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The Lost Ark of the Covenant: Solving the 2,500-Year-Old Mystery of the Fabled Biblical Ark [Hardcover]

By Tudor Parfitt (Author)
Our Price $ 22.06  
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Item Number 69086  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   384
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.99" Width: 6.41" Height: 1.25"
Weight:   1.41 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Mar 31, 2008
Publisher   Harper Collins Publishers
ISBN  0061371033  
EAN  9780061371035  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
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, beli. .

Community Description
From the author of "Jews, Muslims and Mass Media" comes the hidden history and secret location of one of the worlds most sacred objects.
Please Note, Community Descriptions and notes are submitted by our shoppers, and are not guaranteed for accuracy.

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More About Tudor Parfitt

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! 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.

Tudor Parfitt has an academic affiliation as follows - School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London Florida I.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Serious, Scholarly and Swashbuckling.  May 1, 2010
Tudor Parfitt's account of his search for the lost Ark of the Covenant is brilliant. Never mind that it's based on a myth - all our civilizations are based on foundational myths. His interactions with those he met are compelling and offer to many of us a glimpse of people and cultures we're not likely to have the opportunity to meet ourselves. I hated for it to end and have ordered copies for family and friends.

emilie barnett
Cleveland, Ohio
interesting but ultimately unconvincing  Apr 12, 2010
Parfitt is billed as a real-life Indiana Jones on the dust jacket, which isn't quite the case but does get one in the mood.

The book is at least as much travelogue as detective story, as Parfitt's pursuit of the Ark takes him to some of the most remote corners of the globe, and his encounters with the locals in these spots are occasionally funny and always well written and interesting. His descriptions of the people, places, and back stories involved are fascinating, and it's clear he is intelligent, observant, but yet totally human, open to feeling frustrated, upset, proud, and involved. Weaving his pursuit of the Ark in with his other life as a researcher was also interesting, and one notes that the story is told over the course of a number of years; there are vast times at which the pursuit of the Ark was clearly relegated to a lower priority. It comes across as episodic at times, and his travels are caused as much by accident or the nudges of others as they are by his own ambition or impetus.

Also interesting is the side story having to do with lost Jewish tribes, and efforts by very widely dispersed people to claim Jewish heritage. Parfitt's knowledge and understanding here don't have all that much to do with the Ark, but are worth reading; too bad he never got around to telling us the results of the DNA testing he conducted in Papua New Guinea!

The story of the Ark, on the other hand, is not as satisfying as I would have liked. First, as dismissive as Parfitt is of Graham Hancock's earlier book, there is a lack of documentation here that does not help his case. Many of the clues and stories and oral histories here assembled are drawn from legend or distant accounts that cannot be relied upon as solid; some of the conclusions drawn are, frankly, completely circumstantial, and there are times Parfitt admits as much. Hancock may well have taken some detours, and he does veer somewhat off track at times, but his case at least *seems* built on more solid foundations than Parfitt's. Ultimately, I felt let down by the ending, which seemed to just hang there. The ngoma finally identified as the Ark cannot be the object of power described in the writings the story of the Ark is based on; if it were the Biblical Ark it would have been unapproachable by non-Cohens, and if it were simply an ancient, primitive saltpeter weapon, it would not have been preserved and revered for 3000 years. One senses that Parfitt was ready to move on to other projects, and felt this was as close to a wrap as he was going to get.

The book was an enjoyable read, and I learned a bit about Jewish history and the like; but I don't know that I learned much new about the legend and location of the Ark of the Covenant.
Save your money.  Feb 21, 2010
Getting to the point I also watched the 2 hour documentary with Tudor Parfitt on the History Channel and was very disappointed. To say he is the modern Indiana Jones is a very over rated appraisal of this individual. Here he stands in a museum in Jordan dragging his naked fingers all over the famed "Copper Scroll" which anyone with his alleged reputation would know you don't treat ancient artifacts in such a manner, I was in disbelief, if it's touched at all any scholar with half a brain would use latex gloves. Then his conclusion that the Ark of the Covenant was a drum (like 'bang bang') that had been reconstructed many times over during it's history. This tale of his is just a tale in my opinion and warrants no consideration other than his motives to make a buck. This documentary ranks with another scholar that attempted to demonstrate that the Great Pyramid was constructed by flying two ton blocks of stone with kites. Again, save your money on this one.
Fascinating travelog, but ultimately unconvincing  Aug 21, 2009
I won't get into much detail, because I don't want to be a spoiler. This book is a page turner and it'll ruin it for you if you know too much in advance of reading it.

Parfitt is an Oxford-educated scholar and a true adventurer. But he seems a little too taken by the Indiana Jones image he develops for himself. In his narrative he is always the wisest, bravest, studliest one in the room.

Personality aside, this is a really fun travelog. While most readers will question the accuracy of some of his reporting, this was unquestionably a true adventure.

In the end, I share the opinion of most of the other readers --- yes, it seems that the small tribe of Lemba people (who have some pseudo-Jewish traditions) have some genetic relationship to the remaining people of a Yemeni port area. Yemen, in turn, was once predominantly Jewish until the Muslims killed or forced conversion on the local population. So it is possible, maybe even probably, that the Lembas have some Jewish ancestors and that this does explain their traditions.

But Parfitt's leap from this to the Ark of the Covenant being a tribal drum is bizarre and utterly unconvincing. His thesis makes several assumptions that are flawed: 1. that the Deut. and Exodus descriptions of the ark construction are mutually exclusive; 2. that the nomadic 13th century BC Israelites were incapable of constructing a small gold object; 3. that these sketchy contradictory oral traditions of the Lemba prove that some drum that Parfitt admits dates about 2000 years after the Exodus is a replacement for the ark. The list goes on. Each plank is flawed, and all have to be true for his drum to be the ark.

I'd love to hear what his friends Daud and Reuven would say about his account.

Anyway, worth reading, but ultimately unconvincing.
Biblical Secrets  May 11, 2009
I could not put this book down. A thriller, detective, historical story about the chase to find the "Lost Ark of the Covenant". You will not be disappointed.

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