The Gospel according to Barnabas: are revelations comparable to the Koran?
For this point of study, I have relied on the Gospel of Barnabas by Luigi Cirillo and Michel Frémaux (taken from the 1907 English translation by Mr and Mrs Ragg) as well as on the extracts from the course of Chapter CCXV(215) to Chapter end CCXXII(222) taken from this Gospel relating the last "spectacular" days of Jesus. As the subject interested me, I read the Gospel of Barnabas and the introductions and translations of Tahir de la Nive and Djamil Cherifi that I will share with you in terms of historical information. My work will be based on the said copy which dates from the second half of the 16th century (around 1580).
I would like to point out that this is a very personal point of view.
The author of the Gospel presents himself as Barnabas, an apostle of Christian confession but heretical and who arouses many suspicions by his marginalization by denying the founding postulates of Christianity. So, apocryphal or not? Pseudepigraph (a text falsely attributed to an author who did not write it) or written by Barnabas himself? A Gospel, signed by Barnabas, had long been known to the ecclesiastical hierarchy, since we find it mentioned and outlawed by several decrees, the first of which date back to the 4th century before 478, the year in which the remains of the saint were discovered (Barnabas lived in the same century as Jesus and would have met him, it is written in this Gospel), accompanied by a copy of the Gospel which bears his name. As it is a copy, the original could be written as early as the first century. But an Italian translation associated with the Gospel of Barnabas was found in the 16th century in the library of Pope Sixtus V, this original copy, sealed, is now in Austria, in the National Library of Vienna and was written in the Middle Ages between the 14th and 16th centuries, i.e. between 600 and 900 years after the beginning of Islam. Despite its dating, is this gospel inspired by the very first? For Louis Massignon, the author of this gospel is a renegade and not a Muslim of origin, and he is an apocryphal among the others. It would seem that over the centuries, there have been versions not common to both but attributed to the title of "the Gospel of Barnabas".
The polemic: an apocryphal gospel known as the Gospel of Saint Barnabas is exhumed and makes headlines in scientific and religious communities because it contains symbols of Christianity diverted to the benefit of Islam, thus plunging Christianity into a state of suspicion. An Islamized gospel in the Aramaic language, despoiling more than 2000 years of Judeo-Christian history because it challenges the crucifixion, resurrection and the very Divine nature of Jesus (antitrinitarian) and would announce the advent of Muhammad in Islam. From the courses taken, I can say that this so-called "Christian" gospel presents a Jesus close to the Koran but that it is a profound profanation for Catholics who apply their faith, among other things, to the principles of the canonical gospels. Let us look at Jesus' last hours in this version: Was Jesus spared from crucifixion, death and announced Muhammad's hegir in this gospel?
In my opinion, the author, an original syncretist, depicts a " bireligious " Jesus: Christian-Muslim " who is of the unbelievable !... In this gospel, it is said "Then the admirable God acts admirably : Judas Iscariot became so similar to Jesus in his language and in his face that we believed it was Jesus. " (Chapter 216) - In short, Jesus escaped crucifixion thanks to God who ordered the angels Gabriel, Michael, Raphael and Uriel (his favorites) to take Jesus out of this world and put him in the 3rd heaven (Chapter 215). And it was Judas, the traitor, who was crucified in his place without knowing that he was in Jesus' carnal envelope trying in vain to prove to the eleven (apostles) and during his trial who he really was, "I told you that I am Judas Iscariot who promised you to deliver Jesus of Nazareth into your hands, but you, I do not know by what artifice you came out of yourselves! You want me to be Jesus at all costs! "Even Mary saw Judas as her own son and had pain to death. Judas, relentlessly, was taken by order of the Pope to Mount Calvary where the criminals were hanged, "There they crucified him naked so that the mockery would be greater. Judas was really doing nothing but shouting: "God, why have you forsaken me because the evildoer has fled and I am wrongly killed? "Surrealist words from Judas but all believed, even the disciples, in Jesus' death, others were disappointed and thought that Jesus was a fabulator because he had said that he would only die as the world came to an end and that at that time he would be taken out of the world. The body of Judas, which was the same as Jesus, was buried in Joseph's new monument by Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea (Chapter 1717).
John and his brother Jacques went to Nazareth with the mother of Jesus, other faithful anchored in their faith subtilized the body of Judas thinking that it was that of Jesus to make people believe in a resurrection, which caused an insurrection that the Pontiff repressed by forbidding anyone to speak on the subject under penalty of anathema and persecution. "The news reaches Nazareth that Jesus, their fellow citizen, who died on the cross, had risen. Then the one who wrote asked Jesus' mother to please leave her grief since her son had risen. "When the Virgin Mary heard it, she said crying, "Let us go to Jerusalem to find my son, for I would gladly die when I saw him! "(Chapter 218) In his despair, Jesus, empathetic, took pity on her, "Jesus prayed to God to give her the power to see her mother and her companions. God, merciful, then ordered his four angels to take Jesus to his mother's house and to keep him there for three days in a row, letting him see only those who believed in his doctrine. Obviously, his shocked mother asked him for explanations about such a death unworthy of his status and Jesus had to confess all in front of his loved ones. I note that in this Gospel, it is strangely said: "Surrounded by splendour, Jesus came where the Virgin Mary lived with her two sisters as well as with Martha, Mary Magdalene, Lazarus, the one who wrote and John, Jacques "While Mary has no sisters, neither in the Koran nor in the Bible (Chapter 219). Amazingly, Jesus replied to Barnabas about the suffering he caused to the faithful and about his flight: "Barnabas, believe me, God punishes all sin, however small it may be, with a great punishment, because He is offended by sin. Also, as my mother, my faithful and my disciples loved me a little bit of earthly love, the just God wanted to punish this love with the pain present, so that it would not be punished in the flames of hell. ». Jesus ended in apotheosis while announcing the coming of Muhammad, God's messenger (Chapter 220) and emphasizing to Barnabas to be faithful in the transcription of his memories and to complete them, if necessary, with John and Peter. On the third day, Jesus said, "Go with my mother to the Mount of Olives; from there I will (re)ascend to heaven and you will see who will take me to heaven." On the spot, Jesus gave a most surprising sermon by repressing those who thought he was dead and risen: "Do you then take me and God for liars? God has given me to live until the end of the world approaches, as I told you. I tell you, I am not dead; it is the traitor Judas who died. Beware, Satan will do everything to make you wrong! Therefore, try to be my witnesses everywhere in Israel and throughout the world, witnesses of what you have heard and seen! ». Jesus ended, before ascending through the four angels, with a simple solemn blessing. To conclude, the author, together with his family, gives himself the mission of preaching to save souls, "Amen! "/ End of the Gospel (Chapter 221-222).
Why this mystification borrows from the Koran with a zany writing worthy of a medieval theatre play without credibility with anachronism, and so on? According to the course, the Moriscos (1492-1640) are the last Muslims in Spain, after the Reconquista and during the Inquisition, they were forcibly converted to Christianity by Catholic kings. This manuscript could have been written by the Moriscan people to reconcile their own religion with the one imposed on them. And it thus became their metamorphosed gospel with the foundations of Islam or a tool of historical and proselytizing propaganda for some gullible Christians. In the meantime, somewhere remains the apocryphal Gospel of Barnabas, which reflects his own truth...