Channel: Jamal Badawi
Series: Jamal Badawi - Muhammad
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And welcome once again to Western focus. Today's program inshallah will be our 16th in our series Muhammad, peace be upon him the last messenger of God and our 10th on this particular segment on the coming of Muhammad as foretold by Jesus May peace be upon him. I'm your host Shawnee Mission here once again from St. Mary's University is Dr. Jim Oh, by the way, as I'm I come back,
because here is a summary please for the benefit of our viewers of last week's program. Last week's program, the 15th in the series continued with the discussion of St. Barnabas version of what happened on the issue of crucifixion,
in this gospel, and in the last week portion, we discuss the explanation as to what happened to Jesus and Judas. And we indicated that Jesus peace be upon him and instructed Barnabas, according to Barnabas word in his gospel to write this truth,
and that, beyond the few people who saw him with his mother's
Jesus peace be upon him, instructed them to bring other
followers to the Mount of Olives. And he explained again to them, that it was Judas who died, not him, and warn them that Satan will make every effort to deceive them. And then he was carried to heaven in front of them. And finally, we came to the concluding part of the Barnabas gospel, in which he says, describes how the followers of Jesus scattered around. But he says, as usual, the truth was persecuted, and many people pretended to be disciples toward things which were contrary to what Jesus taught. In fact, unlike the canonized gospels, he includes Paul among those who did not teach what Jesus actually taught.
The study of the crucifixion was not the only thing that mentioned something also about becoming a prophet Mohammed declared or clarify this confusion, according to Barnabas, but we made reference to other chapters also, especially 39, and 41, which describes what happened with Adam.
that he was told in advance about the coming of his son, Prophet Mohammed at the end of the time.
In chapter 43, how Barnabas resolves the problem
about whose lineage is that person, and he indicated he was from the lineage of Ishmael, not David. In chapter 44, he resolves the dilemma that we find them the canonized Bible, about the son of sacrifice that the only assigned obviously was Ishmael, and not, not Isaac. So this was essentially the
our review the last time and that seems to indicate that those who were critical of the Gospel of Barnabas and in tried to dismiss it as a forgery,
perhaps did not have a very good reason for that there is something there's actually that deserves some analysis and further reflection.
Now, apparently, there are some objections to the Gospel of Barnabas. Maybe you can elaborate on what these are, at the same time, give your response to them. Let me begin with two common objections we move on.
The first objection is that it's a that this could not be a genuine gospel written by St. Barnabas was very close to Jesus peace.
Why? Because some critics say that in that gospel, Holmes
is very much paused, and they say, how come because actually, Paul and Barnabas work together? It was Barnabas, who introduced even Paul to the disciples to accept, they weren't together in missionary work, and they keep referring to the book of Acts in particular, to show that they were working together. So how come this could be really the author of that gospel differs and is critical of Barnabas.
In response to that, I think there are a number of points that should be kept in mind. Number one, the basic source of information about Barnabas and his relationship to Paul is primarily derived from the book of Acts.
And the book of Acts, according to biblical scholars was written by Luke who was the personal physician on
And obviously he was very close to him. And he had every reason to vindicate porn and write it in such a way that, you know, he magnifies the importance of porn. That's why we find that after that dimension of Barnabas disappears from from history.
Another point to remember also is that
why in Barnabas defended? Paul, in the beginning when the disciples were skeptical about his sincerity and his claim of conversion, that does not necessarily mean an advance approval
on the parts of Barnabas of everything that Paul is going to do or say, in the future people change also as time goes on.
A third point to keep in mind also, is that the very same book the book of Acts, why it should, the times when Barnabas and Paul apparently work together, but the same book also shows that they split. And the reason as we indicated before is not very convincing, there must have been a deep rooted reason why they didn't see eye to eye. In fact, as late as today, I was checking some recent references and they believed was Encyclopedia Americana, in the 1981 edition under Barnabas. And for the first time I have seen an acknowledgement by scholars that the difference between Paul and Barnabas were serious, quite serious, just beyond what is mentioned in the book rapat. That's only
reasonable why these two towering figures differ with each other.
Another point to remember also is that there's a great deal of mystery as indicated before, how come with the importance of Barnabas as derived from the book of Acts, he disappears all of a sudden, no mention about him. afterwards?
There is no mention to him in any other canonical writings. Much later, we hear things that are attributed to him, but there is not much about him in the canonical writings. A second common objection is that the Gospel of Barnabas in the Gospel of Barnabas, Barnabas claims that Jesus addressed to him with that name Barnabas. And some claim on the basis of the book of Acts that they say no this name was not given to Barnabas.
At the time of Jesus peace be upon him it was after the ascension of Jesus to heavens and they say that there isn't his bed. Barnabas actually mean like the son of consolation or son of exaltation, because he sold his property after the essential of Jesus so they gave him that name.
Now, in response to that, we can refer to a previous program where we made mention that some biblical scholars like dalman,
graves, and basement, the IE SS Ma, WM, have chosen actually the meaning of Barnabas as son of Ningbo and Eb O, and that it was mentioned also there that the
the, if we take the term son of encouragement as the meaning of Barnabas, it is actually a reference to his ability as a preacher as a preacher. In fact, I checked an additional source also, in the 11th edition of Encyclopedia Britannica published in 1910, volume three, on page 407.
In the commentary about the name itself, Barnabas, it talks first about how it was translated as son of consolation, or son of exhortation. And then it adds, quote, but there is an initial difficulty about the Greek rendering itself. As no satisfactory etymology of Barnabas In this sense, has as yet been suggested, this probably was an Aramaic word. So to say conclusively that the men Barnabas only means son of consolation, and that only happened, what was given to him after the ascension of Jesus is not a very powerful type of objection at all. In fact, there is no corroborating evidence to that effect at all. In the International Standard Bible encyclopedia, um, just to give that as a
reference to the discussion of the origin of the term itself, on page 432.
And also I noted that in the today's English version, translation of the Bible, in the book of Acts in chapter four, verse 36, it says, and so it was Joseph, and Levi, born in Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas, which means one who encourages soul
A field he owned, brought the money and turn and turned it over to the to the apostles. Well, it's obvious from that translation, that there is no implication that that name was given to him. After the ascension of Jesus, it simply says Joseph and Avaya, whom the disciple called Barnabas, and the name could conceivably have been given to him a long time before the ascension of Jesus. And as such, it vindicates his claims that Jesus addressed him actually, and is known the name that was not him. And that is Barnabas. I see. Were there any other objections that our viewers
may may want to hear about? Yes, one of the main objections for example I've read about to the Gospel of Barnabas is that it says that in one place, and more than one place, actually, Jesus peace be upon him, denies that he was the Messiah. Again, I believe that word was contrary, he denied that he was the Messiah.
And then it says that is contradicting or contradictory to what Barnabas himself says in the introduction of his gospel, when he writes actually unsaved that cost the true gospel of Jesus called Christ.
And they say that Brian is according to the book of Acts, and according to historical information,
new Greek, he came from the island of Cyprus, so he knew Greek and how could he make such a mistake, because Messiah actually means Christos in Greek or Christ. In English, how come he calls him Christ in the beginning. And then in the later part, he calls Jesus as denying to be the Messiah, along the same line, also of the use of the term, Messiah. He shows that elsewhere in the Gospel, it is indicated that the long awaited Messiah, again, quote, unquote,
His Prophet, Muhammad, peace be upon him, and he said that Muhammad was not known with that name, Messiah at all, and never claimed to be a Messiah.
Now, in response to that, I think it should be clarified that the term Messiah is used frequently in the Bible, to refer not to one particular person, or V longer wait, sometimes it refers to that, but it's not always used to refer to the one ultimate person to come, but rather to in the sense of someone who's anointed, chosen, or appointed in a given position. And there are several people who are described as messiahs. In the in the Bible, for example, in the Psalms of David, in the second son, verse two, David is called Messiah. In the book of Isaiah, chapter 45, verse one, Cyrus is also called the Messiah, there were lots of science, as far as the usage of the term, somebody who's
appointed. And that's just similar to the term mushiya in Hebrew or Arabic, somebody was anointed or chosen. So that applies to any prophet.
But on the other hand, we all know also that the term Messiah was known also, in what you might call eschatological sense. That is a reference to a long awaited personalities to come. And we know that the Jews, for example, are still waiting for that Messiah. The Christian believed that that ultimate Messiah was Jesus. Muslims believed that actually the ultimate person, ultimate Messiah, in that global sense, who will have victory over evil and rule according to the will of God has already come and that's Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him who is leading the fulfillment of the anticipation of all of the prophets. So this day, the term Messiah then is used in more than one, one sentence and
we will see a little later that some of the discoveries in the Dead Sea Scrolls seems to indicate that the there have been anticipation of two messiahs. So the there is no difficulty actually with the usage of the symbol to have more than one meaning.
But in addition to this, some people also raise objections in what they call the perhaps a sermon evidence from within the gospel itself to try to discredit it as genuine he or she may be well, we'll pick up on the internal evidence that you just alluded to talk about this type of objection. Okay. For example, in some of the critic criticism directed at Barnabas is that it says that the writers could have not been the person who lived in Palestine, he doesn't know the geography of Palestine, whatever it is, they give, when they say in chapter 20,
he described how this
men came to Nazareth
and spoke about the Americans performed by Jesus peace be upon him. While in the following chapters chapter 21, in the Gospel of Barnabas, it says that Jesus went to Capernaum.
And he said that, that seems to indicate that the writer believed that Nazareth was a coastal city, where the seamen came first, and covered them was an inland which is the opposite, as he says. But the this seemed to be like
forcing a given meaning to what the Gospel of Barnabas says, nowhere and chapter 20 and 21, under check them, does it say that Nazareth is a coastal city and Capernaum is, is an inland? That's one thing. Secondly, it is quite conceivable that people come through a custom city like Catherine go to an important city first, like Nazareth, and then in an atheist time, after a while, come back to to Catherine. And there is no reason to not to accept this as a possibility of what happened, so to speak here about a conclusive evidence of geographical error does not seem to be really justified. Another aspect is that they say that by reading the Gospel of Barnabas somewhere, it describes the
of fruits in the summer, especially in chapter 169. And they say that this is not a description, which is be fitting to Palestine, they tend to think of Palestine just as mostly visited and parched land, said this description seem to relate to more to Spain, or Italy. And they say, not not to Palestine. And this is a very strange objection, because Palestine Yes, there are desert areas, but there are places and also where there are gardens. And it says that Jesus retired to the garden of good seminary, for example. Definitely, they would or should, then Palestine has always been famous with roots until now, it's very famous, especially with in citrus. Another objection,
internally, is that they say that the writer
of the Gospel of Barnabas seem to be borrowing terminologies and expressions from danti,
in His Divine Comedy,
and they say that this actually is an evidence that the gospel is not really an ancient one, but one that was written perhaps in the Middle Ages.
They give examples of this, that he uses terms like false and lying gods.
The circles of hell, the seven heavens and terms like raging hunger, and they say this word expression used by dancing.
But again, the question here is this. How can we make sure that the opposite is not true? In other words, is it not possible that Dante's expressions were based on all the literature prior to the medieval times?
Is it? Is it impossible even to assume that may be dentist my dentist might have had access to the Gospel of Barnabas? And actually he was the one who adopted those expression from from Barnabas, we really don't know we can say for sure, one way or the other. So we can't really say that this is an evidence that it was written in the medieval times. Sometimes people say no, another internal problem is that
when Jesus is quoted in the Gospel of Barnabas, speaking about the Jubilee, sort of Jewish celebration,
he described that this happens every 100 years, and they say that this is erroneous. And that shows actually, that the gospel was written in the medieval times. But definitely, once you analyze that carefully, you will find that this is really a weak objection.
Now, you mentioned the Jubilee and the fact that it has been a source of criticism, because that saw the facts may not be as accurate. Maybe you want to elaborate on this. Okay, well, if you feel that, because takes a little bit of explanation first to respond to that, that I think that perhaps will give you some background I just mentioned, because you mentioned that it is a source of object, right, fair enough. Actually, once something is mentioned, maybe you should indicate or defend as to why it's strong or weak. There isn't I believe it's weak is that first of all, they say that in chapter 82, of the Gospel of Barnabas, as indicated earlier, it says that Jesus was talking to
Referring to the GOP, which comes every 100 years, and he said that this Jubilee would be reduced to an annual function when the Messiah, the long awaited Messiah comes.
Now, the critics of Gospel of Barnabas say that if you check the Old Testament, especially the Book of Leviticus chapter 25,
it indicates that the Jubilee was to be celebrated by the Jews about every 15 years. Okay.
And they say that the Catholics have adopted the same kind of practice every 50 years.
But in the reign of Pope Boniface, Boniface Bo, and I have a CD, one of his
who reigned between 13 113 43
he changed the Jubilee to once every 100 years instead of 50 years. But his successors changed it again to 50 years as it was in the Old Testament, and in the Catholic practice. So they conclude they say now, this is definite proof that that gospel must have been written between 13 113 43 that's the time when that particular Pope deviated from the practice of celebration every 50 years, and mentioned 100 years.
Now, that kind of objection, seem to assume that the only period where there was deviation from this 50 year celebration was that period 1300 to 1543. But otherwise, has always been 100 years.
Now, this kind of objection is very strange, because some of the critics of the Gospel of Barnabas give a range of the dates to prove that it was a forgery. And they say it was a different perhaps between the 13th century to the 16th century.
Now, this critics are contradicting each other.
You see, because if it is written after 1643, they will notice intervention doubling every 100 years. And if it was written prior to 1500. Obviously, again, there's there's no sense of it, because the assumption they make is that it was almost every 50 years, not 100 years. So that's one problem of inconsistency among the critics.
But I think the most important response to that objection, is that their assumption that the Jubilee was always celebrated every 50 years, it never deviated except for that limited period. The time of Pope Boniface is not correct. I make references to an important reference to an important
work by James Hastings. It's a STI NGS, it's called Encyclopedia of religion and ethics, published in 1914. And if you check under festivals and feasts, Hebrew,
he says that the first thing that strikes us is that the law that regulates the celebration of the Jubilee,
even though it appears in several places in the book of Leviticus,
is believed by some of the biblical scholars to be nitesh interpolations. Notice His word, that's not my word, nature's interpretation, let me get a direct quotation from
from that reference, it says, quote,
the law regulating this year, are given in Leviticus chapter 25, verses 18 through 17, and verses 28 through 33. Also chapter 27, verses 16 through 24.
As however, the first principle passage breaks the context, not to see the first principles first principle passage breaks the context. And then he gives between brackets verses one through seven and verses 18 through 22. Dealing with the Sabbath year, it is probable that it is a major interpolation into the original law of Hebrews, and should be regarded as belonging to the priestly code.
Notice the final words in the dish should be regarded as belonging to the priestly code, not necessarily the law that was given beforehand. It is quite possible then that they are
National celebration of the Jubilee was hand every 100 years just as Barnabas, Cortes, Jesus saying, and that's the change from 100 years to 50 years in the book of Leviticus was a result actually of priestly interpretation or priestly code.
In addition to this,
we find that there is a great deal of uncertainty about the cycle for the celebration of the Jubilee. And that this uncertainty continued even after Jesus peace be upon an example of this. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, the 11th edition, volume 15, on page 534, it indicates that the change of the Jubilee to once every 50 years, instead of 100 years by Pope Clement, the sixth was on the basis of the requests
of the Roman people, requests for the Roman people. Sorry, that change, yeah, change from 50 years back to 100 years, and then in 1343. And then it says that Pope Urban the sixth was in bad need of money. So he changed or reduced the intervals between the Japanese to 33 years beginning with 1389. And that, Paul, the second, determine that as every 25 years beginning with 1470. Now with all of these changes in the past, changing according to the priest records, and present, it is not correct really to say that the only period in history where the geography was changed was 1300 through 1343. This is not really necessarily borne by the facts available. We must add to that, in conclusion that
if the decision of Prop one if is
to use the 100 years as interval
is not a decision that is supported by a written document and made reference to that is a new Catholic Encyclopedia, published 67, volume seven, page 11 141. The basic point we're seeing here is that the objection to Barnabas on the basis of the cycle of the Jubilee is a very weak one. It does not prove in any way that the gospel was written in the 14th century, but as we will see, it is much more ancient than that. Thank you very much, Dr. Rendell. We will pick up on this next week inshallah. Your questions and comments will be most appreciated. Our phone number address will be occurring on your screen. From all of us here in a sound focus Assalamu alaikum. Hope to see you
next week, inshallah.