Do you have a touch of the “conspiracy theorist” in you? I have just finished reading a book that you might like. Even if you aren”t such a theorist, you may very well like reading Relic Quest (Legend Chaser) by Robert Cornuke. This non-fiction book details the quests of Cornuke as he searches for Mt. Sinai and the Ark of the Covenant.
The book is generally well written. It is in a popular style and is completely first person in perspective. This is easy enough for a junior high student to read, but certainly interesting enough for anyone. I love books that challenge the status quo and then do a good job of defending that challenge. Cornuke does just that. He also challenges the belief that the Old Testament is a collection of myths. As a new believer, Cornuke rejected the accuracy of the Old Testament. Then he met Jim Irwin (former astronaut and one of the few men to walk on the moon) and Irwin took Cornuke to find Mt. Sinai. The quests that Cornuke began convinced him of the literal accuracy of the Old Testament.
In the first half of the book, Irwin and Cornuke travel to Egypt to look at the traditional site of Mt. Sinai. Emperor Constantine’s mother, the Saint Helena, determined that this was Mt. Sinai. Unfortunately, the only claim that this mountain has is church tradition. There is no evidence that this mountain was the actual Mt. Sinai. Cornuke eventually tracked an alternative candidate in Saudi Arabia. The problem was simple: Saudi Arabia was completely closed to foreigners and particularly closed to anyone who wanted to investigate this mountain. Cornuke eventually entered the country on forged documents and scouted the mountain under cover of darkness. Cornuke and his partner had to search at night, because the Saudi Arabian army has a permanent encampment around the mountain to keep everyone away. What are they protecting/hiding? Cornuke found many interesting things on that mountain. Whether it is the actual mountain that God gave the 10 Commandments from or not, may never be known, but Cornuke makes an excellent case in favor of this mountain.
In the second half of the book, Cornuke traces the Ark of the Covenant from Israel to Egypt. From Egypt, the trail led him to Ethiopia. Does the Ark still exist? Cornuke’s ideas about the location are not popular in Western society, but he interviewed many people in Israel, Egypt and Ethiopia that all agree to the current location of the Ark. They all say that the Ethiopians are the guardians of the Ark. Is it really in Ethiopia? Cornuke makes a strong case, but he cannot prove it, because the Ethiopians only allow one man to see the Ark. When that man dies, his successor becomes the only man to see that Ark. That man cannot talk to anyone outside of the order of monks who protect the Ark. Still, there is an interesting trail with plenty of evidence. Cornuke talked with many monks and natives (including the president of Ethiopia) who opened up to him for the first time. Never before has anyone been given the information that Cornuke received. He saw ancient silver trumpets ostensibly from the temple that Solomon constructed. He saw an ancient bowl desgined to hold the blood of sacrifices. He saw many fascinating structures of ancient origin. If the ark still exists, then I suspect that Cornuke is correct. If it doesn’t exist, then it doesn’t matter.
Still, this book was quite intriguing. If you are interested in theories, evidences, and the Ark of the Covenant, then you need to pick up this book.