By Reza Kahlili
Turkey confiscated the text, written on animal hide, in an anti-smuggling operation. Turkish authorities believe it could be an authentic version of the Gospel of Barnabas by the apostle known for his travels with the apostle Paul.
The Christian world, it says, denies the existence of such a gospel.
Another known “Barnabas Gospel” dates to the late 16th century, which would post-date Muhammad.
In the Barnabas text held by Turkey, chapter 41 states: “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 Muhammad his prophet.
The Turkish army has taken possession of the text because the “Zionists” and the governments of the West are trying to suppress its contents, Basij Press claims.
According to the Barnabas Gospel in Turkey’s hands, Basij Press says, Jesus was never crucified, He’s not the Son of God and He, Himself, predicts the coming of Muhammad. The book even predicts the coming of the last Islamic messiah, the report says.
“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.”
The Basij report concludes that the discovery is so immense, it will affect world politics, and that the world powers have become aware of its impact.
Turkey plans to put the Bible on public display. Though Turkish authorities believe it could be an authentic version of the Gospel of Barnabas, others believe it only goes back to the 16th century and is a fake because it would have been written centuries after Muhammad’s life.
Erick Stakelbeck, host of the Christian Broadcasting Network’s “Stakelbeck on Terror” show and a close observer of Iranian affairs, said Iran is highlighting the book because it sees Christianity as a threat.
“The Iranian regime is committed to stamping out Christianity by any means necessary, whether that means executing Christian converts, burning Bibles or raiding underground churches,” he explained.
“In promoting the so-called Barnabas Bible – which was likely written sometime in the 16th century and is not accepted by any mainstream Christian denomination – the regime is once again attempting to discredit the Christian faith. Record numbers of young Iranians are leaving Islam and embracing Christ, and the mullahs see Christianity as a growing threat to their authority.”
The Vatican has requested to see the text, but it is unknown if Turkey has provided access.
Iranian ayatollahs regularly declared that Islam is the last and only righteous religion sent by God.
Grand Ayatollah Jafar Sobhani, in a recent statement, proclaimed that since the Quran was the last holy book and provides the most complete religion to the world, and Muhammad the last prophet, there is no authority to abide by other books. The Quran clearly indicates that only those who have accepted the true religion of Islam are the guided ones, he said.
As reported recently, a former intelligence officer in the Revolutionary Guards revealed that tens of thousands of Bibles were confiscated and burned in Iran under the order of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The mullah said the Bible is not a holy book and its burning is morally acceptable.
Khamenei said: “In light of the realization of the divine promise by almighty Allah, the Zionists and the Great Satan (America) will soon be defeated. Allah’s promise will be delivered and Islam will be victorious.”