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THE LETTER OF BARNABAS

is the good paymaster of the reward. Guard the injunctions you have received, neither adding to them nor taking away. Completely hate what is evil. Give a fair judgment. 12 Do not create a schism, but make peace by bringing together those who are at odds. Confess your sins. Do not come to prayer with an evil conscience. This is the path of light.

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But the path of the Black One is crooked and filled with a curse. For it is the path of eternal death which comes with punishment; on it are those things that destroy people’s souls: idolatry, impertinence, glorification of power, hypocrisy, duplicity, adultery, murder, robbery, arrogance, transgres­ sion, deceit, malice, insolence, sorcery, magic, greed, irreverence towards God. 2 It is filled with persecutors of the good, haters of the truth, lovers of the lie; those who do not know the reward of righteousness, nor cling to the good nor to a fair judgment, who do not look out for the widow and the orphan, who are alert not to the reverential fear of God but to evil, from whom meekness and patience are far removed and remote. For they love what is vain and pursue a re­ ward, showing no mercy to the poor nor toiling for the oppressed, who are prone to slander, not knowing the one who made them; murderers of children and corruptors of what God has fashioned, who turn their backs on the needy, op­ press the afflicted, and support the wealthy. They are lawless judges of the impoverished, altogether sinful.

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to walk in them. For the one who does these things will be glorified in the king­ dom of God. The one who chooses those other things will be destroyed, along with his works. This is why there is a resur­ rection; this is why a recompense. 2 I ask those of you who are in high positions, if you are willing to receive advice from my good counsel: keep some people among yourselves for whom you can do good, and do not fail. 3 The day is near when all things will perish, along with the wicked one. The Lord is near, as is his reward.92 4 Again and again I ask you, be your own good lawgivers, remain faithful ad­ visors to yourselves, remove all hypoc­ risy from yourselves. 5 And may God, the one who rules the entire world, give you wisdom, under­ standing, perception, knowledge of his righteous demands, and patience. 6 Become those who are taught by God, enquiring into what the Lord seeks from you. And do it, that you may be found in the day of judgment. 7 And if there is any recollection of what is good, remember me by practicing these things, that my desire and vigilance may lead to a good result. I ask this of you, begging for a favor. 8 While the good vessel is still with you, do not fail in any of these things, but enquire fervently after them and ful­ fill every commandment. For they are worth doing. 9 Therefore I have been all the more eager to write what I could, to make you glad. Be well, children of love and peace. May the Lord of glory and of every gra­ cious gift be with your spirit.

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And so it is good for one who has learned all the upright de­ mands of the Lord that have been written,

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Cf. Isa 40:10; Rev 22:12.

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