Extract of Page 129-130 of Gospel of BARNABAS. Jesus, weeping said: "O BARNABAS, it is necessary that I should reveal to thee great secrets which, after that I shall be departed from the world, thou shalt reveal to it."
Then answered he that writeth, weeping and said: "Suffer me to weep, O master, and other men also, for that we are sinners. And thou, that art an holy one and prophet of God, it is not fitting for thee to weep so much."
Jesus answered: "Believe me, BARNABAS, that I cannot weep as much as I ought. For if men had not called me God, I should of seen God here as he will be seen in paradise, and should of been safe not to fear the day of Judgement. But God knoweth that I am innocent, because never have I harboured thought to be held more than a poor slave. Nay, I tell thee that I had not been called God I should have been carried into paradise when I shall depart from the world, whereas now I shall not go thither until judgement. Now thou seest if I have cause to weep. Know O BARNABAS, that for this I must have great persecution, and shall whereupon I am sure that he who sell me shall be slain in my name, for that God shall take me up from the earth, and shall change appearance of the traitor so that everyone shall believe him to be me; nevertheless, when he dieth an evil death, I shall abide in that dishonour for a long time in the world. But when MOHAMMED shall come, the sacred messenger of God, that infamy shall be taken away. And this shall God do because I have confessed the truth of the MESSIAH; who shall give me reward, that I shall be known alive and to be a stranger to that death of infamy."
Then answered he that he writeth: "O master, tell me who is wretch, for I fain would choke him to death."
"Hold thy peace," answered Jesus, "for so God willeth, and he cannot do otherwise: but see thou that when my mother is afflicted at such an event thou tell her the truth, in order that she may be comforted."
Then answered he who writeth: "All this will I do, O master, if God please".
In the Bible, apostle is a title conferred on one sent with a message. The term is applied primarily to the original Twelve called by Jesus to accompany him during his ministry (Matt. 10:2-4; Mark 3:16-19; Luke 6:13-16).
In the Gospels, other followers are called disciples. The title was gradually extended to others such as PAUL and BARNABAS (Acts 14:14; Rom. 9:1, 11:13); when this occurred, the Twelve were distinguished from all the apostles, as in 1 Corinthians 15:5-7. Most of the Twelve were from the labouring class, with the exception of MATTHEW, a tax collector. None was from the religious sector of Jewish society. PETER, JAMES (the Greater), and JOHN formed an inner circle closest to Jesus; JUDAS ISCARIOT betrayed him, and MATTHIAS was selected to replace Judas (Acts 1:16). The others were PHILIP, BARTHOLOMEW, THOMAS, JAMES (the Lesser), SIMON, and THADDEUS.
Paul was born a Jew and trained to be a Pharisee, that is, a learned and strict observer of religious law. The New Testament records how he actively tried to suppress the early Christian movement through persecution (Gal. 1:13-14) until he was converted to Christianity by a visionary encounter with the risen Jesus while on the road to Damascus about AD 36 (Gal. 1:15-16; Acts 9:1-31; 22; 26). Because of this vision, Paul held that he, too, had met Jesus and was therefore qualified to be called an APOSTLE (1 Cor. 9:1). After being instructed and receiving Christian baptism in Damascus, Paul went to "Arabia" (probably the desert of Transjordan) for a short time; he then returned to Damascus for 3 years until he was driven out to Tarsus, probably in 40. Several years later BARNABAS brought Paul to Antioch in Syria (Acts 11), where they ministered together for a year.
The Gospel of Barnabas
Barnabas was one of the members of the early Christian church in
Jerusalem and introduced in the New Testament as the �son of consolation�
(Acts 4:36). A Levite and a native of Cyprus, Barnabas is credited for
having founded the Cypriot church. He was a successful preacher with a
charismatic personality. Anyone tormented by the clash of creeds found
comfort and peace in his company. His eminence as a man, who had been
close to Jesus, had made him a prominent member of the small group
of disciples in Jerusalem who had gathered together after Jesus. They
observed the Law of the Prophets: Jesus has come, �not to destroy but
to fulfill�, (Matthew 5:17). They continued to live as Jews and practiced
what Jesus had taught them. The disciples never regarded Christianity
as a new religion. They were devout and practicing Jews and they were
distinguished from their neighbors only by accepting the message of
Jesus. In the beginning they did not organize themselves as a separate
sect and did not have a synagogue of their own. There was nothing in the
message of Jesus, as understood by them, to require a break with Judaism.
However, they incurred the hostility of the vested interests among the
Jewish Rabbis. The conflict started by the Rabbis because they felt that
the Christians would undermine their authority and power.
Barnabas introduced Saul of Tarsus, later St. Paul, to the other apostles
in Jerusalem. But the disciples �were all afraid of Paul and believed not
that he was a disciple. But Barnabas took him and brought him to the
Apostles,� (Act 9:26-27). Barnabas accompanied Paul to Antioch, Cyprus
and Asia Minor. At the council held in Jerusalem, Barnabas agreed with
Paul�s views that the church had a mission for the Gentiles. In Lystra, Paul
was said to have performed spiritual healing, so the people coined the
terms �Jupiter� for Barnabas and �Mercurius� for Paul, (Acts 14:12). In
the Roman State religion, Jupiter was the supreme god and Mercury was
a god that served as a messenger to other gods and was himself the god
of commerce, travel and thievery. He and Paul later separated, however,
when Barnabas insisted that his cousin Mark, who had deserted them on
a previous journey, should accompany them again. Barnabas and Mark
together continued missionary work in Cyprus (Acts 15:39).
The writings attributed to Barnabas have been the source of dispute
among biblical scholars. The early Christian writer Tertullian assigned
to him the authorship of the Epistle to the Hebrews, in accordance with
second century church tradition. The apocryphal Acts of Barnabas, a work
of late date, recounted his missionary tours and his death by martyrdom
in Cyprus. The existing Epistle of Barnabas, found in a New Testament
manuscript (part of the Codex Sinaiticus), is morally instructive work.
Some biblical scholars believe that the Gospel of Barnabas was
accepted as a canonical Gospel in the churches of Alexandria until
325 AD. Irenaeus (130-200) wrote a work against paganism known as
�Against the Heresies.� He had quoted extensively from the Gospel of
Barnabas in support of his views. This proves that the Gospel of Barnabas
was in circulation in the first and second centuries of Christianity. In 325
AD, the Nicene Council was held, where it was ordered that all original
Gospels in Hebrew script should be destroyed. A decree was issued that
anyone in possession of these Gospels would be executed. In 383, the
Pope secured a copy of the Gospel of Barnabas and kept it in his private
library. In the fourth year of the emperor Zeno (478 AD), the remains of
Barnabas were discovered and there was found, on his chest, a copy of the
Gospel written with his own hand, (Acia Sanctorum Boland Junii Tom II,
pages 422 and 450, Antwerp 1698.) The Vulgate Bible appears to include
some sayings from this Gospel. Pope Sixtus (1585-1590) had a friend
called Fra Marino. He found the Gospel of Barnabas in the private library
of the Pope. Fra Marino was interested in the Gospel because he had read
the writings of Irenaeus where Barnabas had been respectfully quoted
many times. This Italian manuscript passed through many hands until it
came to the possession of Cramer, a Councilor of the King of Prussia. In
1713 Cramer gave it to Prince Eugene in Savoy. In 1738 along with the
library of the prince, the Gospel found its way to Vienna, where it now
exists. An English translation of this Gospel exists in USA and Europe.
Some Christian Scholars claim that this Gospel has Arabic comments
and was written originally in Arabic. Some even claim that it has an Islamic
origin, or was used by Muhammad in writing the Quran. All historical
accounts establish that Muhammad was unlettered; that is to say that he
could not read or write. After Islam, there were debates between Muslims
and Christians and no Muslim ever referred to that Gospel. Therefore,
this Gospel was not known in Islamic history. Unless some scholars
claim that Islamic history was corrupted and the usage of this Gospel was
concealed! Anyone who studies Islamic history will immediately know
that this is one of the many stereotype claims against Islam.
The Gospel of Barnabas differs from the Biblical Gospels in the
following basics of the Christian religion:
� Jesus is not the Son of God. He was a great prophet.
� The sacrifice that Abraham offered to God was Ismael and not Isaac.
� The Gospel made clear prophecy about the coming of Muhammad.
� Jesus was not crucified. The one that was crucified in Jesus� place
was Judas by another miracle of God.