Gospel of Barnabas

From Academic Kids

de:Barnabasevangelium zh:巴拿巴福音 The Gospel of Barnabas is a work purporting to be a depiction of the life of Jesus by his disciple Barnabas. The earliest known manuscripts have been dated to the late sixteenth century, and are written in Italian and in Spanish; although the Spanish version now only survives in an eighteenth century copy. It is about the same length as the four canonical gospels put together (the Italian manuscript has 222 chapters); with the bulk being devoted to an account of Jesus' ministry, much of it harmonised from accounts also found in the canonical gospels.

This work is written from a highly pro-Islamic viewpoint, not only mentioning Muhammad by name, but including the shahada (chapter 39). It is strongly anti-Pauline and anti-Trinitarian in tone. In this work, Jesus, is described as a prophet and not the son of God, while Paul is called "the deceived". Furthermore, the Gospel of Barnabas mentions in detail that Jesus was not crucified but rather raised alive to heaven—a docetist theme found in the Gospel of Peter that was taken up in the Qu'ran—while Judas Iscariot the traitor was crucified instead. These beliefs in particular that Jesus is a prophet of God, not crucified but raised alive, conform with Muslim beliefs. Other passages however directly contradict the text of the Qur'an; as for instance in the account of the Nativity, where Mary is said to have given birth to Jesus without pain; or as in Jesus's ministry, where he permits the drinking of wine and enjoins monogamy. Narrative themes, and some highly distinctive phraseology, are shared with the Divine Comedy of Dante (Ragg). If (as most students surmise) the Gospel of Barnabas is seen as an attempted synthesis of elements from both Christianity and Islam, then sixteenth and seventeenth century parallels can be suggested in Morisco and anti-Trinitarian writings; but there are no known earlier precursors.

The Spanish version includes an account of the discovery of the Gospel of Barnabas in the private study of Pope Sixtus V (1585-1590), an account which appears to many students to be historically incongruous; and this, together with paleographic inconsistencies in the surviving Italian manuscript, has led a number of scholars to conclude that the two known manuscripts may have been prepared in support of an exercise in forensic falsification, intended to discredit or incriminate some leading Catholic ecclesiastic in the Roman Curia of the 1590s (David Sox; The Gospel of Barnabas 1984). There are a number of contemporary parallels for such an exercise - most notably the "Casket Letters" supposedly forged to incriminate Mary Queen of Scots. Some scholars who maintain this view consequently dismiss the entire Gospel as a hoax; but the majority would consider it more likely that the supposed forgers made use of a pre-existing heterodox text.

The Gospel is considered by the majority of academics (including Christians and some Muslims) to be a pious fraud; however, some academics suggest that it may contain some remnants of an earlier apocryphal work edited to conform to Islam, perhaps Gnostic (Cirillo, Ragg) or Ebionite (Pines) or Diatessaronic (Joosten), and some Muslim scholars consider it genuine. Some Islamic organizations cite it in support of the Islamic view of Jesus; Islamic views are treated below.


Textual history

A "Gospel according to Barnabas" is mentioned in two early Christian lists of apocryphal works: the Decretum Gelasianum (whose attribution to Pope Gelasius I is apocryphal but which is no later than the 6th century), as well as the 7th-century List of the Sixty Books [1] (http://www.bendigo.latrobe.edu.au/sae/arts/barnabas/Barnearly.html). These lists are independent witnesses, but in neither case is it sure that the compiler had actually seen all the listed works. In both cases, GoB is paired by juxtaposition with a Gospel of Matthias (presumed to refer to a surviving Traditions of Matthias.) However, these lists provide no details about the contents of the work, and there is no reason to assume that the text of the 6th-7th century GoB was the same as this one. M. R. James, New Testament Apocrypha (1924) disputed whether the work mentioned in those lists ever existed.

This work should not be confused with the surviving Epistle of Barnabas, which may have been written in 2nd Century Alexandria. There is no link between the two books in style, content or history other than the pseudepigraphical attribution to Barnabas. On the issue of circumcision, the two authors clearly hold very different views, that of the 'Epistle' in rejecting Jewish practices and that of the 'Gospel' in promoting Muslim ones. Neither should it be confused with the Acts of Barnabas, which claim to narrate Barnabas' travels.

In 1986, it was briefly claimed that an early Syriac copy of this gospel had found near Hakkari (cf. Hamza Bektaş in İlim ve Sanat Dergisi of March-April 1986, and Trkiye from July 25, 1986, "Barnabas Bible Found", in Arabia 4/1985/ 1405/ No. 41/ Jan.-Febr./ Rabi Al-Thani, p. 46, "Original Bible of Barnabas Found in Turkey", in The Minaret 12, 3; 1.+ 16. April, 1985, n.p.)[2] (http://www.understanding-islam.com/related/text.asp?type=article&aid=174) However, shortly afterwards it was reported that this manuscript actually merely contained the canonical Bible (Ron Pankow, "The Barnabas Bible?", in: Arabia 1985/1405//March-April/ Rajib, n.p.)[3] (http://www.islaminstitut.de/english/publications/gospel_of_barnabas.htm)

The earliest mention of a book which is generally agreed to refer to the one found in the two known manuscripts, is reported to be contained in Morisco manuscript BNM MS 9653 in Madrid, written about 1634 by Ibrahim al-Taybili in Tunisia. While describing how, in his opinion, the Bible predicts Muhammad, he speaks of the "Gospel of Saint Barnabas where one can find the light" ("y asi mesmo en Elanjelio de San Barnab donde de hallara luz"). It was mentioned again in 1718 by the Irish deist John Toland, and was mentioned in 1734 by George Sale in The Preliminary Discourse to the Koran:

The Mohammedans have also a Gospel in Arabic, attributed to St. Barnabas, wherein the history of Jesus Christ is related in a manner very different from what we find in the true Gospels, and correspondent to those traditions which Mohammed has followed in his Koran. Of this Gospel the Moriscoes in Africa have a translation in Spanish; and there is in the library of Prince Eugene of Savoy, a manuscript of some antiquity, containing an Italian translation of the same Gospel, made, it is to be supposed, for the use of renegades.The Preliminary Discourse to the Koran, p. 79.

This appears to allude to versions of both the known manuscripts: the Italian and the Spanish.

The manuscripts

Italian Ms. Prince Eugene's Italian manuscript had been presented to him in 1709 by John Frederick Cramer; it appears to date to the end of the sixteenth century. It was transferred to the Hofbibliothek in Vienna in 1738 with the rest of his library, and still survives there, in the Austrian National Library. The pages of the Italian manuscript are framed in an Islamic style, and contain chapter rubrics and margin notes in often ungrammatical and incorrect Arabic (with an occasional Turkish word), the margin notes forming a rough Arabic gloss of selected passages. Its binding is Turkish, and appears to be original; but the paper appears Italian, as does the handwriting (albeit with many idiosyncrasies of spelling). There are catchwords at the bottom of each page, a practice common in manuscripts prepared for the use of printing compositors. The manuscript appears to be unfinished - in that the 222 chapters are provided throughout with framed blank spaces for titular headings, but only 27 of these spaces have been filled. In addition, there are more than 30 whole blank pages preceding the text - into which, it may be presumed, some other work was originally intended to be copied. It is the Italian version that Ragg's 1907 translation, the most commonly circulated in English, is based on. It was followed in 1908 by an Arabic translation by Khalil Saadah, published in Egypt.

The complete Italian text is transcribed with an English translation and introduction:

Ragg, L and L - The Gospel of Barnabas. (Clarendon Press, Oxford, England, 1907).

The complete text of the Italian manuscript has been published in photo-facsimile; with a French translation and extensive commentary and textual apparatus:

Cirillo L. & Fremaux M. Evangile de Barnabe: recherches sur la composition et l'origine, Paris, 1977, 598p

Spanish Ms. The known Spanish manuscript was lost in the eighteenth or nineteenth centuries; however an eighteenth century copy of it was discovered in the 1970s in the University of Sydney's Fisher Library among the books of Sir Charles Nicholson, labelled in English "Transcribed from ms. in possession of the Revd Mr Edm. Callamy who bought it at the decease of Mr George Sale...and now gave me at the decease of Mr John Nickolls, 1745". Its main difference from the Italian manuscript is that the surviving transcript does not record a substantial number of chapters—which had, however, still been present in the Spanish original when it was examined by George Sale. The Spanish text is preceded by a note claiming that it was translated from Italian by one Mustafa de Aranda, an Aragonese Muslim resident in Istanbul. The Spanish manuscript also contains a preface by one assuming the pseudonym 'Fra Marino', claiming to have stolen a copy of the Italian version from the library of Pope Sixtus V. Fra Marino, reports that, having a post in the Inquisition Court, he had come into possession of several works, which led him to believe that the Biblical text had been corrupted, and that genuine apostolic texts had been improperly excluded. Fra Marino also claims to have been alerted to the existence of the Gospel of Barnabas, from an allusion in a work by Irenaeus against Paul; in a book which had been presented to him by a lady of the Colonna family (Marino, outside Rome, is the location of the Palazzo Colonna).

The text of the Spanish manuscript has been published with extensive commentary:

Bernabe Pons L. F. El Evangelio de San Bernabe; Un evangelio islamico espanol, Universidad de Alicante, 1995, 260p


Some students of the work argue for an Italian origin, noting phrases in Barnabas which are very similar to phrases used by Dante and suggesting that the author of Barnabas borrowed from Dante's works; they take the Spanish version's preface to support this conclusion. Other students have noted a range of textual similarities between passages in the Gospel of Barnabas, and variously the texts of a series of late mediaeval vernacular harmonies of the four canonical gospels (in Middle English and Middle Dutch, but especially in Middle Italian); which are all speculated as deriving from a lost Old Latin version of the Diatessaron of Tatian(Jan Joosten, "The Gospel of Barnabas and the Diatessaron," Harvard Theological Review 95.1 (2002): 73-96). This would also support an Italian origin.

Other students argue that the Spanish version came first, regarding the Spanish preface's claims of an Italian source as intended to boost the work's credibility by linking it to the Papal libraries. These scholars note parallels with a series of Morisco forgeries, the Sacromonte tablets of Granada, dating from the 1590s; or otherwise with Morisco reworkings of Christian and Islamic traditions, produced following their expulsion from Spain (G.A.Wiegers, "Muhammad as the Messiah: A comparison of the polemical works of Juan Alonso with the Gospel of Barnabas", Leiden, Bibliotheca Orientalis, LII, no 3/4, April-Juni 1995, pp.245-292).

Few academics argue that the text, in its present form, dates back any earlier than the 14th16th centuries; although a minority see it as containing portions of an earlier work, and almost all would detect the influence of additional source documents—over and above the canonical books of the Christian Bible.

Religious themes

The Gospel of Barnabas was little known outside academic circles until recent times, when a number of Muslims have taken to publishing it in order to argue against the orthodox Christian conception of Jesus. It resonates better with existing Muslim views than with Christianity in several respects: it foretells the coming of Muhammad by name; rather than describing the crucifixion of Jesus, it describes him being raised up into heaven, similar to the description of Elijah in 2 Kings, Chapter 2; and it calls Jesus a "prophet of salvation" whose mission was restricted to the "house of Israel". However, it appears to differs with the Islamic conception in at least one important respect; it reports that Muhammad, not Jesus, was the Messiah, whereas the Qur'an and Hadith both describe Jesus as the Messiah, and no orthodox variety of Islam calls Muhammad the Messiah. In addition, it explictly denies the Islamic (and Christian) doctrines of God's absolute judgment—in stating that the souls of the wicked in Hell may nevertheless be saved at the end times; whereas the righteous—even the saints and prophets—may nevertheless be damned, should their confidence in their own righteousness lead them into pride.

It contains an extended polemic against the doctrine of predestination, and in favour of justification by faith; arguing that the eternal destination of the soul to Heaven or Hell is neither pre-determined by God's grace (as in Calvinism), nor the judgment of God on a life on Earth of true faith and righteous deeds (as in orthodox Islam). Instead it states that all those condemned at the last judgment, but who subsequently respond in faith, who demonstrate unfeigned penitence, and who make a free choice of blessedness, will eventually be offered salvation. Only those whose pride prevents them from sincere repentence will remain forever in Hell. Such beliefs in the sixteenth century were found amongst the radical anti-Trinitarian protestant traditions later denoted as Unitarianism. Some sixteenth century anti-Trinitarian divines sought to reconcile Christianity, Islam and Judaism; on the basis of very similar arguments to those presented in the Gospel of Barnabas, arguing that if salvation remains unresolved until the end times, then any one of the three religions could be a valid path to heaven for their own believers. The Spaniard, Michael Servetus denounced the orthodox Christian formulation of the Trinity, demonstrating the only explicit reference to the Trinity in the New Testament to be a later interpolation; and hoping thereby to bridge the doctrinal divide between Christianity and Islam. In 1553 he was executed in Geneva under the authority of John Calvin, but his teachings remained very influential amongst Italian protestant exiles. In the late sixteenth century many Italian-speaking anti-Trinitarians—persecuted both by Calvinists and by the Inquisition- sought refuge in Transylvania, then under Turkish overlordship and with close links to Istanbul.

It also takes a strongly anti-Pauline tone at times, saying in the Italian version's beginning: "many, being deceived of Satan, under pretence 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 has been deceived."

Prediction of Muhammad

The Gospel of Barnabas claims that Jesus predicted the advent of Muhammad, thus conforming with the Qur'an which mentions:

"And remember, Jesus, the son of Mary, said: O Children of Israel! I am the apostle of Allah (sent) to you, confirming the Law (which came) before me, and giving Glad Tidings of an 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!" (Sura 61:6 (http://www.islamicity.com/mosque/QURAN/61.htm))

(Ahmad is another name of Muhammad.) More traditionally, Muslim scholars regard the New Testament's mentions of the Paraclete as referring to Muhammad, as the term "Comforter", used to describe the Paraclete, can be translated as "Ahmad".

The name of "Muhammad" is frequently mentioned verbatim in the Gospel of Barnabas, as in the following quote:

"Jesus answered: `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 (http://www.barnabas.net/barnabasP97.html). The Italian manuscript replaces "Admirable One" with "Muhammad" [4] (http://www.latrobe.edu.au/arts/barnabas/Barncoloured5.html).

Muhammad as the Messiah

According to the Gospel of Barnabas:

'Then said the priest: "How shall the Messiah be called?" {Jesus answered} "Muhammed is his blessed name" ' (ch. 97).


Jesus confessed, and said the truth: "I am not the Messiah." (ch. 42:2)

As mentioned above, these pronouncements appear to contradict Islamic belief. However, some Muslims have proposed alternate explanations for this: for instance, the well-known Muslim pamphleteer Ahmed Deedat argues that, since "Messiah" merely means "anointed", it can be attributed to any prophet, and thus that what Jesus would have meant by referring to prophet Muhammad as the awaited Messiah is that the awaited "Prophet", the saviour of the world and the final Messenger from God that the Israelites were waiting for was Muhammad.

Ishmaelite Messiah

According to the Gospel of Barnabas, Jesus denied being the Messiah, claiming rather that the Messiah would be Ishmaelite (ie Arab):

"Whereupon Jesus said: 'Ye deceive yourselves; for David in spirit calleth him lord, saying thus: "God said to my lord, sit thou on my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool. God shall send forth thy rod which shall have lordship in the midst of thine enemies." If the messenger of God whom ye call Messiah were son of David, how should David call him lord? Believe me, for verily I say to you, that the promise was made in Ishmael, not in Isaac.'" (Barnabas 43 (http://www.barnabas.net/barnabasP43.html):10)

Hajj Sayed (Senior Member in CIMS (http://www.islamic-message.net)), in his new book in Egypt, compares this to the following statement from the canonical Bible:

"What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?" "The son of David," they replied. He said to them, "How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him 'Lord'? For he says, 'The Lord said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.' If then David calls him 'Lord,' how can he be his son?" (Matthew 22 (http://www.bbintl.org/bible/niv/nivGal2.html):42-46)

According to the canonical Gospels, Jesus was the "son" (descendant) of David; thus, Hajj Sayed argues that this statement confirms the Gospel of Barnabas' point.

The idea of the Messiah as an Arab is also found in another chapter of Gospel of Barnabas:

"If I work iniquity, reprove me, and God will love you, because you shall be doing his will, but if none can reprove me of sin it is a sign that you are not sons of Abraham as you call yourselves, nor are you incorporate with that head wherein Abraham was incorporate. As God lives, so greatly did Abraham love God, that he not only brake in pieces the false idols and forsook his father and mother, but was willing to slay his own son in obedience to God.
The high priest answered: "This I ask of you, and I do not seek to slay you, wherefore tell us: Who was this son of Abraham?" Jesus answered: "The zeal of your honour, O God, inflames me, and I cannot hold my peace. 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 (http://www.barnabas.net/barnabasP208.html):1-2)

Here, 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 (http://www.geocities.com/islamicmessage/lopm/00cntnts.htm)).

Jesus not being God

According to the Gospel of Barnabas, Jesus foresaw and rejected his own deification:

"Jesus answered: `As God liveth, in whose presence my soul standeth, I am not the Messiah whom all the tribes of the earth expect, even as God promised to our father Abraham, saying: "In thy seed will I bless all the tribes of the earth." But when God shall take me away from the world, Satan will raise again this accursed sedition, by making the impious believe that I am God and son of God, whence my words and my doctrine shall be contaminated, insomuch that scarcely shall there remain thirty faithful ones: whereupon God will have mercy upon the world, and will send his messenger for whom he hath made all things; who shall come from the south with power, and shall destroy the idols with the idolaters; who shall take away the dominion from Satan which he hath over men. He shall bring with him the mercy of God for salvation of them that shall believe in him, and blessed is he who shall believe his words." (Barnabas 96 (http://www.barnabas.net/barnabasP96.html):6)

This conforms entirely with Muslim belief, according to which Jesus is a prophet and will come back to earth in the future and declare to the world that he is "a Servant of God". According to Imam Anwar Al-Awlaki in his audio lessons Lives of the Prophets (http://www.al-basheer.com), the first thing that prophet Jesus said when he was in the cradle "I am a servant of God", and the first thing that Jesus will say when he will come back to earth will be the same "I am a servant of God". According to the Qur'an:

At length she brought the (babe) to her people, carrying him (in her arms). They said: "O Mary! truly an amazing thing hast thou brought! O sister of Aaron! Thy father was not a man of evil, nor thy mother a woman unchaste!" But she pointed to the babe. They said: "How can we talk to one who is a child in the cradle? He said: "I am indeed a servant of Allah. He hath given me revelation and made me a prophet; And He hath made me blessed wheresoever I be, and hath enjoined on me Prayer and Charity as long as I live; (He) hath made me kind to my mother, and not overbearing or miserable; So peace is on me the day I was born, the day that I die, and the day that I shall be raised up to life (again)"! Such (was) Jesus the son of Mary: (it is) a statement of truth, about which they (vainly) dispute. It is not befitting to (the majesty of) Allah that He should beget a son. Glory be to Him! when He determines a matter, He only says to it, "Be", and it is. (Maryam:27-35)


The Gospel of Barnabas contains several apparent anachronisms. It has Barnabas sailing to land-locked Nazareth and thence going "up" to the coastal city of Capernaum (chapters 20-21; this is contested by Blackhirst (http://www.bendigo.latrobe.edu.au/sae/arts/barnabas/criticism.html), who says that the traditional location of Nazareth is itself questionable); has Jesus born during the rule of Pontius Pilate, which began after the year 26; and appears not to realize that 'Christ' means 'Messiah' (ie "anointed"), describing Jesus as "Jesus Christ" yet claiming that 'Jesus confessed and said the truth, "I am not the Messiah"' (ch. 42). Also, there is reference to a jubilee which is to be held every hundred years, rather than every fifty years as described in Leviticus, Chapter 25. This appears to be an anachronism, since it wasn't until about AD 1300 that Pope Boniface VIII decreed the jubilee was to be held every hundred years, rather than every fifty.

Islamic perspectives

Some Islamic organizations cite this work in support of the Islamic view of Jesus; in particular, the noted Muslim scholars Rashid Rida in Egypt and Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi in Pakistan have given it qualified acceptance (though the latter rejects its naming of Muhammad as an interpolation.) While some Muslim scholars also agree that this Gospel of Barnabas is fabricated or has been changed over time, others believe that Barnabas himself wrote the Gospel, whereas the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were written by followers of Paul long after the events they describe, and that therefore the Gospel of Barnabas is more authentic than the other Gospels. Some Muslims take a position between these poles, suggesting that, while the work contains "Muslim interpolations"[5] (http://www.answering-christianity.com/answersamgreen.htm), it nonetheless consists mainly of early material that contradicts Christian traditions and confirms Muslim beliefs.

Although the Gospel of Barnabas is, in several respects, inconsistent with Islamic teaching, some Muslim scholars cite this as evidence of the genuineness of the gospel by arguing that no Muslim would fake a document and have it contradict the Qur'an. They believe the contradictions of the Qur'an in the Gospel of Barnabas are signs of textual corruption (which Muslims already ascribe for a majority of the Bible.) The difference is that the Gospel of Barnabas is not as corrupt as other religious works, and still mantains the truth about Jesus not being crucified and not being God or God's son.

Paul and Barnabas

Hajj Sayed argues that Galatians's description of the dispute between Paul and Barnabas supports the idea that the Gospel of Barnabas existed at the time of Paul. The non-Muslim scholar Blackhirst has suggested, by contrast, that Galatian's account of this argument could be the reason the gospel's writer attributed it to Barnabas.[6] (http://www.depts.drew.edu/jhc/Blackhirst_Barnabas.html) According to Galatians chapter 1 (http://www.bbintl.org/bible/niv/nivGal1.html)), Paul told the Galatians:

"I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel-- which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ." (Galatians 1 (http://www.bbintl.org/bible/niv/nivGal1.html):6-10)

And then, in (Galatians Chapter 2 (http://www.bbintl.org/bible/niv/nivGal2.html)):

"When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray. When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, "You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?" (Galatians 2 (http://www.bbintl.org/bible/niv/nivGal2.html):11-14)

We can see from those quotes that Paul was attacking Peter and Barnabas for "trying to satisfy the Jews" by sticking to their laws, such as circumcision. This shows that, at that point, Barnabas was following Peter and disagreeing with Paul. Some feel it also suggests that the inhabitants of Galatia at his time were using a gospel or gospels disagreeing with Paul's beliefs, which Gospel of Barnabas could be one of them (although the Gospel of Peter would seem a more natural candidate, as in the light of the second letter.) To Galatian's account we may compare the Introductory Chapter of Gospel of Barnabas, where we read:

"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 Gospel of Barnabas (http://www.barnabas.net/barnabasP1.html))

In this context, supporters also note that Peter was from the original 12 disciples of Jesus, and Barnabas had converted before Paul, while Paul, a Roman, had been accustomed to persecute the followers of Jesus before his conversion.

Acts 9:26: "And when Saul ( Paul ) was come to Jerusalem he assayed to join himself to the disciples, but they were all afraid of him and believed not that he was a disciple."

In conclusion, some Muslim scholars believe that those differences between the Gospel of Barnabas and the belief of Paul might be the reason that the Gospel of Barnabas and other Gospels were not added to the Bible, and were condemned to be burned at the time of Constantine, when the question of Jesus' nature became a political issue in the Roman Empire, finally resolved by the formerly pagan Romans in favor of the Pauline belief of the Trinity, contrasting with the Qur'an's statement that God is One and that He has no sons.

External links and text

Christian perspectives

Islamic perspectives


Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Art)
    • Architecture (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Architecture)
    • Cultures (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Cultures)
    • Music (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Music)
    • Musical Instruments (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/List_of_musical_instruments)
  • Biographies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Biographies)
  • Clipart (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Clipart)
  • Geography (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Geography)
    • Countries of the World (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Countries)
    • Maps (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Maps)
    • Flags (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Flags)
    • Continents (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Continents)
  • History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History)
    • Ancient Civilizations (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Ancient_Civilizations)
    • Industrial Revolution (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Industrial_Revolution)
    • Middle Ages (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Middle_Ages)
    • Prehistory (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Prehistory)
    • Renaissance (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Renaissance)
    • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
    • United States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/United_States)
    • Wars (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Wars)
    • World History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History_of_the_world)
  • Human Body (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Human_Body)
  • Mathematics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Mathematics)
  • Reference (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Reference)
  • Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Science)
    • Animals (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Animals)
    • Aviation (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Aviation)
    • Dinosaurs (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Dinosaurs)
    • Earth (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Earth)
    • Inventions (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Inventions)
    • Physical Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Physical_Science)
    • Plants (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Plants)
    • Scientists (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Scientists)
  • Social Studies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Social_Studies)
    • Anthropology (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Anthropology)
    • Economics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Economics)
    • Government (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Government)
    • Religion (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Religion)
    • Holidays (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Holidays)
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Solar_System)
    • Planets (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Planets)
  • Sports (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Sports)
  • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
  • Weather (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Weather)
  • US States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/US_States)


  • Home Page (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php)
  • Contact Us (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Contactus)

  • Clip Art (http://classroomclipart.com)
Personal tools