Recent reports have revealed the discovery of a 1500-year-old bible in Turkey. However a new article from the Vatican Insider of "La Stampa" claims that the 1500-year-old bible is a "probable forgery" and "hoax." Shutterstock

Recent reports have revealed the discovery of a 1500-year-old bible in Turkey. The bible was reportedly retrieved over 14 years ago in 2000, when it was seized from smugglers in the Mediterranean area and held in a Turkish courthouse until safe transfer to the Ethnography Museum of Ankara could be arranged. The holy book allegedly contains the Gospel of Barnabas, who was a disciple of Jesus, in the work, claims that Jesus was not crucified, instead it says he ascended to heaven alive and Judas Iscariot was crucified in his place. Furthermore, the 1500-year-old bible states that Jesus Christ was not the Son of God, but simply a prophet who passed on the word of God.

The bible, which is said to be worth a whopping $28 million dollars, is an obvious hot commodity, so much so that the Vatican has requested an official application to access the alleged Gospel of Barnabas. According to the Christian Post, merely photocopies of the holy book’s pages are being sold for a staggering $1.7 million. In addition to the age and impeccable construction of the bible, the contents of the holy book are what make it so valuable. The Gospel of Barnabas is not included in the New Testament alongside Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. This work opposes the ideas proposed in the widely spread New Testament, and instead has noticeable similarities to the Muslim interpretation of Jesus.

Despite the interest and growing number of media reports confirming the authenticity of the holy book, the Vatican Insider, a project run by the newspaper “La Stampa,” claims that the book is a “hoax.” Vatican Insider believes that the holy book is not the Gospel of Barnabas, instead the site claims it is most likely the work of a forger, more specifically, a European -- Jewish scholar from the Middle Ages. Their main reason for claiming the work to be an “extraordinary hoax” is due to the main inscription on the 1500-year-old book.

According to their translation, the main inscription reads, “In the name of the Lord, this book is written by monks of the high monastery in Nineveh in the 1500th year of our Lord.” The main issue with the inscription that apparently deems the recently discovered Gospel of Barnabas a fake is the lack of the work ”bible” or even “holy book” in the inscription. According to their sources, who are unnamed, biblical works from 1500 years ago would not have been called a “book” instead; it is either referred to as “New Testament” or “Old Testament,” or “Holy Book.” Vatican Insider claims that the monk’s apparent oversight would have been unlikely when creating the Gospel of Barnabas.

The site continues to disprove the authenticity of the discovery by claiming that the media, specifically the Muslim media is confusing the age 1500-year old of the book with the year 1500 AD. The Muslim media has supposedly reported that “‘an ancient, 1500-year-old bible predicted the coming of Muhammad,” but once again the site disagrees. The Vatican Insider claims that media reports are confusing the 1500 years attributed by the media and the date of 1500 AD written in the book’s main inscription and due to this confusion, the Muslim beliefs and claim that The Gospel of Barnabas predicted a great prophecy are in their opinion null and void.

The debate between Christianity and the Muslin interpretation of Jesus is something that has raged on for centuries. The Gospel of Barnabas was not included in the New Testaments, reportedly due to its likenesses to the Muslim interpretation of Jesus. Due to this fact, many followers of Islam believe the Vatican Library repressed the original work.

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