Glenn Beck on The Dead Sea Scrolls

A lot of people are weighing in on Glenn Beck’s comments regarding the Dead Sea Scrolls.  For those of you who haven’t heard, here’s the transcripts from Beck’s Radio Show:

Beck: You know the… Dead Sea Scrolls. You know what they are? Stu, do you know what the Dead Sea Scrolls are? …

Stu: Well, of course I do.

Beck: No, come on. Most people don’t. I’m not…

Stu: I heard of them. I don’t really know.

Beck: You don’t really know, do you. You have no why they were there.

Stu: Nu uh.

Beck: Sarah, average person doesn’t know. Any idea? Take a guess on what, why the Dead Sea Scrolls are there, anything else.

Sarah: Something religious.

Beck: OK good. Even though I’ve explained this on this program a couple of times, I’m glad to see that, I’m glad to see that even the people that work with me everyday don’t even listen.

Stu: Well, there’s, we were actually talking about American Idol last night. The guy won! It was unbelievable.

Beck: All right. So here’s what happened. When Constantine decided he was going to uh… cobble together an army, um, he did the uh… Council of uh… Nicaea, right, Pat?

Pat: Yea.

Beck: Council of Nicaea. Um… and what they did is brought all of the religious figures, uhh, together, all the Christians and then they said, “Ok, let’s uh, put together the Apostles’ Creed, let’s, you know, you guys do it.” So they brought all their religious scripture together, and that’s when the Bible was first bound and everything else. And then they said, “Anybody that disagrees with this is a heretic and… off with their head!” Well, that’s what the Dead Sea Scrolls are. The Dead Sea Scrolls are those scriptures that people had at the time that they said, “They are destroying all of this truth.” Whether it’s truth or not is, is up to the individual, but that… at that time those people thought that this was something that needed to be preserved and so they rolled up the scrolls and they put ‘em in clay pots and they, they put ‘em in the back of caves where no one could find them. They were hidden scripture because everything was being destroyed that disagreed with the Council of Nicaea and Constantine. That’s what those things are.

Oh…where to begin.  For what its worth, here’s my two cents.

  1. The only thing Beck got right was the fact that Constantine called the Council of Nicaea.
  2. The Council of Nicaea put together the Nicene Creed not the Apostles’ Creed.
  3. The Essenes, not Christians compiled the Dead Sea Scrolls…you’re thinking of the Nag Hamadi Library.
  4. The Dead Sea Scrolls were written between 200 BCE and 70 CE.  The Council of Nicaea took place in 325 CE.  Obviously the Dead Sea Scrolls were not associated with Nicaea at all.
  5. The Dead Sea Scrolls contain no New Testament literature at all…all Old Testament and OT Pseudepigrapha.

A simple check of Wikipedia produces more accurate facts than are spewed forth from Beck.  It amazes me that this man commands the attention of the Christian Right like he does.  People buy into this crap and parrot it without checking Beck’s ‘facts’.  If Beck is wrong about church history (which he is), what else could he be wrong about (social justice)?  I think Liberty University should ask Beck to return their honorary Doctorate.


2 thoughts on “Glenn Beck on The Dead Sea Scrolls

  1. I read your post last night and was so stunned that I couldn’t comment. And….well….I kinda feel the same way again today.

    I venture to guess that there are about a dozen people in my tiny congregation who would have a more accurate answer as to what the Dead Sea Scrolls were than he has given. Plus, I just LOVE how a self styled ultra conservative Christian would speak with so disparaging a tone in regards to the gathering of the scriptural texts into the canon. We Lutherans often (rightly) receive a smack on the wrist for our lack of bible knowledge from our more conservative Christian brothers and sisters so I do not wish to cast stones when we, too, fall far short of the discipleship in which we should partake. But, Holy Cow, that’s just ridiculous! It is a shame that this person with so much power and influence over so many can so readily share his ignorance with those who may never learn the actual facts of this. Not to mention, of course, all the other ways in which he seeks to be incendiary for his own glorification. Perhaps things like this may make people aware of his overal ignorance.

  2. Pingback: Why Christian Education Matters « Shepherdess Writes

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