The struggle between good and evil in the "Epistle" of Pseudo-Barnabas
Mirosław MejznerUniwersytet Kardynała Stefana Wyszyńskiego w Warszawie , Poland
The struggle between good and evil is one of the main subjects of the Epistle of Pseudo-Barnabas, which originated between 70 and 130, thus, in the period when apocalyptic literature was flourishing. The latter’s impact on the Epistle is undeniable, and is expressed in the characteristic approach of the present time as the „last days” marked by intense activity of evil forces. Even though the outcome of God’s struggle with Satan has already been decided by the victory of Jesus Christ on the cross, still it is ongoing, and at different levels. For Pseudo- Barnabas, two areas of this confrontation are of utmost importance: the orthodoxy of faith and morality of life. The first issue is treated very broadly (chapters I-XVII), and its essence is to convince the readers of the Letter of the saving exclusivism of Christianity. The author radically opposes Judaism, considering all its laws and institutions in their historical implementation (e.g. sacrifices, fasting, Sabbath, temple, ritual ordinances) as the result of both the incorrect (physical) interpretation of the inspired Scriptures and submission to Satan’s insidious work. The only people of the Covenant are those who have believed in Jesus Christ and were immersed in the water of baptism. The other area of the still ongoing struggle is the heart of a Christian who, at any time, has to choose between the way of life and the way of death (chapters XVIII-XX). The final manifestation of Christ’s victory over evil will happen at His second coming, when He will put an end to the „times of the Wicked” and will bring into His Kingdom all the Christians faithful to His teaching.
Keywords:Epistle Pseudo-Barnabas, good, evil, Christianity, Baptism, New People, Covenant, Judaism, Jews, Two ways, Judgment, Apocalipticism, Millenarism, Lord’s Kingdom, Pseudo-Barnabas
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