Barsabas of Jerusalem, On Christ and the Churches:
The early Christian text On Christ and the Chrurches (late 2nd or early3rd cent.) attributed to some Barsabas of Jerusalem is known only in Georgian translation, in the only manuscript Iviron 11 (10thcent., going back to an earlier asomtavruli model; translation can be dated to the second half of the 5th cent.). The first study of this text together with the editio princeps was presented in 1982 by Michel van Esbroeck.Since then, only two particular topics of this work were studied: exegesis of Josephus (F. Manns, 1984) and anti-Jewish polemics (D. Bumazhnov, 2009). The peculiar composition of the work and its genre remain unexplained.
In the present study I propose an interpretation of the text as a Christian reworking of a Jewish Second Temple apocalyptic frame especially close to that of 2 Baruch and 4 Ezra. The liturgical calendars implied in the latter help to understand the composition of Barsabas’ work. However, unlike the Jewish apocalypses, Barsabas explains each prophesy as fulfilled in Christ.