Acts 4:36

Barnabas (Barnaba). His name was Joseph (correct text, and not Jesus) and he is mentioned as one illustration of those in verse Luke 34 who selling brought the money. The apostles gave him the nickname Barnabas by which later he was known because of this noble deed. This fact argues that all did not actually sell, but were ready to do so if needed. Possibly Joseph had a larger estate than some others also. The meaning of the nickname is given by Luke as "son of consolation or exhortation" (uio paraklhsew). Doubtless his gifts as a preacher lay along this same line. Rackham thinks that the apostles gave him this name when he was recognized as a prophet. In Acts 11:23 the very word parekalei (exhorted) is used of Barnabas up at Antioch. He is the type of preacher described by Paul in 1 Corinthians 14:3 . Encouragement is the chief idea in paraklhsi though exhortation, comfort, consolation are used to render it ( Acts 9:31 ; Acts 13:15 ; Acts 15:31 ). See also Acts 16:9 ; Acts 20:12 . It is not necessary to think that the apostles coined the name Barnabas for Joseph which originally may have come from Barnebou (Deissmann, Bible Studies, pp. 308-10), son of Nebo, or even the Hebrew Bar Nebi (son of a prophet). But, whatever the origin, the popular use is given by Luke. He was even called apostle along with Paul ( Acts 14:14 ) in the broad sense of that word.