By Victor Ochieng
An approximately 1,500-2,000-year-old Bible found in Turkey has left the Vatican in shock because it allegedly confirms that Jesus Christ wasn’t crucified as has come to be widely believed. The Bible, which was discovered in 2000 and kept in secret in Ankara’s Ethnography Museum, contains the gospel of Jesus’ disciple Barnabas.
The gospel claims that Christ was neither crucified nor was he God’s son. Instead, it says he was just a prophet. The book also refers to Apostle Paul as “The Impostor” and further claims that Christ ascended back to heaven alive, with Judas Iscariot being crucified in his place.
The now controversial book was recovered during an operation in the Mediterranean-area as authorities went against a gang that smuggles antiquities and illegal explosives, says a report by The National Turk. The old book is currently valued at a whopping 40 million Turkish Liras, approximately $28 million.
Experts and religious bodies have examined the book and agree that it’s an original piece. It’s clearly written in gold lettering in Aramaic, the language of Jesus Christ. It contains teachings that agree with Islam, contradicting the New Testament of the Bible. In the book, Jesus foretells the birth of Prophet Muhammad, the one who founded Islam 700 years later.
Truth be told, there have been some murmurs surrounding the authenticity of the Bible we’re using today. There is a clique that believes that, during the Council of Nicea, the Catholic Church picked the canonical gospel books such as Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, deliberately choosing to omit the book of Barnabas, possibly because of its position on Jesus Christ.
Although several Bibles have surfaced over the recent past, including the Dead Sea and Gnostic Gospel, this latest one appears to be a big worry to the Vatican, especially because of its claims about Jesus.
What does the discovery mean for today’s Christian? It, no doubt, brings to question the authenticity of the Christian gospel.
Worried that it might shake the Christian faith, the Vatican has requested Turkish authorities to allow them to examine the book’s contents. Although the discovery isn’t expected to have a massive impact on the belief of the billions of Christians across the globe, it’s likely to weaken the Christian leadership, especially that of the Vatican.
The fact that the book doesn’t originate with Muslims also puts the Vatican on a tight rope. Should they find out that the piece is authentic, it will result in a complete transformation of the Catholic faith.