Many people have been circulating this supposed “news,” which isn’t new at all. Nor is the Vatican “shocked” by an old Syriac Bible purportedly from 1,500 years ago. There is nothing new in the Bible that the Vatican’s scholars and other experts have not known about for the past 18 centuries or so.
To begin with, Christian apologists rebut that the so-called Ankara Bible evidently is not 1,500 years old but may date from 1500 AD/CE at the earliest, while also contending that the book may be a “forgery.” In reality, this particular book may not be as ancient as is claimed, but its doctrines were not fabricated at that time.
Indeed, the Ankara Bible’s “strange” doctrines of Jesus not being crucified and other peculiarities are simply a rehash of one of the many strains of Christianity that thrived from the second century AD/CE onward. This Syrian-Arab Christian perspective thus has been around for many centuries, since antiquity, based on the apocryphal Gospel of Barnabas and other such noncanonical texts. The contents of the Gospel of Barnabas include the following:
It generally resonates better with existing Muslim views than with Christianity: it foretells the coming of Muhammad by name; rather than describing the crucifixion of Jesus, it describes him being raised up into heaven, similar to the description of Elijah in 2 Kings, Chapter 2; and it calls Jesus a “prophet” whose mission was restricted to the “house of Israel”.
The ‘name’ Muhammad
As concerns the claim that Barnabas “names” Muhammad/Mohammed, that title simply means “praised” or “praiseworthy,” so any book that includes the Arabic word for “praiseworthy” as an epithet could be said to be “predict Mohammed.” In other words, “Mohammed” is simply a title that could be applied to many people and probably was, long before a historical Mohammed supposedly existed.
His speech is most sweet, and he is altogether desirable. This is my beloved and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem.
The Hebrew word here for “desirable” is מחמד machmad, a term Muslim apologists contend is the “prediction” of Mohammed as well.
Neither the Bible nor the Barnabas gospel “predicts Mohammed,” however. If anything, Mohammed is a fictional compilation of characters, and Song of Songs 5, the Barnabas gospel and other apocryphal texts were used to create him, as was done with Moses and Jesus before him. In reality, the ideas in Barnabas evidently were used to create Islam, which includes the book’s heretical doctrines in the Quran. In the end, the gleeful recent touting of this Bible and Gospel basically represents Muslim propaganda.
Again, there were MANY different strains of Christianity beginning in the second century. That’s one very big clue that we are talking about a MYTH.