Paul and Barnabas separated (Acts 15:39)

“The disagreement

Became so sharp

That Paul

And Barnabas


From each other.


Took Mark

With him,

As he sailed away

To Cyprus.”

ἐγένετο δὲ παροξυσμός, ὥστε ἀποχωρισθῆναι αὐτοὺς ἀπ’ ἀλλήλων, τόν τε Βαρνάβαν παραλαβόντα τὸν Μάρκον ἐκπλεῦσαι εἰς Κύπρον.

The author of Acts indicated that this disagreement became so sharp (ἐγένετο δὲ παροξυσμός) that Paul and Barnabas separated from each other (ὥστε ἀποχωρισθῆναι αὐτοὺς ἀπ’ ἀλλήλων).  Barnabas (τόν τε Βαρνάβαν) took (παραλαβόντα) Mark (τὸν Μάρκον) with him and they sailed away (ἐκπλεῦσαι) to Cyprus (εἰς Κύπρον).  Acts was the only Greek biblical writing that used this word ἐκπλεῦσαι, that means to sail away or sail out.  This disagreement between Paul and Barnabas became so serious that they decided to go their separate ways.  According to Paul’s letter to the Galatians, chapter 2:11-14, this dispute may also have been about whether Jewish Christians in Antioch should mingle with gentile Christians.  Anyway, Barnabas, who was from Cyprus, went with John Mark to Cyprus.  Earlier in chapter 4:36, Barnabas was called a Levite (Λευείτης), a native of Cyprus by birth (Κύπριος τῷ γένει), Joseph (Ἰωσὴφ), to whom the apostles (ἀπὸ τῶν ἀποστόλων) gave the name or called Barnabas (δὲ ὁ ἐπικληθεὶς Βαρνάβας), that translates or means (ὅ ἐστιν μεθερμηνευόμενον), “Son of encouragement (Υἱὸς παρακλήσεως).”  This Barnabas had been the missionary companion of the apostle Paul.  Obviously, he was one of the first missionaries to his native Cyprus, and probably its first bishop on this island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea.  Although from Cyprus, he was part of the priestly tribe of Levi in Jerusalem, known as the son of encouragement.  Thus, he was going back to his native Cyprus with John Mark, his cousin, according to Paul in the letter to the Colossians, chapter 4:10.  Paul would have to find a new traveling companion.  He and Barnabas were done.  Have you ever had a dispute with a former traveling companion?

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