In recent years, Mormon lecturer, Einar C. Erickson, has

given numerous talks to Mormon church groups concerning the Dead

Sea Scrolls, Nag Hammadi writings, Mandean Ginza and related

Middle East finds. These lectures have been taped and widely

distributed for use in converting the uninformed to Mormonism. Mr

Erickson states that the writings discovered in the vicinity of

Nag Hammadi, Egypt, are one of the greatest confirmations of the

"truthfulness" of the Mormon church that anyone would find


On one of his tapes, Mr. Erickson boldly declares that:

"These documents and others leave without doubt evidence positive

even on the best rules of evidence that an attorney might be able

to assemble, that this gospel [i.e. the Mormon gospel] is true.

You get no credit for faith anymore." Mr. Erickson attempts to

convince his listeners that the writers of the Nag Hammadi were

the true Christians, (based upon his allegation of their

similarity to Mormonism) and that all others had slipped off into


However; the Nag Hammadi writings are of "Gnostic" origin

which were written during the first to fourth century A.D. The

Gnostic heretics did cherish both the Old and New testament

Scripture, but re-interpreted them in terms of a mythological

Gnostic Redeemer. Gnosticism gave rise to the writings of a

number of totally spurious apocalyptic books, false gospels and

epistles that incorporated their own mysticism.

Gnosticism was a movement that vigorously contended with

Orthodox Christianity for supremacy. Writings by the early Church

Fathers show how widespread and influential Gnosticism was; and

it was combatted as a lethal threat to the proclamation of the

Gospel. The bishops pointed out the great gulf between Biblical

Christianity and Gnosticism, even though the Gnostics made use of

Biblical text. It is obvious that Paul, the Apostle, knew of the

false ideas of Gnosticism, and spoke out against such doctrines

several times in the Scriptures.

The Gnostics believed in the supreme being as an

undescribable God. He is invisible, incomprehensible, and dwells

unbegotten in eternal peace. Some names used to describe God and Üf�Ü

to stress His transcendence were "Father of All", "The

Unapproachable God", "The Unknowable". Such a God could not

possibly have direct contact with the material world; therefore,

He does so through intermediates, each one answerable to the

other. Each intermediate in descending order is less divine and

more earthy as the chain nears the material world.

Mr. Erickson spellbinds his listeners when he tells them

that the Nag Hammadi writings confirm the Mormon doctrine of the

Heavenly Mother! What he fails to tell them is that this Mother

God of the Nag Hammadi is the "Holy Spirit." Certainly this is in

direct conflict with the Mormon concept of a Mother God, because

in Mormon doctrine, the Holy Spirit is a male. The supreme being

has a female counterpart which emanates from Him. She is known as

"Mother of All" or "The Holy Spirit."

Other emanations that come forth from the Supreme Being in

pairs are called AEONS; the lowest Aeon being "Sophia Akhamoth",

she was so full of passion to understand or know God that she

fell and was placed outside the Pleroma, God's heavenly dwelling.

Because of her desire, she becomes fertile with a formless

monster. This monster (Yaldabaoth, Samael or SATAN) is the

Demiurge or inferior god who created this material world and

brought forth man upon it.

According to the Gnostic, all matter is evil; therefore,

only an inferior being could have created it. Satan is the

creator-god of this earth and of man, and is an evil god. To the

Gnostics, Satan is Jehovah of the Old Testament! After Jehovah

(Satan) creates man and breathes life into him, he creates Eve.

The demonic forces see the beauty of Eve, and proceed to rape

her. Through this act, she conceives Cain and Abel.

Mr. Erickson often refers to the Hypostasis of the Archons

of the Nag Hammadi and being direct parallel to the Garden of

Eden scene of the Mormon Temple Ceremony. However, he fails to

inform his listeners that the Hypostasis of the Archeons tells of

the demons raping Eve! Nor does he point out that the serpent in

the garden is really the Holy Spirit coming to give Adam and Eve

the "true knowledge." He neglects to mention to his listeners

that the "god" who comes into the garden to ask Adam and Eve what

they have done is not the "Heavenly Father" but is Satan the Üf�Ü�arrogant Archon, the evil god. In this instance, Mr. Erickson is,

at best, mistaken about the facts -- a fault which reappears

throughout his lectures and tapes.

The authors of the Nag Hammadi writings taught a form of re-

incarnation, and that marriage was evil, because it is of the

earth. They believed the begetting of children was from Satan,

since it merely increases the number subjected to the evil

angels. Resurrection of the flesh is denied by these Gnostics,

since earthly flesh is in itself evil, and can have no part in

the spiritual scheme of God. All of these concepts are not

confirmations of Mormon doctrine, but are direct contradictions

of it!

Mr. Erickson, looking elsewhere in the Middle East for

"proof," tells his audiences that the writings of the Mandaeans

of Iraq and Iran are (also) a confirmation of Mormonism. His

"evidence" for this is that they speak of baptism for the dead,

baptism by immersion, priesthood and baptize in the name of the

Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. What he fails to mention to

them is: according to the Mandaeans, Jesus was a rebel and a

heretic who led men astray by betraying secret doctrine and

making religion easier. The Mandaean sacred book tells of how

Jesus perverted the Scriptures, and that Jesus told the Jews that

He was the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. Furthermore, the

Mandaean book accuses Jesus perverting baptism by baptizing in

the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.

The Mandaeans were baptized many times throughout their

lives. They baptized infants; and if an infant died before or

during this baptism, a clay or dough image was made which they

then baptized in proxy for that infant. Proxy baptism was also

done for an adult who died before getting his last minute

washings before death. In this case, an individual that looked

like the deceased was baptized in proxy for the dead person.

The Mandaeans also had a ceremony of "eating for the dead"

to give the deceased nourishment for his travels to the heavenly

spheres. The Mormon people do not baptize infants, do not eat for

the dead, nor do they have last minute washing rituals before

death as the Mandaeans did. The Mormon proxy baptisms have less

in common with the Mandaean baptisms than they do with Catholic

infant baptisms, last rites ritual, and prayers for the dead.

Clearly, the Mandaean concepts of Jesus and baptism are in no way

similar to Mormon doctrine.

Those holding the Mandaean priesthood had to have a clean

family history for a number of generations, and meet strict

physical and mental qualifications. They had to be without the

slightest physical blemish, and be of pure Mandaean blood. A man Üf��Ü�who was circumcised, impotent, or a eunuch could not be a priest

for the body must be sound, pure, and perfect. If a man was

already a priest and he received an injury which destroyed his

manhood or robbed him of a limb, he could no longer officiate as

a priest. There are no such restrictions within the Mormon

priesthoods. The only things in common with the Mormon

priesthoods and baptism and that of the Mandaean are the very

words themselves!

Mr. Erickson makes false claims about the Dead Sea Scrolls

community, as well. He states that those at Qumran baptized at

the age of eight, just as the Mormons do. This is just simply NOT

the case. They trained young men for their celibate monastic

order for about ten years before they were baptized into their

ranks. This baptism never took place before the age of twenty.

Mr. Erickson states that the people of Qumran were essentially

the first "Mormons." However, the people at Qumran didn't even

believe in marriage! Rather they adopted in young men from other

Essene groups who married only to beget children. By contrast, in

Mormonism, marriage is absolutely essential to each member's

salvation in the Celestial Kingdom of God.

Mr. Erickson claims that the Apocryphal books should be used

as scripture. However, even the Mormon's own "latter day"

revelation disagrees with him. In the introductory heading of

Section 91 of the Doctrine and Covenants, it declares

specifically that the apocryphal books are NOT to be accepted as

scripture. Beyond that built-in contradiction, lies the fact that

one need only to read some of these apocrypha for himself to

quickly discover their singular lack of inspiration.

For example, two "Gospels" portray the life of the young

Jesus, allegedly covering the "silent" years skipped over in the

Bible. The book, "The First Gospel of the Infancy of Jesus"

portrays Jesus as a spoiled despot who curses another child for

bumping into him, and a schoolmaster who was going to discipline

Him for refusing to answer a question. After these two people are

killed at Jesus' command, Joseph tells Mary, "we will not allow

him to go out of the house; for every one who displeases him is

killed." In Thomas' "Gospel of the Infancy of Jesus Christ", we

see Jesus causing the withering of hands, blindness, and again,

death. This is clearly not the Jesus Christ of the Bible!

The conclusion is inescapable -- the claims by Mr. Erickson Üf��Ü�(and consequently other Mormons) that the Mormon doctrine is

"exonerated" by the findings in the Middle East is totally

without foundation. Mormon doctrine is not confirmed by these

different religious sects, it is contradicted by them! It is

apparent that these claims are just another chapter in the long

history of false archeological boasts made by Mormons in the


NOTE: A full and completely documented study of Mr. Erickson's

scholarship regarding the above topics has been written by Mrs.

Melaine Layton entitled: The Truth About the Dead Sea Scrolls and

the Nag Hammadi Writings in Reference to Mormonism. For further

information, please write to the office of Computers For Christ -

San Jose.

These documents are free from , providing free webcontent for websites around the world!. copy freely with this link intact. BelieversCafe.com