THE LETTER OF BARNABAS
4 For through all the prophets he has shown us that he has no need of sacri ﬁces, whole burnt offerings, or regular offerings. For he says in one place, 5 “What is the multitude of your sac riﬁces to me? says the Lord. I am sated with whole burnt offerings, and have no desire for the fat of lambs, the blood of bulls and goats—not even if you should come to appear before me. For who sought these things from your hands? Trample my court no longer. If you bring ﬁne ﬂour, it is futile; incense is loathsome to me. I cannot stand your new moons and sabbaths.”2 6 And so he nulliﬁed these things that the new law of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is without the yoke of compulsion, should provide an offering not made by humans. 7 And again he says to them, “Did I command your fathers who came out from the land of Egypt to offer whole burnt offerings and sacriﬁces to me?”3 8 “No, this is what I commanded them: Let none of you bear a grudge against your neighbor in your heart, and do not love a false oath.”4 9 And so, since we are not ignorant, we should perceive the good intention of our Father. For he is speaking to us, want ing us to seek how to make an offering to him without being deceived like them. 10 And so he says to us: “A sacriﬁce to the Lord is a crushed heart; a sweet fragrance to the Lord is a heart that glo riﬁes the one who made it.”5 And so, brothers, we ought to learn clearly about our salvation, to keep the Evil One from hurling us away from our life after bring ing error in through the backdoor.
And so he speaks to them again concerning these things, “Why do you fast for me, says the Lord, so that your voice is heard crying out today? This is not the fast I have chosen, says
the Lord—not a person humbling his soul. 2 Not even if you bend your neck into a circle and put on sackcloth and make for yourself a bed of ashes—not even so should you call this a proper fast.”6 3 But he says to us, “See, this is the fast I have chosen, says the Lord. Loosen every bond of injustice; unravel the strangle-hold of coercive agreements; send forth in forgiveness those who are downtrodden; tear up every unfair con tract. Break your bread for the hungry, and provide clothing for anyone you see naked. Bring the homeless under your roof. And if you see anyone who has been humbled, do not despise him—neither you nor anyone from your children’s household. 4 Then your light will burst forth at dawn, your garments will quickly rise up, your righteousness will go forth before you, and the glory of God will clothe you. 5 Then you will cry out and God will hear you. While you are still speaking he will say, ‘See! Here I am!’—if, that is, you remove from yourself bondage, the threatening gesture, and the word of com plaint, and from your heart you give your bread to the poor and show mercy to the person who has been humbled.”7 6 The one who is patient anticipated, brothers, that the people he prepared in his beloved would believe, in a state of innocence. And so he revealed all things to us in advance, that we not be dashed againstb their law as newcomers.c
And so by carefully investigating what is here and now, we must seek
Or: shipwrecked on
Isa 1:11–13. 3Jer 7:22. 4Zech 8:17. Isa 58:3–5. 7Isa 58:6–10.