Blogroll

A Bible hoax that won’t die

Between 1879 and 1896, the Rev. William D. Mahan, a minister in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, published three tracts of previously unknown contemporary accounts of Jesus Christ’s life. There’s virtually unanimous agreement that his work is a fraud, and Mahan’s Presbytery suspended him for falsehood and plagiarism. Still, the last version, The Archko Volume, is […]

The religious cult with a puppet diety

Throughout history, humans worshiped hundreds of deities. The cult of Glycon, a human-headed snake, arose in second-century Asia Minor. Founded by Alexander of Abonoteichus around 160 CE, the religion worshiped Glycon for a century or more after Alexander’s death. It was all a fraud. Glycon’s human head was a sock puppet.

All we know of […]

Was Pope Sylvester II a sorcerer?

Not all popes are known for their sanctity. In the Middle Ages, popes routinely acted immorally. But it’s Pope Sylvester II who has the distinction of being the first accused necromancer to rule the church. The claims stemmed from his erudition and religious politics.

Born Gerbert in south-central France around 946, he entered a nearby […]

A local domestic casualty of the World War I draft

No one can guess what Melvin Lunda was thinking as he walked to work in downtown Sioux Falls on Thursday, June 20, 1918. Certainly, though, the 28-year-old couldn’t have imagined he would be a domestic fatality of World War I before the day ended. Lunda was what we now call collateral damage brought about by […]

The apocryphal Bible hoax that won’t die

Between 1879 and 1896, the Rev. William D. Mahan, a minister in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, issued three editions of previously unknown contemporary accounts of Jesus Christ’s life. There’s virtually unanimous agreement that his work is a fraud, and Mahan’s church suspended him for falsehood and plagiarism. Yet the last version, The Archko Volume, is […]