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On-line version ISSN 2304-8557
Print version ISSN 0023-270X


STENSCHKE, C.W.. When the second man takes the lead: Reflections on Joseph Barnabas and Paul of Tarsus and their relationship in the New Testament. Koers (Online) [online]. 2010, vol.75, n.3, pp.503-525. ISSN 2304-8557.

Upon scrutiny Joseph Barnabas, mentioned in the New Testament mainly in the Book of Acts but also elsewhere, emerges as one of the great leaders and mentors in early Christianity. This article offers a biographical sketch of Barnabas with a particular focus on his relationship with Paul. While Barnabas appears to have been the mentor of Paul at an early stage and the leader at the beginning of the first missionary journey, he later on made room for Paul to take the lead while he (Barnabas) continued to support Paul faithfully. It seems that much of what Paul later practised in his own mission work and the way he sought for and trained co-workers had its origin in his mentorship by Barnabas. This relationship of Barnabas and Paul provides a case study of how leaders can develop and how relationships may change. The biblical portrait of this relationship addresses several crucial issues in leadership and poses several challenges to those concerned with Christian leadership.

Keywords : Joseph Barnabas leadership; biblical models of leadership; change in leadership; New Testament Paul.

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