141. Why is the Gospel of Barnabas not part of the Bible?

‘The Gospel of Barnabas’ is a book that claims to tell the story of the life of Jesus and it claims to be written by the Biblical Barnabas who was one of the twelve disciples, the man who attended to Saul at the time of his conversion when he later became the Apostle Paul. The Gospel of Barnabas is about the same length of the four canonised Gospels. In some aspects it conforms to the Islâmic interpretation of Christian origins and contradicts the New Testament teachings. The majority of academics date this work as around the medieval period in Muslim interest of perhaps possibly of Gnostic or Ebionite origin. This work should not be confused with the Epistle of Barnabas and the Acts of Barnabas. The Epistle of Barnabas is a Greek epistle containing twenty-nine chapters and thought to have been completed in the fourth century. Rather than being a work of Barnabas of the Acts of the Apostles it is commonly thought that this Barnabas was from Alexandria. The Acts of Barnabas claim its author is ‘John Mark’ the companion of the Apostle Paul. Close analysis of this work shows its origin to be the 5th Century, and designed to strengthen the claims of the Church in Cyprus as an apostolic foundation so it could claim that it was independent of the Bishopric of Antioch. The independence of the Church of Cyprus was announced by the First Council of Ephesus in 431 and confirmed by Emperor Zeno in 488AD. None of these books were around early enough to be considered in the New Testament Canon and there content would not be regarded as authentic scripture inspired by the Holy Spirit. 2 Timothy 3 verse 16-17 states the criteria for canonised writings. It is that ‘All scripture is inspired by God, and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction , for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.’