Authenticity of Gospel of Barnabas

Gospel of Barnabas
Gospel of Barnabas

“The Gospel of Barnabas,” is believed to be somewhere between 1500-2000 years old, and was found in Turkey. The book was found and kept a secret since the year 2000. It was recently uncovered when it was seized from smugglers who also took some items from excavations. The National Turk reported the value of the Bible is $28 million. It was originally thought that The Gospel of Barnabas was not included in the New Testament alongside Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, because it opposes the New Testament and has clear similarities to the Muslim interpretation of Jesus, however, some research has been carried out about the authenticity of this so called Gospel and findings are discussed below

Most Controversial Verses of Gospel of Barnabas

Jesus confessed, and said the truth: ‘I am not the Messiah.” (42)

Whereupon the wonderful God acted wonderfully, insomuch that Judas was so changed in speech and in face to be like Jesus that we believed him to be Jesus”. (216)

So they led [Judas] to Mount Calvary, where they used to hang malefactors, and there they crucified him naked; for the greater ignominy. Judas truly did nothing else but cry out: ‘God, why have you forsaken me, seeing the malefactor has escaped and I die unjustly?’ Truly I say that the voice, the face, and the person of Judas were so like to Jesus, that his disciples and believers entirely believed that he was Jesus; wherefore some departed from the doctrine of Jesus, believing that Jesus had been a false prophet, and that by art magic he had done the miracles which he did: for Jesus had said that he should not die till near the end of the world; for that at that time he should be taken away from the world”.(217)

I confess before heaven, and call to witness everything that dwells upon the earth, that I am a stranger to all that men have said of me, to wit, that I am more than man. For I am a man, born of a woman, subject to the judgment of God; that live here like as other men, subject to the common miseries.” (2)

Analysis of Gospel of Barnabas

  • The Gospel of Barnabas is a book about the life of Jesus. It is sometimes confused with the Acts of Barnabas and the Epistle of Barnabas, but it’s an entirely different work in both style and content.
  • According to the National Turk, the Vatican requested the book to look at it for themselves. They were able to translate some of the inscribed text in the beginning of the book, and it read, “In the name of the Lord, this book is written by monks of the high monastery in Nineveh in the 1500th year of our Lord.” One of the main problems they saw with this intro is some of the language used. For one, monks would never refer to the Bible as just a “book,” but rather a “Holy Book” or “Old and New Testament.”
  • The Gospel of Barnabas appears to mix facts from both the Bible and the Muslim Faith,  while not fully leaning toward either of them because it gets facts wrong on both accounts.
  • In the Vatican’s study, they concluded the book was written by a some Jewish man in the Middle Ages who was familiar with both Islam and Christianity.
  • In one of the sentences in the book it refers to a unit of measurement in pounds. Vatican Insider, reported that pounds did not become a unit of weight until the Ottoman empire, which helps them to find the date of the manuscript at its earliest.
  • The author of the Gospel of Barnabas could not have been the biblical Barnabas. The real Barnabas was a generously encouraged the early church (Acts 4:36-37). He was not one of the original twelve disciples of Jesus as the Gospel of Barnabas mistakenly claims. Barnabas was the one who was persuaded by the apostles, Saint Paul had changed from a persecutor of the church to a follower of Jesus (Acts 9:27). The true Barnabas was a missionary, telling the good news of Jesus (Acts 13:2).
  • If the Gospel of Barnabas were written in the first century, it would have been quoted in other documents of the same time period. It is not cited, however, a single time in works of either the church fathers or Muslim clerics until the fifteenth century.
  • The Gospel of Barnabas contains quotations from Dante Alighieri, references to an edict from Pope Boniface, and descriptions of feudalism. Therefore, scholars place the date of authorship around the fifteenth century.
  • The descriptions of Israel show that the author of the Gospel of Barnabas was not familiar with its geography. He wrote that Jesus sailed to Nazareth—an inland city.
  • Chapter 152 describing wine being stored in wooden casks, which were not widely used in the Roman empire until about 300 years after the time of Jesus.
  • Chapter 91 refers to the “40 Days” as an annual fast, but fasting for 40 days during Lent cannot be traced back further than 325.
  • Quotes from the Old Testament correspond to the readings in the Latin Vulgate, which Saint Jerome did not even begin work on until 328.

If the Turkish version were 1,500 years old, that’s too late to have been written by an apostle of Jesus. Even if it was written 350 Years after death of Christ, it is still not qualified to be part of New Testament.

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