A Medieval Forgery?
Christian writers such as Irenaeus wrote extensively about anti-Christian documents such as the Gnostic gospels, classifying them as heretical. Yet, not one of Ireneaus’ letters or documents mentions the Gospel of Barnabas. There is simply no mention of it from any early writer.
Perhaps most indicative of its late date is that the Gospel of Barnabas describes medieval life in Western Europe, as well as a 100-year Jubilee, which wasn’t declared until the fourteenth century. How would Barnabas or any first-century writer know such historical detail hundreds of years before it was declared?
Dr. Norman Geisler concludes, “The evidence that this was not a first-century gospel, written by a disciple of Christ, is overwhelming.”
Not only does the evidence argue against it being written by Barnabas in the first century, but some scholars believe the Gospel is a forgery. One expert writes, “In my opinion scholarly research has proved absolutely that this ‘gospel’ is a fake.”
Christian and secular scholars are not alone in their verdict that someone tampered with the text, fraudulently making it appear to be the work of Paul’s companion, Barnabas.
That leads us to the question of the New Testament’s reliability. Can we discover the real Jesus through its pages?