A leather-bound text, known as the “Gospel of Barnabas”, claims that Jesus ascended to Heaven before the Romans could capture him. The so called “lost gospel”, which has been kept in Turkey, states it was not Jesus who was crucified, but rather the traitor Judas. This is according to the information allegedly written by Barnabas, one of the messiah’s disciples.
The book claims Judas was leading the Romans to Jesus, but the alleged son of God ascended to Heaven before they reached him, and Judas transformed into the appearance of Jesus, who the authorities subsequently crucified.
The body of Judas is then stolen from the grave, leading to claims that he – who everyone allegedly thought was Jesus – rose from the dead and ascended to Heaven.
The book is thought to have been kept in Turkey since 2000, when it was discovered by authorities as part of an anti-smuggling operation in Cyprus.
Iran’s Basij Press claims that this could lead to the downfall for Christianity.
It says: “The discovery of the original Barnabas Bible will now undermine the Christian Church and its authority and will revolutionise 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, and this alone will unbalance the powers of the world and create instability in the Christian world.”
Others, however, have claimed it is a hoax.
Vatican expert Maroc Tosatti said: “This extraordinary discovery is probably a hoax, the work of a forger who, according to some, could have been a European scholar from the Middle Ages.”
Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria, leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church, shared a similar view.
He described it as a “book full of historical and geographical errors, the work of a forger”.