A Possible Source of an Idea for Barnabas
In a blog piece, I wrote March 2nd 2008, I indicated that the unknown author of The Epistle of Barnabas made a radical conclusion based upon his interpretation of the golden calf incident. He suggested that when Moses “cast the two tables from his hands” because the Israelites had turned to idols, they lost the covenant. At the time, I had wondered to myself if this unknown author had reached this radical conclusion on his own or if there was a basis for this idea in an earlier writing.
Ellen Juhl Christiansen has stated: “This idea is actually expressed in the Septuagint text which contains a sentence that is not in the MT. Thus Jeremiah 31:32 LXX reads after ‘not the covenant I made with their ancestors, when I took them by the hand to bring them out of
Thus Barnabas could have based his radical conclusion on the addition to the LXX text appearing in Jeremiah 31:32. This means that the generally accepted view that Barnabas relied upon an anti-Jewish source or tradition needs to be revisited.
Christiansen has recognized the addition to Jeremiah 31:32 appearing in the LXX but is currently of the view that Barnabas may have utilized an ant-Jewish tradition. I am rereading Christiansen’s book and hope to clarify her views.
This is a work in progress.