The Lost Ark of the Covenant is the real-life account of an astounding quest—professor Tudor Parfitt's effort to recover the revered artifact that contained the Ten Commandments, sacred to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
This holy object disappeared from the Temple when the Babylonians invaded Jerusalem in 586 BC and was lost—apparently forever.
According to the biblical account, the Ark was built at the command of God, in accord with Moses's prophetic vision on Mount Sinai. The Ark, believed to be the throne of God, was carried by the Israelite high priests in the wilderness during their harrowing search for a homeland. When the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem, the Ark entered the domain of legend. The mysterious disappearance of arguably the most important religious artifact in history led to a plethora of theories about the location of the Ark. Its whereabouts unknown, adventurers risked their lives and fortunes for over two millennia in attempts to discover this sacred treasure.
With painstaking historical scholarship, groundbreaking genetic science, and hair-raising fieldwork, Parfitt, who the Wall Street Journal calls "a British Indiana Jones," debunks the previous myths and reveals the shocking history of the Ark and its keepers. From Israel to Egypt, Ethiopia, and the ruins of Great Zimbabwe, the journey leads to places Parfitt could never have imagined. He encounters a cannibalistic tribe in Papua, New Guinea.
He is ambushed and shot at in Africa. And he narrowly escapes being kidnapped by Islamist outlaws in the wilder reaches of Yemen.Throughout his search, he is aided by a motley crew of kabbalistic mystics, Muslim holy men, charlatans and crooks, tribal elders, and scheming politicians.
The Lost Ark of the Covenant is a vivid and page-turning account of the culmination of two decades of research by an acclaimed scholar and adventurer. In the end, legend becomes reality as an unknown history comes to light, and with it our understanding of this lost treasure is changed forever.
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About the Author
Tudor Parfitt's life's work has been tracking down the lost tribes of Israel in Africa and Asia. As professor of Jewish studies at London's prestigious School of Oriental and African Studies and Fellow of the Oxford Centre of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, he has written widely on the history of the Jews of Africa and Asia. In 2006, he was appointed Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Harvard University. He has traveled widely through remote areas of Africa and Asia and divides his time between London and the Templar region of the South Aveyron.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is the worst book I've read in three years. It's slap-dash research wrapped in bad writing. The author does, indeed, find 'the arc' -- but, regrettably, it's carbon-test proven to be 2,000 years too modern. This author should stick with cookbooks. And his editor at Harper will undoubtedly be looking for a new career, too. DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY. If you want much more useful information on the topic, see 'Raiders of the Lost Arc' one more time.
A beautifully written, fast paced adventure/travel book as good as anything in this line, about the author's adventures tracking down his history of the Ark of the Covenant. Following the rabbinic idea that there were two arks - an ark of war and a ceremonial thing - as in Raiders of the Lost Ark - he follows a multitude of clues and traces its passage through time and space until he gets to darkest Africa. I saw the History Channel doc based on this - not bad - but the book is so much better. Unlike anything else in this genre - he actually finds something - you're not left wondering outside some decrepit church where a toothless monk won't let you see the goods. His science is impeccable - but his story-telling prowess is second to none. Just fabulous. Beware - you will not be able to put this down!
Interesting documentary based on this book broadcast on Channel 4 in UK on 14th March '08. Didn't buy into his idea of the Ark as a drum... if you want an alternative exciting view on the location of the proper, gold covered Ark of the Covenant, go to the Wyatt Research Centre, where Ron Wyatt [now deceased] shows how the location of the Ark is crucial to linking the Old and New Covenants in the Bible - mind blowing stuff!
A really well written academic detective book which reads like a thriller. Impossible to put down once you've started. The clues lead you on, on the edge of your seat, until the extraordinary conclusion.
I am surprised that no one else has reviewed this book yet. So, as unqualified as I my be, I have decided to do so. 'Lost Ark of the Covenant' is a page-turner containing new ideas about the whereabouts of the Ark of the Covenant. While it may be an exciting travel book, the factual information seems a little iffy. I have trouble believing what Mr. Parfitt thinks to be the Ark actually is. I'll grant its amazing that the Lemba of southern Africa have the 'Moses Gene' and I don't doubt that they did come from Yemen and possibly Israel before that. But the idea that their 'ngoma' or wooden drum is the Ark seems a little far fetched to me. Additionally, the author's premise that the Ark actually was an early 'weapon of mass destruction' seems a little more than unlikely. Another thing about the book that bothered me was that Mr. Parfitt never tells whether or not the Gogodala of Papa New Guinea are of Jewish descent or not. He did the DNA testing. Why not include the results in the book, positive or not? This only leaves the reader frustrated. Some events in 'The Lost Ark' seem to work out too perfectly. Additionally, it seems to me that he disregards some Ark locations too quickly (eg. It can't be under the Temple Mount because people have been looking there for so long.) While I don't believe Parfitt's theory, I still had a hard time putting the book down. The real-life adventure was exciting, and the history (most of it) piqued my interest. I would certainly recommend reading this book. Perhaps Mr. Parfitt can convince you of his theory and I am just a stubborn reader. I'm not sure why this book hasn't made a bigger splash. It seems that recently every year around March/April there is a new biblical mystery/conspiracy in the news (Da Vinci Code, Tomb of Jesus, etc.) I have a feeling this may be this years, but so far 'The Lost Ark' hasn't reached the limelight.