CHRISTIANITY has seen its fair share of drawbacks over the years, from Jesus bloodline claims of Dan Brown's best seller Da Vinci Code which sold more than 40 million copies, to paedophile homointercourseual priests and pastors, adultery and embezzlement by church leaders.
Claims that the Bible is incomplete are backed by the unearthing of scrolls in recent decades. Some of these scrolls shed more light on the Bible's degree of historic accuracy like the dead sea scroll, but most significant is a tiny scroll found in an ancient tomb near Jerusalem. Inscribed upon it is a priestly blessing identical to the one written in the Hebrew Bible dated before Christ and written 400 years before the oldest known Biblical text.
Numbers chapter 6:24-26
24The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:
25 The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
26 The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.
Though the found text is word for word identical with the one in the Bible, and therefore encourages us to have confidence in the validity of the received text as has been passed down, another discovered document is set to shake the core of Christianity.
The controversial book was discovered by Turkish authorities in 2000, during an anti-smuggling operation on a gang who were charged with smuggling antiquities, illegal excavations and possession of explosives. The leather- bound religious text dated from the fifth century and was thought to be an authentic version of the Gospel of Barnabas, one of Jesus's disciples.
Though discovered 12 years ago, the excitement about the find only peaked in February when it was reported that the Vatican had made an official request to view the book. However, a Turkish newspaper, Zaman, confirms that the Vatican did not ask to view the book but rather a request was made by the Vatican ambassador in Ankara to the Turkish authorities to inspect it and provide feedback on its authenticity. Nonetheless, the request elated Iran which claims the book would crumble Christianity worldwide.
Written in Syriac, a dialect of Aramaic, the document contains much of the same information as the four New Testament Gospels but differs greatly with regard to the identity of Jesus Christ. The document claims Jesus was a mere mortal and was never crucified and that he himself predicted the coming of the Prophet Muhammad.
In it, Jesus Christ supposedly says “I confess before heaven, and call to witness everything that dwells upon the earth, that I am a stranger to all that men have said of me, that I am more than man. For I am a man, born of a woman, subject to the judgment of God; that live here like as other men, subject to the common miseries.”
The Basiji press further adds that Chapter 41 of the Gospel reads '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.
Disparaging the core of Christianity which hinges on the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the book identifies, Judas Iscariot as the one who died on the cross instead of Jesus. Contrary to what was reported in the Bible but agrees with the Islamic views on Jesus's crucifixion. Some Islamic scholars, are even claiming, the Gospel of Barnabas was “suppressed by the Christian Church for its strong parallels with the Islamic view of Jesus.”
Iranian press Basiji states: '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 most significant fact, though, is that this Bible has predicted the coming of Prophet Mohammad and in itself has verified the religion of Islam.'
However, Phil Lawler, writing on the Catholic Culture website, described the claim as a 'laughable Iranian challenge to Christianity'. It is no secret that Iran would prefer Islam as the world's religion.
The books' origins are unknown but National Turk reported that the book had been kept in the Justice Palace in the Turkish capital, Ankara, and was being transferred under armed police guard to the city's Ethnography Museum. Although Turkish authorities believe the book to be genuine, observers in the Muslim world are skeptical over its authenticity due to its contradictions with the Quran even though it recognizes Islam and Prophet Mohammed also, the timeline of the book which goes back only 500 years, cannot be a firsthand account of Jesus Christ during his time on earth.Written by Victory Oyeleke
On Sunday Tribune, Nigeria
Dated: Sunday, 03 June 2012