Public Lecture: Prof. Michael Cosby on Barnabas in Cyprus

Think about attending this lecture, especially if you are interested in ancient history or biblical history.  –JF

“From Peacemaker to Warrior Saint

The Transformation of Barnabas on the Island of Cyprus”

Public Lecture by Michael R. Cosby,

Prof. of New Testament & Greek

Alternate Chapel

February 12, 2013

Parmer Cinema, Boyer Hall

7:00–8:30  Lecture and time for Questions and Answers

8:30-9:30 Refreshments in Howe Auditorium


The New Testament presents Barnabas, a native of Cyprus, as a peacemaker who developed compromise solutions in churches experiencing ethnic strife. Yet Greek Cypriots today view Barnabas as a warrior and pray that he will drive Turks from the island. Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974 and still occupies a third of the island. Cyprus seethes with hatred and is a case study in the difficulty of finding a peaceful solution to a complex situation centuries in the making. How did Barnabas transform from peacemaker to warrior? Until recently, no one had investigated this mystery.

Prof. Cosby spent four months in Cyprus as a senior Fulbright Fellow, exploring ancient texts and interviewing Cypriots. He discovered that Barnabas has been recreated as a symbol of Greek Cypriot nationalism during a long history of political intrigue. Cosby’s lecture illuminates how fabricated stories can become truth through retelling and contribute to the demise of a nation.

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