Should Muslims read the gospel of Barnabas as the true story of Isa?

Question: "Should Muslims read the gospel of Barnabas as the true story of Isa?"

prove reveals that the gospel of Barnabas was most likely written by a European living around the fifteenth century who wrote inaccurately about Isa’s life.

Beliefs about Isa vary widely between Christians and Muslims because their sources differ. While Muslims often get their impression of Jesus from the gospel of Barnabas, Christians trust the Gospels (Injeel) found in the Bible. These books differ in significant ways. One of them must be false. Let’s first examine whether the gospel of Barnabas is an authentic biography of Jesus.

The author: not Barnabas
The author of the gospel of Barnabas could not have been Barnabas. The real Barnabas was a generous encourager of the early church (Acts 4:36). He was not one of the original twelve disciples of Jesus as the gospel of Barnabas mistakenly claims. Barnabas was the one who persuaded the disciples that the Apostle Paul had changed from a persecutor of the church to a follower of Isa (Acts 9:27). The true Barnabas traveled with Paul to tell the good news of Jesus/Isa (Acts 13:2).

Date of authorship: the Middle Ages
A reading of the gospel of Barnabas clearly shows that it was written neither in Isa’s time nor shortly thereafter as alleged. There are far too many anachronisms (errors in cultural history). For example, the gospel of Barnabas says that Isa was born when Pilate was governor, but history records Pilate becoming governor in A.D. 26 or 27—long after Jesus Christ’s birth.

If the gospel of Barnabas was written in the 1st century after Christ, it would have been quoted in other documents of the same time period. It is not cited, however, one single time in works of either the church fathers or Muslim clerics until the fifteenth century. Those who claim the Gospel of Barnabas’ early authorship may be referring to the Epistle of Barnabas—a first-century book, though not divinely inspired.

The gospel of Barnabas contains quotations from Dante Alighieri, references to an edict from Pope Boniface, and descriptions of feudalism. Therefore, scholarly assessment place the date of authorship around the fifteenth century!

Legitimacy: full of errors
In addition to those errors listed above, the gospel of Barnabas claims that Jesus was not the Messiah (sects. 42, 48). Both the Qur’an and Bible, however, testify that Jesus was the Messiah (see Surah 5:19, 75; Matthew 26:63-64).

From the descriptions of Palestine, it is obvious that the author of the gospel of Barnabas was not familiar with its geography. He alleged that Jesus sailed to Nazareth—a city that is inland.

prove proves that the gospel of Barnabas was not written by Barnabas, was most likely written in the fifteenth century, and is filled with inaccuracies. Trustworthy scholars have exposed it as a counterfeit. Therefore, it cannot be trusted as the biography of Isa’s life. Both Muslims and Christians must reject it.

Where is the true story of Isa’s life?
If not the Gospel of Barnabas, where can you find the truth about Isa? The Qur’an urges you to turn to the Bible with such questions (Surah 5:46; 10:95). The Bible contains four Gospels that illustrate Christ from four different, yet divinely inspired perspectives. Reputable authorities have consistently affirmed the four Gospels found in the New Testament as authentic.

Don’t be ashamed to read about the Lord Jesus. The Bible says, “Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord. . . but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Timothy 1:10).

If you want to find out how you can have “life and immortality” through the Gospel, go to “How can I, as a Muslim, be assured of paradise?

For more information about the gospel of Barnabas, read this external link:

Recommended Resource: Answering Islam: The Crescent in Light of the Cross by Norm Geisler.

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Related Topics:

Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God?

Is Jesus God’s Son? How could Allah, being one, have a Son?

What is Islam, and what do Muslims believe?

How can I, as a Muslim, be assured of paradise?

Do Christians believe in three Gods?

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Should Muslims read the gospel of Barnabas as the true story of Isa?