16 April 2014, Wednesday
Today's Zaman

1,500-year-old handwritten Bible kept in Ankara, ministry confirms

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23 February 2012, Thursday /FATMA DİŞLİ ZIBAK
The minister of culture and tourism on Thursday confirmed media reports suggesting that a 1,500-year-old Bible that was discovered by Turkish police during an anti-smuggling operation in 2000 is being kept in Ankara today.

According to media reports on Thursday, the Bible was seized from a gang smuggling artifacts during a police operation in southern Turkey in 2010 and reportedly preserves its originality and many traces of the period in which it originated.

The gang was reportedly convicted of smuggling various items seized during the operation, including the Bible, and all the artifacts were kept in a safe at an Ankara courthouse. The Bible, which was reportedly kept at the courthouse for years, was only recently handed over to the care of the Ankara Ethnography Museum.

Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay said on Thursday that the ministry has received a copy of Bible from the Ankara courthouse which dates back to 1,500 years ago and is thought to have been written in Aramaic, the language of Jesus. He said the Bible needs restoration and it will be opened to public display after this.

The Turkish media reports also said on Thursday that the Vatican has requested that Turkey allow it to examine the 1,500-year-old Bible; however, the Vatican Embassy in Ankara denied the reports on Thursday suggesting that the Vatican had asked Turkey to examine the copy of Bible in Ankara.

The leather-bound Bible, which is said to be worth TL 40 million, was written on leather sheets and is now under protection as it is regarded as a valuable cultural asset. Even a Xerox copy of pages from the book is reported to be worth as much as TL 3-4 million.

Some media reports also said the copy of Bible in Ankara may be a copy of the much-debated Gospel of Barnabas, which Muslims claim is an original gospel that was later suppressed; the oldest copies of this gospel date back to the 16th century and are written in Italian and Spanish. However, the Gospel of Barnabas is not included in the four gospels that currently comprise the canonical New Testament -- Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

The Gospel of Barnabas contradicts the canonical New Testament account of Jesus and his ministry but has strong parallels with the Islamic view of Jesus. Much of its content and themes parallel Islamic ideas, and it includes a prediction by Jesus of the Prophet Muhammad coming to earth.

Ömer Faruk Harman, a theology professor, said scientific examinations may reveal whether the Bible in Ankara is the Gospel of Barnabas, which he said complies with the messages in Muslim holy book of Quran and is believed by Muslims to be the most original copy of Bible.

He said in line with Islamic belief, the Gospel of Barnabas treats Jesus as a human being and prophet not a God, rejects trinity and crucifixion of Jesus and includes a prediction about Prophet Muhammad’s coming to Earth. About the prospects of whether the Bible could be the Gospel of Barnabas, İhsan Özbek, a Protestant pastor, said this is unlikely because St. Barnabas lived in the first century and was one of the Apostles of Jesus, but the Bible in Ankara is said to be from the fifth or the sixth century.

“The copy in Ankara might have been written by one of the followers of St. Barbanas and since there is around 500 years in between St. Barnabas and the writing of the Bible copy [in Ankara], Muslims may be disappointed to see that this copy does not include things they would like to see and it might have no relation with the content of the Gospel of Barnabas,” said Özbek.

Aydoğan Vatandaş, a Today’s Zaman journalist and author who has written two books on the Gospel of Barnabas, said there is no clue that the Bible mentioned in the Turkish press dates back to 1,500 years ago, but he said it is sure that the Gospel of Barnabas had been written in the Aramaic language and Syriac alphabet.

“There is only one Gospel that exactly matches this definition: the ‘Gospel of Barnabas’ that was found in a cave in Uludere in Hakkari [now of Şırnak] in the early 1980s by villagers, which I told the story of first as a screenplay in 2005 for a film project, then in my novel in 2007, ‘The Secret of Gospel of Barnabas’ and my investigative journalism book, ‘Apokrifal’ in 2008.”

As a result of his research, Vatandaş said he found that this Gospel was actually preserved by the Special Armed Forces intelligence unit in the 1990s and that some parts of this Gospel were translated by an Aramaic language expert Dr. Hamza Hocagil under the control of the intelligence unit. He said Dr. Hocagil was asked to stop translating it by the Special Armed Forces when it turned out that he had shared sensitive information with journalists at the time.

“Since then we did not know where this Gospel was. After my book about the entire story of this Gospel and the criminal incidents surrounding it, the public’s interest and curiosity has increased and the Turkish military has been the target of several questions about the case. Therefore, I believe that the emergence of this Gospel again is very timely,” he said. Vatandaş also claimed that three other copies of this Gospel written by St. Barnabas are hidden in different locations in the region, so the Gospel in Ankara might be one of these as well.

This gospel was written in Aramaic Syriac. That means its no longer pure original writings and mixed in doctrine. Early followers of Jesus use Aramaic Hebrew. They are Ebionites/Jewish Nasorean. Their texts were used before Jew-Roman war 70AD. Followers of Paul use Greek written gospels which were...
This is a photo of the book they say is the “Gospel of St. Barnabas”. It has been proven a “FAKE” for many reasons. Although written in Aramaic, the speech is that of medieval dialect. It’s being spread across the Internet in hopes of convincing Christians and muslims that Jesus said that he IS NOT ...
Sumtin Tusae
All I know and and believe is truth. Let us accept it whenever it revealed to us.
I'm also an Aramean. Nice article.
(There is) none worthy of worship except Allah. Muhammad (صلی اللہ علیہ و ّلہ وسلم) is Messenger of ALLAH.
I am much interrested in this manuscript if possible please send me a foto copy . I have allready published a manuscript of Gospel of Barnabas
Seif Allah Gadel
Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) never invented any new religion. Islam means submission, Muslim means someone who submits his/her will to God. All the prophets of God (From Adam to prophet Muhammed) were submitting their will to God. That means they were Muslims. But later Christians invented the idea of Tr...
Abdul Muneer
The Old Testament (Torah) dates back almost 4,000 years, and Jesus fulfilled every prophecy in the OT about the coming of the Messiah, which he was/is. It also has many references to the Messiah being the son of God, Mighty God, Counselor, Prince of Peace; all name attributed to Jesus. Jesus himse...
The English poet and essayist wrote, "A little learning is a dangerous thing;" and all of you disputatious cabbageheads are EXTREMELY DANGEROUS.
We are first of all Aramiler Suryaniler (Arameans AKA Syriacs) Enki. And we are not Asurlar (Assyrians). But I agree with Enki on the rest of his statements but. The language is Aramaic ( in 2 forms of Aramaic actually, Edessan Aramaic also known as classical Syriac and in eastern neo-aramaic kno...
Suryaniler Aramiler
Sorry to burst everyones bubble but what we see there is not a bible written 1500 years ago. There are many errors in the writing. First and foremost, the writing script itself wasn't commonly used by the Assyrians until the 1840's. If it were in fact written in 500AD it would have been written in c...
Sorry Brian, your ideas have no foundation. Muhammad s.a.s. is a historical fact and also the Quran. The Quran and Muhammads s.a.s. living were written down at his live time. Just the major collection of his living was collected later on, but if you would know the criteria of the authentification of...
Me thinks "Joe" is a Muslim. So tell me, Joe, why is the earliest biography of Mohammad written 150 years after his death? Perhaps because Mohammad never existed and was made up by Arabs taking Moses and Jesus and creating a person that would allow them to gain power over other Arabs and other peopl...
The catholic church suppressed and heavily editing printing of the bible for most of history All references to Mohammed where removed and verses whee fabricated to give credence to divine right of kings ideology Just look at the contradictions with in the bible , many Christians reject the trinity ...
i love jesus (a.s)!
hussain ali
Please note that this Syriac text is from the year 1500 AD ! (not "1500 years old"!) The last line on the left page (see picture above) reads claerly: b-sh.n.t.' '.l.p.' w-h.m.sh-m.' d-m.r.n - with vowels: b-shettâ 'alfâ w-hamshamâ d-mâran = "in the year thousand and fivehaundred of our...
Ismail Mohr
The Gospel of Barnabas is a late forgery dated back to Italian and spanish not older that 1400s or 1500s AD. It was made in Europe not the Middle East. It contains lots of anachronism that you just want to laugh at them. Sure it contains the name of Mhammad (even though it does agree on many levels ...
Suryaniler Aramiler
Turkish media reoprted that 1500 year old bible has depiction of the Last Supper in it. The 52-page Bible, which is thought to be Barnabas, is written in Aramaic, which is the language Christ spoke, on animal hide. The handwritten Bible also includes a depiction of the crucifixion of Jesus, a sym...
This find is of extreme importance to scholars and students of early Christian texts. I will look forward to translations and studies of it's content, but fear it could go the way of the Scrolls.
Carl Lorenz
who Jesus was where he came from? God is not going to mark you on this MCQ on grill day .. Why worry? Practice some evil and good, life, death, hell and heaven questions guys. Why we are Jews xtians and Muslims ?? Bcoz we want to be different and we hate each other. Otherwise the concepts of life d...
Christian community read Holly Qur-an,and they just know what was jesus in Islamic community .
Nissar sa
This document is obviously a much latter Islamic construct. Not only does Muhamaad appear in it but the ideas verbage, and writting styles are very similar. The Epistle of Barnabas however is far more likely to be what it claims. In it the tone, verbage, and message is very close to the other g...
Maybe it`s the Turkish Book of Mormon?
This has to be return to the Aramean comunity in Tur-Abdin
Long live the Arameans all over the world
And to think we're all made in God's image. Your all acting like DOUCHEBAGS!!!!!!
I think all you people should get more understanding of the Aramaic language and their people. For more information you can find very interesting articles on www.midyatcity.com Ps. It is so unfair that these foundings are not being returned to the Aramaic people themselves. Just because they live i...
The Gospel of Barnabas that is 'islamic' is a forgery written in the 14th century. That has been proven. Don't even know why people talk about it anymore, beyond just spreading rumors that Jesus was Islamic. You can read about it here: http://answering-islam.org/Green/barnabas.htm It is likely that ...
@ Coc Coc, don't be a cock! You are making a fool of yourself! There was high civilization in the West long before the Turkfolks came from the depths of Asia! At the beginning they came as war slaves to the courtsd of the caliphs, they learned everything from the tradition there!
We have those scriptures already in the discoveries of Qumran and Nag Hammadi, nothing new, they were Judeo-christian texts, which defied the funny idea of Jesus being the son of god and claiming (with every right) that he was just the most enlightened teacher of mankind.
Even satan trembles in the presence of God. The Bible is going nowhere, stays in place. Aramaic was the language of Semitic people. It was the language of Assyrians(see Assyrian Empire). Some speculate, that aramaic was the language spoken by Jesus. The church of Efes, the church of Smyrna(Izmir),Be...
to to Cok Cok (why do people have silly display names?), your view is rather biased. Turkic people came to Anatolia in mass during the 11th century, not the 16th, so you are wrong. You are also wrong in that the Turks of Anatolia are mostly Anatolians assimilated into the "Turk" collective. The gene...
@John, The first Turkish Sultanates appeared in Anatolia around the late 11th. century. Over 400 years prior to your claim, please check your history books.
Abu Rashid
@comenchero, Looks Aramaic to me. As the Arabic alphabet is a descendant of the Aramaic alphabet, I can understand your confusion, but it's definitely Aramaic in that manuscript, not Arabic.
Abu Rashid
@Adel AbdulHaq... come to Bourj Hammood and say this.
Even if the original bible is found, even if the Name of The Prophet(pbuh) is clearly written, some people will still insist on unbelief since they cannot see a community that is following The Steps of the Beloved Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) Who has been sent as a mercy. One heart that is fully devoted t...
Hey coke coke. Give the native americans in Canada And N.America back their land and we'll make a deal.
eric martin
@John not arabic. "written in the Aramaic language and Syriac alphabet"
Gospel of Barnabas is full of contradictions. Most contradictions are not related to Bible but to Quran. And in lots of passages of text we can find elements of late fabrication (around 14th to 16th centurt). And please stop discussing religions, we don't need christian or muslim religion rules if w...
book of satan must be burned right away
Looking to the picture of the book, the letters are Arabic and not aramic...!! Please check the artcle
The civilization history ran in Mesopotamia not in Turkey. Turks came around 1500 a.D. from Asia into this area and destroyed most of the remains of old civilization vestiges. Without interception of west scientists most of this relicts of civilization would have gone lost. If you want relicts of Tu...
to to Cok Cok
As you're interested in history, you should know that the civilization history ran in turkey. You should think right first of all. Would you demand the colums of the historical remainings of ancient Rome or Byzantian. I tell you what you must do. You have to give back all historical artifacts that w...
to Cok Cok
If a photocopy of this document is worth a fortune, it can only be because its custodians are milking it for profit instead of encouraging scholarly examination. A 1500 year-old date, if correct, would mean that it is not a Muslim forgery, but not that it has any historical value as a biography of ...
Kevin Snapp
@cok cok: Why europe? Do you think that's where the Bible originated?
You cannot hide the true word of god, you are only man. Interesting to see people already shaking.
Turkish Canadian
Unfortunately, many christians and especially Armenian keep repeating a lie until they start believing it. The Chritians armies of the west have been and still to this moment spilling muslims blood. The Armenian were treated so well during the Ottoman Empire that they had many ministers and here Leb...
Adel AbdulHaq
Cok Cok, you'll find, the greatest amount of Christian blood was spilled in Europe, at the hands of the Europeans. By your logic, therefore, Europe is the last place the bible should go to.
due to various groups political agendas , many writings were excluded from the bible. Hopefully enough information will be recovered that we may view a more accurate reality.
I think the book belongs in Christian hands.
The Gospel of Barnabas is a fraud from the and there is not even ONE New Testament scholar who recognizes its authenticity. Not to mention it is not mentioned by any of the ancient Church Fathers from the 1st and second centuries like Ignatius of Antioch, Irenaeus, Polycarp of Smyrna or Cyprian of C...
It's too bad that such an important Christian artifact is being held in a land where the greatest amount of Christian blood was spilled at the hands of muslims. Turks should do the right thing and hand it over to Europe. Maybe an exchange for an old Kuran.
Cok Cok
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