Supernatural: The Life of William Branham
This article is one in a series relating to "Supernatural: The Life of William Branham" - you are currently on the topic that is in bold:
- A Review of "Supernatural: The Life of William Branham" By O. Jorgensen
- Owen Jorgensen's attempt to respond to critics of William Branham
- Our Response to Owen Jorgensen's defense of the Message
- Luca Freeman's letter to Owen Jorgensen
Supernatural: The Life of William Branham is a fictionalized biography of William Branham written by Owen Jorgensen. It could also be described as a "hagiography" which is defined as:
- a book about someone's life that makes it seem better than it really is or was;
- a biography that praises someone too much; or
- an idealizing or idolizing biography.
It comprises six volumes and is taken almost exclusively from the sermons of William Branham with absolutely no critical thought on the part of the author.
In the preface to Book One: The Boy and His Deprivation (1909-1932), the author states:
- Every event in this book happened. Many of these stories are well documented from multiple sources. In my research I made use of newspaper and magazine articles, books, photographs, films, and testimonies by people who knew William Branham personally and were eyewitnesses to some of the supernatural phenomenons (sic) described in this biography.
We take exception to the above statement. Why?
The author is a dedicated member of the Branhamite sect (which they refer to as The Message). As a result, he completely failed to make a critical examination of the life of his prophet critically. Jorgensen holds William Branham's word as being equivalent to the Bible. As a result, he assumed that everything that William Branham stated about his life was true (even though independent research has proved that William Branham was not even truthful about his date of birth).
Lack of independent sources
Jorgensen's use of corroborating evidence is almost non-existence with the bibliography for Book One limited to:
- a single scholarly work,
- two books that were effectively marketing pieces for William Branham (where the majority of information came from William Branham himself),
- a book by a fellow follower of William Branham,
- a magazine published by William Branham's daughter, and
- William Branham's books and sermons.
Examples of errors resulting from a lack of proper research
The lack of credible research is reflected throughout the book on an almost constant basis. For example:
- There is a reference to an article in the Jeffersonville Evening News entitled "Mysterious Star Appears Over Minister While Baptizing", however, based on the work of research performed by Searching for Vindication, Jorgensen's reference is simply based on a story by William Branham. Jorgensen never attempted to verify whether the newspaper article actually appeared as William Branham stated. (Book Two, Pg. 117). If Jorgensen had examined the newspaper archives, he would have found that the referenced article does not exist, except for a reference to 14 converts.
- The author is unaware that the name of the church which William Branham first pastored was "The Pentecostal Tabernacle" and that William Branham later changed the name of the church to the Branham Tabernacle. (Book Two, Pg. 134)
- Jorgensen states that in 1954, William Branham dined with King Farouk in Cairo, Egypt, but fails to note that Farouk was forced into exile in 1952. It is therefore clear that William Branham's statement was not true. King Farouk was not in Egypt in 1954. (Book Four, Pg. 156)
- The author states in Book Six, pg. 149 that William Branham "did not borrow from the past, or copy from his contemporaries; he blazed a new trail", thus demonstrating that even in his analytical comments, Jorgensen is out of touch with reality. All one has to do is read our article on plagiarism to determine Jorgensen's complete failure to do any analytical research.
Failure to deal with significant issues
Well over a hundred significant issues relating to William Branham and his message have been identified. Yet, Jorgensen does not deal with any of these major issues in his pseudo-biography.
A few examples of issues he failed to research or comment on include:
- The failed fulfillment of the municipal bridge vision (even though he mentions the prophecy in his book, he omits the fulfillment - likely because he never did any research into the issue);
- The failed vision of the brown bear;
- The failure of the vision of the meetings in South Africa;
- The discrepancies in William Branham's commission by a heavenly vision;
- The fabrications around when William Branham embraced Pentecostalism; and
- General problems and concerns relating to Branham's overall credibility.