The letter of Barnabas is attested by some early fathers as being written by the Biblical Barnabas. However, the letter itself contains no indication who wrote it. It was definitely known in Alexandria around the year 190 A.D. Internal evidence indicates it was certainly written after 70 A.D. since it alludes to the destruction of the temple. It may also have been written before 132 A.D. and the Bar Kochba revolt because the writer expects to see the temple rebuilt which seems unlikely after this date since it would appear to be unfeasible to expect the Romans to assist in such an endeavour after the revolt. Hadrian also built a pagan temple on the site in 135 A.D. Although the book appears at times to have a distinctly Jewish apocalyptic flavor on the surface, there is also a strong stream of allegorical Platonism running through the book suggesting it may have been written in Alexandria, which would also explain why the Alexandrians seem to be the only Christians reading this book prior to the fourth century. Although we can ascertain a possible time frame for its writing, the true identity of the author and place of writing remains uncertain.
Last Update: January 23, 2011
"If the Lord endured to suffer for our soul, he being Lord of all the world, to whom God said at the foundation of the world, "Let us make man after our image, and after our likeness," understand how it was that he endured to suffer at the hand of men" (5).
"For the Scripture says concerning us, while He speaks to the Son, "Let us make man after our image, and after our likeness.... These things [were spoken] to the Son" (6).