Historians Dispute Claim That Ark of the Covenant Has Been Found Inside Church in Ethiopia

Ark of the Covenant for the Tabernacle replica at BYU in this photo from October 16, 2017. | (Wikimedia Commons)

The search for the Ark of the Covenant has led to renewed speculation that the biblical artifact may be hidden inside a church in Ethiopia, but historians have pushed back against the theory.

Archaeologists have searched for centuries for clues and hints of where the Ark, containing the stone tablets bearing the Ten Commandments given to Moses by God, could be.

The BASE Institute has sent research teams to Ethiopia, Egypt, Israel and Rome and it believes the evidence points to Ethiopia.

Although it has not found the actual Ark, it stated, “As unusual as this may sound, the BASE team has uncovered compelling evidence that the Ark may well have been spirited up the Nile River to an eventual resting place in the remote highlands of ancient Kush–modern-day Ethiopia.”

Some claim that the artifact lies specifically inside the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion in Aksum, Ethiopia.

Monks serving as guardians do not allow historians and archaeologists to come investigate. The chapel is said to be “off-limits to all but a few members of the Ethiopian Christian church hierarchy, hindering any independent confirmation of their authenticity.”

Fueling the speculation are old accounts by late British scholar and historian Edward Ullendorff, who claimed to have seen the Ark inside during World War II.

Live Science spoke last week with Tudor Parfitt, who was also a professor at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, and heard Ullendorff’s claim firsthand.

Parfitt, now a professor of religion at Florida International University, clarified that what Ullendorff saw in 1941, when he was a British army officer leading forces into Ethiopia, was a copy, and not the actual Ark.

Furthermore, he clarified that Ullendorff never actually believed it was the real Ark, but kept the pretense due to his work in the African country.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Stoyan Zaimov