A lost temple – new findings might shatter Biblical archeology paradigm

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A lost temple – new findings might shatter Biblical archeology paradigm
Tsvi Kenigsberg proposes in his Wednesday Bible Land Museum lecture that the supposed altar found at Mount Ebal is the real place "where God will choose" to dwell.
By Hagay Hacohen
October 30, 2019

The historical, religious and mythic importance of Jerusalem is deeply entrenched in Jewish civilization as well as in Western and Islamic cultures. The holiest site for observant Jews today is the Western Wall, which is the last remaining segment connected to the Jewish temple in Jerusalem. Destroyed by the Babylonians, rebuilt with the blessing of Cyrus the Great of Persia – and burned by the Romans when Titus conquered the Jewish city – it is a powerful site of divine promise, Jewish continuity and the ability to survive hardship. Jesus, the New Testament tells, chased the money lenders out of the temple. The prophet of Islam, Muhammad, used a winged horse to visit it before ascending to heaven to converse with Adam and Moses.

The religious importance of the Temple Mount is so great that various answers have been suggested as to how the tensions around it can be resolved. The site, which is the holiest one for the Jewish nation, also includes the Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, which is managed by Jordan – making the zone explosive on both theological and diplomatic fronts.

Under the 1948 UN resolution to recognize a Jewish state alongside a Palestinian one, it was suggested that Jerusalem should be controlled by an international actor, such as the UN itself. Former US president Bill Clinton suggested that Israeli sovereignty over the site might be extended to the inside of the Temple Mount, leaving the Jordanians with managing the top. This is important for many Jews, since archeological excavations into the mountain are vital to discover the remains of the actual temple.

King Hussein of Jordan suggested that God alone should be named the power that controls the site; legal expert Prof. Ruth Gavison suggested that Israeli sovereignty over the site should be valid but willingly suspended, meaning that Israel would agree to not fully exert it. BUT WHAT IF Jerusalem is not the location the Torah had in mind when it says “the place the Lord your God will choose as a dwelling for his name” (Deuteronomy 26:2)? What if the divine site – the one spot on Earth where the divine presence of God manifested itself – is not in Jerusalem, but in the West Bank? This is what independent US-born researcher Tsvi Kenigsberg suggested in an interview in Maariv, the Hebrew sister publication of The Jerusalem Post.

Kenigsberg worked with the late archeologist Adam Zertal for many years. Zertal did extensive excavations at what is accepted to be the biblical Mount Ebal, located in the West Bank – where the people of Israel were forged as part of the conquest of the land promised to them by the Biblical God. He uncovered there what he claimed to be the altar built by Moses' successor Joshua. Jewish scholars suggested that alongside the altar, the Torah was written in 70 different languages on large slabs of stones to tell other nations that this land is the land of the Hebrews. But Kenigsberg takes Kertal's claim even farther, suggesting that Mount Ebal, not Mount Moriah (the other name for the Temple Mount), is the location mentioned in the Torah. Not only does this theory challenge the unrivaled status of Jerusalem, it also disrupts the current paradigm of biblical scholarship.

In the 17th century, Wilhelm Martin Leberecht de Wette and Julius Wellhausen formulated the theory that the Bible is composed of four different sources, which are dated differently and reflect the interests and points of view of those who wrote them. According to this theory, the Book of Deuteronomy, where the expression "the place the Lord your God will choose" appears more than 20 times, has Jerusalem in mind.

Based on this idea, the two scholars suggested that Deuteronomy was written during the rule of King Josiah in the seventh century BCE. Josiah, who wished to ensure that Jerusalem would serve as the center of religious worship, is one of the reasons for the commonly held view that Jerusalem is the location God intended for his worship. The Torah itself isn’t shy in describing how, after the altar Joshua built for religious worship was moved to Shiloh, the Temple built by Solomon became its final stop. We also know now that after the Second Temple was destroyed, a Jewish temple existed in Egypt, known as the Temple of Leontopolis, which served the Jewish community there.

But Kenigsberg claims that, if he is correct about Zertal's discovery being the "place" referred to in those verses, then Deuteronomy was composed during the conquest of Canaan by the Hebrews and is the oldest source used to compile the Bible. “The most important thing is that we now have an archeological finding which fairly certainly shows that the Torah is not a complete fiction,” and that it has “at least a kernel of truth,” Kenigsberg said in the interview. When Zertal suggested that Mount Ebal really the site where Joshua built his altar, he was met with fierce objection by his colleagues. Archeologist Israel Finkelstein, for example, thought that Zertal had merely found a guard post.

While in movies like the 1981 Raiders of the Lost Ark or the 1994 Stargate, archeological findings are easily deciphered and can be readily used, the actual work of an archeologist is to use skill, deduction and science-based methods to offer a careful theory of what might have actually existed. The findings are, after all, silent; it is up to people to understand what they mean.

According to Kenigsberg, the late US archeologist Lawrence Stager visited Mount Ebal in 1984 and said that if Zertal is correct, he and all of his colleagues need to “return to kindergarten.” Those curious to learn more are invited to listen to Kenigsberg during his lecture at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem on Wednesday evening, October 30 at 7:30 p.m. The lecture is free with paid admission to the museum.

https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/A-lost-temple-New-findings-might-shatter-Biblical-archeology-paradigm-606207
 

Kaatje

Well-Known Member
Nope, I won't buy that bridge (nor that mountain).
The place God chose for Himself to dwell is JERUSALEM. Psalms 135:21 and Ps. 137:5.

And I don't like that blabbering about who wrote Deuteronomy either.
That was Moses.

And btw, to say that the Torah "has more than a kernel of truth", graciously bestowed on it by archeology.......:ohno
 
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athenasius

Well-Known Member
Nope, I won't buy that bridge (nor that mountain).
The place God chose for Himself to dwell is JERUSALEM. Psalms 135:21 and Ps. 137:5.

And I don't like that blabbering about who wrote Deuteronomy either.
That was Moses.

And btw, to say that the Torah "has more than a kernel of truth", graciously bestowed on it by archeology.......:ohno
:lol totally agree with you sister!
 

Salluz

Well-Known Member
the Torah "has more than a kernel of truth",
In other news, the ocean has more than a drop of water

And people always try to discredit the bible by claiming it has different authors. If you believe the truth about who actually wrote the books, you have to admit they gave prophecies that came true. Same thing with the two Isaiahs nonsense or dating Daniel later than it was actually written
 
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