Believers in Saint Barney

In 1844 Colonel von Touchratt discovered a fourth-century codex of a first-century epistle written in chapters and verses by Barney of Antioch. Internal evidence lets us place Barney as the porter who carried the tents during the journeys of Paul from Antioch to Cypress, Perga, and Iconium. “Behold,” it begins, “the man who took down the tents in Cypress was the man who staked them down and raised them again in Perga.” Barney’s epistle talks about how one man’s burden can become a gift to another, how humility can go with strength, and how, lacking complaints, a man should resolve to be happy. Barney compared himself to the oxen that David sacrificed before dancing before the Lord, but said that he would not be a scapegoat to bear others’ guilt and to be let go into the wilderness. After publication of the epistle, several churches in Germany and Britain were dedicated to Saint Barney and the hope that redemption can come by labor. Craft unions heartily adopted Barney as a patron of devotion to the knowledge of a craft or trade and to the work that makes goods and delivers them to others.