True Gospel of Jesus, called Christ, a new prophet sent by God to the world: according to the description of Barnabas his apostle.
Barnabas, an apostle of Jesus the Nazarene, called Christ, to all them that dwell upon the earth desireth peace and consolation.
Dearly beloved the great and wonderful God hath during these past days visited us by his prophet Jesus Christ in the great mercy of teaching and miracles, by reason whereof many, being deceived of Satan, under the pretence of piety, are preaching most impious doctrine, calling Jesus son of God, repudiating the circumcision ordained of God forever, and permitting every unclean meat: among whom also Paul hath been deceived, whereof I speak not without grief; for which cause I am writing that truth which I have seen and heard, in the intercourse that I have had with Jesus, in order that ye may be saved, and not be deceived of Satan and perish in the judgment of God. Therefore beware of everyone that preacheth unto you new doctrine contrary to that which I write, that ye may be saved eternally.
The great God be with you and guard you from Satan and from every evil. Amen.
Chapter 1. The angel Gabriel visits the Virgin Mary concerning the birth of Jesus.
In these last years a virgin called Mary, of the lineage of David, of the tribe of Judah was visited by the angel Gabriel from God. This virgin, living in all holiness without any offence, being blameless, and abiding in prayer with fastings, being one day alone, there entered into her chamber the angel Gabriel, and he saluted her, saying: ‘God be with thee, O Mary’.
The virgin was affrighted at the appearance of the angel; but the angel comforted her, saying: ‘Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favour with God, who hath chosen thee to be the mother of a prophet, whom he will send to the people of Israel in order that they may walk in his laws with the truth of the heart.’
The virgin answered: ‘Now how shall I bring forth sons, seeing I know not a man?’ The angel answered: ‘O Mary, God who made man without a man is able to generate in the man without a man because with him nothing is impossible.’
Mary answered: ‘I know that God is almighty, therefore his will be done.’ The angel answered: ‘Now be conceived in thee the prophet, whom thou shalt name Jesus: and thou shalt keep him from wine and from strong drink and from every unclean meat because the child is a holy one of God.’ Mary bowed herself with humility, saying: ‘Behold the handmaid of God, be it done according to thy word.’
The angel departed, and the virgin glorified God, saying: ‘Know, O my soul, the greatness of God, and exult, my spirit, in God my Saviour; for he hath regarded the lowliness of his handmaiden, insomuch that I shall be called blessed by all the nations, for he that is mighty hath made me great and blessed be his holy name. For his mercy extendeth from generation to generation of them that fear him. Mighty hath he made his hand, and he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of his heart. He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble. Him who hath been hungry hath he filled with good things, and the rich he hath sent empty away. For he keepeth in memory, the promises made to Abraham and to his son forever’.
An Islamic Perspective and Commentary
by Ishaq Zahid
JESUS BORN WITHOUT A FATHER
The true story of Jesus’ birth from Mary is narrated in the Holy Quran. We are told that he was born without a father by the command of God. Mary was single and a chaste woman.
“And (remember) her who guarded her chastity: We breathed into her of Our Spirit, and We made her and her son a Sign for all peoples.” (The Holy Quran, 21:91)
Relate in the Book (the story of) Mary, when she withdrew from her family to a place in the East. She placed a screen (to screen herself) from them: then We sent to her Our angel, and he appeared before her in the shape of a well-made human being. She said: “I seek refuge from thee to (God) Most Gracious: (come not near) if thou dost fear God.” He said: “Nay, I am only a messenger from thy Lord, (to announce) to thee the gift of a holy son.” She said: “How shall I have a son, seeing that no man has touched me, and I am not unchaste?” He said: “So (it will be): thy Lord saith, `That is easy for Me: and (We wish) to appoint him as a Sign unto men and a Mercy from Us’: it is a matter (so) decreed.” (The Holy Quran, 19:16-21)
The words of the angel, “and thou shalt keep him from wine and from strong drink and from every unclean meat because the child is a holy one of God.” in the Gospel tell us clearly that Jesus (peace be on him) never drank wine or other alcoholic beverages. This point should be worth remembering, as we proceed through the text.