The Gospel of Barnabas & the Daily Mail

Bismillah. A comment about yesterday’s Daily Mail story (

The so-called Gospel of Barnabas contradicts the Qur’an, which affirms that Jesus was the Messiah, not the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. It also contains the story of Adam’s prayer invoking the name of Muhammad, which is found in a disputed hadith, probably spurious (mawdu’). The “Gospel of Barnabas” would thus appear to be a Muslim fabrication.


3 Responses to “The Gospel of Barnabas & the Daily Mail”

  1. Daniel Says:

    Thank your for posting this Usama. I have often been troubled that so many Islamic Bookshops have stocked this so called Gospel. I’m also surprised that the popular translator of Sahih Muslim, Saddiqi, quotes the ‘Gospel of Barnabas’ extensively.

    As you rightly point out above – In verses 97, 191 Jesus denies he is the ‘Messiah’ (al-Masih), and declares that rather Muhammad is the promised ‘Messiah’ – thus denying the Qur’an and Ahadith which proclaim that Jesus is al-Masih (the ‘Messiah’ in Hebrew i.e. the ‘Christ’ in Greek) who will fight al-Masih al-Dajjal (the anti-Messiah, or anti-Christ) (see Sahih Muslim, vol. 1, p. 109, #323- 325). 

    Other obvious examples of inaccuracies include:

    1) Verse 20 describes Jesus and Barnabas sailing by ship from the sea of Galilee to Nazareth, a city up in the mountains. No water exists between these two places.

    2) In verse 54, a Denarius is said to equal 60 minuti which were coins used under Caliph Malik in 685 AD, not in the time of the real Barnabas, before 100 A.D.. 

    3) The Bible quotations in it are from the Latin ‘Vulgate’ translation which didn’t exist until about 380 AD – more than 300 years after this ‘gospel’ was supposedly written

    4) In verse 91 the Roman army in Israel alone is said to have numbered 600,000 men, yet historical data shows that the entire Roman empire’s army numbered only 300,000.


  2. Rehan Says:

    First of all, this Gospel may just be a historical account rather than a divinely revealed text in the same way that the existing Gospels are. Therefore, like those texts, it may contain mistakes yet still be more accurate depiction of original Christianity than the official Bible(s).

    Secondly, this text appears to predate the Quran and the era of Islam so we need an explanation for the mention of Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wa sallam.

    Thirdly, the accusation that a Muslim fabricated this book is unsubstantiated. If we assume that it was indeed a forgery, it seems more likely to have been the work of a Christian trying to ingratiate himself with a Muslim ruler. A Muslim would not have suggested Isa (Jesus) was not the Messiah (assuming this is an accurate translation of what the book actually says). It could equally be the work of a Jewish person if it were fake.

    However, if the Turkish find turns out to be as old as the evidence suggests (i.e. pre-Islamic), these explanations would be incorrect leaving the official Christian churches with some explaining to do.

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