Summary of eRumor:
A 1,500 year old gold lettered book alleged to be the “Gospel of Barnabas” has surfaced in Turkey. It is made up of loosely-tied leather and written in Aramaic, the language of Israel during the time of Jesus Christ. The book is alleged to say that Judas Iscariot took the place of Jesus at the crucifixion. The book claims that Jesus also prophesied the coming of Muhammad.
An ancient book was “rediscovered” in Ankara, Turkey, in 2000 after authorities captured a smuggling ring in the Mediterranean, according to a February 23, 2012, article by the National Turk news service. This rare find is a copy of the Gospel of Barnabas that has been appraised to be worth $28 million. The text does mention that Judas took the place of Jesus on the Cross and mentions Muhammad, but the book is not a bible, nor is it considered part of biblical canon.
The article said the manuscript was actually written in Syriac, a dialect of Aramaic, which was the native language of Jesus. Once a common language used throughout the Middle East and Central Asia, Syrian Christians in India, as well as a village near Damascus, are the remaining few who have managed to keep it alive. It is also “still used in religious rituals of Maronite Christians in Cyprus.”
The original texts of all books from the the New Testament were written in Greek, not Aramaic. Old Testament books were written in Hebrew, with the exception of portions of Daniel, Ezra and one verse in Jeremiah, which were written in Aramaic.
The article said that eight years after the trial of the gang of smugglers, who were “charged with smuggling antiquities, illegal excavations and the possession of explosives,” the ancient manuscript was transferred to the Ankaran Ethnography Museum.
The National Turk reported, “Experts were however divided over the provenance of the manuscript, and whether it was an original, which would render it priceless, or a fake.” The Vatican also sent a formal request to inspect the manuscript.
According to a March 4, 2012, article by Vatican Insider, a branch of the daily newspaper La Stampa, the ”discovery is probably a hoax, the work of a forger who, according to some, could have been a European Jewish scholar from the Middle Ages.” The article said that the “most factual criticisms have come from the Syriacs,” and that those who speak modern Assyrian would not have any difficulty reading this manuscript. Language experts detected “obvious and quite significant” errors in grammar and concept that could rule out authenticity for such an ancient religious document.
Today’s Bible consists of 66 books written by 40 authors and is divided into the Old and New Testaments. This version is commonly used by most Protestant denominations. The Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Bibles contains the same books, plus the deuterocanonical books. These additional books are Tobit, Judith, 1 and 2 Maccabees, Wisdom, Sirach, Baruch, parts of Esther and parts of Daniel. The Protestants call these books the Apocrypha, which may be studied, but are not regarded as canon.
There are also a group of Gnostic gospels, which are not considered part of the canon by neither Protestants nor Catholics. These are a collection of approximately 52 different texts, the most famous being the sayings of the Gospel of Thomas.
According to the Moody Handbook of Theology, in order for a text to be considered canonical, there are four basic measuring criteria that must be answered:
Apostolicity. Was the text written by an apostle or by someone who had a connection with one of the apostles?
Acceptance. Did the church at large accept the book?
Content. Had the book been accepted as orthodox teaching, and did it reflect consistency with existing doctrine?
Inspiration. What was the quality of inspiration reflected by the book?
Source : truthorfiction