October 29, 2020

Glenn Beck, Church Historian?

By Chaplain Mike

Over at Art Boulet’s blog, he quotes the following historical recap about the Dead Sea Scrolls from Glenn Beck’s radio show:

When Constantine decided that he was going to cobble together an army, he did the Council of Nicaea, right, pat? Council of Nicaea, and what they did is brought all of the religious figures together, all the Christians, and they said, “OK, let’s put together the Apostles’ Creed, let’s, you know, you guys do it. and so they brought all their religious Scripture together, that’s when the Bible was first bound and everything else. and then they said, “Anybody who disagrees with this is a heretic and off with their head!”

Well that’s what the Dead Sea Scrolls are. 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 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 put them in clay pots and they, they put them in the back of caves. 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.

Uh, what?


  1. Wow.

    I try really hard to love my enemies. And Glenn Beck has shown himself on numerous occasions to be just that.

    But this is just ignorant.

  2. Isaac Rehberg (the poster formerly known as Obed) says

    Good Lord, someone needs to do better homework. The sad thing is that many folks will buy into that crap. Gosh, I hate it when loudmouthed popular folk don’t do their homework! I wonder how often I’ll be seeing this crap pop up on forums.


  3. Glenn Beck needs to stick to gold plates and leave Hebrew parchments alone.

    • My thought as well. Insinuating that the Dead Sea scrolls were put into hiding to later be found is a thinly veiled attempt to give validity to his beliefs about the origin of Mormon “scriptures”

  4. wow. i’m speechless. wow.

    • Me, too. Compared to Beck, The Da Vinci Code is The Anchor Bible Dictionary and Dan Brown is Frank Moore Cross.

  5. Glenn Beck is a Mormon, He is a heretic. Nothing else to say.

  6. Astonishing ignorance. Just stunning. I wish I could be confident that it’s an isolated incident, or limited to historical-biblical topics, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Why anybody listens to people like Beck and the other radio blowhards is just beyond me.

  7. If at any point in time Glenn Beck gets a historical fact right, then that might well be a miracle.

    This is the kind of gibberish that he spews for 3.5 hours every day. I’m not even surprised at this kind of malarkey from him.

  8. Wow. I love poking fun at Beck’s unparalleled idiocy, but this is above and beyond the call of crazy duty. But what scares me beyond his clearly outlandish behavior is that many many evangelicals still listen to him as though he’s to be trusted on politics and even religion. It shows, sadly enough, that he’s exhibit A of American evangelicals’ scriptural illiteracy. But thanks for the heads up. I’ll definitely be sharing this little doozy!

  9. I am not surprised at the ignorance he just displayed. Its in the same category as O’Reily not knowing that the book of Revelation was in the New Testement. I am sure that Limbaugh and Hannity would fare no better. The sad thing is that so many so called Christians listen to these entertainers every day and take them seriously, not knowing that these guys are actually fulfilling a very important role for the enemy of our souls by sowing hatred and discord every day. Oh and making millions as they do it.

  10. Had to pull the audio myself, although I think Beck says some accurate things related to the U.S., history and the economy he does misstate things. This one was so over the top it was nearly unbelievable.

  11. As Mark pointed out above, Beck is a Mormon, and apparently a pretty devout one at that. This “explanation” of the history of Scripture is not due to him being an “uneducated right-wing blowhard,” but due to his false religion. It’s pretty much in line with things I’ve heard other Mormons say about the orthodox Christian canon being “corrupted” due to the early church falling into “apostasy.”

    I generally don’t have a problem with Christians agreeing with much of Beck’s politics. It does concern me that many Christians seem to embrace him and other radio/TV talk types so passionately (and its not just the right wing–Keith Olbermann is at least as vitriolic as Beck and the other conservatives). I do fear a lack of discernment when Christian brothers and sisters can become such fans of those who show an such disrespect for those they disagree with.

    With that said, we should also be careful not to join in the name calling and mudslinging towards Beck and his contemporaries that we accuse him of using. I fear some of the comments show some of that same disrespect. Remember, “do unto others” does not mean we get to react to sinners by employing the same sins against them.

  12. Glenn Beck’s version of Ecclesiastical “history” puts Alexander Hislop’s pan-Babylonianism to shame, even though both blame Constantine for what went wrong with the Church. This little gem, however, just takes the cake on the level of absurdity a lot of people will put up with to pack the pews full.

  13. @Rich: Well, lets see what name calling took place:
    – Heretic: if he’s a Mormon, then that’s not a “name” but an accurate description.
    – Popular Loudmouth – again, not a name but an accurate description
    – Enemy: again, if he’s a Mormon, this is no stronger than the language Paul uses to talk about those who deny the deity and lordship of Christ.
    – Idiocy, with regard to this “history”: an accurate description, I am afraid.

    So I don’t see the name calling you refer to. I don’t see Paul and the other biblical authos “respecting” heretical beliefs, nor do the call us to have any respect for false doctrine.

  14. Oh my gosh.

    I just visited Qumran and the Shrine of the Book a few weeks ago…nothing about Constantine there. Something about Essenes.


  15. I only am aware of Glenn Beck from reading outraged/incredulous descriptions of his latest inanity on other blogs, but any man who with a straight face considers Dorothy Day to be equivalent to Stalin (because, y’know, she used to be Socialist before she converted to Catholicism and afterwards still had these suspicioulsy leftist attitudes to capitalism, ergo she was a Commie, ergo she was just like Stalin) –

    – well, he’s a few sandwiches short of a picnic, right?

    Though if Dan Brown can peddle much the same line and get respectful interviews in the papers about how meticulous(!) his research is, we shouldn’t be looking down our noses at a populist professional loudmouth.

    • Lukas db says

      I don’t think Glen Beck is so much crazy as he is a loudmouth. He just says whatever the heck first pops into his head, and long practice has made him reflexively earnest. He is also accustomed to winning arguments, and so says anything that will get him there, probably without thinking twice about it.
      When he talks about things he’s actually bothered to think about first, he’s not crazy or idiotic, necessarily. But we really shouldn’t have to put up such a robust nonsense filter when listening to a TV host.

  16. I wonder if the Christians that put such stake in what Glenn Beck says will even remember that he’s a Mormon and that he’s giving HIS version of church history? Critical thinking is in such short supply these days that many people no longer analyze what others say. If he’s right about President Obama, surely he’s right about this and everything else. Sigh…. What needs to happen now is, a well-respected Christian scholar needs to counter this with the real facts.

  17. Should have been the keynote in his commencement speech at Liberty University.

    • Jonathan Blake says

      Why didn’t you write his speech for him!? You could’ve used his broad historical knowledge to woo the crowd. That would’ve showed how much he deserved that honorary degree he received.

      The problem with America is that so many listen to people who are spewing ignorance, misinformation, lies and plain hatred. Americans take it all as fact and allow themselves to be stirred up to blind anger.

      This most recent quote is a perfect example of the blind leading the blind

  18. Bouncing off Stuart, above—the really scary part is that Beck was the graduation speaker at Liberty University a few weeks ago. What would Jerry Falwell have thought of all of this?

    Also scary is Beck’s statement, “whether it’s truth or not is up to the individual, but that, at that time those people thought that this was something that needed to be preserved.” This could be taken out of context, and it’s hard to say what Beck does know about the scrolls. For the most part, they’re Bible, and so is he saying that, as truth, the Bible is optional? Or does he think the scrolls are all secondary documents and fiction? Like the Mormon plates?

    This is just weird.

  19. Dan Allison says

    The man is a dangerous hatemonger. Any Christian who watches his show needs to get a big dose of discernment. That people actually think this man “speaks for Christians” is an error we need to correct every day and at every opportunity.

    • He clearly speaks what is on the minds of many christian-type people, otherwise he would not be so popular and no one would be chatting him up at church. He would have nothing to stoke if there were not already fires. He is not the problem, he is only a symptom. This is where much of mainstream evangelicalism in America is today. God have mercy on us.

      • FWIW, I have never heard his name mentioned at church.

        Or at work.

        And I live in the Bible Belt.

        But I go to a small church.

        And many of the people at work are liberal Democrats.

        So that must be it.

    • Boy, your Christian love is showing.

  20. I have no idea why any Christian would want to listen/watch Glen Beck on a regular basis. First, as a Mormon his takes on the Christian faith are skewed. Second, much of his material is factually inaccurate. Finally, a good deal of what he says on air is hateful. Surely there are better right wing commentators than Beck.

  21. Christopher Lake says

    Wow… while I do like some (*some*) of Beck’s political observations, he desperately needs to take a Church history class– and not one from the Mormons, which would be an oxymoron.

    My aunt absolutely loves Beck. I can only hope that her Greek Orthodox husband will correct any misunderstandings of Church history that may arise, in their conversations, because of these Dead Sea Scroll “statements”…..

  22. I personally like Beck’s radio program and TV show. Although, I do cringe when he starts talking about religion. If he says something off or regarding religion, it tends to happen on his radio show (which is obviously more “ad-lib” than his TV show, which is more scripted). That being said and in spite of his historical mishap here, I love the stuff he has done on American history lately. He started a series called Founders Fridays about a month ago on his TV show that is awesome. The first episode on Samuel Adams and the most recent one on “African-American founding fathers” are ingenious. I learned so much and actually found myself wanting both episodes to be longer.

    Anyway, my point is–it’s not all bad. The areas of history he knows well–like the history of the Progressive movement, etc., he does well. And the areas he doesn’t, well–it’s just embarrassing. The good thing is that it’s not hard to tell the difference.

    Although, sometimes I wish he would research his own religion like he’s researched American history.

    • “The areas of history he knows well–like the history of the Progressive movement, etc., he does well. ”

      That’s the problem he really doesn’t know much about what he expounds on. Even things like the progressive movement he lacks depth of knowledge. I saw his discussion/talk/rant about art in and around Rockefeller Center and he was clueless. Really, really clueless. He makes it sound good. Jon Stewart’s imitation of him was spot on. He makes flimsy connections to people/things that have no real connection at all.His logical fallacies are too numerous to count.

  23. This is what happens when an illiterate society mistakes celibrity for authority.

  24. Apart from the mistakes Beck made, the comments above about Christians giving so much attention to these people brought to mind Michael Spencer’s post about Limbaugh.

    Perhaps Chaplain Mike or someone would like to repost it. However, here it is, just in case:


    • dkmonroe says

      You would never, ever hear Rush LImbaugh attempt to hold forth on theology or religious matters in any way approaching the Glenn Beck quote which is at issue here. Limbaugh has always been intentionally circumspect with his comments on religion.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        So Glenn Beck is trying to one-up Rush? “Can you top this?”

        • dkmonroe says

          I neither know nor care what Glenn Beck is trying to do, I was just pointing out what I consider to be a deficiency on his part in comparison to Rush.

          Also I was trying to address the attempt to drag Limbaugh into the conversation. Many people, Michael (RIP) included, seem to fall into the error of believing that since Limbaugh’s politics are popular with evangelicals, therefore Limbaugh is some sort of pied piper leading them away from Jesus and into an unhealthy fixation with “worldly things.” In the comments section for the LImbaugh article I tried to discuss this with Micheal and didn’t get very far.

  25. Headless Unicorn Guy says
    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      P.S. Try some of the audio on your answering machine/voicemail and let everyone know if it helps “discourage” telemarketers.

  26. If this was the case why didnt they just burn them

  27. Hilarious!