The Gospel of Barnabas and Jesus
Extract of Page 129-130 of Gospel of BARNABAS. Jesus, weeping said: “O BARNABAS, it is necessary that I should reveal to thee great secrets which, after that I shall be departed from the world, thou shalt reveal to it.”
Then answered he that writeth, weeping and said: “Suffer me to weep, O master, and other men also, for that we are sinners. And thou, that art an holy one and prophet of God, it is not fitting for thee to weep so much.”
Jesus answered: “Believe me, BARNABAS, that I cannot weep as much as I ought. For if men had not called me God, I should of seen God here as he will be seen in paradise, and should of been safe not to fear the day of Judgement. But God knoweth that I am innocent, because never have I harboured thought to be held more than a poor slave.
Nay, I tell thee that I had not been called God I should have been carried into paradise when I shall depart from the world, whereas now I shall not go thither until judgement. Now thou seest if I have cause to weep.
Know O BARNABAS, that for this I must have great persecution, and shall whereupon I am sure that he who sell me shall be slain in my name, for that God shall take me up from the earth and shall change appearance of the traitor so that everyone shall believe him to be me; nevertheless, when he dieth an evil death, I shall abide in that dishonor for a long time in the world.
But when MOHAMMED 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 reward, that I shall be known alive and to be a stranger to that death of infamy.”
Then answered him that he writeth: “O master, tell me who is wretch, for I fain would choke him to death.”
“Hold thy peace,” answered Jesus, “for so God willeth, and he cannot do otherwise: but see thou that when my mother is afflicted at such an event, thou tell her the truth, in order that she may be comforted.”
Then answered he who writeth: “All this will I do, O master, if God please”.
In the Bible, apostle is a title conferred on one sent with a message. The term is applied primarily to the original Twelve called by Jesus to accompany him during his ministry (Matt. 10:2-4; Mark 3:16-19; Luke 6:13-16).
In the Gospels, other followers are called disciples. The title was gradually extended to others such as PAUL and BARNABAS (Acts 14:14; Rom. 9:1, 11:13); when this occurred, the Twelve were distinguished from all the apostles, as in 1 Corinthians 15:5-7.
Most of the Twelve were from the laboring class, except for MATTHEW, a tax collector. None was from the religious sector of Jewish society. PETER, JAMES (the Greater), and JOHN formed an inner circle closest to Jesus; JUDAS ISCARIOT betrayed him, and MATTHIAS was selected to replace Judas (Acts 1:16).
The others were PHILIP, BARTHOLOMEW, THOMAS, JAMES (the Lesser), SIMON, and THADDEUS.
Paul was born a Jew and trained to be a Pharisee, that is, a learned and strict observer of religious law. The New Testament records how he actively tried to suppress the early Christian movement through persecution (Gal. 1:13-14) until he was converted to Christianity by a visionary encounter with the risen Jesus while on the road to Damascus about AD 36 (Gal. 1:15-16; Acts 9:1-31; 22; 26).
Because of this vision, Paul held that he, too, had met Jesus and was therefore qualified to be called an APOSTLE (1 Cor. 9:1). After being instructed and receiving Christian baptism in Damascus, Paul went to “Arabia” (probably the desert of Transjordan) for a short time; he then returned to Damascus for 3 years until he was driven out to Tarsus, probably in 40. Several years later BARNABAS brought Paul to Antioch in Syria (Acts 11), where they ministered together for a year.
The Gospel of Barnabas
Barnabas was one of the members of the early Christian church in Jerusalem and introduced in the New Testament as the “son of consolation” (Acts 4:36). A Levite and a native of Cyprus, Barnabas is credited for having founded the Cypriot church. He was a successful preacher with a charismatic personality. Anyone tormented by the clash of creeds found comfort and peace in his company.
His eminence as a man, who had been close to Jesus, had made him a prominent member of the small group of disciples in Jerusalem who had gathered after Jesus. They observed the Law of the Prophets: Jesus has come, “not to destroy but to fulfill”, (Matthew 5:17). They continued to live as Jews and practiced what Jesus had taught them. The disciples never regarded Christianity as a new religion.
They were devout and practicing Jews and they were distinguished from their neighbors only by accepting the message of Jesus. In the beginning they did not organize themselves as a separate sect and did not have a synagogue of their own.
There was nothing in the message of Jesus, as understood by them, to require a break with Judaism. However, they incurred the hostility of the vested interests among the Jewish Rabbis. The conflict started by the Rabbis because they felt that the Christians would undermine their authority and power.
Barnabas introduced Saul of Tarsus, later St. Paul, to the other apostles in Jerusalem. But the disciples “were all afraid of Paul and believed not that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the Apostles,”(Act 9:26-27). Barnabas accompanied Paul to Antioch, Cyprus, and Asia Minor.
At the council held in Jerusalem, Barnabas agreed with Paul′s views that the church had a mission for the Gentiles. In Lystra, Paul was said to have performed spiritual healing, so the people coined the terms “Jupiter” for Barnabas and “Mercurius” for Paul, (Acts 14:12).
In the Roman State religion, Jupiter was the supreme god and Mercury was a god that served as a messenger to other gods and was himself the god of commerce, travel, and thievery. He and Paul later separated, however, when Barnabas insisted that his cousin Mark, who had deserted them on a previous journey, should accompany them again. Barnabas and Mark together continued missionary work in Cyprus (Acts 15:39).
The writings attributed to Barnabas have been the source of dispute among biblical scholars. The early Christian writer Tertullian assigned to him the authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews, in accordance with second century church tradition.
The apocryphal Acts of Barnabas, a work of late date, recounted his missionary tours and his death by martyrdom in Cyprus. The existing Epistle of Barnabas, found in a New Testament manuscript (part of the Codex Sinaiticus), is morally instructive work.
Some biblical scholars believe that the Gospel of Barnabas was accepted as a canonical Gospel in the churches of Alexandria until 325 AD. Irenaeus (130-200) wrote a work against paganism known as “Against the Heresies.” He had quoted extensively from the Gospel of Barnabas in support of his views. This proves that the Gospel of Barnabas was in circulation in the first and second centuries of Christianity.
In 325 AD, the Nicene Council was held, where it was ordered that all original Gospels in Hebrew script should be destroyed. A decree was issued that anyone in possession of these Gospels would be executed. In 383, the Pope secured a copy of the Gospel of Barnabas and kept it in his private library.
In the fourth year of the emperor Zeno (478 AD), the remains of Barnabas were discovered and there was found on his chest, a copy of the Gospel written with his own hand, (Acia Sanctorum Boland Junii Tom II, pages 422 and 450, Antwerp 1698.) The Vulgate Bible appears to include some sayings from this Gospel. Pope Sixtus (1585-1590) had a friend called Fra Marino.
He found the Gospel of Barnabas in the private library of the Pope. Fra Marino was interested in the Gospel because he had read the writings of Irenaeus where Barnabas had been respectfully quoted many times. This Italian manuscript passed through many hands until it came to the possession of Cramer, a Councilor of the King of Prussia. In 1713 Cramer gave it to Prince Eugene in Savoy.
In 1738 along with the library of the prince, the Gospel found its way to Vienna, where it now exists. An English translation of this Gospel exists in the USA and Europe.
Some Christian Scholars claim that this Gospel has Arabic comments and was written originally in Arabic. Some even claim that it has an Islamic origin or was used by Muhammad in writing the Quran.
All historical accounts establish that Muhammad was unlettered, which means he could not read or write. After Islam, there were debates between Muslims and Christians and no Muslim ever referred to that Gospel.
Therefore, this Gospel was not known in Islamic history. Unless some scholars claim that Islamic history was corrupted, and the usage of this Gospel was concealed! Anyone who studies Islamic history will immediately know that this is one of the many stereotype claims against Islam.
The Gospel of Barnabas differs from the Biblical Gospels in the following basics of the Christian religion:
· Jesus is not the Son of God. He was a great prophet.
· The sacrifice that Abraham offered to God was Ismael and not Isaac.
· The Gospel made clear prophecy about the coming of Muhammad.
· Jesus was not crucified. The one that was crucified in Jesus’ place was Judas by another miracle of God.
Almighty Allah is the highest and most knowledgeable, and the attribution of knowledge to him is the safest.
Right from Almighty Allah and wrong from me and Satan
Prepared by Mohamad Mostafa Nassar- Australia.
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Arrogance is not only a sign of insecurity, but also a sign of immaturity. Mature and fully realised persons can get their points across, even emphatically without demeaning or intimidating others.