"Gospel of Barnabas" Supports Muslim View of Jesus?
The Quran states that the Bible is from Allah (4:136; 29:46) and that the Bible should even be examined to determine the truthfulness of the Qur’an (10:94).
The problem for Islam is that, in many cases, the Bible (which includes the four Gospel accounts) contradicts the teachings of the Quran. So how do Muslims get around this problem? How do they account for the endorsement of a book that also contradicts their sacred text? One way of doing this is to claim that The Gospel of Barnabas is actually the correct Gospel (i.e. injil) and not the canonical Gospels found in the Bible. Muslims make this claim because The Gospel of Barnabas supports many of the Quran’s claims. This, however, does not solve the problem for Muslims because of at least two main issues. First, virtually all scholars (i.e. other than a few Muslim scholars) regard this “Gospel” as a forgery of the late Middle Ages. Second, this supposed “Gospel” actually contradicts the Quran on at least one issue. Norman L. Geisler (Ph.D., Loyola University) and Abdul Saleeb (a former Muslim) point out that,
…no Muslim should accept the authenticity of The Gospel of Barnabas since it clearly contradicts the Qur’an’s claim that Jesus was the Messiah. It claims, “Jesus confessed, and said the truth; ‘I am not the Messiah .… I am indeed sent to the house of Israel as a prophet of salvation; but after me shall come the Messiah” (sects. 42, 48). This is flatly contradictory to the Qur’an, which repeatedly calls Jesus the “Messiah” [the “Christ”] (cf. 5:19, 75).
Norman L. Geisler and Abdul Saleeb, Answering Islam: The Crescent in Light of the Cross, 2nd ed (Grand Rapids, Mich: Baker Books, 2002), 306.