‘Gospel of Barnabas’: Iran’s Plan to Discredit All Christianity?

Naqsh-e Jahan Square, Iran


Some in Iran apparently think that they have a plan that will discredit all of Christianity:

WND – May 23, 2012

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…

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 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.”  http://www.wnd.com/2012/05/iran-discovery-will-collapse-christianity/

The biblical Barnabas, who knew the Apostle Paul (Acts 13:43), did not write this Gospel of Barnabas.  Now, other versions of this false Gospel of Barnabas have been around for a while and it has long been discredited.  So, the reporting of an additional “prophecy” from another version of it about Mohammed (other versions have other prophecies allegedly about him) in it is of little consequence.

Additionally, it should be pointed out that there is another writing falsely attributed to Barnabas called the Epistle of Barnabas, and that is not the same book as the falsely named Gospel of Barnabas.  The Epistle of Barnabas is believed to have came from Egypt.  Here are some comments from the Handbook of Patrology about the so-called Epistle of Barnabas:


Under the name of St. Barnabas we have a letter preserved in two principal codices, the Sinaiticus (IVth century) and the Hierosolymitanus (1056). With one voice Christian antiquity indicated as the author of this letter Barnabas, the companion of St. Paul, although it placed it among the antilegomenai grafai, that is to say, contested its canonicity. Modern critics unanimously deny the genuineness of the letter. When the Epistle was written, St. Barnabas was certainly no longer alive and, even if he had been, he would not have adopted the violent and severe attitude evinced throughout this document.

Let’s go over a few points.  First of all, there are no writings by “Barnabas” that are accepted by those that profess Christ as other than false and not actually written by Barnabas.  Second it was only certain false professors of Christ that gave any writing allegedly by Barnabas credibility in the 2nd and later centuries–the NT canon had already been known by the faithful (see The New Testament Canon – From the Bible and History).  Third, if the biblical Barnabas actually wrote any book, it would have been written in the first century–and since the falsely named Gospel of Barnabas seems to have been written later than that, or a least after Barnabas had died, no one will accept its teachings as valid.

Fourthly, the so-called Gospel of Barnabas teaches a variety of non-Christian doctrines which contradict scripture.  It teaches, for example, that Jesus denied His Messiahship, “I am not the Messiah” (Gospel of Barnabas 42:6) and that Jesus sent Mohammed for the “salvation of the world” (Gospel of Barnabas 97:9-10).  Yet, the Bible teaches that Jesus did claim to be the Messiah (John 4:25-26) and it also teaches that other than Jesus “there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

The Bible, itself, also teaches that there will be true (like the two witnesses of Revelation 11:2-12), and false, prophets (Matthew 24:11).  But Mohammed is not named in scripture, nor did he teach the message of true biblical Christianity.

It is most likely that since the false Gospel of Barnabas has various Mohammed statements in it, they were written in by Islamic supporters.  Now, I am not denying that Satan could not have that written in a document prior to the actual emergence of Mohammed–it just seems unlikely, especially for books that already had long been discredited by those who profess Jesus.

So why might some in Iran make a big deal about the false Gospel of Barnabas now?

It seems to fit with an Iranian political agenda.

Iran, itself, has long wished to become the leader of the Islamic world.  Iran’s government basically claims that the purpose of its revolution in the 1970s (that over-through the Shaw of Iran) was intended to set the stage for the emergence of an Islamic leader, the Imam Mahdi, to rise up and have the rest of the Islamic world unite behind Iran.  This is simply not going to happen.  It is likely that the appeal to another version of the false Gospel of Barnabas is intended to rally Iran’s people (and other Muslims) behind Iran’s goal of Islamic conquest.  A goal that will not happen as the leadership of Iran currently hopes for.

Yet, while scripture shows that much of the Islamic world will unite, this confederation will not be uniting behind Iran.  The final prophesied King of the South (Daniel 11:40) will be from the Middle East or North Africa, but not Iran.

Watch (Mark 13:37).

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

The Arab World In the Bible, History, and Prophecy The Bible discusses the origins of the Arab world and discusses the Middle East in prophecy. What is ahead for the Middle East and those who follow Islam? What does Islam teach about the Imam Mahdi?
Is There A Future King of the South? Some no longer believe there needs to be. Might Egypt, Islam, Iran, Arabs, or Ethiopia be involved? Is he the Imam Mahdi? What does the Bible say?
Is There an Islamic Antichrist? Is Joel Richardson correct that the final Antichrist will be Islamic and not European? Find out.
Who Are The Two Witnesses? What is their job? What does the Bible reveal? What has the Church of God taught on this subject? Might even Roman Catholic prophecies give some clues here?
Military Service and the Churches of God: Do Real Christians Participate in Carnal Warfare? Here are current and historical perspectives on a matter which show the beliefs of the true church on military participation. Is war proper for Christians?
The Old Testament Canon This article shows from Catholic accepted writings, that the Old Testament used by non-Roman Catholics and non-Orthodox churches is the correct version.
The New Testament Canon – From the Bible and History This article, shows from the Bible and supporting historical sources, why the early Church knew which books were part of the Bible and which ones were not.
The Bible: Fact or Fiction? This is a booklet written by Douglas Winnail that answers if the Bible is just a collection of myths and legends or the inspired word of God.
Read the Bible Christians should read and study the Bible. This article gives some rationale for regular bible reading.
What is the Gospel? True religion should be based upon the true gospel. What are some of the different gospels and where did they come from? Do you believe the true or a false gospel?
The Gospel of the Kingdom of God was the Emphasis of Jesus and the Early Church Did you know that? Do you even know what the gospel of the kingdom is all about?
Are You Saved? Do You Love Jesus? What is a True Christian? What is the Gospel? Evangelist Richard Ames answers those important questions.
True vs. False Conversion Are you really converted or willing to be? What is true conversion? What is false conversion? What are the dangers of false conversion? Evangelist Roderick Meredith provides information on those important questions.

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