Barnabas was a Friend of Jesus who came from the island of Cyprus. He was a generous supporter of those who were poor and hungry – even selling off some land he owned, so he could give the money away. In Acts 4:37 we read these words, “He sold a field he owned and brought the money to the apostles.” (New Living Translation). Acts is a book from the New Testament part of the Bible.

Barnabas was good at explaining the message of Jesus, so the church sent him off with Paul, to tell people in other countries about God’s love. Many people became Friends of Jesus because of Barnabas and Paul. Barnabas was a big support to Paul, helping make sick people well and going to many cities where no one had heard about Jesus. He also encouraged his younger cousin, Mark, by taking him home to Cyprus, telling people the good news about Jesus as he went.

For most of his early life Barnabas was actually called Joseph! The early Christian leaders gave him another name (like a nickname) because what he did and said was such an encouragement to everyone. So they gave him a name which means ‘encourager’ – Barnabas!

To find out more, read...
Acts 4:32-37
Acts 14:8-20

and watch Friends and Heroes...
Series 1 Episode 9, “Doing our Part”

Picture of Barnabas

Joseph of Cyprus

Paul and Barnabas