Ask Anything: Crucifixion and Bible Stories Hoax?

Another great post by Keith Johnson.  

Q: I saw this article online yesterday and I don’t have a specific question to ask about it, but it got my attention.  It’s contradicting what Christianity is all about (crucifixion, death, and resurrection of Christ).  Do you think this holds any validity or truth?

Here is the article in question:

A:  Here is a synopsis:  “1500 Year Old Bible Claims Jesus Christ Was Not Crucified – Vatican Shocked”.  The article goes on to talk about the Gospel of Banabas which demonstrates that Jesus wasn’t actually crucified and doesn’t claim him to be the son of God.  Furthermore it quotes a report from “The National Turk” saying that this 1500 year old bible was seized from “smugglers is a Mediterranean operation”.  They value the book at $28 million (we presume US Dollars).  Experts in Tehran insist that the book is authentic and state it is written in Aramaic (a popular middle eastern language around the time Jesus walked the earth) using gold ink.

Here is a picture of the so called 1500 year old bible: ETNOGRAFYA MUZESI'NE TESLIM EDILEN EL YAZMASI INCIL

So enough with the preamble.  Let’s dig in here.  Do I think this holds any validity or truth?  Points to consider:

  1. The first thing I would point out is that if I owned a $28 Million dollar book, I certainly wouldn’t risk tearing the almost priceless document with a $0.02 cent paper clip!  Would you?
  2. Furthermore, even if it was 1,500 years old, that’s still about 450 years too new to have been written by an apostle of Jesus as he would have been long dead.
  3. The original texts of all books from the New Testament were written in Greek, not Aramaic.  Old Testament books were mostly written in Hebrew with only some use of Aramaic, so to find an entire “new testament gospel” in Aramaic is somewhat odd.
  4. An article written by  the Vatican Insider, in March of 2012 said that the ”discovery is probably a hoax, the work of a forger who, according to some, could have been a European Jewish scholar from the Middle Ages.” The article also goes on to state that the most criticisms have come from actual Syriac’s (whom speak Assyrian today).  They note that a modern Assyrian would not have any difficulty reading this manuscript yet it is filled with grammatical errors which wouldn’t be present in a historic religious document of such significance.  The problem with this is that it is written in modern Assyrian and not classical Assyrian which would have been used at that time.
  5. There is much more evidence used to discredit it here:

  1. And here:

  1. If you don’t want to review the Vatican’s method, or the Catholic Exchange, to discredit the document, then how about the “Assyrian International News”?

  1. In short, I am quite confident that this is in fact a hoax.
  2. Just remember there are others of this world who will use every possible attempt to weaken our faith:  “Be alert and of sober mind.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

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