Benny Hinn claims to be a man of God, anointed by the Spirit to such an extent that supernatural healings and powerful manifestations of the Spirit occur at his meetings. In any case, as one who promotes himself as being so close to the Spirit of truth that he literally says “Good Morning” to the third Person of the Trinity at the start of each day, one would expect the Holy Spirit is guiding him into all truth in such a way that Hinn would recognize the stench of fraud a mile away. At the very least, given his high profile and the history of accusations leveled against him, you figure he’d fact-check the resources he recommends BEFORE recommending them to his world-wide audience!
I’m speaking of the Archko Volume, a fraudulent work that is promoted by well-meaning ministers each year as an authentic historical resource validating the Gospel accounts. Which would be exciting if the Archko Fraud hadn’t once included a chapter plagiarized from Ben Hur, if it didn’t contain historical inaccuracies and actually contradict the Biblical account on a few points. Each year around Easter and Christmas, I tons of inquiries on this site looking for information on the Archko Volume. In general, the Archko Volume is promoted by ministers who are not well-read and suppose they are giving their congregations a valuable historical resource validating the Gospel accounts!
Imagine my unparalleled surprised today when I received a comment on this site regarding our Critique of the Archko Volume:
“I just became aware of the ‘Archko Volume’ yesterday on a program called ‘This is Your Day’ featuring Benny Hinn. His message seemed to be fundamentally sound, but I had a little twinge in me when he mentioned the ‘Archko Volume’ at the end of the show, which you can purchase from him for a nominal donation of $50.00! He seems to believe that it is authentic.”
I couldn’t believe it. I thought that surely Mr. Hinn was smart or discerning enough to have critically evaluated this Archko nonsense and found it out for the fraud it is. At the very least, I presumed his rather high profile would make him more careful to fact-check the things he promotes. Yet, sure enough, when I went to Benny Hinn’s website, I read the following glowing review of the Archko fraud:
“The Archko Volume by Rev. W. D. Mahan
In the 1800s, Rev. W. D. Mahan learned about ancient Roman records concerning the life and times of Jesus Christ. That knowledge eventually led him to the Vatican. Among many other writings, he located a letter written on a papyrus scroll from Pontius Pilate to Caesar and records containing documents from Caiaphas the Jewish high priest, Herod Antipas, and others. Rev. Mahan’s remarkable findings were eventually translated into English and printed in his book, The Archko Volume, first published in 1887. Pastor Benny Hinn says, “This is one of the most unique books we have ever offered to you! Learn from the testimonies of both friends and enemies of Jesus of Nazareth that were found in ancient parchments and scrolls in Constantinople and Rome. You will read and reread this book, as I have done through the years.” Request a special-edition copy with your gift of $50.
Realizing that Mr. Hinn’s television broadcast reaches 200 countries worldwide and has hundreds of thousands if not millions of viewers, I hastily contacted his organization by phone to see what could be done to prevent his viewers from being duped into reading a work of fiction as historical fact – especially one that actually contradicts Scripture on several points!
Before I voiced my concerns, I asked the phone representative if she thought Benny Hinn had read the Archko Volume. She assured me that she thought he must have. After I explained that it was a fraud and that one originally included part of it had been plagiarized from Ben Hur, I asked her again if she thought Mr. Hinn had read this Archko Volume. She replied that she wasn’t sure but he must not be aware of the fraudulent nature of this work. Point in fact, the glowing review from BennyHinn.org quotes Mr. Hinn as claiming, “You will read and reread this book, as I have done through the years.” I was assured that a supervisor would call me back. No one from Mr. Hinn’s organization has contacted me.
So I wrote the following to his organization:
“To Whom It Concerns,
Recently, I have been made aware that Mr. Hinn is offering and recommending the the Archko Volume through his program and via his website. I wonder if Mr. Hinn is aware of the fraudulent nature of the Archko Volume. Consider the following from my website:
“Of all of the glaring evidences against the Archko Volume’s veracity, the most horrible is in the manuscript called “Eli’s Story of the Magi”. It appears that several pages of this story were copied verbatim from Ben Hur, a famous work of fiction which had just come out in Mahan’s day. In his defense, how could he have known how popular the novel would become? One striking detail is the use of the word anuman, which isn’t a word at all. In the Archko Volume, Eli’s story reads, “Egypt is satisfied with her crocodiles and anuman, holding them in equal honor.” Page 272 of Ben Hur has some lines that read:
“ Egypt was satisfied with her crocodiles and anu-
bis, the Persians were yet devoted to Ormuzd and Ahri-
man, holding them in equal honor … “
The ”anuman“ word arose because a line was skipped when copying this sentence.
In 1885, W.D. Mahan was summoned before the Lebanon presbytery, found guilty of plagiarism and falsehood, and suspended from his position as a Presbyterian minister for one year based on the evidence brought against him. Mahan promised to withdraw the book, but instead published it again with major revisions, including the chapter stolen from Ben Hur.
The evidence is overwhelming: The Archko Volume is the purest fraud. ”
Mr. Hinn claims that he is so close to the Holy Spirit that he says Good morning to him everyday, that he has been anointed to heal through the Holy Ghost and that the Holy Spirit manifests itself in such power that when he waves toward the crowds they fall. He is no doubt then aware that it is the Holy Spirit who guides us into all truth [John 16:13]. Why then does Mr. Hinn promote the Archko Fraud to his international audience? will he make a statement to warn his followers of the grave error it represents? and who publishes this special edition of the Archko Volume?
I have contacted Customer Service regarding this matter several times by phone and have been promised a return call by a supervisor. This has not yet occured; meanwhile, the thousands if not millions of Christians who trust Hinn’s advise are being mislead into accepting the Archko Fraud as an authentic historical authority.
Rev Tony Breeden
Since then I have pressed my case to a supevisor, who assured me that someone even higher up will give me a ring. Here’s hoping.
Pray that Mr. Hinn sees the truth of the matter and has the integrity to not only pull the Archko Fraud from his shelves but also to admit to his viewers that he was wrong about it and to warn them of the horrible fraud it represents.
Rev Tony Breeden
Update: After being stonewalled by Benny Hinn Ministries, I did some further investigation. Check out Benny Hinn & the Archko Volume: One Fraud Promoting Another to see how BHM handled my warnings that Mr. Hinn is promoting a known work of fraud as an authentic historical document, what other strange things Mr. Hinn believes, and how he has been disqualified before the Lord as a false prophet.