Much to the dismay of the Vatican, an approx. 1500-2000 year old bible was found in Turkey, in the Ethnography Museum of Ankara. Discovered and kept secret in the year 2000, the book contains the Gospel of Barnabas – a disciple of Christ – which shows that Jesus was not crucified, nor was he the son of God, but a Prophet. The book also calls Apostle Paul “The Impostor”. The book also claims that Jesus ascended to heaven alive, and that Judas Iscariot was crucified in his place.
A report by The National Turk says that the Bible was seized from a gang of smugglers in a Mediterranean-area operation. The report states the gang was charged with smuggling antiquities, illegal excavations, and the possession of explosives. The books itself is valued as high as 40 Million Turkish Liras (approx. 28 mil. Dollars). Man, where is the Thieves Guild, when you need them?
According to reports, experts and religious authorities in Tehram insist that the book is original. The book itself is written with gold lettering, onto loosely-tied leather in Aramaic, the language of Jesus Christ. The text maintains a vision similar to Islam, contradicting the New Testament’s teachings of Christianity. Jesus also foresees the coming of the Prophet Muhammad, who would found Islam 700 years later.
It is believed that, during the Council of Nicea, the Catholic Church hand-picked the gospels that form the Bible as we know it today; omitting the Gospel of Barnabas (among many others) in favor of the four canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Many biblical texts have begun to surface over time, including those of the Dead Sea and Gnostic Gospels; but this book especially, seems to worry the Vatican.
The Catholic Church wants in
What does this mean to Christian-derived religions and their followers? Quite a tight spot. The Vatican has asked Turkish authorities to let them examine the contents of the book within the Church. Now that the book has been found, will they come to accept the it and its evidence? Will they deny it altogether? Call it a “Muslim lie”, as did the “Truth” Magazine, in 2000? To many, this book is a beacon of hope, that believers soon realize that the object of their adoration is arbitrary; and that all text, especially religious text, is subject to interpretation.
What does this mean to atheists/agnostics/secular thinkers? Not much… Is the text real? Fake? Does it matter? Not really… But hopefully, this news inspires the religious to ask questions, instead of pointing fingers or believing anything blindly. Please, don’t go poking fun or tossing around the “I told you so!”s. The biggest danger of faith is when people believe what they want to believe, defending against any and all evidence; especially when that evidence revolutionizes their foundation from the ground up. And the biggest culprit to that danger is the ego trap: rejecting/criticizing others, for being unlike you.
For centuries, the “defense” of blind faith has driven nations to war, violence, discrimination, slavery and to become the society of automatons that we are today; and for just as long, it has been justified with lies. If you know better, act like it.