Mike Huckabee and the Ark of the Covenant

At the risk of making your face melt, I refer you to this article in Mother Jones about Mike Huckabee’s endorsement of a crank amateur archaeologist named Harry Moskoff who claims to know where the real Ark of the Covenant is. Some details:

Harry Moskoff wouldn’t immediately strike you as the guy to discover the true location of the Ark of the Covenant, the chest that supposedly once held the stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments were written. He was born in Canada, studied jazz at Berklee College of Music, worked in IT, and started a company that specialized in copyright infringement claims when he moved to Tel Aviv 10 years ago. But in his free time, the ordained rabbi has dabbled in biblical archeology, poring over ancient texts and contemporary works, in search of any unturned stone that might help him track down the ark.

“I came up with a theory via Maimonides as to where the ark is located, which I later discussed with rabbis and archeologists in Israel,” he told the Times of Israel in 2013. “It was a Jewish Da Vinci Code type project.” His grand theory? It’s been in Jerusalem all this time, buried underneath the courtyard of the Temple of Solomon.

Huckabee wrote a blurb for Moskoff’s book on the subject:

Huckabeeblurb

This all reminds me of another crackpot amateur archaeologist, Ron Wyatt, who claimed to have actually found the Ark of the Covenant in a cave beneath the hill of Calvary, where Jesus was supposedly crucified. And not only that, but it had the dried blood of Jesus on it, which he somehow managed to bring back to America to have it tested (but for special, lucky, magic reasons, he couldn’t bring back the Ark or even get pictures of it). When tested, the blood had only 24 chromosomes — 23 from Mary, he said, and 1 from God, proving that he was born of a virgin. Like the Ark, however, those test results could never be examined either.

Grifters gonna grift.

POPULAR AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • colnago80

    Any bets as to whether the lamestream media will cover this story?

  • sugarfrosted

    @1 To be fair I think his candidacy died with him defending a child molester.

  • raven

    Huckabee’s ignorance and lies are staggering.

    He’s claiming archaeology has never controverted the bible.

    The actual truth is that it has shown most of the bible is just fiction.

    There never was a Canaanite genocide. The Israelis were just another tribe of…Canaanites. The Exodus never happened. The jury is still out on whether David and Solomon ever existed but they were just minor hilltop tribal leaders. Genesis is just a myth. The First Flood genocide is a myth stolen from the Babylonians and never happened.

    The Israelis were mostly not all that powerful. They never made much headway against the Philistines despite the fact that there never were very many of them either.

  • dingojack

    And I bet Harry Moskoff thinks he could do the Kessel Run in only 12 Parsecs too!

    Dingo

  • caseloweraz

    Huckabee: One of the great things about archeology is that it’s never controverted a biblical truth. It’s always affirmed it.

    Sure! Why, just the other day I was reading about how archeologists found dozens of trumpets buried under the fallen walls of Jericho.

    What journal? If you must know, it was the Weekly World News.

  • rationalinks

    What gets me isn’t that some untrained hack is playing “archaeologist” a la Indiana Jones, but that Mike Huckabee thinks that archaeology actually proves things in the Bible are true. Um..no…Mike…it’s actually the complete opposite of what you said. Archaeology has proven over and over again that the Bible is a bunch of BS. Most of the stories do not line up with known history at all.

  • daved

    “One of the great things about archaeology is that it’s never controverted a Biblical truth.”

    Oh, I don’t know. When they were excavating the walls of Jerusalem from about the time of Jesus, they found that the place where he was supposedly crucified was *inside* the walls. As I understand it, the Jews of that time would never have allowed a crucifixion inside the walls.

    Also, I believe there has been found in Palestine a stela from ancient Egypt dating from before the Israelites supposedly got there.

  • caseloweraz

    And I bet Harry Moskoff thinks he could do the Kessel Run in only 12 Parsecs too!

    But only if he had the Millennium Falcon.

  • whheydt

    But, but…we know where the actual Ark of the Covenant is. It’s in a crate inside a US Government warehouse.

  • typecaster

    Hmm. I think I need to send Huckabee a copy of “The Bible Unearthed”, Given his interest in the truth of archaeology, I think he’d be fascinated.

  • gshelley

    Huckabee’s ignorance and lies are staggering.

    He’s claiming archaeology has never controverted the bible.

    The actual truth is that it has shown most of the bible is just fiction.

    It seems akin to the Creationist claim that the evidence actually supports their position as long as you have a biblical worldview, which basically means any observation or experiment that contradicts them is either wrong or misinterpreted, and only the ones that agree with them are valid.

  • sundiver

    typecaster, who would read it to him?

  • dingojack

    caseloweraz – he woulda gottaway with it too, if’n weren’t for them damn Replicants!

    Dingo

  • colnago80

    Of course, the description of the Exodus in the Hebrew Scriptures, aside from there being not a jot nor a tittle of evidence to support it, is preposterous on its face. The distance from the present day Suez Canal to the present day Israeli border is about a 100 miles. In order to consume 17 years to traverse that 100 miles, they would have had to be traveling in circles. Not hardly.

  • rationalinks

    Except, gshelley, none of the archaeology actually does agree with them. There is nothing in the Bible that is supported by archaeological evidence. Even things that should be straight forward, like major events in cities, or armies warring, etc do not line up. It’s almost as if the whole thing was made up by someone who wasn’t actually there and was only transcribing legends or stories that were told to them…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=730511544 billdaniels

    Biblical literalists will jump at any find that they can associate with their understanding of the bible. A few years ago archaeologists found a boat buried in muck somewhere in Israel. It was dated to the first century CE. The boat was large enough for thirteen people. Jesus + 12 apostles. Ergo, the boat proves the existence of Jesus and all of his miracles. Go figure.

  • busterggi

    And I thought the real Ark was in Kentucky or at least scheduled to be built there. All these magical artifacts are confusing when you don’t have the proper DM’s manual.

  • dingojack

    SLC (#14)- must have been anticipating the New Testament verse about it being easier to pass a snail through the Sinai, than for Moses to navigate northward out of Egypt…

    @@ Dingo

  • rationalinks

    Wrong Ark, busterggi @17….box, not boat. But silly none the less.

    Maybe Huckabee should talk to Graham Hancock about the location of the Ark of the Covenant. I hear he’s got a line on it being in Ethiopia…

  • LightningRose

    DaveD @7: “As I understand it, the Jews of that time would never have allowed a crucifixion inside the walls.”

    That may be true, but the Romans were the honey badgers of the ancient world.

  • colnago80

    Re dingojack @ #18

    Hey, the IDF made it traveling in the other direction in 3 days in 1967. Of course they were heavily mechanized. On the other hand, people were shooting at them.

  • Trebuchet

    So, it’s in the courtyard of the temple of Solomon. Wouldn’t that be under the Dome of the Rock? Obviously we need to tear that down right away.

  • dingojack

    SLC – to be fair, they weren’t following Moses.*

    Dingo

    ——–

    * the man who makes Odysseus look like navigational genius.

  • gshelley

    @15

    Nothing in biology or geology agrees with a young earth, but that doesn’t stop them pretending the evidence supports a young earth as much as an old earth and it just depends on the worldview people use to interpret the data.

    I am pretty confident that if I was to look into it, they would have all sorts of excuses for why the archaeology that doesn’t support them was misinterpreted, or otherwise wrong, and that when looked at correctly without the incorrect assumptions, it is perfectly consistent – in much the same way many Mormon apologists have excuses for why all of the archaeological studies of North America contradict their religion

  • raven

    I am pretty confident that if I was to look into it, they would have all sorts of excuses for why the archaeology that doesn’t support them was misinterpreted, or otherwise wrong, and that when looked at correctly without the incorrect assumptions, it is perfectly consistent.

    Good guess.

    They do. It’s like YECism, a bunch of lies and rationalizations.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    raven @ # 3: The jury is still out on whether David and Solomon ever existed…

    Actually, the discovery of the Tel Dan Stele in 1999 provided – for the first time – material evidence for the existence of a royal “House of David” in the Palestine area.

    Last I heard, nothing similar has emerged for Solomon.

  • anubisprime

    The arrogance of these dimwits is indeed staggering…how in the 7 hells of Westeros does Harry Moskoff think that he is in anyway a far better Archaeologist then Harrison Ford…

    Talk about being out of his league….

  • jnorris

    How (in)convenient for Mr Moskoff that his location is in the one place no one will allow a valid archaeological dig. So sad.

  • Francisco Bacopa

    You know what else has 24 chromosome pairs? A gorilla!

  • anubisprime

    Gorilla wants a recount!

  • rietpluim

    God has only 1 chromosome? But isn’t He supposed to be endless? And if Jesus is God, how come he has 24? Gee, christian genetics is a pretty tough subject.

  • Kermit Sansoo

    I remember some twenty years ago when a weekly science synopsis mag wrote about an archaeologist who reported finding the literal Holy Grail. He confirmed it when he analyzed some blood on it, and it was only half human. I ranted in fury about falling standards for hours, when my wife gently reminded me that that week’s issue fell on the first of April…

  • njosprey

    Tough luck, Huck. The Templars dug it out from under the Dome of the Rock, moved it to Rosslyn Chapel and then on to the “money pit” on an island near Nova Scotia. Don’t you guys watch the Discovery Channel?

  • pixiedust

    “Biblical truth”

    You need the adjective to qualify and limit the noun. “Biblical truth” differs from “truth.”

  • StevoR

    @26. Pierce R. Butler

    Actually, the discovery of the Tel Dan Stele in 1999 provided – for the first time – material evidence for the existence of a royal “House of David” in the Palestine area. Last I heard, nothing similar has emerged for Solomon.

    But Solomon was David’s son and successor so if there was Davidic kingdom it seems to argue there was also a Solomon too.

  • StevoR

    @22. Trebuchet :

    So, it’s in the courtyard of the temple of Solomon. Wouldn’t that be under the Dome of the Rock? Obviously we need to tear that down right away.

    Sadly /happily depending on your viewpoint, it seems the Israelis turned down their best opportunity to do just that back in 1967.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shlomo_Goren

    One widely-repeated story about Goren claims that shortly after the Israeli capture of the Temple Mount, the rabbi either argued that Israel should destroy the al Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock, or simply said that it would have been a “good thing” if they had been accidentally destroyed.[5] The charge, made by General Narkiss, an eyewitness, in an interview with Haaretz [6] that Rabbi Goren calling for the destruction of the mosques has been used to claim there is a Jewish extremism comparable to Islamic extremism. Goren’s close assistant Rabbi Menachem Ha-Cohen who was with Rabbi Goren throughout that historic day denied ever hearing Goren make such a remark. Goren himself personally denied this charge several times.[7] However Goren did make a speech later that year to a military convention, recorded and later broadcast on Israel’s army radio[8] in which he said of the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque that: ‘Certainly we should have blown it up. It is a tragedy that we did not do so.’ [9]

    I wonder how different history might’ve been and ultimately how much better off all sides would be if the destruction of the mosque over the Temple Mount had occurred and made it he finality of Arab defeat so much clearer earlier? Contatc with parallel alternative universes excepting, guess we’ll never know.

    That wikpage also notes :

    In the summer of 1983, Goren and several other rabbis joined Rabbi Yehuda Getz, who worked for the Religious Affairs Ministry at the Western Wall, in touring a chamber underneath the mount that Getz had illegally excavated, where the two claimed to have seen the Ark of the Covenant. The tunnel was shortly discovered and resulted in a massive brawl between young Jews and Arabs in the area. The tunnel was quickly sealed with concrete by Israeli police.[12] The sealed entrance can be seen from the Western Wall Tunnel, which opened to the public in 1996.

    Which I think is arguably plausible. By coincidence saw a doco on the Arc of the Covenant tonight too which seems to back the Ethiopia hypothesis.