Australian Islamist Monitor

Islam Under Scrutiny

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Muslims are forever trying to establish their authenticity as the true religion that has replaced Christianity and Judaism. The Quran has twisted and distorted the principal characters in the Bible to make them all seem to be “good Muslims”. The character of Isa in Islam bears no resemblance to the Jesus of the Bible and of course their central claim is that Jesus was NOT crucified, even though some Muslim scholars believed in the crucifixion. Even their claim that someone was substituted for Jesus is confused as some sources quote that it was a man called Tatanos and yet others say it was Judas.

The problem for Islam is that because it emerged 600 years after Jesus, there is a distinct lack of manuscripts to support their outrageous claims. Of course, Muslims have been aware of this deficiency, so it should come as no surprise to find “old manuscripts” appearing out of the ether to support their claims. One such book which Muslims use to convince unsuspecting Christians of their claims about Jesus is called the “Gospel of Barnabus”. There is no mention of any such Gospel in the Canonical Set that comprise the New Testament today, but don’t let that get in the way of a good argument!


In this article, we shall consider aspects of the Gospel of Barnabus and show that it is not authentic and indeed is probably a 14th century forgery. It is important for Christians to understand the deception involved in this so-called Gospel of Barnabus.


Before proceeding, it is important to realise one of the fundamental differences between Islam and Christianity. The Bible takes a strong stance against lying and deception, yet Islam both condones and encourages this practise. Islam has Sura 16.106 which permits a Muslim to lie if threatened and also has the doctrines of Taqiyya and Kithman which condone dishonesty.

Taqiyya is defined as “utterances of the tongue while the heart is comfortable with faith”, which is another way of saying “it is OK to tell a pile of porkies”. Kithman on the other hand is about telling only HALF the truth. Walid Shoebat provides this example of Kithman. A Muslim says “I hate Hitler” and you think that is good. But what he meant to say was “I hate Hitler because he didn’t finish the job”. In other words, why didn’t he kill ALL the Jews.

Who was the Real Barnabus?
Saint Barnabas of the first century, born Joseph, was an Early Christian convert, one of the earliest Christian disciples in Jerusalem. Like almost all Christians at the time (see also Jewish Christians), Barnabas was Jewish, specifically a Levite. Named an apostle in Acts 14:14, he and Saint Paul undertook missionary journeys together and defended Gentile converts against the demands of stricter church leaders (see also Judaizers). They gained many converts in Antioch (c 43-44), traveled together making more converts (c 45-47), and participated in the Council of Jerusalem (c 50). Barnabas and Paul successfully evangelized among the "God-fearing" gentiles who attended synagogues in various Hellenized cities of Anatolia.

Barnabas' story appears in the Acts of the Apostles, and Paul mentions him in some of his epistles. Tertullian named him as the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, but this and other attributions are conjecture. Clement of Alexandria ascribed an early Christian epistle to Barnabas (Epistle of Barnabus), but that is highly improbable.
Martyred at Salamis, Cyprus, in AD 61, he is traditionally identified as the founder of the Cypriot Church. The feast day of St Barnabas is celebrated on June 11.

Dissecting the Gospel of Barnabus
This gospel paints Jesus as the Isa of the Quran and has him denying he was crucified or that he is the Son of God. This is what Muslims need to justify their outrageous claims.

There are some key aspects of this so-called Gospel which give the game away, and one of the best explanations is given by Samuel Green writing for Read full article (here).

We shall consider the main arguments against this being an authentic Gospel.

It is all GREEK to me
On page 2 of the Gospel of Barnabus it states “God has during these past days visited us by his prophet Jesus Christ”. And in Chapter 42 Jesus denies being the Messiah by saying “I am not the Messiah”.

Now the Hebrew word “Messiah” translates into Greek as “Christ” and both mean “Anointed One”.

So Christ and Messiah are the same, so how can Christ deny he is the Messiah when the words mean the same thing? It is inconceivable that the real Barnabus who spoke Hebrew and travelled extensively throughout Greece would make so elementary a mistake!

Who do we know that rewrites History?
In Chapter 3 of the Gospel, it is implied that Herod and Pilate ruled in Judea at the time of Jesus birth.

The Nativity
3. 1. There reigned at that time in Judea Herod, by decree of Caesar Augustus, and Pilate was governor in the priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas. [In that time], by decree of Augustus, all the world was enrolled [in a census]; wherefore each one went to his own country, and they presented themselves by their own tribes to be enrolled. Joseph accordingly departed from Nazareth, a city of Galilee, with his wife Mary, great with child, to go to Bethlehem (for that it was his city, he being of the lineage of David), so that he might be enrolled according to the decree of Caesar.

Now history books (not printed in Saudi Arabia) tell us that Herod (the Great) ruled from 37-4BC and Pilate some 30 years later from 26-36AD. The real Barnabus lived through the rule of Pilate and could NOT have made this mistake.

Never take a Muslim as a Tour Guide
In Chapters 20-21 we are told that:

“Jesus went to the sea of Galilee, and having embarked in a ship sailed to his city of Nazereth. Having arrived in Nazereth, the seamen spread through the city all that Jesus had done”.

Now all geography books (not printed in Saudi Arabia) will show that the town of Capernaum is a sea port but Nazereth is about 14 km inland on the side of a hill.

Jesus often travelled to both Capernaum and Nazereth with his disciples so it is unlikely the real Barnabus would make a geographical mistake like this.

So, already we see that the “author” of the Gospel of Barnabus had a poor knowledge of Greek, of first century history and of the geography of the Sea of Galilee area. But there is more.

Is it a 14th century Fake?
In the year 1300AD Pope Boniface VIII falsely claimed that the Jubilee should be celebrated by Christians every 100 years instead of every 50 years as determined by the book of Leviticus:

“Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you; each of you is to return to your family property and each to his own clan”. [Leviticus 25:10-11]

Now the next Pope, Clement VI changed it back to 50 years, so in all history, there is a fifty year window when Christians considered the Jubilee to be 100 years.

From the Gospel of Barnabus Jesus is credited as saying this:

“Insomuch as the year of Jubilee, which comes every 100 years, shall by the Messiah be reduced to every year in every place”. [Gospel of Barnabus ch. 82]

It is impossible for Jesus, a Jew living in the first century AD to make a mistake like this. The author of this ‘gospel' could well have lived in the first half of the fourteenth century for he has accepted the Pope’s false claim that the Jubilee is to be held every 100 years  and not the 50 years of the book of Leviticus.

Manuscript Evidence
The manuscript evidence for this book is from after the 14th century. The oldest known copies are written in Italian and Spanish and these are dated from the 15th century or later.

Jesus predicted Mohammed (or so they say)
In a classic attempt to glorify Mohammed, the Gospel of Barnabus records that Jesus proclaims Mohammed as the coming Messiah. The Gospel of John 1:19-29 is mutilated here by substituting Jesus for John the Baptist and contorting his words. Consider from the Gospel of Barnabus:

“the levites and some scribes were sent to question him (Jesus) saying “who are you?”. Jesus confessed and said “I am not the Messiah”. Jesus said “I am a voice that cries out through all Judea; prepare the way for the messenger of the Lord”. Then said the priest “How shall the Messiah be called?”.

To which Jesus answered:

“the name of the Messiah is admirable.. Mohammed is his blessed name”  [Chapter 97]

Now the Bible has Jesus claiming that only FALSE prophets would come after him, so Jesus of the Bible calls Mohammed a false prophet.

Muslims also falsely claim that Exodus predicts Mohammed as a greater prophet than Moses, but ignore the fact that this prophet must be from the seed of Isaac (not Ishmael).

Muslims also misinterpret the Book of Acts where the disciples are waiting for the Paraclete, which in Greek means “Holy Spirit”. But Muslims confuse this word for prophet and then install Mohammed as the promised Prophet.  Will they ever give up trying to distort the truth?

There is no question that the Gospel of Barnabus is a medieval forgery and was never written by the first century Barnabus who was a disciple of Jesus.

It contains anachronisms which can only date from the Middle Ages and not before.

It displays a poor knowledge of Greek and Hebrew when considering Christ and Messiah.

It misinterprets history by saying Herod and Pilate were in office at the same time in the first century, B.C. and it displays an ignorance of geography in calling that Nazereth was a sea port.

Manuscript evidence suggests that there are no earlier documents than the 14th century, especially when the language is Italian and Spanish.

This Gospel of Barnabus also has Jesus proclaiming Mohammed as the Messiah, ignoring all the Biblical references which dispute this completely.

Muslims today have a lot of cheek to try to pass this off as an authentic Gospel of Barnabus in a desperate attempt to prove their false claims about Jesus.



The Gospel of Barnabus for Islam
The real disciple Barnabus
The Gospel of Barnabus analysed; Samuel Green


Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 January 2010 16:31  

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