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The Islamo-Biblical Pseudo-Gospel of Barnabas


انجيل برنابا

Stephen Lambden UC Merced. 

Under revision and completion - 2021.

The 222 chapter (200+ page) “Gospel of Barnabas”  (= GB) ascribed to a Christian companion of Paul originally named Joses then Barnabas (fl. 1st cent CE., Acts 4:36, Chs. 11-15). It is essentially a 16th century CE Islamic created Gospel harmony extant in only  a few 16-17th mss. of Spanish and Italian Morisco (Crypto-Muslim) provenance. Most likely without any ancient mss. basis the so-called Gospel of Barnabas' has been frequently reprinted and translated in the Muslim world (Arabic, 1908; Urdu, 1916; Persian, apparently translated from an Arabic translation of the Italian original by Ḥaydar Qulī Khān Qizilbāsh "Sardār-i Kābulī"  and entitled  انجيل برنابا / Injīl-i Barnābā, ترجمۀ حيدر قلى خان قزلباش، سردار كابلى. صفير، محمد على.  Tehran: : Kitābfurūshī-i ʻIlmīyah-i Islāmiyya, 1345/1966.. Also, for example,  كتاب مقدس انجيل برنابا e.g. as the Kitab-i Muqaddas Injīl-i Barnābā (20th-21st cent. editions); among them Ḥaydar Qulī Khān Qizilbāsh "Sardār Kābulī", ترجمۀ حيدر قليخان قزلباش ''سردار كابلى''. سردار كابلى، حيدر قلي خان. Tehran: Chāpkhānah-i Ḥaydarī, 1345  1966 (399 pages). These  translations, it seems, from the Oxford 1907 English translation of an Italian MS. in the Imperial Library at Vienna by the British, Anglican priest Lonsdale Ragg  (1866- 31 July 1945) and his long-lived wife Laura Maria Ragg [nee Roberts] (1865-1962). Many translations were without the Ragg critical introduction in which this text is exposed as a Medieval forgery. Many Muslims today view the GB as the only remaining authentic Gospel despite the fact that western scholarship has for long remained unconvinced of its veracity (Ragg, 1907; Sox, 1984; Slomp, URL). A massive literature now surrounds the debate over this and related issues of scriptural preservation, transmission, falsification and veracity. Abrahamic religionists have long accused each other of tampering with sacred writ and of misquoting established scripture to suit selfish or polemical purposes.

Ragg, Laura and Lonsdale.

  • 1907 The Gospel of Barnabas. Oxford: Clarendon, 1907. Translation of the Italian mss.
  • 1908? Arabic Trans. from the Engliah [of  L and L. Ragg], as Injīl Barnābā = Gospel of Barnaba, Muhammad Rashīd Riḍā.; Khalīl Saʻādah; Aḥmad Ḥijāzī Saqā. Many 20th and 21st cent. editions.
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  •  متن کامل انجىل برنابا ؛ براساس نسخۀ اىتالىاىى کتابخانه وىن و نسخۀ اسپانىاىى دانشگاه سىدنى =  Matn-i kāmil-i Injīl-i Birnābā : bar asās-i nuskhah-ʼi Ītāliyāyī-i Kitābkhānah-i Viyan va nuskhah-ʼi Ispāniyāyī-i Dānishgāh-i Sīdnī. ترجمۀ سعىد کرىم پور. کرىم پور، سعىد. ; ; Saʻīd Karīmʹpūr; Pizhūhishgāh-i ʻUlūm-i Insānī va Muṭālaʻāt-i Farhangī.  Trans. by Saʻīd Karīmʹpūr.Tehran : Pizhūhishgāh-i ʻUlūm-i Insānī va Muṭālaʻāt-i Farhangī, 1393/ 2014. 823 pages.

Bernabé Pons, Luis F. ( Spanish manuscript =)

Luis F. Bernabe Pons, 1992> In Spanish:

  • Luis F. Bernabé Pons, Edicio  n y estudio del manuscrito EspanÄ ol del Evangelio de Bernabe . Evangelio hispano-isla mico de autor morisco (siglos XVI-XVII). (Alicante: Ph.D. thesis 1992);

  • El Evangelio de San Bernabé : un evangelio islamico espanÄ ol (Alicante: University Press 1995).

  • El texto morisco del Evangelio de San Bernabé. Granada: Universidad de Granada e Instituto de Cultura Juan Gil Albert, 1998.

  • El texto morisco del Evangelio de San Bernabé Granada: Universidad de Granada, 1998.

Luis F. Bernabe Pons,

  •  ' Zur Wahrheit und Echtheit des Barnabasevangeliums , Religionen im GespraÈ ch vol. 4 (1996), p. 133-188.


Campbell,  William.

  • The Gospel of Barnabas, Its True Value (Rawalpindi: Christian Study Centre, 1989).

Hvalvik, Reidar.

  • The Struggle for Scripture and Covenant. The Purpose of the Epistle of Barnabas and Jewish-Christian Competition in the Second Century Tubingen: J. C. B. Mohr, 1996.

Cirillo, Luigi + Michel Frémaux,

  • Évangile de Barnabé. Paris: Beauchesne, 1977.  A  facsimile of the Italian manuscript+ French translation.

Luigi Cirillo and Michel Frémaux,

  •  Evangile de Barnabe  , Recherches sur le composition et l’origine. Texte et traduction. Paris: Beauchesne, 1977.

van Koningsveld, P. S. 

  • `The Islamic Image of Paul and the Origin of the Gospel of Barnabas' , Jerusalem Studies in Arabic and Islam vol. 20 (1996), p. 218. 23.

Mikel de Epalza,

  • ' Sobre un posible autor espanÄ ol del evangelio de Barnabe ' , al-Andalus (Madrid) vol. 28 (1963), p. 479- 491.
  •  'Le milieu hispano-moresque de l’Evangile islamisant de Barnabe' , Islamochristiana vol. 8 (1982), p. 159-183.

John Fletcher,

  • “The Spanish Gospel of Barnabas,” Novum Testamentum 18 (1976) 314–20.

Jan Joosten, 2001-2

  • "Tatian's Diatessaron and the Old Testament Peshitta" Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol. 120, No. 3 (Autumn, 2001), 501-523
  • "The Gospel of Barnabas and the Dietessaron" Harvard Theological Review 95.1 (2002), 73-96.

Jomier, Jaques

  •  `Une enigme persistante: l’Evangile dit de Barnabe ' , MIDEO vol. 14 (1980), p. 271± 300

Leirvik, Oddbjùrn

  • `History as a Literary Weapon: The Gospel of Barnabas in Muslim-Christian Polemics' Studia Theologica 54 (2001), pp. 4-26.

Slomp, Jan

Slomp, Jan.

  • "The Gospel in Dispute." Islamochristiana 4 (1977): 67-112.

Sox, David.

  • The Gospel of Barnabas (London: Allen & Unwin 1984).
  • 1984 The Gospel of Barnabas. London: George Allen & Unwin, 1984.

Stichel, Rainer.

  • "Bemerkungen żum Barnabás-Evangélium." Byzantinoslavica 43 (1982): 189-201.

Prigent, Pierre.

  • Les testimonia dans le christianisme primitif I. 'Épître de Barnabe Í-XVI  et ses sources. Paris: Gabalda, 196l.

Pulcini, Theodore.

  • ` In the Shadow of Mount Carmel: the Collapse of the’Latin East’ and the Origins of the Gospel of Barnabas' , Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations vol. 12 , no. 2 (2001), 191- 209.

Sale, George.

  • The Koran: commonly called the Alcoran of Mohammed; translated into English immediately from the original Arabic, with explanatory notes, taken from the most approved commentators, to which is prefixed a preliminary discourse, by George Sale, Gent. London: William Tegg, 1863, See  sect. IV, p. 53.

Temple Gairdner, W. H.

  • The Gospel of Barnabas. An Essay and Enquiry. Cairo, 1907.

Toland, John.

  • Christianity Not Mysterious. London. 1696.
  • Nazarenus or Jewish, Gentile and Mahometan
  • Christianity. London, 1718.
  • Tetradymus. London, 1720.

 "John Toland, Christianity Not Mysterious (London 1696) had a rationalistic understanding of the miracles narrated in the New Testament. In his work Nazarenus he attributes at the same time a great probability to the Gospel of Barnabas going back to the very first centuries A.D.: John Toland, Nazarenus or Jewish, Gentile and Mahometan Christianity (London 1718). He defended the Gospel of Barnabas against the common charge from the Christian side as being a willful forgery of a renegade of the Middle Ages: "How great ... is the ignorance of those, who make this an original invention of the Mahometans." J. Toland, Nazarenus, p. 17. Or: "After this mature examination I could safely say, that this Gospel might in the main be the ancient Gospel of Barnabas." J. Toland, Tetradymus (London 1720), p. 148." (Schirmacher, in Wardenburg, 1999: 278).

Wiegers, Gerard A. 

  • 'Muhammad as the Messiah. A comparison of the polemical works of Juan Alfonso with the Gospel of Barnabas' , Bibliotheca Orientalis vol. LII, no. 3- 4 (1995),

Miscellaneous editions of the Gospel of Barnabas.

  • The Gospel of Barnabas. Daru'l Kitab. M. Z. Sharfi, Karachi, Pakistan, 1988 (xxxiii + 229pp.).
  • The Gospel of Barnabas. Foreward by Muhammad Armiya Nu`man. Brooklyn, New York, A & B Publishers Group, 1993 (xxvii + 273pp.).

The Wikipedia article :


Islamic Apologetic materials

Durrani, M.H.

  • The Forgotten Gospel of  St. Barnabas. Karachi: International Islamic Publishers, 1982 (125pp.)

Yussef,  M. E.  (ed.),

  • The Gospel of Barnabas. Indianapolis: American Trust Publications, 1990.
  • The Dead Sea Scrolls, The Gospel of Barnabas and the New Testament. Indianapolis: American Trust Publications, 1990.