1500-Year-Old Versus 1500 AD: Is ‘Gospel Of Barnabas’ A Medieval Hoax?

A book being referred to as a “bible” dating back 1,500 years, written in gold on leather pages and bound in string, was unearthed in Turkey in 2000. The bible, dubbed the Gospel of Barnabas, was seized from antiquities smugglers in the Mediterranean region over 14 years ago and held in the depositum of Ankaran Justice Palace, a Turkish courthouse, to protect the controversial find.

According to the Latin Times, the relic is written in Aramaic, the language of Jesus Christ. Muslim media outlets have made the find a huge deal, with claims that within the supposedly 1,500-year-old bible, Jesus predicted the coming of Mohammed. The Gospel of Barnabas also alleges that Christ was human, not the son of God, and that Jesus was not crucified.

The Vatican Insider, a project run by the Vatican newspaper La Stampa, published an article on Monday stating the found Gospel of Barnabas appears to have been a forgery written by a European Jewish scholar from the Middle Ages. There are several reasons given why this work is possibly a very, very old hoax.

The find was not determined to be 1,500 years old by any dating method. Instead, an inscription in the Gospel of Barnabas dates the actual bible itself at 1500 AD. A main point of contention for the work is the proclamation within the pages that Jesus predicted the coming of Mohammad. A book written in 1500 AD cannot predict something that happened in 630 AD, over 800 years earlier.

The modern Assyrian language is known as Neo-Aramaic, and since the find is written in Aramaic from the year 1500, it is easy for Syriacs to read. It is Syriac scholars who have balked most at the Gospel of Barnabas. Aramaic is also still used in religious rituals of Maronite Christians in Cyprus, according to National Turk. La Stampa has issue with the language of the main inscription within the Gospel of Barnabas. An excerpt from the article reads as follows.

“For example, the main inscription, in a modern transliteration, reads: ‘b-shimmit maran paish kteewa aha ktawa al idateh d-rabbaneh d-dera illaya b-ninweh b’sheeta d-alpa w-khamshamma d-maran’. This apparently means: ‘In the name of the Lord, this book is written by monks of the high monastery in Nineveh in the 1500th year of our Lord.’ There is not enough space here to go through the grammatical and conceptual errors in detail, but experts in modern Assyrian assure us that they are obvious and quite significant. Apart from anything else, the inscription says ‘book’, but one never refers to a bible in Assyrian with the word ‘book’. The Bible is either referred to as New or Old Testament, or Holy Book. It is quite unlikely that monks could have made such obvious mistakes.”

The Vatican Times makes another very good point. No media outlet to date has shared the actual writings of Jesus, making any of the proclamations declared by supporters of the legitimacy of the book a bit questionable. Regardless of the content, as previously reported by the Inquisitr, the so-called Gospel of Barnabas is one of the oldest written records of the ministry of Jesus Christ.

The priceless relic was transferred to Ethnography Museum of Ankara with a police escort in 2012. Hoax or not, the very old book has an estimated value of $28 million dollars. Photocopies of the Gospel of Barnabas alone are selling for an unbelievable $1.7 million dollars.

[Image via YouTube screen capture]