A 1,500-year-old book that recently surfaced in Ankara, Turkey has rocked the Christian world with its claim that Jesus Christ was not crucified.
The King James Bible relates the story of Jesus being taken before Pontius Pilot, the Roman governor of Judea, to answer for what was then considered blasphemy and as a result, was whipped and then crucified. His crucifixion is written about in Matthew 27:27-56, Mark 15:21-38, Luke 23:26-49, and John 19:16-37. According to these chapters, Pilate could not find any fault with Jesus but angry crowds outside his palace demanded that he be crucified since he had gone against the Jewish high priests and elders of the Sanhedrin.
According to the National Turk English newspaper, this new book was “seized from smugglers” during a “Mediterranean operation” that also involved the theft of antiques and works taken from “illegal excavations,” as well as some explosives. It offers an entirely different version of Jesus’ life in the Gospel of Barnabas. Jesus is not portrayed as the Son of God but rather a prophet and Barnabas is described as one of the 12 apostles.
And rather than Judas Iscariot turning him in to the Roman authorities, it states that the culprit was the Apostle Paul. Ironically, it goes on to say that Jesus did ascend to heaven but did so while alive and Judas was the one crucified. Why Judas would be crucified, we can only wonder. And in an even stranger twist, the book apparently states that Jesus predicted the future arrival of the Islamic prophet Mohammed.
As weird as all of this sounds, it seems religious experts in Tehran, Iran believe that this book, which is written “in gold lettering on loosely tied leather in Aramaic” – the language of Christ – tells the true story. They believe that at the first Council of Nicea in AD 325, Catholic Church leaders chose only those gospels that they wanted to make up the Bible and omitted others, including the Gospel of Barnabas.
As expected, the Vatican is not at all pleased with this find and has asked the Turkish authorities to give them access to the book. It is highly unlikely that the Vatican will be swayed by anything in this book and more likely that there will be no public comment on it.
This older version does coincide with the beliefs of the famous psychic Sylvia Browne (1936-2013), who stated in her writings that Jesus was not crucified. In her book The Mystical Life of Jesus – An Uncommon Perspective on the Life of Christ, she claimed the information she learned was relayed to her from her spirit guide Francine.
Not only was Jesus not crucified, she wrote, but he also went on to enjoy a very full life. Citing the “lost years of Jesus,” she wrote that he traveled extensively to such places as India where he studied under the Brahman priests. He then studied Buddhism and other sacred scriptures.
“I feel that Jesus was more at peace in these Eastern locales not only because he learned so much but also because he could move freely without fear of condemnation,” she noted (page 211).
It certainly is interesting that writers from various countries and faiths have written with reverence about this man and his teachings. Those teachings are believed to have stemmed from the Essenes and Gnostics. The Essenes were a sect of Second Temple Judaism from the 2nd century BCE to the 1st century CE. This sect is believed by some scholars to have written the Dead Sea Scrolls and are most widely discussed in the Nag Hammadi.
The Dead Sea Scrolls carbon dated at about 33 CE include about 981 texts that were discovered from 1946 to `1956 in 11 caves near the ancient city of Khirbet Qumran in the West Bank of Israel. They do not speak of Christ being crucified.
Like the Essenes, the Gnostics also believed in living a poor and pious life while stressing the importance of giving to others and growing in spirituality. They believed that it was vital to gain knowledge into such things as philosophy, culture, history, the cosmos and metaphysics in order to draw closer to God.
The Nag Hammadi, named after a town in the West Bank known as Chenoboskion. It was there that 13 “leather-bound papyrus codices” were found in an earthen jar in 1945 and includes the only known copy of the Gospel of Thomas.
According to Browne, The Acta Thomae (Acts of Thomas) were deemed to be “heretical in the year 495 CE by a decree of Gelasius.” The reason is that Thomas noted Jesus’ presence with him at a marriage ceremony in Taxila (Pakistan) in 49 CE, which would have been well after the supposed crucifixion. As well in St. Irenaeus’ writings, he noted that Jesus was “seen alive in Asia long after the event of the cross.”
Now this does not mean that Jesus was not put up on the cross, as told in the modern day Bible. It just means that he did not die on the cross and possibly survived to live out a long and happy life. In fact, Browne noted that death by crucifixion generally took several days but Jesus was only on the cross for about three hours.
She wrote that his apostle and physician, Luke, gave him drugs before he was hung on it and that Joseph of Arimathea resuscitated him afterward. And it is most interesting to note that when the two Marys went to the tomb where Jesus was laid the angels asked, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?” (Luke 24:5) Jesus himself also insisted that he was alive and well when he appeared to his disciples.
Browne wrote that Jesus’ mother, Mary and Mary Magdalene even traveled sometimes with him after the faked crucifixion and that they eventually settled in Rennes-le-Château, France where they had seven children. Jesus and Mary Magdalene, she wrote, lived into their 80’s.
The Roman Catholic Church, however, would never acknowledge any of this information. The churches’ ideal is portraying Jesus as a completely pious and celibate person who died on the cross for our sins. Does it really matter if he died on the cross or lived a full and happy life? To Christians it certainly does. But whether that part of his story is truth or fiction, it does not take away from the fact that either way, Jesus was an incredible, insightful and loving individual – an amazing soul that we all aspire to be like. And really, this is all that matters in the end.
Crucifixion of Jesus Christ – Bible Story Summary
1500 Year Old Bible Claims Jesus Christ Was Not Crucified – Vatican Shocked
The Acta Thomae
The Reluctant Messenger