In India around the year 1879 a Muslim, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835-1908), came to believe that he had been chosen by God as a reformer of Islam. He established his own movement, Ahmadiyyat, and very soon promulgated many changes to the beliefs of orthodox Muslims. He believed that he himself was the Mahdi - the reviver of Islam and the second coming of Jesus in the Spirit. Orthodox Muslims were incensed but could not stop him. According to Ahmadiyya sources there are about twelve million adherents of this sect in the world today.

Ahmad, influenced perhaps by western philosophies, announced a new doctrine, foreign to Islam, that Jesus had indeed been crucified. He went on to claim that Jesus was rescued from the cross in a state of collapse, recovered in secret, and after passing through India he reached Kashmir, where he died at the age of one hundred and twenty. Ahmad argued vociferously against orthodox Muslims, saying: "Those Muslims who believe Jesus to be in heaven in his physical body, are guilty of uttering an absurdity against the Qur'an." It is surprising, however, to find that Ahmad and his followers support this gospel of Barnabas. He wrote, "the gospel of Barnabas, which contains the prophecy about the latter day prophet, is declared by Christians to be forged, because it contains a clear prophecy about the Holy prophet." He gives two reasons why Christians reject this gospel: —"that the book or the story happens to contradict the Gospels in use;" and "that the book or the story happens to agree with the Holy Qur’an" [1]. To what extent the gospel of Barnabas is in conflict with the Qur'an is discussed in the In Conflict with Islam section. So, how does this gospel compare with the Ahmadiyya sect?

  1. The Ahmadiyya movement believes that their leader was a prophet of God after Muhammad. In contrast this gospel states that "there shall not come after him true prophets sent by God, but there shall come a great number of false prophets..." (Barnabas, chapter 97).

  2. The gospel of Barnabas relates the stories of the healing of the sick and the raising of the dead by Jesus. The Ahmadiyya movement does not believe in these miracles. Mirza Ahmad wrote in one of his books, "... a thing which is not possible for the Holy prophet (Muhammad) - the best of prophets ... how can it be so for the Messiah (Jesus)!" [2]

  3. This Gospel denies Jesus the title of Messiah and yet the Ahmadiyya accept it as a fact, as seen from the above quote.

  4. Mirza Ahmad is very suspicious about the authenticity of the four gospel accounts in the New Testament. He says that these gospels contain many things which show that they have not been preserved in their original form. For example, he refers to Luke 7:36-50 and comments that no prophet "had ever set such an example of freedom that he would allow an impure and adulterous woman, a noted sinner, to touch his body with her hands, to let her rub oil into his head - bought out of her immoral gains - and to rub her hair on his feet.." [3].

    On this he bases his conclusion that the four gospels are not in their authentic form. Yet the very same story is recounted in the gospel of Barnabas (Barnabas, chapters 129-130).

  5. Mirza Ahmad believes that just as John the Baptist was Elijah in the spirit, (Matthew 11:14;17:12), so he himself is Jesus in the spirit. Where does he get his knowledge of John the Baptist being Elijah in the Spirit? Certainly not from the Qur’an because it does not mention him being Elijah and certainly not from the "one true gospel" - the gospel of Barnabas where the Baptist is never once mentioned. He took it from the Bible (Malachi 4), which he says he does not believe.

  6. This Gospel says that Judas was crucified in the place of Jesus, while the Ahmadiyya movement believe that it was really Jesus. Further, this Gospel would have us believe that Jesus was taken into heaven bodily before the crucifixion, while the Ahmadiyya believe that he was crucified but did not die on the cross. They say, "... it is impossible for us to think that Jesus the Messiah is alive in heaven while Muhammad, our Holy prophet lies buried in the earth. We cannot think so..." [4]. So, as in the case of the orthodox Muslims, the Ahmadiyya movement is in a very precarious position, if they depend on this gospel to confirm Mirza Ahmad’s teachings.



  1. Ghulam Ahmad, "Chashma Masihi", p.6
  2. Ghulam Ahmad, "Tawzih Maram", (English tr.) pp.6-7
  3. Ghulam Ahmad, "Jesus in India", p.47
  4. Bashir-ud-din, "Invitation to Ahmadiyyat", p.15