Why Is Televangelist Benny Hinn Promoting the Archko Volume Fraud?

Does Benny Hinn realize the book he has "read and re-read over the years" and is offering to his viewers is a work of fraud?

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.

Thank you,

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.


28 Comments Add yours

  1. I really didn’t know anyone actually believed the Archko Library in the 21st century, but comments from your last post on this and Benny Hinn’s site show there are still those out there who try to affirm their faith through a transparent act of forgery and fraud. Unfortunately, this is not new for Benny Hinn. Ask anyone who goes to the crusades and they’ll tell you that the people who get up out of their wheel chairs and are allegedly healed are escorted back into them and rolled out after the show’s over and the camera’s are off. It’s sad and dangerously misleading. Speakers at the pentecostal church I went to growing up would often excite the crowd with stories of miraculous healings – all of which occurred in Africa or somewhere out of sight and managed to avoid leaving any evidence to investigate. This is not the way to affirm and boost someone’s faith, and I’m glad you are taking action in this case. It looks like you can also post a review on his site under the product.

    Perhaps you’ll be glad to know Hinn believes in a historic Adam – but he also believes Adam could fly-even into space! He deduced this because Adam had dominion over the birds and fish. When a friend told me this, I thought it was too crazy to be true, but here you can witness his astounding exegesis and other craziness and heresy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQss3LEwfsM

    It’s really a shame that he is so influential.

    1. Modsynth,

      That’s not really what dominion means… and if he thinks Adam could fly, that’s not really the historic Adam the Bible records and the apostles affirmed. Wow.

      Concerning the Archko Volume, I’ve had over an 8000% spike in hits on that post alone this month. As Easter is next month, I expect interest to continue. My hope is that I can do my part to show folks that this thing is simply a fraud because I know for a fact that some ministers use the Archko Volume to “augment” their Sunday school lessons.


  2. Lance Ponder says:

    I’ve never heard of this archko thing. And now I don’t ever want to. I’ve heard a few people say positive things about Hinn, and others who talk about what a fraud he is. I’ve never had the desire to dive any deeper into it. There’s so many fakers out there – who has time to fight them all? **sigh**

  3. Asare Ebenezer Ansah says:

    lets face the fact.Is there any condradiction between the Bible and the Archo Volume.the concept of Galatians 1:8-9 should be the principal text for any christian.The archo volume,no matter how enticing it appears should not be used to determine the autenticity of the gospel accounts.why?Psalm 119:89 says that forever o lord,thy word is settle in heaven.let us stop accusing others and concentrate on the gospel commission of preaching the good news of salvation.

    1. Asare,

      Thank you for pointing out Galatians 1:8-9, which is completely applicable to this Archko Volume:

      “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”

      Psalm 119:89 is equally applicable and I appreciate you bringing it up as well.

      Having said that, I wish I could stop “accusing others” and simply concentrate on preaching the Gospel, but as a preacher I am called not only to preach the Word but to reprove, rebuke and exhort. [2 Timothy 4:2] So long as there are those deceiving the Church, my call as a minister of the Gospel demands that I not only speak the truth but refute the lie. After all, the church itself is supposed to be the pillar [ie, the support and proclamation post] and ground [foundation] of the truth [1 Tim. 3:15], being built on the One who is the way, the Truth and the life [John 14:6].

      The following passage is probably most applicable to Mr. Hinn’s ministry in general:

      “1But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 3And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” – 2 Peter 2:1-3


  4. marat75 says:

    I am among those who only heard about the said book after watching Benny Hinn’s program. He described it in such an excited manner that I decided to read what this book was all about. I enter it into a search engine and the first post I read about it Archko Volume was your post disproving its authenticity:

    I thought to myself, “Wow, how strange. Reverend Breeden raises valid concerns, but how come Benny Hinn and Kathryn Kuhlman were so enticed by a fake book.” I tried to look for more information and surely enough I couldn’t find any information that would convince me that the book was indeed genuine.

    I tried to leave a “partner review” here recently, but it wasn’t ‘approved’, I guess. I won’t question Benny Hinn’s integrity, but I have no doubt about that this book was “created” through forgery.

    1. useyourhead says:


      You won’t question Benny Hinn’s integrity? As a religious person, don’t you think God would take a dim view of you refusing to use the brain he gave you?
      Benny Hinn is was and always will be a lying money hungry egomaniac who has no integrity at all.

  5. John Stickland says:

    I’m up to page 170 of the Archko volume and I can’t recall reading the so-called plagerised text,
    is it in the Chapter 2 [a short sketch of the Talmud] or Chapter 4 [Jonathan’s interview of the Bethlehem shepherds]. I am reading this book with an open mind because it is quiet plausable that such writings should exist, I make the comment that if the original pre-translations were printed alongside the English translation this would make it more believable as a legitimate account.
    I disagree with your quoting of the scripture of Galatians 1:8-9
    Galatians 1:8-9
    New Living Translation (NLT)
    8 Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you. 9 I say again what we have said before: If anyone preaches any other Good News than the one you welcomed, let that person be cursed.
    This clearly applies to preaching of the Gospel and not to extra- biblical texts like the Archko volume or for that matter Josephus, Pliny or Tacitus which also mention the Messiah.
    Most of Archko chapters were supposedly written by non-christians [ Pilate, Gamaliel, Caiaphas and Herod Antipater] , these men clearly not preachers of the Gospel. Most of these reports being over the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The modern legal court system would presumably have to report on such a contraversial event.
    Your charge against Benny Hinn or any preacher of the Gospel over the use of apologetic texts is ill advised. These extra-biblical references to Jesus don’t harm the cause of the Gospel they rather enhance it, when used in an apologetic manner. As a student of apologetics I will finish the volume, whether it is genuine or not is up to question.

    1. John,

      As I mentioned in my critique of the Archko Volume, which is linked to this article, the plagiarized chapter was taken out after Rev. Mahan’s presbytery convicted him of plagiarism and falsehood; he was defrocked for a year under the condition that he would never again publish the Archko Volume, but instead mahan took out the parts they objected to and republished it anyway.

      The term gospel in that passage is euaggelion, which according to the HELPS dictionary includes the entire Bible and is not limited to how a person becomes a Christian.

      You seem determined to ignore the evidence present in favor of your own subjective opinion. Just be careful who you lead astray by promoting this false book as truth. The fact is that you want to believe it, despite all evidence to the contrary, but espousing this nonsense as a legitimate extraBiblical evidence for the Bible’s claims will only backfire when folks investigate it further and find out it is undeniably a fake.

      As for Benny Hinn, he is a false prophet [demonstrably so] and no Gospel minister.

      Reliable extrabiblical references do enhance the Bible’s credibility, but the Archko is not a reliable text. It is a fakeRather than enhancing the Gospel, proven false [made up] historical references destroy the credibility of Christians who propose them as extraBiblical proofs of Biblical events!


      1. Jim Stone says:


        How do we know that the passage from Ben Hur was not lifted from The Archko Volume? It was written by a Jew, was it not?
        And why do we assume that just because the pastor who researched and brought The Archko Volume forward was convicted and deflocked proves that he is guilty? Apparently, he did not acknowledge guilt if he still continued to produce the book, and with the parts assumed to be stolen from Ben Hur left in.

        I’m not convinced that the book is a fraud. On top of everything else, it is too in depth and covers too many topics that can not be made up so well by the imagination. Such accusations give creedence to atheists who claim that the Bible itself is a fraud written by one or a few novelists.



      2. Tony Breeden says:

        Jim Stone,

        As I’ve documented in the accompanying link, the Archko Volume [published in 1884] is chock-full of mistakes, anachronisms and Biblical contradictions. It’s author was convicted of fraud and plagiarism by his local presbytery in 1885. Ben Hur is a noted work of fiction by Union general Lew Wallace, published in 1880.

        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,” which has since been taken out of the Archko Volume [even thougfh the good “reverend” Mahan promised never to published this work again upon his conviction]. His use of the word “anuman,” which isn’t a word at all, proved to be his undoing. 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, thus proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that Mahan plagiarized Ben Hur.

        Read more about the fraudulent Archko Volume and the huckster who wrote it at https://siriusknotts.wordpress.com/2008/01/05/a-critique-of-the-archko-library/

    2. doirs says:

      I totally agree with you, John. There are many collaborating documents that chronicle the life of our LORD. I bought this book in a little Christian book store in Upland Ca in 1973. I paid 3.95 for it. I was so inspired I wanted to get some copies to give to family and friends but was told it was out of print. I am gad it is back in print. I have never met anyone who has read or even heard of it until now. I have read it many times over the years and have always prayed for guidance when reading it. The Holy Spirit has blessed me each time with some new insight. When I read the part where Jonathan was asking the man by the side of the road how he would recognize Jesus if he found him and the man said “If you meet him, you will know him” I almost jumped out of my skin. That is so true. As for the Caiaphas and Herod Antipater reports, I know several people who have read them.As for Benny Hinn, I will let the LORD be his judge. If the Vatican had not closed it’s archives ,I would think someone could have validated the book.

      1. Doris,

        We often find inspiration in works of fiction. For example, Charles Sheldon’s In His Steps has inspired generations of Christians to ask themselves the question “What Would Jesus Do?” However much it inspires me, I would never make In His Steps out to be anything other than a work of purest fiction. I understand that you feel an emotional resonnance with some of the things that Mahan wrote.

        Unfortunately, it is not an authentical historical resource. Rev. Mahan was convicted of fraud and plagiarism by his presbytery and de-frocked for an entire year because they were able to prove that he plagiarized portions of it [including a chapter that was copied from Ben Hur]. Rev. Mahan agreed not to re-publish the Archko Volume fraud, but he lied to his presbytery and re-published it without the Ben Hur chapter and some of the other falsehoods he was caught at. You need to lay aside your conspiracy theories concerning the Vatican and realize that you are promoting a known work of fraud, a LIE, to your friends and family simply because it resonates with you on an emotional level. You want it to be true, but this doesn’t make it so!

        I encourage you to look at the evidence I’ve compiled in my critique of the Archko Library and come to a conclusion more consistent with the facts.

        “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4


  6. Geri Ronning says:

    I have had this book the Archko Volume for over thirty years and read it occasionally. It is not represented as scripture so “Get over it whoever is objecting to these early writings. They only augment the scriptures.”

    1. Tony Breeden says:

      A proven fraud which plagiarized Ben Hur, contains gross historical errors and actually contradicts Scripture on the character of Jesus’ earthly father “only augments the scriptures”??? I beg you to think that through, sir.

  7. Marianne says:

    i have read it and I believe it. sorry you don’t. are you an archeologist?

    1. Tony Breeden says:

      The Archko Volume fails several basis tests for authenticity. The preacher who “discovered” it was discovered to have plagiarized Ben-Hur by his presbytery. He admitted the fraud, promised to take the book off the market and was defrocked for a year. Rather than keeping his word, he took out the passage from Ben-Hur and published it again. The book also contains both historical errors and anachronisms (terms used by “ancients” that were not used until centuries later.

      A full and exhaustive critique of this fraud is found elsewhere on this site, where you will learn that, yes, archaeologists have found it to be bunk too: https://siriusknotts.wordpress.com/2008/01/05/a-critique-of-the-archko-library/

      1. Marianne says:

        sorry tony

        I read your page and it lacks scholarship. Misquotes from archo, citing nonexistent books then complaining about them, no documentation. your main “proof” is that you just do not believe it. where did you go to school? by the way, the “canon” was determined by the catholic church, which you also do not believe. you make a lot of claims with either no backup, or you make things up

      2. Tony Breeden says:

        You are welcome to cite something specific if you think I am in error. I won’t abide the cowardice of sweeping generalizations.

        I noted that it grossly contradicts the Bible’s description of Joseph, father of Jesus.

        The alleged manuscript was ostensibly paid for with coinage (darics) that had not existed since the 4th century.

        Mahan was convicted by his presbytery for plagiarizing part of the Archko fraud from Ben-Hur.

        Dr. Edgar J Goodspeed, noted Greek scholar, Bible translator and expert on apocryphal works, dissected and utterly refuted the Archko fraud in Strange New Gospels (1931) and Modern Apocrypha (1956). Medeival scholar MR James examined it and decreed it disgusting and ridiculous. Per Erik Bestow, Bible scholar and associate professor at Lund University, also refuted it in Strange Tales about Jesus (1985).

        You don’t have a leg to stand on. Benny Hinn is a fraud promoting another fraud. And you’re defending a fraud. My guess is you’ve promoted this fraud as truth and your reputation will suffer if you must admit it’s a work of fiction.

      3. Marianne says:

        the burden of proof is on you, not me. you are the one with the denials and unsubstantiated allegations.

      4. Tony Breeden says:

        If you had read my critique of the Archko Fraud, you would realize that the burden of proof against this book’s authenticity is on you, precisely because it has been debunked several times over by historians, Bible scholars, investigators and archaeologists.

      5. Marianne says:

        you cannot cite yourself as your own authority. you need to prove external sources.

      6. Tony Breeden says:

        If you had read my critique of the Archko Volume, you would’ve noted the numerous outside authorities I cited in support of my arguments.

      7. Marianne says:

        there is no real description of joseph to distort in the bible. the interview with him was done later in life.

      8. Tony Breeden says:

        If you had read my critique of the Archko Fraud, you would know you’re incorrect. The Bible describes Joseph as a just man. Meanwhile the Archko Volume describes Joseph’s character as being “as gross and as glum as he looks.” The interview never happened. The work is purest fiction.

    2. Tony Breeden says:

      No but I am a rational researcher

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