Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Gospel of Barnabas



(Note: this is a Syriac (Aramaic) Christian book Muslims are trying to pass off as the "Gospel of Barnabas")

Iran's Basij Press is claiming a purported Gospel of Barnabas, discovered in 2000, will prove that Islam is the final and righteous religion, causing the collapse worldwide of Christianity. 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. Basij Press contends the text was written in the 5th or 6th century and predicts the coming of Muhammad and the religion of Islam. 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."


-See Iran: Discovery will collapse Christianity Says Turkish 'Bible' has Barnabas forecasting Muhammad's coming in WND by Reza Kahlili.

Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran's Revolutionary Guards and the author of the award-winning book, A Time to Betray. He is a senior Fellow with EMPact America, a member of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and teaches at the U.S. Department of Defense's Joint Counterintelligence Training Academy (JCITA).

The Gospel of Barnabas is a book depicting the life of Jesus, and claiming to be by Jesus' disciple Barnabas, who in this work is one of the twelve apostles. Two manuscripts are known to have existed, both dated to the late 16th century and written respectively in Italian and in Spanish—although the Spanish manuscript is now lost, its text surviving only in a partial 18th-century transcript. Barnabas is about the same length as the four Canonical gospels put together (the Italian manuscript has 222 chapters, compared with 16 in Mark), with the bulk being devoted to an account of Jesus' ministry, much of it harmonized from accounts also found in the canonical gospels. In some key respects, it conforms to the Islamic interpretation of Christian origins and contradicts the New Testament teachings of Christianity. This Gospel is considered by the majority of academics, including Christians and some Muslims (such as Abbas el-Akkad) to be late and pseudepigraphical; however, some academics suggest that it may contain some remnants of an earlier apocryphal work (perhaps Gnostic, Ebionite, or Diatessaronic), redacted to bring it more in line with Islamic doctrine. Some Muslims consider the surviving versions as transmitting a suppressed apostolic original. Some Islamic organizations cite it in support of the Islamic view of Jesus. This work should not be confused with the surviving Epistle of Barnabas, nor with the surviving Acts of Barnabas.

Some readers have noted that the Gospel of Barnabas contains a number of apparent anachronisms and historical incongruities:

  • It has Jesus sailing across the Sea of Galilee to Nazareth – which is actually inland; and from thence going "up" to Capernaum – which is actually on the lakeside (chapters 20-21); though this is contested by Blackhirst, who says that the traditional location of Nazareth is itself questionable.
  • Jesus is said to have been born during the rule of Pontius Pilate, which began after the year 26.
  • Barnabas appears not to realize that "Christ" and "Messiah" are synonyms, "Christ" (khristos) being a Greek translation of the word messiah (mashiach), both having the meaning of "anointed". The Gospel of Barnabas thus errs in describing Jesus as "Jesus Christ" (lit. "Messiah Jesus" in Greek), yet claiming that 'Jesus confessed and said the truth, "I am not the Messiah"' (ch. 42).
  • There is reference to a jubilee which is to be held every hundred years (Chapter 82), rather than every fifty years as described in Leviticus: 25. This anachronism appears to link the Gospel of Barnabas to the declaration of a Holy Year in 1300 by Pope Boniface VIII; a Jubilee which he then decreed should be repeated every hundred years. In 1343 the interval between Holy Years was reduced by Pope Clement VI to fifty years.
  • Adam and Eve eat an apple (ch. 40); whereas the traditional association of the Fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Book of Genesis 2:9,17; 3:5) with the apple rests on the translation of the Hebrew Bible into Latin, where both 'apple' and 'evil' are rendered as 'malum'.
  • The Gospel talks of wine being stored in wooden casks (chapter 152). Wooden casks were a characteristic of Gaul and Northern Italy, and were not commonly used for wine in the Roman empire until after 300 CE; whereas wine in 1st century Palestine was always stored in wineskins and jars (amphorae). The Pedunculate or English Oak
    Quercus robur does not grow in Palestine; and the wood of other species is not sufficiently airtight to be used in wine casks,
  • In Chapter 91, the "Forty Days" is referred to as an annual fast. This corresponds to the Christian tradition of fasting for forty days in Lent; a practice that is not witnessed earlier than the Council of Nicaea (325). Nor is there a forty days' fast in Judaism of the period (see Mishnah
    Ta'anit, "Days of Fasting").
  • Where the Gospel of Barnabas includes quotations from the Old Testament, these correspond to readings as found in the Latin Vulgate; rather than as found in either the Greek Septuagint, or the Hebrew Masoretic Text. However, it should be noted that the Latin Vulgate translation was a work that St. Jerome began in 382 AD, centuries after the death of Barnabas.
  • In Chapter 54 it says: "For he would get in change a piece of gold must have sixty mites" (Italian minuti). In the New Testament period, the only golden coin, the aureus, was worth approximately 3,200 of the smallest bronze coin, the lepton (translated into Latin as minuti); while the Roman standard silver coin, the denarius, was worth 128 leptons. The rate of exchange of 1:60 implied in the Gospel of Barnabas was, however, a commonplace of late medieval interpretation of the counterpart passage in the canonical Gospels (Mark 12:42), arising from the standard medieval understanding of minuti as meaning 'a sixtieth part'.
  • Chapter 91 records three contending Jewish armies 200,000 strong at Mizpeh, totaling 600,000 men, at a time when the Roman army across the entire Empire had a total strength estimated as 300,000.
  • In Chapter 119 Jesus instances sugar and gold as substances of equivalent rarity and value. Although the properties of sugar had been known in India in antiquity, it was not traded as a sweetener until industrial-scale production developed in the 6th century. From the 11th to 15th centuries, the sugar trade into Europe was an Arab monopoly, and its value was often compared with gold. From the mid 15th century, however, large scale sugar estates were established in the Canary Islands and the Azores, and sugar, although still a luxury item, ceased to be exceptionally rare.
  • Some students of the work argue for an Italian origin, noting phrases in Barnabas which are very similar to phrases used by Dante and suggesting that the author of Barnabas borrowed from Dante's works; they take the Spanish version's preface to support this conclusion. Other students have noted a range of textual similarities between passages in the Gospel of Barnabas, and variously the texts of a series of late medieval vernacular harmonies of the four canonical gospels (in Middle English and Middle Dutch, but especially in Middle Italian); which are all speculated as deriving from a lost Vetus Latina version of the Diatessaron of Tatian . If true, this would also support an Italian origin.
  • Other students argue that the Spanish version came first, regarding the Spanish preface's claims of an Italian source as intended to boost the work's credibility by linking it to the Papal libraries. These scholars note parallels with a series of Morisco forgeries, the Sacromonte tablets of Granada, dating from the 1590s; or otherwise with Morisco reworkings of Christian and Islamic traditions, produced following the expulsion of the Moriscos from Spain.
  • A detailed comparison between the surviving Italian and Spanish texts shows numerous places where the Spanish reading appears to be secondary, as for example, where a word necessary for the meaning is missing in the Spanish text but present in the Italian. Bernabé Pons, arguing for the priority of the Spanish version, maintains that these are due to transcription errors perpetrated by the 18th century English scribe who created the Sydney manuscript. Joosten, however, while accepting that the carelessness of the English scribe is the most likely explanation for most such instances, nevertheless argues that a minority of such readings are due to translation errors in the Spanish text: as, for example, where the Italian text employs the conjunction pero, with an Italian meaning 'therefore'; while the Spanish text also reads pero, with a Spanish meaning 'however'; the Italian sense being the one demanded by the context. There are, however, other passages where the Spanish text makes sense, while the Italian does not, and many features of the Italian text that are not found in the Spanish; such as the titles for chapters 1 - 27. Joosten argues that this indicates that both the 16th century Italian and Spanish texts must depend on a lost Italian original, which he, in common with the Raggs, dates to the mid 14th century. Joosten states:
  • A systematic comparison of the Italian and Spanish texts of the Gospel of Barnabas leads to the conclusion that the Spanish was translated from the Italian at a date somewhat removed from the original.
  • The lost Spanish manuscript claimed to have been written in Istanbul, and the surviving Italian manuscript has several Turkish features; so, whether the language of origin was Spanish or Italian, Istanbul is regarded by most students as the place of origin of the present text.
  • Following the conquest of Moorish Granada in 1492, Sephardi Jews and Muslim Mudéjar were expelled from Spain. Although some found initial refuge in Italy (especially Venice), most resettled in the Ottoman Empire, where Spanish speaking Jews established in Istanbul a rich sub-culture with a flourishing Hebrew and Ladino printing industry. Numbers were further augmented after 1550, following campaigns of persecution by the Venetian Inquisition against Italian anti-Trinitarians and Jews. Although Muslim teaching at this time strongly opposed the printing of Islamic or Arabic texts, non-Muslim printing was not, in principle, forbidden; indeed attempts were made in the 1570s by anti-Trinitarian Christians to establish a printing press in the Turkish capital to publish radical Protestant works. In the Spanish preface, Fra Marino records his wish that the Gospel of Barnabas should be printed, and the only place in Europe where that would have been possible in the late 16th century would have been Istanbul.

A minority of students – such as David Sox– are, however, suspicious of the apparent 'Turkish' features of the Italian manuscript; especially the Arabic annotations, which they adjudge to be so riddled with elementary errors as to be most unlikely to have been written in Istanbul (even by an Italian scribe). In particular, they note that the glossing of the Italian version of the shahada into Arabic, does not correspond exactly with the standard ritual formula recited daily by every Muslim. These students are inclined to infer from these inconsistencies that both manuscripts may represent an exercise in forensic falsification, and they tend to locate their place of origin as Rome. Few academics argue that the text, in its present form, dates back any earlier than the 14th–16th centuries; although a minority see it as containing portions of an earlier work, and almost all would detect the influence of earlier sources—over and above the Vulgate text of the Latin Bible. Consequently most students would concur with a stratification of the surviving text into at least three distinct layers of composition:

  • an editorial layer dating from the 1590s; and comprising, at the least, the Spanish preface and the Arabic annotations,
  • a layer of vernacular narrative composition, either in Spanish or Italian, and dating from no earlier than the mid 14th century,
  • a layer derived from earlier source materials, almost certainly transmitted to the vernacular author/translator in Latin; and comprising, at the least, those extensive passages in the Gospel of Barnabas that closely parallel pericopes in the canonical gospels; but whose underlying text appears markedly distinct from that of the late medieval Latin Vulgate[30] (as for instance in the alternative version of the Lord's Prayer in chapter 37, which includes a concluding doxology, contrary to the Vulgate text, but in accordance with the Diatessaron and many other early variant traditions);

Much of the controversy and dispute concerning the authenticity of the Gospel of Barnabas can be re-expressed as debating whether specific highly transgressive themes (from an orthodox Christian perspective) might already have been present in the source materials utilised by a 14th–16th century vernacular author, whether they might be due to that author himself, or whether they might even have been interpolated by the subsequent editor. Those students who regard these particular themes as primitive, nevertheless do not generally dispute that other parts of the Gospel may be late and anachronistic; while those students who reject the authenticity of these particular themes do not generally dispute that other parts of the Gospel could be transmitting variant readings from antiquity. This work clearly contradicts the New Testament biblical accounts of Jesus and his ministry but has strong parallels with the Islamic faith, not only mentioning Muhammad by name, but including the shahadah (chapter 39). It is strongly anti-Pauline and anti-Trinitarian in tone. In this work, Jesus is described as a prophet and not the son of God, while Paul is called "the deceived." Furthermore, the Gospel of Barnabas states that Jesus escaped crucifixion by being raised alive to heaven, while Judas Iscariot the traitor was crucified in his place. These beliefs—in particular, that Jesus is a prophet of God and raised alive without being crucified—conform to or resemble Islamic teachings which say that Jesus is a major prophet who did not die on the cross but was taken alive by angels to God (Allah). Other passages, however, conflict with the teachings of the Qur'an—as, for instance, in the account of the Nativity, where Mary is said to have given birth to Jesus without pain[ or as in Jesus's ministry, where he permits the drinking of wine and enjoins monogamy—though the Qur'an acknowledges each prophet had a set of their own laws that might differ in some aspects from each other. Other examples include that hell will only be for the committers of the seven deadly sins (Barnabas: 4-44/135), anyone who refuses to be circumcised will not enter paradise (Barnabas 17/23), that God has a soul (Barnabas 6/82), that there are 9 heavens (Barnabas 3/105). If the Gospel of Barnabas is seen as an attempted synthesis of elements from both Christianity and Islam, then 16th and 17th century parallels can be suggested in Morisco and anti-Trinitarian writings. In 1985, it was briefly claimed that an early Syriac copy of this gospel had been found near Hakkâri in eastern Turkey. However, it has since been demonstrated that this manuscript actually contains the canonical Bible. In February of 2012, it was reported in Turkish newspapers that another Syriac manuscript of the Gospel of Barnabas had been found in Cyprus in 2000, in an operation conducted by police against smugglers; and, having been kept in a police repository since then, had been deposited in the Ethnography Museum of Ankara. The manuscript was however asserted as being a forgery by a number of Syriac language experts.

This reminds me of the "Shem Tov" Hebrew Matthews. Jews in Europe in the Middle Ages translated the Gospel of Matthew into Hebrew so they could use it in debates with Christians. Recently, people have attempted to pass of these Medieval translations as the original Hebrew version of Matthew's Gospel. However, the Shem Tov is full of Latin words from the Vulgate and many anachronisms similar to those found above that there is NO DOUBT that it IS NOT the original Matthew. All of the errors in the Gospel of Barnabas PROVE WITHOUT A DOUBT that it was created by Europeans who had converted to Islam in the 1500s.

More fakes frauds and phoneys-the book of Jasher

In Alcuinus' supposed translation, the Law is not given to Moses on Mount Sinai by God, but near to the mountain by Moses' father-in-law Jethro as the basis for civil government. The Creation occurs in the first chapter by natural process out of the ether and God only appears in Eden after the plants and animals at the human stage of creation. Adam and Eve do not transgress, and later on Noah is credited only with the invention of shipping. The adjustments to the biblical narrative clearly promote Deist and Rationalist viewpoints from the 18th Century when the book was published, and the noble innocence of primitive humanity untarnished by original sin. Alcuin was indeed a famous 8th-century English abbot, but he would not have produced a translation in the English of the King James Bible, living as he did in the era of Anglo-Saxon and ecclesiastical Latin, so the provenance of the text was immediately suspect. There is an implausable introductory account by Alcuin of his discovery of the manuscript in Persia and its history since the time of Jasher, and an equally unlikely commendation by Wycliffe the pre-Reformation bible-translator. The supposed lost book was declared an obvious hoax by the Monthly Review in the December of the year of publication and the printer Jacob Ilive was sentenced in 1756 to three years in jail for this fraud and for his radical anti-religious pamphlets.[citation needed]

In 1829, a slightly revised and enlarged edition was published in Bristol provoking attacks against it. A photographic reproduction of this 1829 edition was published in 1934 by the Rosicrucian Order in San Jose, California who declared it was an inspired work.

Ex-Muslims speak out This is a good site dealing with Muslims who have renounced the Islamic religion and are very concerned about the encroachments into our free society of political Islam and the threat it poses to our liberties and our way of life.

Saint Sebastian

At comicpalooza I met Michael Biehn. One of his earlier roles was in a movie called "The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian." Oddly enough, homosexuals have made movies about Saint Sebastian-and the Michael Biehn movie has been described as "homo-erotic." The image of "The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian" has become rather popular. Mohammed Ali (Cassius Clay) the Boxer also posed as Saint Sebastian. However, according to his martyrology, he was tied up and shot with arrows-but he survived and later died when he was beaten with rods.


Obama's "Kill List" The White House responded Tuesday to criticism of the Obama administration's use of drone attacks and a so-called "kill list," saying President Obama will do what is necessary to protect Americans from harm."President Obama made clear from the start to his advisers and to the world that we were going to take whatever steps are necessary to protect the American people from harm, and particularly from a terrorist attack," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.
Details about the attacks in such places as Yemen and Pakistan and the Al Qaeda members on the list were made public in a lengthy New York Times story that included interviews with more than 30 White House advisers and former advisers.
The story has resulted a range of concerns and questions – including about the legality of such attacks in countries where the United States is technically not at war and the moral implications of Obama deciding whether to OK a drone strike that could potentially kill civilians, as well as whether the Times interviews resulted in potential security leaks.
On the issue of a potential security breach, Carney referred to a recent speech by White House chief counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan, in which he provided an open view of the drone mission and the administration's large counter-terrorism policy.
The interviews create a vivid account of weekly counter-terrorism meetings in the White House Situation Room in which officials review a list of targets for the remote-control drone planes, then the president personally signs off on who will get killed or captured. There were turning points early in Obama's term for what is considered an unprecedented and aggressive approach by a president toward dismantling Al Qaeda. Reportedly weighing on the administration's deliberations were a strike in Yemen that killed civilians and an attempted Christmas 2009 attack on a U.S.-bound jet.
Deliberations also reportedly turned to the legal justification for carrying out the plans, including the fatal 2011 attack on American-born cleric and Al Qaeda propagandist Anwar al-Awlaki.
Republicans and other critics say Obama has chosen to kill suspected terrorists rather than capture them, an approach they say was necessitated by his failure to keep a campaign promise to craft a plan to close the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba.
"Nearly three and a half years after announcing his intention to close Guantanamo prison, President Obama still hasn't offered a plan to deal with the dangerous terrorists it holds," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said late Tuesday.

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