Barnett holds a MA Hons from the University of Sydney, a ThL from the Australian College of Theology, a BD Hons and a PhD (London) on the interaction between the New Testament and Jewish history of the first century. His dissertation at the University of London was titled "The Jewish eschatalogical prophets A.D. 40-70 in their theological and political setting". "[He is] now a teaching fellow at Regent College, Vancouver, [and] is a respected classicist and historian."
Barnett was ordained in 1965 and ministered at St Barnabas' Broadway in Sydney and North Terrace in Adelaide before becoming the master of Robert Menzies College at Macquarie University from 1980. He was later the chairman of the New Documents Illustrating early Christianity project which is now in its 10th volume. The ninth volume was dedicated to Barnett and contains an introduction on his impact on New Testament ancient history by Edwin Judge. He is married to Anita Barnett.
^Among others he has written Is the New Testament History? (1986), The Message of 2 Corinthians (1988), Bethlehem to Patmos (1989), The Two Faces of Jesus (1990), Jesus and the Logic of History (1997), Birth of Christianity (2005) and Paul, Missionary of Jesus > British Library website accessed 15:58 GMT 21 February 2011