Pope Benedict XVI has made a request to see the supposed "secret Bible," which is written in gold and worth over $20 million.
The alleged 1,500-year-old book, which many claim is the Gospel of Barnabas, has been hidden for 12 years by the Turkish state, according to the Daily Mail. The "secret Bible" is handwritten in gold on raw-leather-hide in Jesus Christ's native Aramaic language.
The Vatican has made an official request to see the controversial scripture, which Muslims claim is an addition to gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke and John. The book was discovered by Turkish police in an anti-smuggling operation in 2000 and kept guarded for 10 years.
A single photo-copied page from the book is thought to be worth over $2 million.
There are many conflicting and controversial reports on the contents of the "secret Bible." It is said to contain the early teachings of Jesus and his prediction of the coming of a Prophet. According to Turkish culture and tourism minister, Ertugrul Gunay, the book could be an authentic version of the Gospel.
However, it is a version that is more consistent with Islamic faith than Christianity. It allegedly rejects the Holy Trinity and the Crucifixion and suggests that Jesus predicted the coming of the Prophet Muhammad. It also depicts Jesus denying being the Messiah and claiming he or she would be an Ishmaelite (Arab).
Many people believe the book is a fake and only dates back to the 16th century. The oldest copies of the "secret Bible" date back to that time and are written in Spanish and Italian.
Protestant pastor, Ihsan Oznek disputes the authenticity of the "secret Bible's" content, according to the Today Zaman. He says that St. Barnabas lived in the first century and was one of the Apostles of Jesus, which is in contrast to the version said to come from the fifth or sixth century.
"Since there is around 500 years in between St. Barnabas and the writing of the Bible copy, Muslims may be disappointed to see that this copy does not include the things they would like to see," Ozbeck said. "It might have no relation with the content of the Gospel of Barnabas."
Theology professor Omer Faruk Harman says that the only way to reveal the authenticity and age of the book is a scientific scan.