points to a millennial
      > Sabbath--the seventh thousand-year period from
      > creation.

      It would be hard for me to explain how overjoyed
      I was when I first happened upon the Epistle of
      Barnabas on the internet. Through my own
      personal studies I had already figured out, years
      before, that Time does some funny things in the
      Bible, and that God has never yet "rested" from the
      beginning of the Creation until now (something that
      is incompatible with my fundamentalist upbringing,
      but even when I was a little kid that question of
      what happens when God rests bothered me.) To
      find what I had arrived at on my own, through the
      books of our own Canonical Scriptures, corroborated
      in a document from the earliest years of Christianity
      gave me a lot of assurance that I was on the right
      track with my "studies".

      (Don't get me wrong, though; there are some things
      in "Barnabas" that are highly doubtful, and I am
      not suggesting at all that it should have been
      accepted into the Canon. But it *is* a historical
      document, and the last part of it contains
      commandments for Christians that mirror the first
      part of the Didache, which is even earlier than
      "Barnabas" and is thought to be a corrupted form
      of the teachings of the Apostles themselves. The
      Didache also makes reference to assembly on "the
      Lord's own day".)


      > Apparently, his meaning is that the
      > millennial Sabbath is the first phase of
      > the New Creation, which fully comes about
      > after the seventh millennial day.

      Rather, the millennial Sabbath is the last phase
      of this present Creation. The eighth day is the
      "beginning" of the New Creation. But let's not
      get too hard-wired into this idea of linear Time...


      > Pseudo-Barnabas seems to be saying that he and
      > others observe Sunday with this hope in mind.
      >
      > But does he mean that Sunday, not Saturday,
      > is the acceptable day in God's sight? I don't
      > think that's what he means.

      He certainly says the "present Sabbaths" are
      not acceptable to the Lord in the 15th chapter.

      He is more explicit in chapter 2, though:

      Barnabas 2:5
      What to Me is the multitude of your sacrifices,
      saith the Lord. I am full of whole burnt-offerings,
      and the fat of lambs and the blood of bulls and of
      goats desire not, not though ye should come to be
      seen of Me. or who required these things at your
      hands? Ye shall continue no more to tread My court.
      If ye bring fine flour, it is in vain; incense is
      an abomination to Me; your new moons and your
      Sabbaths I cannot away with.

      Barnabas 2:6
      These things therefore He annulled, that the new
      law of our Lord Jesus Christ, being free from the
      yoke of constraint, might have its oblation not
      made by human hands.


      > In fact, his linking the seventh day with
      > the Millennium may suggest that he and/or
      > other Christians were also observing the
      > seventh day.

      From what he says above, I seriously doubt he
      is "observing the seventh day".


      > It is known, through other documents, that
      > some Christian groups observed both days in
      > the early centuries, though they recognized
      > the distinction between Sabbath and Sunday.

      Could you provide us with some information about
      which "other documents" you are referring to?

      As far as I have been able to gather, the only
      groups who observed both days were the Ebionites
      and the Nazarenes, who practiced some form of
      hybrid religion -- sort of a "Hail Mary and
      Moses too" doctrine where circumcision and other
      aspects of the Law of Moses were required. Are
      those the "Christian groups" you are talking
      about?


      From "Barnabas" we can make note of several
      things:

      1) Sunday worship predated Constantine's (the
      so-called "sun-worshipper") edict by at least
      190 years. The claim that Rome (as the "Beast")
      forced Sunday services (as the "mark of the
      Beast") on the world is therefore patently false.

      Instead, it seems a little more reasonable to
      believe Constantine declared Sunday a day of
      worship for Rome because the early Christians
      were already worshipping on that day and he, as
      a convert, was using his authority to promote
      the Faith, which is what secular history says
      as well.

      2) The author of the epistle writes as if he is
      neither Jewish nor Romish, referring to Rome
      as "their (the Jews') enemies", and nowhere
      does he indicate that Rome has been meddling
      around with telling the Christians when
      or how to worship.

      In fact, "Barnabas" gives his own explanation
      (and it seems like a good one!) of why the
      Christians adopted the first day of the week.

      It has nothing whatsoever to do with the Sun.

      Instead of Rome, the author more particularly
      seems to have a bone to pick with the Jews:

      Barnabas 4:6
      "Ye ought therefore to understand. Moreover I ask
      you this one thing besides, as being one of
      yourselves and loving you all in particular more
      than my own soul, to give heed to yourselves now,
      and not to liken yourselves to certain persons who
      pile up sin upon sin, saying that our covenant
      remains to them also."

      3) While the author does link Rome with the
      prophecies of Daniel and others, there is no
      hint that "keeping the eighth day" has
      anything to do with any "mark of the beast".

      In fact, Rome's destruction of the Temple is
      treated as the fulfillment of the prophecy for
      the Jews, not the Christians. From an
      eschatological standpoint this is an important
      detail. I'm not sure we need to get off very deep
      into end-times, but what Rome did to Jerusalem
      was a solemn warning for us today. But our "Rome"
      -- our "Babylon" -- is somewhat more insidious
      than a mere country that can be drawn on a map.

      4) The Resurrection is recorded as having occurred
      on the first day of the week, just like we have
      been led to believe by the Gospels, and not on
      the seventh, as some Sabbatarians try to argue.


      Once you really start looking into it, it
      turns out there is a great deal of evidence out
      there beyond the bounds of our own Scriptures that,
      when taken with what we know from the Bible, shows
      that Sunday has been a day of worship since the
      very beginning of the Church.


      Rick Hartzog
      Worldwide Church of Latitudinarianism
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