Turkish authorities confirmed the discovery of a 1,500-year-old Gospel, which is believed to have foretold the coming of Prophet Mohammed to Earth, attracting the attention from Vatican, recent reports said.
Jesus, in the newly discovered Gospel, which had been hidden in Turkey for the past 12 years, allegedly bears strong resemblance to the Islamic view of Jesus, according to Turkish culture and tourism minister Ertugrul Gunay.
The Court House has sent us a 1,500-year-old Gospel, which was probably written in Aramaic. It was written in a language like the one spoken by Jesus, Gunay told reporters.
Pope Benedict XVI has reportedly said he wants to have a look at the centuries-old text, which many refer to as the Gospel of Barnabas.
The leather-bound volume, estimated to be worth around $28 million, was discovered by the Turkish police during an anti-smuggling operation in 2000. The photocopy of a single page of the original manuscript is believed to be worth more than $2 million.
The handwritten gold-lettered Gospel, written on animal hide, was closely guarded until 2010, when it was handed over to the Ankara Ethnography Museum for public display after minor restoration.
The book, touted as an authentic version of the Gospel by Turkey, was suppressed by the Christian Church due to its content which draws strong parallels with the Islamic take on Jesus, the Daily Mail reported quoting Gunay.
The Gospel says Jesus was a human being who was the Messenger of God and not God himself, a view strikingly similar to what the Islamic religion claims. According to Islam, Jesus is considered as a precursor to Muhammad and is believed to have foretold the latter's coming.
The Gospel also rejects the ideas of the Holy Trinity and the Crucifixion and reveals that Jesus predicted the coming of the Prophet Muhammad. In one version of the gospel, he is said to have told a priest: How shall the Messiah be called? Muhammad is his blessed name.
According to Islamic texts, Jesus was chosen to preach the message of monotheism and submission to the will of God to the Children of Israel before Muhammad arrived on earth.