Vatican Officially Asks Turkey For Access to 1,500 Year Old Bible

H. Scott English

Turkey confirmed on Friday that they were in possession of a bible dating back more than 1,5000 years. Reportedly the Vatican has made an official request of the Turkish government to examine the bible.

The Bible was seized from a gang in Turkey last year and was among a batch of historical artifacts within the gang's possession. The gang members have been convicted of smuggling antiquities, illegal excavations, and the possession of explosives.

Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay said on Thursday that the government of Turkey has received the bible from the courthouse. He expects that the Bible will be restored and then put on display.

The Bible is supposedly written in Aramaic which is the language that Jesus and his followers used.

The leather bible is written on sheets of animal skin and has an approximate value of $25 million dollars. Officials estimate that even photocopies of the Bible will be worth a few million dollars.

There are reports that the Bible is a copy of The Gospel of Barnabas. The Gospel of Barnabas has a radically different view of Jesus and his followers. In the Gospel of Barnabas Jesus is referred to as a prophet but not the Son of God. It is also regarded by Muslims as the most complete record of Jesus and is believed to make reference to the coming of the Prophet Muhammad.

İhsan Özbek, a Turkish Protestant pastor, told Today's Zaman,

"The copy in Ankara might have been written by one of the followers of St. Barbanas and since there is around 500 years in between St. Barnabas and the writing of the Bible copy [in Ankara], Muslims may be disappointed to see that this copy does not include things they would like to see and it might have no relation with the content of the Gospel of Barnabas,"

Would you be excited to see the 1500 year old bible on display?