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Published On:03 March 2012
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

Jesus predicted coming of Muhammad, Bible of Barnabas endorses Islamic view of Christ

Barnabas Bible (gospel) is once again in news. The Bible contains early teachings of Jesus Christ and is written in gold lettering on animal hide in Syriac, a dialect of Aramaic, which was the native tongue of Jesus. In the book Barnabas depicts the life and ministry of Jesus which mostly conform to the teachings of the Holy Qura’n and are in utter contrast to what the four canonized gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John say. Among many other things Barnabas says that Christ (Isa ) predicted the coming of the Prophet Muhammad ( S.A.W.).


By Mohammad Shahid Parvez


Barnabas Bible (gospel) is once again in news. The Vatican has requested the Turkish authorities to examine the 1500- year – old book that is said to be the Bible of Barnabas reportedly seized by it from smugglers in a Mediterranean-area operation. The report states that the gang was charged with smuggling antiquities, illegal excavations, and the possession of explosives. The Bible contains early teachings of Jesus Christ and is written in gold lettering on animal hide in Syriac, a dialect of Aramaic, which was the native tongue of Jesus. In the book Barnabas depicts the life and ministry of Jesus which mostly conform to the teachings of the Holy Qura’n and are in utter contrast to what the four canonized gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John say. Among many other things Barnabas says that Christ (Isa ) predicted the coming of the Prophet Muhammad ( S.A.W.).


Who was Barnabas?


Barnabas in his gospel introduces himself to be one of the twelve apostles of Jesus. He claims to have been with Jesus from the beginning to the end and is an eye witness to the incidents of the prophet’s life and his teachings. He also says at the end of the book that at the time of his departure Jesus had given him the responsibility to clarify the misgiving and bring the truth about him before the world. The name of Barnabas, however does not find a mention in the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. But in the Acts of the canonical Bible a man with the name is mentioned as a Levite of Cypriot origin who sold his land and presented the money to the Apostles. But it is not mentioned as to when he embraced the religion of Jesus Christ. Maulana Abul A’la Maudoodi therefore expresses doubt if the Barnabas of the Acts of the present Bible is the same as the author of this book. The names of the twelve Apostles mentioned in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark differ from the list given by Barnabas in respect of two names. Barnabas mentions the name of Judas son of James and his own name which find no mention in Matthew and Mark though Judas name figures in Luke. Because of this variation Maulana Maudoodi concludes’ It is possible that Barnabas’ name was deliberately omitted to get rid of his Bible.’


Gospel of Barnabas


The Gospel of Barnabas is about the same length as the four canonical gospels put together and it is this Bible, not the canonical four gospels, which is the authentic source of knowing the life and teachings of the Christ. In the introductory chapter to his Gospel Barnabas says: ‘Dearly beloved the great and wonderful God hath during these past days visited us by his prophet Jesus Christ in great mercy of teaching and miracles, by reason whereof many, being deceived of Satan, under presence of piety, are preaching most impious doctrine, calling Jesus son of God, repudiating the circumcision ordained of God for ever, and permitting every unclean meat: among whom also Paul hath been deceived, whereof I speak not without grief; for which cause I am writing that truth which I have seen and heard, in the intercourse that I have had with Jesus, in order that ye may be saved, and not be deceived of Satan and perish in the judgment of God. Therefore beware of every one that preacheth unto you new doctrine contrary to that which I write, that ye may be saved eternally. — Introduction to the Gospel of Barnabas (12)


The Gospel was accepted as a canonical gospel in the Churches of Alexandria till 325 C.E. Iranaeus (130-200) wrote in support of pure monotheism and opposed Paul for injecting into Christianity doctrines of pagan Roman religions and Palatonic philosophy. He had quoted extensively from Barnabas in support of his views. This shows that the Gospel of Barnabas was in circulation in the first and second centuries of Christianity. But later the Gospel was declared apocryphal and in 325 C.E. the Nicene Council accorded sanctity to Paulin beliefs and ordered that all original Gospels in Hebrew script be destroyed. An edict was issued that anybody found in possession of these Gospels will be put to death. Later in 367 C.E. a list of authoritative books was declared through a letter of Pope Athanasius and endorsed by the decree of Western Churches in 382C.E. Finally in 496 C.E. a Glasian decree declared a list of forbidden books that include Barnabas’ book ‘Evangelium Barnabe’. After this the Gospel of Barnabas disappeared for centuries. In the sixteenth century a copy of Italian translation this Gospel was in the private library of Pope Sixtus and nobody was allowed to read it. This Italian manuscript somehow came in the possession of Toland and after his death passing through various hands it reached Imperial library in Vienna in 1738. An English translation of the Italian manuscript was published by the Caleronden Press in 1907. But no sooner was it published than it disappeared perhaps because the Christendom realized that the book will damage the very foundation of the religion that is being associated with Jesus Christ. Another translation of this Italian manuscript was done in Spanish which George Cell mentions in the preface to his translation of Qura’n.


What Barnabas Bible says


The Gospel of Barnabas strike at the very root of the fundamental belief of the modern Christianity as it contradicts the New Testament biblical accounts of life and ministry of Jesus and has strong parallels with the Islamic faith. The Gospel not only mentions Mohammad (S.A.W.) by name but also considers Jesus as a prophet and not the son of God as the New Testament describes him. While calling Paul ‘the deceived’ the Gospel of Barnabas says that Judas Iscariot was crucified, not Jesus as he was raised to heaven and escaped. According to the Gospel of Barnabas, Jesus foresaw and rejected his own deification: And having said this, Jesus smote his face with both his hands, and then smote the ground with his head. And having raised his head, he said: "Cursed be every one who shall insert into my sayings that I am the son of God."—53:6 (5)


On another occasion Jesus said again: "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. "— 94:1(8)


And when the priest assured Jesus that he would write to Roman Senate for a decree that ‘none shall anymore call you God or son of God’ then Jesus said: "With your words I am not consoled, because where you hope for light darkness shall come; but my consolation is in the coming of the Messenger, who shall destroy every false opinion of me, and his faith shall spread and shall take hold of the whole world, for so has God promised to Abraham our father."—97:1 (9)


About the crucification Jesus foretold Barnabas


"Know, O Barnabas, that for this I must have great persecution, and shall be sold by one of my disciples for thirty pieces of money. Whereupon I am sure that he who shall sell me shall be slain in my name, for that God shall take me up from the earth, and shall change the appearance of the traitor so that every one shall believe him to be me; nevertheless, when he dies an evil death, I shall abide in that dishonour for a long time in the world. But when Muhammad shall come, the sacred Messenger of God, that infamy shall be taken away. And this shall God do because I have confessed the truth of the Messiah who shall give me this reward, that I shall be known to be alive and to be a stranger to that death of infamy."


Prediction of Muhammad (S.A.W.)


The Gospel of Barnabas claims that Jesus predicted the advent of Muhammad, thus conforming to the Qur'an which mentions: And remember, Jesus, the son of Mary, said: O Children of Israel! I am the apostle of God (sent) to you, confirming the Law (which came) before me, and giving Glad Tidings of a Messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad. But when he came to them with Clear Signs, they said, this is evident sorcery!(-Sura61:6)


And in the Bible of Barnabas Jesus predicts the coming of Muhammad ( S.A.W.) in these words: "The name of the Messiah is admirable, for God himself gave him the name when he had created his soul, and placed it in a celestial splendour. God said: 'Wait Mohammed; for thy sake I will to create paradise, the world, and a great multitude of creatures, whereof I make thee a present, insomuch that whoso bless thee shall be blessed, and whoso shall curse thee shall be accursed. When I shall send thee into the world I shall send thee as my messenger of salvation, and thy word shall be true, insomuch that heaven and earth shall fail, but thy faith shall never fail.' Mohammed is his blessed name." Then the crowd lifted up their voices, saying: "O God, send us thy messenger: O Admirable One, come quickly for the salvation of the world!"—Barnabas 97:9-10


Ahmad is another name of Muhammad (S.A.W.)


In this passage Jesus Calls Muhammad the Messiah which contradicts Qura’n which says that Messiah will be named Isa. Qura’n says: (Remember) when the angels said: "O Maryam (Mary)! Verily, Allah gives you the glad tidings of a Word ["Be!" - and he was! i.e. 'Îsa the son of Maryam, daughter of Imran(Eng. Amran)] from Him, his name will be the Messiah 'Îsa, the son of Maryam, held in honour in this world and in the Hereafter, and will be one of those who are near to Allah." - Surah 3:45.


But scholars are of the opinion that this contradiction may have occurred due mainly to two reasons. First Messiah can be the formal name of Isa, Jesus Christ as the Christians call him, but scholars agree that the term in the meaning of anointed can be used for others, such as King David, anointed to kingship, and his son Solomon. Secondly scholars say that since the Gospel of Barnabas is available in translations it has been modified and in such cases such inconsistencies are bound to occur.


Barnabas also quotes Jesus as saying that the son of Abraham whom he was willing to sacrifice was Ismael not Issac. When the high priest asks Jesus as to who was the son whom Abraham was willing to slay in obedience to God Jesus answered: "Truly I say, the son of Abraham was Ishmael, from whom must be descended the Messiah promised to Abraham, that in him should all the tribes of the earth be blessed." Then was the high priest wroth, hearing this, and cried out: "Let us stone this impious fellow, for he is an Ishmaelite, and has spoken blasphemy against Moses and against the Law of God." — Barnabas 208:1-2 (4)


Here, one version of the Gospel of Barnabas also quotes Jesus as saying that the sacrificed son of Abraham was Ishmael not Isaac, conforming to Islamic belief but disagreeing with Jewish and Christian belief. A connection might also be drawn between the last paragraph's statement that "in him should all the tribes of the earth be blessed", and the meaning of the name "Muhammad", the "Praised (or Blessed) One". (Cf.Life of Prophet Muhammad)


The Bible of Barnabas is full of such passages that predict the advent of Muhammad (S.A.W.) and conform to the teachings of Islam and decry the beliefs of the Canonical Bible. There are passages that give details account of Jesus’ prayers and fasts, circumcision which he never forbade and other teachings.But it is not possible to account them all in a short article like this. Maulana Maudoodi rightly says that Bible of Barnabas was a great gift of God which would have saved the Christianity from false dogmas and beliefs but they lost it due to their jealous and stubborn attitude. Now if the Syric manuscript recovered in Turkey is the Bible of Barnabas as claimed it may shed more light on the life and teachings of Jesus.


[Mohammad Shahid Parvez is former News Editor, National Herald, Lucknow. He is associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Bureau Chief (Uttar Pradesh). He can be contacted at mshahidparvez@gmail.com]

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Posted by Indian Muslim Observer on March 03, 2012. Filed under , , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

By Indian Muslim Observer on March 03, 2012. Filed under , , , , , . Follow any responses to the RSS 2.0. Leave a response

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