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19th Amdt












Archko or Archoko Volume


Archko Volume: Archeological Writings Of The Sanhedrim And Talmunds Of The Jews, The
by: McIntoch & Twyman (trans)
ISBN: 0-7873-0598-7
format: Paperback
pages: 248

Price: $17.30

1896 The archeological writings of the Sanhedrim and Talmuds of the Jews - These are the official documents made in these courts in the days of Jesus Christ. Translated by Drs. McIntosh & Twyman of the Antiquarian Lodge, Genoa, Italy. From manuscripts in Constantinople and the records of the senatorial docket taken from the Vatican at Rome.

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Newsgroups: soc.religion.christian
Path: jfb
From: (John Baskette)
Subject: Re: The Archko Volume
Message-Id: <>
Organization: The MacNeal-Schwendler Corporation
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 1994 23:14:38 GMT
Apparently-To: (Charles J. Jones) writes:

>Hi folks!
>   I've just finished a book called _The Archko Volume_
>   Anyone else have any experience or knowledge of the
>authenticity (or lack thereof) of this work?

Hello Charles,  Your wise to be dubious of this work.

I haven't read this work as you have, but I have read about it in a book
that I have that's probably out of print, but it's a terrific book if you
can find it:

  _Modern Apocrypha, Famous "Biblical" Hoaxes_ by Edgar J. Goodspeed
  (The Beacon Press, Boston, 1956) the Library of Congress catalog card
   number is 56-10075

I bought it as a used book. Does anyone out in net land know if this has
been re-issued?

Goodspeed was a first rate Biblical scholar, professor emeritus of the
University of Chicago.  He made the first translation of the Apocrypha
directly from Greek into English in _The Apocrypha: An American Translation_.
He translated the New Testament in his _The New Testament: An American
Translation_ and has written a number of other books about the Bible or
the history of Christian and Biblical literature.

Chapter Four of the book, "The Report of Pilate", deals with the Archko

I am going to give you my own paraphrased summary of the salient points in
this chapter.  I might otherwise just tell you to get the book, but the
book may not be available to you.  I don't know.

In 1879 a Boonville, Missouri minister,the Rev. W.D.Mahan, published a
pamphlet entitled _A Correct Transcript of Pilate's Court_.  In 1884, after
the apparent successful distribution and wide spread popularity of the
report, Mahan issued a new volume that contained an expanded version of this
report along with eleven other such works, under the title, _The
Archaeological and the Historical Writings of the Sanhedrin and Talmuds of
the Jews, Translated from the Ancient Parchments and Scrolls at Constantinople
and the Vatican at Rome_.

This volume has been reprinted many times under various titles, most often as
_The Archko Volume_ or _Archko Library_.

Mahan accompanied his original report with an account of how he came into
possession of the work.  In short, he says he obtained the copy through the
help of a German scholar, Henry C. Whydaman, from Father Peter Freelinhusen,
the chief guardian of the Vatican.  Father Freelinhusen provided the Latin
text for 35 darics.  Whydaman's brother-in-law, C.C. Vantberger of New York,
translated the volume.  Mahan even includes a letter from Father Freelinhusen
to Whydaman that certifies the accuracy and authenticity of the book.

Needless to say, the Vatican does not admit to having any book of this kind
nor is there any record in the annals of the Vatican library of any such
person as Father Peter Freelinhusen.

The _Archko Volume_ was produced after the Rev. Mahan supposedly traveled to
Rome and Constantinople to study the original sources for the life of Jesus.
He was assisted by two great, but otherwise unknown scholars, Dr. Twyman of
England and Dr. McIntosh of Scotland.

Dr. Goodspeed first wrote his book in the 1930's.  It was possible at that
time for him to interview people who know the Rev. Mahan to determine if
the Reverend had ever traveled to Europe during this time period.  The Rev.
Mahan was absent from his home of Boonville for less than two months
in the autumn of 1883 when he claimed that he was discovering and copying
manuscripts in Rome and Constantinople.  Given the time period, it is utterly
improbable that the Reverend could do all this traveling and research in so
short a time.  According to the people that Dr. Goodspeed interviewed, the
Rev. Mahan traveled no further than Rome, Illinois from which he dispatched
his correspondence.

General Lew Wallace, the author of _Ben Hur_, was the American minister to
Turkey in 1883.  According to Wallace, No one connected with the American
legation in Constantinople had any knowledge of a visit by Mahan, nor did
any American missionaries at the time, neither did Zia Bey, who was in charge
of the library of the mosque of St. Sophia, know of any Mahan or of any of
the manuscripts that Mahan professed to have seen there.

Dr. Goodspeed does a great job of documenting many of the absurdities and
errors in this "Volume".  The most incredible and glaring of these 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_.  One striking detail
is the use of the word anuman.  Eli's story reads, "Egypt is satisfied with
her crocodiles and anuman, holding them in equal honor."  Page 272 of
_Ben Hur_ has somes 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.

The Archko is Rev. Mahan's fabrication.

The work presented in the early pamphlet, however, predates the Rev. Mahan.
There was an earlier pamphlet published in Boston, 1842, under the title,
_Pontius Pilate's Account of the Condemnation of Jesus Christ, and his own
Mental Sufferings_.  This was supposedly extracted from an old Latin
manuscript recently found at Vienne.  According to Dr. Goodspeed, this
earlier pamphlet carries no notice of an author or publisher.  This earlier
Boston tract is substantially the same as the Rev. Mahan's document.  It also
appears to be the antecedent of another modern apocryphal work called _The
Confession of Pontius Pilate_.

Goodspeed says that nothing is known about where this Boston pamphlet came
from, but he does analyze the contents sufficiently well to show that it
is historically improbable.

John Baskette


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