Muslims’ discovery to collapse Christianity?

Muslims are hailing the discovery of a version of the apocryphal Gospel of Barnabus that has Jesus allegedly predicting the coming of Mohammed.  This will cause, so they say, the collapse of Christianity.

Iran’s Basij Press is claiming that a version of the Gospel of Barnabas, found in 2000, will prove that Islam is the final and righteous religion and the revelation will cause the collapse worldwide of Christianity.

Turkey confiscated a leather-bound text, written on animal hide, in an anti-smuggling operation in 2000. Turkish authorities believe the text could be an authentic version of the Gospel of Barnabas, one of Jesus’ apostles and an associate of the apostle Paul.

This version of the Barnabas Gospel was written in the 5th or 6th century and it predicted the coming of the Prophet Mohammad and the religion of Islam, the Basij Press claims.

The Christian world, it says, denies the existence of such a gospel.

However, religious scholars have said another version of the Barnabas Gospel, discovered a century ago, was written less than 500 years ago, which would post-date Mohammad.

In Chapter 41 of the Barnabas Gospel, Basij claims, is this statement: “God has hidden himself as Archangel Michael ran them (Adam and Eve) out of heaven, (and) when Adam turned, he noticed that at top of the gateway to heaven, it was written ‘La elah ela Allah, Mohamad rasool Allah,’” meaning Allah is the only God and Mohammad his prophet.

The Turkish army has taken possession of the Barnabas Gospel because the “Zionists” and the governments of the West are trying to suppress its contents, Basij Press claims.

According to the Barnabas Gospel in Turkey’s hands, Basij Press says, Jesus was never crucified and that not only is He not the son of God, but that He himself predicted the coming of the Prophet Mohammad. The book even predicts the coming of the last Islamic messiah, the report says.

“The discovery of the original Barnabas Bible will now undermine the Christian Church and its authority and will revolutionize the religion in the world,” the Basij report says. “The most significant fact, though, is that this Bible has predicted the coming of Prophet Mohammad and in itself has verified the religion of Islam, and this alone will unbalance the powers of the world and create instability in the Christian world.”

The Basij report concludes that the discovery is so immense that it will affect the world’s politics and that the world powers are aware of the coming effects of this event.

Turkey plans to put the Bible on public display. Though Turkish authorities believe this could be an authentic version of the Gospel of Barnabas, others believe it only goes back to the 16th century and is a fake because it would have been written centuries after Mohammad’s life.

via Iran: Discovery will collapse Christianity.

Islam teaches that the Jewish/Christian Bible is authoritative, but that its text has been corrupted so that it is not a sure guide.  This version of a well-known apocryphal gospel with what are apparently Islamic additions is being called a “Bible”!

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • SKPeterson

    So a book found that dates from right about the time of Mohammed is proclaimed as proof of Islam. Convenient. And absolutely, laughably unconvincing. Sounds more like desperate pleading on the part of Islamists who are realizing the bankruptcy of their own religion and need a new shot of “legitimacy” to keep Islam from collapsing.

  • SKPeterson

    So a book found that dates from right about the time of Mohammed is proclaimed as proof of Islam. Convenient. And absolutely, laughably unconvincing. Sounds more like desperate pleading on the part of Islamists who are realizing the bankruptcy of their own religion and need a new shot of “legitimacy” to keep Islam from collapsing.

  • R. Schultz

    If Jesus isn’t the Son of God and wasn’t crucified as He predicted, then what credibility could He possibly have in predicting the coming of Mohammed? If He was wrong about His divinity and the reason for His coming, then He is just another religious nut with an agenda who dropped off the face of earth leaving a devout group of followers to continue the ruse even as they were martyred for following a madman. Not to mention the documentation and preservation of the Holy Scriptures which is unprecedented in historical literature which maintains and upholds all of the prophecies and claims contained within. You simply can’t have it both ways! Either Jesus is who He claims to be and accomplished what He came to do, or He is a blatant fake. He can’t be a fraud and give credibility to a belief system that is antithetical to everything He claims.

  • R. Schultz

    If Jesus isn’t the Son of God and wasn’t crucified as He predicted, then what credibility could He possibly have in predicting the coming of Mohammed? If He was wrong about His divinity and the reason for His coming, then He is just another religious nut with an agenda who dropped off the face of earth leaving a devout group of followers to continue the ruse even as they were martyred for following a madman. Not to mention the documentation and preservation of the Holy Scriptures which is unprecedented in historical literature which maintains and upholds all of the prophecies and claims contained within. You simply can’t have it both ways! Either Jesus is who He claims to be and accomplished what He came to do, or He is a blatant fake. He can’t be a fraud and give credibility to a belief system that is antithetical to everything He claims.

  • Dan Kempin

    I think it possible that this is very good news.

    Hear me out.

    I have no empirical data for this, but the anecdotal information I have been hearing is that Christianity has been growing in the Muslim world. I have even heard that the Islamic leadership is becoming quite concerned. This feels very much like an attempt to suppress the grwoing church WITHIN the Islamic world rather than, as presented, an attempt to collapse the Christian Church world wide. If they are resorting to deception, perhaps that means that force is not working. Pray for the Church in the Muslim world and for the spread of eternal life in the gospel of Jesus Christ!

  • Dan Kempin

    I think it possible that this is very good news.

    Hear me out.

    I have no empirical data for this, but the anecdotal information I have been hearing is that Christianity has been growing in the Muslim world. I have even heard that the Islamic leadership is becoming quite concerned. This feels very much like an attempt to suppress the grwoing church WITHIN the Islamic world rather than, as presented, an attempt to collapse the Christian Church world wide. If they are resorting to deception, perhaps that means that force is not working. Pray for the Church in the Muslim world and for the spread of eternal life in the gospel of Jesus Christ!

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Dan @ 3, I hope and pray so. That would indeed be wonderful news.

    As for the gospel of Barnabas itself, as SK alluded to, there are a LOT of problems with it. First and foremost, the date. Second, if there was such a prophecy given to Adam, it seems awfully odd that it is mentioned nowhere else in the other OT or NT books.

    Third, even if it could be dated back to Barnabas’ time, it presents a contradiction of epic proportion: a prophet that comes along and undermines everything previously taught!? Come on!

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Dan @ 3, I hope and pray so. That would indeed be wonderful news.

    As for the gospel of Barnabas itself, as SK alluded to, there are a LOT of problems with it. First and foremost, the date. Second, if there was such a prophecy given to Adam, it seems awfully odd that it is mentioned nowhere else in the other OT or NT books.

    Third, even if it could be dated back to Barnabas’ time, it presents a contradiction of epic proportion: a prophet that comes along and undermines everything previously taught!? Come on!

  • L. H. Kevil

    Academic research – higher criticism! – dealing with the origins of Islam is starting to be made available to the broader public outside academic circles. Robert Spencer’s book Did Muhammad Exist? is a recent addition. Intimidation by radical Muslims is not confined to Danish cartoonists and the push-back has taken various forms, including this example of an apocryphal proof of Muhammad’s status as authentic prophet. There is some doubt about Muhammad’s very existence as well as the accounts in the Koran.

    I’m not sure how to handle this kind of evidence when talking to Muslims. Perhaps the same way as with Mormons, who even more clearly have a religion based on fraudulent documents.

    Description of the book here:
    http://www.amazon.com/Did-Muhammad-Exist-Inquiry-Obscure/dp/161017061X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1337956255&sr=8-1

    An interesting review here:
    http://spectator.org/archives/2012/05/25/in-search-of-muhammad/

  • L. H. Kevil

    Academic research – higher criticism! – dealing with the origins of Islam is starting to be made available to the broader public outside academic circles. Robert Spencer’s book Did Muhammad Exist? is a recent addition. Intimidation by radical Muslims is not confined to Danish cartoonists and the push-back has taken various forms, including this example of an apocryphal proof of Muhammad’s status as authentic prophet. There is some doubt about Muhammad’s very existence as well as the accounts in the Koran.

    I’m not sure how to handle this kind of evidence when talking to Muslims. Perhaps the same way as with Mormons, who even more clearly have a religion based on fraudulent documents.

    Description of the book here:
    http://www.amazon.com/Did-Muhammad-Exist-Inquiry-Obscure/dp/161017061X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1337956255&sr=8-1

    An interesting review here:
    http://spectator.org/archives/2012/05/25/in-search-of-muhammad/

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com John

    Aw, nuts.
    My Christianity just collapsed.
    Sigh.
    Well, I’m off to the mosque. See y’all around.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com John

    Aw, nuts.
    My Christianity just collapsed.
    Sigh.
    Well, I’m off to the mosque. See y’all around.

  • J.P.

    I’m surprised only by the attempt to make this sound like a new discovery. I clearly remember hearing the late Walter Martin (and also Jack Van Impe – God forgive me) back in the 80′s mention this faux-gospel as an Islamic propaganda tool. Muslims have always used it to ‘prove’ that Jesus foretold the arrival of big Mo’, so what do they mean about this copy being an ‘authentic’ version? They’ve always thought it was authentic!
    I’m with the others; it sounds more like a goofy P.R. campaign to try and slow the acceptance of the gospel. They’ve largely lost Africa just in the past decade. They have every right to be on edge.

  • J.P.

    I’m surprised only by the attempt to make this sound like a new discovery. I clearly remember hearing the late Walter Martin (and also Jack Van Impe – God forgive me) back in the 80′s mention this faux-gospel as an Islamic propaganda tool. Muslims have always used it to ‘prove’ that Jesus foretold the arrival of big Mo’, so what do they mean about this copy being an ‘authentic’ version? They’ve always thought it was authentic!
    I’m with the others; it sounds more like a goofy P.R. campaign to try and slow the acceptance of the gospel. They’ve largely lost Africa just in the past decade. They have every right to be on edge.

  • formerly just steve

    Considering this part of the world seems to have an unquenchable thirst for conspiracy theories, this “discovery” is a real boon. If it’s released to the public it will garner immediate praise and credibility and if it’s never released, the fact that it will almost certainly be because of a Christian-Zionist conspiracy, it will receive even greater credibility. It’s a win-win to those who would never believe any differently anyway. To everyone else… meh.

  • formerly just steve

    Considering this part of the world seems to have an unquenchable thirst for conspiracy theories, this “discovery” is a real boon. If it’s released to the public it will garner immediate praise and credibility and if it’s never released, the fact that it will almost certainly be because of a Christian-Zionist conspiracy, it will receive even greater credibility. It’s a win-win to those who would never believe any differently anyway. To everyone else… meh.

  • Michael B.

    Suppose the Bible was shown to be unreliable — so what? Christianity got on for centuries without a Bible. The belief that the Bible was extremely-important was a late addition to Christianity. What about all the Christian communities in the Bible? They made do without a Bible.

  • Michael B.

    Suppose the Bible was shown to be unreliable — so what? Christianity got on for centuries without a Bible. The belief that the Bible was extremely-important was a late addition to Christianity. What about all the Christian communities in the Bible? They made do without a Bible.

  • brianh

    Just want to thank all the previous faith-strengthening commenters. Well said.

  • brianh

    Just want to thank all the previous faith-strengthening commenters. Well said.

  • formerly just steve

    Michael B. have you ever heard or read these words: “…and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. ”

    Those words were written in the First century to a man named Timothy by a man named Paul.

  • formerly just steve

    Michael B. have you ever heard or read these words: “…and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. ”

    Those words were written in the First century to a man named Timothy by a man named Paul.

  • Michael B.

    @formerly just steve

    Steve, the problem is that when Paul wrote the epistles (50s), the Gospels didn’t even exist yet, let alone were accepted as scripture. The first canonical Gospel (Mark) didn’t even come until around the year 70. Furthermore, there were several other books that early Christians were calling scripture than never got included in the Bible.

    People just assume that Christians always had a New Testament to consult like we do, and this is simply not the case. Early Christians had no more access to books like Second Timothy than they did to The Purpose Driven Life.

    (As a side note, almost all scholars agree that Second Timothy was not written by Paul, and was written much later, so it’s possible the author knew about the 4 canonical Gospels, but you get the point..)

  • Michael B.

    @formerly just steve

    Steve, the problem is that when Paul wrote the epistles (50s), the Gospels didn’t even exist yet, let alone were accepted as scripture. The first canonical Gospel (Mark) didn’t even come until around the year 70. Furthermore, there were several other books that early Christians were calling scripture than never got included in the Bible.

    People just assume that Christians always had a New Testament to consult like we do, and this is simply not the case. Early Christians had no more access to books like Second Timothy than they did to The Purpose Driven Life.

    (As a side note, almost all scholars agree that Second Timothy was not written by Paul, and was written much later, so it’s possible the author knew about the 4 canonical Gospels, but you get the point..)

  • TE Schroeder

    Not enough time or space for a full response to Michael B @12. So here’s just a little….

    Your info about the writing of NT books comes from a higher critical source which claims all (or at least most) NT writings were late and non-apostolic authorship. This makes Jesus’ words about the destruction of Jerusalem no longer prophetic, but alleged prophecy which was read back into the narrative after the facts had become history. It is as if the writers said, “Destruction of Jerusaelm? Oh, yeah, Jesus said something about that. See? He was a prophet!” On the contrary, the words of warning about fleeing to the hills when they saw the abomination that causes desolation is pretty useless after the fact.

    As far as the Church having no NT, well, sort of. They had the apostles themselves! These apostles wrote everything down and such writings were quickly copied, circulated, publicly read, and acknowledged as authoritative. So, while the WHOLE NT did not come to completion until @ AD 100 with John’s writings, it was already being assembled decades (50′s for sure with St. Paul’s letters) earlier.

    By the way, what is your proof that St. Paul did not write 2 Timothy? The content screams that it is Paul’s work, like, say the 1st verse, “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus….”

  • TE Schroeder

    Not enough time or space for a full response to Michael B @12. So here’s just a little….

    Your info about the writing of NT books comes from a higher critical source which claims all (or at least most) NT writings were late and non-apostolic authorship. This makes Jesus’ words about the destruction of Jerusalem no longer prophetic, but alleged prophecy which was read back into the narrative after the facts had become history. It is as if the writers said, “Destruction of Jerusaelm? Oh, yeah, Jesus said something about that. See? He was a prophet!” On the contrary, the words of warning about fleeing to the hills when they saw the abomination that causes desolation is pretty useless after the fact.

    As far as the Church having no NT, well, sort of. They had the apostles themselves! These apostles wrote everything down and such writings were quickly copied, circulated, publicly read, and acknowledged as authoritative. So, while the WHOLE NT did not come to completion until @ AD 100 with John’s writings, it was already being assembled decades (50′s for sure with St. Paul’s letters) earlier.

    By the way, what is your proof that St. Paul did not write 2 Timothy? The content screams that it is Paul’s work, like, say the 1st verse, “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus….”

  • formerly just steve

    Michael B, #12:

    Your statements seem self-contradictory. You mention the letters of Paul were written before a NT ever existed so his exhortation to hold to Scripture is irrelevant but then you go on to say those epistles themselves were written much later, presumably by someone else who clearly knew of Paul and they weight his letters carry. If so, then the presumed writer of that epistle (mid-2nd Century as proposed) was writing after most of the letters of the New Testament were being gathered together and distributed in various attempts to consolidate an official Cannon. Proving that, even if it was written later, the idea that the writings that would eventually become known as the New Testament were not not extremely important to the early Church is false.

    Second, it is by no means unanimous that Paul was not the author of 2 Timothy. In fact, that notion is a very late invention. Much of it determined by the fact that Paul criticizes a group of heretics thought to be the Gnostics of the mid 2nd Century. However, it doesn’t make sense that if this letter is criticizing a group that supposedly came about in the 2nd Century it would have been widely known enough in the first half of the 2nd Century to be quoted by Polycarp.

  • formerly just steve

    Michael B, #12:

    Your statements seem self-contradictory. You mention the letters of Paul were written before a NT ever existed so his exhortation to hold to Scripture is irrelevant but then you go on to say those epistles themselves were written much later, presumably by someone else who clearly knew of Paul and they weight his letters carry. If so, then the presumed writer of that epistle (mid-2nd Century as proposed) was writing after most of the letters of the New Testament were being gathered together and distributed in various attempts to consolidate an official Cannon. Proving that, even if it was written later, the idea that the writings that would eventually become known as the New Testament were not not extremely important to the early Church is false.

    Second, it is by no means unanimous that Paul was not the author of 2 Timothy. In fact, that notion is a very late invention. Much of it determined by the fact that Paul criticizes a group of heretics thought to be the Gnostics of the mid 2nd Century. However, it doesn’t make sense that if this letter is criticizing a group that supposedly came about in the 2nd Century it would have been widely known enough in the first half of the 2nd Century to be quoted by Polycarp.

  • SKPeterson

    Actually, Paul’s letters themselves provide good evidence that the congregations of the early Church were in fairly regular contact. We also (at least to my way thinking and having read up a bit on ancient Roman documents simply called itineraries) have a pretty good idea of who it was that was distributing these documents: Timothy, Titus and John Mark. Later followed by Clement and Polycarp. The letter to the Philippians mentions Clement, but also Epaphroditus, and that Timothy was coming to see them soon on his way back to Asia Minor. Timothy gets mentioned in just about every Pauline epistle – especially when a crisis is brewing. Later Titus becomes involved as well. So you have evidence of guys moving about the ancient Mediterranean

  • SKPeterson

    Actually, Paul’s letters themselves provide good evidence that the congregations of the early Church were in fairly regular contact. We also (at least to my way thinking and having read up a bit on ancient Roman documents simply called itineraries) have a pretty good idea of who it was that was distributing these documents: Timothy, Titus and John Mark. Later followed by Clement and Polycarp. The letter to the Philippians mentions Clement, but also Epaphroditus, and that Timothy was coming to see them soon on his way back to Asia Minor. Timothy gets mentioned in just about every Pauline epistle – especially when a crisis is brewing. Later Titus becomes involved as well. So you have evidence of guys moving about the ancient Mediterranean

  • SKPeterson

    cont’d so it is not unreasonable that these guys got together and compared notes and letters. Finally, Mark’s Gospel was probably not the first. The first was probably Matthew as it is the most “Jewish” – it probably dates from the time the Didache was being put together. And I’ve heard very reasonable speculation (due to a probable Antiochian origin) that the Didache may be the work of Paul and Barnabas prior to their missions to the Gentiles. Luke probably came in the wake of one of Paul’s imprisonments or his death to set out his Gospel and Acts. Mark probably came about after Peter’s death. So the order is likely Matthew, Luke, Mark, John.

  • SKPeterson

    cont’d so it is not unreasonable that these guys got together and compared notes and letters. Finally, Mark’s Gospel was probably not the first. The first was probably Matthew as it is the most “Jewish” – it probably dates from the time the Didache was being put together. And I’ve heard very reasonable speculation (due to a probable Antiochian origin) that the Didache may be the work of Paul and Barnabas prior to their missions to the Gentiles. Luke probably came in the wake of one of Paul’s imprisonments or his death to set out his Gospel and Acts. Mark probably came about after Peter’s death. So the order is likely Matthew, Luke, Mark, John.

  • http://andrewboll.com Andrew Boll

    Well, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m sold. I mean, it’s not like these Islamist leaders have a vested interest in the matter or anything that would remotely suggest corruption or counterfeit on their part, right? ;)
    Good grief, Joseph Smith’s golden tablets seem flawlessly grounded in historical and archaeological veracity compared to this “goatskin gospel”…

  • http://andrewboll.com Andrew Boll

    Well, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m sold. I mean, it’s not like these Islamist leaders have a vested interest in the matter or anything that would remotely suggest corruption or counterfeit on their part, right? ;)
    Good grief, Joseph Smith’s golden tablets seem flawlessly grounded in historical and archaeological veracity compared to this “goatskin gospel”…

  • Michael B.

    I’m simply stating what historians state. Read any non-religious textbook on early Christian texts, and these will be the views presented.

  • Michael B.

    I’m simply stating what historians state. Read any non-religious textbook on early Christian texts, and these will be the views presented.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael B. (@18) said:

    Read any non-religious textbook on early Christian texts, and these will be the views presented.

    Perhaps. The more interesting question is: why do you apparently only trust “non-religious” (which is perhaps more accurate to say, of a different religion than that found in the Bible) takes on this topic?

    Should I also enlist the help of 6000-year-old-Earth creationists to help me better understand the modern scientific consensus on cosmology?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Michael B. (@18) said:

    Read any non-religious textbook on early Christian texts, and these will be the views presented.

    Perhaps. The more interesting question is: why do you apparently only trust “non-religious” (which is perhaps more accurate to say, of a different religion than that found in the Bible) takes on this topic?

    Should I also enlist the help of 6000-year-old-Earth creationists to help me better understand the modern scientific consensus on cosmology?

  • Jon

    Um, did anyone happen to notice that this was posted in an Iranian State “News” Paper?

    Sheesh! Is anyone, Muslim or whatever, going to be swayed by this stuff?

  • Jon

    Um, did anyone happen to notice that this was posted in an Iranian State “News” Paper?

    Sheesh! Is anyone, Muslim or whatever, going to be swayed by this stuff?

  • sjdhxxjbd

    I’m pursuaded, Apostle Paul doesn’t. Make sense to me, it just dosen’ t add up. It’s as if someone just put bogus writing in the christian Bible which makes me not want to believe anything in it.

  • sjdhxxjbd

    I’m pursuaded, Apostle Paul doesn’t. Make sense to me, it just dosen’ t add up. It’s as if someone just put bogus writing in the christian Bible which makes me not want to believe anything in it.