In link 4 above in the picture found you would notice two black squres in two ceiling corners. Jesus was raised to third Heaven through one crack. Four angels held the 4 corners of a carpet and Jesus stood on top of the carpet. The 5 flew to Heaven. Juda who dobbed Jesus to Emprerror, by order of Allah his face turned to exact face of Jesus, Soldiers arrested Juda for crucification.
The Gospel of Barnabas
True Gospel of Jesus, called Christ,
a new prophet sent by God to the world : according to the description of Barnabas his apostle.
Scanned and selected in 1994 by: Engineer Afsaneh Cooper
This is a selection of verses from the book of "The Gospel of Barnabas"1. It points to the prophecies about the Messenger of God Muhammad (s.a.w.) and the Islamic doctrine of monotheism in Jesus' sayings. This article can be used for the debate in Islam and Christianity.
Barnabas, apostle of Jesus the Nazarene, called Christ, to all them that dwell upon the earth desireth peace and consolation.
Dearly beloved, the great and wonderful God hath during these past days visited us by his prophet Jesus Christ in great mercy of teaching and miracles, by reason whereof many, being deceived of, Satan, under pretence of piety,are preaching most impious doctrine, calling Jesus son of God, repudiating the circumcision ordained of God for ever, and permitting every unclean meat : among whom alsoPaul hath been deceived, whereof I speak not without grief; for which cause I am writing that truth which I have seen and heard, in the intercourse that I have had with Jesus, in order that ye may be saved, and not be deceived of Satan and perish in the judgement of God. Therefore beware of every one that preacheth unto you new doctrine contrary to that which I write, that ye may be saved eternally.
The great God be with you and guard you from Satan and from every evil. Amen.
( 1 )
In this first chapter is contained the annunciation of the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary concerning the birth of Jesus.
In these last years a virgin called Mary, of the Lineage of David, of the tribe of Judah, was visited by the angel Gabriel from God. This virgin, living in all holiness without any offence, being blameless, and abiding in prayer with fastings, being one day alone, there entered into her chamber the angel Gabriel, and he saluted her, saying: 'God be with thee, O Mary'.
The virgin was affrighted at the appearance of the angel; but the angel comforted her, saying: 'Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favour with God, who hath chosen thee to be mother of a prophet, whom he will send to the people of Israel in order that they may walk in his laws with truth of heart.' The virgin answered : 'Now how shall I bring forth sons, seeing I know not a man?' The angel answered: 'O Mary, God who made man without a man is able to generate in thee man without a man, because with him nothing is impossible.' Mary answered : 'I know that God is almighty, therefore his will be done.' The angel answered: 'Now be conceived in thee the prophet, whom thou shalt name Jesus: and thou shalt keep him from wine and from strong drink and from every unclean meat, because the child is an holy one of God. Mary bowed herself with humility, saying: 'Behold the handmaid of God, be it done according to thy word.' The angel departed, and the virgin glorified God, saying: 'Know, O my soul, the greatness of God, and exult, my spirit, in God my Saviour; for he hath regarded the lowliness of his handmaiden, insomuch that I shall be called blessed by all the nations, for he that is mighty hath made me great, and blessed be his holy name. For his mercy extendeth from generation to generation of them that fear him. Mighty hath he made his hand, and he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of his heart. He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble. Him who hath been hungry hath he filled with good things, and the rich he hath sent empty away. For he keepeth in memory the promises made to Abraham and to his son for ever'.
( 2 )
The warning of the angel Gabriel given to Joseph concerning the conception of the Virgin Mary.
Mary having known the will of God, fearing the people, lest they should take offence at her being great with child, and should stone her as guilty of fornication, chose a companion of her own lineage, a man by name called Joseph, of blameless life: for he as a righteous man feared God and served him with fastings and prayers, living by the works of his hands, for he was a carpenter.
Such a man the virgin knowing, chose him for her companion and revealed to him the divine counsel.
Joseph being a righteous man, when he perceived that Mary was great with child, was minded to put her away because he feared God. Behold, whilst he slept, he was rebuked by the angel of God, saying, 'O Joseph, why art thou minded to put away Mary thy wife? Know that whatsoever hath been wrought in her hath all been done by the will of God. The virgin shall bring forth a son, whom thou shall call by the name Jesus; whom thou shalt keep from wine and strong drink and from every unclean meat, because he is an holy one of God from his mother's womb. He is a prophet of God sent unto the people of lsrael, in order that he may convert Judah to his heart, and that Israel may walk in the law of the Lord, as it is written in the law of Moses. He shall come with great power, which God shall give him, and shall work great miracles, whereby many shall be saved'.
Joseph, arising from sleep, gave thanks to God, and abode with Mary all his life, serving God with all sincerity.
( 3 )
Wonderful birth of Jesus, and appearance of angels praising God.
There reigned at that time in Judaea Herod, by decree of Caesar Augustus, and Pilate was governor in the priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas. Wherefore, by decree of Augustus, all the world was enrolled; wherefore each one went to his own country, and they presented themselves by their own tribes to be enrolled. Joseph accordingly departed from Nazareth, a city of Galilee, with Mary his wife, great with child, to go to Bethlehem (for that it was his city, he being of the lineage of David), in order that he might be enrolled according to the decree of Caesar. Joseph having arrived at Bethlehem, for that the city was small, and great the multitude of them that were strangers there, he found no place, wherefore he took lodging outside the city in a lodging made for a shepherds' shelter. While Joseph abode there the days were fulfilled for Mary to bring forth. The virgin was surrounded by a light exceeding bright, and brought forth her son without pain, whom she took in her arms, and wrapping him in swaddling-clothes, laid him in the manager, because there was no room in the inn. There came with gladness a great multitude of angels to the inn, blessing God and announcing peace to them that fear God. Mary and Joseph praised the Lord For the birth of Jesus, and with greatest joy nurtured him,
( 4 )
Angels announce to the shepherds the birth of Jesus, and they, after having found him, announce him.
At that time the shepherds were watching over their flock; as is their custom. And, behold, they were surrounded by an exceeding bright light, out of which appeared to them an angel, who Blessed God. The shepherds were filled with fear by reason of the sudden light and the appearance of the angel; whereupon the angel of the Lord comforted them, saying: 'Behold, I announce to you a great joy, for there is born in the city of David a child who is a prophet of the Lord; who bringeth great salvation to the house of Israel. The child ye shall find in the manger, with his mother, who blesseth God.' And when he had said this there came a great multitude of angels blessing God, announcing peace to them that have good will. When the angels were departed, the shepherds spake among themselves, saying: 'Let us go even unto Bethlehem, and see the word which God by his angel hath announced to us.' There came many shepherds to Bethlehem seeking the new-born babe, and they found outside the city the child that was born, according to the word of the angel, lying in the manger. They therefore made obeisance to him, and gave to the mother that which they had, announcing to her what they had heard and seen. Mary therefore kept all these things in her heart, and Joseph [likewise], giving thanks to God. The shepherds returned to their flock, announcing to everyone how great a thing they had seen. And so the whole hill-country of Judaea was filled with fear, and every man laid up this word in his heart, saying: 'What, think we, shall this child be ?'
( 5 )
Circumcision of Jesus
When the eight days were fulfilled according to the law of the Lord, as it is written in the book of Moses, they took the child and carried him to the temple to circumcise him. And so they circumcised the child, and gave him the name Jesus, as the angel of the Lord had said before he was conceived in the womb. Mary and Joseph perceived that the child must needs be for the salvation and ruin of many. Wherefore they feared God, and kept the child with fear of God.
( 6 )
Three magi are led by a star in the east to Judaea, and, finding Jesus, make obeisance to him and gifts.
In the reign of Herod, king of Judaea, when Jesus was born, three magi in the parts of the east were observing the stars of heaven. Whereupon appeared to them a star of great brightness, wherefore having concluded among themselves, they came to Judaea, guided by the star, which went before them, and having arrived at Jerusalem they asked where was born the King of the Jews. And when Herod heard this he was affrighted, and all the city was troubled. Herod therefore called together the priests and the scribes, saying: 'Where should Christ be born?' They answered that he should be born in Bethlehem; for thus it is written by the prophet: 'And thou, Bethlehem, art not little among the princes of Judah: for out of thee shall come forth a leader, who shall lead my people Israel.'
Herod accordingly called together the magi and asked them concerning their coming: who answered that they had seen a star in the east, which had guided them thither, wherefore they wished with gifts to worship this new King manifested by his star.
Then said Herod: 'Go to Bethlehem and search out with all diligence concerning the child; and when ye have found him, come and tell it to me, because I also would fain come and worship him.' And this he spake deceitfully.
( 7 )
The visitation of Jesus by magi, and their return to their own country, with the warning of Jesus given to them in a dream.
The magi therefore departed out of Jerusalem, and lo, the star which appeared to them in the east went before them. Seeing the star the magi were filled with gladness. And so having come to Bethlehem, outside the city, they saw the star standing still above the inn where Jesus was born. The magi therefore went thither, and entering the dwelling found the child with his mother, and bending down they did obeisance to him. And the magi presented unto him spices, with silver and gold, recounting to the virgin all that they had seen.
Whereupon, while sleeping, they were warned by the child not to go to Herod: so departing by another way they returned to their own home, announcing all that they had seen in Judaea.
( 8 )
Jesus is carried in flight to Egypt, and Herod massacres the innocent children.
Herod seeing that the magi did not return, believed himself mocked of them; whereupon he determined to put to death the child that was born. But behold while Joseph was sleeping there appeared to him the angel of the Lord, saying: 'Arise up quickly, and take the child with his mother and go into Egypt, for Herod willeth to slay him'. Joseph arose with great fear, and took Mary with the child, and they went into Egypt, and there they abode until the death of Herod: who, believing himself derided of the magi, sent his soldiers to slay all the new-born children in Bethlehem. The soldiers therefore came and slew all the children that were there, as Herod had commanded them. Whereby were fulfilled the words of the prophet, saying: 'Lamentation and great weeping are there in Ramah; Rachel lamenteth for her sons, but consolation is not given her because they are not.'
( 9 )
Jesus, having returned to Judaea, holds a wondrous disputation with the doctors, having come to the age of twelve years
When Herod was dead, behold the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph, saying: 'Return into Judaea, for they are dead that willed the death of the child.' Joseph therefore took the child with Mary (he having come to the age of seven years), and came to Judaea; whence, hearing that Archelaus, son of Herod, was reigning in Judaea. he went into Galilee, fearing to remain in Judaea; and they went to dwell at Nazareth.
The child grew in grace and wisdom before God and before men.
Jesus, having come to the age of twelve years, went up with Mary and Joseph to Jerusalem, to worship there according to the law of the Lord written in the book of Moses. When their prayers were ended they departed, having lost Jesus, because they thought that he was returned home with their kinsfolk. Mary therefore returned with Joseph to Jerusalem, seeking Jesus among kinsfolk and neighbours. The third day they found the child in the temple, in the midst of the doctors, disputing with them concerning the law. And every one was amazed at his questions and answers, saying: 'How can there be such doctrine in him, seeing he is so small and hath not learned to read ?'
Mary reproved him, saying: 'Son, what hast thou done to us? Behold I and thy father have sought thee for three days sorrowing.' Jesus answered: 'Know ye not that the service of God ought to come before father and mother?'jesus then went down with his mother and Joseph to Nazareth, and was subject to them with humility and reverence.
( 10 )
Jesus, at the age of thirty years, on Mount Olives, miraculously receiveth the gospel from the angel Gabriel.
Jesus having come to the age of thirty years, as he himself said unto me, went up to Mount Olives with his mother to gather olives. Then at midday as he was praying, when he came to these words: 'Lord, with mercy...,' he was surrounded by an exceeding bright light and by an infinite multitude of angels, who were saying: 'Blessed be God.' The angel Gabriel presented to him as it were a shining mirror, a book, which descended into the heart of Jesus, in which he had knowledge of what God hath done and what hath said and what God willeth insomuch that everything was laid bare and open to him; as he said unto me: 'Believe, Barnabas, that I know every prophet with every prophecy, insomuch that whatever I say the whole hath come forth from that book.'
Jesus, having received this vision, and knowing that he was a prophet sent to the house of Israel, revealed all to Mary his mother, telling her that he needs must suffer great persecution for the honour of God, and that he could not any longer abide with her to serve her. Whereupon, having heard this, Mary answered: 'Son, ere thou wast born all was announced to me: wherefore blessed be the holy name of God.' Jesus departed therefore that day from his mother to attend to his prophetic office.
( 11 )
Jesus miraculously healeth a leper, and goeth into Jerusalem.
Jesus descending from the mountain to come into Jerusalem, met a leper, who by divine inspiration knew Jesus to be a prophet. Therefore with tears he prayed him, saying;'Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me.' Jesus answered: 'What wilt thou, brother, that I should do unto thee?'
The leper answered: 'Lord, give me health.'
Jesus reproved him, saying: 'Thou art foolish; pray to God who created thee, and he will give thee health; for I am a man, as thou art.' The leper answered: 'I know that thou, Lord, art a man, but an holy one of the Lord. Wherefore pray thou to God, and he will give me health.' Then Jesus, sighing, said: 'Lord God Almighty, for the love of thy holy prophets give health to this sick man.' Then, having said this, he said, touching the sick man with his hands in the name of God: 'O brother, receive thy health!' And when he had said this the leprosy was cleansed, insomuch that the flesh of the leper was left unto him like that of a child. Seeing which namely, that he was healed, the leper with a loud voice cried out: 'Come hither, lsrael, to receive the prophet whom God sendeth unto thee'.Jesus prayed him, saying: 'Brother, hold thy peace and say nothing,' but the more he prayed him the more he cried out, saying: 'Behold the prophet! behold the holy one of God!' At which words many that were going out of Jerusalem ran back, and entered with Jesus into Jerusalem, recounting that which God through Jesus had done unto the leper.
( 12 )
First sermon of Jesus delivered to the people: wonderful in doctrine concerning the name of God. The whole city of Jerusalem was moved by these words, wherefore they all ran together to the temple to see Jesus, who had entered therein to pray, so that they could scarce be contained there. Therefore the priests besought Jesus, saying: 'This people desireth to see thee and hear thee; therefore ascend to the pinnacle, and if God give thee a word speak it in the name of the Lord.'
Then ascended Jesus to the place whence the scribes were wont to speak. And having beckoned with the hand for silence, he opened his mouth, saying: 'Blessed be the holy name of God, who of his goodness and mercy willed to create his creatures that they might glorify him. Blessed be the holy name of God, who created the splendour of all the saints and prophets before all things to send him for the salvation of the world, as he spake by his servant David, saying : "Before Lucifer in the brightness of the saints I created thee." Blessed be the holy name of God, who created the angels that they might serve him. And blessed be God, who punished and reprobated Satan and his followers, who would not reverence him whom God willeth to be reverenced. Blessed be the holy name of God, who created man out of the clay of the earth, and set him over his works. Blessed be the holy name of God, who drove man out of paradise for having transgressed his holy precept. Blessed be the holy name of God, who with mercy looked upon the tears of Adam and Eve, first parents of. the human race. Blessed be the holy name of God, who justly punished Cain the fratricide, sent the deluge upon the earth, burned up three wicked cities, scourged Egypt, overwhelmed Pharaoh in the Red Sea, scattered the enemies of his people, chastised the unbelievers, and punished the impenitent. Blessed be the holy name of God, who with mercy looked upon his creatures, and therefore sent them his holy prophets, that they might walk in truth and righteousness before him: who delivered his servants from every evil, and gave them this land, as he promised to our father Abraham and to his son for ever. Then by his servant Moses he gave us his holy law, that Satan should not deceive us; and he exalted us above all other peoples.
'But, brethren, what do we to-day, that we be not punished for our sins?'
And then Jesus with greatest vehemence rebuked the people for that they had forgotten the word of God, and gave themselves only to vanity; he rebuked the priests for their negligence in God's service and for their worldly greed; he rebuked the scribes because they preached vain doctrine, and forsook the law of God; he rebuked the doctors because they made the law of God of none effect through their traditions. And in such wise did Jesus speak to the people, that all wept, from the least to the greatest, crying mercy, and beseeching Jesus that he would pray for them; save only their priests and leaders, who on that day conceived hatred against Jesus for having thus spoken against the priests, scribes, and doctors. And they meditated upon his death, but for fear of the people, who had received him as a prophet of God, they spake no word.
Jesus raised his hands to the Lord God and prayed, and the people weeping said: 'So be it, O Lord, so be it.' The prayer being ended, Jesus descended from the temple; and that day he departed from Jerusalem, with many that followed him.
And the priests spoke evil of Jesus among themselves.
( 32 )
...'Verily I say unto you, that every evil hath entered into the world under the pretext of the elders. Tell me, who made idolatry to enter into the world, if not the usage of the elders? Thereupon, said one of the scribes: 'If I shall eat pork, or other unclean meats, will they not defile my conscience?'
Jesus answered: 'Disobedience will not enter into the man, but will come out of the man, from his heart; and therefore will he be defiled when he shall eat forbidden food.'
( 39 )
The fall of manThen said John: 'Well hast thou spoken, O master, but we lack to know how man sinned through pride.'
Jesus answered: 'When God had expelled Satan, and the angel Gabriel had purified that mass of earth whereon Satan spat, God created everything that liveth, both of the animals that fly and of them that walk and swim, and he adorned the world with all that it hath. One day Satan approached unto the gates of paradise, and, seeing the horses eating grass, he announced to them that if that mass of earth should receive a soul there would be for them grievous labour;and that therefore it would be to their advantage to trample that piece of earth in such wise that it should be no more good for anything. The horses aroused themselves and impetuously set themselves to run over that piece of earth which lay among lilies and roses. Whereupon God gave spirit to that unclean portion of earth upon which lay the spittle of Satan, which Gabriel had taken up from the mass; and raised up the dog, who, barking, filled the horses with fear, and they fled. Then God gave his soul to man, while all the holy angels sang: "Blessed be thy holy name, O God our Lord."
Adam, having sprung up upon his feet, saw in the air a writing that shone like the sun, which said: "There is only one God, and Mohammed is the messenger of God." Whereupon Adam opened his mouth and said: "I thank thee, O Lord my God, that thou hast deigned to create me; but tell me. I pray thee, what meaneth the message of these words: "Mohammed is the messenger of God." Have there been other men before me?'Then said God: "Be thou welcome, O my servant Adam, I tell thee that thou art the first man whom I have created. And he whom thou hast seen [mentioned] is thy son, who shall come into the world many years hence, and shall be my messenger, for whom I have created all things; who shall give light to the world when he shall come; whose soul was set in a celestial splendour sixty thousand years before I made anything."
'Adam besought God, saying: "Lord, grant me this writing upon the nails of the fingers of my hands." Then God gave to the first man upon his thumbs that writing; upon the thumb-nail of the right hand it said: "There is only one God," and upon the thumb-nail of the left it said: "Mohammed is messenger of God." Then with fatherly affection the first man kissed those words, and rubbed his eyes, and said: "Blessed be that day when thou shalt come to the world."
Then the disciples wept after this discourse, and Jesus was weeping, when they saw many who came to find him, for the chiefs of the priests took counsel among themselves to catch him in his talk. Wherefore they sent the Levites and some of the scribes to question him, saying : 'Who art thou ?'
Jesus confessed, and said the truth: 'I am not the Messiah.'
They said: 'Art thou Elijah or Jeremiah, or any of the ancient prophets ?'
Jesus answered: 'No.'
Then said they: 'Who art thou ? Say, in order that we may give testimony to those who sent us.'
Then said Jesus: 'I am a voice that crieth through all Judaea, and crieth: "Prepare ye the way for the messenger of the Lord," even as it is written in Esaias.'
They said: 'If thou be not the Messiah nor Elijah, or any prophet, wherefore dost thou preach new doctrine, and make thyself of more account than the Messiah ?'
Jesus answered: 'The miracles which God worketh by my hands show that I speak that which God willeth; nor indeed do I make myself to be accounted as him of whom ye speak. For I am not worthy to unloose the ties of the hosen or the latchets of the shoes of the messenger of God whom ye call "Messiah," who was made before me, and shall come after me, and shall bring the words of truth, so that his faith shall have no end.'
Then said Andrew: 'Thou hast told us many things of the Messiah, therefore of thy kindness tell us clearly all.' And in Like manner the other disciples besought him.
Accordingly Jesus said: 'Everyone that worketh for an end in which he findeth satisfaction. Wherefore I say unto you that God, verily because He is perfect, hath not need of satisfaction, seeing that He hath satisfaction Himself. And so, willing to work, He created before all things the soul of his messenger, for whom he determined to create the whole, in order that the creatures should find joy and blessedness in God, whence his messenger should take delight in all his creatures, which he hath appointed to be his slaves. And wherefore is this so, save because thus he hath willed?
'Verily I say unto you, that every prophet when he is come hath borne to one nation only the mark of the mercy of God. And so their words were not extended save to that people to which they were sent. But the messenger of God, when he shall come, God shall give to him as it were the seal of his hand, insomuch that he shall carry salvation and mercy to all the nations of the world that shall receive his doctrine. He shall come with power upon the ungodly, and shall destroy idolatry, insomuch that he shall make Satan confounded: for so promised God to Abraham, saying: "Behold, in thy seed I will bless all the tribes of the earth; and as thou hast broken in pieces the idols, O Abraham, even so shall thy seed do." '
James answered: 'O master, tell us in whom this promise was made; for the Jews say "in Isaac," and the Ishmaelites say "in Ishmael." '
Jesus answered: 'David, whose son was he, and of what lineage?'
James answered: 'Of Isaac; for Isaac was father of Jacob, and Jacob was father of Judah, of whose lineage is David.'
Then said Jesus: 'And the messenger of God when he shall come, of what lineage will he be?'
The disciples answered: 'Of David.'
Whereupon Jesus said: 'Ye deceive yourselves; for David in spirit calleth him lord, saying thus: "God said to my lord, sit thou on my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool. God shall send forth thy rod which shall have lordship in the midst of thine enemies." If the messenger of God whom ye call Messiah were son of David, how should David call him lord? Believe me, for verily I say to you, that the promise was made in Ishmael, not in Isaac.'
Thereupon said the disciples: 'O master, it is thus written in the book of Moses, that in Isaac was the promise made.'
Jesus answered, with a groan: 'It is so written, but Moses wrote it not, nor Joshua, but rather our rabbins, who fear not God. Verily I say unto you, that if ye consider the words of the angel Gabriel, ye shall discover the malice of our scribes and doctors. For the angel said: "Abraham, all the world shall know how God loveth thee: but how shall the world know the love that thou bearest to God? Assuredly it is necessary that thou do something for love of God." Abraham answered: "Behold the servant of God, ready to do all that which God shall will."
'Then spake God, saying to Abraham: "Take thy son, thy firstborn Ishmael, and come up the mountain to sacrifice him." How is Isaac firstborn, if when Isaac was born Ishmael was seven years old?
Then said the disciples: 'Clear is the deception of our doctors: therefore tell us thou the truth, because we know that thou art sent from God.'
Then answered Jesus: 'Verily I say unto you, that Satan ever seeketh to annul the laws of God; and therefore he with his followers, hypocrites and evil-doers, the former with false doctrine, the latter with lewd living, to-day have contaminated almost all things, so that scarcely is the truth found. Woe to the hypocrites! for the praises of this world shall turn for them into insults and torments in hell.
'I therefore say unto you that the messenger of God is a splendour that shall give gladness to nearly all that God hath made, for he is adorned with the spirit of understanding and of counsel, the spirit of wisdom and might, the spirit of fear and love, the spirit of prudence and temperance, he is adorned with the spirit of charity and mercy, the spirit of justice and piety, the spirit of gentIeness and patience, which he hath received from God three times more than he hath given to all his creatures. O blessed time, when he shall come to the world! Believe me that I have seen him and have done him reverence, even as every prophet hath seen him: seeing that of his spirit God giveth to them prophecy. And when I saw him my soul was filled with consolation, saying: "O Mohammed, God be with thee, and may he make me worthy to untie thy shoelatchet, for obtaining this I shall be a great prophet and holy one of God."'
And having said this, Jesus rendered his thanks to God.
The judgement day of God will be so dreadful that, verily I say unto you, the reprobates would sooner choose ten hells than go to hear God speak in wrath against them. Against whom all things created will witness. Verily I say unto you, that not alone shall the reprobates fear, but the saints and the elect of God, so that Abraham, shall not trust in his righteousness, and Job shall have no confidence in his innocency. And what say I? Even the messenger of God shall fear, for that God, to make known his majesty, shall deprive his messenger of memory, so that he shall have no remembrance how that God hath given him all things. Verily I say unto you that, speaking from the heart, I tremble because by the world I shall be called God, and for this I shall have to render an account. As God liveth, in whose presence my soul standeth I am a mortal man as other men are, for although God has placed me as prophet over the house of lsrael for the health of the feeble and the correction of sinners, I am the servant of God, and of this ye are witness, how I speak against those wicked men who after my departure from the world shall annul the truth of my gospel by the operation of Satan. But I shall return towards the end, and with me shall come Enoch and Elijah, and we will testify against the wicked, whose end shall be accursed.' And having thus spoken, Jesus shed tears, whereat his disciples wept aloud, and lifted their voices, Saying: 'Pardon, O Lord God, and have mercy on thy innocent servant.' Jesus answered: 'Amen, Amen.'
( 53 )
And having said this, Jesus smote his face with both his hands, and then smote the ground with his head. And having raised his head, he said: 'Cursed be every one who shall insert into my sayings that I am the son of God.' At these words the disciples fell down as dead, whereupon Jesus lifted them up, saying: 'Let us fear God now, if we would not be affrighted in that day.'
( 54 )
'When these signs be passed, there shall be darkness over the world forty years, God alone being alive, to whom be honour and glory for ever. When the forty years be passed, God shall give life to his messenger, who shall rise again like the sun, but resplendent as a thousand suns. He shall sit, and shall not speak, for he shall be as it were beside himself. God shall raise again the four angels favoured of God, who shall seek the messenger of God, and, having found him, shall station themselves on the four sides of the place to keep watch upon him. Next shall God give life to all the angels, who shall come like bees circling round the messenger of God. Next shall God give life to all his prophets, who, following Adam, shall go every one to kiss the hand of the messenger of God, committing themselves to his protection. Next shall God give life to all the elect, who shall cry out: "O Mohammed, be mindful of us!"At whose cries pity shall awake in the messenger of God, and he shall consider what he ought to do, fearing for their salvation. Next shall God give life to every created thing, and they shall return to their former existence, but every one shall besides possess the power of speech. Next shall God give life to all the reprobates, at whose resurrection, by reason of their hideousness, all the creatures of God shall be afraid, and shall cry: "Let not thy mercy forsake us, O Lord our God."After this shall God cause Satan to be raised up, at whose aspect every creature shall be as dead, for fear of the horrid form of his appearance. May it please God,' said Jesus, 'that I behold not that monster on that day. The messenger of God alone shall not be affrighted by such shapes, because he shall fear God only.
'Then the angel, at the sound of whose trumpet all shall be raised, shall sound his trumpet again, saying: "Come to the judgement, O creatures, for your Creator willeth to judge you." Then shall appear in the midst of heaven over the alley of Jehoshaphat a glittering throne, over which shall come a white cloud, whereupon the angels shall cry out: "Blessed be thou our God, who hast created us, and saved us from the fall of Satan." Then the messenger of God shall fear, for that he shall perceive that none hath loved God as he should. For he who would get in change a piece of gold must have sixty mites; wherefore, if he have but one mite he cannot change it. But if the messenger of God shall fear, what shall the ungodly do who are full of wickedness?'
( 55 )
'The messenger of God shall go to collect all the prophets, to whom he shall speak, praying them to go with him to pray God for the faithful. And every one shall excuse himself for fear; nor, as God liveth, would I go there, knowing what I know. Then God, seeing this, shall remind his messenger how he created all things for love of him, and so his fear shall leave him, and he shall go nigh unto the throne with love and reverence, while the angels sing: "Blessed be thy holy name, O God, our God."
'And when he hath drawn nigh unto the throne, God shall open [His mind] unto His messenger, even as a friend unto a friend when for a long while they have not met. The first to speak shall be the messenger of God, who shall say: "I adore and love thee, O my God, and with all my heart and soul I give thee thanks for that thou didst vouchsafe to create me to be thy servant, and madest all for love of me, so that I might love thee for all things and in all things and above all things; therefore let all thy creatures praise thee, O my God." Then all things created by God shall say: "We give thee thanks, O Lord, and bless thy holy name." Verily I say unto you, the demons and reprobates with Satan shall then weep so that more water shall flow from the eyes of one of them than is in the river of Jordan. Yet shall they not see God.
'And God shall speak unto his messenger, saying: "Thou art welcome, O my faithful servant; therefore ask what thou wilt, for thou shalt obtain all." The messenger of God shall answer. "O Lord, I remember that when thou didst create me, thou saidst that thou hadst willed to make for love of me the world and paradise, and angels and men, that they might glorify thee by me thy servant. Therefore, Lord God, merciful and just. I pray thee that thou recollect thy promise made unto thy servant."
'And God shall make answer even as a friend who jesteth with a friend, and shall say : "Hast thou witnesses of this, my friend Mohammed?" And with reverence he shall say: "Yes, Lord." Then God shall answer: "Go, call them, O Gabriel," The angel Gabriel shall come to the messenger of God, and shall say: "Lord, who are thy witnesses?" The messenger of God shall answer: "They are Adam, Abraham, Ishmael, Moses, David, and Jesus son of Mary."
'Then shall the angel depart, and he shall call the aforesaid witnesses, who with fear shall go thither. And when they are present God shall say unto them: "Remember ye that which my messenger affirmeth?" They shall reply: "What thing, O Lord?" God shall say: "That I have made all things for love of him, so that all things might praise me by him." Then every one of them shall answer: "There are with us three witnesses better than we are, O Lord." And God shall reply: "Who are these three witnesses?" Then Moses shall say: "The book that thou gavest to me is the first", and David shall say: "The book that thou gavest to me is the second" and he who speaketh to you shall say: "Lord, the whole world, deceived by Satan, said that I was thy son and thy fellow, but the book that thou gavest me said truly that I am thy servant; and that book confesseth that which thy messenger affirmeth." Then shall the messenger of God speak, and shall say: "Thus saith the book that thou gavest me, O Lord." And when the messenger of God hath said this, God shall speak, saying: "ALL that I have now done, I have done in order that every one should know how much I love thee." And when he hath thus spoken, God shall give unto his messenger a book, in which are written all the names of the elect of God. Wherefore every creature shall do reverence to God, saying: "To thee alone, O God, be glory and honour, because thou hast given us to thy messenger.".
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'God shall open the book in the hand of his messenger, and his messenger reading therein shall call all the angels and prophets and all the elect, and on the forehead of each one shall be written the mark of the messenger of God. And in the book shall be written the glory of paradise.
'Then shall each pass to the right hand of God; next to whom shall sit the messenger of God, and the prophets shall sit near him, and the saints shall sit near the prophets, and the blessed near the saints, and the angel shall then sound the trumpet, and shall call Satan to judgement.
( 57 )
'Then that miserable one shall come, and with greatest contumely shall be accused of every creature. Wherefore God shall call the angel Michael, who shall strike him one hundred thousand times with the sword of God. He shall strike Satan, and every stroke is heavy as ten hells, and he shall be the first to be cast into the abyss. The angel shall call his followers, and they shall in like manner be abused and accused. Wherefore the angel Michael, by commission from God, shall strike some a hundred times, some fifty, some twenty, some ten, some five. And then shall they descend into the abyss, because God shall say to them: "Hell is your dwelling-place, O cursed ones."
'After that shall be called to judgement all the unbelievers and reprobates, against whom shall first arise all creatures inferior to man, testifying before God how they have served these men, and how the same have outraged God and his creatures. And the prophets every one shall arise, testifying against them; wherefore they shall be condemned by God to infernal flames. Verily I say unto you, that no idle word or thought shall pass unpunished in that termendous day. Verily I say unto you, that the hair-shirt shall shine like the sun, and every louse a man shall have borne for love of God shall be turned into pearl. O, thrice and four times blessed are the poor, who in true poverty shall have served God from the heart, for in this world are they destitute of worldly cares, and shall therefore be freed from many sins, and in that day they shall not have to render an account of how they have spent the riches of the world, but they shall be rewarded for their patience and their poverty. Verily I say unto you, that if the world knew this it would choose the hair-shirt sooner than purple, lice sooner than gold, fasts sooner than feasts.
'When all have been examined, God shall say unto his messenger:"Behold, O my friend, their wickedness, how great it has been, for I their creator did employ all created things in their service, and in all things have they dishonoured me. It is most just, therefore, that I have no mercy on them." The messenger of God shall answer: "It is true, Lord, our glorious God, not one of thy friends and servants could ask thee to have mercy on them; nay, I thy servant before all ask justice against them,"
'And he having said these words, all the angels and prophets, with all the elect of God--nay, why say I the elect ? verily I say unto you, that spiders and flies, stones and sand shall cry out against the impious, and shall demand justice.
'Then shall God cause to return to earth every living soul inferior to man, and He shall send the impious to hell. Who, in going, shall see again that earth, to which dogs and horses and other vile animals shall be reduced. Wherefore shall they say: "O Lord God, cause us also to return to that earth. 'But that which they ask shall not be granted to them.
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While Jesus was speaking the disciples wept bitterly. And Jesus wept many tears.
Then after he had wept, John spake: 'O master, two things we desire to know. The one is, how it is possible that the messenger of God, who is full of mercy and pity, should have no pity on reprobates that day, seeing that they are of the same clay as himself? The other is, how is it to be understood that the sword of Michael is heavy as ten hells; then is there more than one hell?' Jesus replied: 'Have ye not heard what David the prophet saith, how that the just shall laugh at the destruction of sinners, and shall deride him with these words, saying: "I saw the man who put his hope in his strength and his riches, and forgot God." Verily, therefore, I say unto you, that Abraham shall deride his father, and Adam all reprobate men: and this shall be because the elect shall rise again so perfect and united to God that they shall not conceive in their minds the smallest thought against his justice; therefore shall each of them demand justice, and above all the messenger of God. As God liveth, in whose presence I stand, though now I weep for pity of mankind, on that day I shall demand justice without mercy against those who despise my words, and most of all against those who defile my gospel.
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'Hell is one, O my disciples, and in it the damned shall suffer punishment eternally. yet hath it seven rooms or regions, one deeper than the other, and he who goeth to the deepest shall suffergreater punishment. Yet are my words true concerning the sword of the angel Michael, for he that committeth but one sin meriteth hell, and he that committeth two sins meriteth two hells. Therefore in one hell shall the reprobates feel punishment as though they were in ten, or in a hundred or in a thousand; and the omnipotent God, through his power and by reason of his justice, shall cause Satan to suffer as though he were in ten hundred thousand hells, and the rest each one according to his wickedness.'
Then answered Peter: 'O master, truly the justice of God is great, and today this discourse hath made thee sad; therefore, we pray thee, rest, and to-morrow tell us what hell is like.'
Jesus answered: 'O Peter, thou tellest me to rest; O Peter, thou knowest not what thou sayest, else thou hadst not spoken thus. Verily I say unto you, that rest in this present life is the poison of piety and the fire which consumeth every good work. Have ye then forgotten how Solomon, God's prophet, with all the prophets, hath reproved sloth? True it is that he saith: "The idle will not work the soil for fear of the cold, therefore in summer shall he beg!" Wherefore he said: "All that thy hand can do, do it without rest." And what saith Job, the most innocent friend of God: "As the bird is born to fly, man is born to work." Verily I say unto you, I hate rest above all things.'
( 72 )
At night Jesus spake in secret with his disciples, saying: 'Verily I say unto you that Satan desireth to sift you as wheat; but I have besought God for you, and there shall not perish of you save he that layeth snares for me.' And this he said of Judas, because the angel Gabriel said to him how that Judas had hand with the priests, and reported to them all that Jesus spake.
With tears drew near unto Jesus he who writeth this, saying: 'O master, tell me, who is he that should betray thee?'
Jesus answered, saying: 'O Barnabas, this is not the hour for thee to know him, but soon will the wicked one reveal himself, because I shall depart from the world.'
Then wept the apostles, saying: 'O master, wherefore wilt thou forsake us? It is much better that we should die than be forsaken of thee!'
Jesus answered: 'Let not your heart be troubled, neither be ye fearful: for I have not created you, but God our creator who hath created you will protect you. As for me, I am now come to the world to prepare the way for the messenger of God, who shall bring salvation to the world. But beware that ye be not deceived, for many false prophets shall come, who shall take my words and contaminate my gospel.'
Then said Andrew: 'Master, tell us some sign, that we may know him.'
Jesus answered: 'He will not come in your time, but will come some years after you, when my gospel shall be annulled, insomuch that there shall be scarcely thirty faithful. At that time God will have mercy on the world, and so he will send his messenger, over whose head will rest a white cloud, whereby he shall be known of one elect of God, and shall be by him manifested to the world. He shall come with great power against the ungodly, and shall destroy idolatry upon the earth. And it rejoiceth me because that through him our God shall be known and glorified, and I shall be known to be true; and he will execute vengeance against those who shall say that I am more than man. Verily I say to you that the moon shall minister sleep to him in his boyhood, and when he shall be grown up he shall take her in his hands. Let the world beware , of casting him out because he shall slay the idolaters, for many more were slain by Moses, the servant of God, and Joshua, who spared not the cities which they burnt, and slew the children; for to an old wound one applieth fire.
'He shall come with truth more clear than that of all the prophets, and shall reprove him who useth the world amiss. The towers of the city of our father shall greet one another for I joy: and so when idolatry shall be seen to fall to the ground and confess me a man like other men, verily I say unto you the messenger of God shall be come.'
( 82 )
Then Jesus gave a sigh and wept, saying: 'Woe to thee, Judaea, for thou gloriest, saying: "The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord," and livest as though there were no God; given over wholly to the pleasures and gains of the world; for this woman in the day of judgement shall condemn thee to hell; for this woman seeketh to know how to find grace and mercy before God.'
And turning to the woman he said: 'O woman, ye Samaritans worship that which ye know not, but we Hebrews worship that which we know. Verily, I say unto thee, that God is spirit and truth, and so in spirit and in truth must he be worshipped. For the promise of God was made in Jerusalem, in the temple of Solomon, and not elsewhere. But believe me, a time will come that God will give his mercy in another city, and in every place it will be possible to worship him in truth. And God in every place will have accepted true prayer with mercy.'
The woman answered: 'We look for the Messiah; when he cometh he will teach us.'
Jesus answered: 'Knowest thou, woman, that the Messiah must come?'
She answered: 'Yea, Lord.'
Then Jesus rejoiced, and said: 'So far as I see, O woman, thou art faithful: know therefore that in the faith of the Messiah shall be saved every one that is elect of God; therefore it is necessary that thou know the coming of the Messiah.'
Said the woman: 'O Lord, perchance thou art the Messiah.'
Jesus answered: 'I am indeed sent to the house of lsrael as a prophet of salvation: but after me shall come the Messiah, sent of God to all the world; for whom God hath made the world. And then through all the world will God be worshipped, and mercy received, insomuch that the year of jubilee, which now cometh every hundred years, shall by the Messiah be reduced to every hundred years, shall by the Messiah be reduced to every year in every place.'
Then the woman left her waterpot and ran to the city to announce all that she had heard from Jesus.
( 83 )
Whilst the woman was talking with Jesus came his disciples, and marvelled that Jesus was speaking so with a woman. Yet no one said unto him: 'Why speakest thou thus with a Samaritan woman?'
Whereupon, when the woman was departed, they said: 'Master, come and eat.'
Jesus answered: 'I must eat other food.'
Then said the disciples one to another: 'Perchance some wayfarer hath spoken with Jesus and hath gone to find him food.' And they questioned him who writeth this, saying: 'Hath there been any one here, O Barnabas, who might have brought food to the master?'
Then answered he who writeth: 'There hath not been here any other than the woman whom ye saw, who brought this empty vessel to fill it with water.' Then the disciples stood amazed, awaiting the issue of the words of Jesus. Whereupon Jesus said: 'Ye know not that the true food is to do the will of God: because it is not bread that sustaineth man and giveth him life, but rather the word of God, by his will. And so for this reason the holy angels eat not, but live nourished only by the will of God. And thus we, Moses and Elijah and yet another, have been forty days and forty nights without any food.'
And lifting up his eyes, Jesus said: 'How far off is the harvest?'
The disciples answered: 'Three months.'
Jesus said: 'Look now, how the mountain is white with corn; verily I say unto you, that to-day there is a great harvest to be reaped.' And then he pointed to the multitude who had come to see him. For the woman having entered into the city had moved all the city, saying: 'O men, come and see a new prophet sent of God to the house of lsrael'; and she recounted to them all that she had heard from Jesus. When they were come thither they besought Jesus to abide with them: and he entered into the city and abode there two days, healing all the sick, and teaching concerning the kingdom of God.
Then said the citizens to the woman: 'We believe more in his words and miracles than we do in what thou saidst; for he is indeed a holy one of God, a prophet sent for the salvation of those that shall believe on him.'
After the prayer of midnight the disciples came near unto Jesus, and he said to them: 'This night shall be in the time of the Messiah, messenger of God, the jubilee every year - that now cometh every hundred years. Therefore I will not that we sleep, but let us make prayer, bowing our head a hundred times, doing reverence to our God, mighty and merciful, who is blessed for evermore, and therefore each time let us say: "I confess thee our God alone, that hast not had beginning, nor shalt ever have end; for by thy mercy gavest thou to all things their beginning, and by thy justice thou shalt give to all an end; that hast no likeness among men, because in thine infinite goodness thou art not subject to motion nor to any accident...
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When the prayer was ended, the priest said with a loud voice: 'Stay, Jesus, for we need to know who thou art, for the quieting of our nation.'
Jesus answered: 'I am Jesus, son of Mary, of the seed of David, a man that is mortal and feareth God, and I seek that to God be given honour and glory.'
The priest answered: 'In the book of Moses it is written that our God must send us the Messiah, who shall come to announce to us that which God willeth, and shall bring to the world the mercy of God. Therefore I pray thee tell us the truth, art thou the Messiah of God whom we expect?'
Jesus answered: 'It is true that God hath so promised, but indeed I am not he, for he is made before me, and shall come after me.'
The priest answered: 'By thy words and signs at any rate we believe thee to be a prophet and an holy one of God, wherefore I pray thee in the name of all Judaea and Israel that thou for love of God shouldst tell us in what wise the Messiah will come.'
Jesus answered: 'As God liveth, in whose presence my soul standeth, I am not the Messiah whom all the tribes of the earth expect, even as God promised to our father Abraham, saying: "In thy seed will I bless all the tribes of the earth." But when God shall take me away from the world, Satan will raise again this accursed sedition, by making the impious believe that I am God and son of God, whence my words and my doctrine shall be contaminated, insomuch that scarcely shall there remain thirty faithful ones: whereupon God will have mercy upon the world, and will send his messenger for whom he hath made all things: who shall come from the south with power, and shall destroy the idols with the idolaters; who shall take away the dominion from Satan which he hath over men. He shall bring with him the mercy of God for salvation of them that shall believe in him, and blessed is he who shall believe his words.
( 97 )
'Unworthy though I am to untie his hosen, I have received grace and mercy from God to see him.' Then answered the priest, with the governor and the king, saying: 'Distress not thyself, O Jesus, holy one of God, because in our time shall not this sedition be any more, seeing that we will write to the sacred Roman senate in such wise that by imperial decree none shall any more call thee God or son of God.'
Then said Jesus: 'With your words I am not consoled, because where ye hope for light darkness shall come; but my consolation is in the coming of the messenger, who shall destroy every false opinion of me, and his faith shall spread and shall take hold of the whole world, for so hath God promised to Abraham our father. And that which giveth me consolation is that his faith shall have no end, but shall be kept inviolate by God.'
The priest answered: 'After the coming of the messenger of God shall other prophets come?'
Jesus answered: 'There shall not come after him true prophets sent by God, but there shall come a great number of false prophets, whereat I sorrow. For Satan shall raise them up by the just judgement of God, and they shall hide themselves under the pretext of my gospel.'
Herod answered: 'How is it a just judgement of God that such impious men should come?'
Jesus answered: 'It is just that he who will not believe in the truth to his salvation should believe in a lie to his damnation. Wherefore I say unto you, that the world hath ever despised the true prophets and loved the false, as can be seen in the time of Michaiah and Jeremiah. For every like loveth his like.'
Then said the priest: 'How shall the Messiah be called, and what sign shall reveal his coming?'
Jesus answered: 'The name of the Messiah is admirable, for God himself gave him the name when he had created his soul, and placed it in a celestial splendour. God said: "Wait Mohammed; for thy sake I will to create paradise, the world, and a great multitude of creatures, whereof I make thee a present, insomuch that whoso shall bless thee shall be blessed, and whoso shall curse thee shall be accursed. When I shall send thee into the world I shall send thee as my messenger of salvation, and thy word shall be true, insomuch that heaven and earth shall fail, but thy faith shall never fail."Mohammed is his blessed name.'
Then the crowd lifted up their voices, saying: 'O God, send us thy messenger: O Mohammed, come quickly for the salvation of the world!'
( 110 )
'Now tell me, doth our God at all times grant you his bounty? Yea, assuredly; for unceasingly he ministereth to you the breath whereby ye live. Verily, verily, I say unto you, every time that your body receiveth breath your heart ought to say: "God be thanked!" '
Then said John: 'It is most true what thou sayest, O master; teach us therefore the way to attain to this blessed condition..
Jesus answered: 'Verily I say to you, one cannot attain to such condition by human powers, but rather by the mercy of God our Lord. It is true indeed that man ought to desire the good in order that God may give it him. Tell me, when ye are at table do ye take those meats which ye would not so much as look at? No, assuredly. Even so I say unto you that ye shall not receive that which ye will not desire. God is able, if ye desire holiness, to make you holy in less time than the twinkling of an eye, but in order that man may be sensible of the gift and the giver our God willeth that we should wait and ask.
'Have ye seen them that practise shooting at a mark? Assuredly they shoot many times in vain. Howbeit, they never wish to shoot in vain, but are always in hope to hit the mark. Now do ye this, ye who ever desire to have our God in remembrance, and when ye forget, mourn; for God shall give you grace to attain to all that I have said.
'Fasting and spiritual watching are so united one with the other that, if one break the watch, straightway the fast is broken. For in sinning a man breaketh the fast of the soul, and forgetteth God. So is it that watching and fasting as regardeth the soul are always necessary for us and for all men. For to none is it lawful to sin. But the fasting of the body and its watchings, believe me, they are not possible at all times, nor for all persons. For there are sick and aged folk, women with child, men that are put upon diet, children, and others that are of weak complexion. For indeed everyone, even as he clotheth himself according to his proper measure, so should choose his [manner of] fasting. For just as the garments of a child are not suitable for a man of thirty years, even so the watchings and fastings of one are not suitable for another.'
( 112 )
Having said this, Jesus said: 'Ye needs must seek of the fruits of the field the wherewithal to sustain our life, for it is now eight days that we have eaten no bread. Wherefore I will pray to our God, and will await you with Barnabas.'
So all the disciples and apostles departed by fours and by sixes and went their way according to the word of Jesus. There remained with Jesus he who writeth; whereupon Jesus, weeping, said: 'O Barnabas, it is necessary that I should reveal to thee great secrets, which, after that I shall be departed from the world, thou shalt reveal to it.'
Then answered he that writeth, weeping, and said: 'Suffer me to weep, O master, and other men also, for that we are sinners. And thou, that art an holy one and prophet of God, it is not fitting for thee to weep so much.'
Jesus answered: 'Believe me, Barnabas, that I cannot weep as much as I ought. For if men had not called me God, I should have seen God here as He will be seen in paradise, and should have been safe not to fear the day of judgement. But God knoweth that I am innocent, because never have I harboured thought to be held more than a poor slave. Nay, I tell thee that if I had not been called God I should have been carried into paradise when I shall depart from the world, whereas now I shall not go thither until the judgement. Now thou seest if I have cause to weep. Know, O Barnabas, that for this I must have great persecution, and shall be sold by one of my disciples for thirty pieces of money. Whereupon I am sure that he who shall sell me shall be slain in my name, for that God shall take me up from the earth, and shall change the appearance of the traitor so that every one shall believe him to be me; nevertheless, when he dieth an evil death, I shall abide in that dishonour for a long time in the world. But when Mohammed shall come, the sacred messenger of God, that infamy shall be taken away. And this shall God do because I have confessed the truth of the Messiah; who shall give me this reward, that I shall be known to be alive and to be a stranger to that death of infamy.'
Then answered he that writeth: 'O master, tell me who is that wretch, for I fain would choke him to death.'
'Hold thy peace,' answered Jesus, 'for so God willeth, and He cannot do otherwise; but see thou that when my mother is afflicted at such an event thou tell her the truth, in order that she may be comforted.'
Then answered he who writeth: 'All this will I do, O master, if God please.'
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Jesus answered: 'Verily I say unto you, the owner is God, and the vinedresser is his law. God, then, had in paradise the palm and the balsam; for Satan is the palm and the first man the balsam. Them did he cast out because they bare not fruit of good works, but uttered ungodly words that were the condemnation of many angels and many men. Now that God hath man in the world, in the midst of his creatures that serve God, all of them, according to his precept: and man, I say, bearing no fruit, God would cut him down and commit him to hell, seeing he pardoned not the angel and the first man, punishing the angel eternally, and the man for a time. Whereupon the law of God saith that man hath too much good in this life, and so it is necessary that he should suffer tribulation and be deprived of earthly goods, in order that he may do good works. Therefore our God waiteth for man to be penitent. Verily I say unto you, that our God hath condemned man to work, so that, as said Job, the friend and prophet of God: "As the bird is born to fly and the fish to swim, even so is man born to work."
'So also David our father, a prophet of God, saith: "Eating the labours of our hands we shall be blessed, and it shall be well with us."
'Wherefore let every one work, according to his quality. Now tell me, if David our father and Solomon his son worked with their hands, what ought the sinner to do?'
Said John: 'Master, to work is a fitting thing, but this ought the poor to do.'
Jesus answered: 'Yea, for they cannot do otherwise. But knowest thou not that good, to be good, must be free from necessity? Thus the sun and the other planets are strengthened by the precepts of God so that they cannot do otherwise, wherefore they shall have no merit. Tell me, when God gave the precept to work, he said not: "A poor man shall live of the sweat of his face"? And Job did not say that: "As a bird is born to fly, so a poor man is born to work"? But God said to man: "In the sweat of thy countenance shalt thou eat bread," and Job that "Man is born to work." Therefore [only] he who is not man is free from this precept. Assuredly for no other reason are all things costly, but that there are a great multitude of idle folk: if these were to labour, some attending the ground and some at fishing the water, there would be the greatest plenty in the world. And of the lack thereof it will be necessary to render an account in the dreadful day of judgement.'
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'Let man say somewhat to me. What hath he brought into the world, by reason of which he would live in idleness? certain it is that he was born naked, and incapable of anything. Hence, of all that he has found, he is not the owner, but the dispenser. And he will have to render an account thereof in that dreadful day. The abominable lust, that maketh man like the brute beasts, ought greatly to be feared; for the enemy is of one's own household, so that it is not possible to go into any place whither thine enemy may not come. Ah, how many have perished through lust! Through lust came the deluge, insomuch that the world perished before the mercy of God and so that there were saved only Noah and eighty-three human persons.
'For lust God overwhelmed three wicked cities whence escaped only Lot and his two children.
'For lust the tribe of Benjamin was all but extinguished. And I tell you verily that if I should narrate to you how many have perished through lust, the space of five days would not suffice.'
James answered : 'O Master, what signifieth lust ?'
Jesus answered: 'Lust is an unbridled desire of love, which, not being directed by reason, bursts the bounds of man's intellect and affections; so that the man, not knowing himself, loveth that which he ought to hate. Believe me, when a man loveth a thing, not because God hath given him such thing, but as its owner, he is a fornicator; for that the soul, which ought to abide in union with God its creator, he hath united with the creature. And so God lamenteth by Isaiah the prophet, saying: "Thou hast committed fornication with many lovers; nevertheless, return unto me and I will receive thee."
'As God liveth in whose presence my soul standeth, if there were not internal lust within the heart of man, he would not fall into the external: for if the root be removed the tree dieth speedily.
'Let a man content himself therefore with the wife whom his creator hath given him, and let him forget every other woman.'
Andrew answered: 'How shall a man forget the women if he live in the city where there are so many of them?'
Jesus replied: 'O Andrew, certain it is he who liveth in the city, it will do him harm; seeing that the city is a sponge that draweth in every iniquity.
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'It behoveth a man to live in the city, even as the soldier liveth when he hath enemies around the fortress, defending himself against every assault and always fearing treachery on the part of the citizens. Even so, I say, let him repel every outward enticement of sin, and fear the sense, because it hath a supreme desire for things impure. But how shall he defend himself if he bridle not the eye, which is the origin of every carnal sin? As God liveth in whose presence my soul standeth, he who hath not bodily eyes is secure not to receive punishment save only to the third degree, while he that hath eyes receiveth it to the seventh degree.
( 123 )
When it was day, Friday morning, early, Jesus, after the prayer, assembled his disciples and said to them: 'Let us sit down; for even as on this day God created man of the clay of the earth; even so will I tell you what a thing is man, if God please.'
When all were seated, Jesus said again: 'Our God, to shew to his creatures his goodness and mercy and his omnipotence, with his liberality and justice, made a composition of four things contrary the one to the other, and united them in one final object, which is man - and this is earth, air, water, and fire - in order that each one might temper its opposite. And he made of these four things a vessel, which is man's body, of flesh, bones, blood, marrow, and skin, with nerves and veins, and with all his inward parts; wherein God placed the soul and the sense, as two hands of this life: giving for lodgement to the sense every part of the body, for it diffused itself there like oil. And to the soul gave he for lodgement the heart, where, united with the sense, it should rule the whole life.
'God, having thus created man, put into him a light which is called reason, which was to unite the flesh, the sense, and the soul in a single end - to work for the service of God.
'Whereupon, he placing this work in paradise, and the reason being seduced of the sense by the operation of Satan, the flesh lost its rest, the sense lost the delight whereby it liveth, and the soul lost its beauty.
'Man having come to such a plight, the sense, which findeth not repose in labour, but seeketh delight, not being curbed by reason, followeth the light which the eyes show it; whence, the eyes not being able to see aught but vanity, it deceiveth itself, and so, choosing earthly things, sinneth.
'Thus it is necessary that by the mercy of God man's reason be enlightened afresh, to know good from evil and [to distinguish] the true delight; knowing which, the sinner is converted to penitence. Wherefore I say unto you verily, that if God our Lord enlighten not the heart of man, the reasonings of men are of no avail.'
John answered: 'Then to what end serveth the speech of men?'
Jesus replied: 'Man as man availeth naught to convert man to penitence; but man as a means which God useth converteth man; so that seeing God worketh by a secret fashion in man for man's salvation, one ought to listen to everyman, in order that among all may be received him in whom God order that among all may be received him in whom God speaketh to us.'
James answered: 'O Master, if perchance there shall come a false prophet and lying teacher pretending to instruct us, what ought we to do?
( 124 )
Jesus answered in parable: 'A man goeth to fish with a net, and therein he catcheth many fishes, but those that are bad he throweth away.
, A man went forth to sow, but only the grain that falleth on good ground beareth seed.
'Even so ought ye to do, listening to all and receiving only the truth, seeing that the truth alone beareth fruit unto eternal life.'
Then answered Andrew: 'Now how shall the truth be known?'
Jesus answered: 'Everything that conformeth to the book of Moses, that receive ye for true; seeing that God is one, the truth is one; whence it followeth that the doctrine is one and the meaning of the doctrine is one; and therefore the faith is one. Verily I say unto you that if the truth had not been erased from the book of Moses, God would not have given to David our father the second. And if the book of David had not been contaminated, God would not have committed the Gospel to me; seeing that the Lord our God is unchangeable, and hath spoken but one message to all men. Wherefore, when the messenger of God shall come, he shall come to cleanse away all wherewith the ungodly have contaminated my book.'
Then answered he who writeth: 'O Master, what shall a man do when the law shall be found contaminated and the false prophet shall speak?'
Jesus answered: 'Great is thy question, O Barnabas; wherefore I tell thee that in such a time few are saved, seeing that men do not consider their end, which is God, As God liveth in whose presence my soul standeth, every doctrine that shall turn man aside from his end, which is God, is most evil doctrine, Wherefore there are three things that thou shalt consider in doctrine namely, love towards God, pity towards one's neighbour, and hatred towards thyself, who hast offended God, and offendest him every day. Wherefore every doctrine that is contrary to these three heads do thou avoid, because it is most evil.
( 136 )
'In this accursed spot shall abide the infidels for evermore; insomuch that if the world were filled with grains of millet, and a single bird once in a hundred years should take away a single grain to empty the world - if when it should be empty the infidels were to go into paradise, they would rest delighted. But there is not this hope, because their torment cannot have an end, seeing that they were not willing for the love of God to put an end to their sin.
'But the faithful shall have comfort, because their torment shall have an end.'
The disciples were affrighted, hearing this, and said: 'So then the faithful must go into hell?'
Jesus answered: 'Every one, be he who he may, must go into hell. It is true, however, that the holy ones and prophets of God shall go there to behold, not suffering any punishment; and the righteous, only suffering fear. And what shall I say? I tell you that thither shall come [even] the messenger of God, to behold the justice of God. Thereupon hell shall tremble at his presence. And because he hath human flesh, all those that have human flesh and shall be under punishment, so long as the messenger of God shall abide to behold hell, so long shall they abide without punishment. But he shall abide there [only] so long as it taketh to shut and open the eyes.
And this shall God do in Order that every creature may know that he hath received benefit from the messenger of God.
'When he shall go there all the devils shall shriek, and seek to hide themselves beneath the burning embers, saying one to another: "Fly, fly, for here cometh Mohammed our enemy!" Hearing which, Satan shall smite himself upon the face with both his hands, and screaming shall say: "Thou art more noble than I, in my despite, and this is unjustly done!"
'As for the faithful, who are in seventy - two grades, those of the two last grades, who shall have had the faith without good works - the one being sad at good works, and the other delighting in evil, they shall abide in hell seventy thousand years.
'After those years shall the angel Gabriel come into hell, and shall hear them say: "O Mohammed, where are thy promises made to us, saying that those who have thy faith shall not abide in hell for evermore?"
'Then the angel of God shall return to paradise, and having approached with reverence the messenger of God shall narrate to him what he hath heard.
'Then shall his messenger speak to God and say: "Lord, my God, remember the promise made to me thy servant, concerning them that have received my faith, that they shall not abide for evermore in hell."
'God shall answer: "Ask what thou wilt, O my friend, for I will give thee all that thou askest."
( 137 )
'Then shall the messenger of God say: "O Lord, there are of the faithful who have been in hell seventy thousand years. Where, O Lord, is thy mercy? I pray thee, Lord, to free them from those bitter punishments."
'Then shall God command the four favourite angels of God that they go to hell and take out every one that hath the faith of his messenger, and lead him into paradise. And this they shall do.
'And such shall be the advantage of the faith of God's messenger, that those that shall have believed in him, even though they have not done any good works, seeing they died in this faith, shall go into paradise after the punishment of which I have Spoken.'
'Believe ye, O men, that I am come into the world with a privilege which no man hath had, nor will even the messenger of God have it; seeing that our God created not man to set him in the world, but rather to place him in paradise.
( 142 )
Judas, the traitor, when he saw that Jesus was fled, lost the hope of becoming powerful in the world, for he carried Jesus' purse, wherein was kept all that was given him for love of God. He hoped that Jesus would become king of Israel, and so he himself would be a powerful man. Wherefore, having lost this hope, he said within himself: 'If this man were a prophet, he would know that I steal his money; and so he would lose patience and cast me out of his service, knowing that I believe not in him. And if he were a wise man he would not flee from the honour that God willeth to give him. Wherefore it will be better that I make arrangement with the chief priests and with the scribes and Pharisees, and see how to give him up into their hands, for so shall I be able to obtain something good.' Whereupon, having made his resolution, he gave notice to the scribes and Pharisees how the matter had passed in Nain. And they took counsel with the high priest, saying: 'What shall we do if this man become king? Of a surety we shall fare badly; because he is fain to reform the worship of God after the ancient custom, for he cannot away with our traditions. Now how shall we fare under the sovereignty of such a man? Surely we shall all perish with our children: for being cast out of our office we shall have to beg our bread.
'We now, praised be God, have a king and a governor that are alien to our law, who care not for our law, even as we care not for theirs. And so we are able to do whatsoever we list; for, even though we sin, our God is so merciful that He is appeased with sacrifice and fasting. But if this man become king he will not be appeased unless he shall see the worship of God according as Moses wrote; and what is worse, he saith that the Messiah shall not come of the seed of David (as one of his chief disciples hath told us), but saith that he shall come of the seed of Ishmael, and that the promise was made in Ishmael and not in Isaac.
'What then shall the fruit be if this man be suffered to live? Assuredly the Ishmaelites shall come into repute with the Romans, and they shall give them our country in possession; and so shall Israel again be subjected to slavery as it was aforetime.' Wherefore, having heard the proposal, the high priest gave answer that he must needs treat with Herod and with the governor, 'because the people are so inclined towards him that without the soldiery we shall not be able to do anything: and may it please God that with the soldiery we may accomplish this business.'
Wherefore, having taken counsel among themselves, they plotted to seize him by night, when the governor and Herod should agree thereto.
( 163 )
Jesus went into the wilderness beyond Jordan with his disciples, and when the midday prayer was done he sat down near to a palm-tree, and under the shadow of the palm-tree his disciples sat down.
Then said Jesus: 'so secret is predestination, O brethren, that I say unto you, verily, only to one man shall it be clearly known. He it is whom the nations look for, to whom the secrets of God are so clear that, when he cometh into the world, blessed shall they be that shall listen to his words, because God shall overshadow them with his mercy even as this palm-tree overshadoweth us. Yea, even as this tree protecteth us from the burning heat of the sun, even so the mercy of God will protect from Satan them that believe in that man.'
The disciples answered O Master, who shall that man be of whom thou speakest, who shall come into the world ?'
Jesus answered with joy of heart: 'He is Mohammed, messenger of God, and when he cometh into the world, even as the rain maketh the earth to bear fruit when for a long time it hath not rained, even so shall he be occasion of good works among men, through the abundant mercy which he shall bring. For he is a white cloud full of the mercy of God, which mercy God shall sprinkle upon the faithful like rain.'
( 197 )
Jesus answered: 'Tell me, John: there was an householder who gave a perfect axe to one of his servants in order that he might cut down the wood which obstructed the view of his house.
'But the labourer forgot the axe, and said: "If the master would give me an old axe I should easily cut down the wood." Tell me, John, what said the master? Assuredly he was wrong, and took the old axe and struck him on the head, saying: "Fool and knave !I gave thee an axe wherewith thou mightest cut down the wood without toil, and seekest thou this axe, wherewith one must work with great toil, and all that is cut is wasted and good for nought? I desire thee to cut down the wood in such wise that thy work shall be good."Is this true ?'
John answered: 'It is most true.' [Then said jesus:] 'As I live eternally,' saith God, 'I have given a good axe to every man, which is the sight of the burial of one dead. Whoso wield well this axe remove the wood of sin from their heart without pain; wherefore they receive my grace and mercy; giving them merit of eternal life for their good works. But he who forgetteth that he is mortal, though time after time he see others die, and saith. "If I should see the other life, I would do good works," my fury shall be upon him, and I will so smite him with death that he shall never more receive any good.' 'O John,' said Jesus, 'how great is the advantage of him who from the fall of others learneth to stand on his feet!'
( 198 )
But God hath so loved me, by his mercy, that every punishment is withdrawn from me, in so much that I shall only be tormented in another person. For punishment was fitting for me, that men have called me God; but since I have confessed also that I am not the Messiah, therefore God hath taken away the punishment from me, and will cause a wicked one to suffer it in my name, so that the shame alone shall be mine. Wherefore I say to thee, my Barnabas, that when a man speaketh of what God shall give to his neighbour let him say that his neighbour meriteth it: but let him look to it that, when he speaketh of what God shall give to himself, he say: "God will give me." And let him look to it that he say not, "I have merit," because God is pleased to grant his mercy to his servants when they confess that they merit hell for their sins.
( 206 )
When day was come, Jesus went up to the temple with a great multitude of people. Whereupon the high priest drew near, saying: 'Tell me, O Jesus, hast thou forgotten all that thou didst confess, that thou art not God, nor son of God nor even the Messiah?'
Jesus answered: 'No, of a surety, I have not forgotten: for this is my confession which I shall bear before the judgement-seat of God on the day of judgement. For all that is written in the book of Moses is most true, inasmuch as God our creator is [God] alone, and I am God's servant and desire to serve God's messenger whom ye call Messiah.'
( 212 )
Then lifting up his hands to the Lord, he prayed, saying: 'Lord our God, God of Abraham, God of Ishmael and Isaac, God of our fathers, have mercy upon them that thou hast given me, and save them from the world. I say not, take them from the world, because it is necessary that they shalI bear witness against them that shall corrupt my gospel. But I pray thee to keep them from evil, that on the day of thy judgement they may come with me to bear witness against the world and against the house of Israel that hath corrupted thy testament. Lord God, mighty and jealous, that takest vengeance upon idolatry against the sons of idolatrous fathers even unto the fourth generation, do thou curse eternally every one that shall corrupt my gospel that thou gavest me, when they write that I am thy son. For I, clay and dust, am servant of thy servants, and never have I thought myself to be thy good servant; for I cannot give thee aught in return for that which thou hast given me, for all things are thine. Lord God, the merciful, that shewest mercy unto a thousand generations upon them that fear thee, have mercy upon them which believe my words that thou hast given me. For even as thou art true God, so thy word which I have spoken is true; for it is thine, seeing I have ever spoken as one that readeth, who cannot read save that which is written in the book that he readeth: even so have I spoken that which thou hast given me.
'Lord God the Saviour, save them whom thou hast given me, in order that Satan may not be able to do aught against them, and save not only them, but every one that shall believe in them.
'Lord, bountiful and rich in mercy, grant to thy servant to be in the congregation of thy Messenger on the day of judgement: and not me only, but every one whom thou hast given me, with all them that shall believe on me through their preaching. And this do, Lord, for thine own sake, that Satan boast not himself against thee, Lord.
'Lord God, who by thy providence providest all things necessary for thy people Israel, be mindful of all the tribes of the earth, which thou hast promised to bless by thy Messenger, for whom thou didst create the world. Have mercy on the world and send speedily thy Messenger, that Satan thine enemy may lose his empire.' And having said this, Jesus said three times: 'So be it, Lord, great and merciful!'
And they answered, weeping: 'So be it,' all save Judas, for he believed nothing.
( 215 )
When the soldiers with Judas drew neat to the place where Jesus was, Jesus heard the approach of many people, wherefore in fear he withdrew into the house. And the eleven were sleeping.
Then God, seeing the danger of his servant, commanded Gabriel, Michael, Rafael, and Uriel, his ministers, to take Jesus out of the world.
The holy angels came and took Jesus out by the window that looketh toward the South. They bare him and placed him in the third heaven in the company or angels blessing God for evermore.
( 216 )
Judas entered impetuously before all into the chamber whence Jesus had been taken up. And the disciples were sleeping. Whereupon the wonderful God acted wonderfully, insomuch that Judas was so changed in speech and in face to be like Jesus that we believed him to be Jesus. And he, having awakened us, was seeking where the Master was. Whereupon we marvelled, and answered: 'Thou, Lord, art our master; hast thou now forgotten us?'
And he, smiling, said: 'Now are ye foolish, that know not me to be Judas Iscariot!'
And as he was saying this the soldiery entered, and laid their hands upon Judas, because he was in every way like to Jesus.
We having heard Judas' saying, and seeing the multitude of soldiers, fled as beside ourselves.
And John, who was wrapped in a linen cloth, awoke and fled, and when a soldier seized him by the linen cloth he left the linen cloth and fled naked. For God heard the prayer of Jesus, and saved the eleven from evil.
( 217 )
The soldiers took Judas and bound him, not without derision. For he truthfully denied that he was Jesus; and the soldiers, mocking him, said: 'Sir, fear not, for we are come to make thee king of Israel, and we have bound thee because we know that thou dost refuse the kingdom.'
Judas answered: 'Now have ye lost your senses! Ye are .come to take Jesus of Nazareth, with arms and lanterns as [against] a robber; and ye have bound me that have guided you, to make me king!'
Then the soldiers lost their patience, and with blows and kicks they began to flout Judas, and they led him with fury into Jerusalem.
John and Peter followed the soldiers afar off; and they affirmed to him who writeth that they saw all the examination that was made of Judas by the high priest, and by the council of the Pharisees, who were assembled to put Jesus to death. Whereupon Judas spake many words of madness, insomuch that every one was filled with laughter, believing that he was really Jesus, and that for fear of death he was feigning madness. Whereupon the scribes bound his eyes with a bandage, and mocking him said: 'Jesus, prophet of the Nazarenes' (for so they called them who believed in Jesus), 'tell us, who was it that smote thee?' And they buffeted him and spat in his face.
When it was morning there assembled the great council of scribes and elders of the people; and the high priest with the Pharisees sought false witness against Judas, believing him to be Jesus; and they found not that which they sought. And why say I that the chief priests believed Judas to be Jesus? Nay, all the disciples, with him who writeth, believed it; and more, the poor virgin mother of Jesus, with his kinsfolk and friends, believed it, insomuch that the sorrow of every one was incredible. As God liveth, he who writeth forgot all that Jesus had said: how that he should be taken up from the world, and that he should suffer in a third person, and that he should not die until near the end of the world. Wherefore he went with the mother of Jesus and with John to the cross.
The high priest caused Judas to be brought before him bound, and asked him of his disciples and his doctrine.
Whereupon Judas, as though beside himself, answered nothing to the point. The high priest then adjured him by the living God of Israel that he would tell him the truth.
Judas answered: 'I have told you that I am Judas Iscariot, who promised to give into your hands Jesus the Nazarene; and ye, by what art I know not, are beside yourselves, for ye will have it by every means that I am Jesus.'
The high priest answered: 'O perverse seducer, thou hast deceived all Israel, beginning from Galilee even unto Jerusalem here, with thy doctrine and false miracles: and now thinkest thou to flee the merited punishment that befitteth thee by feigning to be mad? As God liveth, thou shalt not escape it!' And having said this he commanded his servants to smite him with buffetings and kicks, so that his understanding might come back into his head. The derision which he then suffered at the hands of the high priest's servants is past belief. For they zealously devised new inventions to give pleasure to the council. So they attired him as a juggler, and so treated him with hands and feet that it would have moved the very Canaanites to compassion if they had beheld that sight.
But the chief priests and Pharisees and elders of the people had their hearts so exasperated against Jesus that, believing Judas to be really Jesus, they took delight in seeing him so treated.
Afterwards they led him bound to the governor, who secretly loved Jesus. Whereupon he, thinking that Judas was Jesus, made him enter into his chamber, and spake to him, asking him for what cause the chief priests and the people had given him into his hands.
Judas answered: 'If I tell thee the truth, thou wilt not believe me; for perchance thou art deceived as the (chief) priests and the Pharisees are deceived.'
The governor answered (thinking that he wished to speak concerning the Law): 'Now knowest thou not that I am not a Jew? but the (chief) priests and the elders of thy people have given thee into my hand; wherefore tell us the truth, that I may do what is just. For I have power to set thee free and to put thee to death.'
Judas answered: 'Sir, believe me, if thou put me to death, thou shalt do a great wrong, for thou shalt slay an innocent person; seeing that I am Judas Iscariot, and not Jesus, who is a magician, and by his art hath so transformed me.'
When he heard this the governor marvelled greatly, so that he sought to set him at liberty. The governor therefore went out, and smiling said: 'In the one case, at least, this man is not worthy of death, but rather of compassion.' 'This man saith,' said the governor, 'that he is not Jesus, but a certain Judas who guided the soldiery to take Jesus, and he saith that Jesus the Galilean hath by his art magic so transformed him. Wherefore, if this be true, it were a great wrong to kill him, seeing that he were innocent. But if he is Jesus and denieth that he is, assuredly he hath lost his understanding, and it were impious to slay a madman.'
Then the chief priests and elders of the people, with the scribes and Pharisees, cried out with shouts, saying: 'He is Jesus of Nazareth, for we know him; for if he were not the malefactor we would not have given him into thy hands. Nor is he mad; but rather malignant, for with this device he seeketh to escape from our hands, and the sedition that he would stir up if he should escape would be worse than the former.'
Pilate (for such was the governor's name), in order to rid himself of such a case, said: 'He is a Galilean, and Herod is king of Galilee; wherefore it pertaineth not to me to judge such a case, so take ye him to Herod.'
Accordingly they led Judas to Herod, who of a long time had desired that Jesus should go to his house. But Jesus had never been willing to go to his house, because Herod was a Gentile, and adored the false and lying gods, living after the manner of the unclean Gentiles. Now when Judas had been led thither, Herod asked him of many things, to which Judas gave answers not to the purpose, denying that he was Jesus.
Then Herod mocked him, with all his court, and caused him to be clad in white as the fools are clad, and sent him back to Pilate, saying to him, 'Do not fail in justice to the people of lsrael!'
And this Herod wrote, because the chief priests and scribes and the Pharisees had given him a good quantity of money. The governor having heard that this was so from a servant of Herod, in order that he also might gain some money, feigned that he desired to set Judas at liberty. Whereupon he caused him to be scourged by his slaves, who were paid by the scribes to slay him under the scourges. But God, who had decreed the issue, reserved Judas for the cross, in order that he might suffer that horrible death to which he had sold another. He did not suffer Judas to die under the scourges, notwithstanding that the soldiers scourged him so grievously that his body rained blood. Thereupon, in mockery they clad him in an old purple garment, saying: 'It is fitting to our new king to clothe him and crown him'; so they gathered thorns and made a crown, like those of gold and precious stones which kings wear on their heads. And this crown of thorns they placed upon Judas' head, putting in his hand a reed for sceptre, and they made him sit in a high place. And the soldiers came before him, bowing down in mockery, saluting him as King of the Jews. And they held out their hands to receive gifts, such as new kings are accustomed to give; and receiving nothing they smote Judas, saying: 'Now, how art thou crowned, foolish king, if thou wilt not pay thy soldiers and servants?'
The chief priests with the scribes and Pharisees, seeing that Judas died not by the scourges, and fearing lest Pilate should set him at liberty, made a gift of money to the governor, who having received it gave Judas to the scribes and Pharisees as guilty unto death. Whereupon they condemned two robbers with him to the death of the cross.
So they led him to Mount Calvary, where they used to hang malefactors, and there they crucified him naked, for the greater ignominy.
Judas truly did nothing else but cry out: 'God, why hast thou forsaken me, seeing the malefactor hath escaped and I die unjustly?'
Verily I say that the voice, the face, and the person of Judas were so like to Jesus, that his disciples and believers entirely believed that he was Jesus; wherefore some departed from the doctrine or Jesus, believing that Jesus had been a false prophet, and that by art magic he had done the miracles which he did: for Jesus had said that he should not die till near the end of the world; for that at that time he should be taken away from the world.
But they that stood firm in the doctrine of Jesus were so encompassed with sorrow, seeing him die who was entirely like to Jesus, that they remembered not what Jesus had said. And so in company with the mother of Jesus they went to Mount Calvary, and were not only present at the death or Judas, weeping continually, but by means of Nicodemus and Joseph of Abarimathia they obtained from the governor the body of Judas, to bury it. Whereupon, they took him down from the cross with such weeping as assuredly no one would believe, and buried him in the new sepulchre of Joseph; having wrapped him up in an hundred pounds of precious ointments.
( 218 )
Then returned each man to his house. He who writeth, with John and James his brother, went with the mother of Jesus to Nazareth.
Those disciples who did not fear God went by night [and] stole the body of Judas and hid it, spreading a report that Jesus was risen again; whence great confusion arose. The high priest then commanded, under pain of Anathema, that no one should talk of Jesus of Nazareth. And so there arose a great persecution, and many were stoned and many beaten, and many banished from the land, because they could not hold their peace on such a matter .
The news reached Nazareth how that Jesus, their fellow citizen, having died on the cross was risen again. Whereupon, he that writeth prayed the mother of Jesus that she would be pleased to leave off weeping, because her son was risen again. Hearing this, the Virgin Mary, weeping, said: 'Let us go to Jerusalem to find my son. I shall die content when I have seen him.'
( 219 )
The Virgin returned to Jerusalem with him who writeth, and James and John, on that day on which the decree of the high priest went forth.
Whereupon, the Virgin, who feared God, albeit she knew the decree of the high priest to be unjust, commanded those who dwelt with her to forget her son. Then how each one was affected! God who discerneth the heart of men knoweth that between grief at the death of Judas whom we believed to be Jesus our master, and the desire to see him risen again, we, with the mother of Jesus, were consumed.
So the angels that were guardians of Mary ascended to the third heaven, where Jesus was in the company of angels, and recounted all to him.
Wherefore Jesus prayed God that he would give him power to see his mother and his disciples. Then the merciful God commanded his four favourite angels, who are Gabriel, Michael, Rafael, and uriel, to bear Jesus into his mother's house, and there keep watch over him for three days continually, suffering him only to be seen by them that believed in his doctrine.
Jesus came, surrounded with splendour, to the room where abode Mary the Virgin with her two sisters, and Martha and Mary Magdalen, and Lazarus, and him who writeth, and John and James and Peter. Whereupon, through fear they fell as dead. And Jesus lifted up his mother and the others from the ground, saying: 'Fear not, for I am Jesus; and weep not for I am alive and not dead.' They remained every one for a long time beside himselfat the presence of Jesus, for they altogether believed that Jesus was dead. Then the Virgin, weeping, said: 'Tell me, my son, wherefore God, having given thee power to raise the dead, suffered thee to die, to the shame of thy kinsfolk and friends, and to the shame of thy doctrine? For every one that loveth thee hath been as dead.'
( 220 )
Jesus replied, embracing his mother: 'Believe me, mother, for verily I say to thee that I have not been dead at all; for God hath reserved me till near the end of the world.' And having said this he prayed the four angels that they would manifest themselves, and give testimony how the matter had passed.
Thereupon the angels manifested themselves like four shining suns, insomuch that through fear every one again fell down as dead.
Then Jesus gave four linen cloths to the angels that they might cover themselves, in order that they might be seen and heard to speak by his mother and her companions. And having lifted up each one, he comforted them, saying: 'These are the ministers of God: Gabriel, who announceth God's secrets; Michael, who fighteth against God's enemies; Rafael, who receiveth the souls of them that die; and Uriel, who will call every one to the judgement of God at the last day.'
Then the four angels narrated to the Virgin how God had sent for Jesus, and had transformed Judas, that he might suffer the punishment to which he had sold another.
Then said he who writeth: 'O Master, is it lawful for me to question thee now, as it was lawful for me when thou dwelledst with us?'
Jesus answered: 'Ask what thou pleasest, Barnabas, and I will answer thee.'
Then said he who writeth: 'O Master, seeing that God is merciful, wherefore hath he so tormented us, making us to believe that thou wert dead? and thy mother hath so wept for thee that she hath been nigh to death; and thou, who art an holy one of God, on thee hath God suffered to fall the calumny that thou wert slain amongst robbers on the Mount Calvary?'
Jesus answered: 'Believe me, Barnabas, that every sin, however small it be, God punisheth with great punishment, seeing that God is offended at sin. Wherefore, since my mother and my faithful disciples that were with me loved me a little with earthly love, the righteous God hath willed to punish this love with the present grief, in order that it may not be punished in the flames of hell. And though I have been innocent in the world, since men have called me "God," and "Son of God," God, in order that I be not mocked of the demons on the day of judgement, hath willed that I be mocked of men in this world by the death of Judas, making all men to believe that I died upon the cross. And this mocking shall continue until the advent of Mohammed, the messenger of God, who, when he shall come, shall reveal this deception to those who believe in God's law.'
Having thus spoken, Jesus said: 'Thou art just, O Lord our God, because to thee only belongeth honour and glory without end.'
( 221 )
And Jesus turned himself to him who writeth, and said: 'See, Barnabas, that by all means thou write my gospel concerning all that hath happened through my dwelling in the world. And write in like manner that which hath, befallen Judas, in order that the faithful may be undeceived, and every one may believe the truth.'
Then answered he who writeth: 'All will I do, if God will, O Master; but how it happened unto Judas, I know not, for I saw not all.'
Jesus answered: 'Here are John and Peter who have seen all, and they will tell you all that has passed.'
And then Jesus commanded us to call his faithful disciples that they might see him. Then did James and John call together the seven disciples with Nicodemus and Joseph, and many others of the seventy-two, and they ate with Jesus.
The third day Jesus said: 'Go to the Mount of Olives with my mother, for there will I ascend again unto heaven, and ye will see who shall bear me up.'
So there went all, saving twenty-five of the seventy-two disciples, who for fear had fled to Damascus. And as they all stood in prayer, at mid-day came Jesus with a great multitude of angels who were praising God: and the splendour of his face made them sore afraid, and they fell with their faces to the ground. But Jesus lifted them up, comforting them, and saying: 'Be not afraid, I am your master.'
And he reproved many who believed him to have died and risen again, saying: 'Do ye then hold me and God for liars? for God hath granted to me to live almost unto the end of the world, even as I said unto you. Verily I say unto you, I died not, but Judas the traitor. Beware, for Satan will make every effort to deceive you, but be ye my witnesses in all lsrael, and throughout the world, of all things that ye have heard and seen.'
And having thus spoken, he prayed God for the salvation of the faithful, and the conversion of sinners. And, his prayer ended, he embraced his mother, saying: 'Peace be unto thee, my mother, rest thou in God who created thee and me.' And having thus spoken, he turned to his disciples, saying: 'May God's grace and mercy be with you.'
Then before their eyes the four angels carried him up into heaven.
( 222 )
After Jesus had departed, the disciples scattered through the different parts of lsrael and of the world, and the truth, hated of Satan, was persecuted, as it always is, by falsehood. For certain evil men, pretending to be disciples, preached that Jesus died and rose not again. Others preached that he really died, but rose again. Others preached, and yet preach, that Jesus is the Son of God, among whom is Paul deceived. But we, as much as I have written, that preach we to those who fear God, that they may be saved in the last day of God's Judgement . Amen.
END OF THE GOSPEL
Authenticity of the Gospel of Barnabas1
Edited by: Engineer Afsaneh Cooper
Saint Irenaeus (120 - 140 AD) wrote in his book about this Gospel. The manuscript exists in Vatican libraries. This book was called Apocryphal literature in 364 AD by Laodicea committee in Cyria. The chairman of that committee was Emperor Alexander who was an iniquiter. In 383 AD pope Damasus got the book and kept it in his private Vatican library. An English Sailor saw it in pope library in Vatican before Islam. Encyclopedia Americano (1962) under the word "Barnabas" calls this book Apocriphal literature by pope Gelasius I (492 - 496) about 100 years before advent of Islam. This part is cancelled from the new prints of the Encyclopedias. Also the same information is in:"Encyclopaedia Britaniaca"4, Ed.13, vol.2, pp179 - 180. Bishop Phothius (858 - 886) banned this book. Gelasius II in (1118) banned it. At the time of pope Sixtus V (1585 - 1590) monk Framarino stole the book from the private library of the pope and converted to Islam. Mustafa De Arende (Mustafaa `Arandi) from Arragon in Spain translated this book from Italian to Spanish. The arrow shows how the book was maintained: Italian copy-----> one of the important characters of the capital city of Holand-----> Cremer who was a Christian monk and then ambasadore of Austria in Egypt and Lebanon(1828 - 1889)---- 4 years later---> prince Eugene of Savoy from Austria -----> the imperial library of Vienna Museum "Hofbibli Othek" in Vienna -----> Lonsdale Ragg & Lura M. Rubert (an English family) who translated it to English in 1907 and this book was published by Clarendon press in Oxford university. The original book is in Britanica Museum and library of congress in America. In 1973 it was published in Pakistan again.
The oldest Bible which is not perished is from 1582. The Gospel of Barnabas came out of the pope library (1585 - 1590). Even the Bible does not exist to be older than that. So these two books are almost the same age (the existant copies). Fore more research refer to "Is the Bible words of God?" Mail order: IPCI, POBox 2439, Durban 4000, RSA.
A few pages of this book is in this chapter. Copies of Pages (261 - 262) of Encyclopaedia Americana3is in this chapter, as you notice the Gospel of Barnabas was referred to by several ancient authors, especially in the "Decree of Gelasius" (c.500 A.D.). Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.)was born in the year 570 A.C. known in the annals of Arabian history as the 'Year of the Elephant' because of a miraculous event. That year Abraha the Christian governor of the Abyssinian king who had already subdued Yemen, marched upon Mecca with a huge army of elephants. In 610 A.C. Muhammad (s.a.w.)received the first revelation and started his mission. Therefore at least 110 years before Islam the Gospel of Barnabas existed. In this book 28 pages is about the messenger of God, Muhammad and Islamic opinions. How can this book be accused of being written by muslims in 17th century?The priest said,"We accept it because of faith". Therefore this accusation is due to a dogma not a reason. The Holy Qur'an can be tested. Refer to the article of "The Qur'an, intellectual and everlasting miracles" in this book. For a test on the authenticity of "the Gospel of Barnabas" you can read the following prayer, then read chapter (97) of the book in this article, may Allah illuminate your wisdom to see the truth. If you were convinced that Islam is the only true path, refer to the article of ("Miracles of Islam" - the Miracle of moving the rock and the water under it) and (Shi'a or Sunni). If not, refer to the article of ("Doctrine of election in Islam & Christianity") in this book. It is the duty of Shi'as to teach Islam to their Christian friends or to the people who are interested in learning about Islam. There is no force in Islam in religion and we are not allowed to fight for the matter of religion. As all of us know that God will choose his friends.
A prayer for study of the chapter (97) of the Gospel of Barnabas
Oh! my God bring me out of the darknesses of imagination and respect me with the light of understanding. Oh! God open to us the doors of your mercy and spread us treasuries of your knowledge with your mercy. Oh! Most merciful, the All - mighty God.
Hopefully, your wisdom will be illuminated to choose the true Gospel of Jesus among the contaminated ones!!!
Priest Goulton gave me a book2which says:
"Earlier still is a fragment of a papyrus codex containing John xviii. 31 - 33, 37 f., now in the John Rylands Library, Manchester, dated on palaeographical grounds around AD 130, showing that the latest of the four Gospels, which was written, according to tradition, at Ephesus between AD 90 and 100, was circulating in Egypt within about forty years of its composition (if, as is most likely, this papyrus originated in Egypt, where it was acquired in 1917). It must be regarded as being, by half a century, the earliest extant fragment of the New Testament.(For the text and description of the papyrus see C.H. Roberts, An Unpublished Fragment of the Fourth Gospel 1935).
A more recently discovered papyrus manuscript of the same Gospel, while not so early as the Rylands papyrus, is incomparably better preserved; this is the Papyrus Bodmer II, whose discovery was announced by the Bodmer Library of Geneva in 1956; it was written about AD 200, and contains the first fourteen chapters of the Gospel of John with but one lacuna (of twenty - two verses), and considerable portions of the last seven chapters. Other Bodmer papyri announced more recently include a codex of c. AD 200 containing parts of Luke and John, another of the same approximate date containing the Epistles of Peter and Jude, and one of the sixth or seventh century containing Acts and the General Epistles."
Please refer to the article of "This is Ahmad not the comforter" in this book, which is a commentary on the Gospel of John, proving that the word "comforter, helper or advocate" is a mistranslation of the Name "Ahmad" meaning "Peree'k'laytos" in Greek. "Ahmad" is the celestial Name for the blessing Name of Muhammad. Refer to chapters 44 and97 of the Gospel of Barnabas in this article.
HOW THE GOSPEL OF BARNABAS SURVlVED
The Gospel of Barnabas was accepted as a Canonical Gospel in the Churches of Alexandria till 325 A.D.
lranaeus (130-200) wrote in support of pure monotheism and opposed Paul for injecting into Christianity doctrines of the pagan Roman religion and Platonic philosophy. He had quoted extensively from the Gospel of Barnabas in support of his views. This shows that the Gospel of Barnabas was in circulation in the first and second centuries of Christianity
In 325 A.D., the Nicene Council was held, where it was ordered that all original Gospels in Hebrew script should be destroyed. An Edict was issued that anyone in possession of these Gospels will be put to death.
In 383 A.D., the Pope secured a copy of the Gospel of Barnabas and kept it in his private library.
In the fourth year of Emperor Zeno (478 A.D.), the remains of Barnabas were discovered and there was found on his breast a copy of the Gospel of Barnabas written by his own hand. (Acia Sanctorum Boland Junii Tom II, Pages 422 and 450 - Antwerp 1698). The famous Vulgate Bible appears to be based on this Gospel.
Pope Sixtus (1585-90) had a friend, Fra Marino. He found the Gospel of Barnabas in the private library of the Pope. Fra Marino was interested because he had read the writings of lranaeus where Barnabas had been profusely quoted. The Italian manuscript passed through different hands till it reached "a person of great name and authority" in Amsterdam, "who during his life time was often heard to put a high value to this piece". After his death it came in the possession of J. E. Cramer, a Councillor of the King of Prussia. In 1713 Cramer presented this manuscript to the famous connoisseur of books, Prince Eugene of Savoy. In 1738 along with the library of the Prince it found its way into Hofbibliothek .in Vienna. There it now rests.
Toland, in his "Miscellaneous Works" (published posthumously in 1747), in VoL. I, page 380, mentions that the Gospel of Barnabas was still extant. In Chapter XV he refers to the Glasian Decree of 496 A.D. where "Evangelium Barnabe" is included in the list of forbidden books. Prior to that it had been forbidden by Pope lnnocent in 465 A.D. and by the Decree of the Western Churches in 382 A.D. Barnabas is also mentioned in the Stichometry of Nicephorus Serial No. 3, Epistle of Barnabas ... Lines 1, 300.
Then again in the list of Sixty Books
Serial No. 17. Travels and teaching of the Apostles.
""18. Epistle of Barnabas.
""24. Gospel According to Barnabas.
A Greek version of the Gospel of Barnabas is also found in a solitary fragment. The rest is burnt. A Photo stat of the fragment is given below.
Barna¢baV d a¢po¢stoloV e¢fh° e¢n a¢mi¢llaiV ponhraiV a¢qliwteroV d nikh¢saV. dio¢ti a¢pe¢rcetai ple¢on e¢cwn thV a¢marti¢aV
The Latin text was translated into English by Mr. and Mrs. Ragg and was printed at the Clarendon Press in Oxford. It was published by the Oxford University Press in I907. This English translation mysteriously disappeared from the market. Two copies of this translation are known to exist, one in the British Museum and the other in the Library of the Congress, Washington. The first edition was from a micro-film copy of the book in the Library of the Congress, Washington, which was received through the courtesy or a friend in U.S.A.
1)Historical path of the Gospel of Barnabas, by Husayn Towfiqi, in Persian, 1982, Publisher: Dar rah
Haq institution, P.O.Box 5, Qom, Iran
2)The New Testament Documents, by F.F. Bruce, 1966, London, The inter – varsity fellowship,
The New Testament of the Bible consists of four Gospels (reports about the life and teachings of Jesus) the acts of the Apostles (being the history of the early Christians), and Epistles of Paul etc.
In his Epistle to the Colossians (Chapter 4, Verse 10) Paul describes Barnabas thus: "...Barnabas, touching whom ye received commandments; if he comes unto you, receive him." Here Paul refers to commandments of Jesus.
Among other references in Paul's Epistles is the following in the Epistle to the Galatians:
"And when James, Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship, that we should go to the heathen and they unto the circumcision." (Chapter 2, Verse 9).
In the Acts of the Apostles, Barnabas is mentioned as follows:
"And Joses, who by the Apostles was surnamed Barnabas, which is, being interpreted, (The son of consolation), a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus." (Acts 4: 36).
Paul was a Jew who was persecuting the Christians. He is then said to have seen Jesus in a vision and to have become a convert to the creed of Jesus. Among the disciples of Jesus, Barnabas was a dynamic evangelist. Paul also became a preacher, with the difference that Paul began to over-praise and deify Jesus. "And straightaway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the son of God." (Acts 9: 20).
ACTS (9: 26-27)"And when Saul (Paul) was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple.
"But Barnabas took him and, brought him to the Apostles.
ACTS (11: 22-30)"Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the Church which was in Jerusalem; and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.
"Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.
"For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord.
"Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul:
"And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
"And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch.
"And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the spirit that there should be great dearth throughout the world; which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.
"Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea.
"Which also they did and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul."
ACTS (12: 25)"And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry, and took with them John, whose surname was Mark."
ACTS (13 :1-2)"Now there was in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers, as Barnabas, and Simeon, that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrach, and Saul.
"As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said: Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
ACTS (14: 11-15)"And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia. The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men.
"And they called Barnabas Jupiter, and Paul Mercurius.
"Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people.
"Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out.
"And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are thereon."
LIFE AND MESSAGE OF BARNABAS
In spite of the efforts of the Christian churches to black out the life and message of Barnabas, the message of Barnabas has survived. How can it be blacked out when his name and activities have been enshrined, although partially, in the Holy Bible?
A Jew born in Cyprus, his name was Joses, and due to his devotion to the cause of Jesus, the other apostles had given him the surname of Barnabas; this term is variously translated as "Son of Consolation" or "Son of Exhortation". He was a successful preacher with a magnetic personality. Any one tormented by the clash of creeds found solace and peace in his company. His eminence as a man who had been close to Jesus had made him a prominent member of the small group of disciples in Jerusalem who had gathered together after the disappearance of Jesus. They observed the Law of the Prophets, which Jesus had come, not to destroy but, to fulfil (Matthew 5: 17). They continued to live as Jews and practised what Jesus had taught them. That Christianity could ever be regarded as a new religion did not occur to any of them. They were devout and practising Jews and they were distinguished from their neighbours, only by their faith in the message of Jesus. In the beginning they did not organise themselves as a separate sect and did not have a synagogue of their own. There was nothing in the message of Jesus, as understood by them, to necessitate a break with Judaism. However, they incurred the enmity of the vested interests among the Jewish higher echelon. The conflict between the Jews and the followers of Jesus was started by the Jews because they felt that the Christians would undermine their authority .
The gulf progressively began to widen. During the siege of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., the Christians left the city; and refused to take part in the Bar Coachaba rebellion in 132 A.D. These two events brought to the surface the difference between the Christians and the Jews.
The question of the origin of Jesus, his nature and relation to God, which later became so important, was not raised among these early disciples. That Jesus was a man supernaturally endowed by God was accepted without question. Nothing in the words of Jesus or the events in his life led them to modify this view. According to Aristides, one of the earliest apologists, the worship of the early Christians was more purely monotheistic even than of the Jews.
With the conversion of Paul a new period opened in Christian Theology. Paul's theology was based on his personal experience interpreted in the light of contemporary Greek thought. The theory of redemption was the child of his brain, a belief entirely unknown to the disciples of Jesus. Paul's theory involved the deification of Jesus.
The Pauline period in the history of the Christian Church saw a change of scene and principles. In place of the disciples, who had sat at the feet of Jesus, a new figure, who had not known Jesus, had come to the forefront. In place of Palestine, the Roman Empire became the scene of Christian activity. Instead of being a mere sect of Judaism, Christianity not only became independent of Judaism but also became independent of Jesus himself.
Paul was a Jew and an inhabitant of Tarsus. He had spent a long time in Rome and was a Roman citizen. He realised the strong hold which the Roman religion had on the masses. The intellectuals were under the influence of Plato and Aristotle. Paul seems to have felt that it would not be possible to convert the masses in the Roman Empire without making mutual adjustments. But his practical wisdom was not acceptable to those who had seen and heard Jesus. How-ever, in spite of their difference, they decided to work together for the common cause.
As recorded in the Acts, Barnabas, represented those who had become personal disciples of Jesus, and Paul co-operated with them for some time. But finally they fell out. Paul wanted to give up the Commandments given through Moses about things to eat; he wanted to give up the Commandment given through Abraham regarding circumcision. Barnabas and the other personal disciples disagreed. The following sentences in the Acts give a hint of the rift:
"And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, "Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved."
"When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputations with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question"(Acts 14: 1-2)
After this rift, there was a parting of the ways. In the Acts, Barnabas disappears after the rift, because the recording of the acts of the Apostles was done by the followers of Paul.
Because of Paul's compromise with Roman beliefs and legends, Pauline Christians grew in number and grew in strength. A stage was later reached when kings were used as pawns to further the ends of the Church.
The followers of Barnabas never developed a central organisation. yet due to the devotion of their leaders their number increased very fast. These Christians incurred the wrath of the Church and systematic effort was made to destroy them and to obliterate all traces of their existence including books and churches. The lesson of history, however, is that it is very difficult to destroy faith by force.
Their lack of organisation became a source or strength because it was not so easy to pick them up one by one.
Modern research has brought to light odd facts about these Christians. They are like the crests of waves and looking at them one can visualise a whole body of ocean not yet visible.
We notice that upto the 4th century A.D. there existed a sect known as Hypisistarians who refused to worship God as father. They revered Him as an All Mighty Ruler of the world, He was the Highest of all and no one was equal to Him.
Paul of Samasata was a Bishop of Antioch. He was of the view that Christ was not God but a man and a prophet. He differed only in degree from prophets who came before him and that God could not have become man substantially.
Then we come across another Bishop of Antioch viz Lucian. As a Bishop his reputation for sanctity was not less than his fame as a scholar. He came down strongly against the belief of Trinity. He deleted all mention of Trinity from the Bible as he believed it to be a later interpolation not found in the earlier Gospels. He was martyred in 312A.D.
Next we come to the famous disciple of Lucian viz Arius (250-336 A.D). He was a Libyan by birth. Peter Bishop of Alexandria ordained him a Deacon but later excommunicated him. Achilles the successor of Peter again ordained Arius as priest. Alexander the next Bishop of Alexandria once again excommunicated him. Arius however had gathered such a large following that he became a headache for the Church. If kept out of Church he could be a great danger to him but he could not be accommodated within the Church as he wanted to establish the unity and simplicity of the Eternal God. He believed that how so ever much Christ may surpass other created beings he himself was not of the same substance as God. He was as human being as any other man. The teaching of Arius spread like wild fire and shook the very foundation of the Pauline Church. The controversy that was simmering for three hundred years suddenly became a conflagration. No man dared to oppose the organised Church but Arius did, and remained a headache for her whether he was ordained a priest or was excommunicated. During this time two events changed the history of Europe.
Emperor Constantine brought a greater part of Europe under his rule and secondly he began to support the Christians without accepting Christianity. To the soldier prince the different creeds within the Christian faith were very confusing. In the Imperial Palace itself the controversy was raging not less fiercely. It appears that perhaps the Queen Mother was inclined towards Pauline Christianity while his sister Princess Constantina was a disciple of Arius. The Emperor was wavering between the two faiths. As an administrator he was interested only in uniting all the Christians within one Church. It was at this time that the conflict between Arius and Bishop Alexander became so widespread and so violent that it became a law and order problem. So the Emperor anxious to maintain peace in the newly unified Europe had to intervene.
In 325 A.D. a meeting of all denominations of Christianity was called at Nicea (Now Isnik, a village). Bishop Alexander was not able to attend the conference and he deputed his lieutenant Athanasius, who subsequently succeeded Alexander as Bishop of Alexandria.
The conference had many prolonged sessions. Emperor Constantine could not grasp the full implications of the ecclesiastical confrontation, but he was very clear in his mind that for maintaining peace in his realm the support and cooperation of the Church was necessary. Accordingly he threw his weight behind Athanasius and banished Arius from the realm. Thus the belief of Trinity became the official religion of the empire. Fearful massacre of Christians who did not believe in Trinity followed. It became a penal offence to possess a Bible not authorised by the Church and according to some estimates as many as 270 different versions of the Bible were burnt. Princess Constantina was not happy at the turn of events. The Emperor ultimately was persuaded to accept the faith of the men he killed. The result was that Arius was called back in 346. The day Arius was scheduled to visit the Cathedral of Constantinople in triumph, he died suddenly. The Church called it a miracle. The Emperor knew it was a murder. He banished Athanasius and two other Bishops. The Emperor then formally accepted Christianity and was baptised by an Arian Bishop. Thus Monotheism became the official religion. Constantine died in 337. The next Emperor Constantanius also accepted the faith of Arius. In 341 a conference was held in Antioch and Monotheism was accepted as a correct interpretation of Christian faith. This view was confirmed by another Council held in Sirmium in 351. As a result Arianism was accepted by an overwhelming majority of Christians. St. Jerome wrote in 359 that 'the whole world groaned and marvelled to find itself Arian'. In this context the next important figure is that of Pope Honorius. A contemporary of Prophet Mohammed (peace be on him) he saw the rising tide of Islam whose tenets very much resembled those of Arius. As the mutual killings of Christians was still fresh in his memory he perhaps thought of finding a via media between Islam and Christianity. In his letters he began to support the doctrine of 'one mind', because if God has three independent minds the result would be chaos. The logical conclusion pointed to the belief in the existence of one God. This doctrine was not officially challenged for about half a century. Pope Honorius died in October 638. In 680, i.e. 42 years after his death, a council was held in Constantinople where Pope Honorius was anathematised. This event is unique in the history of Papacy when a Pope was denounced by a succeeding Pope and the Church.
The next two personalities of this faith that deserve mention were members of the same family.
L. F. M. Sozzini (1525-1565) was native of Siena. In 1547 he came under the influence of Camillo a Sicilian mystic. His fame spread in Switzerland. He challenged Calvin on the doctrine of Trinity. He amplified the doctrine of Arius, denied the divinity of Christ and repudiated the doctrine of original sin and atonement. The object of adoration according to him could only be the one and only one God. He was followed by his nephew F. P. Sozzini (1539-1604). In 1562 he published a work on St. John's Gospel denying the divinity of Jesus. In 1578 he went to Klausenburg in Transylvania whose ruler John Sigisumud, was against the doctrine of Trinity. Here Bishop Francis David (1510-1579) was fiercely anti-Trinitarian. This led to the formation of a sect known as Racovian Catechism. It derives its name from Racow in Poland. This city became the stronghold of the faith of Arius.
Among the present-day Christians a large number of men and women still believe in one God. They are not always vocal. Due to the crushing power of the Churches they cannot express themselves and there is not much communication between them.
In the end it will be of interest to quote Athanasius the champion of Trinity. He says that whenever he forced his understanding to meditate on the divinity of Jesus his toilsome and unavailing efforts recoil on themselves, that the more he wrote the less capable was he of expressing his thoughts. At another place be pronounces his creed as :-
There are not three but "ONE GOD".Reference
"The Gospel of Barnabas" , Publisher: Begum Aisha Bawany Wakf, 3rd floor, Bank House No.1, Habib Square, M.A. Jinnah Road, Karachi. (Pakistan)
The following FREE literature is available on request from Internet:
1What is His Name?
2"50 000 Errors in the Bible?"
3Christ in Islam
4What was the Sign of Jonah?
5Is the Bible God's Word?
6Who Moved the Stone?
7What the Bible says about Muhammad (p.b.u.h.)
8Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) the Natural Successor to Christ (p.b.u.h.)
9Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) the Greatest
10Arabs and Israel - conflict or Conciliation?
11Al-Qur'an - The Miracle of Miracles
12The God that Never Was
13Crucifixion or Cruci-Fiction?
16Resurrection or Resuscitation?
*18Muhammad in the Bible by Professor `Abdul-Ahad Dawud (US$5)