The Gospel of Barnabas
A short examination
The purpose of this article is to prove to sincere seekers of the truth, and to them only, that the book known as the "Gospel of Barnabas" is not a true or authentic gospel. To begin with, we can make the following dogmatic statements: No one can believe this "gospel" and believe the Holy Bible at the same time. Furthermore, no one can believe the "Gospel of Barnabas" and believe the Koran at the same time. He who believes it, can neither be a true Muslim, nor a true Christian. No wonder then that the late distinguished professor of Islam, Dr. Abbas Mahmoud Al Aqqad, former professor at the distinguished Islamic university, Al Azhar Al Sharif, advised Muslims to stay away from this false gospel, because according to him and the facts of the case, it destroys Islam as much, if not more, than it destroys Christianity.
Why then do some Muslims refer to it as if it proves Islam and contradicts Christianity? The answer is that most Muslims who refer to it have either never read it, or never seriously studied it. They have been told that the Bible has been corrupted, and they are trying to find some support for that claim. So they assume that the "gospel" of Barnabas proves that accusation. As a matter of fact, the whole theological controversy between Islam and Christianity depends on whether the Bible has been corrupted or not.
How did the accusation that the Bible was changed come about? The answer is as follows:
- The Koran testified to the truth of the Bible. It declared it to be given by God, and it even exhorted Muhammad himself to read it in order to be convinced that the message he received was from God. (See the following Suras in the Koran: The Table (5):43,44,46,47,48,68; The Women (4):136; The Cattle (6):89,90; The Narration (28):49, and others).
- As time went on, many differences were found between the accounts in the Bible and those in the Koran, not only in historical accounts, but also in cardinal doctrines.
- There were only two choices left: either to declare that the Koran was wrong and forsake it at the risk of being killed, or declare that the Bible has been changed. They chose the latter.
It can be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Bible has not been changed:
- There are many ancient copies of the Bible that date back to hundreds of years before Muhammad's time, and they are exactly the same as the Bible we have today.
- By the time of the Koran and Muhammad, there were many, many copies of the Bible in different languages and in many countries. How could they all have been changed in the same way in all these places? Common sense tells us that this is not possible.
- There are many passages that are rather difficult to understand in the Bible. Would they not have changed these, if they were to change any part? Furthermore, those who make this false accusation should tell us who made the changes—when, why, and what parts were changed. But of course they cannot because there were no such changes made. Christians love their Holy Bible, and many chose to die rather than forsake it.
- The Old Testament of the Bible is the Holy Book for the Jew, and is exactly the same in the Jewish Bible as in the Holy Bible that Christians have. Could they both have agreed to change it the same way, when they differ so sharply in their beliefs? Take for example the prophecy of Isaiah 53, which speaks clearly of the death of Christ for man's salvation. The Jews do not read it because of what it says, but it is still in their Bible, word for word, as in the Bible that Christians have, guard, and honor.
I once had a discussion with a good friend of mine who is a very religious and highly educated Muslim. His answer was that what I said is true and convincing, "But," he added, "I still have to say that the Bible was changed, or else I cannot remain a Muslim!"
What then is the truth about the "Gospel of Barnabas?" I will make the following remarks:
- It first became available for study at the beginning of the 18th century, when it was placed in the library in Vienna, Austria. The evidence suggests that it was written in the 14th century in Europe. It makes statements that prove that it was not written by someone who knew the geography or ways of life in Palestine in the first century. It was translated into Arabic and published in that language for the first time in Cairo, Egypt in 1908. Since then the great majority of those who quote from it have never read it or even seen it.
- This book claims that Muhammad, not Jesus, is the Christ (Al Maseeh), contrary to both the Bible and the Koran.
- This book makes many scientific mistakes, for example:
- It makes the earth larger in size than the sun.
- It claims that the navel (umbilicus) is a result of Satan spitting on the mass of clay from which man was created!!
- It states that Adam tried to stop himself from swallowing the forbidden fruit, and that resulted in the protrusion known as the larynx.
- His ignorance of the land where Christ lived is very obvious. For example, he places Nazareth at the shore of the Sea of Galilee.
The above are just a few examples of the many errors contained in this false document, and should be enough to prove how ridiculous this document really is, and in fact, so is the whole argument concerning it.
Finally, dear reader, please allow me to tell you that Satan always fights against the truth of the Bible, especially the truth concerning the Person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the Bible says: "To Him give all the (true) prophets witness, that through His name whosoever believes in Him shall receive remission (forgiveness) of sins" (Acts 10:43).
Here you can find much detailed discussion about The "Gospel" of Barnabas.