Channel: Jamal Badawi
Series: Jamal Badawi - Muhammad
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AsSalamu Alaikum and welcome you once again to Istomin focus. Today's program Mashallah will be our 23rd series Muhammad peace be upon him, the last messenger of Allah
and our 14th on the coming of Muhammad, as foretold by Jesus made peace be upon both of them, and specifically would like to continue with the analysis of the Gospel of Barnabas and related topics. I'm your host, a sharpening mission here once again from St. Mary's University is Dr. Jamal Beto. So I conducted Johnny Kusama. For the benefit of our viewers, could you please give us a quick summary of last week's program? Okay, last week, we continued in the analysis and comparison of two crucial texts, one in john chapter one verses 19 through 26, and the other one in chapter 42, in the Gospel of Barnabas, and we indicated that both texts agree in speaking about a great personality to come,
except that in john, it attributes that statement to to john the baptist, and in Barnabas it that to get the second to Jesus which seemed to indicate that someone after Jesus peace be upon him is to come, ie Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him.
We started to compare both versions and we have pointed out to a number of consistency problems in the virgin in the Gospel of john. Unlike the consistency that you find in the Gospel of Barnabas,
we also indicated that this does not claim in any way that Barnabas is a perfect gospel in every respect and free from any problems in spite or otherwise. But he said that the same statements have been raised about the canonized gospels, they would also have the same difficulty, and that the comparison really should be comparative. And we concluded that, in our humble assessment, based on the evidence provided
the Gospel of Barnabas seem to be a lot more consistent internally, it's easy to understand it's free from many riddles pertaining to beliefs. And we did not even rule out the possibility that some might believe that Gospel of Barnabas might actually have been the true and original gospel and teachings of Jesus peace be upon him. But we could not say that for sure.
Some may say, the importance of the Gospel of Barnabas is really only for Muslims, because it's more or less supports their beliefs. Now, how would you respond to that? Well, I to begin with I agree with the use of the author of the book I mentioned before the Dead Sea Scrolls the Gospel of Barnabas in the New Testament. I agree with him that the belief of the Muslim is not contingent on the authenticity of Barnabas or lack of that authenticity, for that matter.
The Muslim belief which is the absolute and purest form of monotheism, the oneness, absolute oneness of Allah, the creator's the oneness of humanity and the oneness of all of the prophets, including Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Abraham and others, are beliefs which are very well founded in the Quran, which the Muslims take the word of Allah, and the ultimate truth in itself, which does not require any human confirmation when God speaks in his own book in his own revelation, he doesn't need any human to confirm the truth of his statements. This is a firm belief
for Muslims which stand on its own, irrespective of the Gospel of Barnabas or any other document for that matters.
My personal interest in university is on the scholarly level, not really to confirm my belief in the absolute oneness of Allah and that Jesus was a human being like Mohammed or Abraham. That's not the issue at all, nor to justify my rejection as a Muslim. Some of the doctrines that crystallized after Jesus like Trinity or the vicarious sacrifice or similar issues, or God incarnate. Indeed, the motive would be more for the critics of Barnabas to try to prove that it is an authentic for the Muslim whether it's authentic or not. The fish stand on their own, it's on its own. But for the critics of the Gospel of Barnabas, it's different because they, they should have are the main
probably expected to have a motive to prove its unauthenticity or prove that it is a forgery as they claim to the point that sometimes we go to excesses and illogical entities in trying to make that kind of
But why because if the Gospel of Barnabas is to be proven with sufficient and reasonable evidence that it is authentic, that it does reflect the original teaching of Jesus as a human being and a prophet, this definitely would stand very much against the well established dogmas that has been there in religious institutions, for 1000s of years now, and for hundreds of years, at least.
Now, any person who has any assertion for truth, regardless of whether he's a Muslim, or a Christian or others,
would definitely find that the search for the true gospel that was indeed taught by Jesus is through teaching
is very important, very essential. Because what we have today really our later interpretations and theology, it becomes interesting in that sense, I would say even quite exciting.
Please, please elaborate on this library, if you were on, on your comments on the importance for the search for the true gospel. Well, I believe that the search for that true gospel is very exciting because it does shed some light on the difference between the historical Jesus as some biblical squircle, the noble man, the horny and great messenger and Prophet stylight, prophet of God, who preach in Palestine nearly 2000 years ago, on one hand, and the various interpretations later interpretation of Jesus, the Christ, that was created in the image of the Church of various councils are the various carry categories not just to one Christology, but different Christology that has
come up at different times, and still even being changed over time.
So that, in one sense, is why it is important and interesting. Secondly, the study of the Gospel of Barnabas may be very helpful in solving some of the mysteries and difficulties, which are known to biblical scholars as the Synoptic problems, and the similarities and differences between the Synoptic Gospels, the first three, and the possible, unknown sources,
like the cue source, for example, for some of these gospels, on the basis of which they were written, more specifically, what I'm saying is that if sufficient evidence is found,
to show that Barnabas really is a genuine gospel, that it dates back to the time of Barnabas who was an eyewitness and their sincere follower of Jesus, according to even the canonized New Testament, then it is quite possible, not saying it is quite possible, if not likely, that the Gospel of Barnabas might have been actually one of those unknown sources on the basis of which the various versions or various synoptic gospels were written, maybe with some modifications that were necessitated by the emerging Christology of their time.
The third reason I believe it is important and useful.
Is that the way the Gospel of Barnabas depicts Jesus peace be upon him as a human being and a great prophet, and his teaching
is not only consistent with what the Quran, the last revelation of God, through His Prophet Mohammed confirmed later on six centuries later, almost. But it is also consistent even with one basic theme, you might say, that had already existed, not in Islam, but within the community of Christians, that goes back even to the first century.
What is that nothing that
which, which stood in opposition to the official position of the church at the time? Well, the basic theme is basically to oppose the deification of Jesus peace be upon him. It was a theme that opposed doctrines that were developed later on, like the Trinity and vicarious sacrifice. And in some of those are some streams of that theme, actually. People believed in Jesus as a prophet of God, a great messenger, but a servant of God and nothing more than that nothing in between God and men.
It is a theme that we find in early Christianity, we find it in medieval times still survives, and even in modern times,
We find it clears in early Christianity, for example, in the Unitarian Church, which we explained in some detail in the previous series. And we have indicated that their view of Jesus was simply as a great prophet of the stylight lineage.
This year or those group of early Christians are the ones that are called by the famous German or Swiss theologian, Hans conch, Catholic theologian. He called them Jewish Christianity, or the apocalyptic paradigm, the very early part.
Secondly, we find that theme also persists and survive in the medieval time, in spite of all the persecution and pressures of those who are different from the premium the official opinion of the church, and it's its own interpretation. And we find that this has been evidenced by the survival of Unitarian Christians who believed in the oneness of God in the absolute sense, just like Muslims do, even in the face of very severe
consequences. For example, Aaron Weinberg, WI NBU are in his book history of libertarianism
indicates that in Munster Holland, in the year 15 146, talk about the 11th century 30,000 people were put to death,
simply because they deny it. But Jesus was God, the application of Jesus, and they believe that he was a human being in messenger
contrary to the official position of their time, what that basic theme also is not only found in early or medieval time, but in modern times in particular, where do we find increasing number of Christian theologians, increasing number of even clergy? chessmen, who view Jesus peace be upon him as a special person, very important, but not God, and not God incarnate. And they understand the various expressions that some of the early writers wrote about Jesus, that Jesus is the manifestation of the grace of God, that they encountered God in Jesus, they interpret all of that, as john hick mentioned in his book, The Myth of God incarnate in the introduction, that this was
simply a sort of poetic language, to express the importance of Christ to them, that should not be taken literally as the early church did. In the previous series, we explained in some detail also, numerous examples of that modern trend, especially that classic volume,
the myth of God incarnate where many church men and women non theologians have given evidence after evidence that the idea of God in current Chile did not emanate from the Old Testament or teachings of Jesus, but were adaptation, or adoption from, from other mythical religions before Christianity. In fact, we hear even in recent times, about theologians with high degree of integrity and courage who lost their theological teaching positions, because of taking that position, which is not a very traditional position. That includes hands that I mentioned before. It includes in the state, some people also who lost their chair or position in theological, or departments of religion. But in any
case, regardless of all of this suppression in the past, or present in different forms, the basic theme that you're asking about the basic theme, that Jesus peace be upon him as a human being nothing but a noble, holy messenger and prophet of God, not God in flesh, not God incarnate, is something that has existed throughout the history of Christianity. It exists today, even in privately in the hearts of lots of Christian brethren that I talked to, even though they don't necessarily say that openly, even though it does not go with the official position of the churches to which they go and attend their, their sons that lots of people who hold that view, private land,
they feel that this is more consistent with their true nature. So
in addition to this, I would say also that, that theme, that basic theme, is not only just something that developed recently, like I said, it goes to the very olden days, it is found not only in Barnabas, but maybe in some other edition in apocryphal so called literature, we find similar type of statements to, well, maybe you can give us an example or maybe to all of these other practical gospels,
dealing with them, which we've just discussed. Well, I was trying to do some research on the topic of Gospel of Barnabas, and they went to the library of the Atlantic School of Theology. I came across a number of books that these would apocrypha.
literature and try to glance through to some portion that might relate to the topic. And there are two pretensions that really attracted my attention in one of those references by reference by their use written by bH corporate si or WPS, er, and it's called the apocalyptic Gospels.
That was published in 1881.
The first quotation that really attracted my attention, has the title,
prayer of Jesus, son of Mary, peace be upon them. Son of Mary is deaf, and I'll come to that later. But let me read very quickly some portion read because I think this would be better than the text he said that Jesus, or God, I am not able to extirpate or overcome that which I uphold, nor have I attained the goods which I desired, but others are not I have their reward in their hands, but my glory abides in my work, nor is any man is any poor man poorer than I am. Oh, God must Hi, Grant me pardon. Oh, God, suffer not mine enemy to reproach me. Nor let my friends condemned me. Nor add affliction to my religion. Remember that one, not add affliction to my religion, nor Let the word be
my chief in, it's a very interesting one to or set him over me, who shall not pity me, for thy mercy sake, or most merciful, of the Merciful. But there are a number of things here that attracts one attention, but I mentioned them briefly. One, that it says, prayer of Jesus son of Mary didn't say Son of God. Secondly, it says, peace be upon them, an expression that applies to humans to great prophets or mothers of prophets, like the case of Mary.
But the thing that really was of great interest to me that I'm sure many of my Christian Brothers in reading the sin prayer might not notice that some portions of that prayer in that ancient or apocryphal gospel
are very much similar to prayers made by Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, especially when he went to a place known as a party, and was stoned and his feet were bleeding and his praying to God. In fact, if you translate some of these portions into Arabic becomes identical with the words of the prophet like the perfect example that says,
nor add affliction to my religion that has a better nephew, Dina, equivalent to Arabic, identical.
Nor Let the word be my chief concern, that actually dounia akubra homina.
almost word for word translation of it, nor sit him over me Who shall not pity me to select eyeliner manda homina. I was most fascinated with this, in view of the fact that of course, this was apocrypha means hidden documents. And Prophet Mohammed is not a scholar of theology or anything that seems to indicate that it is probably genuine rather than apocryphal. Because we find evidence that many of the prophets have used very similar prayers apparently taught to them by the angels are by God, very similar, like forgive them, for they know not what they are doing that was mentioned in the tongue of Jesus on the tongue of Mohammed and maybe other prophets is just fascinating. The
other repetition that attracted my attention is a letters on page. The first one, by the way, is on page 222. And the other one, on page 220. represents
a letter, supposedly, a letter sent by Jesus peace be upon him, to a man by the name of God, a B, G, AR, apparently that man was sick. And then he heard about the miracles done by Jesus. So he wrote to him, asking him to come.
And it says that Jesus peace be upon him. And the answers to that man said, at least in part, it behooves that I should accompany share everything, because where have I have been sent,
and after I have accomplished it, then I shall be taken up, Jason up to him, that sent me
and when I am taken up, I would send the one of my disciples to heal by sickness, he shall also give salvation unto thee and to them that are with me
once more, the fascinating thing that attracted my attention this is that first of all, Jesus peace be upon him. He says that after I finished my job or my mission, here, I will be taking up not I am going up. This is a language of a human being to be taken by the angels, not God Himself going up. The language of a human being very much similar
Those two the description in the Gospel of Barnabas that Jesus was taking up and Judas was crucified in his place. But more importantly, also, that Jesus does not say here, like the canonized gospels report in several places that Jesus constantly predicted or prophesied that you'll be arrested, killed,
buried status in the earth, or the various for three days and resurrected again, and then appear and finally descend. It doesn't go into all this. It simply says, When I am taking up to him that sent me then I send you one of my disciples.
Now if, according to the canonized gospels, the death,
or the crucifixion,
burial, resurrection, Jesus has been the bound the main essence of Christian faith, according to them, then Jesus should have mentioned that in the letter rather than simply saying, When I'm taking up, when I send you one of my disciples, this is a very interesting observation that they found
in this, quote, unquote, apocryphal or hidden literature.
Are there works in other
works by other scholars? And I'm again, I'm from two non Muslim scholars, which has some agreements with Barnabas. Yes, there's a very important classical work, written by Sarah Godfrey Higgins, hai wg ins who lived between 1773 and 1833. That particular reference is a source for many scholarly writings about the origin of religions. I'm not saying here that I agree with him in everything at all. But he raises a number of exceedingly interesting points. The title of that important work is called an eclipses and a ca nyps is and the subtitle and inquiry into the origin.
The origins of languages, nations and religions, published originally in a very limited edition in two volumes, and reprinted in 1965, by University books in New York.
From the examination of related sections in that very voluminous and very scholarly work, very well documented, I could not really detect a clear sign that the writer Higgins was aware of the existence of the Gospel of Barnabas, it's quite possible that after its discovery in Italian version in 1709, nothing much was known about it, until it was translated into English and 1907. And we know of course, from the previous information that tokens valued in 1833, that was a long time before the English translation was made available, publicized.
But in any case, we find that
heavens agrees in many respects with the
basic theme that you find that the Gospel of Barnabas, even in the areas pertaining to the coming of Prophet Muhammad peace be
a doctor, by the way.
You mentioned Higgins as one of those non Muslim scholars and some of his work is related to, to Barnabas, or at least there is similarities or teeth are the same. Now, maybe you can go into a bit more detail and tell us exactly what higan says about the coming of Mohamed, after Jesus made peace to your continent. Okay, to begin with, he explains what you understand by the Spirit of Truth, as you're called, in the Gospel of john, Chapter 1415, and 16, Jesus speaks about the spirits of tourists to come after him. And he indicates that the spirit of service mentioned by Jesus is a human being. Let me give you a quotation directly from him. And that appears in Volume One, book
number 10, chapter five on page 677. And he writes, quote, the word Spirit of Truth would when justify the expectation that this person would be an incarnation of Divine Wisdom, if he appeared in human form, in human form. And then on page 678, Hagen states, quote, in the gospels, Christ is made to prophesied that one should come after him to complete his mission.
And later on, he says, Mohammed was believed by his followers to be the person whose name they said, in the original uncorrupted gospel was given by Jesus as that of Cyrus by Isaiah.
And then he continues, I am quite certain that Higgins word I'm quite sure
In the context and the concomitant circumstances, are such as to induce any unprejudiced person to think that the assertion of the mohammedans respect them this prophecy is true.
In the context a person was to come, is repeatedly referred to at times even we find that Hagen's not only refers to that particular prophecy that indicating that the circumstances and the context in which Jesus speaks about the spirit of truth, seem to indicate a person rather than a spirit. And this is very much in line with lots of evidence that we have given the previous use Jesus beloved messengers of Allah says beyond that, even
he indicates that if you tie or relate the prophecies, both in the Old and New Testament not only referring to the statement attributed to Jesus, both of the New Testament that they seem both to consistently relate to the advent of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon I feel that there's more on this particular issue and we'll have to pick up on this next week inshallah revive time. Thank you very much. And thank you all for joining us here in Islam and focus as always, your comments and your questions would be most appreciated. Our phone number on address will be appearing on your screen. A lot of us you understand focus Assalamu alaikum. Hope to see you next week, inshallah.