Item description for The Archko Volume : or The Archeological Writings of the Sanhedrim & Talmuds of the Jews by Dr McIntosh & Dr Twyman...
Overview The testimony of Jesus' contemporaries, including Herod, Pontius Pilate, and Joseph and Mary, holds a timeless fascination for anyone interested in New Testament literature. Ongoing debate over this classic work's authenticity makes it an engrossing read for those interested in judging for themselves. This elegantly bound edition will find a place in both scholars' and skeptics' collections.
The testimony of Jesus' contemporaries, including Herod, Pontius Pilate, and Joseph and Mary, holds a timeless fascination for anyone interested in New Testament literature. Ongoing debate over his classic work's authenticity makes it an engrossing read for those interested in judging for themselves. This elegantly bound edition will find a place in both scholars' and skeptics' collections.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.81" Width: 5.35" Height: 1.03" Weight: 0.84 lbs.
Release Date Nov 1, 1998
ISBN 0879830670 ISBN13 9780879830670
Reviews - What do customers think about The Archko Volume : or The Archeological Writings of the Sanhedrim & Talmuds of the Jews?
An entertaining, sociopathic hoax May 5, 2008
"The Archko Volume" was first published in 1884. This re-print is based on an revised edition from 1887. Actually, the history of the volume goes back to 1879, when a reverend from Missouri, W.D. Mahan, published a sensational document about Pontius Pilate he claimed to have discovered (?) in the Vatican library. Mahan's booklet was modestly succesful, which prompted him to publish even more sensational documents in 1884, and that book became known as "The Archko Volume". Unfortunately for the enterprising reverend (who actually lived in a town namned Boonville!), one of the "documents" in his book was quickly exposed as a hoax. Apparently, Mahan had plagiarized it from the novel "Ben Hur". The offending material was expunged from the 1887 edition.
And now the real shocker: all other "documents" in this book are also frauds! Mahan wrote everything himself, and one wonders whether he even visited Rome and Constantinople, where he claims to have found reports about Jesus written by Herod the Great, Herod Antipas, Pontius Pilate, and Caiaphas. The hoax is transparent, so transparent that one wonders if Mahan was a sociopath, who filled his "documents" with ridiculous statements, just to see how much he would get away with. Apparently, he *did* get away with it: some people still believe that "The Archko Volume" is real (see some of the other customer reviews on this product page).
Even so, "The Archko Volume" is highly entertaining. You don't have to be a scholar, theologian or textual critic to realize that *something* is wrong with it. One of the documents claim that Joseph and Mary fled to Mecca after the massacre of the innocents in Bethlehem! Even stranger, the document places Mecca in Jordan rather than in Arabia, and the author also seem to think that Moab and Ammon are the same region. Strange, if the document was really written by Gamaliel, as Mahan asserts. The three Magi are never named, but two of the names traditionally attributed to them, Balthasar and Melker, show up in other parts of the story. One of the Jewish priests is named "Jose B. Talmud", and both Herod the Great and Herod Antipas constantly refer to the Jews in third person, as if they weren't Jews themselves! Did Mahan think they were Romans?
At several points in the "documents", the Jews who meet Jesus consult the Talmud in written form - in reality the Talmud wasn't written down until AD 200. Caiaphas calls God "Jehovah", and the name of the Sanhedrin is consistently misspelled as "Sanhedrim", and in his foreword, Mahan seems to think that Midrash is an ancient document. The volume even contains contradictions, so instead of Bible difficulties, we now have Archko Volume difficulties. In one document, Jesus is swarthy and hook-nosed, and is even described as "an old-fashioned Jew", in another he has golden hair and beard, while the Jews are swarthy and black-bearded!
Occasionally, the "documents" are completely incomprehensible. Here is a real gem, supposedly written by Melker, Priest of Bethlehem: "It is, however, most satisfactory to see and hear that the divine grandeur and authority of the sacred oracles are in no way dependent on the solution of carnal critics, but rest on an inward light shining everywhere out of the bosom of a profound organic unity and an interconnected relation with a consistent and united teleology; overleaping all time, the historical present as well as the past, and all the past brought to light in these two events that have just transpired". Doesn't sound like Talmudic causistry, LOL. And this is how Caiaphas comments on the crucifixon of Jesus: "But when he yielded up the ghost he proved to all that he was hypostatical (that is, a human body), and the lodi curios had come from the iclandic covenant, and his trinitatis unitas was all a sham".
What on earth could have prompted Mahan to write a book like this, passing it off as real, ancient documents? Profit-hunger, perhaps. But another reason was noted already by Goodspeed in his classic "Strange New Gospels" (available on the web). Mahan seems to have been worried by the lack of independent, historical evidence for the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. After all, if Pontius Pilate had Jesus crucified, shouldn't there be a record about it in the Roman archives? Shouldn't there be records about the trial of Jesus before the Sanhedrin? Since no such records have been preserved, Mahan decided to forge them himself. The success of "Ben Hur" might also have inspired him. Personally, I noticed that Mahan mentions Tischendorf several times in his foreword. Was the reverend of Boonville jealous at the famous Tischendorf, who made sensational manuscript finds during this period?
It's also interesting to speculate about the theological tendency of "The Archko Volume". Joseph and Mary are constantly denigrated, Joseph in particular. The spirit is said to be better than the physical body. Pilate wants to save Jesus already before his arrest by the Jewish temple guards, and considers him to be a great moral teacher, like Socrates. Was this also Mahan's position? Caiaphas is portrayed as a well-meaning leader who sincerely belives that Jesus is a heretic and a threat to the Jewish Commonwealth. In the most sensational part of the book, the resurrected Jesus appears before Caiaphas and forgivs him, which makes Caiaphas resign his position as High Priest and become a Christian!
At least Mahan wasn't anti-Semitic, LOL!
Finally, I just can't stop myself from quoting the following gem from "Gamaliel's interview with Joseph and Mary" (he found them at Mecca, remember?).
"Joseph is a wood-workman. He is very tall and ugly. His hair looks as though it might have been dark auburn when young. His eyes are gray and vicious. He is anything but prepossesing in his appearence, and he is as gross and glum as he looks. He is but a poor talker, and it seems that yes and no are the depth of his mind. I am satisfied he is very disagreeable to his family. His children look very much like him, and upon the whole I should call them a third-rate family."
Gee, what a mindjob.
Recommended. In a way.
Jesus revealed Mar 3, 2008
This book will knock the socks of believers in Jesus Christ. You will not find anything that contradicts the bible in it but it will disturb your own believes.
Hated it. Dec 8, 2007
This is just a lot of wishful thinking - a bunch of low brow hooey.
The Archko Volume : or The Archeological Writings of the Sanhedrim & Talmuds of the Jews Nov 12, 2006
If this book is true it should be appended to every Bible for historical purpose. The authors and the veracity of what they claim are just too sketchy. There are concerns in some of the information. It claims the Holy family in mecca?? For what purpose it doesn't relay. Nor can I imagine. There is herein a physical description of Jesus which I have received from other sources. This in itself is worth buying this book. It is one of the best books I've ever read. I would love to finally determine whether or not it is factual. As it could just be 'too good to be true'.
Dubious But a Lot of Fun Aug 21, 2005
Christianity is filled with writings that purport to be eyewitness accounts of Jesus' life. Many are forgeries, i.e., they are based on real traditions, but the writers put fake names on them to give them greater authority. The orthodox gospel of Matthew is one such example. Apocryphal writings of this kind have been surfacing for centuries with their "discoverers" often claiming to find them under extraordinary circumstances. The Archko Volume is one such work. The first edition revealed direct plagiarism from the novel Ben Hur, and this certainly cast doubt on everything else in the book. But there is still a mystery about it. Did the authors McIntosh and Twyman make up everything, or if they had created a collection of forgeries, were their writings still based on other documents? If so, what documents? Some Archko writings are intriguing; for example, people interested in UFOs will find remarkable passages here, and this in a book that was published in the late 1800's long before popular UFO awareness. The Archko Volume also contains my favorite apocryphal writing: "Gamaliel's interview with Joseph and Mary and others concerning Jesus" which presents us with an amusing account of Jesus as a lazy young man born of an ugly disagreeable father and a chubby mother who despaired that her son would amount to anything. Hardly the makings of a savior! Alas, New Testament scholars are right to reject the Archko documents since no trace of them have ever been found anywhere else, and the Ben Hur connection was an embarrassment, to say the least. Still, I give this book three stars for its fun value and for the little bit of mystery that it still provides.